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Old 04-13-2014, 06:07 PM   #1
epstewart
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TiVo Stream to iPad Freezes

I just purchased a Roamio Plus. When I use the TiVo iPad app with its internal TiVo Stream, I get occasional "lockups" or "freezes" where play stops with a still frame remaining visible on the screen. It never starts back up. I have to touch "Done" and re-initiate play to get things going again. Just hitting pause and then play doesn't fix it.

Anyone else have the same problem?

I have not found this problem to be reproducible at any particular point in any particular program.

Might it be a network problem? I use an Actiontec router from Verizon FiOS for WiFi. It's also a MoCA router. AFAIK, the network is working fine, and the iPad app's broadband speed test shows excellent bandwidth numbers of over 30 Mbps.

I have to assume there is some "hiccup" somewhere that triggers the lockup. I wonder if some of the technically inclined contributors to this forum have any suggestions as to how I might figure out what is really going on?

Thanks.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:37 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epstewart View Post
I just purchased a Roamio Plus. When I use the TiVo iPad app with its internal TiVo Stream, I get occasional "lockups" or "freezes" where play stops with a still frame remaining visible on the screen. It never starts back up. I have to touch "Done" and re-initiate play to get things going again. Just hitting pause and then play doesn't fix it.

Anyone else have the same problem?

I have not found this problem to be reproducible at any particular point in any particular program.

Might it be a network problem? I use an Actiontec router from Verizon FiOS for WiFi. It's also a MoCA router. AFAIK, the network is working fine, and the iPad app's broadband speed test shows excellent bandwidth numbers of over 30 Mbps.

I have to assume there is some "hiccup" somewhere that triggers the lockup. I wonder if some of the technically inclined contributors to this forum have any suggestions as to how I might figure out what is really going on?

Thanks.
I have the exact same problem with my Roamio Pro and Ipad. This is with local streaming not OOH. This seems to happen more often near the end the show (within the last few minutes). I think I saw another similar thread but there was no resolution in that thread.

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Old 04-14-2014, 11:18 AM   #3
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I have the exact same problem with my Roamio Pro and Ipad. This is with local streaming not OOH. This seems to happen more often near the end the show (within the last few minutes). I think I saw another similar thread but there was no resolution in that thread.

Jay
Jay,

Yes, I have seen this in other threads, with no resolution. I'd like to reopen and concentrate the topic now.

I echo you in that this seems to be an in-home problem, not OOH. Of course, i have done little OOH, because the WiFi in many places is too slow to accommodate it.

I have, like you, noticed that it often happens at the ends of shows ... but not all of the times it happens seem to be at the show's end.

Last night it happened again, and so I opened the Actiontec router's web page on my iPhone. The iPad's playback was frozen, and I wanted to see how much in-home network traffic was taking place. I assumed there might be little traffic at that point.

But, no. Lots of traffic for these router connections:

Network (Home/Office)
Ethernet
Coax
Broadband Connection (Coax)
Wireless Access Point

But not for:

Broadband Connection (Ethernet)
WAN PPPoE
WAN PPPoE 2

All that's hard for me to interpret. But in general, the fact that numbers of transmitted and received bytes and packets were mounting real fast (after I had reset the numbers to 0) in the same network connection categories as I have noticed are heavily active when playback is going normally on the iPad might mean something. Maybe the iPad app is still receiving new data from TiVo Stream but forgetting to update the screen. Or maybe the system as a whole is stuck in an endless loop of requesting the same data over and over, and never moving on to any new data.

I seem to see that, as one would expect, many different connection types are all active at once when streaming: the network as a whole, wireless, coax, even Ethernet (since I have Ethernet-connected devices, including computers and a MoCA adapter on a TiVo Premiete, I suppose). The only external activity at the time was the TiVo Stream session in question and my iPhone's session with the Actiontec router.

I would like to ask those who know more to chime in on:

How does the TiVo Stream inside the Roamio Plus/Pro fetch data from the Roamio Plus/Pro itself? Does it do so via a network "handshake" as if the TiVo Stream were attached, say, to a different, base Roamio?

