Fire TV and Jarvis: repeated stops for buffering on Live TV
#1
I've been trying to get Live TV working on KODI on a Fire TV.

Server details:
Windows 10
MediaPortal 1.14
Core i3 CPU
Wired Gigabit Ethernet

KODI details:
Fire TV 4K
KODI 16.1 Jarvis
Wired Gigabit Ethernet

Location: US

I have it configured well enough that I can see the EPG data, and can start streaming Live TV. But if I play any HD broadcasts, the video stream halts every 20 seconds or so to buffer for an additional 20 seconds or so. Completely unwatchable.

I can record the video, then stream it from the server within "Videos" without any issues, so I know it's not a data throughput issue.

Also, when I go into Recordings and select a video that is being recorded, it doesn't play anything. It shows a little "playing" triangle next to the file but no video ever starts. Could that be related?

The log of a streaming and buffering Live TV channel:
https://paste.ubuntu.com/23800581

Thanks!
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#2
Are you using a wireless connection? Use a wired connection.

Playback of a recording is not the same as live tv. With a recording, Kodi will do some buffering at the background. Live TV has no future data, so any network disturbance will case intermittent buffering.
Your log file shows quite some other Kodi activity at the background while you are watching Live TV including scanning your videos over the network. This can cause your buffering issues.
Developer of the MediaPortal PVR addon and retired developer of the Argus-TV PVR-addon.
http://www.scintilla.utwente.nl/~marcelg/xbmc
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#3
Thanks for looking at it.

I am using a wired connection, with Gigabit Ethernet.

And the reason you see the other activity in the background is because I enabled the logger, then started KODI, then logged the behavior. It's set to scan the library at startup.
The problem happens no matter how long KODI has been running.

I've counted out the time a little better, and the stream/buffer cycle is right around 8 sec streaming, 8-9 sec buffering. So if I let it "play" for a minute, I should have 30 seconds of old data that it can buffer. I've left it going for 10 minutes and it never improves.

When I rename "advancedsettings.xml" so that it isn't loaded (I only added it because of these problems, found the suggestion in a different forum), the play/buffer cycle is more like 2 sec play/2 sec buffer.

Could this equal play/buffer ratio somehow be related to a framerate issue? Like the PVR thinks it should be 60 fps but it's getting 24 fps or something?
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#4
I doubt that it is framerate related. What is also strange is that your log does not contain any information from the addon itself that the Live TV buffer is empty and that it is waiting for data. It seems that Kodi just stops playback without logging why.
At line 1128, the addon succesfully opens the stream from the Live TV buffer
At line 1604, the addon is closing the stream after a stop from the internal Kodi video player.
I between, Kodi is complaining that it does not receive enough data.

I'm afraid that I can't help you further since I don't have any clue what it wrong in your setup. The addon depends on a stable smb network share connection and I've seen on multiple lower-powered Linux systems that this sometimes causes troubles.
You could try enabling the "ffmpeg" option for playback under the MediaPortal PVR addon settings. On most systems this preforms worse than the default TSReader but it might work in your case.

Also check the log files from your MediaPortal backend. Maybe the Live TV stream itself is faulty or missing data packets. I'm seeing this sometimes with USB DVB-T sticks and poor antenna reception.
Developer of the MediaPortal PVR addon and retired developer of the Argus-TV PVR-addon.
http://www.scintilla.utwente.nl/~marcelg/xbmc
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#5
Thanks for looking deeper.
I'll consult my logs on my MediaPortal server and see what I can find.

It's funny though: I can start a show recording at the server, then play it from the smb share on KODI without issue. It doesn't dynamically update the end time, so I can't skip around in the playback at all, but I can stream it fine. It's my current hack for playing live-ish TV downstairs.

Anyway, I'll look at it some more from my end. Thanks again!
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