Considering media streaming? - The experience (headaches!) of my HD project

zero7

Active Member
You're right, but the Thecus is £360 inc VAT :)

Your right, it's cheaper but has 1/2gb less memory and a slightly slower processor....as you, i'm goign to get something that is a bit future proofed..if at all possible...
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Your right, it's cheaper but has 1/2gb less memory and a slightly slower processor....as you, i'm goign to get something that is a bit future proofed..if at all possible...

It's certainly one of the best out there :thumbsup: (I would have chosen it if budget didn't come into the equation!)
 

Nando1970

Standard Member
Can you give me some specific examples of particular files?

The last 2 I had problems with are Bee Movie (when they first fly outside), Iron Man (when he gets out of the cave with huge bombing and fire).
Both of them are COMPRESSED 1080p rips. Once again I've been using wired NFS connection from my QNAP NAS

I've been playing uncompressed rips from both an internal HDD and via NFS from my NAS, and there's absolutely no difference in playback.

On one hand what you say it's encouraging, as I just might have to fix my set up . On the other hand there's still something which puzzles me: when the bitrate is over 33 Mbps you _should_ have problems, since it's exceeding the specs.
Do you have a rip which peaks for few seconds over 40 Mbps (video and audio included)? Does it work flawlessly?

My LG bluray drive is on the arrival, so I will join the lossless rip club... I'm just hoping that everything will work OK

ciao -- Nando
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
The last 2 I had problems with are Bee Movie (when they first fly outside), Iron Man (when he gets out of the cave with huge bombing and fire).
Both of them are COMPRESSED 1080p rips. Once again I've been using wired NFS connection from my QNAP NAS

I don't have Bee Movie but I do have Iron Man on BluRay - I'll rip this tonight and test it. I'll be doing an uncompressed rip, so in theory I should have problems with the scene you mention. Am I right in thinking this is when he escapes in the mk1 version of the iron man suit? What file size and what audio is on your rip?

On one hand what you say it's encouraging, as I just might have to fix my set up . On the other hand there's still something which puzzles me: when the bitrate is over 33 Mbps you _should_ have problems, since it's exceeding the specs.
Do you have a rip which peaks for few seconds over 40 Mbps (video and audio included)? Does it work flawlessly?

To be honest I don't look at bitrates, just whether files play fine or not! Do you know how I can check and any particular files which peak at over 40mbps? (if Iron Man isn't one of those). As it stands I now only have one problem disc which is Wall*E, but I've sold the disc and deleted the file so can't play around with that anymore. Might rent it on Blu from Lovefilm just to see if ToNMT sorts it out once and for all - I have a feeling it will as I believe problems were down to some funny seamless branching rather than bitrate issues.

I've also finally got round to watching a couple of full movies from the popcorn hour, watched Deception (compressed 1080p MKV) and L.A Confidential (uncompressed BluRay rip) and a DVD .ISO rip, and all played flawlessly. To say I'm a happy man is an understatement :)

My LG bluray drive is on the arrival, so I will join the lossless rip club... I'm just hoping that everything will work OK

ciao -- Nando

I'm sure it will :thumbsup: Just make sure you update the LG firmware, and I assume you have AnyDVD HD?

Have you also tried streaming via HTTP or SMB to see if that makes any difference on your problem files? And have you tried them with a USB HDD? - at least you can eliminate network issues if you also get problems with an attached drive, which will mean it's a file issue.

cheers
Matt
 

Nando1970

Standard Member
Am I right in thinking this is when he escapes in the mk1 version of the iron man suit?
yes you're right

What file size and what audio is on your rip?
[HD 1080p ITA AC3-ENG DTS] Iron Man [HDitaly].mkv
11,318,411 KB

I was listening to ITA AC3

Have you also tried streaming via HTTP or SMB to see if that makes any difference on your problem files? And have you tried them with a USB HDD?
I will try SMB and USB HDD. No idea how to do it with HTTP... I guess I would have to use Twonky or Tversity, which I would prefer to avoid in my setup

ciao -- Nando
 
B

blackr2000

Guest
Hello,

After reading up on what to get I finally decided to bite the bullet and get the popcorn hour a110. I knew that things wouldn't be really easy, but I have an issue that I would like to bounce of some people that may have already overcome it.

I have a NAS and a PC with XP pro installed.
Divx's and xvid's work fine. I'm not going to winge about stuttering until I have a drive installed in the PCH, but the thing I am finding is that mkv files aren't shown on my PC only on my NAS. I have copied the same file from my PC onto my nas and it is visible but cannot be seen on my PC. I hope that I have made myself clear only I am so tired I can't really think straight.

