I am so sick of streaming....

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Hm, I am not so sure, I have spent all my adult life involved with IT starting in the mid eighties, with audio, video, digital TV, home STB tech, IP voice, contact centres and multi channel automation, hosted and web services, data networks and software analyzers, and I think things have got hugely simpler.. there has been a huge convergence of information technologies and less proprietary standards out there... and also we have the www which makes look up and reference infinitely easier than the late eighties and early 90s when one had to wade through massive lever arch folders and that was a real challenge keeping updated...

I think the challenge is with the mass consumerisation of home  IT product, and in the name of increased deployment simplicity and reduced costs many compromises are made, but these are not made clear to the consumer... and descriptions are over simplified and distorted with product marketing speak and indeed at one level this had made home IT products  more accessible but the down side is there a real lack of clarity on how devices are working and what methods they are using to work... hence denying more informed consumers to make proper value judgements and decisions and adding to consumer frustration when things are not working as expected..

 

Hi Simon,

 

Just like to comment on your really helpful and informative postings on this subject. Really excellent but as ever I find the more I know, the more I don't know.. Keep up the good work.

Sadly I'm coming to the conclusion that Wi-Fi ,Wireless etc etc is for lifestyle products with lifestyle sound in general for people with lifestyle expectations. Old git users like myself whilst embracing the lifestyle world of convenience demand Hi-Fidelity solutions for the Hi-Fidelity sounds. That is why after all we're all here. To get the best sound out of deep love of music.

Kind Regards

 

RR

 

An update, since I started this whole mess of a thread.

First, thanks again to Pedro, Huge, Simon, Phil, and others who have contributed ideas, troubleshooting, and other suggestions. Pedro, I reached out to you on LinkedIn.

I did download a wifi analyzer app to my phone - not sure what was the case in the past, but for a fairly normal USA residential/suburban neighborhood with no apartments, there sure does seem to be a boatload of traffic competing for the 11 available wifi channels. In the evenings, I can see 12-13 signals including mine...I can only imagine how it might be in an apartment setting, with people in much closer proximity. And when it is like that, is when the dropouts occur. I can go to my PoS router and change channels based on what i see, but the traffic changes...and the router does a TERRIBLE job if you leave it set to [pick the best channel on its own. Last night it put me to channel one, which was where most of the other network traffic was. Ridiculous.

I wonder if the new fiber service has better routers (I don't have it but others may) and now I am getting interference where before I wasn't so much. Again, I didn't have the app before so I can't know what was the state of affairs a couple of months ago.

My signal is never above -40 dB according to the app - what would be the expected?

It still annoys me that the SBT never has drop outs and the 272 does, but that means nothing in the big picture. I am convinced to try to figure out how to go Ethernet, but to do so without a remodel or major expenditure to get the Ethernet cable to where it would need to be. Even positioning Simon's extenders (which might be my preferred solution) would take some sheet rock work that exceeds my abilities - at least if I don't want it to look like crap.

DrMark posted:

First, thanks again to Pedro, Huge, Simon, Phil, and others who have contributed ideas, troubleshooting, and other suggestions. Pedro, I reached out to you on LinkedIn.

 

Got your LinkedIn and replied. Has anyone here done telemetry over mains? I've heard of folks doing this for HDMI, though I haven't tried that either. I wonder if that might work for your application without having to wire ethernet. The TP-Link AV200 for example costs $24.99 on Amazon. That might give you the benefits of hardwiring without the hassles of running long cables. Apologies if others have suggested this already and I missed it.

DrMark posted:

An update, since I started this whole mess of a thread.

First, thanks again to Pedro, Huge, Simon, Phil, and others who have contributed ideas, troubleshooting, and other suggestions. Pedro, I reached out to you on LinkedIn.

I did download a wifi analyzer app to my phone - not sure what was the case in the past, but for a fairly normal USA residential/suburban neighborhood with no apartments, there sure does seem to be a boatload of traffic competing for the 11 available wifi channels. In the evenings, I can see 12-13 signals including mine...I can only imagine how it might be in an apartment setting, with people in much closer proximity. And when it is like that, is when the dropouts occur. I can go to my PoS router and change channels based on what i see, but the traffic changes...and the router does a TERRIBLE job if you leave it set to [pick the best channel on its own. Last night it put me to channel one, which was where most of the other network traffic was. Ridiculous.

