Couldn't generate stream playllist

I am having some gaps in my SageTV recordings of ChannelsDVR streams. This is the National Geographic channel on TVE/Xfinity.

Could this be the reason?

Line 64020: 2022/01/03 16:00:01.149367 [HLS] Starting transcoder for channel 6070 from 192.168.1.143 (encoder=remux, resolution=, deinterlacer=, bitrate=11909)
Line 64022: 2022/01/03 16:00:04.800438 [HLS] Session ch6070-dANY-ip192.168.1.143 started in 4.326732s
Line 64038: 2022/01/03 16:00:42.512334 [HLS] Couldn't generate stream playlist for ch6070-dANY-ip192.168.1.143: Playlist has not been updated in 20.6878229s
Line 64039: 2022/01/03 16:00:42.512334 [HLS] Stopping transcoder session ch6070-dANY-ip192.168.1.143 (out: 20.423489s, finished: false)
Line 64040: 2022/01/03 16:00:42.520273 [TNR] Closed connection to TVE-Comcast_SSO for ch6070 NGC
Line 64042: 2022/01/03 16:00:42.758602 [TNR] Opened connection to TVE-Comcast_SSO for ch6070 NGC
Line 64043: 2022/01/03 16:00:42.761194 [HLS] Starting transcoder for channel 6070 from 192.168.1.143 (encoder=remux, resolution=, deinterlacer=, bitrate=11909)
Line 64049: 2022/01/03 16:00:48.742083 [HLS] Session ch6070-dANY-ip192.168.1.143 started in 6.2175455s
Line 64084: 2022/01/03 16:02:35.768407 [HLS] Couldn't generate stream playlist for ch6070-dANY-ip192.168.1.143: Playlist has not been updated in 20.6039651s
Line 64085: 2022/01/03 16:02:35.768407 [HLS] Stopping transcoder session ch6070-dANY-ip192.168.1.143 (out: 1m22.909733s, finished: false)
Line 64086: 2022/01/03 16:02:35.801345 [TNR] Closed connection to TVE-Comcast_SSO for ch6070 NGC
Line 64088: 2022/01/03 16:02:37.274202 [TNR] Opened connection to TVE-Comcast_SSO for ch6070 NGC
Line 64089: 2022/01/03 16:02:37.275822 [HLS] Starting transcoder for channel 6070 from 192.168.1.143 (encoder=remux, resolution=, deinterlacer=, bitrate=9871)
Line 64095: 2022/01/03 16:02:43.862133 [HLS] Couldn't generate stream playlist for ch6070-dANY-ip192.168.1.143: Timeout waiting for session to start after 8s
Line 64096: 2022/01/03 16:02:43.862133 [HLS] Stopping transcoder session ch6070-dANY-ip192.168.1.143
Line 64098: 2022/01/03 16:02:43.862636 [HLS] ffmpeg: ch6070-dANY-ip192.168.1.143-remux: pipe:: could not find codec parameters
Line 64099: 2022/01/03 16:02:43.868989 [TNR] Closed connection to TVE-Comcast_SSO for ch6070 NGC
Line 64101: 2022/01/03 16:02:44.602586 [TNR] Opened connection to TVE-Comcast_SSO for ch6070 NGC
Line 64102: 2022/01/03 16:02:44.605104 [HLS] Starting transcoder for channel 6070 from 192.168.1.143 (encoder=remux, resolution=, deinterlacer=, bitrate=9871)
Line 64103: 2022/01/03 16:02:51.893839 [HLS] Couldn't generate stream playlist for ch6070-dANY-ip192.168.1.143: Timeout waiting for session to start after 8s
Line 64104: 2022/01/03 16:02:51.893839 [HLS] Stopping transcoder session ch6070-dANY-ip192.168.1.143
Line 64106: 2022/01/03 16:02:51.893839 [HLS] ffmpeg: ch6070-dANY-ip192.168.1.143-remux: pipe:: could not find codec parameters

Seems like it can't connect to the stream. Can't tell from this small log snippet. The stream playlist issue is only for web/remote playback, and is a symptom not the cause.

Do you want a larger snippet? .... what can I provide?

You can submit diagnostics from the dvr under Support > Troubleshooting

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Email and log sent.

Email and log for another instance sent again. I haven't received a confirmation that these two logs were received. Is that normal?

