Pausing and pixelated live tv


#1

I’ve submitted diagnostic info on this a few minutes ago. On both the beta and stable release of both Channels apps on Android TV I get pausing, pixelated live TV.

The video pauses and tears, the blocky picture or just a pause where the progress bar pops up happens after about 5 minutes or so, then continues to happen several times a minute until I bail.

My Channels server is a 2015 Shield TV with a 1TB external drive with about 80% free. My other devices are either 2015 or 2017 Shield TV’s and 1 OG Mi Box.

Everything is hard wired in my setup to a gigabit network, and my tests to the server are always >900Mbps <2ms latency and <5ms jitter.

Watching signal strength on my HDHomeRun tuner (HDHomeRun Signal Meter app on Android), the signal was totally stable @ 100% signal strength and 98% SNR.

Edit; I should say that switching to Plex live TV using the same tuners works as expected. The only difference is that the Plex server is on a different Shield TV. I can get the same result with Channels and Plex switching to any TV in the house.


#3

I don't know much of anything about Plex, but a quick search suggests Plex transcodes live TV always? Whereas Channels never transcodes Live TV unless you're on a web client or remote. Bandwidth (network performance) requirements would be significantly different between the two.

I see your network performance test numbers, and they suggest everything should be fine, but we have seen it happen where some network gear just plain has not worked well under Channels native streaming loads.

I'm curious: What are you using for a GigE network switch?

FWIW: It is my impression that the most problematical devices used for Channels servers have been Nvidia Shields and MS-Windows PCs. Whereas Linux servers and most NAS' have been relatively problem-free. (I had a test installation on our [Linux] home LAN server and the permanent installation on a Synology DS218+. Both worked flawlessly right out of the gate.)


#4
  1. Plex does not always transcode live TV. Unless you've changed settings Plex will direct play if network conditions and hardware are right.

Either way, Plex is working fine with these same HDHomeRun tuners. Transcoding would only add overhead and increase issues with Plex.

  1. These two Shield TV's are on dedicated circuits back to the main Google WiFi router connected to a TP-Link gig switch. I tested this issue with LinkSys and Netgear switches as well. Same result.

  2. Until very recently Channels worked perfectly in this setup. When Plex had issues we used Channels for months, so I doubt that suddenly my network or gear is causing this issue. The one and only change that I made was using dedicated circuits for the Shield TV's instead of being Daisy chained onto a 2nd switch.

From my first hand experience the Nvidia Shield TV has worked perfectly fine as a Channels server before this issue cropped up.


#5

Very well. I was only suggesting possible local issues as, if it was a problem with Channels' DVR or client software, one would think there'd be far more complaints like yours.


#6

There are others having the same issue.


#7

@arrowrand Do you have Tuner Sharing enabled or disabled in the app?


#8

It is on and as best I remember it's been on throughout this issue. I'll try it off.


#9

Ok, so turning tuner sharing off didn't fix the issue, but turning off surround sound appears to have resolved the issue as this stops the transcoding.

My question is has there been a recent change that would enable surround sound by default? I've never turned that on in Channels, I haven't had a surround system in years.

I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled both apps and I’ve switched back and forth between beta and release.

Edit: I take it back. Tuner sharing and surround sound off and after ~60 minutes of flawless live tv I’m back to pauses.


#10

There've been others reporting frequent micro-pauses. I'm one of them. But not quite the symptoms you're reporting.

For us: The frequent micro-pauses problem seems to have been silently addressed in a recent FTV app update--or it simply magically stopped. We still get 'em, but only occasionally.