“Multimedia/Gaming Environment” setting on some wireless adapters

If you’re using a wireless network in your home or office (or you’re helping a customer with theirs), you might encounter problems streaming video or audio wirelessly without sutters and skips occurring.

This is a common problem with wireless networks due to the number of packets which are dropped during transmission, and in fact, it’s such a frustrating issue that many people consider wireless networks unsuitable for streaming media.

While it’s true that a wired network of nearly any type is superior to a wireless network for streaming purposes, there is something you can try that may solve the problem. It’s a little-known setting in the RaLink drivers of certain networking adapters which prioritizes packets more heavily.

This setting can be found within the Device Manager (Start > Run > devmgmt.msc) in theProperties window for the networking adapter. From there, click on the Advanced tab and choose the setting called:

“Multimedia/Gaming Environment”

Change the setting from Disabled to Enabled. You may also wish to disable Power Management on the adapter to ensure it is always alive and ready for action, at the expense of some battery life, of course.

Once enabled, it’s quite possible that your problems may simply magically evaporate.

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7 thoughts on ““Multimedia/Gaming Environment” setting on some wireless adapters

  1. Hi othersteve.

    My name is Julian and I live in a garage. Unfortunately my garage is 20-30 feet from my Router/Modem (all-in-one). I am having frequent problems with interference and packetloss . There will be times that my wireless works good with a few lag spikes but other times where it will just completely disconnect and reconnect, disconnect and reconnect. At times the connection is intermittent.

    I was just wondering if you have any advice when it comes to wireless connections.

    I bought and antenna but I constantly have to re position the antenna for it to work correctly. I am picking up an extension for my antenna but I hear that there is an insertion lost (Loss of decibels)

    Please advise with any advice that you could offer.

    Warmest Regards,

    Julian

  2. Thanks for this article.

    Noticed the setting this evening, poking around in my wireless adapter. I haven’t had any issues streaming music or video, but have had gaming issues that may be addressed with this change. I don’t understand why the manufacturers don’t automatically make this setting active, but at least there’s a way to adjust it without too much hassle.

    Seems this should be standard.

    Thanks again…

  3. sorry sir, may i ask something? i have try it but what if i cant see an advance option on the properties from network adapter? there’s no other option except ok and cancel
    may you help me sir
    thanks

  4. forget wifi use powerline adapters to port stuff to devices in your set up, cat 6 and gb switches with 500 mbps min adapters!

  5. Thank you roy, i have never heard of powerlines before until now!! Im going to look into that!

  6. That is known as ‘packet coalescing capability’ as I recall. I am aware that this is an old post but I am a bit bored. I don’t recall much more about it but I do recall reading about it on the developer’s section at MSDN and I think you could use the RaLink drivers for some other models that were sold under a different brand. DLink, maybe?

    I am a bit curious as to what became of them. I don’t think I have seen that feature mentioned for a few years now. I haven’t seen it in Linux so it might have been some proprietary stuff?

    And yes, I am bored and I like your writing style so I have been working my way backwards and reading all of your articles.

    Thanks for writing ’em. I’ve had to take a few breaks and do real life stuff but I’m almost done reading ’em all.

  7. Hey David,

    Thanks so much for the kind words and for spending the time to come by and drop a comment. It’s great to know that people are reading and appreciating my infrequent articles here 🙂

    I’m not actually sure what happened to the RaLink guys either… probably a quick job for Wikipedia, but admittedly it has been a while since I’ve had to deal with this particular issue. I hope you enjoy some of my newer content though! 🙂

    Steve

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