Buffering problems in Gotham with PVR and live TV

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kirkvanslyke Offline
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Post: #1
Hello,
I've searched around a bit and haven't found a discussion of the problems I'm currently experiencing, so thought I start a new thread and see if anyone else has ideas on what may be happening.

I have a Windows 8.1 platform running XBMC 13 Beta 3. My tuner card is a Ceton Infinitv 4 with a cable card from my local provider. I have set up ServerWMC on the same PC as XMBC and installed the pvr.wmc client addon. I went through all of the prescribed setup for WMC and ServerWMC, and I am able to successfully watch live TV and record shows in XBMC.

The problem I am having, however, is that sometimes when I try to watch certain channels I get a message in XBMC saying "buffering... xx%", the video image will freeze or be broken, and I can hear a series of loud buzzes from the speakers. This does not happen all the time, and does not always happen on the same channels. When it is happening on one channel, the next channel over may be perfectly fine. Also, when this is happening on say, channel 100, if I close XMBC and open WMC channel 100 looks perfectly good with no video quality issues. So, I tend to think this isn't a signal quality issue.

Has anyone seen this behavior before? Any suggestions on things to try or whether I'm seeing a problem with the ServerWMC settings, client compatibility with Gotham, or something else?

Also, on an unrelated note, when I change channels in live TV using the +/- channel button on my remote, it is VERY slow to change channels. If I use the EPG to select different channels, it's fine. Is this my tuner card causing the slowness? I haven't compared performance in WMC yet.


Thanks!
Kirk
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scarecrow420 Offline
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Post: #2
Wha are the vital stats of the PC in question (CPU Ram HardDrive type size and free space) etc?

Can you post up a ServerWMC log to pastebin? There is a guide to doing so in the sticky threads or wiki

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC) Development Team
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
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kirkvanslyke Offline
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Post: #3
Wow, I had posted a reply, but when I looked just now, my reply isn't here!

Let's try again...

My specs are as follows:
CPU: AMD A6-5400K
Memory: 8GB
Disk: SSD system drive (with 31GB free space), standard hard drive for media (with over 750GB free space)

Logs were collected just after experiencing this buffering issue on channel 1034. Again, the problem happens in XBMC live TV, but WMC does not show this problem on the same channel.

ServerWMC log: http://pastebin.com/9m7cGR5E

XBMC log: http://pastebin.com/KBuph9ET

ServerWMC config file: http://pastebin.com/8xgCQ5NE

(hope this post actually goes...)

Thanks!
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advocate99 Offline
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Post: #4
Buffering on Live TV is a problem that many of us have been experiencing for quite some time, even in Frodo. My recommendation is that you hit the pause button for about 15 seconds right after the stream starts, and then unpause. That usually solves the problem for me - until I skip a commercial.
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krustyreturns Offline
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Post: #5
Hi Kirk,

Can you check to see if you have this file:
LiveTV_HTPC_Digital Cable_1003_2014_04_24_07_10_29.wtv

Hopefully it is still stored in your recorded tv folder here: D:\Recorded TV\TempSWMC\savedfordebug

If you have this file please save it for me, let me know if you have it and we'll work on getting it to me next.

Looking at the log, something is going wrong with the COM routines that control your tuners. They somehow becoming unavailable to swmc. When you see that very long channel changing time, it is due to swmc cycling through all of your tuners trying to find one that doesn't have the error. When you say that wmc works after the error, I am assuming wmc is resetting the COM (its one of the things I have not figured out how to do from swmc). Unfortunately I don't know why this is happening. I will look at the log some more, but please see if you have the file mention above.

You say if this error occurs it only happens on certain channels, like 1034? Is that right or can it happen on any channel?

