Stuttering/crashing video playback with network files
#1
Hi everybody,

I've been running Kodi for a very long time (way back when XBMC was exclusive to modded Xbox consoles...), and for 10+ years on a private file server (unRaid) without any major problems, save the occasional tweak every now and then. Most of the time it's been a matter of "set it and forget it" with everything running smoothly as-is, so all in all i'm not an expert at troubleshooting.

Lately, i've been having problems when playing videos from my server. At some point, sometimes after 5mins, sometimes after over an hour, the video starts to stutter and freeze, then it catches up very fast and continues to play. At times it gets worse to the point of Kodi stopping the playback completely. These issues are completely random : i could have a couple of major lags in a 26min episode but not a single issue with a feature length film. This happens with various file formats, video and audio codecs.

The only lead i have is that local playback works fine. This could mean there is a possible server/network problem but, as far as i can tell, my network setup is OK (network speed is fast and consistent, unRaid diagnostics are fine, hard disk drives are healthy etc), and i can stream my network from other machines just fine.

My HTPC has been fully reinstalled and updated very recently (with every possible update applied + I ran Memtest to make sure the RAM sticks are fine).

Where do i begin to troubleshoot these issues? Thanks for your help!!
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#2
A Debug Log is the best place to start. Follow the guide in the link.
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#3
(2020-06-29, 12:18)Karellen Wrote: A Debug Log is the best place to start. Follow the guide in the link.

I will do that, thanks. I guess it must be a log taken right after the problem occurred?
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#4
(2020-06-29, 13:14)Yarok Wrote: log taken right after the problem occurred?
Yes, the log should be taken at a point you have the crash, issue or failure. Post it to a paste-bin and link that URL back to this thread, with a summary of your hardware. connections and what proceeded the issue.
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#5
Allright, thanks. This might take some time as i need to replicate the problem, but i'll get back to this topic with a logfile Smile
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#6
Okay so i managed to replicate the stuttering issue (but not to the point of crashing this time), just by playing a video file over network. 

Here's the log: https://paste.kodi.tv/amopijatuq.kodi

I can already see several ActiveAE - large audio sync errors, and several moments when the 'hardware accelerator failed to decode picture', but waht could this mean?

My HTPC is a based on an Pentium G860 CPU (3.00GHz), 4GB RAM, with a GeForce GT610 graphics card.
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#7
I note you are not using the default skin, when having issues it's always good to go back to default to eliminate skin and dependency issues. I also note you are scanning your library and I'm wondering if this as a background task is reducing available bandwidth. You might want to relegate scraping to a manual or timed update as needed and it'll cut down your user log a lot.

I do note: "Connected to "\\192.168.1.128\videos" without username and without password 2020-06-30 00:13:13.302 T:6080 DEBUG: Previous line repeats 33 times." indicating some network issue, and I do see a lot of packet drops. Might be a good idea to run your OSD while playing a video looking for fetch and bottle neck errors.
(2020-06-29, 12:11)Yarok Wrote: At some point, sometimes after 5mins
With this statement, I take that the issue is 'sometimes' which translates to not always? Looking back over the log points back at network issues. To check this out, copy a few movies into a local folder and play it direct - do you get stuttering/crashing? Ensure you have only 2 channels selected in audio and HDMI waspi
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#8
(2020-06-30, 18:37)PatK Wrote: I note you are not using the default skin, when having issues it's always good to go back to default to eliminate skin and dependency issues. I also note you are scanning your library and I'm wondering if this as a background task is reducing available bandwidth. You might want to relegate scraping to a manual or timed update as needed and it'll cut down your user log a lot.

