Network not fast enough



I upgraded to a 4k TV over the weekend, and when I try to play back a 4k movie (39944 kbps MKV, H264. AAC, DCA) on my Shield, I get about 5 minutes in and then start getting a few seconds of buffering here and there until it throws up the "network not fast enough" error.

The Shield is hard wired to my network. The server is a Core i7 2013 MacBook, and the movies are stored on a DS413j.

My suspicion is that the NAS is the bottleneck. Short of just buying a faster storage device for my 4K movies, anything I can do to give a bit more buffer time before starting playback?

I'm also wondering if maybe the H264 is an issue and will test later tonight with an H265 file.


Hi, I'm new with the shield. But why do you need your PC as a server? Why not use plex media server version for shield directly??
One more thing to check, are you using gigabit Ethernet?


Because it's on a home server that serves multiple functions and is connected to an SFP+ fiber network the internet end, which the Shield doesn't support.

Everything is gigabit and Cat5e.


is it transcoding?

I have a similar set up and found, to my disappointment that the 64Mbps version of Labyrinth that I got as a test was stuttering and buffering.

I noticed (using netdata) that the outbound traffic on the network interface was approaching 100%.

64Mbps should be be fine on my network but plex is actually using 98% both inbound and outbound (due to NAS storage and PMS being on different machines) which is very near maximum capacity on the 1Gbps interface on the PMS server.

Too much in fact for the video to playback at a sensible frame rate, Iḿ testing it now while writing and it is playing back at about 2 fps.

Curiously, after a few minutes of 2fps, bandwidth usage just dropped to 60%/ 60% and its playing back fine.

So, it is a bandwidth issue as far my test is concerned, this can be addressed in two ways, reduce the bitrate of the video by transcoding it or get more bandwidth for your storage, server and client.

I dont know which OS the shield uses but check the NIC usage and i bet you it is maxing out on in / out traffic

We are fast approaching a point where 1Gbps is not going to be enough to handle high bitrate 4k video anyway.

Luckily, a number of USB network adaptors are available which will let you add more interfaces to your machines and bond them together.


No transcoding, but that’s kind of interesting. Here’s my nload output on the Plex server while streaming (the gaps are where the video would stop playing).

I’m wondering if you’re right and it’s not just one single bottleneck, but the entire chain of NAS > server > Shield that just doesn’t have the capacity, especially if there’s other network activity going on.

I think this weekend I will run some experiments by taking the separate PMS server out of the equation and spinning up one on the Shield that’s doing the playback, and seeing how that goes.


I have NAS (4gpbs Bond but slow disks in RAID5) > SERVER 1Gpbs> TV ~300Mbps (varies a lot due to 5GHz wifi)

So in my case, my server is pulling the file via NFS, doing whatever needs to be done to it and then passing it to the TV. It seems that you have a similar workflow.

In your nload example we can see that it is peaking at 93Mbps IN and 187.45Mbit OUT, presumably at the same time, the averages can be ignored because of the gaps in playback.

Now it all depends on how fast you NAS really is, how fast your server really is and same for the shield. A 1Gbps NIC does not always mean that you will get 1Gpbs, disks and other factors can and do bottleneck.

I still think that this is a bandwidth issue, what is the file size and bit rate of an example video? In my test above i had a 65064 kbps video at about a 50GB file, this was enough to choke things up for a while on my fairly decent network.

If you can reproduce the problem, try to transcode it down in the web player to a lower bit rate and see if you can get it to a sweet spot where it is able to transcode it to a low enough bandwidth to playback ok.

At least then you can watch a movie and be sure that it is a bandwidth problem.


Unfortunately no such luck. With the server on the Shield, I kept getting a "lost connection to the server" error. Not sure how that happens when player and server are the same device.


So I did some more troubleshooting, for some reason the switch in my media cabinet had decided to stop operating a gigabit speeds and start operating at 100 speeds. Rebooted my home network chain and now everything is humming nicely.