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 Because I think that for some licensing problems, WD is using an outdated version of Samba, which typically ends up with a “Username and/or password not recognized”.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
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…