Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
kawi9365
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Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:55 am

SB destroys multicasts

Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:54 am

I noted a strange thing. Ive got SB 500 and a DLink DGL4300 router. I only use wired connections. I noticed that while watching multistreams such as BBC ones, the mere connection of a turned of SB will make the stream disturbed to the level of not watchable. It does work without the SB plugged into the router.

Has anyone else expiranced this? Does anyone know how to avoid this problem by configuring the router in some way special?

/Kalle
 
Ted Harper
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Location: Sydney, Australia
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Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:37 pm

I have a DGL-4300 router, and a Soundbridge M1001. The DGL-4300 is running the latest firmware (1.7) and the Soundbridge is running the beta ("Roku Audio Center") 3.0.18 firmware. What firmware versions are you running on the DGL-4300 and the Soundbridge?

I don't think I have experienced what you describe. Can you please provide a set of conditions to trigger it in your environment, and I'll try them when I get a chance (next 12-24 hours).

Here are what I think the steps are, please fill in the gaps:

1. Start with Soundbridge off (really powered-off, or just on standby?)
2. Stream a specific BBC stream (please provide an exact URL you know causes the issue) to a PC (or a Mac?). Which player should be used? Do you get a different result with different players?
3. Power-on the Soundbridge (again is this really a power-on from the mains, or does switching from standby to on do it)?
4. Stream from BBC is interrupted.

Please fill in and correct the above, so it gives me a test case which is 100% reproduceable for you (also please confirm whether the Soundbridge needs to be physically turned off/on, or whether standby mode is enough).


ted.h.
 
kawi9365
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:55 am

Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:45 am

Okej.. so my SB500 (firmware 2.7beta latest) and Windows XP PC is connected to the DGL4300 (firmware 1.7), that in turn is connected to the internet. Im viewing the multicast feeds on my PC. The SB is in standby as there really is no real power off - other than a unplugged SB?!

I'll come back later with result from test procedure you provided. Im having problems finding PUBLIC multicast streams for you to try. The BBC ones are supplied by my ISP, so you prolly wont be able to view them. Or do you have access to a video multicast service? My two theories are that either the SB is unable to cope with the multicast by cracking up my lan with strange responses OR that the SB itself is cracking up the network with traffic that interferes with the multicast group Im subscribing to. So first - depending on multicast activity and second - regardless of other multicast activity.

Thanx for your interest.

/Kalle
 
kawi9365
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Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:55 am

Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:11 pm

1. done
2. i view one WMS (Windows media server) handled multicast (dunno if you guys will see this) at http://www.bredband.com/portal/wcmobjec ... natgeo.asx in windows media player 11. stream runs fine.
3. From Really off (power out) to on. Stream starts to show one frame every 15 seconds. Sound is a bit less choppy. Like 1 sec sound 0.5 silence. Switch to standby. Same behviour.
4. No.. not uninterruptet. See 3. one frame every 15 secs.

In my router the following multicast groups are listed

Multicast Group Address
239.1.1.101 - bbc
239.255.255.250 - Upnp (local i would asume).
Last edited by kawi9365 on Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
Ted Harper
Posts: 154
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Location: Sydney, Australia
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Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:17 pm

If you are only putting the Soundbridge to/from standby (ie rather than physical power off/on), then it is even more mystifying.

Hopefully one of the Roku* people - who actually know what they are talking about in this respect - will chime in here, but it appears to me that not very much happens (from a network point-of-view) when the Soundbridge goes to/from standby, ie it is "online" on the network - renewing DHCP address, broadcasting itself via Bonjour and UPNP AV, web server/config screens available to a client PC - all the time, regardless of whether it is in standby or fully-on mode.

What I was thinking, but now obviously not the case, was that on a physical power-on of the Soundbridge when (1) it has to get associated/authenticated with the wireless LAN then (2) it has to DHCP, perhaps some threading or CPU performance issue in the DGL4300 router was being hit to cause the interruption to the multicast stream you are seeing. Just going from standby to on on the Soundbridge doesn't seem to cause either of these two network actions (as far as I know) so that can't be it :(

When you turn the Soundbridge from standby to on, what is it doing immediately upon that switch? Is it auto-restarting an Internet Radio stream it was streaming when it was put into standby? Does it make any difference on the subsequent switch to fully-on mode when you turn it to standby when it is playing nothing vs when you turn it to standby from playing a stream?

I don't have any external multicast streams I can try with but I have a Slingbox which streams video on my internal LAN at 1-2Mbps. If you like I can try having that streaming (ie from the Slingbox to one of the PCs or Macs in the house) while I turn the Soundbridge to/from standby. Not sure it is going to replicate what you are seeing though, but I'll give it a go.

It might be worth looking in the DSLReports url=http://www.dslreports.com/forum/dlink]DLink forum[[/url] to see if there is anything posted there about multicast streams getting clobbered on a DGL4300 when some other Wireless LAN-connected device does something (whatever we manage to work out a Soundbridge does when it goes from standby to on).

