Simultaneous nividia/moonlight gamestream and movie stream on same network

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absolution

Occasional Visitor
Hi everyone!

I've got a bit of a niche and unnecessarily convoluted situation so I'll try and give the overall problem as well as technical configuration + hardware.

My overall problem:
My windows 10 PC doubles up as a jellyfin media server and a gaming PC, capable of game streaming with nvidia gamestream/moonlight. I'm finding that, when I stream a movie from my PC to my TV whilst also streaming a game from my PC to my laptop, that the game stream stutters intensely with a set frequency (roughly every second).

My technical setup:
- *All* LAN connections are ethernet.
- My PC and TV are both connected to a switch.
- The switch is connected to my router.
- My laptop is connected to my router.
- I have a DDNS server registered through my router. I've configured split DNS on my router to keep all local DNS requests on the LAN (stopping NAT loopback)
- My PC is running a reverse proxy through a caddy server (for https with certificates from lets encrypt). All media clients on my network request media through my DDNS address, and my split DNS points this request to my PC, where the caddy server picks up the request. The reverse proxy then points the request to my jellyfin media server.
- My PC is also running a tiny linux VM that needs network access. So, my PC is using a virtual switch to share the connection with the VM.

Hardware:
- Router: ASUS RTN66U running the latest version of Johns Fork of Merlin
- Switch: TP-Link TL-SG1005D
- PC: Windows 10 PC. The motherboard is an ASUS P8Z68-v pro/gen3. I'm using the mobo ethernet for its network connection.
- TV: Sony XH95
- Laptop: 2019 MacBook with an ethernet adapter
- All ethernet cables are cat5e

Things I've tried:
- Eliminating the switch and directly wiring everything to the router. I still have the same stuttering problem.
- Connecting the TV (which is playing the movie) via WIFI while keeping my laptop (which is streaming a game) connected via ethernet. This seems to work but very high bitrate movies (60mbps) buffer
- Streaming the movie and the game to my laptop. This also seems to work...

Am I completely screwed here? I've monitored the ethernet traffic going through my router and see basically no activity which I take to mean that all streaming traffic is being handled by the switch. So, I doubt upgrading my router would help here?
Is the switch not up to the task?
I have long term plans of building a separate media server PC. I guess I could have that hypothetical media server PC and the TV connected to the switch and have my gaming PC wired directly to the router. Would that work? This is a more expensive solution (as I'd have to build an entirely new PC...) and would like to explore cheaper options first...

One other thing I'd like to try is eliminating the caddy server and connect my TV to the media server by http instead. But my feeling is that probably won't help...

Sorry for the word wall and thanks in advance!
 

degrub

Very Senior Member
Sounds like the common device in the path is buffering or there is contention. Have you tried connecting all the devices to the TP link switch only ?

The switch on the router and the TPlink switch should all run at line speed. Is the hardware port light for each showing Gbit link rate ?
 

absolution

Occasional Visitor
Sounds like the common device in the path is buffering or there is contention. Have you tried connecting all the devices to the TP link switch only ?

The switch on the router and the TPlink switch should all run at line speed. Is the hardware port light for each showing Gbit link rate ?
Thanks for reaching out!

I have tried connecting all of the devices directly to the switch and I still have the same problem.
All of the LAN ports on the switch are flashing when an ethernet is plugged into them, if that's what you mean?

The host PC also registers that it has 1gbps speed (pic attached).

I think that the stuttering occurring at such a set frequency is due to the TV requesting the next chunk of the video at regular intervals. Like, when I look at task manager on the host PC, I don't see a constant transfer rate when a movie is streaming from it. It's intense bursts of speeds. Still, I would have naively thought that the network could handle that without hampering the game stream signal though...

1613055768719.png
 

degrub

Very Senior Member
there are usually two lights at each port. One for link rate which will be one of three colors depending on link rate and solid on when a link is established. The other light is the activity light which indicates that data is being transferred. Both lights blinking on a port or all of the port lights blinking sounds a little odd, but i just looked at one of my Netgear switches and it is doing just that.

"
- Streaming the movie and the game to my laptop. This also seems to work..
"
this is over a single PC lan connection or ?
And at the same time ?

The common element seems to be the TV and/or the PC. Is all the PC lan traffic going over a single lan cable and nic ?
Is there a wireless adapter on the PC ?

That is an older generation motherboard.

i have to wonder what is running in the VM that might steal time from the PC lan connection.

Also, can the TV keep up with a 60Mbit/s stream ?
Usually video streams are highly compressed so even if the video has a 60Mb/s bit rate, it actually uses much less bandwidth. Is this raw, uncompressed video ?


