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View Full Version : horrible wireless network fallback mechanisms (general criticism)



finger
2007-10-18, 06:33
Hi,

a few months ago I bought the SB3 because my Terratec Noxon2 sucked big
time (you really don't want to know all the nifty details).

The SB3 was better but did also cost me twice that much and even this
device mainly suffered from some strange wireless network issues. Let me
make this clear: My IBM T42 Laptop is connected to the same WPA-Network
and it resides right next to the SB3 so either my Laptop has some superman
Antennas built-in or the network fallback mechanisms of the SB3 are
badly designed:

1. Why is the SB3 not retrying more often after a supposed `network
outage'? We are talking about lossy wireless networks -- this is not a
wired LAN!

2. Why do I get only two choices after a supposed network outage -- `set
up networking' and `current settings' -- when something like `retry with
current settings' would make much more sense? Again: wireless networks
are not offering the same stability like wired networks and one should
assume that when implementing such an extension.

3. What about the behaviour after a reconnect? You reconnect to the
network, the device apparently reboots (wtf?) and sets its state to
`off'. With the appropriate brightness-settings (`off' -> `0'), this is
a funny way to work up a sweat because you don't know what the hell is
going on.


The bottom line is: If you want to sell hifi-like hardware for that much
money then please make it behave like a rock-solid hifi-device! Even if
the device is basically working well, there are some pointers which let
me assume that not everything was tested out properly. And please
remember that my Laptop _never_ had any of these network problems and is
connected to the _same_ WPA2 network.

Edit: Please read the discussion. Interfering access points
may have something to do with the illustrated problems.


Thanks,

finger


P.S. AFAIR the device pulls firmware-upgrades automagically. Or am I
wrong?

funkstar
2007-10-18, 06:43
P.S. AFAIR the device pulls firmware-upgrades automagically. Or am I
wrong?
SqueezeBox firmware is tied to the version of SlimServer you are using, so when you upgrade SlimServer it will upgrade the firmware of the SB where appropriate.

Siduhe
2007-10-18, 07:00
2. Why do I get only two choices after a supposed network outage -- `set
up networking' and `current settings' -- when something like `retry with
current settings' would make much more sense? Again: wireless networks
are not offering the same stability like wired networks and one should
assume that when implementing such an extension.

If you leave the SB for 20-30 seconds after it reboots from a network outage, it should automatically connect again using your last settings. There should be no need to reenter your settings if you just leave it alone. If you're not seeing this, and having frequent wireless reboots, this suggests a specific problem with your particular arrangement or a faulty SB, rather than a design issue.




3. What about the behaviour after a reconnect? You reconnect to the
network, the device apparently reboots (wtf?) and sets its state to
`off'. With the appropriate brightness-settings (`off' -> `0'), this is
a funny way to work up a sweat because you don't know what the hell is
going on.


Again, I don't see anything like this behaviour - and I have an SB1, SB2 and SB3 on my network. It almost sounds to me as if your slimserver prefs aren't being remembered on startup. What is Slimserver running on, the laptop or something different? What OS? If you manually set the brightness for the SB using PlayerSettings/Display in the web interface, save settings, then reboot your router, does it still default back to Brightness=off?

Appreciate your frustration and the need to vent, but it really doesn't sound to me like the specific problems you mention are design issues. Where I do agree with you is that the wireless implementation for the SB isn't always as reliable as (say) a laptop, but when you look at what the SB has to do in terms of streaming audio it's not so surprising...

finger
2007-10-18, 07:18
If you leave the SB for 20-30 seconds after it reboots from a network outage, it should automatically connect again using your last settings. There should be no need to reenter your settings if you just leave it alone. If you're not seeing this, and having frequent wireless reboots, this suggests a specific problem with your particular arrangement or a faulty SB, rather than a design issue.

Sometimes I'm lucky and I get the mentioned `third' option (connect to squeezenetworks) but often I simply don't have time to wait. Imagine the following weird situation: An internet radio station plays for hours. Then you want to change the station and you see `set up networking' and `current settings' while the music is still running!





Again, I don't see anything like this behaviour - and I have an SB1, SB2 and SB3 on my network. It almost sounds to me as if your slimserver prefs aren't being remembered on startup. What is Slimserver running on, the laptop or something different? What OS? If you manually set the brightness for the SB using PlayerSettings/Display in the web interface, save settings, then reboot your router, does it still default back to Brightness=off?

