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Emby on Samsung S10, S8+, Tab A - Portable Media Server

Portable Media Server Solution Portable drives on Samsung EMBY Android Server Media Server on Samsung Travelling with media server

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#1 jscheeren OFFLINE  

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 03:33 PM

G'day,

 

I thought it might be useful for us to begin to discuss more on the subject of portable media server solutions. I like to travel, sometimes with others - and to have a decent solution for all - to watch my library of Movies and TV Series, both in planes and hotel rooms. I apologize however, that I have not yet studied enough, all of the other topics in this area on the forum.

 

It looks like I have been able to get an Emby Server working both on my Windows Laptop (obviously) but, now also on my Samsung S10. I have however not succeeded to date, with getting my traveling size library loaded in to any media server working on either the Samsung S8+ (android 9) or, my Samsung Tab A (android 9.) They both seem unable to mount my two portable WD Passport drives connected via the battery pack powered hub. I had re-formatted both of these 3TB and 4TB drives with exFAT, but that did not solve the problem. I will try soon using the Paragon exFAT/NTFS USB android app, which may also allow me to reformat the drives back to NTFS if I choose. 

 

My current working hardware is as follows: Smartphone - Samsung S10 with Android 10 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 855Laptop - Asus ZenBook with Windows 10. USB Drives - WD Passport portable 3TB and 4TB. USB C Hub - Ecoiou from Amazon with 3 USB A, HDMI, USB C power-through, Audio pass-through and Ethernet. Battery Pack - Anker PowerCore Lite 20000MAh. HDMI Connection and Media Player for TV in hotel room - Amazon Fire Stick 4k. Portable WiFi Routers - HooToo Wireless Travel Router or/and  TP-Link TL-WR902AC AC750 Wireless WiFi Travel Router.

 

I will now investigate if I can use, for each scenario, just my Samsung S10 with Emby as my server and the other devices as clients. So far, it looks like I can get more than 5 hours running without 110 volts. I of course, needed to change settings on my phone for it to not go to sleep with the Emby server app running. 

 

I have tried very many solutions over a few years that would work both on the plane AND in hotel rooms, but usually ended up needing at least two server solutions until now. I have tried Plex, Kodi, VLC, various DLNA choices and many different hardware and software pieces. Using Emby Android Server and this hardware setup may well be (by far) the best for me currently, although I recognize that Emby Server for Android is still in beta after a few years development. I am hoping that by participating, I might help this project to be completed and dependable.

 

Cheers,

Jan 


Edited by jscheeren, 22 January 2020 - 10:33 PM.

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#2 Luke OFFLINE  

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 04:41 PM

Hi there ,that would be great, thanks ! Let us know how this goes !



#3 jscheeren OFFLINE  

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 08:54 PM

Test #1. Note: I got a lifetime Emby Premier license, so have access to all client apps.

 

Setup:

Emby Server on Samsung S10 (100% charged.) Two WD portable drives connected to USB Hub (total 7TB), which in turn was connected to S10 via USB C. Battery pack (100% charged) also connected to hub. S10 and all clients (except PC's) networked via WiFi using house router. The video files on the hard disks are organized correctly, with correct file names, NFO files, and artwork provided in each folder by Media Center Master. Have not checked if Emby server got metadata and other files from scraping, or reading local files.

 

1. Tried running Emby clients one at a time to server from:

 

Sony Android TVs.  Connected to server OK, but failed with message saying "too many errors," when trying to play any video files. Emby client works fine connecting to any of my other Emby servers on PC's. Did not try KODI with Embycon addon.

Samsung S10 smartphone. Using either browser (from link in Emby Server App,) or Emby client app, could not play any video files. Several different issues when trying to play videos from itself, (Emby server on same device.)

Amazon Fire Stick 4k. Using Emby app, connected to server OK, but failed with message saying "too many errors," when trying to play any video files. Emby client works fine connecting to any of my other Emby servers on PC's. Using Embycon addon for Kodi, worked fine and could play anything, played direct.

 

All of the following played direct, so I have not tested transcoding.

PC's. Using Emby Theater, or browser. Connected to server OK and was able to play TV Series and Movies of various resolutions and with audio either stereo, or 5.1. Theater app on 1 of the 2 PC's however would not display anything to control playback, or to minimize screen, or close. Have not explored this problem further.

LG G Pad 4 tablet. Emby Android app worked fine and could play anything on server.

Samsung Tab A tablet. Emby Android app worked fine and could play anything on server.

Samsung S8+ smartphone. Emby Android app worked fine and could play anything on server.