You might be able to add an additional PCI-e NIC to the pc that would be dedicated to whichever program and cable that to a second port on the same switch. You might look into a server nic with 2-4 ports.
 

absolution

Occasional Visitor
there are usually two lights at each port. One for link rate which will be one of three colors depending on link rate and solid on when a link is established. The other light is the activity light which indicates that data is being transferred. Both lights blinking on a port or all of the port lights blinking sounds a little odd, but i just looked at one of my Netgear switches and it is doing just that.

"
- Streaming the movie and the game to my laptop. This also seems to work..
"
this is over a single PC lan connection or ?
And at the same time ?

The common element seems to be the TV and/or the PC. Is all the PC lan traffic going over a single lan cable and nic ?
Is there a wireless adapter on the PC ?

That is an older generation motherboard.

i have to wonder what is running in the VM that might steal time from the PC lan connection.

Also, can the TV keep up with a 60Mbit/s stream ?
Usually video streams are highly compressed so even if the video has a 60Mb/s bit rate, it actually uses much less bandwidth. Is this raw, uncompressed video ?


You might be able to add an additional PCI-e NIC to the pc that would be dedicated to whichever program and cable that to a second port on the same switch. You might look into a server nic with 2-4 ports.

---
there are usually two lights at each port. One for link rate which will be one of three colors depending on link rate and solid on when a link is established. The other light is the activity light which indicates that data is being transferred. Both lights blinking on a port or all of the port lights blinking sounds a little odd, but i just looked at one of my Netgear switches and it is doing just that.
---
I had totally misunderstood what you were asking. I can only see one LED per port on the back of the switch. The light for each connected port is constantly flickering.
---

"
- Streaming the movie and the game to my laptop. This also seems to work..
"
this is over a single PC lan connection or ?
And at the same time ?

---
Exactly the same wired config: PC -> switch -> router -> laptop.
Yep all at the same time. The fact that this test streamed a game + 4k vid all at the same time kind of makes me think it isn't the PC hitting a bandwidth limit. Though, I guess the big difference in this test case is that all of the packets are going to a single destination?


---
The common element seems to be the TV and/or the PC. Is all the PC lan traffic going over a single lan cable and nic ?
Is there a wireless adapter on the PC ?

---
That's right, everything from the PC is through a single NIC/cable. Specifically, I'm using the PC's onboard gigabit LAN Port.
There's no wireless adapter attached to the PC, just ethernet.


---
That is an older generation motherboard.
i have to wonder what is running in the VM that might steal time from the PC lan connection.

---
I'm running a headless/minimal ubuntu VM that's running naemon. I use naemon to monitor the Windows host vitals (CPU, disk space etc) through NSClient (I struggled to find a windows-native monitoring suite that provided a browser interface).


---
Also, can the TV keep up with a 60Mbit/s stream ?
Usually video streams are highly compressed so even if the video has a 60Mb/s bit rate, it actually uses much less bandwidth. Is this raw, uncompressed video ?

---
The vids are all h265 compressed but I think the reported bitrate might be close to the compressed bit rate. I've attached a screenshot of the media info for one of the larger bitrate files below (one detail missing is the runtime; it's 76 minutes). I believe the bitrate works out as close to the compressed bit rate [36516 MB / (76 mins * 60 seconds) * 8bits/byte ~= 64Mbps]


---
You might be able to add an additional PCI-e NIC to the pc that would be dedicated to whichever program and cable that to a second port on the same switch. You might look into a server nic with 2-4 ports.
---
I was actually wondering about something like this today. Although, I was thinking about something with a single ethernet port. Would I need 2+ ports? I was also looking into ways to force certain windows applications through specific network adapters but there seemed to be mixed results (e.g. with ForceBindIP). Do you know how reliable this kind of thing is in Windows10?


One final detail I forgot to add: My game stream bandwidth is set to 20Mbps.

I'm a little surprised that my old motherboard cannot handle a 20 Mbps game stream + a single high bit rate stream, as it has a 1Gbps ethernet port. I am struggling to find information on the motherboard's maxthroughput though. Should I expect my motherboard to not adequately handle this setup when it has a 1Gbps port? If the problem is motherboard related, would adding an extra NIC definitely help?




