7 Replies Latest reply: Nov 7, 2012 10:32 PM by OvCollyer RSS

    Slingplayer Boxee App issue with 350

    ACC3954830

       

      Hello,

       

      I am having a very strange issue ever since I upgraded to the slingbox 350. I had the Pro HD running with no issues at all.

      When I am remote viewing I am noticing massive bandwith fluctuations. With the Pro HD I got a steady 8Mpbs stream all the time.  The other issue is the stream will constantly freeze in HD mode. I will have to restart the stream to get it going. I could not figure out what was going on so I tested on a PC with webplayer and it worked perfect. Minimul bandwith fluctuations with Crystal clear 1080p. So I completly powered the boxee off and on again. This pretty much resolved the issue with a freeze up here and there. If I interact with the system I find that can sometimes cause a freeze to happen. After a while it will start to happen more and more. This makes me beleive there is a bug with the slingplayer app for boxee because it is the only device giving me issues like this. I purchased boxee for the slingplayer functionality.

       

      I really feel this may be a boxee issue but they dont seem to want to respond to my suport requests. So I decided to post here where I know people care.

       

      If this is just how it is I will go and buy a Mac Mini but I really hope it does not come to that. I have tested this on different networks at different locations with the same result. Webplayer works perfect. Boxee is not.

       

      Is there any one else having this problem after going to the 350? I know some say it works fine but I am wondering if they are testing via local viewing.

       

      I posted this in the boxee section a couple days ago but have not got a response.  Since I have tested a totally different 350 at a different location with the same issue.  It feels like a boxee issue to me. 

      Thanks in advance for your help!

        • Re: Slingplayer Boxee App issue with 350
          aerochrome2

          Having the exact same issue. There needs to be a solution for this.

            • Re: Slingplayer Boxee App issue with 350
              ACC3954830

              Hello,

               

              I was starting to get worried I was the only one having

              This issue.  We sure do need to get this fixed.  I continue testing and have some new information.

               

              It is the boxee for sure.  I tested on a macmini at work for a few hours last night and it was flawless.  I came home and the issue presented itself on the boxee almost right away.  I have found when this happens the stream will continue like nothing is wrong.  If you look at the info screen you will see the audio and Video buffer increasing.  It's like boxee stops processing the stream. If you go into the boxee advanced settings and under browser.  Clear everything in there.  It seems this sometimes helps when it gets really bad.   I got a couple hours out of it last night witch has been my record so far. 

               

              Please SlingBox Support team.  We need your help.  I love your product so much but boxee is having serious issues with the 350.

               

              Thanks.

                • Re: Slingplayer Boxee App issue with 350
                  OvCollyer Apprentice

                  This sounds like the same issue I'm getting with the WDTV and my SB350.

                   

                  Great picture but freezes after a few minutes at the highest two quality settings (I think it freezes more quickly on the very highest Best HD).

                   

                  Worked fine for over an hour when I tested it locally but alas now I'm 000s of km away it freezes in this manner.

                   

                  I think the flash application uses by the Boxee and the WDTV are either the same or similiar so perhaps both can be solved similarly. Or maybe it's an issue with the flash player they use (Linux on WDTV and I'm guessing the same on Boxee).

                   

                  Like you, I've had no problems streaming remotely from the SB350 via the web player or indeed iOS devices.

                   

                  What's most annoying is the picture is brilliant when it does work. Best and smoothest I've seen on any Slingbox/player combo. Also, when it freezes for me it isn't preceded by a loss of quality in the stream, it seems to be going fine with no stutter or glitches and then bang it freezes. In the meantime the stats (red button on the WDTV) continue to show similar bitrates to before the freeze.

                   

                  Occasionally the audio continues after the video has frozen.

              • Re: Slingplayer Boxee App issue with 350
                ovcollyer

                I've been doing some testing and experimenting with my WDTV to try and get some clues that may help solve these issues with the flash-based SlingPlayer.

                 

                Hopefully some of the following info will be of use to Sling as I'm pretty sure the issue relates to the flash player used by these connected devices.

                 

                Test Conditions

                -----------------------

                 

                Viewing location : Istanbul, 8mb download ADSL connection, WDTV connected directly to router

                Slingbox location : London, 8mb upload Fibre connection, Sky+ HD box outputting 1080i25 via component to Slingbox 350 and Slingbox Pro-HD (via pass-through on 350)

                 

                The principle of the test was to connect to a remote Slingbox, observe the bitrate and the video stream and then run the popular Speed Test iOS application at the viewing location to make it consume the bandwidth and thus simulate, from the point of view of the Slingplayer, a drop in the bandwidth.

