Need Recommendations for router

Hi Everyone,

I just bought my WD Live and playing around with it.  I found that when I play HD files over my network which is 54Mbps router the video plays choppy.  When I copy the same HD file on my USB drive the video works fine.

So this indeed is a networking issue.  I need recommendations on what class of router should I buy and do i need to upgrade my laptops network card also? 

My laptop network card is : Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Net

Let me know if I missed any information here



Um, the best recommendation is to go wired.  Wired you ought to be able to play most everything just fine, wireless you may not be able to do well even if you go full N (due to the limitations of the Live’s wireless buffer).

Does that mean even if I buy a N class router, it wont benefit much?

IMHO, no, but pretty obviously YMMV.

I had some very large bitrate files that would not stream properly so I tried a top of the line N router and while it worked very well indeed, it didn’t work any better than my old G router when it come to those files (and it was set to full N mode).  As soon as I wired up my Live units those files played just fine.

In my case these were only a handful of files (out of hundreds) so it wasn’t a HUGE issue, but since it’s easy to wire up a house (took less than an hour and we went through the walls – if you don’t need a perfect installation like that you can do it faster) it was just as well to do it that way.  Even if you pay someone else to do it you’ll usually save money (depending on the number of things you need wired and your own situation).

Now, all my files are compressed blu-ray rips – if I was trying to play uncompressed files wired is a no-brainer.  But, as I repeat, that’s only my opinion (although it IS based on trying to help dozens of folks here in similar situations).  If you want go ahead and buy an N router to see for yourself (nearly any place will allow full refund on returns, which is what I got from Amazon after it didn’t work for me).

Another thumbs up for wired.  I tried wireless and got to a put where it was ok.  But I still got glitches and problems connecting (though that maybe better with the later firmware).


I put 50 feet of network cable from our office, through the basement and up into the living room into the back of the WD.


I watch Avatar in 1080P (all 10GB of it) over the weekend.  No problem at all.

What might help is knowing what type of files you are hoping to stream wirelessly, in particular their bitrate.

I regularly play 720p MKV files with bit rates up to 9,000 Kbps.  I connect wirelessly using a Draft-N Belkin USB adapter to an AT&T ‘G’ router (2WIRE 2701HG-B).  I seem to get max strength signal (at or near 54Mbps).  For me, a 54Mbps router is fine.

If you’re playing higher bitrate files, a wireless ‘N’ router might work but if your share files are on the laptop, it could become a bottleneck with that network card.  If you upgrade your router, get a matching network card for the laptop.

Something else that may be worth trying is a media server on the laptop (I’ve had good experiences with TVersity).  People have reported being able to play higher bitrate files than normal when using a media server.  It’s free and will only cost you the 20 minutes or so it takes to set up.

If that fails, you’re back to looking at a new router.  

My only experience with ‘N’ routers is with TRENDnet’s TEW-635BRM (when my previous AT&T 2WIRE died).  It was easy enough to set up, had some nice features and connected to my laptop at 130Mbps.  Unfortunately it had buggy firmware and would disconnect and forget settings.  Put me off TRENDnet for life.

WD have a page listing supported hardware here:

Make a selection from there to have a higher chance of it working nicely with the WD TV.  ;)

Having said all that, cable is king for streaming stability.  If it’s possible, it’s the best way to go.

Thanks everyone who replied. I am convinced for using a wired connection