Skipping video when transcoding (NOT bandwidth)

For help and support with PS3 Media Server in general
Forum rules
Please make sure you follow the Problem Reporting Guidelines before posting if you want a reply.

Skipping video when transcoding (NOT bandwidth)

Postby ultimate42 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:44 am

I've been using PSM really successfully for about a year, then recently I started having problems. I was happily watching quite high-bitrate MP4s and MKVs, with 5ch audio, until a couple of weeks ago.

My problem now is that when I am transcoding a video, even ones I have done before, the file plays for a minute or two then freezes, skips a few minutes, plays for a few seconds (maybe, if it does sometimes it will skip a few minutes more) then throws an "Unplayable content" error on the xbox. This happens on a variety of files, even ones that are nothing special (e.g. medium bitrate mp4 with 2ch audio that played fine a month ago). Streaming content that is native to the xbox is totally fine, absolutely no problem at all.

I think I was using v1.72 fine, and then I upgraded to v1.82. I'm not sure if I upgraded to try to solve this new problem, or if it occurred first after I upgraded. I have fiddled with the settings, completely uninstalled, and tried previous versions (1.70, 1.72, 1.80 and 1.82) but it's still the same. It occurs with both ffmpeg and Mencoder. I've comfortably used vqscale=2 vqmin=3 in the past, but even changing the quality down to 'low-end' settings, offers no improvement. My buffer is 400MB, usually it gets a little less than half full before the skip/crash. The log just says "stop playing event". I am currently running v1.72.

I wondered if something was happening with the multi-threading, maybe if it's transcoding chunks into the buffer it's stringing them together in the wrong order (?), so I unchecked the "multiple CPU cores" on the Mencoder options, and it actually played for a little longer (maybe a minute longer) before it threw "unplayable". As I'm writing this, I realise that I haven't tried changing the "maximum cores" setting on the main options page, but I'm currently streaming an avi so that test will have to wait.

I have upgraded my version of java since the problem started. The only other thing that's changed is I think the xbox got a software update recently, but I'm not sure if this problem started before or after that, because for a while I was pretty much only watching avi files that didn't need any transcoding. I know that I've been trying to search for answers for a few weeks, and even though I can't find any every so often I just hope that if I fiddle with the settings or re-install, maybe it'll work this time. I'm running Windows 7 with a core i3 and 2GB RAM.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Please take in to consideration that streaming high-quality videos is fine, no skipping related to bandwidth, this is ONLY when transcoding, and EVEN WHEN the quality is set appallingly low.
ultimate42
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:08 am

Re: Skipping video when transcoding (NOT bandwidth)

Postby mazey » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:45 am

this should fix your problem,

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3507&start=20#p38969
PMS 1.90.2 Snapshot - Intel Celeron G1840 2.8Ghz / Asus Z97m-plus / Corsair Vengeance 8GB / Windows 8.1 Pro (64 bit)
mazey
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:07 am

Re: Skipping video when transcoding (NOT bandwidth)

Postby ultimate42 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:03 am

Yeah, I forgot to mention how thoroughly I had researched this already, I kinda implied it by making a big deal about the 'not skipping because of bandwidth' thing, but actually I have come across this 'fix' before and it didn't work for me. Also, I don't see any of the memory-related messages in the debug.log

However I will give it another go. In the mean time, I invite further advice.
ultimate42
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:08 am

Re: Skipping video when transcoding (NOT bandwidth)

Postby ultimate42 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:49 am

Well, I take it all back.

I had previously tried reducing the buffer size, and increasing the max heap size, on different occasions with different versions of PSM. Today I made a significant reduction in the buffer size AND increased the max heap size, and it seems to work. At least, it plays for more than 5 minutes without any trouble when transcoding using ffmpeg.

I'm still a bit baffled as to why this would be necessary when it had been working perfectly well previously, I don't use plugins or anything extra like that, and I hadn't started fiddling with the memory-related settings until after the problem started.

Still, as long as it's working again, I shaln't complain.
ultimate42
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:08 am

Re: Skipping video when transcoding (NOT bandwidth)

Postby mazey » Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:54 am

hrm why are you using ffmpeg to transcode? have you tried with mencoder by default it should be using that and should be at the top of the transcode list.

i use a heapsize of 1536 and buffer size of 400 and never get any skips using mencoder.

if you wish to reset ure pms settings to default all you need to do is delete the pms.conf file in "c:"\programdata\pms" then launch pms and reconfigure.
PMS 1.90.2 Snapshot - Intel Celeron G1840 2.8Ghz / Asus Z97m-plus / Corsair Vengeance 8GB / Windows 8.1 Pro (64 bit)
mazey
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:07 am

Re: Skipping video when transcoding (NOT bandwidth)

Postby ultimate42 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:07 am

I forget the reason I started using ffmpeg by default, but it was because it was working better than mencoder for whatever I was trying to watch a lot of at the time, and I got fed up with having to browse the transcode folder and select it. I think it might have been because mencoder wasn't handling the motion very well in some high quality movies I had, but ffmpeg was a lot smoother. On the occasions when ffmpeg doesn't support the audio stream or some other problem, I do switch to mencoder.

However, as I mentioned, mencoder began suffering this same problem at the same time. I decreased my buffer to 250MB and increased the max heap size to 1200MB to get it to work, but neither of these on their own had previously been sufficient to solve the problem.
ultimate42
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:08 am


Return to General Help and Support

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests