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Client reporting freezing and stutter's even with full transcode


ButtoxDany
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ButtoxDany

One of the remote users on my server has been reporting freezing and stuttering quite often despite waiting for the transcode to reach 100%. It has happen across several different movies. It will play fine for some time but after 10-30 minutes the movie will freeze and it will never stutter and freeze from that point on. The movie is always 100% transcoded before playback begins and both of our speeds are quite sufficient for streaming and we experience no problems on any other sites. Were mainly using the web interface and google chrome for the remote user to play movies but have tried using embycon for kodi and experienced the same problem but much worse (froze every 2 minutes). I've tried enabling and disabling hardware acceleration as well as limiting the bitrate. In the past we've had success using 1080p 5mbps and waiting 30-45 minutes before playback. Now with the same settings were experiencing way more problems. Not quite sure what more i can try. 

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and we experience no problems on any other sites.

 

Where is your server located?  What is the upload speed of the internet connection there?

 

When you "stream from other sites" (which I interpreted as something like Netflix or Hulu) you are streaming from a server that has an extremely fast upload internet connection.  So, the only factor affecting speed for you is the download side of your client.

 

When you stream from your Emby server, the connection is limited not only by the download speed at the client but also the upload speed at the server (often limited and throttled severely on consumer ISPs).

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ButtoxDany

Where is your server located?  What is the upload speed of the internet connection there?

 

When you "stream from other sites" (which I interpreted as something like Netflix or Hulu) you are streaming from a server that has an extremely fast upload internet connection.  So, the only factor affecting speed for you is the download side of your client.

 

When you stream from your Emby server, the connection is limited not only by the download speed at the client but also the upload speed at the server (often limited and throttled severely on consumer ISPs).

Upload speed of the server never drops below 30mbps, but averages 50. Download speed of the client is usually 25-30mbps. 

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Upload speed of the server never drops below 30mbps, but averages 50. Download speed of the client is usually 25-30mbps. 

 

How many people are trying to stream simultaneously?

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It could be a latency issue as well.  Based on your description, and the fact the transcode is plenty fast enough, it sure sounds like a network bottle neck of some sort.

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ButtoxDany

It could be a latency issue as well.  Based on your description, and the fact the transcode is plenty fast enough, it sure sounds like a network bottle neck of some sort.

Hmm. I guess i'll have to try and lower the quality settings.

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ButtoxDany

I have since tried to stream using emby and Plex and the issue presents itself on both servers. I have no idea what the problem could be in relation to networking.

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ButtoxDany

As a test trying downloading the file directly from the Emby webui. What kind of speeds do you get?

So my speeds are fine, it say's it could download a 9gb file in 9 minutes. Same with my friend. I however did find something interesting in my log. Does this mean his ping is over 14000? I found a few other super high numbers like that in my log. 

post-319853-0-19903800-1528073989_thumb.jpg

Edited by ButtoxDany
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Waldonnis

Sounds like a latency issue somewhere between you and your friend.  Bear in mind, network connections between two points on the Internet aren't direct - they go through sometimes dozens of routers in between, some of which may have issues or are overloaded at a given time.  Thus, the effective bandwidth between any two points is only as good as the worst router in the chain.  To give you an idea, my ISP has a flaky edge router that they refuse to take out of the loop.  When it misbehaves, my 100Mbit download speed turns into 1.2Mbit (if that) for any traffic going outside of their network and onto the regular Internet, and my upload speed is similarly hobbled.  If you're a gamer, think of it like having a high ping in an online game - your Internet connection may be fine, but there may be a problem on the server-side connection...or somewhere between you and the server.

 

You can try a traceroute between your IP and your friend's to see if there are any issues somewhere in between (have your friend do the same, as the two of you may take different routes to each other).  If you spot a problematic router or route, you can ask your ISP(s) to take a look at it.

