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Xbox 360 Extender Playback - Low Quality

extender mp4 low quality h.264 + acc

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#1 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 08:19 PM

I've been troubleshooting for several days poor playback quality on MBC in WMC on my Xbox 360 extenders.

 

I have LAV installed as my splitter, video and audio codec on my HTPC.  I also have W7Tweaker set to use LAV Audio for mp4's vice microsoft.

 

At first I thought it was due to unsupported container/codecs.  So I ran all my files through handbrake.  The movies in question are now:

 

Container: mp4

Video: H.264, 4.0 profile, 1280x544

Audio: AAC, 2 channel

 

All the above should play natively on the Xbox 360.  

 

I also have the Xbox 360 profile set under the DLNA portion of the MBS.  It has mp4 with h264 and aac audio set for 'Direct Play' (see attached pic).

 

I also have MBC to 'warn if transcoding' and I do NOT get a warning so I assume it is not transcoding.

 

When I play the file through MBC in WMC on my HTPC it looks great!  LAV splitter shows audio being played through LAV audio in the windows task bar.

However, when I go to my Xbox and use it in extender mode and access MBC through the WMC interface and play the same file the video quality is horrible.  Very blocky and poor quality, audio plays fine.  The file should be direct playing on the Xbox, so why is the video quality so bad?

 

 

Attached Files

  • Attached File  mbs.png   37.21KB   11 downloads


#2 ebr OFFLINE  

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 08:13 AM

I'm going to guess a permissions problem and it is streaming but would need to see a log from the extender playback.



#3 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 08:06 PM

Where is the log saved? I can post to this board.

#4 ebr OFFLINE  

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 08:16 PM

How to report a problem



#5 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 11:00 PM

Attached are the server and client logs from tonight.  My kids accessed a movie in question around 8:15pm.

 

The client log says it was last modified at 9:15p, but looking at it it seems to stop at 9:15am?

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#6 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 11:11 PM

Found this log from the 21st.  I tried to watch "3 Days to Kill" at 12:12pm on the extender.  Video quality was bad.  I see some errors in the log attached.

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#7 ebr OFFLINE  

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 05:22 PM

It looks like it is direct playing but WMC is reporting that it is buffering.  Is this a wireless connection? 



#8 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 06:18 PM

Wired through a Cisco Gigabit router. HTPC nic is 1000 Mbps the Xbox 360 is only 100 Mbps.

#9 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 06:20 PM

Question, do both log files from the 21st and 24th say it was buffering?
Because on the 21st I was using the Xbox in the bedroom. However on the 24th the kids were using the Xbox in the playroom.

#10 Luke OFFLINE  

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 06:25 PM

What's the bitrate of the video? The 360 will struggle with video over 8-9mbps and you'll start to see distortions and artifacts.
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#11 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 06:34 PM

I am pretty sure most of my videos are in the 4000-5000 range. I ran them through handbrake at a constant quality. I will check on the 2 specifically I am using for testing...

#12 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 06:38 PM

Question about buffering... If my router was flaking out and causing a poor connection, would MBS sense this and thus lower the quality (ie is this what the logs are saying when they show buffering)?

#13 ebr OFFLINE  

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 09:40 AM

Question about buffering... If my router was flaking out and causing a poor connection, would MBS sense this and thus lower the quality (ie is this what the logs are saying when they show buffering)?

 

No.  When you direct play from the 360 we're actually totally out of the loop.  But, the 360 itself might do something like that.

 

To me, this looks like a network issue or one with the specific content and the extender.



#14 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 12:16 PM

Oh man, I thought I found the problem... but then I played the movie and the quality was still poor.  Here is what I troubleshot:

 

I ran the network tuner on the both my Xbox 360s and saw poor performance.

Attached File  current.JPG   92.07KB   6 downloads

 

I have a Linksys EA3500 router that connects directly to the HTPC and other network components around the entertainment console via cat5e patch cable.  The EA3500 is then connected to a Linksys SE2500 switch via a 25' cat6 patch cable.  The Linksys SE2500 then has cat6 cable to the bedrooms and playroom for the Xbox's and other PCs.

 

So I inferred the bad network performance I saw on 'current.jpg' was either from the cabling, the EA3500 router, or the SE2500 switch.