I do note: "Connected to "\\192.168.1.128\videos" without username and without password 2020-06-30 00:13:13.302 T:6080 DEBUG: Previous line repeats 33 times." indicating some network issue, and I do see a lot of packet drops. Might be a good idea to run your OSD while playing a video looking for fetch and bottle neck errors.
(2020-06-29, 12:11)Yarok Wrote: At some point, sometimes after 5mins
With this statement, I take that the issue is 'sometimes' which translates to not always? Looking back over the log points back at network issues. To check this out, copy a few movies into a local folder and play it direct - do you get stuttering/crashing? Ensure you have only 2 channels selected in audio and HDMI waspi
Thank you for your help @PatK 

It is true that i run Kodi with an Aeon MQ skin, but this is fairly recent (from the last reinstall really, about three-four weeks ago) - i used to have the default skin for months and noticing problems. 

The library scan is set up to run automatically when Kodi starts, but i will deactivate it and have it run manually.

"Might be a good idea to run your OSD while playing a video looking for fetch and bottle neck errors." >> i'm not sure what you mean by that.

And no, when i play movies locally, i never had any stutter/crash or similar issues.

Cheers!
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#9
(2020-06-30, 20:50)Yarok Wrote: Aeon MQ skin
Think I saw mention of some fixs available in that forum thread, might want to have a look.
(2020-06-30, 20:50)Yarok Wrote: for fetch and bottle neck errors." >> i'm not sure what you mean by that.
When displaying a video using the Ctrl+⇧ Shift+O bringing up on screen information, look for lags in fetching data. Keyboard controls (wiki)
(2020-06-30, 20:50)Yarok Wrote: no, when i play movies locally, i never had any stutter/crash or similar issues.
Bingo... Networking issues, likely a windows concern. I'll bet that turning off scanning on launch is enough to allow clear playback, but I still see bandwidth issues.
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#10
Allright, i gave the OSD a try. This time i turned the library scan off first, rebooted the HTPC - didn't revert to the default skin yet, though.

Launched a video to the point i had stutter then crash back to Kodi welcome screen, less than 15mins in. OSD was on but i didn't notice any particular lags or kb/s Mb/s drops.

Here is the logfile: https://paste.kodi.tv/azayamuzoy.kodi

thanks again!
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#11
(2020-07-01, 00:48)Yarok Wrote: less than 15mins in
Well that's 10 minutes more than last time, but the timing is strange Smile [could it be a media gliche?] and you did have packet losses. So let's try this 'settings>video>adjust display refresh off; Sync off; Render method DXVA; Allow hardware acceleration ( gfx acceleration ). There is a small chance that some add-on or dependency is incompatible, so the skin switch might work (doubtful though). Without eliminating all your add-ons etc... it might be better to just put up a fresh portable installation, totally stock, ensure it's functionality playing a local video, then configure for SMB and see if a bare bones Kodi will play on that hardware out of the box so-to speak. If you have that success, then at least you will have a build point to go forward and without compromising your existing set-up.

Should it fail this last test, then I'll point at MS networking and suggest you might consider 'Linux'.
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#12
Allright, thanks. I'll give all this a try. 

The thing that bugs me in all this is that everything worked so easily and seamlessy for years and years, and now, for some reason, i'd have to go through all this trouble in order to have a stable playback Rofl
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#13
(2020-07-01, 09:47)Yarok Wrote: seamlessy for years and years
You may be looking in the wrong direction, private file server (unRaid) changes?
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#14
(2020-07-01, 18:27)PatK Wrote:
(2020-07-01, 09:47)Yarok Wrote: seamlessy for years and years
You may be looking in the wrong direction, private file server (unRaid) changes?

I know, this could have been an obvious lead but no, i did not change anything on my unRaid server when the problems with Kodi started Smile
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#15
Other than making sure my settings matched PatK's advice, I wasn't really planning on doing further troubleshooting tonight but i could compare between two video files, one local and the other from my server. 

So here's the latest log: https://paste.kodi.tv/ivuxerupid.kodi

As expected, the local file played without issues, while the network file stuttered on two occasions. 

I can see in the log that the server playback shows a lot of ActiveAE - large audio sync errors, but i'm surprised to see that my local playback did as well at some point, yet i didn't notice that while the video was playing.
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