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Level 7

Advice for Debugging playback?

I'm playing with the simple video app example right now, streaming mp4 video from an Apache server. It works very well for around an hour's worth of video, and then it starts dropping to the 'loading, please wait' screen every few minutes.

In the apache logs I see the following:

192.168.101.135 - - [19/Dec/2009:17:12:51 -0800] "GET /movies/Transformers_ws.mp4 HTTP/1.1" 206 861020 "-" "Roku/DVP-2.4 (012.04E00350A)"
192.168.101.135 - - [19/Dec/2009:17:13:21 -0800] "GET /movies/Transformers_ws.mp4 HTTP/1.1" 206 578653421 "-" "Roku/DVP-2.4 (012.04E00350A)"
192.168.101.135 - - [19/Dec/2009:17:15:30 -0800] "GET /movies/Transformers_ws.mp4 HTTP/1.1" 200 1048543645 "-" "Roku/DVP-2.4 (012.04E00350A)"
192.168.101.135 - - [19/Dec/2009:17:15:31 -0800] "GET /movies/Transformers_ws.mp4 HTTP/1.1" 206 564835216 "-" "Roku/DVP-2.4 (012.04E00350A)"
192.168.101.135 - - [19/Dec/2009:17:17:18 -0800] "GET /movies/Transformers_ws.mp4 HTTP/1.1" 200 1048543645 "-" "Roku/DVP-2.4 (012.04E00350A)"
192.168.101.135 - - [19/Dec/2009:17:17:18 -0800] "GET /movies/Transformers_ws.mp4 HTTP/1.1" 206 555355769 "-" "Roku/DVP-2.4 (012.04E00350A)"
192.168.101.135 - - [19/Dec/2009:17:17:19 -0800] "GET /movies/Transformers_ws.mp4 HTTP/1.1" 206 555259925 "-" "Roku/DVP-2.4 (012.04E00350A)"
192.168.101.135 - - [19/Dec/2009:17:18:49 -0800] "GET /movies/Transformers_ws.mp4 HTTP/1.1" 200 1048543645 "-" "Roku/DVP-2.4 (012.04E00350A)"
192.168.101.135 - - [19/Dec/2009:17:18:49 -0800] "GET /movies/Transformers_ws.mp4 HTTP/1.1" 206 546965732 "-" "Roku/DVP-2.4 (012.04E00350A)"
192.168.101.135 - - [19/Dec/2009:17:20:08 -0800] "GET /movies/Transformers_ws.mp4 HTTP/1.1" 200 1048543645 "-" "Roku/DVP-2.4 (012.04E00350A)"
192.168.101.135 - - [19/Dec/2009:17:20:09 -0800] "GET /movies/Transformers_ws.mp4 HTTP/1.1" 206 539692743 "-" "Roku/DVP-2.4 (012.04E00350A)"
192.168.101.135 - - [19/Dec/2009:17:21:45 -0800] "GET /movies/Transformers_ws.mp4 HTTP/1.1" 200 1048543645 "-" "Roku/DVP-2.4 (012.04E00350A)"


Looking at my bandwidth graphs (on my Tomato router) at the start I would see a block of data transferred, then a long pause, then another block. When the problem happens I am seeing about a megabit, with peaks of 2 or 3 when the loading screen shows up.

I also tried going back to the info screen and re-starting it, then fast forwarding it to the same point and it still drops every minute or so.

The debug port doesn't log anything when this happens, the last thing it said was 'Displaying video:'

Is there anything else I can do to try to help debug this?

Thanks,

Brian
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43 Replies
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Level 7

Re: Advice for Debugging playback?

have you tried streaming the MP4 from another computer to see if it has the same issues?

Is the machine running apache doing anything else? Could there be a problem with the MP4, did you export the VOBs and then combine them, or something else when creating the mp4. I have seen odd streaming issues if you attempted to combine two different VOB conversions into a single file - some players will play them fine (VLC etc), but others have issues because it is not a compliant mp4 file anymore...

just wondering if it could be something with the file itself as that 1 hour mark is often around the time of a VOB break on the dvd...
Model: 2050X - wired
S/N: J0A07F000104
Location: St. Louis, MO
ISP: At&t 12Mb (primary) -- Charter 20Mb (secondary)
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Level 7

Re: Advice for Debugging playback?

"danstl" wrote:
have you tried streaming the MP4 from another computer to see if it has the same issues?

Is the machine running apache doing anything else? Could there be a problem with the MP4, did you export the VOBs and then combine them, or something else when creating the mp4. I have seen odd streaming issues if you attempted to combine two different VOB conversions into a single file - some players will play them fine (VLC etc), but others have issues because it is not a compliant mp4 file anymore...

just wondering if it could be something with the file itself as that 1 hour mark is often around the time of a VOB break on the dvd...


The system is a Core2 Duo that is idle, it isn't a system load problem. It is actually the most un-loaded of my systems. I think I used Handbrake and only tweaked the file size option when creating these mp4s. I've seen it happen with the 2 movies I've tried so far.