 

I brought one of the Xbox's downstairs and sat it next to the HTPC and plugged a cat5e patch cable directly into the EA3500 router and reran the Network Tuner.  The results were much better (peaked out) as seen in 'wo se2500.jpg'.  

Attached File  wo se2500.JPG   105.03KB   6 downloads

This means my EA3500 is good and the problem is either the cabling or SE2500.  

 

I plugged the cat5e patch cable into the SE2500 and ran the test again and got bad performance (with se2500.jpg) like originally.

Attached File  with se2500.JPG   112.58KB   6 downloads

Therefore, it looks like all the cabling is good.  It is the SE2500 that is throttling network bandwidth.

 

Yeah!  So I just need to get a new switch and playback will be great.... or so I thought.

 

I replugged the Xbox straight into the EA3500 router and reran the Network Tuner and it was peaked out again (wo se2500.jpg) so all good.  I fired up MB3 on the extender and played '3 Days to Kill.mp4' and the video was still blocky :-( 

The mp4 movie only has a video bitrate of 2475 kbps and has an 2-ch AAC audio track, so the Xbox should have no problem playing it.

Attached File  3 days.png   36.96KB   6 downloads

I access the movie at 10:58am while connected directly to the EA3500.  Here is the log:

Attached File  MBClassic-26102014866743ce2fc44151aeee30a56815acf8.log   31.68KB   2 downloads

 

Thanks for the help Ebr and Luke!

 

 



#15 ebr OFFLINE  

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 12:26 PM

I see the same buffering as before.  It is only for a second but that is not something you usually see with direct play.

 

Maybe you need to re-setup the extender with the network improved.  Maybe it is throttling something due to the poor network performance when it was setup...?



#16 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 01:14 PM

Okay. I put everything back the way it was. I am going to buy a new switch on Amazon/eBay. I'll re-run the MBC, extender setup or both?

Any suggestions for a solid unmanaged gigabit switch with at least 5 ports?

#17 BAS OFFLINE  

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 04:54 PM

Just want to throw this out there just in case it hasnt been done yet, make sure you add the valid extensions for the extender in the MB Classic configurator. Not saying this is going to solve your problems but may help especially if the hosting system has a good clean codec setup.

 

Here is what mine looks like.

 

544d5f0c00e6e_3.jpg


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#18 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 07:45 PM

Thanks, I double checked.  I had mp4 in the list.

Attached File  mb setting.png   66.8KB   6 downloads

 

I also double checked the settings in MBS.  Here is my 'Direct Play' tab for the 'Xbox 360' setting under 'DLNA'

Attached File  mb server.png   39.25KB   7 downloads

But I also noticed 'Containers' had h.264 set to transcode if it had a 64bitoffset, so I removed that.

Attached File  mb setting 2.png   26.12KB   7 downloads

and the 'Codecs' tab had 'aac' to transcode, so I removed that also.

 

New switch should be here mid week.  Once I reset everything, hopefully it'll work!


Edited by Wilky13, 26 October 2014 - 07:48 PM.


#19 ebr OFFLINE  

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 08:26 PM

The dlna setup on the server has no bearing on direct playback via MBC.  That would only be used for "Play To" from some other device.



#20 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 09:13 PM

Okay, guys I am at a loss.

 

I brought the Xbox back down because I realized I hadn't accounted for the cat6 patch cable running from the EA3500 to the SE2500.  I left one end in the EA3500 and plugged the other end into the Xbox.  Fired it up and ran the network tuner, peaked out no issues at all (so the cable is good).

 

I then opened up MBC on the extender and played the movie, still poor quality video (at 8:37p).

 

I then uninstalled the extender, reboot and set it up as a new extender, still with the good network connection.  Opened up MBC on the extender and tried the movie again, still the same poor video quality (at 8:50ish, forgot to note the time exactly).

 

So even with a solid network connection and a newly setup Xbox Extender video quality is still bad.  And it IS a container/codec the Xbox should have no problem handling (see file info attached to an earlier post).

 

The forum won't let me upload any file size larger than 9.75KB, so I uploaded the MBC log from 8:37 (play with out a reinstall) and 8:50 (playing the file after the reinstall) as well as the server log that covers both times (link below):

 

https://onedrive.liv...hint=folder,txt







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: extender, mp4, low quality, h.264 + acc

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