Streaming Full HD over G or N?
Simply put, until manufacturers start “promising" us hardware on both sides that can deliver Gbit/s speeds, full HD streaming is impossible. As a reminder, these tests I’m telling you about are tests I’ve personally done on my home N network – the speeds I get for online gaming and streaming from Hulu are great, but trying to stream in a movie across my network that was a mere 2 Gb in size already had the PS3 sputtering and telling me to try again.
Here’s the situation that will happen if you try to stream a 1080p video over an N network (again, the fastest available). I hook up an N adapter to my PS3 and have it try to receive the signal – the movie may start playing after a little while, but not only will it stutter because of the massive file size, but it may also cause my other network connections to drop due to overload.
It comes down to several factors – the network’s speed is often exaggerated, the router can’t handle that much information, and the processor on the other side of the connection has to be a monster to handle that sort of information while STREAMING. Furthermore, continuous streaming at those speeds causes the network to drop in a lot of the cases.
Here’s what I think you should do rather than investing in a wireless network to try to support this lunacy. First, make sure your streaming device (be it a PC, Xbox or PS3) can handle a new hard drive. Go out and buy a 1TB hard drive for your machine (if it can support it) and FTP into the hard drive. Once you have the video (again, we don’t support piracy, so let’s assume you ripped the disc from your personal connection) – connect to the HDD and transfer it over and into the drive. That way, when it comes time for you to watch the movie, you can go ahead and just play it from the Hard Drive, which looks and sounds amazing.
For the record, those of you crying foul over the fact that I have yet to mention NetFlix and their great “HD" streaming service on the Xbox, I’d like to remind you that the Xbox streaming service is NOT free, and that it isn’t true HD, rather it’s a streaming 720p, if it’s all that.