Frequently get Playback Failed message

I have a 4K Fire Stick that frequently gives me the "Playback Failed" message when I start watching a recording or live stream. Fortunately, it usually works OK if I just click the Back button and try again. I have the Software Decoder selected. Note that I switched over from the Hardware Decoder because, about once a week, the hardware decoder would crap out and I would have to reboot the Fire Stick to recover.

I looked through the server logs and don't see any messages that indicate a problem at the server end.

Does anyone else experience this or is it just me? Do I have a bad stick?

Next time it happens I'll submit diagnostics.

I've noticed this in the past, especially for TVE channels with expired authorizations. In my case it was simply a timeout issue: the server could not reply with a stream in time, so the client closed the connect. Trying the channel again works because the re-auth completed in the background.

For HDHR channels, sometimes the tuner takes a while to acquire a signal lock, and that's where the timeout occurs. I'm not sure about your exact situation without details, but maybe this will give you some place to start.

I feel like it's not a timeout issue between the client and server because I get the message pretty much instantaneously after hitting Play. And it affects live and recorded content.

In that case, sounds like your client device can't connect/communicate with your server, or something else is failing. Perhaps your hard disks on the server are asleep, and they haven't yet spun up when you're trying to access the content.

You may want to look at the full path data follows to see all the points where failure could occur.

Happens to me too, on a Shield Pro. Haven't noticed it for a couple of weeks now. I switched from software back to hardware decoder about that time, so maybe there is a correlation. It was happening about once every few days.

Got the Playback Failed last night and submitted diagnostics from client immediately after.

From the server log:

2021/10/26 22:27:09.746676 New diagnostic log submitted under 6b50b33b-bbff-4aff-8806-bf44a4b315c8

@maddox @tmm1

No response, devs?

Thanks for the logs. We see what's going on, it's an error coming from FireOS when trying to initialize the GPU for video playback. It's not clear yet why it is happening or how to fix it. Seems specific to Amazon devices from what I've seen so far.