I dont use a SlimServer -- I just connect to SqueezeNetworks. And I would really like to blame my equipment but since the radio-player on my Laptop never had any problems this seems very unlikely to me.


Appreciate your frustration and the need to vent, but it really doesn't sound to me like the specific problems you mention are design issues. Where I do agree with you is that the wireless implementation for the SB isn't always as reliable as (say) a laptop, but when you look at what the SB has to do in terms of streaming audio it's not so surprising...

I don't think that the hardware differs a lot. Maybe the SB even has a more modern Wireless-Chipset than my Laptop. That's why I assume that the developers simply adopted the same way to deal with network problems from the wired part and thats really a bad assumption.

Siduhe
2007-10-18, 08:08
Ok, that's helpful info.

If you are only using Squeezenetwork, what default brightness are your players set to? If you log onto the Squeezenetwork page (http://www.squeezenetwork.com) and check your player settings in the web interface, I'm guessing that your default brightness is set to something other than you want. Change it, click save, and I hope at least the brightness issue will be sorted.

I'm not quite sure you have understood my point about the difference between what the SB has to do to and what your laptop has to do. Streaming audio requires a constant flow of packets with very limited flows of damaged or lost packets. Your laptop is much more forgiving of variable flows of data (for normal use) than the SB is for audio. The problems you are experiencing do sound very much like a flaky wireless connection - if you can improve that, a lot of your original concerns would be dealt with.

Couple of other thoughts - What router are you using and can you tell us a bit about the settings? In particular, do you have any QoS or booster options switched on, both of these can interfere with streaming audio which requires a constant throughput.

Also, what is your wireless signal strength like and where are you based? Squeezenetwork only has certain data centers in certain parts of the world at the moment, so that might also be a factor.

Finally, how many other networks can you see when you check on your laptop? What channels are they on? Apologies if this is grandmother sucking eggs, but different wireless networks on the same channel will interfere with each other. Have you tried changing your wireless channel to something else - particularly if your router auto assigns you a channel, try changing it to see if this improves your wireless connection.

http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?NetworkProblemsBeginnersGuide

finger
2007-10-18, 08:23
Ok, that's helpful info.

If you are only using Squeezenetwork, what default brightness are your players set to? If you log onto the Squeezenetwork page (http://www.squeezenetwork.com) and check your player settings in the web interface, I'm guessing that your default brightness is set to something other than you want. Change it, click save, and I hope at least the brightness issue will be sorted.

No, the brightness settings are fine (and correct). It's just confusing when the device turns itself off after reconnecting to the network.



I'm not quite sure you have understood my point about the difference between what the SB has to do to and what your laptop has to do. Streaming audio requires a constant flow of packets with very limited flows of damaged or lost packets. Your laptop is much more forgiving of variable flows of data (for normal use) than the SB is for audio. The problems you are experiencing do sound very much like a flaky wireless connection - if you can improve that, a lot of your original concerns would be dealt with.

Until I got SB, xmms was running on my laptop permanently. Always playing streaming audio without any problems.



Couple of other thoughts - What router are you using and can you tell us a bit about the settings? In particular, do you have any QoS or booster options switched on, both of these can interfere with streaming audio which requires a constant throughput.

WRAP (http://www.pcengines.ch/wrap.htm) with m0n0wall (http://m0n0.ch/wall/) and ALTQ (http://www.sonycsl.co.jp/~kjc/software.html) enabled.


Also, what is your wireless signal strength like and where are you based? Squeezenetwork only has certain data centers in certain parts of the world at the moment, so that might also be a factor.

My link-quality is not that good. About 30% (whatever this means). But it was always good enough for streaming a tiny mp3-stream to my laptop.


Finally, how many other networks can you see when you check on your laptop? What channels are they on?

Thats pretty fine. 4 APs and every single one uses a different channel.


Apologies if this is grandmother sucking eggs

lol! :) No problem, thanks for help.

Siduhe
2007-10-18, 08:58
IMHO, 30% wireless signal strength isn't going to be sufficient for high bitrate streaming audio. You mention that your laptop was fine with this - I have tried to explain (probably not very well) that you aren't necessarily comparing like with like.

The SB is a slim client - it has no processor and only a limited buffer - it therefore relies more heavily on maintaining a strong wireless connection with constant throughput. Your laptop is in a rather different position and may be more forgiving even though you are asking it to do the same thing!

Of course, you're also entitled to expect something you've brought to do the job, but within the limitations of the hardware.

