4 Replies Latest reply: Aug 16, 2013 2:14 AM by mosipd RSS

    Video Streaming Issue

    mosipd

      I have had the absolute worst experience upgrading to the Slingbox 350.  Besides the fact that I lost all advanced video and audio settings in the Slingplayer application, I am experiencing a very weird issue while streaming.  Here is a little background information on the setup I am having problems with:  The Slingbox I am streaming from is located in the UK and I am in the US.  Connection tests over a VPN from the UK connection yield 10 megabit upload speed to US servers.  The US connection has more than enough upload and download bandwidth at 100mbit down and 75mbit up.

       

      The issue that I am experiencing is video stutter at "better" quality settings when streaming from the UK to the US.  On "good" quality settings, the stream uses anywhere from 1500 - 1800 kbps and plays fine.  When I switch to "better" quality the stream jumps up to 4500 kbps and won't go any higher.  When this happens the video stutters and is un-watchable.  Now, here is where I start to get lost and cannot explain why this is happening.  When I watch the same stream from my Macbook Pro, over wireless, I can watch the stream perfectly fine at "better" quality settings.  The stream never goes above 2800 kbps and plays absolutely fine.  This is all happening over the same internet connection, and even follows to other internet connections (such as work).  The computer the stream has issues on is a newer Thinkpad W530 running Windows 7 and on a gigabit ethernet connection using any web browser you can think of.  So, my thinking is that there has to be something between Windows & Mac that is changing that allows me to watch the stream on "better" quality on one computer and not on the other.  Anyone have any clues?  This is really driving me nuts.  I've taken a video of the issue that happens between both computers and could post it if anyone thinks it might help.

       

      Edit:  I have tested the stream and TCP streaming is active.

        • Re: Video Streaming Issue
          Matt.Sling Apprentice

          Hello mosipd,

          What browser are you using on the Thinkpad? Given everything else being equal (up/down speed) I'm wondering if it's a browser or bit mode setting?

           

          This article lists browser requirements and has a link on 32 vs. 64 bit settings.

           

          Let me know if trying a different browser (Using Chrome vs. IE for example) helps.

          -Matt

            • Re: Video Streaming Issue
              mosipd

              As stated above I have tried every browser combination possible, including any 64-bit versions available.  The list includes:  Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, all on Windows.  I tried 64-bit versions but the Sling plug-in doesn't install on IE or Firefox 64-bit.  All browsers that I have tried produce the exact same results.  The second I move over to OS X, using Firefox or Safari, the video plays perfectly fine using "better" quality.  There has got to be something causing this to happen as I would think if it were network related, it would persist on OS X.  I was able to replicate the problem on any windows browser combination on many different networks, including my office's 1gbit MPLS connection.  All the results are the same no matter what I do, OS X is fine and Windows is not.

               

              Edit:  I just installed the Sling plug-in on a coworkers Thinkpad T410s and it plays fine at "better" quality, staying around 1800-2000 kbps.  So I assume there is some setting on my W530 that is causing this to happen.  All drivers on my Thinkpad W530 are as up-to-date as possible as well as OS patches and BIOS version.  I've tried removing the Sling plug-in as well as Firefox and reinstalling with the same results.

                • Re: Video Streaming Issue
                  Matt.Sling Apprentice

                  Gotcha, thanks for the update.

                   

                  Have you checked your network apps or utilities, including anti-virus, anti-spyware, content monitoring or filtering, or backup software that could be interfering with the connection from that computer? If you have not yet, look at the Resource Monitor app to see which other apps might be using network connection.

                   

                  - Matt

                    • Re: Video Streaming Issue
                      mosipd

                      I should have mentioned this earlier but there is no extra software running on my W530.  No anti-virus, anti-spyware, backup or filtering software.  In fact there is nothing running except for essential Windows processes, and as few of them as possible.  The same goes for Windows services, all non-essential services are disabled and stopped.  I even went so far as to return all the services to their default state to see if that did anything.  I checked my network connection using TCPView and there was nothing using my network connection, only the normal Windows processes listening.

                       

                      I attempted some more troubleshooting today and uninstalled all browser related plug-ins and software and then the browser.  I then reinstalled JUST Firefox and the Slingplayer application.  I get the same results as before, the "better" quality setting uses too much bandwidth.  I also matched the bit rate reported in the Sling app in network monitor and they match as well.  I really have no idea why just on my computer this is happening.  If the difference in quality between "better" and "good" weren't so big I really wouldn't care.  I think it's an issue that Sling doesn't provide it's end users with means to configure advanced stream settings, like how the old application functioned.