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stuartsharp

Streaming issues in Web & Theatre app

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stuartsharp

Hi,

 

Emby server v4.4.0.40 in the official Docker container, Unraid host with Intel GPU transcoding enabled

HDHR5-4DT Tuner, UK/EU version, FW: 20200225

 

I'm finding issues with running live TV streams in a browser or from the Windows app. The channels affected are always either SD with low bitrate MPEG-2 (in which case stream starts with the video frozen) or HD channels (in which case the app/browser session hangs and the stream doesn't even start). A couple of browsers (IE and firefox) will still play the HD channels fine (direct streamed), but none of the above are working with low quality SD. Good quality SD channels transcode from MPEG-2 to H264 and play fine.

 

This is the same on 3 different Windows PCs. What DOES still work perfectly fine on any PC is the Kodi plugins - I have no issues whatsoever running live channels via the Emby server to Kodi on a PC. All channels will play direct streamed or force transcoded, although I have to use Embycon to get the force transcoding option to work (the newer plugin just ignores it and plays direct).

 

There's no issue with any clients running on mobile platforms - I have a mix of iOS, Android, AndroidTV & FireTV devices and they're all streaming all the channels fine from the same server, local & remote.

 

In the attached log, the last thing I did was attempt to start streaming a HD channel from Emby theatre. Local time was exactly 10:18 today (2nd April 2020) and I left it hanging until 10:25.

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stuartsharp
Posted (edited)

Sorry, I failed to attach the log the first time. It's the same file, so date & time previously mentioned still apply.

 

Also, I need to clarify that the Windows app I'm referring to is the one from MS Store, v1.1.307.0. I mentioned theater in the subject by mistake.

 

I've just discovered and installed the proper theater app from the Emby website. It's working perfectly with Live TV! Had I known that in the first place, I probably wouldn't have bothered posting, but the issues I described in the 1st post still exist.

embyserver.txt

Edited by stuartsharp

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Luke

@@stuartsharp are you still running into this?

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stuartsharp
Posted (edited)

@@stuartsharp are you still running into this?

Hi Luke,

 

I've just repeated all the tests again because my server is now updated to 4.4.2.0. Everything seems to be the same. Here's a summary of the results with a few different browsers (all Windows 10, in this case):

 

Chrome x64 80.0.3987.163: Plays good quality MPEG2 SD channels OK. Won't play HD H264 or low quality MPEG2 SD.
Edge x64 80.0.361.111: Same as above
Opera 67.0.3575.115: Same as above
Firefox x64 74.0: Plays HD H264 channels OK. Plays good quality MPEG2 SD channels OK. Won't play low quality MPEG2 SD.
I.E. 11.719.18362.0: Same as Firefox
 
When the HD channels fail, the client grabs a tuner but then stays on the spinning wheel with a black screen indefinitely. The issue with the poor quality SD channels is that the stream starts, but the video freezes and only the sound plays. If I check the dashboard, I can see that the bitrate at which it's transcoding to H264 is crazy high (150Mbps or higher). The better quality MPEG2 channels also transcode, but in this case, the playback is working correctly.
Example of a good quality SD channel (plays in any browser): ITV2 (Freeview UK Channel 6)
Example of a poor quality SD channel (issues in every browser): ITVBe (Freeview UK Channel 26)
 
There's also a couple of more minor issues I've picked up on:
 
All browsers: The live streams seem to have trouble prebuffering correctly and it stutters several times during the first minute of playback. No such issue if I use Kodi or Emby Theater from the same machine. PC, server & tuner all direct wired to the same switch.
Android TV (FireTV & Shield 2019): Some channels won't start if the 'direct stream live tv' option is checked. Don't know about the FireTVs, but my Shield is definitely capable of direct streaming everything from the HDHR (this works very well in the Live Channels app). Also, these platforms have the same prebuffering issues like when using the browser. I've tried changing the start speed option, but slowing that down just delays the point where it stutters, rather than eliminate it, so the fast setting is actually easiest to live with. It's weird because our tablets and phones obviously have higher latency due to being wireless, yet they don't suffer with the stuttering early on like the TV app does.
 
Sorry to bombard you with a lot of problems at once. You're doing a fantastic job with general media playback - everything plays for me on all devices! That's why I'm an Emby customer at the moment, despite owning a lifetime Plex pass!  :rolleyes: Thanks for your efforts and keep up the good work!
 
Stuart
Edited by stuartsharp

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Aardvogel

I'm running Emby Server V4.5.0.6 and Chrome X64 V83.0.4103.14 and running into exactly the same problems. No HD channels will play, the Transcoding temp file continues to fill up but the stream never actually plays. The same thing occurs if I try to play a recorded HD channel.  In Emby Theatre both situations work correctly.