I wonder if your router may also be part of the issue - I'm not sure if anyone has ever tested an SB with WRAP firmware! I see that it's described as "end of life". It may be that the two don't play well together - wireless can be a bit of a dark art, and you may be able to provide some helpful info for SD to improve the overall experience. I'm no UNIX expert - can you try switching ALTQ off?

Also, try running your SB wired for a bit, does this improve or resolve your issues? If it does - we know where to focus our efforts!

HTH

finger
2007-10-18, 09:23
IMHO, 30% wireless signal strength isn't going to be sufficient for high bitrate streaming audio. You mention that your laptop was fine with this - I have tried to explain (probably not very well) that you aren't necessarily comparing like with like.

The SB is a slim client - it has no processor and only a limited buffer - it therefore relies more heavily on maintaining a strong wireless connection with constant throughput. Your laptop is in a rather different position and may be more forgiving even though you are asking it to do the same thing!

Have you ever opened up such a device? These things always have a cpu, a reasonable amount of ram and a few megs of flash memory for storing the firmware. Maybe its not IA-32 but maybe it has at least a mips or an arm cpu.. maybe its a solution on one single chip which doesn't mean that it does not contain the essential parts to run something like an operation system on it.

Also you shouldn't rate `audio-streaming' too high. Even a 120 Pentium 1 cpu can decode a 64kbps stream easily on-the-fly -- not to mention an additional hardware decoder which is probably built in into SB.


However, thanks for your help Siduhe -- like I said: basically the SB works pretty well. It's just this weird wireless-handling..

Siduhe
2007-10-18, 09:33
Absolutely agree and my use of "processor" was sloppy, but it's clearly not in the same league as your laptop - hence why I struggle with the like for like comparison.

http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?HardwareComparison

finger
2007-10-18, 09:38
Absolutely agree and my use of "processor" was sloppy, but it's clearly not in the same league as your laptop - hence why I struggle with the like for like comparison.

http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?HardwareComparison

Cool, thanks for the link!

Btw: In a few weeks I'll buy a cheap 802.11a AP. Just to be sure that my neighbors don't disturb my connection with their glorious default-password-default-channel-router mess. ;)

slimpy
2007-10-18, 09:38
Thats pretty fine. 4 APs and every single one uses a different channel.
It is not sufficient to only have different channels because the signal is wider (22Mhz) than the seperation between channels (5Mhz). You need to choose a channel that is separated by at least 4 channels from any other used channel. Channels 1,6,11 are usually referred to as non-overlapping so if you have several APs in the same geographic location you would assign them one of those channels each to avoid interference.
If you can't set your AP to a non-overlapping channel then at least try to set it to a channel overlapping with only the weakest APs.

-s.

finger
2007-10-18, 09:43
It is not sufficient to only have different channels because the signal is wider (22Mhz) than the seperation between channels (5Mhz). You need to choose a channel that is separated by at least 4 channels from any other used channel. Channels 1,6,11 are usually referred to as non-overlapping so if you have several APs in the same geographic location you would assign them one of those channels each to avoid interference.
If you can't set your AP to a non-overlapping channel then at least try to set it to a channel overlapping with only the weakest APs.

-s.

Eh, thats good to know..

finger
2007-10-18, 09:50
It is not sufficient to only have different channels because the signal is wider (22Mhz) than the seperation between channels (5Mhz). You need to choose a channel that is separated by at least 4 channels from any other used channel. Channels 1,6,11 are usually referred to as non-overlapping so if you have several APs in the same geographic location you would assign them one of those channels each to avoid interference.
If you can't set your AP to a non-overlapping channel then at least try to set it to a channel overlapping with only the weakest APs.

-s.

From this new POV, my wireless environment looks pretty scary:



