How to limit Roku bandwidth so other devices can use some

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How to limit Roku bandwidth so other devices can use some

Postby DannyD » Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:43 am

Pardons if this has been covered, Roku newbie here, quick searches didn't turn any up for me...

Any way to limit the box so other devices are not slowed to a crawl? Ideally without buying a wireless router that can do it, I have a Belkin F5D8326-4 that's pretty new & I'd rather not replace.

We've got good speeds, pretty much always >10mbps but when other devices are used, wired or wireless they are almost unable to browse while Roku seems unaffected.

thanks,

DD
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Re: How to limit Roku bandwidth so other devices can use som

Postby DeftOne » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:18 am

The best you can do with the Roku itself is force it to use a lower bitrate stream. From your Roku remote, hit:
- Home 5x
- REW 3x
- FF 2x

Then select your desired bitrate. Just realize that lower bitrate streams will obviously have lower quality. In general, it's usually best to leave it on automatic for the best viewing experience.
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Re: How to limit Roku bandwidth so other devices can use som

Postby DannyD » Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:54 pm

Thanks, trying that now @ 3.5Mbps, highest non-auto setting.. I've got the non-HD box viewed on a 19" crt. I can probably sacrifice some pq as long as play is not start/stop.
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Re: How to limit Roku bandwidth so other devices can use som

Postby techn0lizard » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:46 pm

You can go FAR lower than 3.5 and not notice on the 19".

:shock:
Very funny Scotty now beam down my pants!!!!
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Re: How to limit Roku bandwidth so other devices can use som

Postby mkiker2089 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:30 pm

DannyD wrote:Thanks, trying that now @ 3.5Mbps, highest non-auto setting.. I've got the non-HD box viewed on a 19" crt. I can probably sacrifice some pq as long as play is not start/stop.


I think you may misunderstand what it does. It doesn't limit the bandwidth to that, but limits the quality of the stream. The box will still use all of your network resources to fill the buffer. In short setting the limit to anything above 1.0 won't help reduce network load. Considering most Netflix is limited to 1.5 setting it to 3.5 will have zero effect.

However limiting the stream to something like .5 will help because the buffer will take longer to empty so it will buffer less. It'll still buffer in fast chunks killing things like skype but it will happen less often.
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Re: How to limit Roku bandwidth so other devices can use som

Postby traal » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:17 pm

mkiker2089 wrote:It doesn't limit the bandwidth to that, but limits the quality of the stream.

Doesn't Netflix limit the bandwidth based on which stream you've chosen?
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Re: How to limit Roku bandwidth so other devices can use som

Postby scyber » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:45 pm

traal wrote:
mkiker2089 wrote:It doesn't limit the bandwidth to that, but limits the quality of the stream.

Doesn't Netflix limit the bandwidth based on which stream you've chosen?


Yes, but when the roku box is filling its buffer it will download as quickly as possible. For example*, if the roku has a 30 second buffer that it fills in 10 seconds with a 1.5mbps stream, then it will use 4.5 mbps during those 10 seconds (3X the normal bandwidth). Once the buffer is filled, it should go back to only needing 1.5mbps.

* The buffer size was merely an example, I have no idea what the roku buffer size is.
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Re: How to limit Roku bandwidth so other devices can use som

Postby alant40 » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:49 am

I was always having re-buffering issues between the hours of 9-11 est. For whatever reason I would go from HD to 4 dots, 4 dots to 3 and so on. Never did that on my Samsung DVD players so I don't want to hear about network issues or my ISP. I dropped the bitrate from auto down to 2500. On 3500, I saw the same issues. A Roku tech suggested I do this about a month ago, but I only recently went down to 2500. I have no more re-buffering issues at 2500. Whatever techno mumbo jumbo you guys want to spill, it works for me and I'm done being frustrated. :)
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Re: How to limit Roku bandwidth so other devices can use som

Postby kc8pql » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:34 am

alant40 wrote: I dropped the bitrate from auto down to 2500. On 3500, I saw the same issues. A Roku tech suggested I do this about a month ago, but I only recently went down to 2500. I have no more re-buffering issues at 2500.

Makes perfect sense.
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Re: How to limit Roku bandwidth so other devices can use som

Postby Thanny » Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:16 am

traal wrote:
mkiker2089 wrote:It doesn't limit the bandwidth to that, but limits the quality of the stream.

Doesn't Netflix limit the bandwidth based on which stream you've chosen?

No. I don't know whether the Roku bases buffer size on absolute size, or play time (probably the latter), but it will retrieve the stream data at maximum speed regardless. It's not the case that the servers are sending data at the given bit rate.

Think of it like downloading a movie to your computer outright (we'll assume it's legal for the purposes of discussion). If your connection is fast, it might take 10 minutes to download, but 120 minutes to watch.

The same thing is happening with the Roku, in chunks, over and over. It fetches part of the movie as fast as it can, until the buffer is filled. At some point, the buffer empties more than it wants, and it retrieves the next chunk of movie to top the buffer off. Each time, it's downloading the data as fast as your connection will allow.

What you really need to avoid having this behavior interfere with browsing is Quality of Service. You want the acknowledgment packets sent to web servers to have a higher priority for outbound queuing than those for bulk transfers. Many standalone routers these days have some kind of QoS available, though I don't know how effective they are, nor do I think the original poster's router is one of them. I use a Linux machine for firewall/router duties, and while QoS there is rather arcane, it works quite well once set up.
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