Slow video playback (frame drops) on WDTV Live and iMac

I recently upgraded from a 100Mbit router to a 1Gbit router, the Airport Extreme. Right about since then I have started to experience serious video lag and frame drops when playing .mkv files (both large and small). With the previous 100Mbit router I used to stream 1080p .mkv’s to the WDTV Live via a wired eithernet connection from a SMB shared folder on my iMac and all seemed to work well. Until now.

To test my routers network performance I hooked up a USB drive to it and copied a 5GB file to it. It took me 5 minutes to copy the file to the drive via ethernet and I checked the Network Utility that showed outgoing data rates to be about 25-30MB/s on average. I then hooked up the same drive (with the same file) to my WDTV Live and accessed it again via network from my iMac to try and copy the file back again. The data rate was about 3MB/s on average, sometimes spiking to 5MB/s but often dropping to 500-700KB/s. Why is this happening? Do I have a “bad” ethernet cable or is the hardware on the WDTV really that bad? I guess the interface is 100Mbit and I would understand not doing “the full hundred” because honestly not many devices ever achieve anything close to actual 100Mbit, but 3MB/s is bad even for the cheap stuff!

Also, this happened around the time when the previous firmware update came out, the 1.04.10 I believe. 

Is there anything else I could do to try and improve the performance? Try and switch cables? Try NFS sharing with the B-rad firmware?

did you ever get any help on this?

I have recently hit this problem when I switched out a 100 ethernet wired router with a gigabit one. In researching I stumbled over this:,-wd-tv-live-plus,-or-wd

I think I have solved this problem. The solution is as follows: connect a gigabit switch to the airport extreme with Ethernet cable. Connect an ethernet 100 speed switch to the gigabit switch with an Ethernet cable. Connect the WDTV LIVE to the 100 speed switch with an Ethernet cable. No more delays and sputtering choppiness. Just got it to work so have not watched a lot of streamed files from my wired connected Mac in another room yet. But did preview a standard definitition avi and an hd mkv and both played fine. Even tried a 1080 .ts file recorded on eyetv and it played perfectly. I will post another reply in a few days or so if things start to go bad. Both switches are dlink ones. I tried it with only one switch between the extreme and the WDTV live and with just the gigabit or the 100 switch by itself there were horrible playback issues. Evidently something gets sorted out with the two of them in line.

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It appears I was too quick to claim success. It is true the double switches offer significant improvement but there are occasional dropouts. Playback can be fine for several minutes and then some trouble will occur. I guess I will have to get back to trying out media server software.

I’m not sure why my posting are invisible, but I’m trying again.  I believe Windows 7 is the culprit.  I can not stream from any PC using the 7 OS, but when I stream from an attached USB drive or stream from my WHS all works flawlessly.  Is this the case with anyone else?

I am using all macs on my network so WIndows 7 or otherwise isn’t an issue for me. But so far since my previous post, I have played an MKV HD file flawlessly with streaming using the double switches. The file I had trouble with was a DIVX 4 codec avi. So perhaps some file formats will work better than others.

Thanks for the quick reply. I am going to experiment today. But because you’re using Macs, I doubt what I find will relate to you. Best of luck.

Oppps! My bad! My Windows 7 PCs only have 100 Mbps LAN, while my server has 1 Gbps! That’s why it jitters and quits. It has nothing to do with Windows 7. I’m transferring all my movies to my WHS! Sorry for the bad info.

I have found that the router’s speed is the determining factor. A 100 speed router can stream with no trouble. A gigabit router is too fast for the SAMBA or WDTV LIVE.

Too fast? Not so. My WHS V1 is connected directly to my 1 Gbps Netgear router and it plays Blu-ray video and DTS 5.1 to my WD flawlessly. My PCs, however, are only 100 Mbps and the video stutters, if I try to stream from them to the WD. If I’m missing your point, pls explain. Thanks.

artcinco wrote:
I have found that the router’s speed is the determining factor. A 100 speed router can stream with no trouble. A gigabit router is too fast for the SAMBA or WDTV LIVE.

Sorry, but that’s complete nonsense.

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Well here is the issue as WD describes it and as posted earlier in this thread:,-wd-tv-live-plus,-or-wd

My experience thus far as also stated earlier in the thread is that once my streaming well 100 speed router was swapped for a gigbit one, streaming no longer worked very well.

I know SAMBA is slow but if it worked before with the 100Mbit router then it should work with a gigabit router. Few things you could try: 1. Hook the old router back up to see if it still works so that you can eliminate the WDTV Live firmware update to be the problem. 2. Check to see if there is a firmware update for your new router. Also look in your router web interface to see if there are any settings for gigabit LAN that might cause a problem with mixed networks. Also quality of service settings might cause a problem. Additionally, make sure you have your modem connected to the WAN port of the router and everything else connected to the LAN ports. 3. Check to see if your computers network card drivers are up-to-date. Also in the advanced settings of your network card look for settings for flow control and jumbo frames. Jumbo frames should be disabled and flow control should be enabled. You can also force it to connect at 100Mbit speed. (I am assuming you have a gigabit network port) 4. Try streaming your files from a usb drive attatched to the router. 5. Install a media server on your computer.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I believe going with a media server is going to be the solution. I am trying EyeConnect from Elgato right now. I will test a few more and research what other mac users are using before buying.

Since i have upgraded my computer to snow leopard i have had nothing but issues streaming over my wired network to my wdtv. WD external hard drive to IMAC to D-link 8 port gigabit switch then to wdtv.  It plays every file but avi on the wired network, but when i turned on the wireless airport setting and reset the computer  everything plays perfect, it is very strange.

I have a wireless router provided by my cable company