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Any way to record one broadcast to multiple files?


Mister Steve
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Mister Steve

Argh, these US football games are taking 4hrs ūüŹą¬†to complete, with nothing happening >50% of the time.¬† And I¬†haven't found a reliable way to watch a large broadcast with FF/Rew during recording with my Samsung and LG TVs.¬†¬†

It seems to me that if I could trick Emby into thinking a 4hr broadcast was actually 8 separate 30 minute shows,  I'd have the problem solved.    Is there a way to do this?   There appears to be no way to create a manual recording since it is driven by guide data.     It's kind of messy but I suppose I could map a different guide channel with 30-min shows and record each of them.

Any better ideas?

 

Edited by Mister Steve
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I would consider getting a different client such as a FireTV, Chromecast with Google TV or if you want to go all out a Shield TV Pro.
I'll be recording anywhere from 3 to 6 games each Sunday at 1pm while watching back 4 games.

Of course it may not be a client issue but maybe your server can't handle it.  An easy way to find out would be to try watching back a game in the Emby Theater app or even Web browser.  If you get the same issues it's likely server based but if these two clients can play back your NFL games while recording then it's the TVs.

AT least you can test this for free.  For testing it really doesn't matter what you watch so a long movie or two would work.

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mbarylski

@cayars Are you skipping forward a lot of just watching everything in full? I've mentioned before that I have issues when skipping in between plays and commercials and I've got a Shield TV Pro.

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Mister Steve

Using Android/Chromecast, Emby Theater, or the browser I can set the playback position where I want it, so playback positioning on these devices is not a big problem.  

Yet on my Samsung QLED with the Emby app, all I know to do is keep hitting the FF button, which should increment 30 sec.   I can hold the FF button to speed the process (in theory).  But during recording, repositioning can be slow enough that I can spend 10 mins trying to FF an hour before I give up.   Also during recording, Emby often misjudges the amount of time left,  hits what it thinks is current and will not FF further, even when a couple more hours has been recorded.  And Emby does not track my last watched position during recording, so if I leave and come back, I have to try to FF again from the start.   

Is there no way get Emby to record a broadcast to multiple files/segments/episodes?    That alone may solve these issues on all playback devices without users having to purchase and use clunky front-end devices.  

Edited by Mister Steve
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@mbarylski

I skip every commercial, timeout, halftime, etc for each game unless it's a Sunday or Monday night game and I'm pretty much watching it live.

To be honest I did have a bit of trouble with this when I moved my main server (i7 with Nvidia GPU) using 2 SSD drives (1 for recording and 1 for transcoding) to the Synology with a Celeron and Quicksync.

I was having a bit of IO issues which is why I added 1 TB of READ/WRITE caching to the Synology.  Working like a champ now which actually surprised me.

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mbarylski
Just now, cayars said:

I was having a bit of IO issues which is why I added 1 TB of READ/WRITE caching to the Synology.  Working like a champ now which actually surprised me.

Hmmm, interesting. And is this on stable or beta?

How do you go about adding caching? Will it work with an HDD?

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Both, I can run either version on the host itself but I also have a Synology VM as well to use.

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mbarylski
11 minutes ago, cayars said:

Both, I can run either version on the host itself but I also have a Synology VM as well to use.

Ok, thanks. 

How did you set up caching?

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I installed two sticks in my Synology 920+ each 1TB and configured it for read/write using RAID 0 and btrs.

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mbarylski
17 minutes ago, cayars said:

I installed two sticks in my Synology 920+ each 1TB and configured it for read/write using RAID 0 and btrs.

What did you put on the 1 TB? The entire Emby Server? Or just the cache path?

image.png.85c0147ffc6fd53e60b79f9e988e0306.png

Or Transcoding temp path.

image.png.b70e8de40add0ae4ca991e5e754afc16.png

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SamES
8 hours ago, Mister Steve said:

Using Android/Chromecast, Emby Theater, or the browser I can set the playback position where I want it, so playback positioning on these devices is not a big problem.  