1613082262441.png
 

degrub

Very Senior Member
1 Gbps is just the link rate. Sets an "up to" limit basically. With overheads, ~900 Mbps should be doable between two devices and between two devices through a Gbit switch. . Getting the data to the NIC can be slower for many different reasons.
 

absolution

Occasional Visitor
Sure I follow. If my bottle neck is the transfer from elsewhere on the motherboard to the NIC then would an extra NIC help or would whatever is causing the bottleneck just cause a bottleneck in two places?
 

degrub

Very Senior Member
The extra nic would only help if the bottleneck is the connection to the switch. If the bottleneck is getting data to it, obviously it would not.

if each transfer runs fine alone, then both simultaneously run fine to the macbook over lan , but not when going to the macbook and the TV over lan cables, but better if going over wireless to the TV, the only difference should be a msec of lag and using the wireless side of the router and the wireless side of the TV.

What link rate does the wireless side of the TV connect at to the AP side of the router ?

You mention that the pc video card is generating the game image stream. Is the same video card being used to generate the video stream to the TV or is it just a file read by the TV from the PC without any video card involvement ?

so what task runs about once a second in the PC ?

just trying to stimulate some ideas to consider.

unless the router switch and the TPlink switch do not run fully at line speed from any port to another port, e.g. 8 ports = 16 Gbit/s switching capacity, what you have should be fine, i think.
 
Last edited:

absolution

Occasional Visitor
The 5GHz wireless to the kodi instance on the TV has started being a bit funny (and the TV is in use right now) so I won't be able to check the connection speed until later on.

The PC isn't doing any processing/decoding/video rendering for the video stream in this case. All of the files are direct played on the TV so the PC is basically just a NAS. The PC is definitely rendering and encoding images for the game stream though.

So, one idea that just came to me. I've got some older laptops knocking around (or I could just borrow my wife's). I could temporarily setup a jellyfin server hosting a single file on one of them. Hooking said laptop up to the switch and then streaming a game from the PC + the movie from the laptop should be fairly definitive about what device is causing the problem...
I'll report back on this later on once I've had a chance to set this up.

Thanks for all of your help so far btw, it's an incredibly annoying problem to solve and this does make it a whole lot easier...


---quick edit
While I cannot use the TV at the moment I can at least stream one of the high bit rate movies to my laptop via 5GHz. Here's a plot of the transfer rate from my router during the few minutes I played the vid.

1613131395932.png
 
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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Sounds like the PC is running out of steam (pun not intended) then?

How much RAM does it have? What CPU, GPU, and SSD? What other things are allowed to run on it, consecutively, along with the ones you've mentioned so far?
 

absolution

Occasional Visitor
Right, I installed a jellyfin server on a spare laptop and hooked it up to the same switch via 1gpbs ethernet as my TV and PC aaaaaaaaaaand everything worked! I was able to stream my game to my main laptop while streaming the high bit rate file to the TV.
So, I think that's fairly conclusive that my PC is the limiting factor.

I'm wondering now how I could test whether this would be fixable by installing another NIC. Although, I am a bit tempted to just bite the bullet and buy one if it isn't too costly. Are there any cheapish NIC suggestions? I was looking at this one: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/1-p...tblk-1000ct-gigabit-pci-e-network-adapter-oem

@L&LD, the PC is getting on a bit, but it's still generally so reliable and does most things I need it to.
The specs are:
- CPU: 2500k OC'd to 4.5 GHz
- RAM: 8GB (I've checked that I'm not running out of ram when I'm getting the stutter)
- GPU: NVIDIA 670 GTX with 2GB ram
- SSD: 128GB Crucial SSD

The main things the PC's running are:
- qbittorrent
- jellyfin
- Minimal ubuntu VM running naemon, to monitor the host windows PC
- PC games and emulators (not constantly though)
- Playnite (gaming front end, the PC is in my living room)
- Tight VNC
- Avira antivirus
- SoundKeeper (to keep my sound receiver alive)
- Joy2Key
- AutoHideMouseCursor
I think those are the main things (the list got a bit weak towards the bottom...)


So then, I'm wondering how I could go about testing whether a new NIC would help. Any ideas here as I'm drawing a blank?
Alternatively I could just bite the bullet and buy the one I listed above if it looks alright...


(I'm still struggling to get my TV to stream reliably via 5GHz wireless [no idea what's happened] so it might take me a bit longer to find out what the transfer rate is...)
 

degrub

Very Senior Member
unless you need them, turn off -a/-b/-g in the wireless router and the TV ( if possible).
is the wireless path clear air or is it no more than 1 wall ?
you can try changing the wireless channel to see if there is congestion from neighbors

that NIC should be fine. You will have to figure out how to assign the server/program output in the PC to use the new nic.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
(I'm still struggling to get my TV to stream reliably via 5GHz wireless [no idea what's happened] so it might take me a bit longer to find out what the transfer rate is...)
Check the sirq usage in top again. I expect it will be 100% when streaming over WiFi.
 

absolution

Occasional Visitor
Hey everyone,

The router is in the same room as the TV. The pathway is pretty clear and the signal strength claims to be as good as it can be.

