Recordings Look Horrible

So, I have an Apple TV 4th Generation with Channels on it. Channels DVR is on my MacBook Pro 2016 w/TouchBar and 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD. If I watch live TV, the quality is perfect. However, the last couple of weeks (going back to Mojave and Catalina both) and with the latest version of DVR Software running, recordings have been awful. The image will freeze while the audio continues, and then you almost see the image fast forward itself to get back in-sync. Or, everything just gets blocky as part of the images freeze, and you get stuff like the attached image (screenshot from my Mac playing back the video, to make sure the video file was bad, and not just a bad connection to the Apple TV causing streaming issues). Is this just a bug with my system or a known bug? I would be inclined to believe signal issue if live playback was running perfect, but this is confined to recordings only.

Is the macbook wired or wireless?

You can try turning on Tuner Sharing in the app before watching live tv, which will make the stream go through your macbook dvr. See if that stutters in the same way.

Sounds like the network is not keeping up with the stream and so the HDHR is dropping packets.

It is wireless. This wasn’t an issue until the last couple of weeks

Ok I turned on tuner sharing and watched live tv for about 5 minutes (all mess-ups of recordings always start in the first minute usually) and there were no issues with the live tv

Check under Tuner Status and compare Signal Strength/Quality and Streaming Rate while watching live TV vs making a test recording. The Streaming Rate especially should stay stable and not dip down randomly.

With tuner sharing still on when doing live tv?

Sure, it should be the same as off. Mainly compare live tv vs while recording since that's where the issue is.

Ok with live tv signal strength was 62% and rate ranged from low of 5.222 to high of 8.959

When I started recording the low went to 4.455 strength stayed the same but the high at some times went to 11mbps

Okay, seems pretty comparable.

Does the Log tab of the DVR show any error messages? Or warnings about the buffer?

The last error was 12 days ago. There have been many programs recorded since then with issues without anything like this.

[mpegts @ 0x7fe430000000] Dropped corrupted packet (stream = 0)
2019/10/19 23:28:13 [ENC] Stopped encoder for 20-20 S42E04 2019-10-18 The Death of a Playmate The Dorothy Stratten Story 2019-10-18-1959.mpg in /Users/candacebrassfield/DVR/Streaming/file663-1490c99852fe/encoder-4010-797626698 after encoding 4010 to 0

Pretty strange. Are you recording to a USB drive?

No recording to the main MacBook Pro ssd

I had this issue for a long time - on a relatively-new iMac running on Wifi using USB external storage for recordings. I took the following measures:
-replaced my external USB drive - unlikely for you, but try using an external storage. SSDs do eventually fail in cases of heavy read/write use.
-Trimmed down other processes running on the machine. For example, backup programs, system utilities, etc. I particularly trimmed my backup sessions to the middle of the night when there would be no recording.
-turned off the commercial skip feature (if this is done after endcoding, this likely didn't help at all)
-updated to HDHomerun latest firmware (i believe it does NOT auto-update)
-power cycle my router (poor firmware on routers can make routine reboots a necessity!)
-cleared streaming cache and turned off all experimental features

Also, watch you activity monitor during an encoding operation. Maybe something has changed in your system and now your resources are being taxed by the encoding process.

If I think of other measures I took to improve encode quality I will come back and post again.

The single best thing you can do is to plug the dvr into Ethernet because Wi-Fi is terrible for recording from the hdhomerun.

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Backing up Aman here. Something heavily reliant on the network shouldn't be wireless...plug that guy in. Next is get an external hard drive...SSDs are not designed for that type of data writing/reading.

4 posts were split to a new topic: Issues with recordings on Mac DVR

Finally got around to testing for packet loss...

This was after about 30 seconds


“n” indicates network packet loss.

Someone else reported issues after upgrading to Catalina, but they were using Ethernet. Issues with recordings on Mac DVR

Ethernet is simply not an option at all. Have disabled location and airdrop and still having same issues. Even tried the sysctl.conf file in /etc that HDHomeRun has in their troubleshooting.

you can get a thunderbolt adapter for your macbook that will enable ethernet. I don't use a macbook for my dvr, but do have a macbook that is connected gigabit ethernet using such an adapter.... it works great.