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ButtoxDany

Sounds like a latency issue somewhere between you and your friend.  Bear in mind, network connections between two points on the Internet aren't direct - they go through sometimes dozens of routers in between, some of which may have issues or are overloaded at a given time.  Thus, the effective bandwidth between any two points is only as good as the worst router in the chain.  To give you an idea, my ISP has a flaky edge router that they refuse to take out of the loop.  When it misbehaves, my 100Mbit download speed turns into 1.2Mbit (if that) for any traffic going outside of their network and onto the regular Internet, and my upload speed is similarly hobbled.  If you're a gamer, think of it like having a high ping in an online game - your Internet connection may be fine, but there may be a problem on the server-side connection...or somewhere between you and the server.

 

You can try a traceroute between your IP and your friend's to see if there are any issues somewhere in between (have your friend do the same, as the two of you may take different routes to each other).  If you spot a problematic router or route, you can ask your ISP(s) to take a look at it.

Any helpful way's on how i can run a traceroute between the both of us?

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Jdiesel

Any helpful way's on how i can run a traceroute between the both of us?

 

What OS are you running? If you are on Windows open a command prompt window and type "tracert" and the IP address of your friend, for example "tracert 107.34.54.102"

Edited by Jdiesel
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ButtoxDany

What OS are you running? If you are on Windows open a command prompt window and type "tracert" and the IP address of your friend, for example "tracert 107.34.54.102"

Ran the trace. Reached his general area (not precise) and got a 70ms result. Everything after was "Request timed out" however a quick google search told me that's normal and not a sign of worry.

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Jdiesel

Ran the trace. Reached his general area (not precise) and got a 70ms result. Everything after was "Request timed out" however a quick google search told me that's normal and not a sign of worry.

 

70ms is reasonable. Try using MTR as it continuously runs the same traceroute and can identify intermittent issues that might not show up in a single test. Try running it for 15 minutes and see if any timeouts or slow responses show up.

 

http://winmtr.net/download-winmtr/

 

If it can be determined to be a latency issue caused by the route the data is traveling there may be a way to improve it using Cloudflare but right now it is best to identify if that is the issue.

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WhackOBill

I have one remote client (father-in-law) that is having a similar issue since the latest update.  He can start just fine but after a few minutes the transcode downshifts to 128Kbps and it becomes unwatchable on his end.  I assume this is some feature for poor connections where it tries to maintain the link when there is a speed or dropout issue over the link.  As a test, I had a friend in my local area connect and try to watch at 720p and he also had the same downshift.  Running Speedtest, when no one is connected, gives me about 4Mbps uplink speed.  I'm booting my ASA5516 just to make sure it hasn't lost its mind.

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ButtoxDany

70ms is reasonable. Try using MTR as it continuously runs the same traceroute and can identify intermittent issues that might not show up in a single test. Try running it for 15 minutes and see if any timeouts or slow responses show up.

 

http://winmtr.net/download-winmtr/

 

If it can be determined to be a latency issue caused by the route the data is traveling there may be a way to improve it using Cloudflare but right now it is best to identify if that is the issue.

Alrighty, i ran the test and included a screenshot of the results. Bottom set of numbers which are right above the red underline was the last destination i could reach. Everything below that was marked "No response from host" which i'm guessing is normal. It is however the correct city where the client is located.

 

Also as WhackOBill pointed out, it's the same issue. As soon as it freezes it's unwatchable from that point on and never recovers. 

post-319853-0-81109900-1528086252_thumb.png

Edited by ButtoxDany
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Waldonnis

Traceroute looks pretty good, but it's a snapshot in time so it may not always be that great.  I would definitely run another during "prime time" (circa 7-8pm local usually) and when one of your friends/relatives encounters a problem with playback.  If you can coordinate it, have one of them try playing something while you're running traceroutes.  If it stalls, you may be able to catch where the problem is.  And yeah, stalling prior to the last few hops is common, since many home routers and ISP edge routers block those requests for security reasons.  Having the other person run a traceroute as well should help you see what's going on from the other side of that router, though.

 

Out of curiosity, do you have a QoS setting on your router and is it enabled?  I've seen problems with that in the past with a few different brands of consumer routers' (and even some enterprise routers') QoS implementations.  It might be worth turning that off if it's enabled to see if it helps.  I'm probably barking up the wrong tree with this, but it's caused me problems in the past with gaming/media streaming so I figured I'd mention it.

