The stream freezes randomly, but regularly, on AT&T Uverse with channels plus app. It happens on mulitple channels not just one. I tried messing with some of the settings like stream quality (dropped it to 720p 6Mbps), but it continued. I have 300Mbps service in my house, and it consistently speedtests at over 250+, so I don't think it's my internet connection. Could the PC I am using for the DVR server cause this? I have a 512MB HDD and 8GB of RAM, and it is a 3Ghz processor...which I would think is well over the requirements I read.
When I am not recording or playing back, does the server even come into play? I.e. - is the streaming to the client coming through the server always, or does it stream directly from Uverse unless playing back recorded DVR?
AT&T U-Verse does not actually figure into the equation. As part of your TV subscription, AT&T allows you to log in to certain networks' website to access a live stream of that channel from their website. It is this ability that Channels—in conjunction with your AT&T U-Verse credentials—is using to serve you these channels.
When you play a channel that is listed under your U-Verse source, what is actually happening is:
If you are watching live, then your client requests that channels' stream from the DVR server.
Your DVR server contacts that channels' website, checking to see if you have permission to view that channel with your U-Verse credentials, and if so then start streaming that channels' live stream.
In the case of a (scheduled) recording, the DVR server takes this live stream and saves it to disk.
If it was a client requesting a live stream of that channel, then the DVR server sends the stream it is receiving from the website to your client.
In the situation where multiple clients wish to watch the same channel live, or that you wish to watch a channel live while the DVR is recording that same channel, the DVR server only maintains a single connection to the networks' website to receive the stream, and then serves that same stream to multiple consumers—either several clients, or to live-viewing clients and saving the same stream to disk for a recording, concurrently.
In any case, whenever you use a TVE stream, the connection always goes through your DVR server. So, you need to ensure that you have a stable connection between your clients and the server. The speedtest built into the DVR tab of the Channels client app will test the connection between your client and the DVR server.
(The level of service for your internet connection—300Mbps down in your case—does not affect the stream going from the DVR server to you client, only from the networks' websites to the DVR server.)
Wifi, but a good connection. And I am running the app on FireStick 4K. Thanks for the help. I am thinking that since the stream is coming through my pc first (server), that I might upgrade to a PCIe SSD drive, as the existing drive is not SSD, and could potentially be part of the problem?
SSD is not generally required. If you open Task Manager does it show the CPU or DISK at 100%?
On the FireTV, the app should be set to Home Streaming Quality: Original
We strongly recommend that the PC running DVR is wired to the router. If you make a recording on your DVR and then watch the mpg file directly on your PC, are there any pixelation or stuttering issues?
I tested some more, and noticed that while it can be random, it is very rare that the issue happens on any channels other than NBC local. NBC local is very consistent, and freezes/buffers a LOT - to the point where it is almost too hard to watch anything. So I recorded some stuff on that channel, and it froze and buffered when watching live, but the recordings were fine with no buffering.
I also ran a speedtest from the client to dvr, and it came back around 80Mbps.