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC)
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
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krustyreturns Offline
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Post: #6
Looking at the log in more detail. I looks like you were able to view channel 1034 okay, but when you started channel 1032 was when you got a problem. It looks like 1032 started, but then the remux stopped getting data and it died (probably your buffering error), after that the COM was hosed which is what I was referring to in my previous post. When this channel started the CP check said the channel was PROT_COPY_ONCE, which actually shouldn't work at all in swmc (but will work in wmc). Sometimes the CP flags aren't correct. Do you know if this channel really is copy once?

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC)
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
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kirkvanslyke Offline
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Post: #7
Hi,
I checked, and unfortunately do not have any files under \TempSWMC. Maybe because I exited XBMC? I did have something interesting happen this morning. I tuned to channel 1052, and was getting the same problem. So I exited xbmc and started up WMC to see how it would be there. When I switched to the channel in WMC, it started playing, but after a few seconds of playback popped up a very brief error message. The error message was something to the effect "Cannot play protected content..." The message only displayed for a couple seconds, and then normal playback resumed.

I wasn't familiar with "copy once" so searched and read another thread on this on the forum. I also found info elsewhere on the web that seems to indicate Cox cable (my provider) applies this setting differently for certain markets and channels. I have collected a log file from my tuner card diagnostic program and opened a ticket with Ceton to see if their diag utility has the ability to confirm the setting for certain channels.

This copy once flag sounds like a probable cause. I will reply back if I am able to confirm the setting on the channels I'm having this issue with.

Does anyone know of another utility out there that might be able to detect the setting, or this going to be something unique to my card manufacturer?
(This post was last modified: 2014-04-27 20:44 by kirkvanslyke.)
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kirkvanslyke Offline
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Post: #8
Well, I heard back from Ceton today, and they told me where the CCI information is logged on each of the four tuners for the last channel received on each one. I checked my logs and found the file corresponding to a "bad" signal, and the copy protection is listed as "none". I then tuned in a good channel and captured a new set of logs and compared the "good" channel\tuner info with the "bad" one.

Everything looked the same except that on the good channel the OOB signal level is reported as -3.3 dBmV, and on the BAD channel, it was listed as +2.4 dBmV. Everything else including signal levels and signal-to-noise ration were similar between the two.

I'm guessing the OOB signal level is nothing to be concerned with. I would have expected the negative number to be worse than the positive number.

I really don't know what to think now.

I noticed today when viewing a bad channel it would play about two seconds, give the buffering thing for 5-10 seconds, play another couple seconds, etc. Still no .wtv files, but there is also no directory called \savedfordebug. Do I need to enable an additional debug setting to capture these?
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scarecrow420 Offline
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Post: #9
is your explorer set to show hidden files and folders?

If you have to, you can temporarily untick the option to delete temporary files, then the files will remain in the TempSWMC directory for you to grab. Once you have one, you can enable the option again so you dont accumulate the files

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC) Development Team
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
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kirkvanslyke Offline
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Post: #10
Hi Scarecrow,
I am setup to view hidden files\folders. The only thing I hide is protected OS files. As far as I am aware, there is no setting in Windows 8.1 to automatically delete temporary files (other than in Internet Explorer which would only affect IE temp files). Is there some other setting to check?

Thanks!
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scarecrow420 Offline
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Post: #11
Sorry, the temporary file option i referred to is in ServerWMC (probably on the debug tab). It tells serverWMC to delete the stream files once the user changes channel.

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC) Development Team
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
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kirkvanslyke Offline
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Post: #12
Thanks!

Krusty, I have a file capture from a bad channel. I've uploaded it below along with the tuner diag file for that same channel.

WTV file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/cjo3ds8msqq75j..._09_35.wtv
(Note, file is 75MB)

Log file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rres9r6zdo390d...nit__3.txt
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krustyreturns Offline
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Post: #13
I have the file. Hopefully I'll be able to find something. Thanks for putting it up.

Well that was quick. I first tried opening it just in wmc. It starts playing for a few seconds, then says:

The broadcaster prohibits this file from being copied... (more stuff after this I didn't bother to read)

Which mean it is copy_once. So xbmc can't play it. It's interesting that it plays for a while though, I am going to try to figure out how to detect this so that we can at least have xbmc fail more gracefully then what it is doing for you.

