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Fire TV Direct Stream loses audio sync during network slowness

Any issues that are FireTV specific
bgraversen
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Joined: 11 Nov 2016, 02:43

Fire TV Direct Stream loses audio sync during network slowness

Post by bgraversen » 08 Apr 2017, 22:59

I'm currently experiencing an issue with a remote Plex connection where the video starts to stutter and I lose audio. I can fix it by doing a ten second rewind but that last until the next network "hiccup". I am currently using a Fire TV 4K with surround sound. I'm using Mediacodec Surface and the current file in the log is 1080p x264 with Turehd soundtrack.

My setup is currently a VPS with an rclone crypt mount to ACD. Since Plex hasn't dealt properly with buffer settings for direct play I've attempted to set everything to direct stream which gives me a transcode buffer of my choosing on the server to account for the unreliable ACD connection. Theoretically I will have a transcode buffer of 300 seconds maximum when ACD is working and ACD has 5 minutes to get its act together.

That fixes the connection to ACD for the most part but I think I'm running into connection problems between my VPS and home since I'm sharing a 40 Mbps pipe between several people who like YouTube, PlayStation Vue and other bandwidth intensive programs. I admit that I have a problem here and I'm currently playing with QOS policies to try an make "my" experience the best since I control the connection to the outside world.

So here is what I hope to fix. If I use MrMC and the connection has a temporary problem everything goes bad and I get all kinds of audiosync issues. If I use the Plex app and have a connectivity problem it buffers for a few seconds and then we are back. I'm not sure this is a quick fix or not but if I can help you troubleshoot the problem I feel like it would be a huge benefit for your product as many plex users are looking to move their media to the cloud.

Here is my pastebin for reference. https://pastebin.com/6F6bUf9K

Where do we start and has anyone else came to you with this type of unique setup?

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davilla
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Re: Fire TV Direct Stream loses audio sync during network slowness

Post by davilla » 09 Apr 2017, 00:40

1st thing I would do is change the default cache setting from 20MBs to 200MBs.

I see you have the plex client setup to transcode but 'videoQuality=100&videoResolution=1920x1080', I'd drop that to 720p sizes if you cannot rely on a solid network stream.

bgraversen
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Joined: 11 Nov 2016, 02:43

Re: Fire TV Direct Stream loses audio sync during network slowness

Post by bgraversen » 09 Apr 2017, 04:44

I will increase the cache setting to 200 and give it a try. I tbelieve the log was when it was on 100. Is there a way to monitor the cache status? I believe that the 720 setting will probably do the trick but is there a way that we could mimic the behavior of the plex app. When watching something in the Plex Fire TV app if I run into a buffering issue the movie stops and it buffers but in MRMC it would appear that either the frames are being played as they are read by ffmpeg (I.e. I/o symptom) or the first network problem causes the video to go out of sync and even when the connection recovers the sync isn't restored.

Is there a way to account for a low buffer condition and stop the stream temporarily instead of completely breaking the viewing experience?

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davilla
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Re: Fire TV Direct Stream loses audio sync during network slowness

Post by davilla » 09 Apr 2017, 10:49

if should pause, fill buffers, then resume.

You can watch buffering using 'o', or via json

curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{"jsonrpc":"2.0","method":"Input.ShowCodec","id":1}' http://192.168.2.44:8080/jsonrpc

use your IP:port. It is the webserver port.

I think we added a button in webserver/remote that also enables it, in lower right corner.

aq/vq are the player demuxer buffers. nothing plays unless these are 50 percent or better. LiveTV gets handled different.
total cache is below the video line. MrMC will fill total cache as fast as it can. With Plex client/transcode, you will be limited on how fast it can transcode/send and fill MrMC total cache.

Some stream types are not included in total cache buffering, these can be forced using the buffer type in setting. For example, local smb/nfs servers.

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amet
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Re: Fire TV Direct Stream loses audio sync during network slowness

Post by amet » 09 Apr 2017, 11:38

here is wiki on how to get codec info using webui

http://wiki.mrmc.tv/index.php/Codec_Info

bgraversen
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Joined: 11 Nov 2016, 02:43

Re: Fire TV Direct Stream loses audio sync during network slowness

Post by bgraversen » 10 Apr 2017, 00:07

Thanks with the quick replies. I'll see what I can find out and report back either good or bad news.

bgraversen
Posts: 25
Joined: 11 Nov 2016, 02:43

Re: Fire TV Direct Stream loses audio sync during network slowness

Post by bgraversen » 10 Apr 2017, 05:55

Ok I did some initial testing and it would appear that the buffer is not filling to 200MBs when it is at 100% as it will go from 100% to 0% in a matter of seconds. One such test gave me 15 seconds of play back after I started using bandwidth on another source. The stream that I was watching topped out at 10 Mbps at certain points but even then it should last more than 15 seconds when bandwidth is limited.

I can see that buffer influences playback as I can see as long as I have sufficient bandwidth things play smoothly but I think there is an issue with the buffer function currently. I will play with the buffer settings to see what else I can find out. Do you have any other ideas.

First I would like to at least pause the video and watch the buffer fill albeit slowly and then watch it's slow demise if my internet connection isn't up to the challenge. For a 200MB buffer with a 10Mbps fim I should expect at least 2:30 minutes right? That's also assuming I lose my complete connection.

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davilla
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Re: Fire TV Direct Stream loses audio sync during network slowness

Post by davilla » 10 Apr 2017, 11:30

Ignore the percent, watch the number after "forward:" The cache size set in GUI settings is the total cache which includes space to seek back as well as forward and other cases. The absolute number is a little fuzzy.

So for example, I have mine set to 200MBs, forward says 75.00MB. If I big seek (up or down on remote). That will void cache and refilll. It refills in about 10 seconds and I can see aq/vq fill first, the forward starts to increase.

Cache filling will happen when paused.

The speed factor and bandwidth limits will have no effect, they have been disconnected and MrMC will pull as fast as bandwidth permits. Wifi 802.11AC will be the fastest if the device does not have a gigabit wired connection. Next are network protocol, http/https (plex) seems fastest, followed by NFS, then SMB.

bgraversen
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Joined: 11 Nov 2016, 02:43

Re: Fire TV Direct Stream loses audio sync during network slowness

Post by bgraversen » 10 Apr 2017, 23:46

Ok I did more testing and noticed that my forward number was not increasing. Even when paused it was still not increasing or even going above zero, but I found that I need to turn transcoding off for the forward buffer to fill as expected. It looks like direct playing a video has the desired effect as you stated before but this isn't the case for a transcode/direct stream. Is it possible to have the same buffer behavior for a transcode stream or is this a limitation of Plex limiting the amount of the transcoded string to the client?

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davilla
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Re: Fire TV Direct Stream loses audio sync during network slowness

Post by davilla » 11 Apr 2017, 02:06

bgraversen wrote:
10 Apr 2017, 23:46
Ok I did more testing and noticed that my forward number was not increasing. Even when paused it was still not increasing or even going above zero, but I found that I need to turn transcoding off for the forward buffer to fill as expected. It looks like direct playing a video has the desired effect as you stated before but this isn't the case for a transcode/direct stream. Is it possible to have the same buffer behavior for a transcode stream or is this a limitation of Plex limiting the amount of the transcoded string to the client?
Could be a transcode side effect. We ask for more but will only get what the Plex server decides to send. It could be throttling output to a rate it thinks is good enough. There is a setting to cache to all internet streams. Try changing to that.

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