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Pixelation and Glitching in Recorded TV using Emby DVR


EmbyKiwi

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dougward

I'm not saying this is your issue but Emby does let you skip "past the end" of a live stream and/or recording in progress. When it happens you can let it catch up to the current playback time or skip back to find it.

I have noticed that as well, but the issue I have can happen well in advance of reaching the end of what has already been recorded.  It does not happen every time, but often enough to irritate my wife, and me.

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reneboulard

I have had better success with Emby installed in Docker than running in Windows, though not perfect. I don't have pixelation issues when viewing a recording in progress, but sometimes it seems as though playback will just go 'out to lunch' when fast forwarding or rewinding and playback will just freeze. Sometimes waiting it out for 30 seconds or so will fix it, sometimes rewinding one 'click' will fix it, sometimes returning to the recorded show's title page then resuming playback fixes it. In all cases the recording has not been affected, yet. I don't know if it's my hardware which is an older i7-3770, but I do have SSDs (see previous post) or the client software for the Amazon Fire TV. Looks like the latest beta development for the Amazon client is approaching two months from the latest stable, so hopefully there is a new stable client soon. I've been contemplating a refurb Dell with an i7-6700 or a Xeon E3-1245 v5 (suggestions welcome) for my Emby server but I'm not sure I want to invest $500 or so for an upgrade which may not fix the problem. I'm also not sure if Emby will be able to take advantage of hardware acceleration with the built on Intel HD graphics running through Docker, or at least it may require additional config?

 

The good thing about the Docker install, it's easy to try beta versions or stable versions by just pointing to different config directories with the 'run' command (see previous post) or different installs using different ports.

Since using the docker version of emby, I have been able to watch TV while recording without any glitching or waiting. My hardware setup is not exceptional, fourth generation i5 with a SSD. Using NvidiaShield for a client with a wired connection. I use a HDHomerun Extend so the TV stream is converted to H264 on the fly, so the recording is less than half a standard mpeg2 stream, I am sure that help a lot in my case. Less data for emby to process and move around.

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reneboulard

Since using the docker version of emby, I have been able to watch TV while recording without any glitching or waiting. My hardware setup is not exceptional, fourth generation i5 with a SSD. Using NvidiaShield for a client with a wired connection. I use a HDHomerun Extend so the TV stream is converted to H264 on the fly, so the recording is less than half a standard mpeg2 stream, I am sure that help a lot in my case. Less data for emby to process and move around.

I also added some memory to my system, I now have 16g of memory, I use momentum SSD disk cache, so when watching a show that is recording all i/o is acutally from memory, therfore very efficient.

 

I am converting all my library to HEVC, so my system is running at 100% CPU full time, and no effect on my viewing experience.

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dougward

Since using the docker version of emby, I have been able to watch TV while recording without any glitching or waiting. My hardware setup is not exceptional, fourth generation i5 with a SSD. Using NvidiaShield for a client with a wired connection. I use a HDHomerun Extend so the TV stream is converted to H264 on the fly, so the recording is less than half a standard mpeg2 stream, I am sure that help a lot in my case. Less data for emby to process and move around.

Thanks @@reneboulard.  I contemplated the Nvidia Shield before purchasing the second generation Fire TV cube, but we have several other Firestick devices so I didn't want setup to be different for ease of use.  I have a HDHomerun Quatro which may be some of the difference.as well.

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GregW

FYI.... I installed the latest beta version and still have the same issue so it's not fixed yet. I guess I will try the docker option although it seems kind of redundant that if I have to run another version of emby under windows then why run windows at all. This is an issue that to me makes the dvr function almost unusable since we record almost all of our OTA shows and then watch them while other shows are reccording. I don't know if this is a windows update issue or an emby version issue but I do know that it didn't happen when I first started using emby. All  I know is I need to find a solution soon or I will be forced to look elsewhere and I would hate to have to do that because I have used Kodi and Plex I really think that overall this is the best dvr solution for OTA. If there is anything else I can do to help troubleshoot this issue please let me know.

 

As for the docker version, can I set it up to use the same configuration as the windows version that I am running when I install it?

 

Thanks

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Luke

Hi, you won't be able to use the same configuration with docker and windows but yes that would be a useful test.

