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Author Topic: Sudden Stutter/buffering/dropout issues with SMB server playback  (Read 647 times)

umberto5585

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Morning all,
I have been demoing JRiver with great success for the past couple weeks on a new mini pc as an alternative to a Zidoo because I use a projector and wanted to try out the tone-mapping and HDR to SDR conversion quality differences. 

Needless to say, the use of both jrvr and madvr is mind blowing and I'm thrilled. 

My HTPC is in the living room, connected via Ethernet to my router. The router is also connected to a separate server laptop upstairs which has the USB external drives attached containing my media files. Mostly mkv remuxes of my blurays etc. 

The mini pc has been handling smooth playback of some mkvs up to 70gb such as 1917 without issue. 

Yesterday night, I fired it up for a watch and immediately upon playing, I noticed that it appeared to be struggling with playback of files it has never had issues with.  Dropped frames, stuttering and audio dropouts that would not really improve as the file played for a while. 

I did restarts of the server laptop, restarted router, unplugged external drives etc and mini pc but the issue appeared to persist. 

I should mention a recent windows update was installed but I noticed the beginning of this issue before on the previous night.   

I can confirm that my Zidoo accesses the same Samba server and was playing perfectly while this issue popped up.

Anyone experienced any random change with SMB playback like this?   

It is windows 11 and I've searched through the forum but cannot specifically find any solutions.  I completely reset the PC and re-installed and that seemed to help but it still doesn't seem as smooth on the frame rate.

I don't understand what would occur to make this happen after weeks of smooth, successful playback. The audio has been bitstream (again without issue until now), "enable hardware decoding" and frame rate change enabled, and the mini pc was solely used just for trying out jriver.

 Any solutions or troubleshooting options welcome! I'm sold on jriver as a main htpc client but if this continues outta nowhere then I'm not sure I could continue using it when SMB playback is stable on my Zidoo.
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JimH

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umberto5585

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Re: Sudden Stutter/buffering/dropout issues with SMB server playback
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2023, 10:55:18 am »

NVIDIA?  Windows 11?  Widgets?

https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php/topic,137521.0.html
Yeah I read through that thread. It's windows 11 yes, not an Nvidia graphics card no. And I disabled widgets. And again this has been playing perfectly for weeks then boom.
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JimH

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Re: Sudden Stutter/buffering/dropout issues with SMB server playback
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2023, 11:05:32 am »

Power management somewhere?
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umberto5585

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Re: Sudden Stutter/buffering/dropout issues with SMB server playback
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2023, 12:25:06 pm »

Power management somewhere?
Hmm not sure. I haven't updated any settings relating to anything like that for the first couple weeks I had this running things smoothly. Any recommendations on where to check on anything like that could be causing issues?
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rpro

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Re: Sudden Stutter/buffering/dropout issues with SMB server playback
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2023, 05:15:50 pm »

It's possible that the hard drive is failing (ie. trying to reallocate bad sectors) or something is writing to the HDD during playback, which can also cause stutter.

Example: I have a 10 drive RAID pool on my NAS. One of my drives started failing, and this caused stutter when I tried playing a movie over SMB between my NAS and my HTPC. Once I replaced the drive and resilvered the pool, everything went back to normal.

Check your NAS, see if the drive(s) is/are failing, or perhaps the USB interface is having issues. You could run a sector scan on the hard drive to check for bad sectors, or do SMART diagnostics (ie. USB/SATA transfer errors).
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fitbrit

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Re: Sudden Stutter/buffering/dropout issues with SMB server playback
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2023, 07:31:48 pm »

It's possible that the hard drive is failing (ie. trying to reallocate bad sectors) or something is writing to the HDD during playback, which can also cause stutter.

Example: I have a 10 drive RAID pool on my NAS. One of my drives started failing, and this caused stutter when I tried playing a movie over SMB between my NAS and my HTPC. Once I replaced the drive and resilvered the pool, everything went back to normal.

Check your NAS, see if the drive(s) is/are failing, or perhaps the USB interface is having issues. You could run a sector scan on the hard drive to check for bad sectors, or do SMART diagnostics (ie. USB/SATA transfer errors).

But playback from the same source on other hardware (Zidoo) is fine.
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stevemac

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Re: Sudden Stutter/buffering/dropout issues with SMB server playback
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2023, 12:59:17 am »

My HTPC is in the living room, connected via Ethernet to my router. The router is also connected to a separate server laptop upstairs which has the USB external drives attached containing my media files. Mostly mkv remuxes of my blurays etc. 

Cannot compare my set-up to yours but have some questions / please confirm
  • Your client machine (with JRiver installed) is Windows 11?
  • Provide some details on the server laptop (OS, CPU, NICs, memory)
  • Which USB version are the disk enclosures connecting to the server laptop with?
  • What version of SMB is being used?
  • What SMB options are enabled?
  • are all network connections cabled and what is the connection speed?

Quote
I can confirm that my Zidoo accesses the same Samba server and was playing perfectly while this issue popped up.

  • Was the file encountering stuttering issues the same file that was playing OK on the Zidoo device at the same time?
  • If a different file, was is it located on the same physical disk?

Troubleshooting
Think best bet is to determine if you have an issue with the new mini PC's performance, network, SMB, source disk, and / or the server laptop.
  • Copy file to the new mini PC and play it locally from within JRiver.  If the issue persists - then more likely an issue on the new mini PC. If it does not, then more likely issue with network, SMB server, external disks or performance of server laptop
  • can you copy the file to a local drive on the server laptop and expose that via SMB?  That should help isolate the external disks and USB connections
  • Can you stop all other clients accessing the server laptop and just let the new mini PC use the fileshare?
  • Network throughput between 2 devices can be checked with iperf3
  • will need someone else to chime about reviewing SMB logs and disk performance via USB
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