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Optimizing your router for IPTV Television streaming

QoS, or Quality of Service, is a feature that can help increase performance
When it comes to wireless routers, most of us just want to set them up and forget all about them. We see our router as a simple device that merely brings Internet connectivity and wireless access to in to our lifeís, and connects all our networked devices.

However, for those who are willing to do just a little bit more setup and configuration work, a Wi-Fi router can be tweaked to do much more, including boosting performance of Video and IPTV streaming.

Welcome to QOS (Quality of Service)
With courtesy of Eric Geiera a Contributor to PCWorld's Bog, I think he best explains exactly what QOS is in terms we can all understand, and why we should look at setting it up on our routers.

QoS, or Quality of Service, is a feature that can help increase performance of specific types of network traffic such as video streaming, gaming, or even Skype. Most routers offer some form of QoS although some vendor will market their version of QoS under a proprietary brand name. D-Link at one point had its own QoS for gaming, GameFuel, bundled into some of its routers.

The devices connected to your router battle for bandwidth like thirst-crazed beasts jostling for access to a receding watering hole. You canít see the melee, but you can feel its impact. Without intervention, the strongest competitors like a BitTorrent download, for instance will drink their fill, even if itís not essential to their survival, while others like a VoIP call, a Netflix stream, or a YouTube video are left to wither and die.

A router with good Quality of Service (QoS) technology can prevent such unequal distribution of a precious resource. You can dip only one straw into the Internet at a time, after all. QoS ensures that each client gets its chance for a sip, and it also takes each clientís specific needs into account. BitTorrent? Cool your jets. If one of your packets is dropped, itíll be resent. You can run in the background. Netflix, VoIP, YouTube? Lag results in a bad user experience. Your data gets priority.

Thatís a gross oversimplification, of course. Hereís a more in-depth explanation. QoS, also known as traffic shaping, assigns priority to each device and service operating on your network and controls the amount of bandwidth each is allowed to consume based on its mission. A file transfer, such as the aforementioned BitTorrent, is a fault-tolerant process. The client and the server exchange data to verify that all the bits are delivered. If any are lost in transit, theyíll be resent until the entire package has been delivered.

That canít happen with a video or audio stream, a VoIP call, or an online gaming session. The client canít ask the server to resend lost bits, because any interruption in the stream results in a glitch (or lag, in terms of game play). QoS recognizes the various types of traffic moving over your network and prioritizes it accordingly. File transfers will take longer while youíre watching a video or playing a game, but you'll be assured of a good user experience.

Wi-Fi router can be tweaked to do much more, including boosting performance of Video and TV streaming.Setting your router up with QOS
Some routers include the option of automated QoS handling. Most newer models support the Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) standard, for instance. However our recommendation is to check your routers userís manual (If you have one) or better still make a note of the make and model and pop it in in to Google. You should find that there will be a step by step guide on how to add QOS to your router, and more often than not a YouTube video that some kind person has put to help you.

What you need to add
Basicly all you are looking to do is ad the MAC address of you IPTV Set-Top box in to your routers QOS list, and once done this will then give priority on data to your TV box (providing your are connected via cable) The MAC address is a unique value associated with IPTV box and is located on the bottom of the set-Top box. MAC addresses are 12-digit hexadecimal numbers and are usually written in one of the following two formats: MM:MM:MM:SS:SS:SS or MM-MM-MM-SS-SS-SS. Once you have your IPTV's MAC address just add it to the QOS list in your router.

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