Very slow channel switching

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jelleeelco Offline
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Post: #1
Hi all,

I hope someone knows the answer to this. Just installed a cablrstar hd2 and configured mediaportal as backend.
It all works, but channel switching takes 10 to 12 secondz. In mediaportal max 2 to 4 (all for sd channels).

Is this hardware related? I have an amd 5200 dualcore, 4gb ram, ssd, and gt520 video card. Or is it normal?

Many thanks in advance,
Jelle
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FernetMenta Offline
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Post: #2
This is not an hw issue. I would even consider 2-4 secs as long.
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jelleeelco Offline
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Post: #3
Thanks, thats a relief. Any idea were I should find the reason? In the tv server or in settings of xbmc? When switching, it just says "Busy". It looks like it buffers the stream first (checked it yesterday, its now around 8 sec).
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FernetMenta Offline
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Post: #4
It might be related to mediaportal add-on or server. Contact margro, he might be able to help. (https://github.com/margro/xbmc)
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margro Offline
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Post: #5
Because you did not provide much information about which XBMC pvr build you are using, which version of the addon and whether you are using the backend and frontend on the same machine or on different pc's I can only give a general explanation.

Basically, the contributors that influence the channel switch times are:
  1. the time it takes to tune a particular channel (TV Server)
  2. the time it takes to decrypt an encrypted channel (TV Server/CAM)
  3. the time it takes to start timeshifting (TVServer)
  4. the time it takes to fetch the stream URL / timeshift filename (MediaPortal pvr addon)
  5. the time it takes to start the stream playback (addon + XBMC)


I can't influence 1-3. You can see the time it takes for 1-3 in when using the debug version of the TVServerXBMC plugin (the .exe version).
Note that first time tuning takes longer than a channel switch due to the initialization of your card and the creation of the timeshift buffer (@TV Server).

Currently, there are 2 different MediaPortal pvr addons: "ffmpeg" and "tsreader". The first one is distributed in the builds from Dushmaniac (opdenkamp). The tsreader version is currently only in my builds.

The "ffmpeg" version uses RTSP streams for channel playback and this results in large channel switch times 6-20 sec. One of the reasons is that XBMC's internal ffmpeg library takes quite some time to start the playback of an RTSP url from the TV Server.
Because I can't really speed-up this part, I started with a different approach to re-use parts of the playback code from MediaPortal: the tsreader version.

This addon has much faster channel switch times: 2-5 s in my case. I'm still working on getting this faster, but similar channel switch times as in MediaPortal itself should be possible in your case.

Developer of the MediaPortal PVR addon and the Argus-TV PVR-addon. Unofficial XBMC Windows builds with PVR.
http://www.scintilla.utwente.nl/~marcelg/xbmc
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jelleeelco Offline
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Post: #6
Hi Margro,

Thank you for your elaborative answer and apologies for my weak initial post: I should know better... I USED the latest version from Opdenkamp and indeed the FFmpeg. Now I switched to your (latest) version and used the TSReader and indeed channel switching is only 2 seconds now! Same as in MediaPortal (I'm using only FTA channels with DVB-C, Terratect Cablestar HD2).

Because I thought it was related to the TVserver from MP, I changed to ForTheRecord. Now I can test both, and there is (almost) no difference in MP TV server or FTR. Which is great, as I almost went for betraying XBMC and go to the MP side; blu ray playback and just easy-of-use of XBMC stop me though.

Can you advise me what is the best tvserver? Which do you prefer? Ultimately I plan to use 3 DVB-C tuners and one DVB-S2.
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mylle Offline
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Post: #7
Now we just need the tsreader addon to be availible on the ATV2 Smile

Any update on this?

regards
Jacob
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margro Offline
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Post: #8
@jelleelco:
I'm myself a MediaPortal TV Server user. The functionality of the MediaPortal and ForTheRecord addons are roughtly similar.
Right now, ForTheRecord is a better choice when your client is a Linux machine or a Mac/ATV2.

