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Playback issues on some devices at some locations


hackthis02
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hackthis02

I have a few family members that use my emby server remotely for years now w/o issue. But within the last few months some locations have been seeing issues.
I'm in Chicago with a 185/15Mbps connection. I have family in Chicago, Tampa, Atlanta and Phoenix. 

Now the family in Chicago(remote) and Phoenix have not reported any issues. 

But the Family in Atlanta and Tampa have.
The ones in Tampa have tried playing on an XBox One, Android phone, Chromecast and IPad. They start a video and it stutters for a few seconds before getting worse to the point of stopping.
But when they use a Firestick it works fine. The issue with that is only one family has a firestick.

The ones in Atlanta use a Sony Android TV and report either heavy buffering of freezing at the begin of playback. 

The issues are worse on movies then they are on TV shows.

All households have 3-digit download speeds. 

Here are the logs when my brother-in-law tried to watch a movie and it froze instantly.

Is this a known issue or is there anything in my logs that can point to a cause?

embyserver.txt ffmpeg-transcode-88e31d65-eea1-4e65-a7c5-d9cc913faef9_1.txt

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hackthis02
40 minutes ago, cayars said:

It looks like things were working but playback was manually stopped.

As he tells it, it kept pausing to buffer until he stopped it. 

Here are the logs when my father tried to watch She's All That on Chromecast.

embyserver.txt

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I see some things that look like they take a while to perform.  For example:

Image encoding took 5751ms for /mnt/826032A260329D3B/Movies/She's All That (1999)/fanart.jpg

That's nearly 6 seconds to render the fanart.  Are your drives spun down and have to spin up or starting to fail?
Have you tried playing the same movies back locally to make sure there is not a problem?

Is there any reason why you have DEBUG logging turned on?

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hackthis02

That dose seem like a log time to render a jpg. No the drives don't have to spin up. Yes, I've watched things locally recently. And as I said in my first post this issue is only for my Florida and Georgia users. The ones in-town (Chicago) and in Arizona don't have any issues.

As for debug logging I was working on a plugin and forgot to turn it off I'll do so now and check to see if that has any effect. 

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Happy2Play

Have you check if disabling Transcode Throttling makes any difference, but it almost sounds like ISP traffic shaping.

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hackthis02
16 minutes ago, Happy2Play said:

Have you check if disabling Transcode Throttling makes any difference, but it almost sounds like ISP traffic shaping.

I disabled Transcoding and he tried again. It didn't make any difference. It said on the dashboard he was direct playing. Here is the log from his test.

embyserver.txt

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hackthis02
14 minutes ago, Luke said:

Is your media on the same machine as the server?

Yes, I USB 3.0 external drive.

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First I'd look at and have people try to play the same movie or show back so you compare apples to apples.  Are they all direct playing or all transcoding the content?
If transcoding what bitrate (need to look at logs).
You want to try to determine if something is different for the good cities and the bad cities.

I'd start looking at the ISPs the users with problems are using vs ones not having problems.

What do ping/tracert times look like and how many hops or different providers do things go through?
That can be important.  For example if I'm on Xfinity on the East coast and your on Xfinity on the west coast our transmission may NEVER touch the internet but handled on the Xfinity backbone.  I could stream something to my next door neighbor on Verizon and have an issue because it went through the internet (even if just a central switch) and had some traffic shaping applied to it.

These are not easy things to figure out and you may need to write thing down and put on your analysis hat looking at the data.

Now here's an important question.  Are the remote users accessing your server via https or http?
I ask this question because it's far easier to "traffic shape" http then https traffic so you might be seeing some "black magic" backbone/ISP traffic shaping taking place.

Something else that can be useful is to get people to try a web browser or Emby Theater for Windows with the same test movie.  This helps to determine if it's bandwidth/ISP related or maybe client/app setting.

I can lend a hand personally via a remote support session if you could line up a family/friend member or two in problem cities to do a few tests. Maybe I could with permission  also remote into a friend/family member so I can see both sides at the same time.

But I'm willing to help you out if none of the above helps or you just need help.  Send me a PM with a link back to this thread for reference.

Carlo

 

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hackthis02
9 hours ago, Luke said:

Has this advice helped?

I'm not sure. The family member in question is out of town for the week. I might take up @cayars offer when they get back home.

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Please do.  It might only be an info gathering exercise but I can pass on what I find to the devs and grab logs as needed or ask for in app logs to be submitted, but we'll cover what the devs might need if I can't help provide a solution. Figure 10 to 15 minutes of online time testing at most.

We are here to help!

Carlo

 

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I came and saw this. There is a problem with buffering since few weeks/months ago and maybe it's the server. This happens in a small apartment and everything server and clients are inside the home network. It happens with iOS app, Android app, playing inside firefox on a phone. The clients reach a point and they stop, you have to wait like 30-40 seconds until it continues again.

The white line (buffering) is very small as I see it, it should buffer a lot more. Where can I change a setting maybe in the server to force more buffering?

I'm inside this small apartment and youtube plays well, so I don't think it's a problem with my network, especially that youtube comes from the internet and the emby files are all local and should play better.

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3 hours ago, Zodler said:

I came and saw this. There is a problem with buffering since few weeks/months ago and maybe it's the server. This happens in a small apartment and everything server and clients are inside the home network. It happens with iOS app, Android app, playing inside firefox on a phone. The clients reach a point and they stop, you have to wait like 30-40 seconds until it continues again.

The white line (buffering) is very small as I see it, it should buffer a lot more. Where can I change a setting maybe in the server to force more buffering?

I'm inside this small apartment and youtube plays well, so I don't think it's a problem with my network, especially that youtube comes from the internet and the emby files are all local and should play better.

Start a new topic following the instructions here:

 

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On 10/27/2020 at 7:49 AM, Zodler said:

Before that, can you change the buffering size?

Hi, there is no option for that.

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