 

Regards, Mike

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stuartsharp

I'm running Emby Server V4.5.0.6 and Chrome X64 V83.0.4103.14 and running into exactly the same problems. No HD channels will play, the Transcoding temp file continues to fill up but the stream never actually plays. The same thing occurs if I try to play a recorded HD channel.  In Emby Theatre both situations work correctly.

 

Regards, Mike

 

I hadn't tried testing recordings in the browser before.

 

Currently, I have two HD recordings from different channels. One will play in the browser, the other won't. I tried opening them side-by-side in two instances of VLC player and checked the codec information. It's identical - the only thing that differs is the stream IDs. Then, I did the same side-by-side comparison of the media info in Emby, and I see that the file that WON'T play is 1080p. The file that WILL play is 1080i. That's the only difference I could see. Neither of the two channels are working live at the moment, but I don't know if the content being broadcast right now is interlaced or not. I tried playing them from Emby Theater and looking in the 'Stats for nerds,' but it only gives the resolution.

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Luke

@stuartsharp have you tried this with Emby Server 4.4.3?

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stuartsharp
Posted (edited)

 

1 hour ago, Luke said:

@stuartsharp have you tried this with Emby Server 4.4.3?

Hi Luke,

Yes, I've been on 4.4.3 for a few weeks now. It didn't change anything with regard to the streaming issues when using a web browser.

Since my initial report I've noticed that the issues with transcoding MPEG-2 channels are also happening on our FireTV devices - it's trying to transcode at a bitrate equal to max bandwidth, so you have to limit the bitrate manually in the player settings to get it to work, otherwise the server is overwhelmed. This same hardware (for both server and client) is capable of direct playing MPEG-2 channels and does so using your competitor product with the new Exoplayer. I've seen the option to direct play in the Emby TV app, but turning this on breaks all channels - I've tried it on FireTV and Shield with the same results. Emby for Android mobile is a different story - that seems to direct play any TV channel just fine. Thanks for staying focused on this.

Stuart

Edited by stuartsharp

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cayars
On 4/16/2020 at 6:30 AM, stuartsharp said:

Then, I did the same side-by-side comparison of the media info in Emby, and I see that the file that WON'T play is 1080p. The file that WILL play is 1080i

Does the UK broadcast 1080p or just 1080i like in the USA?

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stuartsharp
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cayars said:

Does the UK broadcast 1080p or just 1080i like in the USA?

Sometimes we get 1080p, but most of the time it will be interlaced. I believe the broadcasters use encoders that can choose between the two depending on the source material.

Edited by stuartsharp

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cayars

Good to know.  In the usa 720 is progressive while 1080 is interlaced so I didn't know if it was the same in the UK or not.

Sine you've narrowed it down to 1080p files do you see anything out of the ordinary with them? Do they play in other programs?

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stuartsharp
4 hours ago, cayars said:

Good to know.  In the usa 720 is progressive while 1080 is interlaced so I didn't know if it was the same in the UK or not.

Sine you've narrowed it down to 1080p files do you see anything out of the ordinary with them? Do they play in other programs?

Hi Cayars,

Unfortunately, it's not just an issue with 1080p files. I did a couple more tests tonight. I made sure I captured both 1080i and 1080p  content, but neither would start streaming or play back correctly after being recorded. Still working fine in Theater/iOS/Android/Kodi Plugins, just not the web app (and maybe not in the Windows store app - I wouldn't know about that anymore because I've removed it).

What I've done is taken 3 short recordings from different HD channels using Emby, then opened each one in PotPlayer and copied the media stats into a text file so that you can take a look. In each file, I've inserted a line at the top explaining the results with the Emby web app. The last one is 1080p, but it behaved exactly the same as the first, which is 1080i.Example1.txt

Example2.txt Example3.txt

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cayars

One thing I see in common is they all use LATM.

Could you try something?  Use the convert function built into Emby and convert one of these files.  Try converting to the TV format.

Let me know if the file plays back after being converted.

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Luke
3 hours ago, stuartsharp said:

Hi Cayars,

Unfortunately, it's not just an issue with 1080p files. I did a couple more tests tonight. I made sure I captured both 1080i and 1080p  content, but neither would start streaming or play back correctly after being recorded. Still working fine in Theater/iOS/Android/Kodi Plugins, just not the web app (and maybe not in the Windows store app - I wouldn't know about that anymore because I've removed it).

