Well, I don’t quite see what Time Machine has to fo with this (are you using the MPW as aTime Machine drive?)
He said he was using an Apple Time Capsule as a router. That functionality has nothing to do with the use of Time Machine.
Also, I know you love your setup with the MPW on your network, available like any other network resource, but the only reason you get better speed that way is because you have the MPW right up next to your wireless router. You are actually adding in another wireless step in the network from the MPW to the target device that is playing video, which will be adding some delay and hence speed loss.
Just having a direct connection to a powered MPW close by would give at least as good speed results, and probably better, assuming the connected device has the capabilities to achieve a higher speed. But yes, the convenience of having the MPW on your home network makes sense, and you would get better range and speed of connection while roaming around the house away from the MPW.
However, all that is irrelevant if fustbariclation is connecting to the MPW at sufficient speed to play the media he is playing. He doesn’t need the fatest possible speed, just sufficient speed. Some speed tests for various connections will determine if the connection is the bottleneck, or something else is going on.
My money would be on something else. Playing media isn’t as straight forward as many people think. Particularly when we start to use ususual formats, different players, and so on. Play an MP3 on a tiny iPod? Easy. Play a eight track FLAC (or ALAC in the case of Apple products) on the same device, not so easy.
If you use the MPW just as a hard drive and effectively play media from it as you would from a local hard drive, you aren’t actually streaming the media.
If you use the MPW Media Server capabilities and actually stream media to another device, there is the potential for transcoding on the MPW, although I don’t know if it is capable, but regardless, the MPW is then involved in the control of media delivery to the rendering device.
This is where you need to look fustbariclation;
First, speed check your connection. Just copy large files from the MPW to yor device and note the stable speed achieved, not the burst speed which would involve the cache.
If the speed is sufficient, and you will need to know the bitrate of your media (the free MediaInfo can tell you that) plus do a little research to learn what it means, then look at the delivery chain and renderer being used.
A larger cache could help, if you can afford the space on your device, but it would only help smooth delivery of data if your network speed fluctuated, or smooth the load of rendering the media if the cache was post transcoding. Maybe a different App would do more to solve the problem.
As an example of the issues, I can play 1080p30fps video easily on my HTPC and Samsung TV at 60Hz, but if I try to play Standard Definition interleaved TV recorded over the air, my HTPC can have some trouble, not because it needs to be upscaled to 1080p60fps, but because the deinterleaving is a demanding process.
The same issues can arise if I try to play video that was originally a 24fps theatrical movie, unless I tell the HTPC to treat it as a Film, rather than Video.
When I play a film from my Macbook Pro onto my iMac through iTunes sharing, it works find – that’s going from standard definition on the Macbook to 2560x1440 27-inch on the iMac.
Something else must be slowing it down.
When you use that arrangement the iMac is doing the rendering and any transcoding required, unless the Macbook Pro is acting as a Media Server rather than just a source of media files. Unless that is the device you are using with the MPW media, I’m sure the iMac is a more capable renderer. I’m no expert on iTunes, but if you are running iTune on the Macbook Pro and the iMac, and sharing media between them, then that is a Media Server arrangement, rather than just media file sharing. Either computer in that case could do any transcoding required, though the iMac would be doing the rendering.
There is probably no easy answer to your media playing problem, or the fix may be easy, but not easy to find. You may need to ask on some specialist forums, such as the AVS Forums, http://www.avsforum.com/forum/index.php