Video pauses when more than one client plays Live TV

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kkphilli Offline
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Post: #1
I have an interesting issue. I have a server running Server MMC version 1134 on Windows 7 x64, Intel Core 2 Duo 3.00 GHz w/ 8 GB RAM and 1 TB drive. I have 3 RPi clients running Openelec 3.95.6 (Beta 4). If one client is watching Live TV and another client requests a channel to watch Live TV, the original client's video will freeze for approximately 5 seconds, then resume when the other client(s) successfully gets the channel. Not sure what is going on. Anyone ever encounter this issue?
(This post was last modified: 2014-04-23 04:44 by kkphilli.)
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scarecrow420 Offline
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Post: #2
It could just be the overhead of starting the new channel stream and additional remux job. If you post a ServerWMC log to pastebin we could see if anything stands out but Id be thinking it could just be a CPU storage or network resource issue temporarily while the machie is presumably under higher load while getting the stream/remux setup for the new client. You could run the windows performance monitor to see whether any virtal stats such as CPU or disk are getting impacted at the time this occurs?

What network connections do you have on the server and Pi's? If you run a local XBMC client on the server PC, and watch the first channel from there, does it also suffer the pause when you fire up a channel on an rpi?

Also btw there are newer server and client releases out, than the ones you are running (not that they have anything specific in them that would help here I dont think) but generally I feel it's a good idea for people to be running on the latest releases.

You could also mention whether this happened on previous gotham beta versions, or frodo... ?

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC) Development Team
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
(This post was last modified: 2014-04-23 04:58 by scarecrow420.)
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kkphilli Offline
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Post: #3
The server sits in the basement running on a gigabit switch. I am using 2 HD Homerun devices for cable via Comcast. Those devices sit up stairs in my office. They are also on a gigabit switch. The 2 switches are connected via a Moca device.For the RPi software, I upgrade today from the Openelec site. I assumed those were the latest as they were posted 4/19. I am not sure if this issue persisted with Frodo, when I originally started with XBMC. I have come a long way since I started. I do remember it happening with the Gotham nightlies. Would a more powerful machine help? Something like an i3 or i5 with an SSD drive maybe? Or is this just the norm?
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scarecrow420 Offline
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Post: #4
How are the RPis connected network wise?

When referring to versions I mean the ServerWMC backend and pvr.wmc frontend versions, rather than your XBMC/openelec version. There is a newer backend version available, and also the frontend addon has a newer version than that which is included in Gotham Beta because we had feature enhancements which couldnt be included in Gotham due to feature lockdown prior to going into Beta. So you need to manually update the pvr.wmc addon on your RPi's if you want that latest version.

In terms of your freezing, I dont think it's "the norm" but despite your server PC definitely being a few generations old now, I wouldnt be comfortable in saying a newer machine would definitely get rid of the issue. My setup is a "mere" Sandybridge Pentium G620 with USB TV tuners and a iSCSI mounted drive from a NAS used for TempSWMC and recordings, all over gigabit LAN. To my knowledge I dont have freezes when a 2nd client starts watching a channel although I cant say we do alot of multi client viewing. Still, one would assume that a sandy bridge pentium wouldnt be smashing a core2duo, and similarly a SATA attached 1TB drive should be OK if a GBLAN connected iSCSI NAS drive is... You certainly dont NEED an SSD for the TV recordings, although obviously that would support more concurrency and higher write rate but it would be too expensive to use SSD for the large storage requirements of raw recorded TV. Perhaps a power user setup is an SSD as scratch/recording drive, then on recording completion automatically move the recordings off to spinning platter storage or a NAS etc. I dont have any experience with network tuners, nor this MoCA connection. If you want to get to the bottom of things, I think you would need to do some mucking around. I would suggest starting with the the server PC, a network tuner, and 2 rPI's all plugged into the same GB switch, and see if you can replicate the issue. Also if you have any other alternative serverPC (even a laptop) with better specs, you could always give that a go as well.

Also as I said, post up a ServerWMC log, there could perhaps be some error message or something logged that points the finger ina particular direction.

We have also seen some pauses/slowdowns when a GetRecordings request came in from a client and the metadata scraping seemed to load up the server affecting it's current streaming jobs. This is dependent on how many recorded items you have etc though, but also this feature was disabled in the latest build 1134 (perhaps another reason you should update your backend) Smile

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC) Development Team
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
(This post was last modified: 2014-04-23 06:43 by scarecrow420.)
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kkphilli Offline
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Post: #5
Scarecrow...my server wmc backend is updated to the latest version 1134 per the original post. My RPi's were on 0.2.93, so I updated them to 0.2.95. Can't believe I didn't catch that.I will test out for a day or so and report back. Thanks for your help though.
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scarecrow420 Offline
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Post: #6
Ah ok, I didnt re-read your first post after you edited it... originally it said backend version was 1129 Smile

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC) Development Team
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
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kkphilli Offline
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Post: #7
Scarecrow..looks like updating the RPi front end did the trick. So far so good.
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scarecrow420 Offline
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Post: #8
Im glad things are working however I cant think of anything in 0.2.94 or 0.2.95 that would influence this, so it's a bit strange! That's definitely all you did?

I suppose the changes to fix FF/RW/seek in active streaming files in 0.2.94 (to do with providing fake file lengths to trick XBMC into thinking the in progress file is full size) could potentially somehow correct your issue (if the pi clients now believe the file is bigger, they dont pause when another stream is being started?)

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC) Development Team
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
(This post was last modified: 2014-04-24 00:17 by scarecrow420.)
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kkphilli Offline
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Post: #9
The issue returned once again. I am wondering if it is the actual server itself. Gonna still poke around.
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krustyreturns Offline
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Post: #10
Please post a link to the server log (after putting it on pastebin) next time you see this, so we can see if there is a clue there what the problem might be due to.

Windows Media Center PVR addon (pvr.wmc) and server backend (ServerWMC)
http://bit.ly/ServerWMC
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