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Choppy streaming

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pommybloke

Serviio newbie

Posts: 14

Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 5:20 am

Post Tue May 01, 2012 5:27 am

Choppy streaming

Hi all,

Im very new to this and have been looking through the various threads and havent found anything that seemed to help.

I have installed the live feeds.groovy file and managed to get some streams working.

However, they all seem to be very choppy, and seem to buffer quite a bit.

I have tried on all of my devices (WDTV, Samung TV, PS3, Xbox) and pretty much the same results.
Although the Xbox pretty much refuses to play any of the streams most of the time, with errors stating it had lost the internet connection or just error playign the stream.

I have set serviio to use both 2 cores for transcoding and have set the preferred online content quality to low.

I have an ADSL2+ connection that has very fast download speeds and all of the devices are connected via a CAT6 cable running from the study to the theatre room.

I did see some posts about changing bitrates etc in the profiles but wasnt sure where to start.

Really would appreciate some assistance with this.

Thanks everyone!
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pommybloke

Serviio newbie

Posts: 14

Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 5:20 am

Post Tue May 01, 2012 7:20 am

Re: Choppy streaming

Actually seems to be the feeds.

Im using the RSS feeds from the forum.

I tried using them in VLC on my computer and theyre still very choppy.

The Sky News feed that is suggested to use as an example is working perfectly though!
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beano

Serviio newbie

Posts: 2

Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:53 am

Post Tue May 01, 2012 7:54 am

Re: Choppy streaming

I have experienced similar results.
Many of the feeds start off smoothly, then go choppy or freeze after a few minutes.
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pommybloke

Serviio newbie

Posts: 14

Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 5:20 am

Post Tue May 01, 2012 11:59 pm

Re: Choppy streaming

Im guessing that theres nothing that can be done about this then?

It just seems strange that something like the Sky News link plays flawlessly, but all of the others are very choppy and stuttery.
Especially when other people are saying that they can stream them ok too.
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pommybloke

Serviio newbie

Posts: 14

Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 5:20 am

Post Wed May 02, 2012 11:59 pm

Re: Choppy streaming

Can anyone provide assistance here?

Im wondering if it has anything to do with geographical location?

Im in Melbourne, Australia.

Has anyone else in Australia got the feeds working well?
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jhb50

DLNA master

Posts: 2856

Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:32 pm

Post Thu May 03, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Choppy streaming

All online streams get transcoded into a memory buffer.

Depending on the stream (use ffmpeg to get its components)
the stream may simply be remuxed into mpeg-ts or the audio and videos also transcoded (see the profile serviio is using for your tv to see what the rules are) (serviio uses first valid rule from local rules, then online rules if present or profile 1 online rules if not). See the debug log for the ffmpeg command actually used.

Transcoding is cpu intensive. Load will vary with the codecs and bitrate of the stream. Dual core cpus will max out, and HD videos impose ~4xtimes the load of SD. If your CPU cannot hack it in real time (there is no buffering to even out highs and lows) the video playback of the transcoded stream will be choppy. (Note the console transcoding parameter for the number of cpus to be used, and the windows task manager performance tab will show the cpu utilization by core)

Its also possible that the stream itself being ~4x the data is having problems making it thru the internet regardless of your connection speed to your isp.
I use the Network tab on the windows task manager, and display bytes in and out per second. It shows how smooth or choppy the input data flow is, and will also show the effect of any transcoding. When my rules were transcoding h264.flv to mpeg2video my output was 4x the input. Since my TV can play H264.flv natively I changed my samsung c-d profile to only remux online h.264.flv to mpeg-ts. viewtopic.php?f=10&t=6057&start=10#p43806

Even when the dataflow seems sufficient, I have seen the video freeze for a few seconds and then start playing again. I don't know if this is due to the source providing frozen frames (many of them are just ad-hoc capture card setups subject to their own delays in sending their streams to the streaming server service provider), or if errors introduced over the internet (lost packets, misordered packets etc) are the cause.

You also need to ensure that you have other network traffic paused (p2p) and that your wireless connection is not flaky due to signal interference or low data rate (shown in task manager) or use a wired connection.

All told there are many factors, so you need to pick a stream and check out which of these are contributing to the choppy results. The best results will be from a quality stream provider streaming from a nearby site to minimize network delays. That's why isp provided ppv streams work well, where those coming from ad-hoc setup via overloaded servers across the oceans may not.

I've written this on the fly, based on my experience to date. It would be nice if others more knowledgeable would post their comment/corrections below and I'll put together a wiki addressing the whole subject of "getting good on-line streaming results". I still have lots of questions on how this all works so it would be nice to hear others explain it too.
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pommybloke

Serviio newbie

Posts: 14

Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 5:20 am

Post Thu May 03, 2012 11:09 pm

Re: Choppy streaming

OK thanks jhb50.

This makes a bit more sense.

Not 100% sure what im doing but i made sure everything else on my pc was disabled and started a HD stream.
The networking tab in task manager was maxing at 0.25%, so im guessing thats not the problem.

However, my CPU in task manager was at 100%.