Yet on my Samsung QLED with the Emby app, all I know to do is keep hitting the FF button, which should increment 30 sec.   I can hold the FF button to speed the process (in theory).  But during recording, repositioning can be slow enough that I can spend 10 mins trying to FF an hour before I give up.   Also during recording, Emby often misjudges the amount of time left,  hits what it thinks is current and will not FF further, even when a couple more hours has been recorded.  And Emby does not track my last watched position during recording, so if I leave and come back, I have to try to FF again from the start.   

Is there no way get Emby to record a broadcast to multiple files/segments/episodes?    That alone may solve these issues on all playback devices without users having to purchase and use clunky front-end devices.  

On Samsung, generally it will be using DirectPlay, and seeking during live playback isn't possible on that platform.  Your second issue is that seeking in the Samsung client is also a terrible experience at any time

I have a work around, but it is two steps and not a bad option

  • Start playback, then drop the playback quality just enough to force transcoding. This will add load to the server, so keep an eye out for performance issues, but it will mean that seeking during playback is now possible
  • Using another client (I use Emby on my phone), connect to the Samsung TV using the cast button,¬†then once connected select the cast button again and select remote control.¬† You can then use the timeline to seek.¬† I end up just using my phone as the remote control.¬†¬†¬†

Initially this may be slow depending on the transcoding progress, but it at least makes this watchable without spending money.

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7 hours ago, mbarylski said:

What did you put on the 1 TB? The entire Emby Server? Or just the cache path?

It's not something I manage.  The Synology OS does all this.  It will use a partial amount of the cache for buffering writes to the RAID storage volume and use the rest for caching most often used things.

So for example it will cache on it's own Emby's meta-data, cache for allowing pics to be loaded quite quickly. The Emby database is going to be cached as well but of course get's flushed to the actual HDD volume.

This really lightens the load for things like transcoding as all the small TS files and m3u8 files get written to the cache but never end up needing to be written to the actual disc volume because they are removed first.

With DVR recording in Emby you are actually writing the file in two locations (transcoding & DVR folder) simultaneously.  If you happen to be watching the stream at the same time you are likely creating another transcode or remux.  That IO often causes people problems in Live TV when trying to seek or rewind.  It works but can take a minute or longer to "jump" to the new location as there is only so much free IO available.

In my case this is all being written to the read/write cache quickly.  Since it's in a RAID 0 config it can delay writing to the actual volume. A reset of the box or power cycle doesn't hurt this either as it's not a RAM Disc but true SSD drives storing this. In time the actual DVR folder will get flushed to the volume but all the working TS & m3u8 files won't as they get deleted.

image.png.116273f386dbdcfcb37d4e963c5c5f13.png

image.thumb.png.ae3f472e56d1ce0bff4a19901e50a5e0.png

This read/write cache is strictly for the specific volume it's mounted on.  You can configure it to work on multiple volume as long as they are on the internal discs.  I just keep the 4 drives as one large 35 TB volume.

Besides the 4 Internal drives and two internal SSD sticks making up this 35 TB volume,  I also have an 8 bay drive enclose attached via USB3 cable to the Synology: Can also use eSATA as well between the two boxes but USB3 has shown to be faster as the eSATA connection uses the same IO channels as the 4 internal drives and 2 m.2 SSDs.

image.png.4b014f1e14583615fb5a9a10059b6769.png

At present there is one bay empty which is going to be used for a Samsung 1 TB 2.5" SSD storage drive. I've got a couple of them I'll be using for some additional testing.
Since the m2 SSD read/write volume only works for volume1 (4 internal drives) it will do nothing for the attached 8 drives.  These are just a bunch of JBOD discs essentially the same as having 8 external USB3 drives attached.

What I want to test maybe using 2 Samsung 970 2.5 SSD drives in this enclose is setting up Emby's cache & meta-data folders to one SSD and using the other for transcoding & DVR storage. I commercial detect, remove commercials, hand check cut points then convert this to MKV/HEVC which get's added to my normal libs.