I should go back and try creating a fresh mp4 and keep track of all the parameters.
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Level 7

Re: Advice for Debugging playback?

Yeah I would also (if you have a free machine) just start the stream on the non roku box and see how it works - try VLC or something to stream.

Are you using the "high profile" in handbrake? and are you using handbrake to also rip the VOBs? cause I have seen issues with trying to use handbrake for everything - I usually rip the VOBs using something like DVD Decrypter, and then use handbrake to convert...

EDIT :
From the RokuDvp-Developer guide:

Run the application with the application debug console open. When you telnet to the Roku DVP on port 8085 (see section 8.1) you will see the debug console from your application. If there are any errors in your code, they will show up on this console. There is even a debugger attached to this port that will give you source file and line number information for script errors.
Model: 2050X - wired
S/N: J0A07F000104
Location: St. Louis, MO
ISP: At&t 12Mb (primary) -- Charter 20Mb (secondary)
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Highlighted
Level 7

Re: Advice for Debugging playback?

"danstl" wrote:
Yeah I would also (if you have a free machine) just start the stream on the non roku box and see how it works - try VLC or something to stream.

Are you using the "high profile" in handbrake? and are you using handbrake to also rip the VOBs? cause I have seen issues with trying to use handbrake for everything - I usually rip the VOBs using something like DVD Decrypter, and then use handbrake to convert...

EDIT :
From the RokuDvp-Developer guide:

Run the application with the application debug console open. When you telnet to the Roku DVP on port 8085 (see section 8.1) you will see the debug console from your application. If there are any errors in your code, they will show up on this console. There is even a debugger attached to this port that will give you source file and line number information for script errors.


Oh, I see what you mean. Yes, it plays fine with vlc on different machines.

The debug console doesn't display much Smiley Happy

I'm using handbrake for everything, using the Normal setting. Its the only thing I've found that work consistently for me. FYI this is using HandbrakeCLI on a Fedora 11 box.
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Level 7

Re: Advice for Debugging playback?

What version of apache are you running, anything less than 2.2.x has a default 2GB limitrequestbody, so you will start getting errors once your roku starts requesting byte ranges over 2GB, unless you change the directive in your conf file for apache.
Model: 2050X - wired
S/N: J0A07F000104
Location: St. Louis, MO
ISP: At&t 12Mb (primary) -- Charter 20Mb (secondary)
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Highlighted
Level 7

Re: Advice for Debugging playback?

Apache 2.2.13 and my largest file is 1555974840 bytes. I've also seen the problem with shorter files.

I'm now feeding roVideoScreen the correct streamBitrate grabbed from the file using mp4info so maybe that will help.
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Level 7

1 hr. rebuffering issue

I've run into this as well, after setting up an xml generator for my content, and hacking the videoPlayer example up to display the videos.

I'm running apache 2.2.13 on a mac-mini, and it seems to stream fine to the browser, itunes, etc - but I hit a rebuffering loop at around 1hr. into every video I've tried.

I saw some discussion of limited success by re-encoding with handbrake - is that the only solution that anyone has found? (With 2+ terabytes of media, that's likely to be a non-starter for me...)

The videos I've tested are all in mp4 containers, h.264 video. Bitrates all over the place, between 1 and 4 Mbps.
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Highlighted
Level 7

Re: 1 hr. rebuffering issue

"zimbra" wrote:
I've run into this as well, after setting up an xml generator for my content, and hacking the videoPlayer example up to display the videos.

I'm running apache 2.2.13 on a mac-mini, and it seems to stream fine to the browser, itunes, etc - but I hit a rebuffering loop at around 1hr. into every video I've tried.

I saw some discussion of limited success by re-encoding with handbrake - is that the only solution that anyone has found? (With 2+ terabytes of media, that's likely to be a non-starter for me...)

The videos I've tested are all in mp4 containers, h.264 video. Bitrates all over the place, between 1 and 4 Mbps.


That's the only solution I found. I'm re-ripping my DVDs using Handbrake and the iPod-HiRez preset. I have had 0 problems with rebuffering on any of the new files.
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Level 7

Re: Advice for Debugging playback?

I saw a perhaps similar problem trying to stream some "helmet cam" video from my laptop to the Roku. It is in a MOV container, but h264... In my case the video is only about 5 minutes long, and it *constantly* re-buffers. It plays for maybe 10-15 seconds then buffers for about 30 (I don't have a stopwatch).

$ mp4info RushCreek.mov 
mp4info version 1.9.1
RushCreek.mov:
Track Type Info
1 video H264 Main@4, 357.256 secs, 5593 kbps, 1280x720 @ 29.970105 fps
2 audio MPEG-4 AAC LC, 357.056 secs, 64 kbps, 48000 Hz


I note that the video bitrate seems pretty high, but its on the local network, so I didn't figure it would really be a bandwidth issue. I did set the bitrate in the "simplevideoplayer" appMain.brs file. Should I set it to 5593 or 5593+64?

Tommy
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