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I'm trying to stream movies from my laptop to my Xbox 360 using Windows Media Center. This means that I only need to get my local speeds up to 15-20Mbps. When playing video, it lags, so I started looking into it. Windows Media Center has a network tester that shows how the connection between the laptop and Xbox 360 is and it was very poor.

The router which I have is a TL-WR1043ND. Which as you can see from the specs supports up to 300Mbps for wireless speeds and higher for connected speeds. As for the physical setup, my laptop is plugged directly into my router, and my Xbox is in the same room about 10 feet away. So why the Windows Media Center network tester says it is poor, I have no idea. The only thing I could think of was network settings.

In my router settings, I have done the following:

  • Wireless -> Wireless Settings -> Max Tx Rate: 300Mbps
  • Bandwidth Control -> Control Settings -> Egress Bandwidth: 15360Kbps
  • Bandwidth Control -> Control Settings -> Ingress Bandwidth: 15360Kbps

On my laptop (running Windows 7 Professional) I have done this (From this website):

  • Disabled Autotuning
  • Remove Remote Differential Compression
  • Clear DNS Cache

What other things can I do to increase my network speed? I have heard that I could install DD-WRT firmware on my router instead of what's currently on there and that could help solve my problem. What should I do?


UPDATE

I was able to get another network cable to plug my Xbox directly into the router as well. When I did that, I had no problem streaming to my Xbox. Not one stutter. So I'm fairly certain there is a problem with my wireless.

After a bit more research, I think the problem may be wireless interference. I installed this program called inSSIDer which scans the networks around you and shows what channels they are on and at what frequency. It doesn't find out what other devices are on the frequencies but it gives me a pretty good idea. There's about 40 wireless networks that I can see and they are all on 2.4GHz. There were 0 networks on the 5GHz frequency.

So what I will try next is borrow a friend's router, and test to see if my problems get fixed by using the 5GHz frequency band. Also as a note, I manually set my routers channel width to 40MHz.


Update 2

Ok I haven't tested the 5GHz frequency band yet but this is what I have done. We have two laptops at our place. Mine and my wife's. I tried a file transfer while we were both wireless and the speed was around 1.2MB/s. We then plugged one computer in and had the other one wireless and got to about 2.5MB/s. With both plugged in we got about 9.5MB/s.

The next thing we did was we were both wireless again and from each computer we pinged the router. We did about 60 packets each, my average was 1ms, and her average was 6ms. But as soon as I pinged her computer, my average went to 448ms.

So the next thing I did was change my router's IP address to 172.17.0.1 and changed the DHCP Server to give addresses from 172.17.0.2 to 172.17.0.100 with the default gateway of 172.17.0.1. After restarting the router, I pinged my wife's computer and was getting around 20ms on average. So it seemed that the problem might be fixed.

I started up my Xbox and kept pinging my wife's computer just to see how the Xbox would affect it, and everything was going good. As soon as I started streaming my pings to my wife's computer averaged about 800ms and then my network came to a screeching halt. I stopped streaming and after about five minutes my ping was back down to 20ms.

So it seems that everything works fine until I start stressing my network. Maybe I just have a faulty router after all?

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Do you have any QoS or packet inspection settings turned on? That can, depending on the router and configuration, cause some pretty nasty bandwidth issues. Try turning them off and testing. –  ssube Jan 18 '13 at 16:54
    
Why do you have bandwidth limits imposed by the router? You're right at the limit you configured. –  David Schwartz Jan 18 '13 at 16:56
    
@DavidSchwartz, To make sure that if there are any limits they are high enough to stream content. –  Aust Jan 18 '13 at 16:58
    
@peachykeen, I am unsure about that. I haven't changed any other settings so whatever factory default settings are. –  Aust Jan 18 '13 at 17:00
    
1.8MiB/s (under perfect conditions of 100% efficiency, so realistically, about 1.3MiB/s) is enough to stream content? –  David Schwartz Jan 18 '13 at 17:00

2 Answers 2

Bandwidth Control -> Control Settings -> Egress Bandwidth: 15360Kbps  
Bandwidth Control -> Control Settings -> Ingress Bandwidth: 15360Kbps  

Obviously, you won't get any more bandwidth than your configured limits. 15,360Kbps limits traffic to, under perfect conditions, 1.83MiB/s.

15,360 Kbps = 15,360,000 bps
15,360,000 bps = 1,920,000 B/s (8 bits in a byte)
1,920,000 B/s = 1,875 KiB/s (1,024 bytes in a KiB)
1,857 KiB/s = 1.83MiB/s (1,024 KiB in a MiB)

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

The problem was definitely the interference on the 2.4GHz band. I bought a 5GHz wireless router to use instead of my 2.4GHz router. I actually bought 2 and used WDS bridging between the routers so my Xbox could be on the 5GHz frequency. Now I have no trouble at all streaming and when I look at the Windows Media Center network performance, it is at full bars.

The routers that I purchased were just the step up from the one that I already had. The TP-Link TL-WDR3600. They have a nice FAQ Page that shows an easy setup for WDS bridging. The setup was extremely easy and I would recommend it to anyone having similar issues as me.

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Alternatively Hard Disk speed is an option too. –  UltraDEVV Sep 22 at 19:58

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