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DLNA Server Issues

I’m doing work in a local grocery store whose owner is looking to end up with video advertisements throughout the store. I walked into a setup with 10 Roku TVs, 1 TV with a Roku stick, 1 Ubiquiti AC LR, 1 Ubiquiti AC Pro, 1 HP Desktop acting as a DLNA server (utilizing built in Windows DLNA). Everything was behind a Sonicwall and the APs weren’t the same network.

Things weren’t really working when I showed up so I added a second ISP modem, Ubiquiti USG and controller to get the system on its own managed network. Every device and client is working with a fixed IP that’s been removed from the DHCP pool in hopes to avoid the IP conflicts that were abundant before. The issue we’re having now is when there are eight TVs running different ads for different products, everything is fine. When we add the ninth TV, they all buffer pretty bad between videos. When the tenth TV is added, random TVs start displaying “Server Connection Error.”

I’m assuming I should volunteer that the server computer is running an i3 processor with 7.86 GB usable RAM and each area of the store has its own set a videos, each between 3-5 minutes in duration. I don’t really get this far into this stuff, but considering there’s another 30-40 stores looking at incorporating the idea, I’m all in. My question is this, would this error reflect issues with the Roku platform, the Windows DLNA platform or the performance of the computer as far as processing?


Any help is appreciated and I’m not easily offended so I’m open to all ideas, criticism, etc., as long as I get answers.
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4 Replies
twiceover
Level 10

Re: DLNA Server Issues

The most obvious thing would be to look at the Processor and Network performance tab of Windows.  You may also be taxing the disk.

Probably the bigger question is, if you're really talking 30-40 stores doing this, they should be looking at a proper video distribution system and not some hobbled together Roku/DLNA/Microserver thing.
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Re: DLNA Server Issues

"twiceover" wrote:
The most obvious thing would be to look at the Processor and Network performance tab of Windows.  You may also be taxing the disk.

Probably the bigger question is, if you're really talking 30-40 stores doing this, they should be looking at a proper video distribution system and not some hobbled together Roku/DLNA/Microserver thing.

Any suggestions on a proper system? This was what I fell into, so if there's something more legit, I can make the recommendation or know to walk away.
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atc98092
Level 13

Re: DLNA Server Issues

I have a lot of DLNA experience, but this is certainly a unique arrangement. I'm assuming each store would have their own on-site server, and not be streaming from a primary site. The number of displays you are running shouldn't be taxing your PC if a) your videos are all Roku compliant and don't require transcoding and b) your storage drives can handle the multiple simultaneous streams without choking. I think twiceover might have identified your major issue. If all videos are streaming from the same single hard drive, you have likely saturated the SATA stream and the head in the hard drive can't move fast enough to keep all the streams flowing without buffering. Splitting the videos across several hard drives should resolve that issue. 
.
Another issue is that Windows Media Services is a rather poor DLNA server. Other dedicated DLNA server products offer far more performance. Some are free and some are not. As long as your media is in Roku supported containers and uses supported codecs, you should be able to stream to a dozen or more displays without a problem from that computer hardware. But as I mentioned you may have a hard drive bottleneck. Hopefully you are on a Gigabit network for at least the server backbone, so that the Ethernet connection to the server can handle so many streams at once. 
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: DLNA Server Issues

@CoastalCTS1724 

You might check out https://www.brightsign.biz/ for a solution that was designed for this type of usage.  

Hope that helps point you in the right direction! 


Cheers,
Tanner
Tanner D.
Roku Community Manager
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