                 

                Test 1 - WDTV Slingplayer connected to Slingbox 350

                -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 

                1. Connected and set quality to Best HD

                2. Pressed red button to display stats

                3. Observed Stream resolution 1920 x 1080

                4. Observed Buffer duration (secs) always 3s

                5. Observed Currently buffered (secs) is zero

                6. Observed Current bitrate (kbps) oscillates between about 2-3mbps

                7. Launched Speed Test application on iPhone

                8. Observed Current bitrate (kbps) falling to well below 1mbps

                9. Observe stream freezing

                10. Waited for Speed Test application on iPhone to finish (it runs for about 15s)

                11 Observed Current bitrate (kbps) recover to between 2-3mbps

                12. Observed that Currently buffered (secs) stayed at zero

                13. Observed that the video never came back despite the stream now being fine

                 

                Test 2 - WDTV SlingPlayer connected to Slingbox Pro-HD

                -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 

                1. Connected and set quality to Best HD

                2. Pressed red button to display stats

                3. Observed Stream resolution 1920 x 544

                4. Observed Buffer duration (secs) always 3s

                5. Observed Currently buffered (secs) is zero

                6. Observed Current bitrate (kbps) oscillates between about 2-5mbps

                7. Launched Speed Test application on iPhone

                8. Observed Current bitrate (kbps) falling to well below 1mbps

                9. Observe stream freezing

                10. Waited for Speed Test application on iPhone to finish (it runs for about 15s)

                11 Observed Current bitrate (kbps) recover to between 2-5mbps

                12. Observed that Currently buffered (secs) started to rise to about 15s

                13. Observed that Slingplayer automatically disconnected and reconnected

                 

                Test 3 - Mac Flash SlingPlayer connected to Slingbox Pro-HD

                -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 

                This test was done by loading the following URL into Safari on Mac:

                 

                download.slingmedia.com/spcd/wdtv/

                 

                This appears to be the May 2012 version of the flash SlingPlayer application intended for the WDTV.

                 

                1. Connected and set quality to Best HD

                2. Pressed Q key to display stats

                3. Observed Stream resolution 1920 x 544

                4. Observed Buffer duration (secs) always 3s

                5. Observed Currently buffered (secs) is around 3-5s

                6. Observed Current bitrate (kbps) oscillates between about 2-5mbps

                7. Launched Speed Test application on iPhone

                8. Observed Current bitrate (kbps) falling to well below 1mbps

                9. Observe stream freezing

                10. Waited for Speed Test application on iPhone to finish (it runs for about 15s)

                11 Observed Current bitrate (kbps) recover to between 2-5mbps

                12. Observed that Currently buffered (secs) recovers to around 5s

                13. Observe that video recovers and continues as expected

                 

                Conclusions

                -----------------

                 

                What this appears to show is that there are some fundamental issues with the recovery mechanism of the flash player on the WDTV. I will make something of a leap here and assume that this also explains the Boxee issues.

                 

                Test 1 - When connected to a Slingbox 350, once the stream is broken it never recovers and the user is forced to disconnect and reconnect themselves.

                 

                Test 2 - When connected to a Slingbox Pro-HD, once the stream is broken it struggles to recover and eventually disconnects and reconnects itself. Although this happens without user intervention it's still messy and takes a considerable amount of time - in the period until the automatic reconnect it stutters as if trying to catch-up but eventually seems to give up and disconnect/reconnect again.

                 

                Test 3 - An example of how the recovery should work is shown by what happens here when the flash application is run on a Mac. Here, the stream is broken but quickly recovers once the data resumes at a fast enough rate to fill the buffer. I suspect this is how it is intended to work.

                 

                What is notable in all of this is that the "Currently buffered (sec)" entry in the stats is seems pretty much broken on the WDTV (always zero prior to the stream breaking, for example), only behaving logically on the Mac test.

                 

                Over to you Sling

                  • Re: Slingplayer Boxee App issue with 350
                    aerochrome2

                    Great job... hopefully this is fixable. I can work around it by only using good quality (rarely get the freeze that way) but that seems to defeat the purpose of an HD model and high speed internet.

                      • Re: Slingplayer Boxee App issue with 350
                        OvCollyer Apprentice

                        I hope so, but it does appear that this issue has been around for a while now so....

                         

                        It needs to be solved though because its unacceptable to advertise these Slingplayers for connected devices if they are so fragile they cannot accept some fluctuations in the bandwidth.

                         

                        The web player and the Slingcatcher both deal with it fine - you get some judder or stutter or temporary freezing or skipping when bandwidth temporarily drops but then it carries on. I think people are ok with that as everyone knows the Internet is prone to this.

                         

                        However, to freeze completely and not recover is just not good enough.