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GregW

Ok, I got Emby setup and running on Docker but when I try and setup LiveTV it will not detect my Hauppage tuner and Hauppage is not even an option in the type drop down. Is that not supported on the Docker version or am I missing something?

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Frostbach

I'm reasonably sure that Emby's Hauppauge Tuner implementation uses the WinTV SDK. As such, it doesn't work with Emby on anything else besides Windows because it requires the WinTV software to be installed. Other software on Linux can make use of Hauppauge tuners through different means, but I don't believe Emby has implemented this.

 

The setup guide does mention that Hauppauge is only supported on Windows:

https://support.emby.media/support/solutions/articles/44001160415-live-tv-setup

 

Since Docker is using a Linux container, I'm not sure if there is a way to make this work even if you can pass the hardware through to the docker container.

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  • 3 weeks later...
GregW

I had to give up on trying to use Docker since it won't work with my Hauppauge tuner. I have tried running the server beta version and I still get the intermittent pixelation. I guess one question I have is is this a server issue or a client issue? I am running Emby client on a FireTV Cube and Emby server on Windows 10 PC.

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EmbyKiwi

@@GregW

I believe it is a server issue as the people reporting the issue have been using a variety of clients but seem to have all been using the Windows 10 server. I am using Android TV on my Smart TV as well as Emby Theatre for Windows for my testing whereas you are in FireTV Cube and others have had other clients. @@dranderson402 resolved his problems when he changed the server from Windows to Docker on Unraid but was still using the same client.

 

Despite the 'extra time' we all have available during lockdown, I have not had a chanceto try Docker on a descent box yet to see if it resolves the problem. With no sports on FTA TV I have just been watching programs after they have finished recording and it works perfectly... every time. This certainly suggests to me that my setup works fine and the issue is a bug somewhere in the interaction between the Emby Server and the OS/drivers that only occurs when playing back a show while recording.

 

Disappointing for you that the Hauppage tuner isn't supported. Maybe you could borrow a HDHomerun off someone and see if it works with your Docker install? The cost of upgrading my Windows 10 Home to Pro to support Docker is almost as much as buying another HD Homerun! :-)

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Spaceboy

@@GregW

I believe it is a server issue as the people reporting the issue have been using a variety of clients but seem to have all been using the Windows 10 server. I am using Android TV on my Smart TV as well as Emby Theatre for Windows for my testing whereas you are in FireTV Cube and others have had other clients. @@dranderson402 resolved his problems when he changed the server from Windows to Docker on Unraid but was still using the same client.

 

Despite the 'extra time' we all have available during lockdown, I have not had a chanceto try Docker on a descent box yet to see if it resolves the problem. With no sports on FTA TV I have just been watching programs after they have finished recording and it works perfectly... every time. This certainly suggests to me that my setup works fine and the issue is a bug somewhere in the interaction between the Emby Server and the OS/drivers that only occurs when playing back a show while recording.

 

Disappointing for you that the Hauppage tuner isn't supported. Maybe you could borrow a HDHomerun off someone and see if it works with your Docker install? The cost of upgrading my Windows 10 Home to Pro to support Docker is almost as much as buying another HD Homerun! :-)

its not as simple as saying it’s a windows server problem because there are loads of people happily using windows 10 machines as their server with no issues.

 

That said you can buy win 10 pro licences off eBay for less than £5

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GregW

Thanks for the quick reply. I had been using Emby for quite sometime with this same setup and I didn't have this issue until fairly recently. I have tried running previous versions of Emby server and I still see the same issue so now I'm wondering if maybe a recent Windows update may be the culprit. I will try and uninstall some recent updates and report my findings.

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EmbyKiwi

Out of interest, I had looked some time ago at the 'Channels DVR' software which people on here and the Plex forums had mentioned but, at the time, it didn't seem to support New Zealand. I looked again today and noticed that, while they don't provide an EPG for NZ, they now commented that some users had reported that it worked in NZ. So... I thought I'd give it a go using the same XML source for the guide as I'm using for Emby.