Can the better-informed among us offer a better method of "sniffing" the network traffic to diagnose what may be happening before/after playback freezes on the iPad.

Thanks in advance for any and all contributions to the discussion ...


Edit for more info: Further experiments are showing that the router statistics are going up extremely fast for ...

Received bytes on Coax
Sent bytes on Wireless Access Point

... when streaming is working normally (for an HD show).

Makes sense. The router receives a lot of data via coax (MoCA) and sends it back out to the iPad over wireless.

I didn't exactly notice whether this pattern held when playback was frozen. Next time it freezes I'll check ...
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:50 PM   #4
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There is a glitch when streaming -via MRS stream- a show that was recording while watching, where a Mini will tell you it "lost connection to the host" with about five minutes to go in the recording and dump you out. You can then immediately go back, hit play on the recording and finish the show right from where you left off.

Although it appears to be a different kind of stream on the surface, using a different piece of hardware (the stream chip/its OS vs the cpu/Tivo OS) to generate the video stream, its likely the same problem...

(Roamio, simplified is an upgraded Premiere with a Stream also glued in. The Roamio and the Stream inside it are two fully separate little worlds, actually get separate IP addresses and run separate code/operating systems.

The video likely travels from the Roamio's cpu/operating system to its internal stream chip via MRS stream, which re-codes it to the much lower bitrate and then streamed to the Ipad. With about five minutes to go, the MRS stream glitches and ends the data stream in some ugly way... leading to limbo.

My Roamio has the new (early release) software (20.4.1) running, but my Mini does not ... I will try and see later if the error still occurs with this combo.

I just looked and the Stream built into the Roamio also has got a newer software version 19.1.6-USB-6 dated 2/18/14.
Stand-alone unit has 19.1.4-01-6 dated 11/12/13. (The 1st version that allowed out of home streaming if I remember correctly) I just forced it to call home and restarted it, with no change...

There is no public documentation of the changes in this version of the Stream software that I have seen, unfortunately.
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:06 PM   #5
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There is a glitch when streaming -via MRS stream- a show that was recording while watching, where a Mini will tell you it "lost connection to the host" with about five minutes to go in the recording and dump you out. You can then immediately go back, hit play on the recording and finish the show right from where you left off.

Although it appears to be a different kind of stream on the surface, using a different piece of hardware (the stream chip/its OS vs the cpu/Tivo OS) to generate the video stream, its likely the same problem...

(Roamio, simplified is an upgraded Premiere with a Stream also glued in. The Roamio and the Stream inside it are two fully separate little worlds, actually get separate IP addresses and run separate code/operating systems.

The video likely travels from the Roamio's cpu/operating system to its internal stream chip via MRS stream, which re-codes it to the much lower bitrate and then streamed to the Ipad. With about five minutes to go, the MRS stream glitches and ends the data stream in some ugly way... leading to limbo.

My Roamio has the new (early release) software (20.4.1) running, but my Mini does not ... I will try and see later if the error still occurs with this combo.

I just looked and the Stream built into the Roamio also has got a newer software version 19.1.6-USB-6 dated 2/18/14.
Stand-alone unit has 19.1.4-01-6 dated 11/12/13. (The 1st version that allowed out of home streaming if I remember correctly) I just forced it to call home and restarted it, with no change...

There is no public documentation of the changes in this version of the Stream software that I have seen, unfortunately.
lgnad,

Thanks for your contribution. I am especially interested in the fact that you have different software versions than I. I have 20.3.8 on the Roamio Plus and 19.1.4-USB-6 on the internal Stream.

If your updated software fixes the problem, well and good.

I have a Mini that I have yet to use much, since it's hooked to a TV lacking HDMI inputs and I am waiting for a breakout cable kit. So I haven't observed the glitch with MRS on the Mini yet.

I am also interested in the notion that MRS logic is used between the Roamio Plus/Pro and the internal Stream, so the same flaw would account for the glitch on the Mini as on the iPad.

