Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Optimize PS4 Link on PS Vita PS TV, Vita TV Fix PS4 Connection Speed

As I read about the "PS4 Link" function the PS Vita has I noticed that people had widely varying experiences with it; Kotaku wrote they couldn't play beyond their coach with it while others were saying they were playing perfectly in different states and even over LTE!

The varied experiences with the PS4 Link got me thinking that there must be some networking issues that is preventing useful streaming within Kotaku's and other peoples own wifi network. I started with a $14 piece of shit wireless n-router that has one external but non removable antenna located in the garden level office of my house a PS4 in the theater on the ground level, and my bedroom which is on the opposite side of the house 3 levels away (my house sounds huge when I describe it lol).

At first I had the same experience as Kotaku and others were reporting with "next gen" pixels and dropped connections.  I slowly went through the issues until I more or less fixed the issue with maybe one or two slow-downs and no drops anywhere in my house.

I first wired the PS4 and noticed some slight gains, but the internet connection test on the PS4 still yielded about 3mbps down and .5mbps up on a 50/15 connection wired directly to the router with Cat6.  This obviously meant something was wrong.

After exploring that I decided packets were being fragmented with just the PS4 connecting to the internet.  I used this method here: http://www.dslreports.com/faq/5793  .  Then I began to really mentally explore the issues and having a large MTU setting may be effective for maximizing throughput but we need to minimize lag and dropped packets. After I changed the MTU setting I found my internet speed through the PS4 was about 20mbps down 4mbps up.  Still not perfect and I'm sure Sony has to fix something but much better. 

This then brought me to optimize the wireless network settings along the same line.  Here are the best settings I've found thus far to ensure a great PS4 Link connection: 
  1. MTU Settings have to be changed to 1152 (which is double the Ethernet minimum of 576) on the PS4, PS3, router, and PS Vita. 
  2. RTS should be set to 144 or 288 (all multiples of 576 to reduce router processing time) (on the router)
    1. RTS is the minimum packet size to send.  By setting this number low you can send quick controller responses without waiting for more data before your response is sent.  I'm going to try this on 1 and see if its better.
  3. Fragmentation Threshold can be set to 1152.  (you can use 576 if you're getting next gen pixels or dropped data bit better for lag and ensuring packets don't get dropped or corrupted, 1152 is best for streaming)  (on the router).  I use 1152 it seems like the picture is better but perhaps its slightly twitchier if that makes sense in a game like Assasin Creed 4.  This is basically the maximum packet size to be sent over wifi.  (and RTS is the minimum).  We don't want to limit this to MTU size and perhaps cut it down to smaller packets if you want to have a more stable input experience.  This is because large packets optimize for bandwidth at the expense of responsiveness.  
  4. If you have spotty internet in places i.e. you have dropped connections. I'd go 20/20 vs 20/40 
The router needs to be reset then the WAN DHCP should be released and renewed if applicable (in most broadband cases it is). If you have a stronger wifi conncection disabling "Connect directly to Vita" on the PS4 will result in a more stable connection; however, with a few more slowdowns.

For those interested I also changed but did not notice a direct fix for but may help:
  1. WMM or QoS off on router.  This is because it introduces lag, unless you have a super router like a Nighthawk, in which case you'd want to test it both ways. 
  2. I wired the PS4 directly to the router which resulted in less (no net) gains than anticipated.  Which led me to realize something was wrong.
    1. It is a good idea to wire this though because you get full duplex communications and
      1. at least less interference with the PS4 other internal radio
      2. faster connections on 1gbps
      3. perhaps two antennas devoted to remote direct connection. 
  3. Moved the PS4 to the top rack of entertainment wedge.
  4. Repositioned Router to enhance radio signals. 
    1. Attempted to exchange WiFi antennas but found out external does not equal removable.  Sometimes I miss the 54gl 
  5. A-MDSU (or whatever) off 
  6. BG Protect mode off
Overall I went from not being able to play vita away from the vita to being able to play it well anywhere in my house, without spending a dollar more on a new router.  I likely will though its only so long you can use a 3 year old draft n $14 microcenter special. 

The colors on the vita really pop.  The OLED is as good as a good LCD TV.  This is the best mobile screen I've seen even better for its use than the beautiful ASUS 1080P S-LCD Pads.  The LCD has better black control but the oled is deeper black.  I think we need deeper color information for OLED.

Edit 2/10/2014:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sony Sells 2.1 Million PS4's worldwide as of Dec. 3 2013

Sony has announced that it has sold 2.1 Million PS4 in the first few weeks of its launch.  This is not a true worldwide number as Japan and other market have not yet been released. 

Sony has expressed a goal of 3 million before 2014 and 5 million before Q2 2014.  These numbers are much more realistic than the announced 10 million vita's and they should get hit or broken.