 

2. Next I tried to see how many clients could play at the same time with this setup. Initial Conclusion so far, after just the one test, is that 3 could play simultaneously fairly well, with some very short (usually less than .5 of a second) video freezes or blips. Adding a 4th device seemed to work for a while, but then 2 of the devices started with longer buffering freezes (now with turning circle) and after a few minutes the apps froze on two of the devices and could not recover. Not sure about whether these problems were because of the server app, the S10 resources itself, WiFi issues, or something else. The server app seemed to have some troubles with keeping track of played/not played status and getting all of the artwork from the video files folders. It was also important to make sure at the start, that the server app kept running for full original library scan, before trying anything. The Emby Server on my S10 has run now for 3.5 hours (with both drives connected) and 3 (then 2) clients playing videos. The battery pack still shows 3 out of 4 level indicators lit and the S10 is still fully charged. Looks like this all could run for a fair bit longer than the initial suggestion of 5 hours.


Edited by jscheeren, 14 January 2020 - 01:29 PM.

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#4 natsu OFFLINE  

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:19 AM

May I know your Samsung S10 is Qualcomm processor or Exynos Processor? Currently I have Android Phone with Mediatek CPU, need to find which arch is better, thanks!



#5 ebr OFFLINE  

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 11:22 AM

Hi.  Can you post the server log from those playback failures?  My guess is the server is not able to properly access the media location or the media probe for them failed.  In the Android TV or Fire app, if you turn on the "Debug Options" in the settings, do you get media info tiles for these items on the detail page?



#6 jscheeren OFFLINE  

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 01:24 PM

Natsu.

My Samsung 10 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 CPU



#7 jscheeren OFFLINE  

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 07:42 PM

Test #2

 

Emby Android Server Version 4.3.1.0

1. Mounted hard disks, one at a time. Took nearly a minute for each to show as mounted in X-plore file manager. I could not find Emby log files on S10 using X-plore (don't know why not,) but did with ES File Explorer.

2. 3:18 PM EST started EMBY Android Server on S10. It did automatically rescan the library (5th one in total since initial setup yesterday) and this time got much/or all, of missing artwork.

3. About 3:44 started EMBY client on Fire Stick 4k. Could see home page OK. Turned on Debugging options in Settings/General. Started to try and play a video at about 3:45. App failed playing video with message "to many errors giving up" but did not recover. Sent logs to developer at about 3:47.

4. At about 4:12 started Emby client on Android TV (Sony XBR55X950G) and tried to play a video. Same results as for Fire Stick 4k, except client recovered after message. At 4:18 sent debug files to developer.

 

5. Started EMBY client on Samsung Tab A tablet at 4:24. Started to play video at 4:25. No problems.

6. Started EMBY Client on Samsung S8+ at 4:26 and started playing video at 4:29, no problems.

7. Started EMBY Theater on PC 1 and started playing video at 4:31, no problems. 

8. No short video freezes on any of 3 devices this time, unlike in Test 1. For this test all video files were about same resolution and video format and from 3TB hard disk. All played direct.

 

9. Started EMBY client on LG G tablet at 4:37. Started to try and play video at 4:38. Took about a minute even before video loaded this time. This video often had freezes that lasted up to 4 seconds, but freezes this time, were only on this device. 

10. Started Embycon add-on for Kodi on Fire Stick 4k at 4:39 Started to play video at about 4:40. This caused video to freeze often on all clients, but not PC.

11. Stopped Tab A and S8+ at about 4:51. LG and Fire Stick 4k kept freezing for several seconds! PC client was still good.

12. At about 4:57 stopped PC client.

13. At about 5:01 started another video on PC. Freezing for several seconds continued on all 3 active clients - PC, Fire Stick, and LG G. Stopped all clients.

14. At about 5:09 stopped Emby Server on S10

 

Conclusions: Looks like Android server needs many scans of 7 TB library to get artwork correct. It looks like that on a Samsung S10, the server can manage about 3, or just maybe 4, clients before some short freezing occurs. It looks like with 5 clients that this architecture does not work well enough for people to watch. It also looks like once server gets into freezing problems, that it does not recover and play without freezing on any of the 3 remaining clients, after 2 clients stopped. Emby clients on Android TV and Fire Stick 4k cannot play videos from S10 Emby Server, but are fine connected to Emby PC Servers, Embycon KODI addon works fine at least from Android TV and probably will also on Fire Stick 4k.

 

Ebr I have not attached all log files from the server, but have included only today dated logs. Reason is that one of the files from yesterday was too big and system would not allow me to attach it.

