Sometimes only records audio

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Paw Paw

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Re: Sometimes only records audio

#41

Post by Paw Paw » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:06 pm

What is the copy protection on the Mpeg2 channel that does not seem to exhibit the problem is it copy freely or copy once? Also what is the copy protection on the Mpeg2 channels that are giving you audio only. If I had to guess the channel without the issue is copy freely while the channel that gets audio only is copy once.

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#42

Post by DFox » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:48 pm

On my FiOS most of the channels are copy freely, including my MPEG4 channel. The shows that record bad seem to be from any channel that uses that same tuner after that. Most bad recordings are copy freely, and some are copy protected.

The other night when I caught things in a bad state and was testing just going to the guide and hitting record to reproduce the bad recording, it was all on CBS HD, copy freely.

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#43

Post by Space » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:58 pm

Yeah, I don't think this has anything to do with copy protection. It is an issue with going from MPEG4 to MPEG2 on the same tuner.

I had this problem with live TV where things would just get messed up when going between the two types of channels, but up until now I thought it was a problem with the video card not being able to transition from one to the the other cleanly.

But now I think it is an issue with how WMC records the channel, somehow it does not reset all the parameters it needs to reset after tuning in a MPEG4 channel, and the MPEG2 channel tuned after that can have problems. It may be only certain MPEG4 streams that cause the problem since so far I haven't seen anyone else report this problem other than those that have FiOS (and even then I think it was only 3 people?)

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Crash2009

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#44

Post by Crash2009 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:12 am

Yes, I did mean Task Scheduler. The guys here helped me setup MoveMovies. After every recording, MoveMovies scans the RecordedTV Folder, assumedly reading the properties of each WTV file. If it finds a wtv with properties that identify it as a movie, MoveMovies creates a folder in the movie folder, then cuts and pasts the movie wtv in the folder that it just created. YAMM jumps in and gets the art.

During my experiments with that project, Foxwood and I were playing around with a script that would search for a specific property....In your case it would search for a recently recorded MPEG4 and if it finds one.....restart the service that you mentioned earlier.

An easier way would be to restart the service after every recording. (this one sounds pretty easy)

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#45

Post by Space » Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:55 am

Stopping/restarting the service is not a very good solution when you consider that there could be back to back recordings (the second recording would start late or not at all), or even worse, several recordings happening at the same time. I would assume that stopping the service would cause all existing recordings to also stop.

One thing that was mentioned was that the problem seemed to happen after the MPEG4 recording ended naturally, however when you manually stopped the recording, the problem wasn't seen. If that is truly the case (much more testing is required), it may be possible to have some separate process "stop" a recording a few seconds before it would have normally stopped on it's own and by doing so prevent the problem from occurring.

However, I am skeptical that a manual stop of the recording vs. a "natural" stop would really make a difference.

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#46

Post by Crash2009 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:04 am

He was saying that a restart of the service permitted the next recording to start. I agree though it's not a long term solution.

How about adjusting the minutes in Recording Defaults...Start/Stop when possible. Not sure if mine are adjusted or default, but I am set to 2 before and 3 after.

He might need a bigger spread 5 before and 5 after

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#47

Post by Space » Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:14 am

FiOS does not use SDV as far as I know and therefore no Tuning Adapter.

EDIT: You removed your post about the TA, so I guess you found that out already... :-)

Anyway, from the testing he did, it looks like if the recording ends naturally (I doubt padding makes any difference) it causes the problem, but if the recording is stopped manually, it is fine. But it is not clear if the recording began naturally (scheduled) or it was just started by pressing the record button. This is all just speculation based on the description of the very limited tests in a prior post, so it may not be this way at all.

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Crash2009

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#48

Post by Crash2009 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:56 am

Yeah I got mixed up between Fios and Time Warner and deleted the post.

1) What tuner is being used?

2) Could we get a hardware list, MFG + model

3) MB, CPU, Video Adapter, Hard drive

4) Any additional codecs installed?

5) Software list from Programs and features (everything related to video or sound)

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#49

Post by DFox » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:50 pm

Another update, and more confirmation of my issue. I temporarily unsubscribed for two months from the MPEG4 channel (for unrelated ironic reasons) and removed those scheduled recordings. I also removed my daily hack of the 1 minute manual MPEG2 recording and restarting the service and Media Center. Essentially back to steady state from before subscribing and recording that channel. All good- not a single recording problem for the entire week.