I can double check top on the router later (TV is in use again) but I think there's maybe something slightly weirder going on with the streaming issue. All of my other wireless devices (phone/laptop) can handle the 5GHz stream just fine and I've tried the obvious things like holding my laptop near the TV (to test the path); the laptop can always stream and the TV struggles.
What's --really-- weird is the stream to the TV works fine when I connect the TV to the jellyfin server via http instead of https. The https connection goes through a Caddy reverse proxy so the issue could be there. It's just so weird that my other devices, which all connect via https, don't have this problem...

Anyway, I'll mull over buying the NIC vs actually pulling the trigger on building my new server :)

Thanks so much for all of the help so far!
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@absolution, the things that jump out to me are 'overclocked' and 8GB RAM. The 'old', overclocked CPU may be showing its limits here (being overclocked for the long term means it is degrading far faster than anyone can anticipate and a 35% overclock over 11 years takes its toll too). 8GB RAM is too little for modern phones, let alone a desktop.

Windows is particularly good at hiding RAM deficiencies. The 'stutters' you're seeing are showing them. And the rather small 128GB SSD isn't helping either if it is more full than not (remember, some here are using bigger/faster SSDs for their router, today).

All the issues you're seeing on the old desktop may be fixed with more RAM, a bigger SSD, and maybe a clean Windows install too, but as always, the weakest link will bring the (otherwise) fastest setup down each time.
 

absolution

Occasional Visitor
@absolution, the things that jump out to me are 'overclocked' and 8GB RAM. The 'old', overclocked CPU may be showing its limits here (being overclocked for the long term means it is degrading far faster than anyone can anticipate and a 35% overclock over 11 years takes its toll too). 8GB RAM is too little for modern phones, let alone a desktop.

Windows is particularly good at hiding RAM deficiencies. The 'stutters' you're seeing are showing them. And the rather small 128GB SSD isn't helping either if it is more full than not (remember, some here are using bigger/faster SSDs for their router, today).

All the issues you're seeing on the old desktop may be fixed with more RAM, a bigger SSD, and maybe a clean Windows install too, but as always, the weakest link will bring the (otherwise) fastest setup down each time.
Yeah it is getting on a bit but the PC has seen me through quite a few years and I'm not quite ready to give up on it yet.

I can understand the overclocking comment, but the sandy bridge K line were basically expected to be overclocked. I've always ran an aftermarket cooler and kept an eye on the temps. It's been pretty stable and I've seen no obvious signs of degradation fingers crossed.
The RAM being an issue would surprise me a bit. I've just run a simultaneous 4k stream + gamestream to my laptop (this is via wifi so this doesn't exhibit the stuttering problem) and I'm only using two thirds of my RAM.
So, I dunno, would adding more RAM make a difference in my setup?

1613237388404.png
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
RAM? I don't know either, but we will if you try. :)

How full is the SSD?

At 66% Memory used or less, I can crash my i7-6700 16GB RAM desktop when I (only) try to open too many browsers/tabs (the RAM use isn't reflected what I'm doing on the system...).
 

absolution

Occasional Visitor
:)

The SSD is 64% full (42GB free).

Interesting point about the browsers causing a crash of your system. if you were able to see the performance monitor plot at the point your crash happened then it would probably show a big spike in RAM usage?
I think think one key thing with my screenshot is that the amount of RAM used is pretty flat. It's not briefly hitting 90+% or anything like that.
TBH I don't think I've had many crashes with this PC (after I'd landed on stable CPU voltages back in 2012). I installed W10 (finally) towards then end of last year and I don't think I've had a single crash yet.

But yeah, it's a fair point about testing with more RAM as it wouldn't hurt anything besides my wallet.
 

absolution

Occasional Visitor
Hi everyone,

One last update on this.

I think we've diagnosed this to the point that it's basically 100% assured that the W10 server is the bottleneck.
I've planned for several years to build a separate linux server which would pick up most of the roles of my W10 PC. This has just made it a lot more evident that this is now necessary so I'm going to press on with that, rather than sticking a NIC in the W10 PC.

As people seemed interested, the wireless issue seems like it might be some niche problem with my Jellyfin setup rather than an issue with my router.

Thank you so much for all of your help @degrub and @L&LD
Literally would not have figured this out without you.
 

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