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Roku displays 'Loading' during playback


jstiamat
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jstiamat

Hi Team. The server is FreeNAS 11.1 U4 w/ Emby 3.3.1.0 using the ASRock Avoton 2750, 16GB ECC DDR3, and 6 x 3TB in RAID6 ZFS.

 

Content (nearly 500 movies) was digitized from Bluray/DVD using MakeMKV using H.264 and DTS audio streams with no further modifications made. 

 

All Roku clients on latest firmware (3, 4, and an Ultra) and are CAT5 connected at gigabit speed. The setup had been functional for the last 3 years, but towards the end of 2017, client began reporting the 'Loading' message displaying intermittently during playback.

 

Despite the server-side hardware capable of transcoding multiple clients, my approach was to eliminate the need for the 'direct-streaming' - which was due to the audio stream being DTS-encoded. Initial review suggested the most appropriate encoding should have been AAC, but this also resulted in transcoding being performed.

 

Review of Emby ffmpeg transcode logs indicated the Roku was in fact requesting AC3 content, and by making this switch to the source, direct-playing was indicated at the client, and the 'Loading' was gone (suggesting despite the hardware sufficing in the past, something on the server-side was causing the delay?)

 

My question is, before I manipulate every one of these files - is this the best approach to solve the underlying problem? And should I convert the DTS audio streams to AC3? Lastly, this had the effect of stripping out the subtitle streams in the MKV (using ffmpeg in a Linux environment to convert). Perhaps this is OK given the user had complained some content was enforcing the subtitles against their wishes.

 

Thank you so much in advance for any feedback!

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Erik

Same here. All media make with makemkv and regardless of audio track I get repetitive loading. I brought it up in another thread, but just wanted to say your not alone, and yes it worked perfectly last fall.

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syralk

I had the same issue using https I switched to http and it seem fine now.

 

 

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

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ginsengbomb

I'm also having this issue. Or...at least a similar/related issue. My server is on an Alienware PC running Ubuntu, client is Roku Premiere+. I get very persistent "Loading" interruptions, only when playing 4K/HDR content. This is on my local network. Plex Media Server running on the same PC and streaming to the same Roku has no problems, from Emby it happens very very consistently (approx every 15-30 seconds at some points!). 

 

The 4K content plays almost all Direct Stream as the audio almost always needs to be transcoded. 

 

I'm trying to switch from Plex to Emby for a variety of other reasons but obviously can't do it if Plex never has buffering issues on my setup and Emby does on my best content. If there are any suggestions I am all ears! I have tried a variety of things (disabling/re-enabling NVENC encoding -- my PC has a discrete Nvidia GPU -- and removing audio boost on downmix for example). 

 

I'm attaching both Server and ffmpeg logs (was trying to watch Ender's Game). 

 

 

 

Log.txt

ffmpegLog.txt

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Have you tried lowering the bitrate setting in the app?  That item is at 60Mb/s which, I Imagine, is just too much for the device.

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ginsengbomb

I haven't, although I haven't done that on the Plex side either and I'm having no problems there. Could it be an issue w/ the Roku Emby client? 

 

I have video quality in the Roku client set to Automatic.

 

I tried lowering to 30 Mb/s just to test. I didn't have the "Loading" issue when I did this but I also didn't get HDR as the video stream was being transcoded. I also on a whim forced 80 Mb/s as well. Got HDR there but this reintroduced the "Loading" issue. Does this suggest it is indeed related to stream bitrate (and if so, do you have any idea why this issue would present on Emby but not on Plex)? Thanks!!

Edited by ginsengbomb
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Yes, that would indicate the bitrate is too high.

 

If you also have Plex set to Auto - then their auto setting will actually lower the bitrate dynamically so they are probably transcoding it down as well - you just don't realize it.

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ginsengbomb

Yes, that would indicate the bitrate is too high.

 

If you also have Plex set to Auto - then their auto setting will actually lower the bitrate dynamically so they are probably transcoding it down as well - you just don't realize it.

 

I have Plex set to "Original (not recommended)" actually. Despite being "not recommended" it works quite well :D. Both Plex and Emby are transcoding the audio. Neither appear to be transcoding the video (any time either transcode a 4K/HDR video stream I don't get HDR, and I'm always getting HDR on both Plex and Emby).

 

I'm kind of resigning myself to sticking with Plex on an "it just works" basis here, although there are things about Plex that don't "just work" (metadata management in particular) ergo my interest in switching back to Emby!

