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Blu-ray Network Streaming Stuttering in TMT5

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 6:32 pm
by WMCEnthusiast
So I finally decided to upgrade my library to Blu-ray, and have been stuck with one issue for the last six months. All but one of my HTPCs are from the Windows 7 "era", so I do have the luxury of a fully working TotalMedia Theatre 5 which reportedly offers the best WMC integration for BD playback. The experience is indeed pretty much seamless, with the desktop flickering for only a split second while switching from WMC to TMT5. The UI and navigational controls look strikingly similar to native WMC, which I enjoy a lot.

So all would be dandy and fine, if it weren't for the tiny issue that I can't watch ripped Blu-rays at all other than in the living room which is hooked up via Ethernet. All other HTPCs in the house are connected through WiFi because it would be very impratical to wire them up, especially since I have an ASUS router and repeater that support the IEEE 802.11ac standard. Of course most of my HTPCs have built-in WiFi NICs that are only of the 802.11n standard due to their age. Theoretically it should still be possible to stream full BD rips with a reported connectivity of 65 to 72 Mbps. Naturally I realize that interference plays a large part in WiFi reliability. Digital HD downloads with a bit rate that's typically below 20 Mbps usually play fine everywhere (with the native WMC player), but as soon as I pick a full BD it stutters pretty much from the start.

So I went ahead and got a few WiFi AC USB adapters to tinker with. They are both Realtek chip based, and I know that's not optimal. Nonetheless, my reported connectivity went up to speeds varying from 433 Mbps to 1 Gbps. I had never seen a WiFi Gigabit connection before, so I felt pretty good about it. After setting the network buffer in Windows Media Player to 60 seconds (the maximum), I'm now capable of streaming BD playlists smoothly in MPC-HC (my preferred player for testing purposes). However, TMT5 still stutters for the very same movies.

I don't understand this behavior at all. Of course I did all the usual network performance tweaking in the registry (turning off throttling etc). I'm lost as to what else there is I could try.