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Change in Streaming/Transcoding settings


im85288
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im85288

I'm with null_pointer. I would like the option (as it used to exist previously) to completely disable transcoding in my XBMB3C HTPC for all media served up by MBS. I ran into related issues with Plex before and it drove me both bat shit crazy and away from Plex. No matter what settings I had configured, I still ended up getting transcoded data which I did NOT want. The two boxes and gigabit network are plenty to handle any media I can throw at them and I have no need for wasting cycles transcoding them.

 

That said, I do have a second client that would benefit from the ability to only transcode DTS audio into AC3 audio and leave the video stream alone. This client is not connected to anything that can decode the DTS properly and as a result I get videos playing where the sounds are normal, but the dialogue is extremely low.

 

I agree, transcoding and play from stream are useful(using it right now on vacation!), but for my home theatre I don't want to have to muck with it. I will add an off by default switch to force play from SMB when I am back in town if someone doesn't beat me to it.

 

xnappo

 

 

Have you guys got a log where this is transcoding when you expected it to Direct Play?  The way it is supposed to be now is that it will direct play basically everything it can (as long as you bump up the quality setting), only things like "Channels" which cannot be direct played are transcoded. 

 

The logs will either say: 

XBMB3C getPlayUrl -> Direct Play

 or 

XBMB3C getPlayUrl -> Transcode

Specific examples of where you think this is going wrong would help if there are actually still issues here.

Edited by im85288
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LehighBri

For imported TV, the direct play vs. transcode is working perfectly, as expected.

 

For recording TV, it's not working as expected, but that's due to core MBS and how it handles paths, but it's not due to this addon.

 

And the "force playback from SMB" idea is interesting, but it won't work consistently for recording TV until we get this path issue resolved (more here: http://mediabrowser.tv/community/index.php?/topic/9323-bug-in-caching-path-variable-for-recordings-vs-updating-them-which-leads-to-issues-in-transcode-vs-direct-play/).  Again, not this addon's issue, but is certainly related because this addon depends on the paths to a file to be accurate.

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xnappo

Well - that was sort-of the point - I don't want to have to look into the logs to see whether it is working the way I want it to.

 

Definitely need the skins to report how they are playing back like how the Android client works.  We could possible pre-pend the name of the file playing.

 

Don't get me wrong - I appreciate your work on this feature - I just think that in cases where people are using XBMC for the very reason it can play every file under the sun it will not be appreciated if it decides to transcode because of a network setup issue and the user doesn't get any feedback that is occurring.

 

xnappo

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im85288

How about during this testing period appending the info on Direct Play or not to the title when it is being played?

 

So it would look like:

 

2zQLzsz.png

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jasonmcroy

I agree with having the option to turn this off. My HTPC and Server are on the same machine in my living room. I have always had incredible playback with XBMC and the plugin. I have noticed since this option has been put in that there are several instances of video stutter and some buffering when certain videos start that were never there before. I don't know if this is due to it trying to transcode or not, but it's a noticeable change. 

 

 

Have you guys got a log where this is transcoding when you expected it to Direct Play?  The way it is supposed to be now is that it will direct play basically everything it can (as long as you bump up the quality setting), only things like "Channels" which cannot be direct played are transcoded. 

 

The logs will either say: 

XBMB3C getPlayUrl -> Direct Play

 or 

XBMB3C getPlayUrl -> Transcode

Specific examples of where you think this is going wrong would help if there are actually still issues here.

 

Would this be in the regular XBMC user folder log file or somewhere else? I want to check this out on my machine.

 

Thanks.

 

-Jason

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im85288

I do agree it would be nice for the skin to show what is going on and we also need to make updates to get the server dashboard notified of when we are transcoding or not.

 

With regards the option to turn it off, it was something we discussed in the developer section with Luke where it was suggested to remove these sort of decisions from the user. I guess if the option is needed it can be added but there will still be some things that need to be transcoded (i.e. channels) and more importantly the way it is now (maybe we need to bump the default video quality setting to 100mb) it should be direct playing exactly how it did before. 

 

This version uses HLS for transcoding and I have also noticed a slight delay with it getting started..maybe we should go back to transcoding direct to ts files @@xnappo ?

 

 

 

Would this be in the regular XBMC user folder log file or somewhere else? I want to check this out on my machine.

 

Thanks.

 

-Jason

 

 

Yes in the regular XBMC log, be great to see your results.

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xnappo

I know Luke said to hide it, but either we need to display that it is transcoding/streaming, or we need a way to turn it off.  I think we should change the name from the filename/path to the MB3 title during playback, and append the audio/video stream info.

 

As far as the option to turn it off, it can be on by default, and in the Advanced settings or something. 

 

Playing from the stream, even at 100mb is not the same as playing from SMB - the response time is much better playing from SMB and we have full XBMC subtitle support (including getting subs real-time).

 

As to how the video is transcoded, I don't care much - I don't see myself using the feature.

 

Thanks,

xnappo

Edited by xnappo
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im85288

A new version 0.9.525 is out with the change I posted above included...

 

All testers can now see immediately if the title is being transcoded or not.

 

B2JQ1l0.png

 

 

As far as the option to turn it off, it can be on by default, and in the Advanced settings or something. 

 

 

Ok cool, if that is what you want to add 

 

 

 

Playing from the stream, even at 100mb is not the same as playing from SMB - the response time is much better playing from SMB and we have full XBMC subtitle support (including getting subs real-time).