 

I installed it on the same server as my Emby and connected it to the same HD Homeruns over the same network and connected to it from the same TV (using the Channels DVR client downloaded from the Google Play Store). I've only tested on two or three programs so far but, effectively, I can't break it. It's not as pretty as Emby and obviously doesn't provide a complete solution for all my media but...  it is controlled via the TV remote (important for WAF)  and I can skip forwards and backwards without affecting the current recording. I'll need to test further and see how it handles multiple recordings simultaneously but... if it works... then it may be an option to sit alongside Emby and provide the DVR functionality with Emby providing access to the other media. It is unfortunately a bit more expensive than Emby and only provides Live TV/DVR functionality but if I can drop my Emby Premium subscription then this covers most of the difference.  

 

From a purely selfish perspective, this does at least support the theory that my hardware setup 'should' be able to do what I'm asking of it without problems. As my previous setup was MediaPortal and it used Windows clients that wasn't a fair comparison with something using ATV clients etc. This seems much more comparable to my simple mind! :-)

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GregW

I tried uninstalling windows updates back as far as I could, which was a feature upgrade in March 2020, and still have the same issue so I'm at a loss where to go from here. I guess my next question is is this actually being actively looked at by the Emby developers? 

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Luke

I tried uninstalling windows updates back as far as I could, which was a feature upgrade in March 2020, and still have the same issue so I'm at a loss where to go from here. I guess my next question is is this actually being actively looked at by the Emby developers? 

Yes we are looking into it, thanks.

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GregW

Great! If there is anything I can do to help just let me know. I am already signed up to be a beta tester.

 

Thanks!

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EmbyKiwi

Something I've run across while testing various things is that if I skip forward through the recording show and accidentally skip past the end of it's current recording position, (because there appears to be no visual indicator of where the recording is up to) I get a spinning circle and it just sits there. If I skip backwards it sometimes starts playing but often will then die again once it gets to the point where it was recording when I overshot the playback. According to @@Q-Droid in an earlier post he is able to skip back and carry on with no issues but I've had this quite often while testing the impact of forwards skipping on a live recording. Possibly unrelated but maybe not?? 

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dougward

After trying the Docker version of Emby, both the stable and latest beta, I have reverted back to the native Windows install.  At first, it seemed like the Docker version was the way to go, I really like containers and being able to install the beta or stable, yes I made a separate copy of my config directory for each.  After running it for a couple of weeks it became more unstable.  Emby would just hang or the application would crash sometimes when not even recording.  Not sure if it was a config problem or Emby, even it was a config problem, IMO that should not cause a crash, perhaps an error message.  I created a post/bug report here last Friday: 

https://emby.media/community/index.php?/topic/87011-emby-hangsstops-playback-of-live-tv-then-is-unresponsive/

 

During the period of time when I thought the Docker version was nearly working properly and the way to go, I ordered new hardware for my server.  My previous hardware specs are listed somewhere in this thread.  For my new hardware, I changed platforms from Intel to AMD: MSI X470 Gaming Plus Max mb, Ryzen 5 3600 CPU, 16GB of RAM, 256GB NVMe boot drive, 512GB NVMe drive for the DVR, Windows 10 Pro, and two other mechanical drives for movies, photos, and videos.  I ran the Docker version of Emby for a week or two on this hardware, and it became too unreliable, see the post mentioned above.  I turned off Docker, and installed the native Windows version of Emby.  I only installed only Live TV and the DVR functionality, I have not added any libraries for photos, videos, or movies.  Hardware acceleration is turned off which may be significant, not sure.  I figure the Ryzen CPU has enough horsepower so GPU acceleration is not needed even though I do have an older Nvidia card installed in the system.  Perhaps the older version of Quicksync on my previous 3rd generation i7 server was causing the pixilation issues? In the short period of time using the new config, about two days, I have not had any issues on the new install/hardware.  I am able to record multiple shows at once and able to watch a show that is actively recording without any pixilation issues.  I may run this for a week or two before adding in photo, video and movie libraries.  While the additional libraries would be nice, the main reason for using Emby was to cut the cord and receive OTA TV with DVR functionality.