If and when an Android app comes out, and if there has not yet been a fix implemented in the latest software, then we would expect the same glitch to show up there, no?
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:42 PM   #6
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As promised, I'll now report on a limbo situation when the stream image froze on my iPad. It happened about two minutes before the end of the latest Cosmos episode. I immediately looked at the traffic monitoring stats provided by my Actiontec router and noted that "received bytes on coax" and "sent bytes on wireless access point" were no longer swiftly climbing. They normally do so when streaming is in progress to the TiVo iPad app.

So I conclude that the TiVo Stream inside the Roamio Plus must have stopped sending data, via coax to the router, then via WiFi to the iPad.

If the speculation earlier in this thread that the process of (MRS) streaming from the Roamio to the Stream must have stalled is correct, that would account for the lack of output from the Stream to the iPad.
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:16 PM   #7
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I posted my observation of the difference in the Stream software embedded in the new 20.4.1 software, in the release notes thread, and someone posted a link to a tweet from TivoMargaret that its supposed to specifically fix your freezing problem!

See the 1st page for the announced updates in 20.4.1, then go to the last page for my post and the response:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=516208

I've got to go to bed now, but I'll try and stress test it soon and I'll update if I figure anything out...
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:07 PM   #8
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I posted my observation of the difference in the Stream software embedded in the new 20.4.1 software, in the release notes thread, and someone posted a link to a tweet from TivoMargaret that its supposed to specifically fix your freezing problem!

See the 1st page for the announced updates in 20.4.1, then go to the last page for my post and the response:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=516208

I've got to go to bed now, but I'll try and stress test it soon and I'll update if I figure anything out...
lgnad,

Great news! The tweet from TiVo Margret indicates she thinks the freezing issue is fixed in the new software. Thanks.

It's not clear whether that refers to the new Roamio software (20.4.1) or the new TiVo Stream software (19.1.6-USB-6) or both working together. You got both in one fell swoop, but will that be true for everyone?

I'll look forward to hearing about your stress test when you have a chance to do it ...
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:49 PM   #9
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It's not. I have 20.4.1 and I still get freezes. I never had this before iOS7. I'm not sure if it's iOS7 itself or the app update TiVo released for iOS7, but that's when it broke. I had both a standalone Stream and a Roamio at the time and both started doing this right at that time. So I'm not sure why they would think an update to the TiVo software would fix it.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:52 PM   #10
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I'm thinking of buying a Stream for mostly in-home viewing and occasional out-of-home. But these posts make me doubt that it's going to work well enough to be worth it. I guess I could always return it.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:25 PM   #11
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I'm thinking of buying a Stream for mostly in-home viewing and occasional out-of-home. But these posts make me doubt that it's going to work well enough to be worth it. I guess I could always return it.
If it fits your needs, I'd suggest trying it. I'm a recent TiVo owner, purchasing a Roamio base + Stream + Mini and using OTA to replace my Comcast setup. So far, I've been very happy. In house streaming has been flawless and out of home has worked well the couple of times I've tried.

I have everything running over Ethernet (Cat5e/6 + Dell gigabit switches) using a Peplink router and a motorola cable modem for Comcast Extreme. Wireless on the iOS devices is served from a Pepwave APOne.

From what I've experienced and read, you'll know within a couple weeks if you're going to have issues. That should give you enough time for a return if needed.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:44 PM   #12
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It's not. I have 20.4.1 and I still get freezes. I never had this before iOS7. I'm not sure if it's iOS7 itself or the app update TiVo released for iOS7, but that's when it broke. I had both a standalone Stream and a Roamio at the time and both started doing this right at that time. So I'm not sure why they would think an update to the TiVo software would fix it.
Dan,

Lots of moving parts ...

You did receive both 20.4.1 for the Roamio and the new TiVo Stream release, right?

My experiments show that when playback freezes on the iPad, the previously large amount of sent/received data appearing in my router stats dries up. Clearly, the Stream must no longer be sending data to the iPad.

