My Raspbery Pi HTPC - not feasible?

Hi all,

In the past I would download a movie to my upstairs computer, copy it to a USB flash drive, bring it downstairs and watch it on my TV through my Blu-ray player. My thinking was I could set up a Raspberry Pi as a HTPC connected to my TV and either download the movie directly to that or FTP to it from my upstairs computer.

I bought a Vilros Raspberry Pi 2 Complete Starter Kit with Edimax WiFi and set it up with OSMC. Everything seems to work fine.

However, when I transfer a movie (around 3GB) using SFTP through Filezilla I’m getting a transfer rate of around 160 KiB/s. At that rate it will take 5 hours to transfer the movie.

I’m doing this with wifi with a Linksys E2500 router N router. No way to run Ethernet cable from upstairs to downstairs.

Any suggestions or am I just out of luck?


What model, and what are it’s specs ?

Something really really wrong there.

I would start by temporarily connecting your Pi to your upstairs PC via an Ethernet cable and just double check that copy speed is as you would expect it to be with Wifi removed from the equation.

If you’re trying to copy onto the SD card you’ll probably find you’re limited to somewhere between 4MB/sec and 8MB/sec depending on the performance of the SD card as the SD card write speed will be the bottleneck. (It will be faster during playback though - up to 20MB/sec)

If that seems OK then try your wifi adaptor again in the same room as the AP to see what speed you get. If it seems OK in the same room you could put it back downstairs and try normal wireless troubleshooting - eg try different wifi channels etc.

If you can’t get good results over wifi another option would be to use a pair of powerline Ethernet adaptors, and generally this would be a faster more reliable solution.

BTW if your network performance is good enough (whether Wifi or Powerline Ethernet) there’s no need to copy the file to the Pi before playing it - simply stream it directly from a file share on your PC by adding a Video source in Kodi that points at your PC’s share.

Well first I would suggest to figure out what goes on with your wifi and the performance.
Option 1 check the basic network throughput with iperf (sudo apt-get install iperf)
Option 2 check wireless signal with wavemon (sudo apt-get install wavemon)

Edimax EW-7811Un 150Mbps 11n Wi-Fi USB Adapter.

Good idea regarding connecting it via Ethernet to my upstairs computer. I’ll try that.

I’m trying to copy to a USB stick plugged into the Rpi. It’s even slower if I transfer to the SD card.

I don’t want to stream it as most of the time my upstairs computer is off.

Thanks for the tips and I will get back to you.

Tested the download speed on my wife’s PC which uses the wifi - 4.6 Mbps.

I would check your SD card, maybe your card has a problem. What card do you have?

Kingston 8GB Micro SD Card

I had a problem with SFTP as well. Changed to SMB and NFS.

Is FTP faster?

I’m not familiar with SMB and NFS. FTP is just as slow.

I am curious why you are copying the file to your Pi, rather than just streaming it directly?

He wrote it before: Because he doesn’t want to have his pc runnnig all the time…for obvious reasons like it’s way more power consuming than a Raspberry Pi.
@giorgian00 Another thought: Why not also let your Pi do the download work? There are many programs for this specific task and I remember even my old Pi1 managed this good. Just unpacking files will take longer because it’s very cpu intensive.

Wifi can be influenced by soo many things.

What I don’t understand is why you don’t let the RPi download stuff. It doesn’t make sense doing this on a PC. Raspberry uses a fraction of the power and can run 24/7. Copying stuff to watch sounds very 2003 to me :wink:

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Yeah, I would like to use the RPi to download stuff. However, until I get the wifi thing straightened out I can’t go there.

Brought it into work and getting 1.7 MiB/s so the adapter is OK. Must be something in the configuration of my Linksys E2500.

For 5 GHz I have it set to:

Network Mode - Mixed
Channel Width - Auto (20MHz or 40MHz)
Channel - Auto (DFS)

For 2.4 GHz I have it set to:

Network Mode - Mixed
Channel Width - Auto (20MHz or 40MHz)
Channel - Auto

Does that look right?

How does 1.7MiB/s means that it is OK?
Also did you do the check with wavemon as I suggested?
Also suggest that you check your wifi environment at the location where the Pi is located. If you have a android phone install “Wifi Analyzer” to check the channels and interference.

Try temporarily changing mode from Mixed to N it used to be if something connected at a slower speed such as G then all devices would be limited to this speed, not sure if that has changed

If you don’t want you pc always on why not add an external HDD to your Pi and let the Pi download & rename & organize?

Pi + HDD
Install samba / sickrage / transmission optional SabNZB / Headphones / etc :smiley:

It only doesn’t solve your network issue

Yes, I’ll either put an external hard drive or a USB stick on the RPi. But as Morte said I can’t do much until I resolve the transfer issue. Thanks.

Invest in a good set of Powerline adapters. One at your router connected to it with network cable, the other one upstairs where you want to put your RPi, connected to it with a network cable.
For always on/streaming/downloading it is not good to have floors/walls between your router and client, unless you invest a lot of money in a heavy WiFi gateway, but the USB WiFi adapter will still be as limited as it is now.

Also if you do manage to have a good WiFi connection, the RPi will eat the available WiFi band with and you might notice slower speed on your other WiFi devices like phone/laptop. I would highly recommend Powerline as someone else mentioned before. But buy a good set.

Your router security needs to be set to N and AES authentication or you will not get N speeds.

I don’t see AES as an option on my router.