Attached Files


Edited by jscheeren, 14 January 2020 - 08:01 PM.


#8 jscheeren OFFLINE  

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 11:06 PM

Note on trying to get Emby Server working on my Samsung S8+, or my Samsung Tab A:

 

So far I have not been able to mount either of my two exFAT drives (3TB and 4TB) on the S8+ or Tab A, as I can on the S10. I am now guessing it might be because they are too big. I read in just one place that the S8+ can only mount quite small exFAT flash. On the other hand, it could have been possible that it is a current thing, because the USB C port on the S8+ may not be able to work with these portable drives (get power from the USB connector) even though they are connected via a hub with a battery pack also connected.

 

But,

I have now tried using the Android App called Paragon exFAT/NTFS USB to mount two other similar WD Passport portable drives formatted NTFS on my S8+. 3TB and 2.5TB. They are now successfully mounted on my S8+ which suggests problem is not a USB current limitation thing! Problem so far however, is the file system seems to be only accessible by either X-plore or Total Commander file managers. I just cannot figure out how to get Emby Server to point at the directories on these drives whilst setting up a library. Any ideas? - Paragon has not responded to my support email of 3 days ago.  



#9 Luke OFFLINE  

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 12:40 AM

Looks like there is a compatibility issue with our ffmpeg build that we need to sort out for your device. I know you said you haven't tested transcoding but this will impact quite a bit, including probing for media info during the library scan.

 

@softworkz



#10 softworkz ONLINE  

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 01:17 AM

I see that there are two sets of hardware codecs available 

  • starting with c2.
  • starting with qcom.

I would suggest to go to transcoding settings, select 'Advanced' and then 

 

  • Disable all except those with c2.
    >> Test transcoding
    .
    then
    .
  • Disable all except those with qcom.
    >> Test transcoding


#11 ebr OFFLINE  

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 10:02 AM

Yes, due to the lack of media info the app is trying to transcode which is failing.



#12 jscheeren OFFLINE  

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 01:28 PM

Thanks to responses from Luke, softworkz, Chief Bottle Washer and ebr.

I can only assume that these responses are related to the issue of the Emby clients of Android TV and Fire Stick 4K, not working with the Emby Android Server running on my Samsung S10?

With regards to the suggestion from softworkz, I cannot find the settings he suggests to change in the menus of the server app. I can find settings for "Transcoder" but no "Advanced" beneath that, and for "Advanced" at the same level as "Transcoding," but cannot see how to disable what he suggests. I am therefore not sure what I might do to assist.


Edited by jscheeren, 15 January 2020 - 01:30 PM.


#13 Luke OFFLINE  

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 01:59 PM

@softworkz is looking into this. Thanks

#14 softworkz ONLINE  

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 05:19 PM

With regards to the suggestion from softworkz, I cannot find the settings he suggests to change in the menus of the server app. I can find settings for "Transcoder" but no "Advanced" beneath that, and for "Advanced" at the same level as "Transcoding," but cannot see how to disable what he suggests. I am therefore not sure what I might do to assist.

 

@jscheeren - Sorry for being unclear. I've created a screenshot for you:

 

5e1f817120f13_android_transcoding.jpg

 

 

'Advanced' is an entry in the dropdown, I might not have explained that well enough.



#15 jscheeren OFFLINE  

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 02:57 PM

Thanks softworkz, I finally found the settings under "Enable hardware acceleration when available" dropdown.

 

1. None of these decoders in the list displayed were enabled by default. For my next test should I try to activate one at a time versus your suggestion to disable one at a time? Or, activate them all and then start deactivating?

2. If so, in addition to qti and c2 in "Preferred Hardware Decoders" under VP8 there is an additional one called SEC.vp8.dec - should I try that one as well?

3. Any other settings you would like for me to try?

4. Please confirm that you are focused for this test on getting library art retrieval working efficiently, or, more importantly getting Emby Android TV and Emby Fire Stick clients working with the Android server. I have not tested transcoding yet.



#16 softworkz ONLINE  

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 06:46 PM

Sorry, I thought this was about transcoding.
 
I can't say much about library art retrieval.
 
@Luke ?


Edited by softworkz, 16 January 2020 - 06:50 PM.


#17 softworkz ONLINE  

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 06:50 PM

I see now why @Luke had notified me. It's about ffprobe failures.
 