Again, this is temporary since we will re-subscribe to that channel and record it, so I will need to employ some solution again.

With regard to automating it other than my previous hack, as I mentioned it is the concurrent and back to back recordings that will be complicated to address. It is relatively straight forward to trigger a Scheduled Task off of the Event Log entry that a recording has completed. As well as getting the properties of that recording that it is from an MPEG4 channel (file name would probably suffice).

But what to do next? Can't restart the service if another tuner is already recording something. And probably a back to back recording would fail even within those few seconds that it takes to restart the service. That's why I think the automation would need to be more intelligent with regard to understanding the entire sequence of recordings about to happen, then calculate which tuner will be used for which channel. Then still needing to address the Tuner1 MPEG4 8-9pm, Tuner2 MPEG2 8:30pm-10:30pm, and then Tuner1 MPEG2 9:30pm-10pm. With that there is no window to restart. This could utilize the idea Space had with changing all of the tuner priorities, but you'd still need to determine beforehand if it is going to run out of non-MPEG4 recording tuners and whether the service would need to be restarted. From my testing in order to clear things out you need to make a bad MPEG2 recording, restart the service, then restart Media Center. So in addition to this tuner determination there would need to be a dynamic manual recording scheduled to the recording block (and subsequent deletion), manually recording the show it already missed the start of, and remove the scheduled future showing that Media Center probably would create. This is on top of the ugliness of getting kicked out of Media Center during prime time viewing.

Anyway, this is how I see it, unless I am missing something (as I already have previously), such as a simpler way to clear things out. Perhaps automatically tuning to live TV of the channel that is next to record might do it. I never tested that, but that too would require some intelligence to understanding the recording sequence about to happen. Same goes with trying to end an MPEG4 recording prematurely if there are no concurrent recordings.

I'll continue to explore logical possibilities. But for our home's particular situation, dedicating one of my four tuners to the single MPEG4 channel might be the simplest way out (assuming this does address whatever this issue is). I realize that this might not be viable for other setups that experience this problem; I certainly don't mean to sound flippant with throwing cash at a solution, but if the recording demands are different from ours then it might make sense to dedicate an entire tuner card to those MPEG4 channels.

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#50

Post by Space » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:01 pm

I know in an earlier test you said you did not have the problem if you manually stopped the recording. The problem would only be triggered if you let the recording end naturally. Have you done any further tests regarding this?

Because as I mentioned, if the tuner only gets in to this state after recording an MPEG4 channel, and ending the recording naturally, then maybe a tool can be built to trigger a "manual" stop of the MPEG4 recording that occurs right before the natural stop would have occurred. This may prevent the tuner from getting in to this state, and subsequent MPEG2 recordings will not have an issue. This method would also not affect any other concurrent recordings (the tool would only stop the one MPEG4 recording).

But I still say the best solution is to determine why only FiOS users seem to be having this problem. As I stated before, there are many cable operators that have both MPEG2 and MPEG4 channels, and no customers from those providers have (thus far) reported this problem. This leads me to believe that there is something specific with how FiOS is encoding their MPEG4 channels that is triggering the bug in WMC.

If this difference can be determined, and verified to be causing the bug, maybe a request for Verizon to change that parameter can be made to resolve the issue (assuming it is something they are willing to change).

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#51

Post by DFox » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:34 pm

I misunderstood your point about stopping the recording early. I was thinking you were trying to give it a time window to reset the tuner, whereas you were attempting to prevent the bad state overall. I think I am forgetting my own testing probably because I haven't exactly worked out a 100% repeatable, step by step procedure. I mean, the bad state would happen to me daily, but I think it is necessary to find the absolute minimum number of steps with isolated variables.

For example, that result I had where I stopped the recording prematurely might be attributed to it requiring a certain duration of an MPEG4 recording, and not the aspect of letting it gracefully end. And I still have some doubt that it first needs to make a bad MPEG2 recording before being able to properly reset the tuner. Maybe something else needs to be reset too.

What I can say from my situation:
Tuner1 would record two or more MPEG4 shows that were >= 15 minutes each during the day, and then any MPEG2 show tuner1 recorded that evening would be bad. All other recordings from other tuners were ok. Now I don't know what happens if those MPEG4 shows were not scheduled, or if those shows were only 2 minutes in duration would it still create the issue.