That could be because the iPad app has told it not to send more data for some obscure reason.

It could also be for reasons having to do with software bugs on the Stream, or on the containing Roamio box.

Maybe there has been a dropped packet on the network, and the recovery logic is bad between the iPad and the Stream.

If iOS 7 and/or the latest TiVo app are at fault, then possibly some needed "handshake" has not been received by the Stream, which then sits on its hands forever.

But as lgnad points out, similar streaming freezes take place on the Mini, where iPad software isn't to blame. If he's right, then could there be two separate problems?

I hope lgnad tells us about his stress test soon ...
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:18 PM   #13
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If it fits your needs, I'd suggest trying it. I'm a recent TiVo owner, purchasing a Roamio base + Stream + Mini and using OTA to replace my Comcast setup. So far, I've been very happy. In house streaming has been flawless and out of home has worked well the couple of times I've tried.

I have everything running over Ethernet (Cat5e/6 + Dell gigabit switches) using a Peplink router and a motorola cable modem for Comcast Extreme. Wireless on the iOS devices is served from a Pepwave APOne.

From what I've experienced and read, you'll know within a couple weeks if you're going to have issues. That should give you enough time for a return if needed.
Thanks for the advice. I may go to Best Buy tonight and pick one up.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:15 PM   #14
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You did receive both 20.4.1 for the Roamio and the new TiVo Stream release, right?
Is the Stream update separate? If so how do I know if I got it? I don't have a standalone Stream any more.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:44 PM   #15
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Is the Stream update separate? If so how do I know if I got it? I don't have a standalone Stream any more.
Dan,

I don't know if it's transmitted separately ... Haven't been able to find that out yet ... Have not received either the new Roamio release 20.4.1 or the new Stream release 19.1.6-USB-6 ... lgnad has both but did they come separately or together? Don't know ...

But I'd think it might come separately, since the Stream is technically an independent device.

You can check your Stream release version from the TiVo app, Settings > System Information, with more detail at Settings > System Information > Full System Information. If it says 19.1.4-<something>, it's not the latest.
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:25 AM   #16
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OK I've got the new software on both and I still get freezes. So unless there is a new TiVo app to go along with it then thia is not fixed.
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:25 AM   #17
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OK I've got the new software on both and I still get freezes. So unless there is a new TiVo app to go along with it then thia is not fixed.
Dan,

OK, thanks for reporting. It's possibly something that TiVo Margret wants to hear directly about? Do we know how to tweet her? See the earlier post in this thread with a link to another thread that links to a tweet of hers which seems to indicate she feels the freezing problem is fixed.

Here is the direct link to her tweet:

https://mobile.twitter.com/tivodesig...51096259031040

Her email is

margret at tivo dot com

By the way, do you also have a Mini, and does it get freezes? I have one but cannot really use it 'til I get the breakout adapter kit, which UPS reports is out for delivery today.
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:50 AM   #18
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OK I've got the new software on both and I still get freezes. So unless there is a new TiVo app to go along with it then thia is not fixed.
I thought you said Tivo ooh streaming worked well for you while you were in Las Vegas.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:00 AM   #19
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I thought you said Tivo ooh streaming worked well for you while you were in Las Vegas.
Dan can give his response presently, but let me note that it's not clear that the stream-freeze problem affects OOH streaming. Maybe OOH is different enough from in-home streaming that the problem doesn't arise. Maybe it has to do with the use of a proxy server as an intermediary in OOH streaming. I really don't know the answer, but I have certainly wondered why you have to specifically tell the TiVo app — while you are at home — that you want to set up for OOH. Maybe you have to do that while still in range of your TiVo Stream because the Stream does something special at that point — something that as a side effect avoids the freeze problem during OOH sessions.
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:24 PM   #20
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I haven't tested the new software update yet... I did see the freeze, and it seemed like the stream was loosing connection with the TiVo.

I didn't notice it consistently at the end of the show though, I could pretty regularly make it happen just by swiping forward several times.

I will try it out tonight.
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:54 PM   #21
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I haven't tested the new software update yet... I did see the freeze, and it seemed like the stream was loosing connection with the TiVo.

I didn't notice it consistently at the end of the show though, I could pretty regularly make it happen just by swiping forward several times.

I will try it out tonight.
Bradley,

I still am using the old software on all my devices. I just received my TiVo Mini breakout cables and actually streamed an entire show to it from the Roamio Plus for the first time. It was the latest Cosmos, which caused a freeze near its very end when streamed to my iPad. It did not freeze at all when streamed to the Mini.

Interesting that you should say that you seem to be able to trigger a freeze on the iPad at various points in a show by swiping forward several times. I have wondered about that myself. Can skipping over commercials in that way trigger a freeze? Does anyone else have a similar experience? My own experience in inconclusive at this point.
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Old 04-16-2014, 04:02 PM   #22
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I thought you said Tivo ooh streaming worked well for you while you were in Las Vegas.
It did. I never saw a freeze when using OOH.

There is also another big difference between in home and OOH. I use my Stream at night to watch TV in bed as I fall asleep. With in home streaming if the show reaches it's natural end then it allows the iPad to fall asleep. But if it freezes then the iPad remains on with that frozen screen indefinitely. When I was using OOH in Vegas I woke up every morning with the iPad off, but in a few cases there was a dialog up that said something like "connection lost". So it seems that rather then freezing and keeping the iPad on all night it throws an error and still allows it to sleep instead. I wish at the very least the in home streaming would do the same so that the iPad could fall asleep.
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Old 04-16-2014, 04:04 PM   #23
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FYI this happened to me last night after swiping back like 3 times in a row. I had to press Done and then restart the show to get it to play again.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:52 PM   #24
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FYI this happened to me last night after swiping back like 3 times in a row. I had to press Done and then restart the show to get it to play again.
Dan,

I'm noticing a pattern where a show gets to about 2 mins. from the end and then freezes, even though it never got frozen before that point. This is in-home, on the iPad. If I press Done and restart the show, it starts from the beginning! Yet of I press Done and restart it at a point earlier on, it restarts from right (or almost) where it left off.

This makes me think maybe there's some faulty synchronization with respect to time codes. One part of the "bucket brigade" thinks the show has reached its end and another part doesn't. Maybe the part that displays the show on the iPad thinks there is a little bit left, but the TiVo Stream or the TiVo itself has meanwhile stopped sending more video because it thinks there is no more left to send.

Maybe the faulty synchronization results from a lot of swiping forward and/or back on the iPad. I also think maybe using the scrubber bar might do the same thing, because a show that I used the scrubber on after it restarted (undesirably) from its beginning hit its freeze point at a slightly different time than before — but it still froze.

If my thinking is right, it might account for the lack of a problem with OOH streaming, since the logic has to be different. OOH uses a proxy server as an intermediary, so maybe the way time codes and synchronization are handled is different.

I imagine you know a lot more about time codes, etc. from your work with VideoReDo. Do you think I might be onto something?
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:04 PM   #25
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epstewart, I'm not sure about that, because I've had freezes before on downloads (vs streaming), and using trickplay on downloads should not have any effect on the Stream encoding process. I'll also note that I had a higher occurrence of problems using "Basic" quality downloads vs medium or high.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:34 PM   #26
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epstewart, I'm not sure about that, because I've had freezes before on downloads (vs streaming), and using trickplay on downloads should not have any effect on the Stream encoding process. I'll also note that I had a higher occurrence of problems using "Basic" quality downloads vs medium or high.
Moyekj,

Interesting.

I'm not as sure about the relationship of trickplay to freezing as I was earlier, because I just watched a show from beginning to end, while streaming in-home to the iPad, and I carefully avoided jumping forward or back or using the scrubber. It still got within a minute or two of the end and then froze. When I restarted it after pressing Done, it restarted from the beginning.

So I still think this particular problem has to do with different parts of the system getting out of sync with other parts with respect to time codes.

I haven't used downloading while at home, so I'll have to do some experiments with it. It seems to me that lower video quality might possibly imply frame dropping, though. Could that tend to produce synchronization problems?
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:03 PM   #27
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Location: Mission Viejo, CA
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Yes, experiment with downloading. In particular, if you have a repeatable freeze for a stream, try downloading that show instead to see what happens.
I'm leaning towards this being a problem with iOS side of things and HLS related problem. I documented the three different quality levels in this thread:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=511445

Note that "basic" quality has 5 seconds of video per segment vs "medium" and "high" having 2 seconds per segment. Not sure if that has any correlation to "basic" quality being more susceptible to freezing or not, but it is one of the big differences between quality levels...
(Note that in home streaming is equivalent to "high" quality download from what I've seen).

Plus it seems like there may be 2 types of freezes: the ones that happen in random parts of a show vs those that happen towards last 2 minutes - I think the freezes at end of show seem to be a lot more common than the latter.
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:45 AM   #28
jimmypowder
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Here's my latest Tivo stream problem .
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:54 AM   #29
epstewart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
Yes, experiment with downloading. In particular, if you have a repeatable freeze for a stream, try downloading that show instead to see what happens.
I'm leaning towards this being a problem with iOS side of things and HLS related problem. I documented the three different quality levels in this thread:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=511445

Note that "basic" quality has 5 seconds of video per segment vs "medium" and "high" having 2 seconds per segment. Not sure if that has any correlation to "basic" quality being more susceptible to freezing or not, but it is one of the big differences between quality levels...
(Note that in home streaming is equivalent to "high" quality download from what I've seen).

Plus it seems like there may be 2 types of freezes: the ones that happen in random parts of a show vs those that happen towards last 2 minutes - I think the freezes at end of show seem to be a lot more common than the latter.
Moyekj,

Excellent input. I will make said experiments ASAP (having a busy morning today) and post back. I also think there must be (at least) two types of freezes, so it's a complex subject. I am new to the term HLS but I gather it means HTTP Live Streaming and refers to "an adaptive streaming communications protocol created by Apple to communicate with iOS and Apple TV devices and Macs running OSX in Snow Leopard or later." I found that at

http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articl...ng)-78221.aspx

for those who want to know more.

That page says "audio/video streams must be segmented into chunks in an MPEG-2 transport stream," so I assume that's what you mean by segments. I'm not sure how you determined how many seconds there are per segment in the various quality settings, but I have yet to follow up that link you included, so maybe I'll find out more when I do. But it sure sounds like a real possibility that the difference between Basic quality at 5 sec. per segment and Medium and High qualities at 2 sec. per segment might explain why freezing problems are more frequent with Basic quality downloads. I'll mull that over as I make my tests. Thanks.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:51 PM   #30
ddonohue
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I appreciate you guys looking into this as it is something I've put up with for months. I've posted my experience in the other thread, the "streaming stops before the end" thread. I see freezes very frequently in the final minutes of shows, but only very rarely in the middle. Those times in the middle could very likely be a different issue related to changing resolutions during commercials, I don't know.

Just to throw in my two cents, in case it helps narrow the issue and prevents you from going too far afield, I'm 99% certain this is not a streaming issue but an app issue. I believe it was introduced either when the app was updated or when iOS 7 came out.

I say that because I have had it happen on both streamed recordings (not live shows, that's never been a problem) AND on downloaded recordings.

At one time I thought it still could be a streaming issue even for downloads, in the sense that perhaps the stream was screwing up during the download and resulting in a corrupted downloaded show.

However, if that were the case I would expect the behavior of the download to be consistent when you try to watch it, and it's not. It won't always freeze at the same spot. If you stop and start it and fast-forward and fiddle with it enough, you'll find that there is additional content in the recording that is past the point at which it initially froze. It almost seems as if the app buffers a minute or two of data and sometimes it just doesn't play it all the way through for some reason before it decides it's reached the end.

For the record, I see this with a Premiere, a Stream, and an iPad 2, in-home and HD quality only.
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