Over the past two weeks I’ve been laid up at home quite a bit. The first week I was recovering from septoplasty surgery to repair my deviated septum which is believed to be causing me some sleep apnea. The following week I pulled a muscle in my back while laying in my daughter’s bed. If you’ve ever pulled a muscle in your back you know how painful it can be.
With all that idle time I took to watching a few classic movies that I had stored on my Windows Vista desktop computer in the basement. I was using a laptop from my bed watching the movies over 802.11b/g wireless from a share on my desktop. Unfortunately the movies would occasionally pause and start, over and over again. When I checked the statistics from VLC I noticed that I was pushing between 5MB/s and 6MB/s which is right around the peak performance for an 802.11b/g wireless network. I went digging into the VLC preferences and found an option to increase the caching/buffering which thankfully eliminated any of the pausing and starting issues.
Here’s how I made the configuration change;
Select Tools from the Main Menu bar,
Select Preferences (Ctrl-P) from the Tools drop down menu, you should see a window similar to the figure above,
In the bottom left hand corner under “Show Settings” select All,
Expand Input/ Codes
Expand Access Modules
Select File and increase the value to 10000 (10 seconds)
Now you just need to restart VLC and you’ll notice that it will take quite a bit longer to buffer/cache before it starts playing. The buffering/caching will help prevent any drops in network performance from being visible within VLC.
You might ask what move classics I ended up watching?
- Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
I also ended up watching quite a few James Bond movies including;
- Die Another Day
- Casino Royale
- Quantum of Solace
Thankfully my back is feeling much better and my nose looks to be healing very nicely.
I’m curious if there is an easier way to stream movies/music around the house from Windows Media Center. I’ve read about some new players to the media extender market including Roku and Boxee. I’d love to find a solution where I could stream my movies and music around the house to either a TV of another computer.