$ iwlist ath0 scan | grep -v Extra: | sed 's/Address: .*//'
ath0 Scan completed :
Cell 01 -
ESSID:"Bluewin"
Mode:Master
Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)
Quality=8/70 Signal level=-87 dBm Noise level=-95 dBm
Encryption key:on
Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s
12 Mb/s; 24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
Cell 02 -
ESSID:"4344 6414"
Mode:Master
Frequency:2.442 GHz (Channel 7)
Quality=7/70 Signal level=-88 dBm Noise level=-95 dBm
Encryption key:off
Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 22 Mb/s
6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s; 24 Mb/s
36 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
Cell 03 -
ESSID:"olivia"
Mode:Master
Frequency:2.442 GHz (Channel 7)
Quality=25/70 Signal level=-70 dBm Noise level=-95 dBm
Encryption key:on
Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 22 Mb/s
6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s; 24 Mb/s
36 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
Cell 04 -
ESSID:"snet"
Mode:Master
Frequency:2.462 GHz (Channel 11)
Quality=26/70 Signal level=-69 dBm Noise level=-95 dBm
Encryption key:on
Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s
12 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s
IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1
Group Cipher : CCMP
Pairwise Ciphers (1) : CCMP
Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
Cell 05 -
ESSID:"raphigion"
Mode:Master
Frequency:2.412 GHz (Channel 1)
Quality=5/70 Signal level=-90 dBm Noise level=-95 dBm
Encryption key:on
Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s



I escaped to Channel 11 but it still sucks to know that there is no `clean' way to run more than 3 access points in the same building..

bhaagensen
2007-10-18, 09:58
Hi,

this doesn't solve your problem but before we conclude that the SB has a crappy wlan-setup, maybe one should consider what the metric should be? You said in the first post that "either the IBM has some superantenna or ...". Maybe its not super, just slightly better than the SB.

It just occurs to me that the criticism would be more fair if the arguments was based on comparisons with the IEEE 802.11 standard, taking into account the real world limitations in which the measurments was made.

Of course in the you might be right, it's just hard to judge from the arguments you've presented.

Bjørn

finger
2007-10-18, 10:04
Hi,

this doesn't solve your problem but before we conclude that the SB has a crappy wlan-setup, maybe one should consider what the metric should be? You said in the first post that "either the IBM has some superantenna or ...". Maybe its not super, just slightly better than the SB.

It just occurs to me that the criticism would be more fair if the arguments was based on comparisons with the IEEE 802.11 standard, taking into account the real world limitations in which the measurments was made.

Of course in the you might be right, it's just hard to judge from the arguments you've presented.

Bjørn

Take it easy Bjorn - as you can see, the discussion went on and some people maybe proved me wrong..

snarlydwarf
2007-10-18, 10:16
I escaped to Channel 11 but it still sucks to know that there is no `clean' way to run more than 3 access points in the same building..

Isn't channel 1 a bit cleaner or am I reading that wrong? It looks like a much weaker signal there.

It is possible to run more than 3 AP's in the same building without making too much of a mess: but it involves a some planning and cooperation (ie, sort of like the 4-color map theorem). Basically you would have channel 1, 6 and 11 alternating (not too hard to do if you are in a row or column), but it gets much more complex in a huge building since you have not only next door neighbors but also above and below...

Between that mess, all the other junk on 2.4G (phones, microwaves, baby monitors...) it is amazing it works.

JimC
2007-10-18, 10:18
Have you ever opened up such a device? These things always have a cpu, a reasonable amount of ram and a few megs of flash memory for storing the firmware. Maybe its not IA-32 but maybe it has at least a mips or an arm cpu.. maybe its a solution on one single chip which doesn't mean that it does not contain the essential parts to run something like an operation system on it.

It has neither an ARM nor a MIPS processor, but that's not the real point. The real point is that your PC has a much larger buffer for packet data, and, quite possibly, an antenna with higher gain.


Also you shouldn't rate `audio-streaming' too high. Even a 120 Pentium 1 cpu can decode a 64kbps stream easily on-the-fly -- not to mention an additional hardware decoder which is probably built in into SB.

It's not the complexity of decoding that's a problem, it's the lack of data to decode that creates most stuttering problems. If the connection is marginal enough that there are a lot of retries, it is possible that the buffer gets run to zero, and then there's nothing to decode and you have a gap in the stream.

I think you're on the right track to improving the situation with the advice from the other forum members here. Sorry it's been a hassle for you so far.