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reneboulard

After trying the Docker version of Emby, both the stable and latest beta, I have reverted back to the native Windows install.  At first, it seemed like the Docker version was the way to go, I really like containers and being able to install the beta or stable, yes I made a separate copy of my config directory for each.  After running it for a couple of weeks it became more unstable.  Emby would just hang or the application would crash sometimes when not even recording.  Not sure if it was a config problem or Emby, even it was a config problem, IMO that should not cause a crash, perhaps an error message.  I created a post/bug report here last Friday: 

https://emby.media/community/index.php?/topic/87011-emby-hangsstops-playback-of-live-tv-then-is-unresponsive/

 

 

 

During the period of time when I thought the Docker version was nearly working properly and the way to go, I ordered new hardware for my server.  My previous hardware specs are listed somewhere in this thread.  For my new hardware, I changed platforms from Intel to AMD: MSI X470 Gaming Plus Max mb, Ryzen 5 3600 CPU, 16GB of RAM, 256GB NVMe boot drive, 512GB NVMe drive for the DVR, Windows 10 Pro, and two other mechanical drives for movies, photos, and videos.  I ran the Docker version of Emby for a week or two on this hardware, and it became too unreliable, see the post mentioned above.  I turned off Docker, and installed the native Windows version of Emby.  I only installed only Live TV and the DVR functionality, I have not added any libraries for photos, videos, or movies.  Hardware acceleration is turned off which may be significant, not sure.  I figure the Ryzen CPU has enough horsepower so GPU acceleration is not needed even though I do have an older Nvidia card installed in the system.  Perhaps the older version of Quicksync on my previous 3rd generation i7 server was causing the pixilation issues? In the short period of time using the new config, about two days, I have not had any issues on the new install/hardware.  I am able to record multiple shows at once and able to watch a show that is actively recording without any pixilation issues.  I may run this for a week or two before adding in photo, video and movie libraries.  While the additional libraries would be nice, the main reason for using Emby was to cut the cord and receive OTA TV with DVR functionality.

The windows10 version of docker became unstable after the latest update of docker a month ago. I reinstalled the previous version of Docker Desktop 2.2.0.5 and everything been fine since.

 

My docker experience with emby conviced my to move to linux. So a week ago I decided to install ubuntu desktop 20.10 on my system and have my emby server on it. I have windows 10 pro running on a kvm virtual machine, so I can use some software specific to windows that I still need.

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EmbyKiwi

@@dougward

Disappointing to hear about your experience with the Docker version. It was looking so good! :-) Although a bit frustrating if it was actually the version of docker rather than Emby as @reneboulard  commented. I guess Docker adds just another layer that can go wrong with an update. However, great to hear that it seems to be running OK under Windows on your new rig! Let us know if that continues as you build out the services. :-)

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EmbyKiwi

its not as simple as saying it’s a windows server problem because there are loads of people happily using windows 10 machines as their server with no issues.

 

 

@Spaceboy  I agree that its probably not 'just' Windows but Windows in combination with something else... It's just trying to work out what! :-)

 

From memory you are on DVB-S rather than DVB-T so perhaps something different there or maybe  the AAC vs AAC_LATM  (as discussed earlier) or possibly even the age/version of HD Homeruns (mine have been in use for many years so I've been upgrading Firmware versions recently to see if that made a difference).

 

If moving to a different OS has resolved it for a number of people with the same hardware and environment (as in say @@reneboulard's case) then I guess we are just simplifying things to say it is an issue with the Windows version when we should probably say it is an issue with the 'Windows version and our environment'. 

 

I even wondered if it was Windows 10 Home vs Windows 10 Pro but @@reneboulard was running Pro and had the problem so probably not. From memory @@dranderson402 changed hardware as well as OS when he went to UNRAID/Docker so not sure which change resolved the issue there but again the Docker version worked with the rest of his environment, even if the server hardware was changed. 

 

For those of us with the issue it seems to be fairly repeatable and for those not having problems like yourself and @@maegibbons .. it just works, which is great... for you ... and does show that it can work in the right environments, 

 

My recent testing with 'Channels DVR' software has been pretty successful and I have specifically been going out of my way to watch shows while they are recording (eg. watching the news every night in catch-up mode rather than live) with very reliable results. This shows that different server software can work in 'our' environments under Windows with the identical hardware.  I'd just much rather have everything in one place and in Emby if possible! :-) 

 

It was encouraging to see @@Luke reply to @@GregW the other day that it is still being looked into. I'm just not sure that any of us have been able to isolate what in 'our environment' is causing the issue yet. 