The majority of my media is downloaded so I have to trust the way in which the file is encoded. It plays fine on my PC but when cannot be found on the PCH. I could have a divx file in the same folder and see that but not be able to see the mkv file. Once I copy it over to my nas "it can be seen on the nas" weird.

I would like to thank any "non-flamed" responses in advance. cheers and good night |-)
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Hello,

After reading up on what to get I finally decided to bite the bullet and get the popcorn hour a110. I knew that things wouldn't be really easy, but I have an issue that I would like to bounce of some people that may have already overcome it.

I have a NAS and a PC with XP pro installed.
Divx's and xvid's work fine. I'm not going to winge about stuttering until I have a drive installed in the PCH, but the thing I am finding is that mkv files aren't shown on my PC only on my NAS. I have copied the same file from my PC onto my nas and it is visible but cannot be seen on my PC. I hope that I have made myself clear only I am so tired I can't really think straight.

The majority of my media is downloaded so I have to trust the way in which the file is encoded. It plays fine on my PC but when cannot be found on the PCH. I could have a divx file in the same folder and see that but not be able to see the mkv file. Once I copy it over to my nas "it can be seen on the nas" weird.

I would like to thank any "non-flamed" responses in advance. cheers and good night |-)

It's been a while since you posted this, just wondering if you sorted your problem? MKVs show up fine for me along with all other files, so I can't work out why you're having this issue?

Only thing I can think of to try is to remap the network drive and then see if the PCH picks up the MKV files.
 

pannyfanny

Active Member
Hey Smurfin!

If you need help with NAS / stripe sizes etc, rattle my cage, I do it for a living.

I spend days working out how to best layout applications on the gazillion disks usually found in a SAN.

The secret to good performance though is getting the drives to work sequentially. The less the seek heads and actuator are charging and flapping about the better. I suspect your NAS will be chokka now making reconfig impossible though..
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
I suspect your NAS will be chokka now making reconfig impossible though..

Thanks for the offer but you're right....1.8TB used so far! (and counting!)

But as a matter of interest, what stripe size would you be recommending for a media streaming NAS? (typical file size = 20-25GB)
 

MikeK

Well-known Member
It's hard to be specific on this, as it depends so much on the underlying setup, but in general, for sequential file transfer, larger stripe size is better.

However in real life, especially at the lower end of the market, there may be various other factors at work which mean you actually see little or no performance difference between various different RAID configurations.

Also, don't forget the underlying filesystem cluster size (if you have any control over that) - that can also have an effect on the throughput available - again in general, for large file sequential transfer, larger is better (though it will probably be smaller than the stripe size - ideally by an evenly divisble amount).

You have to be careful about reading too much into this though - most performance guidelines you might read, will be considering maximum performance of a typical RAID array, which will most often be serving many different IO requests at once - large single file, on demand, sequential transfer for just a single user is a bit of a corner case really in the bigger picture.
(on demand in this case meaning that the file will be read only as quickly as the application (ie the video player) wants it - this is different to something like a file copy, where the file will be read from the source as quickly as the source/destination allows)
 

zandor

Standard Member
Blimey O'reilly!!! I knew it was gonna be tough!!! I always want it all to be 'perfect' and will probably end up spending a serious amount less time now thanks to your post, cheers mate! Should have come here first, maybe the wife would still love me!:thumbsup:
 

g0pkh

Standard Member
Hi Guys.

Bought myself a PCH A110 a few weeks ago too, and loving it.
I stream movies from my Synology CS407e no problem using using SMB.
and also have some movies on the PCH too.

One thing that interests me, particularly with those that have huge RAID5 arrays such as 5 x 1.5Tb drives in a NAS...
How and what do you use for backup purposes ... Another NAS perhaps ?

My Synology NAS has 4 x 500GB at the moment in 2 lots of raid 1 giving me a total of 1TB. this is currently backed up to an external 1TB USB drive.

It is not going to be long before I fill it I know.

6TB in 5 x 1.5TB drives is a serious amount of data to lose. Ok you can lose a drive with RAID 5, but RAID is no backup medium.

Just thoughts going through my mind.

Pete
 

starcat

Active Member
Looking forward to that although I'll probably have to switch it off. I don't understand why, but on many rips my plasma doesn't like the PCH outputting @ 23.976fps (even though my panel is native 1080p/24hz) - so I may end up with problems. I can't work out why I'm getting this problem, the only way I can get rips to play properly is 1080p/60. I'm not 100% convinced that's right either, because either way I get the odd dropped frame on many rips. It's annoying but livable for now, still not sure if this is down to the PCH not being powerful enough, but I guess time will tell as newer NMTs hit the market :)
May I ask which display you use? Many display are "capable" of 1080p/24 at least on specs, but they can't show the input at 23.976 but on 60 only.
 

starcat

Active Member
I do know that the Qnap's have streaming software built in though, but we only use twonky for the PS3 - the popcorn's see it and pull from it directly.
The Qnap's have Twonky installed and use it for streaming, you don't need anything else. Also, they are much better (in terms of software) than Thecus and anything else. You can even SqueezeCenter directly on them and stream to all your Squeezeboxes natively out of the NAS.
 

starcat

Active Member
I have my PCH streaming from NFS network share and I have stutter with compressed 1080p material when the bitrate peaks over 30 Mbps.

