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Xbox One S - Direct play content freezes, but dashboard suggests otherwise


JohnnyFiama
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JohnnyFiama

We have a frustrating issue on the kids Xbox One S (the only device of its type we have).

 

As per the topic title we have an issue whereby direct play content will randomly freeze visual & audio playback, generally within 30 seconds.  The application remains responsive, yet pausing and resuming playback does not help.  Forced transcoding appears to resolve, and this can be invoked following the initial freeze, but the solution isn't desirable long term.  

 

Unable see anything obvious in the server logs, in fact according to the dashboard playback continues despite playback being frozen on the Xbox.  This issue occurs with most content, although we have managed to successfully watch one or two films without problem.  

Server Version:  4.4.0.40

Emby for Windows Version:  1.1.307.70   

 

I'm unable to recreate this issue on other household platforms,  problematic content plays perfectly on all other devices via direct play (Fire TV, iOS (iPad/iPhone), Dell XPS 15).

 

Admittedly the Xbox is not hardwired, but we have a rock solid wireless network (Unifi AP AC Pro) and the other devices mentioned above also access the Emby server via wifi.  

 

Any advice on this would be well received.

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JohnnyFiama

Yes, of course. 

 

I assume you are referring to the embyserver.log, if so please find attached.  Not sure if you can determine the point at which playback froze, and so when it did I started the film transcoding, hopefully that is highlighted in the log somewhere.

 

Many thanks  

 

Edit:  Sorry, failed the intelligence test and did not click the "attach this file" button!

embyserver.txt

Edited by JohnnyFiama
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JohnnyFiama

Just upgraded to Emby Server v4.4.1.0 but unfortunately the problem persists, let me know if you guys require any additional information.

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gmtearne49

I was also having a similar issue for a few hours earlier this morning. Tried my laptop, played a bit more than xbox before freezing so I tried forcing a transcode on the xbox, files played fine then. I later decided to try direct play again and the files that were previously problematic were magically fine.

 

The xbox (or laptop) hadn't displayed any of those symptoms previously, they just started and went without me doing anything other than transcoding for an hour or two. Didnt even do a server restart.

 

Also on 4.4.1.0

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JohnnyFiama

Tried my laptop, played a bit more than xbox before freezing...

 

That's interesting, I am unable to recreate the problem on my laptop devices (and I've tried quite a few times). 

 

Wonder if you are using Emby Theater on your laptop, and if so it is the version from the Microsoft Store?  I am running the Emby Theater v3.0.11 on my laptop, not sure how or if that version differs from the one available via Microsoft (but for sure the version numbers are not the same). 

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gmtearne49

I was using the store version and also the web app, same thing happened 30-60 seconds play on xbox, stop. 2-3 minutes on laptop (web/store) and stop.

 

My server is in the cloud and I am using a 4g hotspot right now so I was wondering if it was my connection or my servers connection. But I ruled that out because of how instant things played for the initial period, and transcoding worked fine (ever so slightly forced lower bitrate to initiate said transcoding).

 

Reverted to direct play after a few hours and all seemed fine again.

 

I did monitor the servers resources while I was having these issues, plenty of ram and cpu power available (hence why it could handle transcoding), the transcoded file was only ever so slightly lower bitrate and direct play worked instantly initially so I am ruling out network issues as well. I really can't put my finger on what caused it or why it fixed itself.

 

Sorry I cant be of any help, was just chiming in to let you know you were not alone in this direct play "issue" - hope yours fixes itself as mine did.

 

That's interesting, I am unable to recreate the problem on my laptop devices (and I've tried quite a few times). 

 

Wonder if you are using Emby Theater on your laptop, and if so it is the version from the Microsoft Store?  I am running the Emby Theater v3.0.11 on my laptop, not sure how or if that version differs from the one available via Microsoft (but for sure the version numbers are not the same). 

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JohnnyFiama

Sorry I cant be of any help, was just chiming in to let you know you were not alone in this direct play "issue" - hope yours fixes itself as mine did.

 

Actually I think your input is pretty valuable, so thanks for taking the time :)

 

I can still reliably reproduce the direct play problem on our Xbox, while transcoding at near the same bitrate as the original always yields perfect playback (consequently I am ruling out network woes).

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JohnnyFiama

Forced transcoding appears to resolve, and this can be invoked following the initial freeze, but the solution isn't desirable long term.

 

Not sure if you can determine the point at which playback froze, and so when it did I started the film transcoding, hopefully that is highlighted in the log somewhere.

 

I can still reliably reproduce the direct play problem on our Xbox, while transcoding at near the same bitrate as the original always yields perfect playback (consequently I am ruling out network woes).

 

 

Can you try lowering the in-app quality setting so that it transcodes?

 

Hi Luke

 

Thanks for coming back to me - When I mentioned transcoding previously that was achieved via the client app, sorry I should have been clearer, actually I was unaware that you could force via the server itself.

 

Cheers.

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PrincessClevage

I found that when transcoding to Xbox one I had the disable nvidia decoders in Emby, enabled divx in server but leave nvidia encoding enabled. Looked to max out my gti1050 gpu

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JohnnyFiama

I found that when transcoding to Xbox one I had the disable nvidia decoders in Emby, enabled divx in server but leave nvidia encoding enabled. Looked to max out my gti1050 gpu

 

That sounds like an interesting quirk!  In our case transcoding works fine, rather it is direct play content that freezes.   

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PrincessClevage

What load is the Xbox gpu/cpu at?

Edited by PrincessClevage
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JohnnyFiama

What load is the Xbox gpu/cpu at?

 

I dd not realise that it was possible to view the Xbox GPU load, can you advise on the best way to achieve this?  Many thanks.

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JohnnyFiama

Direct playback at even at reasonably low bitrates causes things to freeze, most recently @ 1.7ish Mbps. 

 

That is less than I have successfully transcoded to previously, presumably that rules out any hardware limitation?   

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gmtearne49

The Xbox One S is still a powerful machine, more powerful than my Chromebook or low-end android phone which can handle direct play just fine.

 

It sounds as though this issue just randomly occurred, meaning it was fine at one point...that would indicate that previously the xbox was able to handle whatever codec/encoding etc the files were in. Not a compatibility issue.

 

You can stream transcoded files in a higher bitrate than some lower bitrate direct files that stutter and stop - not a network issue.

 

Your other clients do not appear to be affected, most likely not a server issue. Xbox client is the seemingly guilty party.

 

Have you tried uninstalling the xbox app completely and tried re-installing it?

 

Just spit balling here, but how does the web app perform with direct files on the xbox vs the native app?

 

Well now, this looks a little more involved than anticipated.  Unfortunately the system requirements for this tooling exceeds that of my mediocre Dell XPS15 (32GB RAM is quite high)  :(

 

https://devblogs.microsoft.com/pix/requirements/

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gmtearne49

You could also try installing kodi and use the emby plugin as a test to see how that performs - if it plays fine via kodi then it isolates the issue being a recent update to the xbox app. If a reinstall doesn't fix it, it might be a case of either using transcoding or web/kodi solutions until it is addressed in an update? 

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