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  #1  
Old 07-24-2020, 07:12 PM
hb4 hb4 is offline
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Firestick/miniclient 4K vs HD-300 for off-site playback

Curious whether how the miniclient on the Firestick would work at a remote site (i.e. away from home and the server) vs the HD-300 with Placeshifter that I am using presently. The HD-300 has been working pretty well with the 6-12mb DSL connection, but replaying with Emby (on Roku) gives much better picture quality. Hoping the miniclient could do the same, as I find Emby sort of a pain to use after being spoiled by Sage's UI.
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Last edited by hb4; 09-12-2020 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Most of the thread discusses firestick
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2020, 08:26 PM
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Tiki Tiki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hb4 View Post
Curious whether how the miniclient on the Shield would work at a remote site (i.e. away from home and the server) vs the HD-300 with Placeshifter that I am using presently. The HD-300 has been working pretty well with the 6-12mb DSL connection, but replaying with Emby (on Roku) gives much better picture quality. Hoping the miniclient could do the same, as I find Emby sort of a pain to use after being spoiled by Sage's UI.
I think the issue is with Sageís transcoding engine. When you connect remotely, Sage usually transcodes everything to conserve bandwidth. But the transcoder code is very old now and so picture quality is poor. I think you will get similar results regardless of client type. I know a few people have tried working on modernizing the transcoder code, but it sounds like it is really tricky. Hopefully someone will be able to figure it out eventually.
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  #3  
Old 07-25-2020, 06:26 AM
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is there any way to have Sage hand off the transcoding to something like a handbrake executable?
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  #4  
Old 07-25-2020, 09:48 PM
btrcp2000 btrcp2000 is offline
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assuming I don't forget, in a couple weeks I will take a shield in an RV and try to use my cellphone hotspot to see what happens.
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  #5  
Old 07-31-2020, 08:20 AM
sic0048 sic0048 is offline
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Doesn't the Miniclient app just mimic the placeshifter devices?

In other words, I don't believe Sage knows the difference between a HD-300 and a miniclient connection. Sure the remote device's hardware might perform differently, but the SageTV server will handle both the same. I think the biggest factor in all of this is the speed at which you will be connecting the two systems together - specifically the upload speed of the home network and the download speed of the remote network. The faster the connection (and your upload speed is probably the limiting factor), the better the image is going to be.
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Last edited by sic0048; 07-31-2020 at 08:24 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-31-2020, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sic0048 View Post
Doesn't the Miniclient app just mimic the placeshifter devices?

In other words, I don't believe Sage knows the difference between a HD-300 and a miniclient connection. Sure the remote device's hardware might perform differently, but the SageTV server will handle both the same. I think the biggest factor in all of this is the speed at which you will be connecting the two systems together - specifically the upload speed of the home network and the download speed of the remote network. The faster the connection (and your upload speed is probably the limiting factor), the better the image is going to be.
Yes, I believe you are correct. But in either case Sage does work differently depending on if it detects that you are connecting locally from the LAN or remotely across a WAN. One difference is that it will prompt for a password when connecting remotely. Another is that it tries to transcode everything to conserve bandwidth if it thinks the link is too slow.
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  #7  
Old 08-31-2020, 07:41 AM
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jvl711 jvl711 is offline
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Hi All,

I think you guys might be interested in some of the changes I have made to SageTV core, and the SageTV Android Client. Beta version of the new HD transcoding/placeshifting is open to everyone for testing. Info and files are posted on my Patreon page here https://www.patreon.com/posts/40951674. Please let me know if you have any issues or comments.

Featrues:

1. HD transcoding (720/1080/SOURCE)
2. Automatic transcoding unsupported codecs (a lot of android devices do not support mpeg2)
3. A lot of settings to customize the fixed transcoding experience.

Thanks,
Josh
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  #8  
Old 08-31-2020, 07:48 AM
btrcp2000 btrcp2000 is offline
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will this build help me with my firestick issues?

https://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66491
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  #9  
Old 08-31-2020, 07:56 AM
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jvl711 jvl711 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btrcp2000 View Post
will this build help me with my firestick issues?

https://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66491
There is a possibility. You could set to always transcode. As long as the older version of FFmpeg is able to cleanly read the files it should transcode it to a format a little more friendly to the Firestick.

I would call this a little bit of a workaround, but worth a try.

Josh
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  #10  
Old 08-31-2020, 08:26 AM
nyplayer nyplayer is offline
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It will not start on FireTV/Shield
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Last edited by nyplayer; 08-31-2020 at 08:37 AM.
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  #11  
Old 08-31-2020, 10:21 AM
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jvl711 jvl711 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyplayer View Post
It will not start on FireTV/Shield
Like there is an issue with the (the app) APK? Sometimes it gets corrupted.