Now I do understand that I'm hitting the limit for NFS which is reported at 33 Mbps and I'm thinking to move to internal HDD for which the limit would be 42 Mbps

Anyway thare are uncompressed bluray with much higher bitrate peaks since the specs for bluray allow for up to 54 Mbps (even if 40 Mbps should be the maximum for video, but this is unconfirmed)
This is certainly not the limit of NFS but something else. The built in network interface in the PCH is 10/100Mbps. This means that 40-50Mbps data streams should be fine with it. Check your network, your switch (Hub is certainly no good), and don't use wireless as it is no good for such high bitrates.
 

starcat

Active Member
Re: the NAS, take a look at the Thecus, got mine working a dream and it's fast, easy to setup, and you could almost have 2 for the price of the QNAP :eek: (I have 5 x 1TB drives in mine). I'm still not convinced of the reliability of the 1.5TB drives yet....
You can't compare the Thecus to the Qnap. Qnap is superior i every way, performance out of the ports and most importantly, firmware and software updates in form of QPKGs you can get and install in a snap. It is more expensive than the Thecus but you get what you pay for, so if you can afford the Qnap, get it. I would only consider the newer Intel based series and the 509 is certainly such a device!
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
You can't compare the Thecus to the Qnap. Qnap is superior i every way,

The Thecus has worked fine for me, Smallnetbuilder (or whatever it's called) found the Thecus to be faster than the Qnap....

Though I do agree with you on the support. Thecus is woeful, and enough to make me pay for the extra next time round tbh....
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
May I ask which display you use? Many display are "capable" of 1080p/24 at least on specs, but they can't show the input at 23.976 but on 60 only.

Pio LX6090. So it certainly can display 23.976. The issue is with the PCH unfortunately :(
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
One thing that interests me, particularly with those that have huge RAID5 arrays such as 5 x 1.5Tb drives in a NAS...
How and what do you use for backup purposes ... Another NAS perhaps ?

I've got 5 x 1TB drives in my RAID, and that's it. There's not another backup. Ultimately, the moment you get into having another NAS in RAID5 to backup your main NAS in RAID5.....well, I wouldn't bother with it as it's expensive as it is.
 

starcat

Active Member
I've got 5 x 1TB drives in my RAID, and that's it. There's not another backup. Ultimately, the moment you get into having another NAS in RAID5 to backup your main NAS in RAID5.....well, I wouldn't bother with it as it's expensive as it is.
No need to backup the RAID5 volumes as they are based on very stable linux ext3 filesystem on a software-based RAID. There is no hardware RAID controller in between that may screw things up. It's is rock solid and you can even pull out the drives, put them in another linux system and read them there. The only caution remain is that you should be cuatious with delete, however if you enable Network Wastebasket, the files goes in there first. Other than you have RAID5 protecting from hardware failure so I would be a little more cautious but wouldn't consier backing those RAID5 volumes to another NAS. It is from practival point of view just not necessary.
 

Nando1970

Standard Member
I have my PCH streaming from NFS network share and I have stutter with compressed 1080p material when the bitrate peaks over 30 Mbps.

for those who might care I've solved all my problems moving from NFS to SMB share. So I can confirm from my personal experience that I get better performance from my QNAP NAS to PCH (wired connection) using SMB instead of NFS.

No stutter anymore, not even with uncompressed blu-ray rips. I've tested both (m2)ts and mkv

BTW the jperf tool has been crucial to measure bandwith across my network (not just for PCH media streaming issue). Using it I was sure that it was not a network issue as I was able to obtain a substained 75Mbps. So the problem had to be my shares.

I wonder if anyone could point to some very high bitrate bluray to test the limit of PCH's Sigma chip. Even better would be some short trailer or test video material easily downloadable from the net. Trasport stream and/or mkv are ok, as I would demux/remux them in order to test both containers and their different CPU workload

ciao -- Nando
 
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Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Nando - NFS works fine for me via my Thecus NAS. Stuttering problems with rips are problems with the PCH for the ones I have - try 21 for example, or 30 Days of Night (I'm talking 1080p/23.976hz output to a 24hz capable device).
 
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