What I've done is taken 3 short recordings from different HD channels using Emby, then opened each one in PotPlayer and copied the media stats into a text file so that you can take a look. In each file, I've inserted a line at the top explaining the results with the Emby web app. The last one is 1080p, but it behaved exactly the same as the first, which is 1080i.Example1.txt

Example2.txt 2.67 kB · 1 download Example3.txt 2.57 kB · 1 download

Hi, can we see the server and ffmpeg logs from these? thanks.

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stuartsharp
9 hours ago, cayars said:

One thing I see in common is they all use LATM.

Could you try something?  Use the convert function built into Emby and convert one of these files.  Try converting to the TV format.

Let me know if the file plays back after being converted.

 

7 hours ago, Luke said:

Hi, can we see the server and ffmpeg logs from these? thanks.

Guys,

I'm sorry, I had just deleted the files and was on my way to bed when I saw your posts, so I started recording a new example and I've kept this one for now. Please see example 4 attached, it's a 1080p file that doesn't work in the web app, either live or after recording.

The last activity in the logs shows me trying to play it in the web app; timestamp is 2020-06-30 8:47:46 and the file is called, "This World." My client is Chrome running on 192.168.10.30 and my server is 192.168.1.32. I left it on the spinning wheel for a couple of minutes then grabbed the logs from a separate session.

Cayars,

I converted this latest example using the TV profile and original quality. Emby made a mkv file, which works fine with the web player. I've attached a log of the converted media so you can see how it differs.

embyserver.txt Example4.txt Example4_converted_by_Emby.txt ffmpeg-remux-54e3380d-3da7-4423-a7f8-b39bbf139571_1.txt

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cayars

Any chance you can record the last 5 minutes of a show or cut this file down to 5 minutes to post it as a test file?

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stuartsharp
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, cayars said:

Any chance you can record the last 5 minutes of a show or cut this file down to 5 minutes to post it as a test file?

Sure, I've attached a one minute sample. Hope that's enough, I wasn't sure if 5 minutes would be a small enough file to attach.

This media is interlaced. It doesn't stream live, but it does play back without showing the video. I've played around with these files in Avidemux, and I discovered that if I remux the original streams into a mkv container without doing any transcoding, the remuxed file works perfectly with the web player. So there's something about the original mux or the container that causes issues with the web player.

ITV Evening News 2020_06_30_18_30_00.ts

Edited by stuartsharp

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cayars

That's funny.  On my system it played back just fine in Chome web browser as it transcoded on the fly.

What browser are you using?

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stuartsharp
21 minutes ago, cayars said:

That's funny.  On my system it played back just fine in Chome web browser as it transcoded on the fly.

What browser are you using?

I'm using Chrome too, but my server and client are both on the same LAN, so it isn't trying to transcode. If I make it transcode by connecting from outside the LAN, then the channels will transcode and stream OK, but when I'm at home on the same LAN as the server, it doesn't identify any reason to transcode.

I've found that none of the Chromium based browers (Chrome, Edge, Opera) are able to handle the direct playback - they just hang. Firefox and the old Internet explorer can do it, though.

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cayars

How are you playing a TS file without remuxing or transcoding?

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cayars
2 hours ago, stuartsharp said:

Sure, I've attached a one minute sample. Hope that's enough, I wasn't sure if 5 minutes would be a small enough file to attach.

This media is interlaced. It doesn't stream live, but it does play back without showing the video. I've played around with these files in Avidemux, and I discovered that if I remux the original streams into a mkv container without doing any transcoding, the remuxed file works perfectly with the web player. So there's something about the original mux or the container that causes issues with the web player.

ITV Evening News 2020_06_30_18_30_00.ts 27.67 MB · 0 downloads

@softworkz Can you take a look at this file with LATM encoding.  It seems to have some issues playing back with some transcoding.

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stuartsharp
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, cayars said:

How are you playing a TS file without remuxing or transcoding?

I've attached 3 different screenshots that show an HD channel with a TS container playing directly. I can't tell if it remuxes or not but it certainly doesn't transcode. Each shot was taken from a different platform: web app (running in Firefox), iOS and Android mobile. The Android TV app won't play direct, but that's OK because that app has the option to turn direct play off in it's settings. It would be nice to get direct play working in the TV app, though. I understand that with chromium there may be nothing you can do to get direct play working, but the server should be detecting the issue and transcoding automatically instead of leaving the client hanging on the spinning wheel.

Firefox_Direct_TV.jpg

iOS_Direct_TV.PNG

Screenshot_20200701_084337_com.mb.android.jpg

Edited by stuartsharp

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stuartsharp

Here's another screenshot showing the stream playing in the Emby theater app. It has more stats.

Theater_Direct_TV.png

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