Could you please try the following:

  • Reboot
  • Set up a (small) library with just a handful of videos on local storage (not external)
  • Scan the library
  • Post the server log


#18 jscheeren OFFLINE  

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:37 PM

softworkz

 

Test #3:

 

Copied some video files to SD card on S10. Rebooted at 9:10 EST and reconfigured library to point to those directories, no changes to transcoding advanced settings, so qti and c2 decoders not activated. Finish 9:21

 

Movies

1. The Hero - .mkv, HEVC, 5.1 audio AC3

2. Interstellar - .mkv, H264, 5.1 audio AC3

3. Rogue One - .mkv, HEVC, 5.1 audio DTS

4. Rush - .mp4, x264, 2.0 audio

TV Series

5. Emerald City - .mkv, HEVC, 2.0 audio

6. London Spy - .avi, XVID

 

Ran test on Fire Stick 4k. Played 1) at 9:22, 2) at 9:25, 3) at 9:26, 4) at 9:27, 5) at 9:28, 6) at 9:31. Results. All failed to play, but this time without messages, and app did not crash or freeze this time.

Ran test on Fire Stick 4k using Embycon addon for KODI. Played 1) at 9:33, 2) at 9:24, 3) at 9:35, 4) at 9:36, 5) at 9:38, 6) at 9:38. All played fine.

Ran test on Samsung Tab A. Played 1) at 9:40, 2) at 9:42, 3) at 9:44, 4) at 9:45, 5) at 9:45, 6) at 9:46. All played fine.

Ran test on PC with Emby Theater. Played 1) at 9:49, 2) at 9:51, 3) at 9:51, 4) at 9:52, 5) at 9:54, 6) at 9:46. All played fine.

 

Conclusion: I did not test how many clients could play at same time. Did not test transcoding. Did not test on Android TV. Artwok seemed to load fine. All played well, except Emby client on Fire Stick 4k and Emby Theater could not forward in video using mouse - when clicking ahead, video always went right back to beginning.

 

I attach log.

Attached Files


Edited by jscheeren, 16 January 2020 - 11:54 PM.


#19 softworkz ONLINE  

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 12:21 AM


softworkz
 
Test #3:
 
Copied some video files to SD card on S10. Rebooted at 9:10 EST and reconfigured library to point to those directories, no changes to transcoding advanced settings, finish 9:21
Movies
1. The Hero - .mkv, HEVC, 5.1 audio AC3
2. Interstellar - .mkv, H264, 5.1 audio AC3
3. Rogue One - .mkv, HEVC, 5.1 audio DTS
4. Rush - .mp4, x264, 2.0 audio
TV Series
5. Emerald City - .mkv, HEVC, 2.0 audio
6. London Spy - .avi, XVID
 
Ran test on Fire Stick 4k. Played 1) at 9:22, 2) at 9:25, 3) at 9:26, 4) at 9:27, 5) at 9:28, 6) at 9:31. Results. All failed to play, but this time without messages, and app did not crash or freeze this time.
Ran test on Fire Stick 4k using Embycon addon for KODI. Played 1) at 9:33, 2) at 9:24, 3) at 9:35, 4) at 9:36, 5) at 9:38, 6) at 9:38. All played fine.
Ran test on Samsung Tab A. Played 1) at 9:40, 2) at 9:42, 3) at 9:44, 4) at 9:45, 5) at 9:45, 6) at 9:46. All played fine.
Ran test on PC with Emby Theater. Played 1) at 9:49, 2) at 9:51, 3) at 9:51, 4) at 9:52, 5) at 9:54, 6) at 9:46. All played fine.
 
Conclusion: I did not test how many clients could play at same time. Did not test transcoding. Did not test on Android TV. Artwok seemed to load fine. All played well, except Emby client on Fire Stick 4k and Emby Theater could not forward in video using mouse - when clicking ahead, video always went right back to beginning.
 
I attach log.

Thanks a lot for doing the test!

 

I've seen now what I had to see and it turns out that @Luke was right:
 

Looks like there is a compatibility issue with our ffmpeg build that we need to sort out for your device.

 
Our ffmpeg has been verified to work with the initial revisions of Android 10 a while ago. Seems there has been a change to which we'll have to keep up.



#20 natsu OFFLINE  

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 01:44 AM

Hi All,

 

Another question about the Android Server: Does it required premium subscription for HW Decoding & Encoding instead of CPU only for transconding on Android Server?

 

Besides the NVIDIA shield & Some high-end Qualcomm SoC with dedicated DSP, the GPU function is always for primary monitor usage first, seems less usage compared for CPU transcoding with NEON on H264 format.

 

For H265/HEVC, I'll perform it on my Huawei Kirin CPU later, thanks!






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