But unfortunately only wmc or wmp on your computer will be able to play this file.

lol. Just opened it in xbmc. That is an ugly fail.

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC)
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
(This post was last modified: 2014-05-01 04:30 by krustyreturns.)
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kirkvanslyke Offline
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Post: #14
Thanks Krusty!

I was able to play this on my computer using VLC media player, but is that just because I have the right codecs that maybe come from WMC (which is also installed)?

More graceful would be nice :-) The part you don't get by viewing the file is that during the times when it pauses, in xbmc I hear loud buzzing sound and get the buffering message flashing at the top of the screen. lol not pleasant!

The copy_once explanation makes the most sense and is somewhat consistent with other posts I've see about Cox cable. What is somewhat puzzling is that the diag file from Ceton indicates that the channel is not copy protected as the snippet below shows. For whatever reason, their diags don't detect the setting.

Code:
"Diag/Copy Protection Status","None"

After doing a bit more digging in forums, I am hearing that there may be use of CGMS rather than CCI, and\or I may need a tuning adapter in my particular market to receive certain channels (however, am suspicious of the tuning adapter theory considering I can view those channels fine in WMC). I did find a contact from Cox who seems to be knowledgeable so I'm going to reach out to him and see if he can confirm the copy production status of specific channels I'm having problems with.

Unlike I had mentioned earlier, it does seem to be specific channels that ALWAYS have this problem, so again seems to point back to copy production of some kind.
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kirkvanslyke Offline
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Post: #15
Hmm, interesting. Found this in the same diag log regarding this channel I'm having problems with. If I'm reading this correctly, I think it is indicating that CCI byte is not set for this channel, so it falls back to CGMSA (even though this is not an analog signal). What do you think?

Code:
Jan  1 00:49:28 ocur[21]: ocur: WARNING: [2] Timed out waiting for CCI (recvd 0)
Jan  1 00:49:30 ocur[21]: ocur: [2-2.c0a8c802] Using analog cp 0x4000082 (RC=0 APS=0 CGMSA=2)
Jan  1 00:49:36 ocur[21]: ocur: [2-2.c0a8c802] Using analog cp 0x4000082 (RC=0 APS=0 CGMSA=2)
Jan  1 00:49:41 ocur[21]: ocur: [2-2.c0a8c802] Using analog cp 0x4000082 (RC=0 APS=0 CGMSA=2)
Jan  1 00:49:57 ocur[21]: ocur: [2-2.c0a8c802] Using analog cp 0x4000082 (RC=0 APS=0 CGMSA=2)
Jan  1 00:50:06 ocur[21]: ocur: [2-2.c0a8c802] Using analog cp 0x4000082 (RC=0 APS=0 CGMSA=2)
Jan  1 00:50:11 ocur[21]: ocur: [2-2.c0a8c802] Using analog cp 0x4000082 (RC=0 APS=0 CGMSA=2)
Jan  1 00:50:21 ocur[21]: ocur: [2-2.c0a8c802] Using analog cp 0x4000082 (RC=0 APS=0 CGMSA=2)
Jan  1 00:50:26 ocur[21]: upnp: [192.168.200.2] Calling Action(fdc[2]) RequestTables
Jan  1 00:50:26 ocur[21]: upnp: [192.168.200.2] Action(fdc[2]) RequestTables success
Jan  1 00:50:26 ocur[21]: upnp: [192.168.200.2] Calling Action(fdc[2]) RequestTables
Jan  1 00:50:26 ocur[21]: upnp: [192.168.200.2] Action(fdc[2]) RequestTables success
Jan  1 00:50:26 ocur[21]: upnp: [192.168.200.2] Calling Action(av[2]) Stop
Jan  1 00:50:26 ocur[21]: ocur: WARNING: [2] Disabling video
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