So the question is how these two additional SSD drives will help?  The OS will learn Emby's cache, meta-data, transcoding & DVR no longer needs any caching as they are no longer stored on volume1. It may help or hurt performance, but I won't know until I try it and give it time to adjust.  I might find Emby's cache and meta-data folders are best left on volume1 but putting transcoding & DVR on the USB3 SSD works well allowing the read/write cache to adapt to not having to handle these small files.

Hope that helps

 

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mbarylski

Ah, got it, thanks for the detailed explanation @cayars! I don't have a Synology, I'm on Windows. How would I get similar performance as you? Do I need to add SSD's and direct my transcode and/or cache directories to the SSD's?

@Mister Steve What system are you using?  

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When I was running my main system on Windows I have even better performance as I was using an i7 with Nvidia 1650 GPU.

I used two 1 TB Samsung SSD drives:

The first was used for the OS and all programs including Emby.  So by default everything Emby did was using the first SSD.
For the second SSD I set this up for DVR storage and as the temporary transcode directory.

The key to good Live TV/DVR performance I've found is mainly those two things.  Transcode folder and DVR storage location.  Put them on fast media like an SSD and you reduce wait times on IO.  Assuming you do something with the DVR material to remove it which could be watching and deleting or cutting commercials and converting to mp4/mkv you could get by with 512 GB or even 256 GB sized SSD.

I like to think of this SSD as the work horse SSD or "beater" drive. I've always gotten far more than this but just consider it a throw-away drive that's going to get thrashed with lots of writes and plan on replacing it if it fails in 1 to 3 years.  So no need to spend big money on this drive.

Here's a 512 GB SATA drive on Amazon including Prime for $42
https://www.amazon.com/TEAMGROUP-AX2-Internal-Compatible-T253A3512G0C101/dp/B08CK7T9FG?th=1

Here's a 240 GB SATA drive on Amazon including Prime for $28.
https://www.amazon.com/Kingston-240GB-Solid-SA400S37-240G/dp/B01N5IB20Q/ref=sr_1_1

Even a slow SATA drive is going to be way faster than the fastest RAID setup with 10K RPM drives. :)
Besides a few recordings you may have on it there is nothing crucial stored on this drive so you can cheap out on it so it's great to think about it as a "throw-away" drive even if you never have to. :)

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mbarylski
1 hour ago, cayars said:

The key to good Live TV/DVR performance I've found is mainly those two things.  Transcode folder and DVR storage location.  Put them on fast media like an SSD and you reduce wait times on IO.  Assuming you do something with the DVR material to remove it which could be watching and deleting or cutting commercials and converting to mp4/mkv you could get by with 512 GB or even 256 GB sized SSD.

I like to think of this SSD as the work horse SSD or "beater" drive. I've always gotten far more than this but just consider it a throw-away drive that's going to get thrashed with lots of writes and plan on replacing it if it fails in 1 to 3 years.  So no need to spend big money on this drive.

Got it, so definitely put it on an SSD. I'm not planning to put the DVR storage anywhere else. I don't want to bother with scripts to move everything around. BUT, I can redirect the transcode directory to a separate SSD. I have an extra 120 GB SSD that I could use. Will that help?  

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You want the DVR stored on SSD as well at least until it's done recording.
If you look at the Advanced settings under Live TV you'll see Recording Post Processing area.

A super simple command can be used here to move the file to another location.
Possible could also use the Auto Organize plugin for this as well.

The key to getting Live TV to work faster is reducing the IO which requires both transcoding and initial writing of the DVRed content to be on SSD.
If you're not going to do that and only want to move the transcode folder you might improve things a bit but it won't be the same.

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mbarylski
41 minutes ago, cayars said:

You want the DVR stored on SSD as well at least until it's done recording.
If you look at the Advanced settings under Live TV you'll see Recording Post Processing area.

A super simple command can be used here to move the file to another location.
Possible could also use the Auto Organize plugin for this as well.

How exactly could you use a super simple command to move recordings to 6 different directories? And even if it was possible, what happens when you move a recording that you were watching and paused? Don't you lose the paused point?

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How do you figure 6 different locations?  It's one to one.

