Buffering/Pausing with 5N

Hi, I wonder if anyone has any information about this and whether there is a solution.

I have two Drobo 5N, connected to a gigabit network. Network traffic is moderate, about 1mb/s to 2mb/s at maximum on the incoming Internet connection. So there should be plenty of bandwidth available.

When I first installed the first Drobo, perhaps a year ago, everything worked smoothly. Streaming of video files was to three WD TV-Live Media Players also on the LAN.

I installed a second Drobo three months ago and transferred a portion of the first one’s data to it.

But here’s the problem. Any file which on the 5Ns up until about two months ago played and continues to play flawlessly even high definition video files.

Some new video files which I place on the 5Ns, and they don’t have to be high definition, have a playback problem.

The playback will freeze, then 5 seconds a so later will fast forward and continue playing as though nothing has happened. This occurs a number of times during playback.

It looks like it is buffering in some way and then catching up. But only on newer files which I place on the 5N, still never on the original ones.

Each 5N has 5 x WD Red 4TB Drives plus a Crucial 120gb MSATA card.

Originally I thought this might be a fragmentation problem but reading the literature once more I note that my 5Ns automatically optimise in the background.

As a further issue, which started around the same time. My 5Ns seem to forget that my Dashboard is logged in as an Admin and when I pull up my Dashboard. the little padlock symbols will be up. If I re-enter my admin login, it still stays locked. The only solution is to reboot my PC and then it comes up as admin. Baffled by this one.

I would be grateful for any help or comments that could be given on these issues.

I am having the same issue with streaming to a WD TV Live SMP with intermittent pauses; may only be 2 or 3 times in a movie, or it may occur every few minutes. After the pause I can rewind and then watch through the same section without any problem. I have a similar setup (4x3TB WD Red plus 120GB Crucial). I can’t say that I’ve noticed whether or not there is any correlation with the age of the files.

Drobo 5N is well capable to direct play 1080p.

Previously I did use WDTV to direct play 1080p video from Drobo 5N.

*Note: WDTV setup to point to a Drobo 5N Shared Folder with the video files in there. And play it via WDTV. This is NOT streaming… is Direct Play.

*Streaming a video … involve Transcoding the video format on the fly…

Anyway… here’s a good start to find out where the problem lies.

  1. Same video in the Drobo 5N Shared Folder

  2. On a PC or Mac, mount the Drobo 5N Shared Folder

  • Use VLC player on the PC or Mac, play that video file.
  • Did it suffers any lags or buffering??
  1. Now… turn on WDTV player… play the same video file on the same Drobo 5N shared folder
  • Did WDTV lags and buffering??

If direct play using VLC player using a PC or Mac has no issue, that meaning Drobo 5N is transferring data fast enough for playback 1080p. If the same file plays well on a PC or Mac … but WDTV having minor issue…

  • It maybe the connection between the WDTV and Drobo 5N. Check the network connection e.g. wired and Wifi
  • also remember… WDTV cannot handle extremely high bitrate HD video. Usually such high bitrate video play well on a PC or Mac as it has the CPU power. Whereby WDTV will struggle.

hi, also just wondering how much data you have on your drobo?

if you have a video file utility, eg something that can show you the codec properties and related info of the problematic file and ones that work flawlessly, maybe you can spot something there.

for example, if the extension of the files is the same, and the format is the same, maybe one of them has a different audio codec which is causing problems?

if you can see a pattern forming here, then maybe there is an update that can be applied to the wdtv that lets it better recognise particular codecs - and in case not, then maybe you could try using a transcoder program to resave a particular file into a format that you can see that your wdtv does not have a problem playing back, as a test?

if the drobo became slower (even on reads) once getting full, then i would have thought that any file would also be slow.
also, are these problematic files, ones that you have recently put onto the drobo - and then tried to play it? if so, then it might be in the process of optimising it, while you are trying to access it again?

another thing you can try is to copy and paste a working file, into the same folder (such as filename2) and to wait an hour, and to they try to playback that file via wdtv… does it still work fine?

Ideally - all of these wdtv or playback devices, should allow a user to set a % of data to pre-buffer, and that could help to alleviate a lot of jitters and pauses, but maybe they do not allow that configuration yet.