Stuttering of movies builds up on large files

Hi All.

I’m wondering if anyone knows whats going on with my WDTV Live.  If I’m watching say a 1080p 10GB file on it, after around 30 mins to an hour, I start getting stutters in the picture, and the amp will drop the sound volume as if it was not receiving data fast enough.

Pausing and resuming doesn’t fix it, but stopping and resuming does.  Until about an hour or so in and the stuttering starts again.  Is the bit-rate too high ?  I have it connected to a Netgear Nas over wired gigabit connection.


Possibly the bit rate but I am more inclined it could be heat related to the processor working at higher bit rate.  Try giving the WDTV better airflow, perhaps setting it on a couple of pencils as a test.  I have mine on four small rubber feet 3/8" thick and the box stays noticably cooler.

Maybe it is, its not enclosed atm, it sits on top of a switched off cd player in open air.

I’ll try hoovering out any dust, and raising it up somewhat and/or moving it lower down where it should be cooler.

I have just reset the unit to factory defaults as well, see if that makes any difference.  Will also try streaming from PC which is alot faster than the NAS. 

I think it is the bit rate. I had that problem too. It can only handle upto 50Mb bite rate. There is a bit rate viewer you can get and check it out.

Only? What sources do you get higher encoded files from?

Check my response here to the same problem. I also run a Netgear NAS (ReadyNAS Ultra 4). Whilst not ideal, it did solve my immediate problems of stuttering during large file 1080p movies.

Prior solution

Let me know if it works.  Ciao

While trying to encode HD Movies at 1080 I used some settings on handbrake to make the encoding go fast. In the end, I’m using the actual file from the blu ray disc that has about 20 30 Mb bit rate. I don’t want to have my computer churning for days on end to produce a file that will almost be like the original, I’m justing using the orginal file and it doesn’t stutter.

Hard drive space has a much cheaper price now, so that’s the plan. 

A 10GB file though at 2 hours long is only 11Mbits/s average though. So I’d be surprised if it was Bit-rate.

I’ve not gotten round to testing any of the other ideas out yet.

WhiteKnightDBS: I’ve tried putting on an NFS share, but my WD-TV only has Media Server (dont know what protocol) and under network share only has Windows Share or Apple Share (AFP).

Edit: Nevermind saw that last bit about enabling linux share mode.

I’ve enabled AFP and will give that a whirl next time see if its any better.  I could well believe its the Samba file access, I only get around 20-30MB/s in windows which goes through Samba.  However I thought this would be enough to stream video.

We frequently watch Blu-ray sourced MKV movies streamed from a Samba server running on a Linux machine, and never have any of the problems you describe.  Some of these files are >40Mbps.  The WD units can certainly handle what you are throwing at them.  We have never had any obvious overheating problems either.

If you can get 20MB/s (160Mbps), you should plenty of power in your server to handle video streaming (and remember that the WD units do not have GigE, so they will require <100Mbps).

Of course a real computer server may be able to do better:   I just mounted one of our Samba shares on another Linux machine in the house and copied a 5GB file over.  Result:  >400Mbps.  Of course this is over GigE, but it shows that Samba/SMB is not a bottleneck for video streaming if the server is up to snuff, since this is approximately 10 times what is required for a high bitrate Blu-ray file.

ncarver, the problem stems from the Samba implementation on Netgear Readynas NAS devices.

WhiteKnightDBS: Pretty much confirmed it when I downloaded some Jellyfish high-bitrate test files.

Watching a 25Mbit file over the Windows Samba share, it was stuttering soo badly, and then resorted to buffering.

The same file, over Linux NFS share played back flawlessly!

I am downloading some more files to experiment at what limits the Nas has over its Samba share.

So a bit of testing later, heres what I got;

Using the files from

On the Windows Samba share, even at 15Mbit I got very slight stuttering.

On the Linux NFS share, I got upto 35Mbit before a tiny bit of stuttering occured.

Lesson learned, dont use Samba on Netgear readynas NAS’s. :slight_smile:


Excellent piece of diagnostic work on this.

However, I quite like using the Media Library function of the WDTV Live. Is there a way to get this working without having the default filesystem protocol as SMB/CIFS? Anyone?

My other solution is to replace the Netgear ReadyNAS with something that is proven to perform better. Or keep using the workaround of slipping into Network Share mode to view a high bit rate 1080p movie.

Note that you can also enable “Jumbo frames” on the ReadyNAS which will give you a performance boost of 15-20%. Note that the network switch that you are connecting to must be jumbo frame capable.

Nutty: The performance problems are clearly a problem/deficiency of the NAS rather than Samba/SMB per se.  I never had stuttering/rebuffering problems with any of the Jellyfish test files while being served by a real Linux PC running Samba.

WhiteKnightDBS:  I don’t understand your questions?  If SMB from your NAS isn’t fast enough then: (1) enable NFS on the NAS and WD unit and try that, or (2) get a real computer to function as your server.  Media Library vs. Network Share pertains to whether movie metadata is kept and displayed or not, it has nothing to do with the protocol for doing file sharing.

Note that “jumbo frames” are generally supported only by GigE switches and NICs, so there use with Fast Ethernet (such as the WD units) is likely to cause reduced performance in fact.  Definitely something one would want to test before simply assuming it will be an improvement.

ncarver: Yes, it is a problem with Netgear Nas’s.  For the record I have the Duo v2.

Its nice to know the problem isn’t with the WDTV.  I will probably switch over to NFS for all my media from the NAS now, as I dont use the media library mode.

Media Library can aggregate NFS mount points just as well as CIFS shares

Thanks morbidz.

I have rebuilt my Media Library with NFS mount points and all is good. I initially assumed I couldn’t as when I created the initial library, Linux Shares option was not enabled and didn’t show up.