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Streaming In Windows Media Player Causes My Wireless Connection To Drop

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#1 FreshFrost


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Posted 12 January 2008 - 09:55 AM

Every time I try to view internet media that streams content to Windows Media Player, I get stuck at this point cos my internet connection immediately cuts off!

Posted Image

At first I thought it was just the regular occasional momentary loss of connection that happens every couple hours or so (althought sometimes not for days). But nope; I soon realised there was definitely a cause and effect correlation.

I have two laptops and ironically, it doesn't happen on the one that runs XP Professional but on the one running XP Media Center!

It happens regardless of what version of WMP I'm using, cos both laptops came with v9 and have both been upgraded to v10. (I even upgraded the faulty laptop's WMP to v11, hoping that perhaps this was a wide-spread problem that they had written out of the new player, but no such luck.) The one that has always played correctly continues to play correctly despite upgrades, while the one that never worked correctly continues not to despite upgrades.

What's going on?!

I mean, they connect via the same router to the same (only) modem that I have. They both use the same browser (Firefox v2.0.0.11) ... - I even let the faulty laptop try streaming from an Internet Explorer browser, on the off-chance that perhaps this was one of those times where a Microsoft program mysteriously chooses to work only in conjunction with other Microsoft ware for absolutely no reason. But it wasn't.
(it was poor logic, i know. esp cos WMP and firefox work fine together on the other laptop, but believe me, i've had situations where this was an equally unlikely solution but it inexplicably worked :trumpet: ... no seriously, it's been weird ...)

Anyway, according to some, this problems occurs precisely because there are two laptops sharing the broadband and they don't like it (yeah, not much of an explanation. i was skim-reading :thumbsup: ) so one of them fails to stream. But I tried it when the "healthy" laptop was even turned OFF and it STILL didn't work.

Meanwhile, all other streaming-platforms work just fine: youtube, divx, tudou, (not sure about realplayer) and I can listen to web-radio and podcasts on iTunes without any problems.

The "sick" laptop automatically reconnects to the internet as soon as the window/tab containing the WMP console is closed. But this problem is restricting me from watching a lot of stuff and it's incredibly annoying! (esp when I'm downloading something!!) Besides, what's the point of forcing myself to watch videos on a 15"-laptop that has shrill, crappy speakers, when I specifically bought myself TV-replacement-machine that has a 17"-screen and decent sound :flowers: ...

Any help is much appreciated!

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#2 FreshFrost

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 05:11 PM

I ended up finding the solution to my problem on in this post: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=206213

I went through the steps they outlined and tried each suggestion one by one, testing it every time I made a change.

The solution was under the heading 'Configuring/Troubleshooting the Windows Media Player plugin':

Player appears, player status bar says 'Ready', no error messages, but nothing happens when you click Play.
For the Windows Media Player plugin to work, Internet Explorer must have access to the internet: ...

Which isn't actually what was happening with mine, and I chose not to follow the instructions that followed immediately after:

* Make sure Internet Explorer is not set to Work Offline mode: To check if IE is in 'Work Offline' mode, open IE and open the File menu. There would be a tick by the 'Work Offline' option. Click it to take IE off Work Offline mode.
* Make sure that Internet Explorer's proxy settings are correct.
* Make sure that Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player are not blocked by your Firewall.

But the second part looked plausible:

This can also be caused by DSL/cable providers using Network Address Translation (NAT) not forwarding UDP packets properly. The solution is to disable UDP in Windows Media Player:

* In WMP, click Tools > Options
* Select 'Network'
* Deselect 'UDP'

It has also been reported that reinstalling/upgrading/downgrading Windows Media Player can solve this.

And that single click did it!
(Strangely enough, that box is checked on my other laptop ... Just out of interest, does anyone know why this is?)

In the process, I discovered that two of the necessary dll's were missing, so I downloaded them from www.dlldump.com and installed them. I tested it with and without them - both before and after changing the UDP value - and although they had no effect with respect to my problem, it's good to know that I now have the 'full package'.

I also installed the security alert that is referred to at the beginning of the post. I don't think it had any relevance to my problem, and installing it didn't have any apparent effect on the playing capability of the embedded plugin, but it's good to use protection ;)

I recommend this thread to anyone else who has an XP cum Windows Media Player cum Firefox-related problem - it will serve you well: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=206213

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