The Best DD-WRT Routers for Streaming HD Video Devices (Roku, AppleTV, Boxee, WDTV Live, Xbox360, PS3)

Netflix In, Cable Out

Streaming video services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Instant, & YouTube have prompted wise consumers to think twice before shelling out huge monthly fees for a thousand channels options that seem to never have anything on when you want. In short order, we have become an on-demand culture – we want to watch what we want, when we want, and however we want it.

Besides price, the popularity in many of these services comes from the ability to watch with limited or no commercial interruptions at a fair price (zero sounds fair to us). Who wants to sit at home on a Monday night anymore and watch a 40 minute show that takes an hour to watch! Save yourself 20 minutes and read a good article, or just watch a 20 minute sitcom as well replacing commercials. Don’t let TV appointments dictate your schedule. Optimize your time!

The same goes for the terrible collection of commercial-laden terrestrial radio stations that play the same 40 pieces of garbage everyday on a loop for months on end. Who wants to keep spinning the dial when you can create playlists, and radio stations of your own and stream it anywhere, from any device, at all times. They can keep Nickelback, I’m fine with Radiohead.

The Rise of Streaming Media Devices

Devices like the Roku, the Boxee Box, Smart TVs and Blu-Ray Players from Panasonic & Samsung sit beside cable boxes and quickly replace them for convenience while supplanting them in user-friendliness and quenching our HD video desires.

Streaming HD Video has become one of the most popular uses for high-speed Internet connections. It also has become one of the most frustrating and irritating. Like when you were in the middle of watching The Usual Suspects and they are about to reveal who Keyser Söze was and the ultimate nightmare occurs…. BUFFERING! (What took you so long to see it by the way?)

Buffering is quickly becoming the most hated word in the English language but with the right router and the proper tweaks, buffering and loading can become a thing of the past.

One of the most frequent reasons for buffering and loading is an outdated router or underutilized router based settings. If your router is not optimized properly or is simply too old to be able to provide you with the full streaming video experience, you need to look for an upgrade. Here’s a quick list of our most popular DD-WRT routers to use for high quality streaming HD video.

Most Popular DD-WRT FlashRouters for Video Streaming

Netgear R7000 Nighthawk - Apply iPhone 6 Wireless-AC Router

Netgear R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk DD-WRT FlashRouter
Our highest powered Netgear router, and preferred as the top wireless router for gaming.

- Wireless-AC1900
- 1 GHz Processor
- 3 External Antennas
R8000 DD-WRT FlashRouter

Netgear R8000 Wireless-AC3200 DD-WRT FlashRouter
Tri-band Wi-Fi with six external antennae for maximum wireless range.

- Wireless-AC3200
- 1 GHz Processor
- 6 External Antennas
Asus RT-AC87U DD-WRT FlashRouter

Asus RT-AC87R Wireless-AC2400 DD-WRT FlashRouter
The ultimate Asus networking centerpiece.

- Wireless-AC2400
- 1 GHz Processor
- 4 External Antennas
The TP Link Archer C9 1900 DD-WRT FlashRouter

TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 DD-WRT FlashRouter
Our newest entry to our line and our first Wireless-AC TP-Link device. A gem with power and style to spare.

- Wireless-AC1900
- 1 GHz Processor
- 3 External Antennas
Asus RT-AC56U TomatoUSB VPN Router

Asus RT-AC56U TomatoUSB Router
Our finest budget Wireless-AC model, for those who want the power and speed of Wireless-AC for a low, low price.

- Wireless-AC1200
- 800 MHz Processor
- 4 Internal Antennas


How Can Router Firmware Effect Streaming Video Performance?

When setting up your home video and music streaming, you should have a checklist of some of the options you want to look for in a router as the Internet gateway provides flawless HD video streaming experience.

Does the router provide enough processing power to handle the demand that you are putting on it? Do you plan to expand your needs and add more devices to your network? Can your router handle streaming Netflix simultaneously on two or more devices or does it just churn and buffer?

Of course, some of these issues arrive from slow bandwidth from a service provider or throttling due to the amount you are using. With DD-WRT firmware installed on your router, you will be able to maximize the bandwidth you have, prioritize devices and services, boost your wireless signal, and if you want to get really involved host media servers through your router USB port (only recommended and supported on certain models).

Simple Fixes For Smoother HD Video With DD-WRT

1) Device or Service Prioritizing – If your router has functioning Quality of Service (QoS) options, which is standard across all FlashRouters, you have two options. You can give Netflix premium priority over all the other services that clog your bandwidth. Or you can give your device (Roku, AppleTV etc) prioritizing based on its assigned MAC address, a unique assignment for the device usually listed on a sticker on the bottom has an excellent tutorial on QoS setting in DD-WRT. The DD-WRT Wiki has a very in-depth rundown of QoS as well.

2) Boost Your Antenna Strength – To get the best video quality, it is always recommended that you connect via Ethernet for consistency and connection strength. However, if that is not possible, DD-WRT firmware allows you many advanced methods of tweaking your wireless signal strength and choosing channels for broadcasting your wireless signal.

Router transmission power is limited by local laws so manufacturers limit the transmission power on their firmware in accordance to these laws. However, DD-WRT allows you to tweak this power to suit your needs.

Want to see how? Watch this quick Youtube video: How To Boost TX Power Tutorial.

WARNING: Please be careful when doing this as turning your TX power up above certain levels can cause it to overheat. Each router has different settings for this so please use due diligence and research before tweaking these settings. And we are not proposing that you violate the law, just that it is possible and that local laws can vary.

3) VPN Integration – Take your video with you when traveling. DD-WRT has built-in VPN capabilities for PPTP, OpenVPN, and L2TP. You will have to use your own VPN connection or VPN Service Provider like IPVanish or HideMyAss to view content from your home country while on the road.

If you purchase a router from us, let us know what VPN service provider you would like integrated in your router and we will do it for you.

For more details on what a DD-WRT upgrade can do for your network and streaming video performance check out our What is DD-WRT Firmware info page.

Have a thought, comment, question, inquiry or idea? Maybe you’d just like to say hello. E-mail us or for the fastest responses to your technical questions, shoot a message to our DD-WRT gurus via our support system. We are glad to see if we can configure your router and turn your complex networking desires into a reality.

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