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Networking in Media Players
Networking speed in Media Players is a contentious issue and one that will be of varying importance depending on how you plan on using the player.
Gigabit LAN in Sigma 864x Players - (LAN 100*)
Many players based on the Sigma 864x chipset (8642, 8643) claim that they are capable of 1000 Mbit/s LAN (Gigabit LAN). We believe that this is simply not the case. If you look at the Sigma 864x chipset specification (here) you will see that the only 864x chip capable of Gigabit LAN is the SMP8647, which is not used by any Media Player. For the sake of accuracy we have changed the specifications on all 864x players to LAN 100* as we feel this more accurately reflects true capabilities.
The highest bitrate files you are likely to come across for HD video are around 50 Mbit/s so a decent 100 Mbit/s connection is more than adequate and therefore the only area in which a Gigabit LAN connection will make a difference is in transferring files across the network.
In 2011 the next generation of chipsets will be released by Realtek and Sigma. All of these chips are expected to be capable of Gigabit ethernet.
Wireless networking is generally not reliable enough for streaming HD video, therefore it is not recommended for Media Players. We are not saying that it won't work, just that you may encounter stuttering / lag problems. Of course, using Wi-Fi to copy files across a network will work fine. For this reason most Media Players omit Wi-Fi from their specifications and instead offer optional support via a USB dongle.
The maximum data transfer rate for Wi-Fi(g) is 54 Mbit/s with actual achievable rates usually being less than half of this. Wi-Fi(n) can achieve higher data transfer rates of up to 300 Mbit/s but, again, actual rates will be lower.
Page last updated: 08-Apr-11
There are 8 comments
March 17, 2013 - 15:04
What is the wifi dongle for model MD 86162? what is the wifi chipset of the wifi 802.11N dongle for model MD 86162? Ralink, Realtek, Atheros, Conexant,...?
May 18, 2011 - 07:14
Beeing a port capable of 125Mb/s is not the same as you getting that bandwidth, if you get atleast 30-50Mb/s it is good
have anyone tested file transfers or know where i can find test results i would be very greateful
January 04, 2011 - 20:48
I bought a DUNE HD SMART D1 and an USB wireless D-Link DWA 140 (version 2.1) that's the one adviced (the most tested) by the producer, but I am not able to install it on the DUNE.
December 06, 2010 - 21:51
The following comment in the above article is incorrect:
"The maximum data transfer rate for Wi-Fi(n) is 54 Mbit/s"
Wi-Fi *G* is the version that has a max tranfer rate of 54 Mbit/s.
Wi-Fi *N* starts at 150 Mbit/s and can go up to 600 Mbit/s, depending on the hardware you're using.
I have no problems when streaming HD material using wireless N @ 150 Mbit/s. That said, there are a few factors to keep in mind:
- Use a media server (e.g. Mezzmo, Twonky, etc.) instead of standard Windows file sharing. For some reason, the latter method restricts the streaming rate to about 30-35 Mb/s. Streaming via media server opens it up to 75 Mb/s and beyond.
- Use dual channels, if possible. Streaming became much more reliable for me when I did this. For heavy urban areas, you may need to get a router that supports the 5 GHz band.
- For the setup in my apartment, the router is in the next room. If you have a big house where the router is on another floor, you may need to look into broader range routers (i.e. N+, etc.) for more reliable performance.
December 08, 2010 - 16:39
Thanks for pointing that out. There were a couple of other problems in the page which have also been sorted. Really this page needs a complete re-write, which no doubt it will soon get.
November 08, 2010 - 14:38
The Boxee Box support only 100Mbit Ethernet, and not Gigabit Ethernet...
July 10, 2010 - 21:13
This player has wireless N (Draft 2). It is faster than 54 Mbit/s when used wirelessly.
June 10, 2010 - 20:04
Re: LAN100 being enough for 50Mbits/s.
First, maximum LAN utilization is far below 100%, so given 100Mbits/s you probably have about 70Mbits/s.
More importantly, if you want any advanced features like buffering you want it to be faster then actual playback rate. Video transfer over network is perfect for jumbo frames which can be utilized only in Gigabit LAN.
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