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ButtoxDany

Traceroute looks pretty good, but it's a snapshot in time so it may not always be that great.  I would definitely run another during "prime time" (circa 7-8pm local usually) and when one of your friends/relatives encounters a problem with playback.  If you can coordinate it, have one of them try playing something while you're running traceroutes.  If it stalls, you may be able to catch where the problem is.  And yeah, stalling prior to the last few hops is common, since many home routers and ISP edge routers block those requests for security reasons.  Having the other person run a traceroute as well should help you see what's going on from the other side of that router, though.

 

Out of curiosity, do you have a QoS setting on your router and is it enabled?  I've seen problems with that in the past with a few different brands of consumer routers' (and even some enterprise routers') QoS implementations.  It might be worth turning that off if it's enabled to see if it helps.  I'm probably barking up the wrong tree with this, but it's caused me problems in the past with gaming/media streaming so I figured I'd mention it.

I do indeed have QoS on. I'll turn it off tomorrow and do a test stream while running some traceroutes and see what the results are while i have someone stream it. 

 

Also, not sure if it's worth noting but after reviewing several of my server logs they all have the same spike to above 1000ms at some point and it occurs at multiple point's in the logs. Also my friend had similar trace route results. Not a single result went above 91ms.

 

So yeah, will update tomorrow.

Edited by ButtoxDany
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WhackOBill

I have one remote client (father-in-law) that is having a similar issue since the latest update.  He can start just fine but after a few minutes the transcode downshifts to 128Kbps and it becomes unwatchable on his end.  I assume this is some feature for poor connections where it tries to maintain the link when there is a speed or dropout issue over the link.  As a test, I had a friend in my local area connect and try to watch at 720p and he also had the same downshift.  Running Speedtest, when no one is connected, gives me about 4Mbps uplink speed.  I'm booting my ASA5516 just to make sure it hasn't lost its mind.

 

Resetting my ASA brought my uplink rate to 10Mbps.  So I'm hoping this was caused by my firewall/router.  I won't know until later this evening when the remote side accesses media.  This type of thing makes me nervous.  My main concern is that the ISP is seeing these high-rate streams coming up and is pinching off the connection.  You know, because cable companies are our benevolent overlords. :)

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Waldonnis

Resetting my ASA brought my uplink rate to 10Mbps.  So I'm hoping this was caused by my firewall/router.  I won't know until later this evening when the remote side accesses media.  This type of thing makes me nervous.  My main concern is that the ISP is seeing these high-rate streams coming up and is pinching off the connection.  You know, because cable companies are our benevolent overlords. :)

 

Fingers crossed for ya.  With ISPs, you never know what they're doing or why, and they're certainly not going to tell you   :P

 

Usually, ISPs and cable companies have all kinds of clauses in home service agreements that prohibit "servers" and use those extraordinarily vague terms to justify throttling or blocking ports (and why some of my friends/family have moved to "business class" connections). Compound that with awful uptime/bandwidth guarantees, you're right to be nervous about a home connection since you probably have little recourse against anything they may be doing.  Hell, my condo's agreement allows for up to three weeks of total downtime per year with ZERO penalties...and the cable company is fully in charge of monitoring and reporting on the state of their service (meaning, they can say it worked the whole time if they wanted to).  It's the worst SLA I've seen in my career, but pretty much par for the course in the industry when it comes to home service provision.

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ButtoxDany

So we managed to watch the first 15ish minutes of a movie before it froze again. It literally happen right after i paused the movie for them so i could catch up so were doing another quick test to see if me pausing it is the issue. Nothing really interesting from the trace routes came back for either of us. Same results as last night. However my server logs once again show there there going above 1000ms at points. 

 

QoS was turned off and the stream had fully transcoded. 

Edited by ButtoxDany
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Guest asrequested

Have you tried playing on a mobile network, with your own user account? That might rule a few things, out.

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