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Why does direct play stutter so much

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I've been using Emby for about a year or so now and have every device in my house connected wirelessly to my home network.

My speeds aren't the best but it's the fastest available in my area (50 Mbps down consistently) and it's fine for pretty much everything I have linked up to it. The one device I have connected via Ethernet is my NAS where I store all my media (Emby libraries)

Emby used to run very poorly when I had the server installed on my desktop PC andunning the client app on my old Fire TV in the living room. Since I bought an Nvidia Shield and installed the server on it, it runs like a dream, or well, it used to. Re cently it keeps talking forever to buffer when I play most 1080p titles and even then it freezes every few seconds making it pretty any movie pretty much unwatchable.

 Onto my question: why is it that I'm experiencing this now even when everything is always on direct play, yet if I launch VLC, search for the same title on my NAS, it plays anything and everything absolutely flawlessly? I can throw 4K 30gb files at it and it doesn't skip a beat, yet if I launch Em Appvn by and try to play that same title, it just folds.

I know my setup isn't perfect, but it was running smoothly for the longest time and now it's back to what it used to be like when I had the crappy Fire TV. It's pretty frustrating to search for something I want to watch on Emby which has such a nice interface, only to then have to use VLC to browse that same media and play it there. Genuinely curious as to why it behaves this way when the media is being "streamed" from the same source. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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If it was running well but now is having issues it would seem to indicate something has changed.  Has the server upgraded or any of the clients?

If you're using WIFI this could be a neighbor causing interference with a new WIFI device they've setup.

I'd try and eliminate the network first by having both your Shield TV and NAS hooked to the same Ethernet network.  Even if this is just a test by physically moving something so it can be plugged into Ethernet.

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@AdamsDriver your postings seem like valid questions but are frequently embedded with spam links. If i see it one more time I will have to flag you as a spammer. Thanks.

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