Video Stuttering Issues over wired gigabit capable network

I know there has been several people with video stuttering issues but I thought I would chime in. 

I just purchased one of these a few days ago and have tried everything to play HD content smoothly but its just not working. Divx, MKV etc. I am on a wired gigabit network and its stuttering like mad. I am running Cat6 cable.

On the same network, over WiFi N no less, I can stream the files perfectly fine. This makes me believe the WD TV Live just doesn’t handle the flow of a stream and buffer properly.

The DIVX files it plays smooth for 2 mins until the stuttering becomes brutal is 1.4GB for 40 mins.

The MKV file is 10GB for 2.5 hours I believe.

I simply cannot find a file that can play on this unit smoothly for me.

I know people blame the users network first however other machines seem just fine. If it is the network then I’d say the unit is poor at handling network errors if there are some since every laptop/other machine I’ve hooked in has had no problems with this same network cable.

Has anyone had troubles with wired causing so many troubles? I am running the latest firmware.

Are VBR files a problem? I’m really reaching now trying to figure out why this unit won’t play any of the various different files I have smoothly.

Thanks and take care!

Hmmm.  You’ve anticipated all of my canned responses.  ;)

In short, the fact that it’s Gig on Cat6 isn’t relevant.  The WDTV is 100 Meg, so the cable is just good Cat5 cable.  :)

I have no issues playing HD over my WDTV on wired.   

My biggest MKV is 13GB for 2.5 hours.  

But I have some Kodak Zi8 movies which are like 100 Megabyte per MINUTE (translate to 6GB per hour) that also play fine.

The MKV file also plays fine over wireless.   The Kodak files occasionally slip up.

Now, I’m guessing the WDTV is assuming the network is going to be good.   PC’s and the like CAN’T make that assumption.  They have LOTS of RAM to handle what’s called a “Jitter Buffer”.   I’m guessing the WDTV’s jitter buffer is miniscule by comparison.

If you have a Windows box that can plug into the same cable, go watch the movie on the Windows box, and occasionally issue the command

netstat -s

in a CMD window.   Look to see what the error indicators are.   If they’re even close to reaching 0.1%, then that’s going to be a problem for streaming.

VBR is not a problem.   Most videos these days are VBR.

Ah, but you haven’t anticipated MY canned responses .

Try re-encoding the file (the original) with Handbrake, using the High Profile preset (but change the output type to MKV and passthrough the DTS or AC3 track, if any).  See if THAT plays properly.

Because that will eliminate authoring issues (which I suspect) as the problem.  I’ve played literally hundreds of such files (and they are large files, many times much larger than yours, on the order of 17-30GB for two hours) without issues as long as I play them wired (my largest files won’t stream properly wirelessly, although 90% of my others will).

If a Handbrake encoded file doesn’t work for you than there’s something wrong with your Live unit (I have three and they will all work properly this way – Handbrake is the great leveler).