Before any kind of systematic resolution, I would just reboot the system and then everything would clear up. From my few tests I found that once in the bad state just resetting the tuner service did not fix it. I thought it did initially because I didn't realize the other stuff I did that affected the results. That was, making a bad MPEG4 recording first, closing Media Center, then resetting the tuner. I used that first MPEG4 recording just to confirm it was in a bad state, not realizing my act of observation impacted the testing (though this is way less complicated than quantum).

Space, have you tried to reproduce the issue? Unfortunately I don't have the means anymore for a while.

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#52

Post by Space » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:49 pm

To be honest, I am a bit scared of messing too much with my system. I record a ton of stuff and if I mess something up so that it doesn't record it will be a big problem.

However, I did do a simple test:
I recorded two minute segments from a MPEG2 channel (603 MSNBC) and a MPEG4 channel (604 Bloomberg) back-to-back for 5 segments total (603,604,603,604,603).

I made sure to have two shows recording on the other tuners (2 out of 3 tuners in use) so that each 2-minute recording had to record on the same tuner.

Unfortunately, my first attempt neglected to do that step, so each show was recorded in a round-robin fashion on two different tuners, so did not have a problem.

On my second test, I made sure I had the two other tuners busy recording first so that the 2-minute segments would only record on one tuner.

That first failed test seemed to affect this second test, however. The two shows that were supposed to tie-up the two tuners were supposed to start at 6pm, and then the 2-minute segment records were scheduled to start at 6:02pm, but at 6pm, only one show started recording. WMC indicated that the second show was recording, but it was not (only one tuner was in use and no recording was started). I manually tuned to the channel that was supposed to be recording and I got a black screen with audio only (so bug was triggered).

I exited live TV, then exited WMC and restarted. Then I went to live TV again for that bugged channel but I just got the spinner (waiting) and it never did anything, however the scheduled recording (that still had the red dot) finally started to record on this channel.

I then let the 2-minute recordings continue, and when done, I manually stopped the 2 recordings on the other tuners.

Here were the results of all the recordings:

2 manually stopped recordings:
The recording that started on time at 6pm was fine (Tuner2)
The recording that only started the second time I viewed in Live TV (Tuner0) was a black screen with audio and a (not specified) codec.

The five 2-minute recordings (all on Tuner1) all played back fine.

One thing I did notice is that only the recordings that were from 604 (MPEG4) had thumbnails, all the other recordings (MPEG2) had just a blue rectangle with no thumbnail. I don't know why.

So it looks like the test I set up to try to trigger the problem did not actually trigger the problem (the back-to-back 2 minute segments played back fine) but somehow I inadvertently triggered the problem on another tuner and the problem occurred there.

Afterwards I deleted all the recordings and then told WMC to record from 3 channels (all MPEG2). The recordings were fine, but still no thumbnails. Exiting and restarting WMC did not trigger creation of the thumbnails. I create a recordings for 604 (MPGE4) and then I noticed that one of the 3 MPEG2 recordings now had a thumbnail, but the other two still did not. I stopped the MPEG4 recording and it also did not have a thumbnail.
Exiting and restarting WMC did not correct the thumbnails. I rebooted the machine and all the thumbnails showed up (for both MPEG2 and MPEG4 recordings).

I have to admit that this problem has got me a little scared. If FiOS starts to roll out MPEG4 for more channels, this can be a major problem for me (and potentially all FiOS users, if not all mixed MPEG2 & MPEG4 cable system users).

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#53

Post by DFox » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:27 pm

I neglected to mention that from the time I started having these recording issues I too would have blue thumbnails sometimes even for good recordings. And since both employing my hack workaround and unsubscribing/stop recording my MPEG4 channel the thumbnails have been fine.

What is interesting to me is that is seems like the symptom might manifest itself differently. From all of the explicit and implicit testing I've done I've never had a failure to record. It had always recorded, just bad. Hopefully it was just the sequence of events, that you tuned live TV to the channel it was recording badly. I'm sure once we square away the precise sequence then things will be more predictable with regard to bad recordings, indefinite spinner on playback or live TV. And by "hopefully" I merely mean repeatable, not that I have any hope for a resolution from the content provider.

And I hear ya about not wanting to mess with a fragile Media Center. But like you said, with the proliferation of MPEG4 I think we are going to have to start planning for some workaround.

