"Stillframe detected"?

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midgetspy Offline
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Post: #1
Recently I've been having a problem with streaming HD movie playback (mkv):

The movie plays fine for 5-15 mins, then suddenly stalls on a single video frame and plays the same audio clip over and over for 5-30 seconds, then finally resumes and speeds up super fast to catch up to where it'd be if it had been playing the whole time. This happens a lot on 1080p movies and hardly at all on 720p movies, and never on SD movies.

The only entry in the log that is any different than usual is the "stillframe detected" message saying that it's going to lock to 24fps. Then there's no entries for x seconds while the video is stuttering, and finally it resumes playing.

I had similar behavior occur in Media Player Classic, so I it's either not actually an XBMC problem or else it's a similar bug in both players. Regardless, I was hoping somebody could tell me what would cause the "stillframe detected" message to come up in my logs. The computer is connected to the fileserver through a gigabit switch so there is plenty of bandwidth for streaming video (I can copy a whole 1080p video between the computers in 3 minutes, bandwidth is definitely not the issue, hehe). Does anybody have any idea what would cause this situation to occur (so I can try to remedy it)? If I copy the movies to the computer with XBMC they play fine, but that's obviously a temporary solution.

Thanks in advance for the help.
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Gamester17 Offline
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Post: #2
debug log on pastebin.com needed http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=HOW...Bug_Report

Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.
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elupus Offline
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Post: #3
if MPC has the issue too, that very likely means something wrong with your files.

"Still Frame Detected" means that the demuxer have stopped feeding the video player with video frames. (it could just as you say still be feeding out audio data)

Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.


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midgetspy Offline
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Post: #4
elupus Wrote:if MPC has the issue too, that very likely means something wrong with your files.

"Still Frame Detected" means that the demuxer have stopped feeding the video player with video frames. (it could just as you say still be feeding out audio data)

I can pretty much guarantee it's not the files, for 2 reasons:
- when it stalls, if I wait for it to recover then rewind it it will play past the stall point no problem the 2nd time
- if I copy the file to my local HD it plays with no problems at all

I guess it sounds like it must be some kind of network issue then... that's really troubling because I have no idea how I'm going to troubleshoot or solve this :-| I will post a debug log when I get home from work Gamester, I just didn't bother because the only thing out of the ordinary is that stillframe message.
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midgetspy Offline
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Post: #5
I just realized I have 2 threads about this but the other one is full of people complaining about unrelated issues so I will post in this one.

What happens

- video freezes on a certain frame, audio starts looping a short sample over and over until it recovers
- lasts 3-20 seconds. Longer stalls result in being kicked back to the menu, shorter stalls
- when it recovers sometimes I see the "Buffering" dialog flash briefly


Other info

1) I can with absolute certainty say it is something to do with streaming over the network, it is not a problem with the files themselves or a CPU problem. Every time this has happened I have fixed it by copying the file to the local HD and watching it without problems.
2) This doesn't always happen in the same spot in the file. If it freezes at a certain spot in the file and I replay the file or rewind it it will play past the trouble spot smoothly only to freeze at a different spot.
3) This happens in probably 20% of my HD mkv files and never in any of my SD avi files. I haven't found any correlation between 720p and 1080p files making it more likely.

The log is identical every time this happens. When the stalling starts it says this:

Code:
23:25:15 T:1040 M:545787904 WARNING: CDVDMessageQueue(audio)::Get - retrieved last data packet of queue
23:25:15 T:2064 M:543993856 WARNING: CDVDMessageQueue(video)::Get - retrieved last data packet of queue
23:25:16 T:2064 M:543993856    INFO: CDVDPlayerVideo - Stillframe detected, switching to forced 23.976025 fps

When it recovers a number of seconds later, it says:

Code:
23:25:21 T:2064 M:543293440    INFO: CDVDPlayerVideo - Stillframe left, switching to normal playback
23:25:21 T:1040 M:543281152   DEBUG: CDVDPlayerAudio:: Discontinuty - was:806895583.339691, should be:800731437.514305, error:-6164145.825386

Things I have tried
- XBMC on HTPC, video on linux fileserver, source both mapped Windows drive and XBMC smb:// source: "stillframe" stalling problem occurs
- As above but with all "Local Network" cache settings to the max level - no change.
- XBMC on HTPC, video on HTPC: smooth playback, no "stillframe" messages in the log during playback
- XBMC on HTPC, video on a share of my second Windows PC, source as a mapped Windows drive: smooth playback with no "stillframe" messages in the log during playback
- XBMC on a second Windows PC, video on linux fileserver, source both mapped Windows drive and XBMC smb:// source: smooth playback with no "stillframe" messages in the log during playback
- From my HTPC I ran ping -t <fileserver> for 10 minutes and didn't experience a single dropped packet between the HTPC and the fileserver

Summary: HTPC streaming from fileserver doesn't work, HTPC streaming from other PC works, other PC streaming from fileserver works

Things I haven't tried enough to have any meaningful data about
- Playing it with other players (VLC) under the same conditions

Relevant PC info

HTPC
Win XP
E4500
9800GT
ASUS P5E-VM mobo w/ onboard GBLAN
XBMC 8.10 and latest SVN builds

Fileserver
Dedicated ubuntu server machine with modern components
Hardware RAID formatted in ext3, streamed with samba over gigabit LAN

Secondary PC (my gaming PC)
Vista Ultimate
X2 6000+
8800GT
ASUS M2N-E mobo w/ onboard GBLAN
latest SVN builds