This was while using VLC, which i guess still performs some type of decode.
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pjm

Serviio newbie

Posts: 2

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:37 am

Location: Noosa QLD.Australia

Post Fri May 04, 2012 10:21 am

Re: Choppy streaming

G,day Pommybloke,i,m also trying these streams in oz,sd streams seam to be fine most of the time but HD streams choppy,my cpu seams to be handling it no problem according to activity monitor(on Mac) network though goes up and down ,not smooth at all,i have good internet speed (for oz that is)download 18mbps which according to most info i can find is sufficient .Youtube streams in HD play no problem so maybe source of some HD streams is the problem?
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siriusblack

DLNA master

Posts: 191

Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:31 am

Location: UK

Post Wed May 09, 2012 5:38 am

Re: Choppy streaming

I hope I'm using the right place if I'm not sorry

I am new to all this

I bought a new laptop Sony vaio i5 & 6Gb of ram
Just wondering why when using sopcast it still freezes
And stutters

I'm using wireless Bt infinity

Can any one help with an answer

Thanks
Samsung ue46c8000 - Samsung C5900 BDP - Sony PS3 - Windows 8 - I5 Duel Core 16GB - 3.2 GHZ - Serviio 1.3.1 Pro

Beta Tester
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mhand

Streaming enthusiast

Posts: 34

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:24 pm

Post Wed May 09, 2012 7:36 pm

Re: Choppy streaming

jhb50 is bang on. Had the same problems myself and resolved it - after a long period of trial, error and learning - in the same way as he did, amending the profile so it just remuxed to mpeg-ts instead of transcoding

Although HD streaming is generally very smooth I still get the odd hiccup for a few seconds and echo the comments about ad-hoc streams from overloaded servers as i certainly notice more issues during evenings, weekends and popular football matches.

i am far from an expert in these things, but some initial troubleshooting steps I'd suggest are:

First step is to figure out what formats your TV natively supports. There's information on the wiki for this http://wiki.serviio.org/doku.php?id=dev ... at_support or google it. Then check the format of the stream using ffmepg or the media information window in VLC

Look at profiles.xml and figure out whether the stream would be transcoded or not, and whether it needs to be based on your findings on the supported formats

Enable DEBUG logging viewtopic.php?f=5&t=7 and restart Serviio.

Start the online stream and look for the entry on the log file which looks like

  Code:
DEBUG [FFMPEGWrapper] Invoking FFmpeg to transcode video file: rtmp://s7.webport.tv/live/z050226.stream pageUrl=http://www.tvsector.com/ swfVfy=0 live=1
DEBUG [ProcessExecutor] Starting /Applications/serviio-0.6.2-osx/Serviio.app/Contents/Resources/Java/../../MacOS/ffmpeg -i rtmp://s7.webport.tv/live/z050226.stream pageUrl=http://www.tvsector.com/ swfVfy=0 live=1 -y -async 1 -vcodec copy -vbsf h264_mp4toannexb -copyts -acodec ac3 -ab 384k -ac 2 -map 0:0 -map 0:1 -sn -f mpegts pipe:


The bit after 'vcodec' is what you're looking for as this will tell you what Serviio is actually doing with the stream - transcoding or remuxing. This will make more sense if you cross reference with the profile.

The above steps won't fix the problem, but will at least enable you to understand what's going on a bit better. Post back here with any results and I'm sure we'll help you further if we can
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mhand

Streaming enthusiast

Posts: 34

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:24 pm

Post Wed May 09, 2012 7:40 pm

Re: Choppy streaming

What profile are you using and what is your TV model by the way ?
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pommybloke

Serviio newbie

Posts: 14

Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 5:20 am

Post Wed May 09, 2012 10:54 pm

Re: Choppy streaming

mhand wrote:jhb50 is bang on. Had the same problems myself and resolved it - after a long period of trial, error and learning - in the same way as he did, amending the profile so it just remuxed to mpeg-ts instead of transcoding


But does this still apply if the feeds are choppy when viewed through VLC?
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mhand

Streaming enthusiast

Posts: 34

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:24 pm

Post Thu May 10, 2012 9:01 am

Re: Choppy streaming

No. VLC is a totally different application. Don't know how it does it's streaming but it has nothing to do with the serviio profiles

Interestingly this morning the HD_Sports streams are totally unwatchable for me, both in Serviio and in VLC, though they were fine yesterday and nothing has changed since then. Checking in Activity Monitor I'm receiving data at around 150 KB /s. If I go to the BBC website and pick a programme on the iplayer, I'm getting speeds of around 800KB/s and perfect playback. Does this support the
... isp provided ppv streams work well, where those coming from ad-hoc setup via overloaded servers across the oceans may not.
theory ?
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jhb50

DLNA master

Posts: 2856

Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:32 pm

Post Thu May 10, 2012 3:15 pm

Re: Choppy streaming

Eurosport working fine here. didn't check the others.
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mhand

Streaming enthusiast

Posts: 34

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:24 pm

Post Thu May 10, 2012 8:19 pm

Re: Choppy streaming

Yeah, same here now. Switched on about 2pm for the Giro D'Italia and it was fine, went a bit flakey towards the end though. It's now 9pm UK time and they're all streaming fine at around 350 -450 KB/s

I Think the conclusion for me is that Serviio works perfectly - provided it gets the right input. There may be a few tweaks required to the profiles depending on individual set ups, but once you've got up and running HD streams may or may not run smoothly depending on factors outside of your control, which I for one am convinced is down to the streaming providers. I've not had any 'choppy' issues with streaming local files, or with lower definition streams, but then, they tend to be very unreliable.

At the end of the day I get to watch loads of stuff I wouldn't be able to otherwise so I'm happy. I guess a couple of years ago we wouldn't have been able to do what we're doing now in terms of streaming HD TV over the internet, so in the not too distant future this sort of thing will probably be run of the mill
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jhb50

DLNA master

Posts: 2856

Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:32 pm

Post Thu May 10, 2012 10:00 pm

Re: Choppy streaming

I'm inclined to agree with you because we can stream files from sites such as YouTube just fine. What has me baffled is that I can monitor an HD stream coming in at 300kb/sec but the video still breaks up. Perhaps the packets arrive but are either defective or out of order.

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