Edited by ginsengbomb
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ginsengbomb

On a whim I plugged my Nvidia Shield TV into my main TV and installed Emby. It is streaming fine, in HDR etc. Guessing it's a Roku client or device issue that Plex has found a way to work around or something. 

 

FWIW Emby on Shield is WAY better than Plex on Shield I'm noticing. Plex has this seemingly unsolvable issue where it refuses to transcode audio to AC3 and I get everything mixed down to 2 channel...Emby I'm getting DD5.1. 

 

Anyway, sharing in case this is useful.

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ginsengbomb

More on this. I tried installing an unofficial (and seemingly very old) Emby Roku client (Emby Blue Neon). It works! As far as I can tell it's because it's allowing me to Force Direct Play. In Direct Play I'm getting DD5.1 and HDR with no buffer.

 

Is there any way to replicate this in the official Emby client (which is way nicer looking)?

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Didn't you say the item direct plays in the official app if you set the playback quality to "auto" or 80Mb/s?

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Well if direct play is possible then we should look at how to determine what without needing a setting to force it.

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Well if direct play is possible then we should look at how to determine what without needing a setting to force it.

 

The only reason it isn't direct playing in the official app is because I told him to lower the bitrate setting.

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ginsengbomb

It direct streams in the official app. If useful, Plex also direct streams -- it transcodes the audio while leaving the video intact. 

 

But yeah on the older app, I forced direct play, verified in the server app that it was direct playing, and it's been playing for 20 minutes now without any buffering/loading, with 4k/hdr going. 

 

Image attached while playing to official client.

post-258695-0-92572900-1524601133_thumb.png

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ginsengbomb

No, I've reverted to Auto bitrate. Higher settings didn't fix the problem and lower introduced video transcoding which killed the 4K/HDR.

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Can I please see the ffmpeg log that is created by the official app with the setting on auto?

 

Thanks.

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ginsengbomb

Yes, here you go. This play period went without buffering for quite awhile and then started buffering/loading at the end. (Sometimes it takes a few minutes before it starts hitting buffering issues...usually it happens almost immediately).

ffmpeglog2.txt

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ginsengbomb

To my eyes this looks like Emby server is doing exactly what Plex server does, copying the video and transcoding the audio to AC3:

 

Stream mapping:
  Stream #0:0 -> #0:0 (copy)
  Stream #0:1 -> #0:1 (truehd (native) -> ac3 (native))
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Hi.  You had the TrueHD audio track selected.

 

Can you please switch it to the normal Dolby Digital one and see what happens then?

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ginsengbomb

Hi.  You had the TrueHD audio track selected.

 

Can you please switch it to the normal Dolby Digital one and see what happens then?

 

Sure. When I select the DD track it Direct Plays, and so far no buffering. The problem is the vast majority of 4K/HDR media doesn't come with a DD track by default (or the DD track is director commentary or similar) so to use this as a solution I'd have to do a massive library conversion...or just use Plex :(

 

But yeah, DD track direct plays, no issue.

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ginsengbomb

Okay, I think I may have solved this! I went out to Roku settings and set the HDMI audio output format to DD only. It had been auto-detecting DD, DD+ and DTS because the Roku is plugged via HDMI into my LG C7 and I guess the C7 can decode all of those formats. However, the ultimate audio destination is opt-out from my C7 to a Sonos Playbar, which only supports DD (not even DD+). So I set the output format to match what my Playbar supports, basically, instead of what my TV says it supports, and...buffering issues are gone. Emby is still Direct Streaming to transcode the audio down to DD but...

 

I mean personally I can't explain why this seems to have worked. Anybody have any ideas? 

Edited by ginsengbomb
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ginsengbomb

Eh, never mind. So for a bit there, what Emby was doing "after" was Direct Streaming without Loading/buffering (i.e. copying the video track and transcoding atmos audio down to AC3). 

 

It subsequently started with the loading/buffering issue again so I didn't fix anything. Any 4K/HDR media that Direct Plays to the Roku client play fine, I get buffering when the audio stream has to be transcoded. And, again, the bothersome thing is that Plex also transcodes audio on most of these files but does NOT have buffering issues. 

 

I've kind of run out of ideas on this again.

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Looking at your ffmpeg log, it is obviously converting plenty fast so that is not the bottleneck.  For some reason, it appears the delivery from the server is going too slow in this scenario.

 

When you experience these symptoms, is your Emby server busy doing something (like running a task)?  Do you have any plug-ins installed?

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