This seems to be the issue:

2022/01/05 13:49:43.132261 [TNR] Cancelling stream TVE-Comcast_SSO ch6001 after no data was received for 2m0s
2022/01/05 13:46:28.267622 [ERR] Error during stream TVE-Comcast_SSO ch6070 NGC: Failed to download file: https://x-default-stgec.uplynk.com/auso/slices/f94/e6dbd32077b143a4b9cb024b791f2930/f94099e1435b40b493da8fedbb2bf7a2/G00000265.ts?pbs=19eb7d3a5afc40ea94abb675de9ce92b&_jt=l&euid=43E9F180-5F7B-4BB8-BDBB-3A024A9002C5_007_1_001_live_11-06-00_NA&chid=d6f0cd61bf214378b44b1bf1942226df&cloud=aws&cdn=eci&si=0&d=4.096: hls: timeout while waiting for data

This can happen if you're using a VPN or custom DNS

Thanks! I'm not using a VPN, but am using Pi-Hole - would that do it?

Could be

OK; I changed the DNS for Pi-Hole to OpenDNS. I'll test again.

I would recommend using your ISP DNS. If you use a cloud based DNS, you will end up connecting to video CDNs that are near that cloud provider instead of the one that's close to you. This causes slow speeds and timeouts.

My ISP is a small provider (csscommunications) and I couldn't find a DNS. Ran Gibson's DNS benchmark and found the quickest DNS servers and set the Pi-Hole to them. They turned out to be a wave server and two opendns servers. (the top one is the Pi-Hole). I will run another test and report back.
Capture5

If your ISP doesn't not provide DNS services, may I suggest either Cloudflare's DNS servers (1.1.1.1/1.0.0.1) or Google's (8.8.8.8/8.8.4.4) …

Those may be more resilient than OpenDNS. (I used to use OpenDNS, but have since migrated.) Also, both providers offer IPv6 DNS, too.

(Of course, your own local Unbound caching resolver would be a great option, too, using the aforementioned public DNS servers as forwarders ... maybe over DNSSEC or similar.)

Does ns1.noelcomm.com (137.83.56.1) and ns2.noelcomm.com (168.245.136.216) work for you?

Well, that went right over my head! Google tells me there's a Windows version so I'll look at that. I configured the ethernet adapter DNS settings to the opendns for now; hoping that takes the Pi-Hole out of the mix.

If you are using Pi-Hole, but what I said went over your head, I personally find this might be the root of some issues (not necessarily yours). People are using tools they don't understand, and just use the copypasta route of managing their systems.

If you are going to run a personal DNS server, like Pi-Hole, without understanding what you are actually doing, perhaps you should reconsider what you're doing ...

What I'm doing is trying to figure out why my ChannelsDVR recordings are skipping. I think my comment about 'going over my head' was seen as criticism - it wasn't. I'm beginning to suspect that the issue may be above me as you suggest, but primarily in the sense that it is somewhere between the cable modem and the source.

I think by setting the DNS addresses of the server machine ethernet adapter to point to a low response-time WAN DNS server I've eliminated Pi-Hole from the equation. Maybe you can tell me if that's correct.

If that's the case, I'll need to speak to the gracious ISP owner (who operates this tiny cable plant served by a microwave link to this tiny island).

That's exactly the point of my comment. If you can't tell what benefit you are getting from Pi-Hole—and more importantly, why—then you have no qualitative reason to use it.

There are many posts on this forum about issues that have been narrowed down to their network setups, many of which used Pi-Hole and myriad other network-modifying software, but were resolved once they removed such issues from the equation.

This may not include you; but it's a data point …

I apologize for taking your time.

I thought I'd give an update:
My home network does not have a VPN and the Channels server is hardwired to a network switch which is in turn hardwired to the Linksys router. I do have a Pi-Hole installed for ad removal.

  • My tests of ChannelsDVR on my setup consisted of recording four programs at once.
  • During those recording tests at least two channels had interruptions in the video stream.
  • I disabled the Pi-Hole and still had the interruptions in recordings.
  • I then contacted my ISP and they told me that I had reached the 25mbs limit several times during the period I was experiencing the interruptions.

So, thanks to Aman for analyzing the issue; it looks like I'll have to get more bandwidth or limit the number of concurrent recordings.

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