Are you streaming digital iTunes music throughout your home, viewing Netflix HD video from the Internet on your HDTV, or listening to Internet music stations such as Pandora? If so, then you should be doing everything you can to optimize your home network for the best possible audio and HD video performance. Proper network device settings and configurations can mean the difference between uninterrupted high quality HD video streaming and aggravating stop-and-start “buffering” low quality video streaming. While your megabits per second downlink speed coming from your ISP certainly plays a vital role in uninterrupted HD video streaming success, so does the amount of data that can be transmitted over your local area home network in a given amount of time. Much like the size of a water pipe, the greater the bandwidth size, the more data you will have flowing to your network-connected HD device. If your home network is set up correctly, then, like constant water pressure, you will experience uninterrupted full HD video streaming picture quality.
Here are a few steps you can take right away to improve your network HD video streaming:
1. Purchase a router equipped with QoS (quality of service). When streaming HD video, data must be transferred in a steady flow to prevent video from stuttering. QoS detects video streams and gives them priority by allocating more bandwidth to your streaming HD video device.
2. Avoid overlapping channels with your 2.4 GHz wireless router transmission that can cause channel interference. This interference can drastically reduce wireless performance and speed. To avoid overlapping channels, use only channels 1, 6, or 11. If available, choose “Auto” for your 802.11n wireless router’s channel transmission.
3. As a general rule, choose 20 MHz with 2.4 GHz transmission in your wireless router settings. Only use 40 MHz with 5 GHz frequency transmission. When many neighboring access points are present, there is no guarantee that operating at 40 MHz will work best for you. Also, 40 MHz mode is not supported if backward compatibility with 802.11b is required.
If you are in the Greater Bay Area and would like professional help optimizing your home theater network for high quality HD audio and video streaming performance, please contact us at (650) 321-7833 or firstname.lastname@example.org.