Josh
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2020, 11:09 AM
nyplayer nyplayer is offline
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Originally Posted by jvl711 View Post
Like there is an issue with the (the app) APK? Sometimes it gets corrupted.

Josh
Reported and sent you log files on Patreon.

Thanks it appears you recreated.
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  #13  
Old 08-31-2020, 11:37 AM
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jvl711 jvl711 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyplayer View Post
Reported and sent you log files on Patreon.

Thanks it appears you recreated.
So you are the one I am talking to on Patreon? . I did not put the names togther.

Thank you again for being my unit tester!
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  #14  
Old 08-31-2020, 12:47 PM
nyplayer nyplayer is offline
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So you are the one I am talking to on Patreon? . I did not put the names togther.

Thank you again for being my unit tester!
It appears you fixed the problem I am testing with the defaults you have for fixed ... for now ... anything special I should be looking for in the log to make sure it is using your new code..... Ok I see it now will set it to always transcode and post any findings.

PS I am trying to break it so far so good unbreakable.
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Last edited by nyplayer; 08-31-2020 at 12:56 PM.
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  #15  
Old 08-31-2020, 01:30 PM
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jvl711 jvl711 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyplayer View Post
It appears you fixed the problem I am testing with the defaults you have for fixed ... for now ... anything special I should be looking for in the log to make sure it is using your new code..... Ok I see it now will set it to always transcode and post any findings.

PS I am trying to break it so far so good unbreakable.
Awesome.

FYI. I would only use MKV for the container. ExoPlayer and IJKPlayer are not big fans of the "DVD" format that sage is using by default.

If you are able I would like to know what your experience using a remote connection is like. How you feel about the quality differences. Do you like the "SOURCE" settings for resolution and framerate? Do you like the "When Needed" vs "Always" setting. I think user would like to know what your experience is with CPU usage.

If you have an older firetv stick I am curious if Always transcode could make it more usable.... I think most devices handle the h.264 produced fairly well.

I put a ton of debug logging into the sage.jar for debug purposes. You should be able to see why it is making the decision it is, and the final command line switches it is choosing to send to the transcoder in the sage logs.

Josh
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  #16  
Old 08-31-2020, 02:03 PM
nyplayer nyplayer is offline
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Originally Posted by jvl711 View Post
Awesome.

FYI. I would only use MKV for the container. ExoPlayer and IJKPlayer are not big fans of the "DVD" format that sage is using by default.

If you are able I would like to know what your experience using a remote connection is like. How you feel about the quality differences. Do you like the "SOURCE" settings for resolution and framerate? Do you like the "When Needed" vs "Always" setting. I think user would like to know what your experience is with CPU usage.

If you have an older firetv stick I am curious if Always transcode could make it more usable.... I think most devices handle the h.264 produced fairly well.

I put a ton of debug logging into the sage.jar for debug purposes. You should be able to see why it is making the decision it is, and the final command line switches it is choosing to send to the transcoder in the sage logs.

Josh
Was able to connect the FirsStick 4K using my Phone as a hotspot ... was able to input username and password on my FireTV Stick ... It is playing great. So remote access plays great ... The login automatically does not stick.

Still have to do further testing on local.
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Last edited by nyplayer; 08-31-2020 at 02:08 PM.
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  #17  
Old 08-31-2020, 02:09 PM
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jvl711 jvl711 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyplayer View Post
Was able to connect the FirsStick 4K using my Phone as a hotspot ... was able to input username and password on my FireTV Stick ... It is playing great. So remote access plays great ... The login automatically does not stick.

Still have to do further testing on local.
I think the auto login does not work until you exit out of the app and go back in. I could be wrong though.

Josh
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  #18  
Old 08-31-2020, 02:11 PM
nyplayer nyplayer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvl711 View Post
I think the auto login does not work until you exit out of the app and go back in. I could be wrong though.

Josh
You have to enter user and pwd each time.

FYI Remote. High Bitrate and low ....