I wonder if the new fiber service has better routers (I don't have it but others may) and now I am getting interference where before I wasn't so much. Again, I didn't have the app before so I can't know what was the state of affairs a couple of months ago.

My signal is never above -40 dB according to the app - what would be the expected?

It still annoys me that the SBT never has drop outs and the 272 does, but that means nothing in the big picture. I am convinced to try to figure out how to go Ethernet, but to do so without a remodel or major expenditure to get the Ethernet cable to where it would need to be. Even positioning Simon's extenders (which might be my preferred solution) would take some sheet rock work that exceeds my abilities - at least if I don't want it to look like crap.

Hi there,

OMHO I feel the SBT is like Amazon Echo Dot, Sonos and all the Android phones & Apple products and the lifestyle items. "We will stay connected under any conditions you throw at us",  because thats part of our selling point. The esoteric products for hi-fi are much more picky in my experience and just say "bugger it" when the going gets a bit tougher, sound quality is what we are all about.

Bit like highly strung supercars etc. If you want reliability more than performance, buy a Toyota, Mazda,BMW etc etc

Enjoy

RR

 

perizoqui posted:
DrMark posted:

First, thanks again to Pedro, Huge, Simon, Phil, and others who have contributed ideas, troubleshooting, and other suggestions. Pedro, I reached out to you on LinkedIn.

 

Got your LinkedIn and replied. Has anyone here done telemetry over mains? I've heard of folks doing this for HDMI, though I haven't tried that either. I wonder if that might work for your application without having to wire ethernet. The TP-Link AV200 for example costs $24.99 on Amazon. That might give you the benefits of hardwiring without the hassles of running long cables. Apologies if others have suggested this already and I missed it.

Phil's document on this is spot on - treat such mains network products speculatively - you may get lucky but then then again... one thing for sure and again Phil summarises far better than I could in Layman's terms - you CAN'T treat them as a wired solution at all - they are in fact a radio solutions using the mains wiring as a RF guide.

Audio drop outs while streaming wirelessly smells like a cheap router issue.  The routers ISP's hand out cost about 50p to manufacture out of ancient technology. I have a Qb in the kitchen that dropped the audio every 20 seconds or so for 3 seconds then streamed again for 20, dropped for 3. The Qb ended up a nice piece of furniture, unused until my ISP router died (Technicolor) and I bought a Netgear job for about £100. I thought I'd try the Qb again just to see if it was the router and would you believe it, streams wireless perfectly, even lossless FLAC transcoded to WAV on the NAS. It can stream for hours and no drop out.

 

OP says he can't change his router but I'm not aware of any ISP that insists you cannot change your router for one you buy.

Most ISPs will let you change the modem and router and consumer's risk, however some ISPs these days, such as BT, use quite advanced devices that cater for more advanced ISP services that consumers may or may not use. These ISPs get the cost down of these more advanced devices using volume purchases. Quite honestly an ISP router routing and switching UHD video such as from BT Vision is hardly going to struggle with audio file streaming, but do be careful with third party off the shelf routers from PC World or Amazon for such tasks as they might not be designed to handle that sort of traffic. I think the days of ISPs using cheap low performing ISP routers are mostly gone.. certainly with the bigger players providing more advanced services.

The BT Homehub 6 for example is based around the Broadcom BCM63137 running 2 cores at 1GHz

Simon

 

 

Why is there so much buffering involved in streaming?.  As to its cause I have heard many explanations but no one can suggest a 100% solution.  It is so frustrating and appears everywhere, BBc1 player and You Tube.  Is it poor signal area, using different internet signals (EE instead of BT), is it other electrical equipment blocking signal between component and Router?  One solution which seems to work is to switch off all electrical connections for a few minutes and then switch everything back on (the TV, router etc....)  It also invades Internet Radio...!  At least with CD, turntables, reel to reel tapes, DVD, maybe a little retro but reliable connection - no interruptions...!

Romi, if you are referring to network stream buffering there is a very precise and exact answer. The media is transferred using a protocol called Transport Control Protocol, and it relies to operate on the use of buffers and windows. Essentially TCP allows the data to be received at different rates, out of order and elements that are less st or corrupt and so are resent... such that the data is collected into the buffer and once released it is passed up to the stack. TCP has is the life blood of the public internet. This is also important to use TCP because the public internet does not support DSCP, i.e. There is no quality of service determined for different data, it is all treated the same, irrespective of the bit settings in the DSCP bit string of the packet.

Back to streaming, now because the rate at which the TCP buffer is filled, confirmed and passed up the stack varies (due to load, latency, traffic conditions, order integrity at points on the internet ) the rate at which the media data is spooled is inconsistent, so Naim use a media buffer to spool the sample data.. this is what you can see on the Naim buffer display.

Now if we were using private wide area networks as opposed to the public internet we could use different strategies such as UDP and QoS, and in those circumstances we could have minimal buffers and minimal latency.. and this is used generally for carrier grade IP voice.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Romi, if you are referring to network stream buffering there is a very precise and exact answer. The media is transferred using a protocol called Transport Control Protocol, and it relies to operate on the use of buffers and windows. Essentially TCP allows the data to be received at different rates, out of order and elements that are less st or corrupt and so are resent... such that the data is collected into the buffer and once released it is passed up to the stack. TCP has is the life blood of the public internet. This is also important to use TCP because the public internet does not support DSCP, i.e. There is no quality of service determined for different data, it is all treated the same, irrespective of the bit settings in the DSCP bit string of the packet.

Back to streaming, now because the rate at which the TCP buffer is filled, confirmed and passed up the stack varies (due to load, latency, traffic conditions, order integrity at points on the internet ) the rate at which the media data is spooled is inconsistent, so Naim use a media buffer to spool the sample data.. this is what you can see on the Naim buffer display.

Now if we were using private wide area networks as opposed to the public internet we could use different strategies such as UDP and QoS, and in those circumstances we could have minimal buffers and minimal latency.. and this is used generally for carrier grade IP voice.

Thank you for your comprehensive reply.  So in every day life is there a solution for buffering to cease on TV, Internet Radio and laptops?.  (I am hoping you will have a simple solution or has modern audio technology not reached there)  Often I cannot watch a certain programme on Demand on BBCIplayer because of buffering so I switch to good old DVD player.  In this modern age surely there must be a solution..?

Romi posted:

So in every day life is there a solution for buffering to cease on TV, Internet Radio and laptops?.  (I am hoping you will have a simple solution or has modern audio technology not reached there)  Often I cannot watch a certain programme on Demand on BBCIplayer because of buffering so I switch to good old DVD player.  In this modern age surely there must be a solution..?

Yes: a better internet connection. The amount of buffering doesn't necessarily change, but the speed with which the buffers fill decreases so the buffering will happen in the background without your noticing it. Going from satellite to cable will show a marked improvement, cable to fiber optic another improvement on top of that. Your internet provider (or providers if you live in an urban area with competition) will offer you multiple download rates at different price points. Pay more and you'll get more. I've got fiber and can load different movies in HD on 3-4 different systems simultaneously without ever noticing any buffering delay.

Romi posted:
Huge posted:

Err,  I hate to tell you this (OK, no I don't ) but CD players and DVD players both do buffer the data!

Then you must be unlucky, never ocured on my CD or DVD players

It happens whenever you press play.  The players have to buffer the data to decode the Reed-Solomon encoded data on the disk - it simply isn't possible for the player to send it to the DAC (or HDMI port) it without buffering and decoding it first!  It just does it fast enough - and it doesn't tell you about it - so you don't notice it doing it.

perizoqui posted:
Romi posted:

So in every day life is there a solution for buffering to cease on TV, Internet Radio and laptops?.  (I am hoping you will have a simple solution or has modern audio technology not reached there)  Often I cannot watch a certain programme on Demand on BBCIplayer because of buffering so I switch to good old DVD player.  In this modern age surely there must be a solution..?

Yes: a better internet connection. The amount of buffering doesn't necessarily change, but the speed with which the buffers fill decreases so the buffering will happen in the background without your noticing it. Going from satellite to cable will show a marked improvement, cable to fiber optic another improvement on top of that. Your internet provider (or providers if you live in an urban area with competition) will offer you multiple download rates at different price points. Pay more and you'll get more. I've got fiber and can load different movies in HD on 3-4 different systems simultaneously without ever noticing any buffering delay.

Many thanks for the above, I suppose EE has satellite connection so not the best.  I tried a short cut to the problem by connecting ethernet cable from Router to laptop but this appears to make matters worse as no internet was obtainable (unless there is some kind of switch or option which changes from wireless to wire connection).  Also I live in an area where less tv stations are available (according to the engineer) does that effect internet connection?  I use to be with BT (is that cable) and connection was better yet buffering still occured to the point of interference so not such a marked difference.  At least my monthly bill from EE for all media services is a lot less then the over top prices of BT..!

Satellite broadband can be very effective BUT you pay for what you get and the cheaper service offerings can get very contended at peak periods really impacting throughput. The other consideration with Satellite is latency ... most Satellite services use geo stationary transponders and so will be adding 500 to 600 mS to network delay. Both sides of the transmission need to accommodate this delay by negotiating bigger buffers and use more memory in the network stacks (even though acceleration is typically used by the Satellite router to reduce TCP 'chatter') ... now many devices including Naim streamers will have limited buffer memory and therefore might not fully be able to mitigate the increased latency and this can result in increased chance of lost data and reset connections effectively slowing throughput yet further.

BTW EE and BT are one of the same... they just provide differently branded and packaged services, using mostly the same broadband access network as well as the EE 4G/LTE network. I wasn't aware EE offered Satellite broadband, and I can't find any details of that.

 

I have Virgin Media cable TV, phone & Broadband and Tivo reciever, the earlier one not the V6. (Although shortly I am being "upgraded" to V6 and Virgins latest optical broadband)

BBC iPlayer, you tube and sometimes normal HD tv channels have dreadful signal quality with buffering on iplayer and pixelating of HD tv programmes.

I have been casually interested in the potential of streaming but until now put off by the low audio quality. I am more of an analogue vinyl listener with an LP12 who finds digital tech quiet alien. But with Tidal offering a free trial to its lossless "HiFi" service and up to 24/192 MQA I decided to give it a go just initially to see if it would work reliably bearing in mind my issues with iplayer etc.

So, I signed up, downloaded the Tidal app to my laptop and connected to the less than recommended WIFI. With much scepticism I started streaming music consistently without any buffering problems at all.

Satisfied that it works, I was only using the laptops analogue headphone out to connect to my Naim Nac202, I wanted to hear some decent SQ at an entry level and the potential for better SQ claimed from MQA. So I bought a Meridian Explorer2 that decodes MQA from Tidal. ( apparently the Tidal platform can decode the MQA file but a seperate DAC enables a further stage of decoding with claimed additional benefits) With good recorded material the MQA to my ears lifts the SQ of streamed audio to a level that makes it acceptable alongside my LP12 and vinyl records. As long as MQA lasts I think I may have become a streaming convert.

My free trial is about to come to an end but extensively for the last month I have been immersed in listening to many higher res files including 24/192 with MQA on Tidal and over a WiFi connection! Have I just been lucky?

The only slight glitch I encountered was when compiling a playlist of tracks from different albums when playback would stop occasionally between tracks. Playing complete albums though was fine.

So, if all is performing acceptably over WiFi is anything to be gained from a wired connection and if so what do I need? I am happy to run any cable around the edge of the room to router.

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Hi Mark - I am very late to this discussion. I noted early on that your home is 'typical American el cheapo construction.'  That being the case, it should be entirely possible to have someone run cat5 cable in the walls.  This is what I did in my American home.  It was a LONG run (first floor, one corner of the home, to 3rd floor, opposite corner) and only cost me a few hundred dollars.  Was WELL worth it!  Obviously I still use wifi for the Naim App on my iPhone to control things, but the NDS is hard-wired to the switch (router) now.

Wishing you luck,

Bart

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