Buffering issues

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nlindblo Offline
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Post: #1
Hi,

I am having problems playing back movies with XBMC Live 9.11 stored on my Windows Home Server and am experiencing movies "hanging" and sometimes I see the "Buffering" message which sometimes can take up to 10-15 seconds to get to 100% so the movie can resume. I have just replaced my old system with a Revo 3610 and was hoping this would go away, but no such luck. This obvious points towards the network being to slow, but I cant work out why this is. Both Home server and Revo is connected to a D-Link desktop Gigabit switch and both adapters report 1000/Full (using sudo ethtool eth0 with putty to XBMC box). I have not got any issues playing pack movies from other computers I have in the house using Windows Media center (connected wired to same switch). I also have 2 wires coming dows to my socket in the living room and tried both, so dont think its any problem with the wire.

Would appreciate if someone could have a look at the debug file

http://pastebin.com/med28e93

and confirm that the "retrieved last packed of queue" message means that the network is too slow, which I assume it does and if there is anything else there that could give any clues. And let me know of any other suggestions to if there are any settings I could look at changing (I have limited Linux experience)

Thanks

Niclas
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nlindblo Offline
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Post: #2
Replaced the switch with a different one of same make with 5 ports rather than 8 that I had spare, same issues.

One observation I make is when I press 'o' on the keyboard to get the detailed data on the screen is that it takes only around a second for the buffer to empty when there is no data coming in. The counter goes from 99 to zero in a blip, then it appears to strugle to recover and the bar goes slowely up to 99% and the playback resumes.

From what I gathered by searching these forums, there is no way to increase the buffer which I believe would resolve my problem (even though it may not be the root cause).

Am I the only one experiencing this on a wired connection ?

Niclas
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SlaveUnit Offline
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Post: #3
Do some speed tests. Send some files to the XBMC box and watch the speed on them. See if they jump around a lot.
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nlindblo Offline
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Post: #4
I have done now and throughput when I use SCP to copy a 8GB file from the WHS to XBMC box is only about 3 Mbit/Sec and somtimes dropping when I monitor this in perfmon on the WHS. Same files can be copied to a Windows machine connected to the same switch at about 30 MB/sec reported in Windows (not how accurate this is though but definetly faster). Will have to move some kit around to test in the same socket or possibly take the Revo upstairs to finalise the test and conclude this, but looks like its got something to do with my cabling.

Anyway, still think the XBMC buffer could be a bit bigger or configurable, looks very fragile at the moment that it can only sustain a second or two playback if there is a network blip.

I shall report back when I done some more testing
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SlaveUnit Offline
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Post: #5
Even with a bigger buffer 3mbits is going to drain very quicky.
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natethomas Offline
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Post: #6
So why not install windows on your revo? If that fixes the problem, it's certainly a solution.

Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.

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nlindblo Offline
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Post: #7
No VPDAU in Windows and hence not able to playback 1080p on the Revo from what I understand. Correct ? Also, main reason I ditch my Windows MCE setup is because of the "slickness" of XBMC Live so not too keen on reverting back.

I am determined to find out if this is related to any parts of my setup or if this is Linux/XBMC related, will not have time until the weekend though.

Interestingly I found a similar thread in the XBMC Live forum

http://www.xbmc.org/forum/showthread.php?t=65788

So am interested to see how this develops

Niclas
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Hannes The Hun Offline
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Post: #8
I *had* a similar problem with the old babylon builds and live on my revo 3600, but apparently camelot fixed this completely. 1080p SMB streaming from my linkstatiuons works perfectly. if I remember correctly, it might actually be related to the graphics buffer and not the network buffer

so please try updating your BIOS to the newest version and play around with the video shared RAM settings

for me, "auto" works fine with camelot, but some users reported that they had to manually switch to 512MB RAM

good luck!

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nlindblo Offline
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Post: #9
I havent been able to find a BIOS update, the BIOS tab is empty on the ACER website. The Revo (3610) came with P1 A2L, is there a newer one ? If so any idea on where to find it
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Hannes The Hun Offline
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Post: #10
no I don't think so, but the situation with the various BIOS versions for the revo models always confused me. but after reading the thread again it really seems to be an SMB problem between the WHS and the XBMC ubuntu. you could test it really easily by playing some 1080p content from an external USB disk, if this works, it can't be the video RAM buffer, and you're back to your networking woes.

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nlindblo Offline
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Post: #11
I changed the BIOS setting "Enable LAN ROM Options" yesterday night without having any idea what this setting does, and following this I actually managed to watch a whole 1080 movie without "buffering". Feels more like a coincidence though, anyone know what this setting does ?
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johnodon Offline
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Post: #12
Hannes The Hun Wrote:no I don't think so, but the situation with the various BIOS versions for the revo models always confused me. but after reading the thread again it really seems to be an SMB problem between the WHS and the XBMC ubuntu. you could test it really easily by playing some 1080p content from an external USB disk, if this works, it can't be the video RAM buffer, and you're back to your networking woes.

Hannes,

I am having the same problems as nlindblo (http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=66428 Update #2). I did exactly what you suggested (connecting the USB HD directly) and all of my stuttering problems disappeared. So, this indeed does nto seem to be a video buffering issue and more of a network buffering issue. I still have yet to replace my cabling just so I can rule that out but I do not think it will make a difference.

John
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nlindblo Offline
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Post: #13
Update,

"Enable LAN ROM Options" was a red herring as I suspected, "buffering issues" came back shortly after my last post.

Tried to copy to the local disk which played back fine so my conclusion now is that this must either be related to SMB or physical components on my network.

I bought myself a new Netgear Gigabit switch on Saturday hoping this will fix the problem before I start swopping my Ethernet cables and touch wood I have watched 3 1080p movies since without a single occurance of the "buffering".

Probably a bit too early to draw any conclusions, but so far its looking good. Will report back when I feel more confident that this has solved the issue.

Niclas
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geewhipped Offline
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Post: #14
I'm having the same problem (with 9.11 on a Revo 1600) and I'm using an enterprise-class Cisco gig-e switch. I regularly move data through this switch at 90MB/s, so there's no reason I should have buffering issues due to the network equipment.

I don't have any more info than that... I just wanted you to know that it probably isn't your switch and/or your cables.
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nlindblo Offline
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Post: #15
geewhipped,

Have you tried copying down a movie to the HD of the Revo and play it back from there successfully ? If that is the case, I cant see any other option than the issue must either be in the SMB implementation or the source system the file is being retrieved/played back from not performing?

Thoughts ?
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