HTML Code:
Mon 8/31 13:08:19.724 [VideoFrame-4d534f4f5945@166dbbf1] ******************************************startTranscode Called******************************************************
Mon 8/31 13:08:19.724 [VideoFrame-4d534f4f5945@166dbbf1] ******************************************Not Dynamic Rate Adjust******************************************************
Mon 8/31 13:08:19.724 [VideoFrame-4d534f4f5945@166dbbf1] xcode Params: -f matroska -vcodec mpeg4 -s 1280x720 -ac 2 -g 300 -bf 0 -acodec ac3 -r 29.97 -b 4000 -ar 48000 -ab 192 -packetsize 1024
Mon 8/31 13:08:19.724 [VideoFrame-4d534f4f5945@166dbbf1] Automatically adding -deinterlace option to transcoding process
Mon 8/31 13:08:19.724 [VideoFrame-4d534f4f5945@166dbbf1] ******************************************SOMETHING ABOUT RATE CONTROL******************************************************
Mon 8/31 13:08:19.724 [VideoFrame-4d534f4f5945@166dbbf1] ******************************************Adding vsync/async******************************************************
Mon 8/31 13:08:19.727 [VideoFrame-4d534f4f5945@166dbbf1] ******************************************BUFFER OUTPUT******************************************************

Code:
Mon 8/31 13:16:23.909 [VideoFrame-4d534f4f5945@62ef520] ******************************************startTranscode Called******************************************************
Mon 8/31 13:16:23.909 [VideoFrame-4d534f4f5945@62ef520] ******************************************Not Dynamic Rate Adjust******************************************************
Mon 8/31 13:16:23.909 [VideoFrame-4d534f4f5945@62ef520] xcode Params: -f matroska -vcodec mpeg4 -s 1280x720 -ac 2 -g 300 -bf 0 -acodec ac3 -r 29.97 -b 1000 -ar 48000 -ab 192 -packetsize 1024
Mon 8/31 13:16:23.909 [VideoFrame-4d534f4f5945@62ef520] Automatically adding -deinterlace option to transcoding process
Mon 8/31 13:16:23.909 [VideoFrame-4d534f4f5945@62ef520] ******************************************SOMETHING ABOUT RATE CONTROL******************************************************
Mon 8/31 13:16:23.909 [VideoFrame-4d534f4f5945@62ef520] ******************************************Adding vsync/async******************************************************
Mon 8/31 13:16:23.912 [VideoFrame-4d534f4f5945@62ef520] ******************************************BUFFER OUTPUT******************************************************
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Last edited by nyplayer; 08-31-2020 at 02:17 PM.
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  #19  
Old 08-31-2020, 03:06 PM
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Tiki Tiki is offline
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So Iím curious... how much of this is done specifically for the Android miniclient and how much is generic to any miniclient? Are all the client settings done through the Android app, or are some things done through properties files / STV settings?

It sounds like this could be a way to allow older extenders (like HD200 and 300) to play back 4K content... the server would probably have to transcode a 4K HEVC file down to a 720p h.264 file or something.

So the first problem is that I donít know if the version of ffmpeg in Sage would recognize a 4K hevc file (if not, then at some point someone would need to figure out how to upgrade ffmpeg). The second problem is that The firmware in the extenders can no longer be modified. So, if you need to provide any settings for the transcoder they would have to be done through .properties files on the server (which could be set through the settings menu in the Sage STV).
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Source:
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  #20  
Old 09-01-2020, 02:00 PM
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jvl711 jvl711 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiki View Post
So Iím curious... how much of this is done specifically for the Android miniclient and how much is generic to any miniclient? Are all the client settings done through the Android app, or are some things done through properties files / STV settings?

It sounds like this could be a way to allow older extenders (like HD200 and 300) to play back 4K content... the server would probably have to transcode a 4K HEVC file down to a 720p h.264 file or something.

So the first problem is that I donít know if the version of ffmpeg in Sage would recognize a 4K hevc file (if not, then at some point someone would need to figure out how to upgrade ffmpeg). The second problem is that The firmware in the extenders can no longer be modified. So, if you need to provide any settings for the transcoder they would have to be done through .properties files on the server (which could be set through the settings menu in the Sage STV).
Hi Tiki,

I made changes to the code to allow some additional fixed transcoding settings to allow for fixed HD transcoding. These changes in theory can be used by other clients. I did modify the Placeshifter to try the settings there, but it did not seem like the placeshifter was up to the task. I think we would need to update mplayer or something.

As for the 4k transcode, that would be almost completely reliant on the sagetv transcoder supporting h.265. The FFmpeg code would need to be updated to be able to do that.

I made all of these code changes working with the existing version of ffmpeg in SageTV. I was able to get a lot more out of it than I was expecting.

The good news is that we are making great strides with the Android client. I think it is as good, if not better than the HD300 in a lot of scenarios now depending on the hardware you are using.

Here are some of the benifits that I see

1. Coming soon HD placeshifting!
2. 4k, h.265 support
3. Faster UI rendering
4. Faster more modern Wifi
5. You can buy the hardware
6. There is affordable hardware that works well
7. They are making new hardware every year
8. The platform seems to be well supported (Android TV/ExoPlayer)
9. You can use the hardware for multiple different tasks (Netflix/Amazon/Plex/etc...)

Thanks,
Josh
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