 

 

 

I don't think you understood what I was referring too, it is not about streaming at 100mb rather forcing direct play (yes using SMB), that is why I was asking to see if there were actual examples where it was transcoding when not expected. This will be easier to spot now though with the play info appended to the title

Edited by im85288
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im85288

I had forgotten to update Github :) So it should be there now. If you have the plugin installed from our repo it is updated there too.

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  • 2 weeks later...
xnappo

I think it is okay as-is.  From what I can tell we are calling it 'transcoding' any time HTTP is used - even if it is at full quality?

 

I am worried about people not KNOWING to look for this, so we need to be sure to advertise to look for 'Direct Play' before complaining about playback smoothness/quality.

 

Chris

Edited by xnappo
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im85288

We call it transcoding whenever the server is used for transcoding the media, this could be either because there is no physical path to the item to be played (as is the case with many of the channels) or because the video quality settings are low enough to force transcoding. This can be verified by looking at the logs on the web client to see if there is a corresponding transcode log. On the reverse side, we call it Direct Play whenever the item has been passed to the native xbmc player. 

 

I guess we leave it in then for helping any possible reports in the future on playback

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im85288

Just bumping this thread to see if anyone actually has any problems with the changes? Is everyone happy with seeing "Direct Play" or "Transcoding" in the info window? 

@@xnappo - did you test this with SMB to see it works as you expected...or do you still require an override option.

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Angelblue05

I'm using SMB to play my videos (Direct Play) according to my logs. However, I'm experiencing video/audio stuttering. I've re-installed Media Browser Server and the plugin to no avail. I've been constantly adjusting the network speed within the settings of XBMB3C. I've started with the default 40 Mpbs, decreasing the speed every time I would experience a stutter. I went as low as 4.4 Mpbs and experienced stuttering and decrease in quality (usually when the image becomes darker). Am I supposed to increase the speed rather than decrease it? Or, am I missing something?

 

Everything used to play perfectly before the new bit rate settings was added. I'm just wondering why the default setting is not working out for me? :(

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xnappo

That shouldn't make any difference at all when it plays from SMB. Something is wrong...

 

As far as the naming, ideally I would like it to be:

Direct

Streaming

Transcoding <bitrate>

 

xnappo

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Angelblue05

@@xnappo

 

What would you suggest for me to do? Everything is played locally. XBMC+XBMB3C+MBS+Library are located on one central machine in my living room. I am using Aeon MQ5 skin, but I don't think it would affect anything since I had the same skin before my issue started. I'm using Windows 7.

Edited by Angelblue05
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im85288

I'm using SMB to play my videos (Direct Play) according to my logs. However, I'm experiencing video/audio stuttering. I've re-installed Media Browser Server and the plugin to no avail. I've been constantly adjusting the network speed within the settings of XBMB3C. I've started with the default 40 Mpbs, decreasing the speed every time I would experience a stutter. I went as low as 4.4 Mpbs and experienced stuttering and decrease in quality (usually when the image becomes darker). Am I supposed to increase the speed rather than decrease it? Or, am I missing something?

 

Everything used to play perfectly before the new bit rate settings was added. I'm just wondering why the default setting is not working out for me? :(

 

You should not need to look in the logs to determine if it is Direct Play or not..that should be visible when you press info when watching the movie/tv show. If it is Direct Playing then it is doing what it did before so cannot understand why it would stutter. When you reduce your video quality settings you are more likely to get things to transcode...the point of this is you may be using Kodi remotely where you are limited to a slow internet connection...you would then reduce your video quality settings to match that internet connection speed..the result may be that the video is made smaller and of course picture quality will be reduced. 

 

You should be leaving it on 40mpbs or even increasing it to 100mpbs when running local.

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Angelblue05

I will give it a try! The log informed me that it was using SMB. I do see the direct play when pressing info. Thanks

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xnappo

@@im85288 - looking at the code more - it looks like you removed the ability to stream without transcoding.  I think we still want to have that option too?

 

@@Angelblue05 - again looking at the code, I can't see how this change would break playback if it says direct play.  To make absolutely sure, you can open:

 

<plugin>/lib/Utils.py

 

and change:

if self.isDirectPlay(result) == True:

to:

if True == True:

This will absolutely force it not to transcode.

 

xnappo

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im85288

@@xnappo - Yes I did, it simplified the logic and actually wasn't ever working correctly.

 

As for the Direct Play, Angelblue05 has already stated it says Direct Play so that change you posted above is not needed.

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xnappo

@@xnappo - Yes I did, it simplified the logic and actually wasn't ever working correctly.

 

As for the Direct Play, Angelblue05 has already stated it says Direct Play so that change you posted above is not needed.

 

Playing from stream did used to work correctly(without transcoding) - not sure what you mean.  There may be cases were people want to play from HTTP without transcoding...

 

I agree the code change is not 'needed' - it was just to be absolutely sure it had nothing to do with transcoding (yes, I too am already 99.99% sure).  

 

@@Angelblue05 - if you play with normal XBMC Video library browsing, it works fine?

 

xnappo

Edited by xnappo
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Angelblue05

Okay, increasing the network speed from 40mpbs(default) to 100mpbs, like suggested by im85288, fixes my stuttering issues. I will keep you guys posted if anything changes, but honestly everything is looking good :) Thanks again for the help!

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im85288

@@xnappo - I think we should increase the default value to 100mpbs, will check that in for the next version.

 

As for the play from stream, when I tried it with the recent changes (i.e. new media source etc) it did not work so I left it out. Please feel free to re-add it though if it worked for you.

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