"Play To" and Media Streaming - Windows 7 Media Center problems

I have a DVR PC with Windows Media Center 7 (Ultimate 64bit). I record HD and SD shows and the files are large - HD 1 hour shows can be 8GB in size.

Currently i convert the WTV files to DVR-MS and the WD TV Live box accesses them via a share. This works well, BUT I have to pre-covnert anything I want to watch on the WD TV live box. No network problems - this works fine over wired 100MB network.

So I turned on media streaming. The WD TV box is seen by the DVR, and the WD box sees ALL shows, by category, and can play any file without converting it. BUT, it only plays about 20 seconds before sound drops out, and the video starts to go into slow motion. My DVR is a Core2Duo  2.8Ghz, 4GB RAM .

I lean towards the DVR as being the problem, but this is not a weak box - anyone get this type of combo to work using the Media Streaming option on Windows 7? I find I don’t reallly need to use the “play to” feature - the WD box lets me pick any file when Media Streaming is on.

Thanks for any help or suggestions.

OK, did some more work - A windows 7 machine (older P4) plays streaming vids from DVR just fine.

This is definitely a WD TV Live issue.  It plays 15 seconds, then sound drops out and video goes into slow mo… Not enough buffer on the device.

What is really annoying is they just issued a press release saying they supported this feature:


I guess I have to figure out how to open a support ticket now. :angry:

Got some more info… this might help someone else struggling with this:

“Play To” is really an option to push media from a Windows 7 PC. When I find a file I want to stream from my Win7 DVR to the WD box, I select “Play TO” and then “WDTVLIve”.  A window pops up on the PC that is a playlist with Paulse/Play controls. Windows 7 (the first time you do this) says “detecting new hardware” and installs some kind of converter.

This is sort of weird - the video is pushed to the WDTV box and plays fine (it starts on its own); BUT - it is somewhat down converted - scenes with no movement look HD quality, but as soon as a person turns their head or walks it artficacts to the point that it is like low quality you tube.

Additionally, if you try to browse and play any file, the problem reappears with sound drop out and video going slow mo.

My theory, is that this “Play To” function requires buffering on the extender device and Win7 takes into account the type of device it is streaming too. If you select a file from the WD Box (through this media streaming connection) - Win7 doesn’t know enough client data and over runs the buffer.

So all I can do at this point is turn off media streaming and continue to convert my files to DVR-MS, then browse the network share for them.

Sorry, WD - but this feature is dissapointing. On a 42" TV, who wants to watch pixelated shows that look like circa 2000 you tube. Also, who wants to go to their PC and push something to a remote television, go to that TV and push pause?

I saw the same pixeling on moving scenes while trying to play on a FullHD Sony LCD from Windows 7.

Streaming using play-to needs to downsample the stream.

You can “measure” this very easy: just look on bandwidth needed to play a 1080p video from a network share and you will see a considerable less bandwidht used when you stream from W7, from local drive, to a TV or WDTV Live.

I consider this not a WDTV bug but a limitation of this streaming method.

drabisan wrote:


I consider this not a WDTV bug but a limitation of this streaming method.

I agree, mostly, accept that I can play the file off a remote share with no problem, full 1080 resolution - no artifacting. I can play the file on a PC with good performance, but if I stream to the WDTV - ughh!

Streaming a 1080 file and then dropping half the bits on the floor is not a great experience. So why toot your horn on your ability to be a media extender? Also, why let the WDTV see the files and categorize them, but not even be able to play them? I can sort them 50 different ways - but I can only play them if I start the play from the PC.

If they would just support the WTV file - then I would be happy. I will just keep converting for now.

Any news regarding this issue?

I just got the WD TV LIVE and updated the firmware to the latest version but I still have the same issue when playing Windows Media Center (WTV) files.

Any help please?

If it makes you feel better, I’m having the exact same problem with streaming WTV files. “Play To” works fine as does streaming of other file formats. The odd thing is that I swear I could do this on older firmware - no sound dropping out, no slow motion video. Fast forwarding would screw things up so I stopped doing that. But with the latest firmware it doesn’t work at all…