You don't have 6 choices of where your data gets recorded to now but one. Granted you can setup for movie or shows but it's the same thing as each has one folder.
All you do is move movies from the SSD to where they would have been on your /volume1.  Same for TV Shows.  So it's one simple command do do what you are currently doing.

If scripting you can either ignore locked (being viewed) files and just get it with the next recording or use a wait and try again.

But the more I think about it for most people the Auto Organize plugin is probably the way to go as you can get fancy with it and it will move the files from the watched folder when they become unlocked.

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mbarylski
3 minutes ago, cayars said:

How do you figure 6 different locations?  It's one to one.

You don't have 6 choices of where your data gets recorded to now but one. Granted you can setup for movie or shows but it's the same thing as each has one folder.
All you do is move movies from the SSD to where they would have been on your /volume1.  Same for TV Shows.  So it's one simple command do do what you are currently doing.

If scripting you can either ignore locked (being viewed) files and just get it with the next recording or use a wait and try again.

But the more I think about it for most people the Auto Organize plugin is probably the way to go as you can get fancy with it and it will move the files from the watched folder when they become unlocked.

Because when I record a tv show, I want it to go to the tv show folder on my HDD. When I record a football game I want it to go to my Sports folder. If the Auto Organize can do that I'll have to take a really close look to see if I can finally replace Plex!

Question though. If you move a show that you started watching, don't you lose your resume status?

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mbarylski

I'm looking at Auto Organize and I don't see how this helps. It seems to have the same limitation as the built in options. I can only move to 1 folder for ALL my tv shows. So I can't send some tv shows to my folder and other tv shows to my kids folder. Guess I'll be sticking with Plex for awhile longer.

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mbarylski

Yes, I have it. but as your image confirms, there's only 1 folder that you can move recordings to. That doesn't provide enough for me.

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Mister Steve
23 hours ago, SamES said:

I have a work around, but it is two steps and not a bad option

  • Start playback, then drop the playback quality just enough to force transcoding. This will add load to the server, so keep an eye out for performance issues, but it will mean that seeking during playback is now possible
  • Using another client (I use Emby on my phone), connect to the Samsung TV using the cast button,¬†then once connected select the cast button again and select remote control.¬† You can then use the timeline to seek.¬† I end up just using my phone as the remote control.¬†¬†¬†

Initially this may be slow depending on the transcoding progress, but it at least makes this watchable without spending money.

 

@SamES Thanks for your suggestion to use my phone to access the timeline, it's a simple solution that works way better than trying to seek via the TV remote.   My Samsung QN65LS03 does not seem to support MPEG-2 .ts files, it transcodes to H.264 (AVC). 

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Mister Steve
11 hours ago, mbarylski said:

@Mister Steve What system are you using?  

@mbarylski, well @cayars setup puts mine to shame.  I run Emby on Debian Linux using OpenMediaVault with software transcoding... (yeah, I know).   Certainly more transcode power would be an improvement, but I really have no issues except when watching large DVR files during recording.    I planned to buy a graphics processor but they became scarce and expensive, and I believe the best route now is a CPU upgrade anyway, which will require a new motherboard and probably new memory.    It's an easy thing to put off when Emby runs so well for 95% of our use.

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Mister Steve

To address the OP's question,¬†ūüėĬ†

I set up an XML TV guide file with 1 "SpoofNet" channel, mapped it to the Golf Channel, created 6 15-minute episodes for 'PGA Tour Golf' during the CJ Cup broadcast.  I then created a series recording.  

image.thumb.png.93c2fff48ddea77dd78b71c838e22b6b.png

It worked perfectly, and I have an entire "season" of 15 minute episodes for the tournament.  As long as I stay 15 minutes behind I can watch the live broadcast without issue.

It would be easy to script the .xml creation for a broadcast.  But the spoof guide has to be assigned to the channel, so the channel guide is dropped in Emby until the real channel is remapped.    I haven't tried it yet, but I'm wondering if Emby will still record the spoof series if I assign the spoof guide just to schedule the recording and revert it once scheduled.  

image.png.84b2bc09a30b0222248682a8550b4b71.png

 

 

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