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#54

Post by artm » Mon May 15, 2017 7:49 pm

I have the same issue with Comcast in Boston, with a twist: switching from a DRM/regular channel in the 800's to a DRM/regular channel in the 200's give audio without video. I can usually correct by switching out to another channel and then back to the desired channel but sometimes it takes switching to two or three to get video back. I never need to restart WMC or any service.

Granted, I do not record these channels.

I do feel it is greatly related to the video card. AMD gave me more issues with the switchover. My Nvidia GT710 is mostly fine. I needed a low profile, low wattage card so this was chosen. Besides the issue above, fast forwarding at the highest speed on recordings is less smooth than in the past but I can live with that.

I also started this thread in the hopw of narrowing down the good cards but haven't had much feedback:

http://www.thegreenbutton.tv/forums/vie ... =7&t=10675
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#55

Post by stuartm » Sun May 21, 2017 6:46 am

Here's my theory as to what is happening based on my problems seen when switching on Comcast from an h.264 channel to an MPEG2 channel. I believe the recordings are happening fine. All WMC does is take the stream from the tuner and write it into a file. But when playing back. The WMC player code can fail to properly detect the switch inside the file from H.264 to MPEG2 and does not use the proper Video codec so black screen. This applies to live watching as well since live is buffered thru a file in the same way. Using a different tuner than the last one in use makes it start a new file and the codec is detected properly. I'm pretty sure this has nothing to do with what video card you are using and it's an internal bug in WMC playback. It seems to not always fail and looks to be somewhat channel dependent and I'm not sure why some MPEG2 channel switches seem to work.

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#56

Post by artm » Sun May 21, 2017 1:16 pm

Well, switching from AMD to Nvidia resolved my issue with just playing h.264 with Comcast.

"WMC player code can fail to properly detect the switch inside the file": what do you mean inside the file? Any player I assume reads the file/stream and knows what codec to use when changing sources. Why would it assume the same format in the new stream from the current one?

I think Comcast is playing games with stream data not beng entirely compliant with the standard. But, then again, is FIOS doing the same?
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#57

Post by DFox » Sun May 21, 2017 1:23 pm

It's definitely not a playback issue in my case. My recorded file was messed up and couldn't be played anywhere. I've tried to convert it to mp4, tried it through the Xbox 360 Extender, and a different PC. When you had the issue, what did the 411 Info say for content? Did it say "Unspecified" as mine did?

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#58

Post by artm » Sun May 21, 2017 2:15 pm

Here are some results from switching on the same tuner:

850-espn2 to 203-black
video codec: not specified
bit rate: 18xxxxx, 2387236
native size: 1280x720
display size: 1920x1080
frame rate: 60

850-espn2 to 203-stzenac
video codec: mpeg2
bit rate: 2252507
native size: 640x480
display size: 1440x1080
frame rate: 59.9401

203-stzenac to 850-espn2
video codec: not specified
bit rate: 2335502
native size: 1280x720
display size: 1920x1080
frame rate: 60

851-necn to 850-espn2
video codec: h264
bit rate: 3478388
native size: 1280x720
display size: 1920x1080
frame rate: 60

203-stzenac to 19-wbpx
video codec: mpeg2
bit rate: 2203038
native size: 640x480
display size: 1440x1080
frame rate: 29.97

Channel 203 is the only DRM one. Codec not specified results in black screen; success otherwise.

Playing 850 and recording it, then switching to 203 on another tuner (of course), success.

Playing an existing recording and switching to 203, success.
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#59

Post by Crash2009 » Mon May 22, 2017 3:45 am

I do not have.....stzenac....851-necn.....or 19-wbpx in my lineup. But I do have 3 espn2

What would happen if you used GuideTool to remove your duplicates...(if you have any)

I usually remove duplicates on machines that have extenders...so they only have one choice.

In the picture I would uncheck 36 and 203, then save and backup, using GuideTool. I uploaded the software http://www.thegreenbutton.tv/forums/vie ... 177#p99177 $5.00 registration fee will enable the backup feature.

The idea here is to remove the "Problem Channel" and use the duplicate (if you have one)
Attachments
RecordingProblem001.JPG

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#60

Post by artm » Mon May 22, 2017 5:35 am

I don't have duplicates. The 200 range channels are SD channels - rather, non-HD channels.
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