-=> Jim

finger
2007-10-18, 10:26
I think you're on the right track to improving the situation with the advice from the other forum members here. Sorry it's been a hassle for you so far.

np, sorry for the slightly unjustified criticism -- wasn't aware of all the nifty wireless-catches.. :)


BTW: I added a note to the original post.

peter
2007-10-18, 22:41
snarlydwarf wrote:
> finger;236087 Wrote:
>
>> I escaped to Channel 11 but it still sucks to know that there is no
>> `clean' way to run more than 3 access points in the same building..
>>
>
> Isn't channel 1 a bit cleaner or am I reading that wrong? It looks
> like a much weaker signal there.
>
> It is possible to run more than 3 AP's in the same building without
> making too much of a mess: but it involves a some planning and
> cooperation (ie, sort of like the 4-color map theorem). Basically you
> would have channel 1, 6 and 11 alternating (not too hard to do if you
> are in a row or column), but it gets much more complex in a huge
> building since you have not only next door neighbors but also above and
> below...
>
> Between that mess, all the other junk on 2.4G (phones, microwaves, baby
> monitors...) it is amazing it works.
>

I just checked, and in the apartment I live in, my AP is one of 9 active
AP's
within range of my laptop. Four of them including mine are on channel 6.
I never had any problems with my Squeezebox (which also bridges to a
printer).

Finger, is your slimserver also running on a wireless system, perhaps
your laptop? Are you aware that this doubles your wireless traffic (all
traffic goes to the AP
and then has to come back) and likely doubles your chances of having
problems? Any chance of running Slimserver on a system that's wired to
your AP?

Regards,
Peter

finger
2007-10-19, 00:13
snarlydwarf wrote:
> finger;236087 Wrote:
>
>> I escaped to Channel 11 but it still sucks to know that there is no
>> `clean' way to run more than 3 access points in the same building..
>>
>
> Isn't channel 1 a bit cleaner or am I reading that wrong? It looks
> like a much weaker signal there.
>
> It is possible to run more than 3 AP's in the same building without
> making too much of a mess: but it involves a some planning and
> cooperation (ie, sort of like the 4-color map theorem). Basically you
> would have channel 1, 6 and 11 alternating (not too hard to do if you
> are in a row or column), but it gets much more complex in a huge
> building since you have not only next door neighbors but also above and
> below...
>
> Between that mess, all the other junk on 2.4G (phones, microwaves, baby
> monitors...) it is amazing it works.
>

I just checked, and in the apartment I live in, my AP is one of 9 active
AP's
within range of my laptop. Four of them including mine are on channel 6.
I never had any problems with my Squeezebox (which also bridges to a
printer).

Finger, is your slimserver also running on a wireless system, perhaps
your laptop? Are you aware that this doubles your wireless traffic (all
traffic goes to the AP
and then has to come back) and likely doubles your chances of having
problems? Any chance of running Slimserver on a system that's wired to
your AP?

Regards,
Peter


Since I switched to channel 11, everything seems to work fine. Can't believe it.

The ping-results changed too -- while I had response times of about 20 - 100ms yesterday (and days before), after the channel-switch the replies already arrived after only 1.00 - 1.10ms. Crazy.


Thanks for your help folks. Next time I'll try to be more sec. ;)

finger
2007-10-19, 00:16
BTW: I see that the SB3 is not able to transmit using 802.11a -- is this not implemented or just undocumented?

slimpy
2007-10-19, 01:00
BTW: I see that the SB3 is not able to transmit using 802.11a -- is this not implemented or just undocumented?
It is not very common for a wireless device to support 802.11b/g and 802.11a. b/g uses the 2.4GHz band whereas 802.11a transmits in the 5GHz band. You therefore need a hybrid wireless card to support both bands. I'm not sure if you also need different antennas. Not surprising, such wireless cards are also more expensive. The cards used in the sb3 don't support 802.11a so it's neither "not implemented" nor "undocumented".

-s.

Siduhe
2007-10-19, 02:48
Since I switched to channel 11, everything seems to work fine. Can't believe it.

Glad to hear you got it sorted. Dark arts indeed...

I took a look at the WRAP firmware last night out of interest - if you're thinking of upgrading your router, you may want to take a look at the Linksys L series and the various hacked firmwares that are out there for it. dd-wrt gets good reviews depending on your particular needs.

Thanks also for updating the original post. Not everyone is as gracious. ;-)

mortslim
2007-10-19, 23:54
My thoughts on the issue of wireless "robustness":

I have three squeezeboxes. One of them has connection problems.

This problematic one is in a room with two receivers for wireless 2.4 ghz security cameras and my laptop.

I know the security camera receivers interfere with the squeezebox, them both being on the 2.4 ghz spectrum. Ok. But.......

Remember, I also have a laptop in this same room using the same 2.4 ghz spectrum. And guess what? The laptop is "robust". It is a 1 year old Dell that is 99.9% rock solid in terms of its wireless radio. It doesn't care about stinkin interference. It keeps its connection. And it does stream music.

