Cyrus Streamer network issues?

shaneclare

Novice Member
I have two Cyrus Streamers, one in my main hifi setup and one in my office. Both are on the same network and are connected by ethernet using Cat5e cables to a 1000mps switch. The switch is connected to a TP-Link router, which in turn is connected to my Virgin Hub 4 running in modem mode. My internet connection is 1gb.

The problem, for years I streamed music from my NAS drive with little in the way of problems just the occasional disconnected from server error. Six months ago I decided it was time to move to streaming music and signed up with Tidal. Straight away I had problems, constant drop outs and bufferings, so I changed to Qobuz, same problems. After some months of trying various things (none of which worked) it turned out the Virgin Hub was faulty, this was replaced and things improved but not to the extend that you would be happy with. Reading Cyrus' web site they indicated issues with Virgin hubs, suggesting they should be run in modem mode with an alternative router. As you can see I have done this but to no avail. I still have regular drops out, buffering and disconnection from the server errors, no where near as a bad as before, but still to the point where it makes it tiresome having to keep restarting everything. Somebody recommened that I used the QofS on the router to prioritise the streamers, this makes no difference.

I'm at my wits end and don't have any other ideas on where to go. I'm reasonably computer savvy and so happy to try any suggestions (as long as they aren't too complicated).
 
In this situation some questions/tests I’d run are:

Are you 100% sure the vm box is in modem mode and not that you have just connected the tp-link router to it?

What is the model of tp-link router?

What other devices have a wired connection?

Do these exhibit networking anomalies?

How are the Ethernet connections made? (structured cabling, direct point to point cables, etc)

Have you tested the ethernet connections?

If not look at running Iperf3 to confirm the ethernet link speed between streamer and router (you will need 2 wired computers for this)

Does it impact both streamers equally?

Are the streamers on the latest firmware?

Are all network components on the latest firmware?

Can a laptop or other wired computer play these streams without issues?

Can a laptop or other computer play these streams WIRELESSLY without issues?

Are there any other common factors? (day, time, microwave use, etc)
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
"Put your router into modem mode and use another router" is something of an Internet Myth that is often cited as if it's some kind cure all for any problem, often said by well meaning people who have little, if any, understanding of how the technology works and what does what. I tend to be wary of such recommendations.

Alongside the sort of methodical testing Captain Morgan offers (sorry, for some IT problems, there's nothing for it but to engage in some labourious methodical testing to establish what is culpable) you might also try the following:

It's possible the TP-Link router is culpable - test eliminating that from the pathway and put your VM router back into "router" mode and see if it makes any difference. However, be aware that whenever you change router, you are in for a day or so of IP address carnage as the DHCP Leases your devices currently have in hand time out and are replaced by new ones from the replacement router. Normally this will sort itself out automatically if you just leave it all alone for 12-24 hours, but you may be able to expedite it by power cycling all your clients after changing router. (Of course, warn the household first!) After it's had a day to settle down, test again. Same drill when you swap back again.
 

shaneclare

Novice Member
I’ll answer what I can now and the rest later.

Logging into the VM box it says it’s in modem mode.

The router is a tp-link AX1800 dual band wifi6 router (Archer Ax20).

Two other computers have wired connections.

No anomalies on either computer as far as I am aware.

Cabling, from each connection point cables run to a patch panel, then short cables from the patch panel to the switch, devices are connected to this, except the hifi streamer which is a direct point to point, so one streamer on patch panel, the other point to point.

No I haven’t tested the ethernet, not sure how to do this (one thing I should say at this point is I have exactly the same problem over wifi)

I have two computers connected to the network but not sure what Iperf3 is but will take a look.

Yes, it affects both streamers in exactly the same way.

Yes, both streamers are the latest firmware, I sent them back to factory for this before trying the streaming.

I will check to see if my computer can play the streams without issue today. I will also try the wireless option.

The problems occur at all times of the day and don’t relate to microwave use.

As an aside, I have today been playing music directly from my NAS with no problems using minim server.

Thanks for your help so far.
 
Just checking you don’t have any switches in the network?

And the only wired devices are vm box > tp-link > 2xpc’s + 2xStreamers?



iperf3 is a lightweight way of testing your internal network throughput.

Obviously your looking to see if a cabling fault is affecting the throughput.

Really easy to use, plenty of guides on the net, you connect one computer to the tp-link router and the other to the patch lead connected to the streamers and check the speeds.

It’s worthwhile to initially connect both computers to the router and run iperf3 a few times to establish baseline the same for ping and speed tests both under load and without load as noted below. You are looking to establish a baseline for the network performance

At the same time as testing the streamers connection it’s worth doing a couple of external speed tests and some ping tests between the computers to check on dropped packets.
I’d also run ping tests and external speed tests while running iperf3 to see what happens when the link is under load.


From what you’ve said I suspect there could be a issue with how the vm modem is operating or possibly (though less likely) the tp-link.

The next steps I’d consider would be testing a alternate isp, perhaps using a payg sim and mifi router or even a wifi hotspot on your phone and/or a replacement router, I always suggest buying from a online retailer with a good return policy so that if they don’t resolve the issue they can be returned but worry about once you know the network throughput is good.
 