 

 

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Spaceboy

@Spaceboy I agree that its probably not 'just' Windows but Windows in combination with something else... It's just trying to work out what! :-)

 

From memory you are on DVB-S rather than DVB-T so perhaps something different there or maybe the AAC vs AAC_LATM (as discussed earlier) or possibly even the age/version of HD Homeruns (mine have been in use for many years so I've been upgrading Firmware versions recently to see if that made a difference).

 

If moving to a different OS has resolved it for a number of people with the same hardware and environment (as in say @@reneboulard's case) then I guess we are just simplifying things to say it is an issue with the Windows version when we should probably say it is an issue with the 'Windows version and our environment'.

 

I even wondered if it was Windows 10 Home vs Windows 10 Pro but @@reneboulard was running Pro and had the problem so probably not. From memory @@dranderson402 changed hardware as well as OS when he went to UNRAID/Docker so not sure which change resolved the issue there but again the Docker version worked with the rest of his environment, even if the server hardware was changed.

 

For those of us with the issue it seems to be fairly repeatable and for those not having problems like yourself and @@maegibbons .. it just works, which is great... for you ... and does show that it can work in the right environments,

 

My recent testing with 'Channels DVR' software has been pretty successful and I have specifically been going out of my way to watch shows while they are recording (eg. watching the news every night in catch-up mode rather than live) with very reliable results. This shows that different server software can work in 'our' environments under Windows with the identical hardware. I'd just much rather have everything in one place and in Emby if possible! :-)

 

It was encouraging to see @@Luke reply to @@GregW the other day that it is still being looked into. I'm just not sure that any of us have been able to isolate what in 'our environment' is causing the issue yet.

 

 

.

agreed and that was kind of my point. In order to get help from the developers you need to work out what the additional factor is. It is a weird one
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GregW

I can confirm that it is not an HDHomeRun issue as I use internal Hauppauge tuners and still see the same issue. It is very consistent if ANY channel is recording when I play back any recording. It doesn't happen right away. It usually plays fine for several minutes and then the pixelation will gradually get worse and worse. I guess the root of the issue is what causes pixelation in general? Usually when I see an issue with any streaming video it results in lower video quality or buffering not pixelation. The only other time I have seen this type of pixelation is when watching a live tv stream that has a weak signal. I have monitored my server resources when it happens and I don't see any noticeable spike in memory or CPU usage. It seems to me like there is some sort of contention with reading of the recording file and writing of a new recording to the same hard drive at the same time. I have tried changing the DVR folder to different drives including SSA and SATA drives with the same result. I don't see any problem with playing live TV while there is a recording and I suspect that may be because the live tv buffer is on a different drive than the DVR folder. 

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EmbyKiwi

@Spaceboy

I noticed in some earlier posts that you used to run a Mediaportal server and access it via the Emby plugin. Given that my Emby setup only really allows me to watch a program after it has finished recording I figured I'd revisit the Mediaportal plugin and see if it did as much and then I'd just run up Mediaportal to watch anything that was still recording. 

I can view and play back recordings just fine but if I disable the Emby TV Service then I don't appear to have any guide info coming through from Mediaportal and I can't see how you would set up recordings etc without running up a MediaPortal client. Am I doing something stupid or is this how the plugin works? 

Thanks 🙂

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Spaceboy
@Spaceboy
I noticed in some earlier posts that you used to run a Mediaportal server and access it via the Emby plugin. Given that my Emby setup only really allows me to watch a program after it has finished recording I figured I'd revisit the Mediaportal plugin and see if it did as much and then I'd just run up Mediaportal to watch anything that was still recording. 
I can view and play back recordings just fine but if I disable the Emby TV Service then I don't appear to have any guide info coming through from Mediaportal and I can't see how you would set up recordings etc without running up a MediaPortal client. Am I doing something stupid or is this how the plugin works? 
Thanks [emoji846]

Not sure I totally understand the question but to use any of the plugins you need the entire back end working independently of emby with epg before you use the plugin to connect the two
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