So the bottom line as far as I am concerned is that if my Dell can stream music under the "interference" conditions, why is my downtime with my squeezebox in the same room probably a loss of the connection at least once a day, with sometimes two choices and somethime three choices displayed on the squeezebox (set up networking, current settings, and sometimes connect to squeezenetwork). The squeezebox has firmware, that firmware is embedded in a processor, so let's not digress into a semantic game as to whether it is a computer or an appliance. The bottom line is that a $300 "device" made in 2007 should be able to hold onto a wireless signal as well as my Dell. I mean, the Dell was only $1k and it has a harddrive, much more ram, windows software, a 15 inch screen, a keyboard, etc, etc. I mean, come one, how much does the radio part of the squeezebox cost anyway? I don't think there are that many companies in the world who make these "radios". I don't know their technical name, but I am talking about the gizmo inside that does the sending and transmitting over wifi. You know, the wifi part.


The Dell wifi part is robust. Why isn't the squeezebox wifi part.

Oh yes, I have experimented with different channels, moved it around the room, rebooted, done a factory reset, updated the firmware, swapped squeezeboxes from one room to the next amongst my three, you name it. No better.

However I think I have stumbled on one idea that was implied to me in a phone call to slim devices tech service. Which is as follows (and tell me if you have ever heard about this before):

As background, in addition to the 3 squeezeboxes and laptop and two security camera receivers, I have of course my router and one access point, not to mention my neighbors gadgets as well, whatever they may be.

Now the tech guy says to me that when I swapped a squeezebox from one room to the next for troubleshooting purposes, that the "radio" may have gotten confused as to where its connection was coming from and I go mmmmmmm, that sounds interesting. So I am thinking that I should do the following, which I did: I took the squeezebox right up next to the router, did a factory reset, and then "locked" onto the router. Then I took this squeezebox to my room of interference. Seems to have helped somewhat.

So here is my question: does the "radio" in a squeezebox lock onto a particular signal source and is not as flexible to latch onto a different signal when you move the squeezebox around like a mobile laptop or (in a different context) a cellphone as you travel on the highway?

Bottom line: I think the squeezebox "radio" in its innards could have been made more "robust".

Bizarroterl
2007-10-20, 09:02
There's a lot more to it than just the antenna. The SB3 could be made to be much more robust. But then it would cost closer to the $1K Dell (with everyone then complaining about the cost).

jeffmeh
2007-10-20, 10:52
I am not sure if there is anything really wrong with the SB3 wireless innards, or whether it is just the general flakiness of 2.4GHz wireless, the need to be able to keep up with the music real-time, and a relatively small buffer. Given a certain amount of wireless interference, dropped packets, etc., streaming to a PC with a larger buffer would be less likely to be "bad enough" to cause problems with the music.

With enough tweaking of the network one can solve most SB3 wireless issues. However, I do understand your frustration.

finger
2007-10-21, 07:00
There's a lot more to it than just the antenna. The SB3 could be made to be much more robust. But then it would cost closer to the $1K Dell (with everyone then complaining about the cost).

What exactly would make it cost closer to $1K? More RAM?

If we are talking about buffers, we are talking about RAM and ATM nothing costs less than additional RAM..

Bizarroterl
2007-10-21, 09:34
You're right. Except for the additional engineering to redesign the PCB, possible repackaging charges if there isn't enough room in the current case, marketing, documentation, design, and distribution costs for the model change, etc.

If you read the thread from the beginning you'll find the OP solved his problem by cleaning up his wireless environment.

The SB3 has a solution for noisy wireless environments, it's called an ethernet port. :)

finger
2007-10-21, 09:52
You're right. Except for the additional engineering to redesign the PCB, possible repackaging charges if there isn't enough room in the current case, marketing, documentation, design, and distribution costs for the model change, etc.

I don't think that the SB3 is badly equipped. In the meantime I also think that streaming is not the problem, since loosing connection to squeezenetworks made my SB3 reboot constantly.



If you read the thread from the beginning you'll find the OP solved his problem by cleaning up his wireless environment.

I'm the original poster.



The SB3 has a solution for noisy wireless environments, it's called an ethernet port. :)

I don't want to be tedious -- like mortslim, I don't see the point when people tell me that the SB3 is so much different than a regular laptop.. thereby bringing up some strange reasons concerning buffers et al.

When the stream is jerky your buffers are probably empty, I know. But that was never a problem. At least with my configuration.