For those having problems to stream HD content... this might help!


The Western Digital seemed to be the router that would best suit my needs for the following reasons : 

  • 7 Gigabit Ehternet ports ; 

  • 2 USB ports. 

The purpose was following : I wanted to connect a USB hard drive to my N900 and be able to stream its HD content (Blu-Ray rips in “full format”, which is about 32Mbps with peaks up to 40Mbps) to my universal network Blu-Ray player that can get the streams over DLNA or over SMB. 

I can forget about sharing content over SMB to the universal player. Why ? Because I think that for some licensing problems, WD is using an outdated version of Samba, which typically ends up with a “Username and/or password not recognized”. 

So I used another solution, less elegant, but if it’s functionnal, why not. In one of the Gigabit ports, I’ve plugged in a LaCie NAS. The LaCie NAS has a front USB port and uses a version of SMB that is compatible with my Blu-Ray player. 

After hooking up the LaCie, I was of course able to see it on my Blu-Ray player and to access the USB hard drive connected to it via SMB.

But to my great surprise, the stream was not flawless. I had severe frame dropouts and a stream that was so stuttering that I was impossible to look at it. To give an idea : it took about 12 seconds to go from time stamp 0 to time stamp 6 seconds ! 

I was puzzled : the stream goes up to 36Mbps. USB 2.0 supports up to 480Mbps. Gigabit Ethernet supports up to 1000Mbps. When I try to copy files from my computer to the hard drive connected to the USB port of the LaCie I get speeds about 20MB/s… 

The only glitch is the Blu-Ray player : it’s Ethernet port isn’t Gigabit but “Fast Ethernet”… this 100Mbps. 

So I came to the conclusion that the WD does not handle mixed up Ethernet environments… 

This is probably partially true, but not entirely. Inded, without even thinking about what I was doing, I plugged the Blu-Ray player into Gigabit port 7 (instead of 1 => 6) and… voilà !!! Stream is now flawless ! This can be repeated. Leaving everything else as it is, I simply swap the Blu-Ray player from port 7 to another port : stuttering streaming. Replugging it to port 7 : everything works ! I even tried to see where I can go, to stream a .mkv that goes from 42Mbps up to 78Mbps. Works almost flawlessly on port 7 (almost, bacause if the bitrate goes highr than 75mbps there a really slight stuttering… but that can be because of the 100Mbps port of the Blu-Ray player !). No go on other Ethernet ports !

Thought I would share this as this now makes me reconsider listing this on eBay or else :slight_smile:

I now just wish WD would solve the SMB issue (new SMB server ?) and this would be the thrilling router I expected when I bought it…



i think i know why that is,there are two lan chips on this router .

1 does ports 1-4 and the other does 5-7 and wan port .

The only negative of using ports 5-7 On another web site at high wan to lan/lan to wan speeds they found anything on ports 5-7 that was hitting gigabit lan speeds would slow the wan port down.

Hi Riggs540,

Well, that might well be. And if that is correct, that would probably explain why there are no really competitors to this device with 7 Gigabit Ethernet ports : that adds a chip and thus increases the price of the device or diminishes the margins of the manufacturer. 

Anyways, whatever the cause, the consequence is that I am able to stream using that config, and that suits me well. 

So, now I am almost happy with this product… and would PERFECTLY BE if WD would decide to implement the latest SMB version into it to allow to use it’s USB ports even from a device that’s not too network related like a universal Blu-Ray player… So far, all I get are ID problems : the player refuses my login and password ! 



This is a strech, but the WD 8 gig port SWITCH does exactly what you discribed as a “Feature”.  Maybe some firmware crossed development trunks.  OR WD marketing forgot to mention this “feature”  on the n900.  Personally, I wish it was optional or gone altogether.  Its a rather ghetto way of doing QoS.  Back of the 8 port Gig-e switch: