Streaming HD to your Xbox

Are you on a mission to get the best streaming HD video performance from your PC Media Center to your Xbox? I was, here’s what I did to get I’m getting enough bandwidth to have “drop free” signal for a clear HD picture.

Our media center and internet is in the basement, our living room ~20 ft away. G wasn’t cutting it due to massive interference in our neighborhood. And our Summer Video baby monitor killed it. 2.4Hgz N was suffering the same fate, plus we couldn’t use it with our older G devices. Powerline networking issues with our old wiring? Maybe, not enough bandwidth. So I augmented our extant router with a second, focused purely on delivering high bandwidth.

I have two routers now. I use a DLINK-655 for our 802.11g – for our laptops, and Windows Phones further range around the house. Then for streaming media applications from the office/internet I use DLINK-628 (a bargain for a 5ghz router).

Whilst the 628 can use both 2.4 and 5Ghz and can do a/b/g as well I’ve got it laser focused so all it’s energy and bandwidth is focused on the Xbox, at 5Ghz. And on the Xbox 360 S I replaced internal wireless with the dual band capable USB N aerial.

When daisy chaining the two routers I used my laptop (for convenience) to hard wire into the 628 and set the network settings DCHP to static so that it was x.x.x.2 vs. the x.x.x.1 of the 655.

Then I plugged the 628 into the 655, LAN to LAN port. Not plugging anything into the 628’s "Internet" (WAN) port.

Then I manually mapped the internet settings of the 628 to be the same as the 655. This might cause me issues on a reset of the Comcast connection (hasn’t happened for over a year) where I might have to get creative with how it inherits the IP, gateway and DNS info.

For optimum N performance;

  1. Channel width: Force to 20 or 40. Auto 20/40 doesn’t appear to work Xbox/Media Center
  2. WPA personal
  3. WPA2 Only mode
  4. AES Cipher

Frustratingly I’m getting 1-2 bars with N vs. the 5 of G. Even with the router placed directly under the Xbox (extension cables anyone) I only get 4 bar. With 5Ghz, higher frequency, harder to penetrate walls so this isn’t surprising but the newer N technology (spatial multiplexing) is meant to improve on this. 

Here’s a schematic (click for higher res);

                                                        image

Appendix: I had tried powerline networking but wasn’t happy with the speed I got for streaming HD. So I’ve actually got the PS3 using powerline networking for it’s internet access.

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One thought on “Streaming HD to your Xbox

  1. I recently discovered Lync calls over the 5ghz router daisy chained behind a 2.4Ghz router had issues. I had max signal but ‘network connectivity’ issues were found by Lync (I love how it exposes that stuff).

    Fix: On 5Ghz router open up the following ports under a ‘Lync’ rule;
    443, 3478, 5061, 6891-6901, 1024-65535.

    On my D-Link router this was in “Advanced > Application rules” in both the ‘trigger’ and ‘firewall’ settings (LMK how to tune this, I’m sure it shouldn’t have to be in both) and set for ‘both’ re: TCP/UDP as some Lync A/V and file functions are TCP, some UDP.

    Everything should be safe and protected as your 5Ghz is still behind your 2.4Ghz router and you have a firewall intalled on your PC too, right?! 🙂

    Ref: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398833.aspx

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