Perhaps on the DGL4300 you could try twizzling the "Gamefuel" settings to see if that makes any difference to the situation? Turn it on if it is off, or off it is in, toggle the packet dynamic fragmentation switch the other way from what it is now, maybe even set up a rule to de-prioritise traffic to/from the Soundbridge relative to the default for your network? FWIW (as far as I can remember off-hand) I have Gamefuel enabled and dynamic packet fragmentation enabled, but no specific priority rules set up.


ted.h.
 
kawi9365
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Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:55 am

Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:03 am

Hmm. To just clarify what I wrote earlier. The problem appears only when physically powering the SB. The switch between standby and on does nothing. Standby just seems to be a screen-standby.

Ill try the downprioritize thing you recommended. Didnt know the DGL could handle that. And I'll read up on multicast and some other network basics. I guess it could be something going on with Upnp (that use multicast) or the fact that SB uses the apple Bonjour protocol to be notified about iTunes servers. Bonjour also utilize multicast. flower.. i dunno. I'll se if there any good debugging tools to discover what is going on on the network.
 
Ted Harper
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Location: Sydney, Australia
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Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:22 pm

kawi9365 wrote:
Hmm. To just clarify what I wrote earlier. The problem appears only when physically powering the SB.


I think if it related to physically powering on the Soundbridge, the most likely disruptive things that happen at that time would be associating with the access point and getting an address (etc) from DHCP. (aside: I always leave mine in Standby; it would only be physically rebooted when I install new firmware - is that a possible workaround for you, or do you need to juggle power-sockets in your listening room?).

I'm pretty sure that adding a UPNP mapping and Bonjour/multicast "I'm here" announcements are pretty low-impact on the router, plus they happen all the time in normal ongoing operation (ie in both cases they are renewed periodically).

Do you have another wireless device (eg a PC or Mac laptop) that you can try cold-booting onto your wireless network while you are doing the same BBC streaming test to another PC, and see if the startup of that other device consistently causes the same BBC stream disruption as the startup of the SoundBridge?

Also, if you (temporarily) turn off the security of your wireless LAN (which would lower the CPU hit of associating/authenticating a booting-up wireless device on the router), does that help? What about if you set the Soundbridge to have statically-assigned IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, and DNS so it doesn't do a DHCP request to the router on bootup?


ted.h.
 
kawi9365
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:55 am

Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:18 am

Okej.. now I think Ive nailed the issue. The D-Link DGL 4300 seems to have problems with 10mbit devices when it comes to multicast. It seems like connecting such a device will decrease overall speed of the multicast stream. I get the same behaviour when connecting a 10mbit netgear RP114 router. Is there a workaround here? Is it possible to convert a 10mbit port to a 100mbit one? I dont wanna throw my Roku away.
 
Ted Harper
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Location: Sydney, Australia
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Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:22 pm

I'm not sure it is the 10Mbit-ness of the Soundbridge specifically - I have an old 10Mbit/sec HP network printer here that is plugged into my DGL4300.

Some suggestions (neither of which might make any difference at all):

* Try the very latest - 1.8 - DGL4300 firmware which was only released a couple of weeks ago, and/or

* Buy a cheap 5- or 8-port gigabit Ethernet switch (the DLink 5-port one would probably be less than $US40) and connect that to one of the wired ports on the DGL4300 then connect any non-Gigabit wired devices to the switch (rather than straight to the DGL4300).


ted.h.
 
kawi9365
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:55 am

Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:18 am

Thing is, im quite positive about this fact. Ive tried 1.8 no change. Ill try repeat it tonight. The second Idea is a good idea I could live with. Dont wanna put that much money on it though. Have you been able to view a stream? Which one?

/Kalle
 
Ted Harper
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Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:39 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:31 pm

Unless I missed it earlier in the thread, nobody has posted a link to a multicast stream I can try. I don't seem to have the problem (or at least I haven't been able to cause it) using my Slingbox to stream on my internal LAN (streaming at 2+Mbit/sec) then restarting the Soundbridge.

I have rather more than 4 wired ethernet devices in my house, so the additional gigabit switch is something I've needed anyway; it just happens now that because of it the DGL4300 has only gigabit devices plugged in to it, and everything else is going through the switch.

Maybe that won't help you, but at this stage I can't think what else to suggest (other than the obvious of NOT cold-starting your Soundbridge but rather just leaving it on standby when not actually playing it - I can't imagine it is using more than a couple of watts in that mode).


ted.h.
 
kawi9365
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:55 am

Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:05 am

Multicast streams are often not supplied through the internet due to the fact that there is no guarantee that all routers are multicast capable. Infact, many public routers have this functionality turned off as it can be used in sabotage like ways. Ordinary streaming is not multicast so I guess there is no way for you to test this if your ISP doesnt provide multicast streams as a service. Check their customer webpage if you can find something there. (The ones I used could be found there).

As for your Soundbridge... its at M1001 which has a 100Mbit (100BASE-TX) interface - the M500 which have has a 10Mbit one. =/ Lucky you. =D

/Kalle

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