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shaneclare

Novice Member
Mickevh, thanks for the suggestion, I have already tried this and without the router things got worse, but I will give it another go.

Captain Morgan, yes there are switches in the system vm hub>router>switch>2 streamers and 2 pcs. Cyrus the streamer manufacturer recommend a switch between the router and streamer, why, I don’t know? I have tried taking the switch out of the equation but this made no difference.

The router is brand new and I bought it to test the system as you suggest and in line with Cyrus’s recommendations, but it doesn’t seem to have made a difference.

One thing I have done this morning as you suggest is to try Qobuz on my pc (I hadn’t done this before). I downloaded the Qobuz Windows app and it works perfectly, no drop outs, disconnections or buffering, what would you concluded from this?

I have checked my internet speed which is 1gb to the router and around 500mbs to my wired computer and 400mbs to my iPad. I will however try the iperf3. I also set up a Broadband Quality Monitor a few weeks ago and this doesn’t show anything particularly out of the ordinary.

Once again thanks for your help.
 
I suspect that as the issues persist over wifi & wired the ethernet isn’t the issue, however I’d still run the iperf3 tests to be sure rather than assume.

As the pc can stream without issue and you have two streamers that can’t then they (or the interaction with vm) are naturally suspects.

As per my earlier post if the Iperf testing doesn’t throw up anything interesting then I’d be looking to test the streamers on a different isp.

Obviously the options for this are limited, a hot spot from your mobile, tethering your mobile to your pc and sharing that connection wired or wirelessly, using a neighbour’s wifi, take a streamer to a friends or buy/loan a 4/5G router/mifi unit.

It could be that there is just a interoperability issue with cyrus & vm but I would have expected that to be documented in some detail.


Also how old is the pc that you ran the speed test on?
It seems strange that you have a 1G line and see 1G on the router (how was that tested?) but only 500Mb/s on the pc wired. This is another reason to use Iperf to see the internal network throughput.
 

shaneclare

Novice Member
To test the modem I have to put it back into router mode and then I can use Samknows software to test the incoming line and to the pc.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
On your router what are your DNS settings?

I found if I used Cloudflare ones 1.1.1.1 it didn’t work very well with Virgin media. Spotify used to have drop outs and when I dug into it was routing Spotify (and Netflix) to non U.K. based ip addresses. These had really bad routes for Virgin media. Reverting to either Google or VMs pen own DNS server resolved the issue as they then point to optimised routes or actual cache servers in the VM estate.

This drove me potty till I figured it out.
 

shaneclare

Novice Member
Apologies for the slow response to previous comments, but a few things have changed over the last week or so.

Captain Morgan, I have looked at the iperf3 software and think I understand what I need to do, however just one question, my computer has a 1gb ethernet card whereas my laptop has a 100mb card, will this effect the results?

Secondly and most importantly, I have managed to borrow an Audiolab 6000N Play streamer from a friend. I have connected this via a digital cable to the Cyrus Streamline in my office. Consequenetly the Audiolab is carrying out the work of the streamer/dac, the cyrus ammplification and guess what no problems for the last week. So this seems to suggest that the network is fine, but I will try the iperf3 tests in due course, but what do I deduce about the Cyrus Streamers, fine for NAS streaming but problematic for online streaming, I really don't know what to think, your thoughts.
 
Captain Morgan, I have looked at the iperf3 software and think I understand what I need to do, however just one question, my computer has a 1gb ethernet card whereas my laptop has a 100mb card, will this effect the results?
Yep it will effect the results, it will only ever be as fast as the fastest link in the chain, so in your case 100Mb/s.

Secondly and most importantly, I have managed to borrow an Audiolab 6000N Play streamer from a friend. I have connected this via a digital cable to the Cyrus Streamline in my office. Consequenetly the Audiolab is carrying out the work of the streamer/dac, the cyrus ammplification and guess what no problems for the last week. So this seems to suggest that the network is fine, but I will try the iperf3 tests in due course, but what do I deduce about the Cyrus Streamers, fine for NAS streaming but problematic for online streaming, I really don't know what to think, your thoughts.
It does sound like the streamers are (at least part) at fault here.

Obviously you could try and test your streamers at another location &/or turn on wifi hotspot on your mobile, connect the Audiolab to it and test if that works the test the same with your streamer if that fails you’ve got a better view on what’s going on. If it works without issue via hotspot or another location then it indicates it’s a virgin/cyrus interoperability issue.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Yep it will effect the results, it will only ever be as fast as the fastest link in the chain, so in your case 100Mb/s.

I'm pretty sure CM has mis-typed there - I don't doubt he means iperf will effectively report the speed of the slowest link in the pathway.

Things like "speedtest" sites, NetIO and iPerf don't actually test the "speed" (as in Link Rate - the "numbers" that networking equipment specifies,) of anything. What they do is send out a measured amount of data, time how long it takes the compute a statistical average. You could do the same "manually" by copying a big file, timing on a watch and doing the math. The upshot being such tests effectively stress the "slowest" hop in the pathway between source and sink.

Back in the day when "Speedtest" Internet sites first came about, the slowest hop was almost always the local link between the premises and the ISP point of presence. But as ISP rates have gotten faster, that no longer always the case - if I had a really slow local Wi-Fi link (and I do) that may well be slower than my Internet link these days.
 
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