Logs
Log from HTPC playing the file over smb:// share. Multiple stalls over a 20 minute file (search for "stillframe): http://pastebin.com/f6214ba32
Log from HTPC playing the file from local HD. No stalls, smooth playback, no "stillframe" entries in the log: http://pastebin.com/f37076fa0
Log from secondary PC playing the file over a mapped drive. No stalls, smooth playback, no "stillframe" entries in the log: http://pastebin.com/f4e685d36

Does anybody have any suggestions at all? I can't imagine what could be the problem. It seems likely that it's not XBMC's fault, but rather some other problem is being handled poorly by XBMC. I'm willing to run any diagnostics or build with additional logging to narrow this down. I'm sure that there are many other people out there experiencing this problem but because it's so intermittant it probably doesn't get posted about much.
(This post was last modified: 2009-02-03 10:24 by midgetspy.)
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watzen Offline
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Post: #6
midgetspy Wrote:What happens

- video freezes on a certain frame, audio starts looping a short sample over and over until it recovers
- lasts 3-20 seconds. Longer stalls result in being kicked back to the menu, shorter stalls
- when it recovers sometimes I see the "Buffering" dialog flash briefly

When this happens for me, it's because I'm playing a high-bitrate file over my wlan and it only happens in motion intensive scenes. When I connect the computer to a 100mbit ethernet the issue dissapears. My thoughts are that as my computer is on the edge of being able to decode high bitrate 1080p, the extra cpu cycles that the wlan requires to assemble lost packets is causing it to go over the edge. Or... the bandwith is not enough.
(probably the last alternative)

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midgetspy Offline
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Post: #7
watzen Wrote:When this happens for me, it's because I'm playing a high-bitrate file over my wlan and it only happens in motion intensive scenes. When I connect the computer to a 100mbit ethernet the issue dissapears. My thoughts are that as my computer is on the edge of being able to decode high bitrate 1080p, the extra cpu cycles that the wlan requires to assemble lost packets is causing it to go over the edge. Or... the bandwith is not enough.
(probably the last alternative)

Thanks for the suggestions, but it happens on 720p videos as well when the CPU usage is below 50% so I'm 99% sure it's not a CPU problem. As well like I said, I can copy a 20 min video from the NAS to the HTPC in under a minute so there is no way that there's insufficient bandwidth to stream that same file. Unless there's some kind of service interruption somehow, of course...
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Freddo Offline
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Post: #8
I had the same issue attempting to stream extremely high def (1:1 bluray rips) over gigabit lan, despite massive available throughput I was getting stutters and lags as you describe. Out of curiosity you could try Tversity which solved the issue for me (I guess upnp is a better protocol for streaming video than windows sharing) although this throws up a whole load of issues of its own like not being able to scan UPNP stuff to the library, still its a lot lot better than nothing.
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Jester Offline
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Post: #9
@midgetspy

can you tell us something about your network ? wifi? cable ?

can you look at your network interface to see if you get any packet errors ?

if you use wifi, make sure you don't have any "transmitters near your wifi accesspoint
I've see tons of problem with microwaves and/or dect telephones that cause issues...

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Extra XBMC Platform: Raspberry Pi
Read the iOS FAQ
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midgetspy Offline
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Post: #10
Freddo: I'll see if I can find a linux UPNP server and give it a shot, thx.

Jester: The HTPC and NAS are on connected with CAT5 through a D-Link gigabit switch. The second PC is connected through a second gigabit switch.

The thing that makes no sense to me is:
- if I stream from my NAS to my HTPC it stalls
- if I stream from my NAS to another PC it plays fine
- if I stream from another PC to my HTPC it plays fine

I will do some research today to see how I can watch my network interface for errors and try it out tonight hopefully.
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Jester Offline
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Post: #11
midgetspy Wrote:Freddo: I'll see if I can find a linux UPNP server and give it a shot, thx.

Jester: The HTPC and NAS are on connected with CAT5 through a D-Link gigabit switch. The second PC is connected through a second gigabit switch.

The thing that makes no sense to me is:
- if I stream from my NAS to my HTPC it stalls
- if I stream from my NAS to another PC it plays fine
- if I stream from another PC to my HTPC it plays fine

I will do some research today to see how I can watch my network interface for errors and try it out tonight hopefully.

try something simple first, change the switches around and see if the problem moves with the switch, if this is the case, might be the switch....
make sure you ONLY switch the switch NOT the cables, as it can also be a cable issue

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Extra XBMC Platform: Raspberry Pi
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midgetspy Offline
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Post: #12
Jester Wrote:try something simple first, change the switches around and see if the problem moves with the switch, if this is the case, might be the switch....
make sure you ONLY switch the switch NOT the cables, as it can also be a cable issue

OK I'll give it a shot, but to be clear, the topology is:

[Image: htpc_network.png]

So if the switch or cable between the NAS and HTPC is bad then streaming from my second PC should also have the same problem I'd think?
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midgetspy Offline
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Post: #13
Well in desperation today I installed a fresh Windows XP SP3 install and I'm happy to say that *so far* I haven't seen the problem repeat. I'm reluctant to say it's actually fixed since it was in intermittent problem but so far it looks promising. It's unfortunate that I couldn't narrow it down without re-installing, cause I guarantee whatever it was will happen to somebody else sometime, heh.

But unless it recurs I guess it was some kind of OS/driver problem. I really hope it's fixed for good or I'm just going to end up saying screw it and buying new hardware for my HTPC one piece at a time, heh.
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