@mylle:
Most of the MediaPortal tsreader code is already ported (thanks to help from Red-f who did it for the ForTheRecord addon).
However, I had no time yet to test it under Linux and MacOSX. I don't own an ATV2 or a Mac so I can't test it myself.

Developer of the MediaPortal PVR addon and the Argus-TV PVR-addon. Unofficial XBMC Windows builds with PVR.
http://www.scintilla.utwente.nl/~marcelg/xbmc
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mylle Offline
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Post: #9
margro Wrote:@jelleelco:
I'm myself a MediaPortal TV Server user. The functionality of the MediaPortal and ForTheRecord addons are roughtly similar.
Right now, ForTheRecord is a better choice when your client is a Linux machine or a Mac/ATV2.

@mylle:
Most of the MediaPortal tsreader code is already ported (thanks to help from Red-f who did it for the ForTheRecord addon).
However, I had no time yet to test it under Linux and MacOSX. I don't own an ATV2 or a Mac so I can't test it myself.

If you could compile an ATV2 build for me i will be more than happy to test it out Smile

Regards
Jacob
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jelleeelco Offline
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Post: #10
Hi Margro,
Thanks. Is there a specific reason you're using Mediaportal? I found FTR is a bit more stable, no glitches on startup, no "can't tune to channel" messages. But it might well be it has all to do with the ffmpeg reader. Right now using FTR and seems working ok (client and server on same pc, windows 7).

Now in the process of making the remote working as I want too...not a chance my wife will accept a half-working machine!
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margro Offline
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Post: #11
Actually, I have both FTR and MediaPortal installed. By default I'm using the MediaPortal TV Server because I had no time yet to figure out how to get my CAM working properly.
I'm using the FTR installation right now only for the pvr addon development.

I my situation, both backends perform equally well (no glitches, no problems after resume etc.) and I don't need the more advanced recording rules from ForTheRecord, so that is basically why I'm still a MediaPortal TV Server user.

Developer of the MediaPortal PVR addon and the Argus-TV PVR-addon. Unofficial XBMC Windows builds with PVR.
http://www.scintilla.utwente.nl/~marcelg/xbmc
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arielgr Offline
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Post: #12
Hi Margro,

Thanks for all your hard work - love the ability to view TV through my XBMC.
I am also noticing a very slow channel switching (measured 5-6 seconds for a switch) using the last eden release of your build.
I am wondering if this is the fastest we can get to? 5-6 seconds is very noticeable to the level of quite annoying..
Is there anything to do?

btw - as of several builds ago I started noticing the first second after channel switching the video shows green and then changes to the actual video.
Has anyone else noticed this?
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MrNorma Offline
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Post: #13
Hi margro, i would be happy to test a atv2 build. I just got your windows build setup today and it runs pretty well with around a 3-4s channel switch. I also managed to get MP working on atv2 with ffmpeg but no chance of watching anything as it constantly buffers.

Keep up the good work.
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davor Offline
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Post: #14
(2012-03-26 22:53)arielgr Wrote:  btw - as of several builds ago I started noticing the first second after channel switching the video shows green and then changes to the actual video.
Has anyone else noticed this?

Can also confirm this (with both ffmpeg and tsreader). It's only on HD channels. Using XBMC 12 and "MediaPortal 1.3.0 beta - TVServerXBMC plugin v1.2.200.120", with 1.3.0 RC as TV Server.

Switching is also slow (sometimes +10 sec), but this I have on channel previews in TVServer also. When I switch channels, I see MSE peaking CPU usage. When I disable MSE, the channel switching in TVServer is noticably faster (2-5 sec), but it is still slow in XBMC. So it seems that MSE is interfering with TVServer, besides the fact that XBMC channel switching is slow?
(This post was last modified: 2013-02-08 19:36 by davor.)
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MetalHepple Offline
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Post: #15
I used to have this problem but have got my channel switching down to 2 to 3 seconds using DVBViewer Pro. It's not free software but is only £13. If ya need any help setting it up just giz a shout.
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