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<  Bugs  ~  Audio delay on playback

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R2-D2
Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:36 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Dec 2006 Posts: 12148
Been trying out a few things to see what might be happening under the hood during the delay and I've noticed a few odd things:
  • The .rec header seems (invariably?) to contain the second audio track PID (not the main one).
  • It is flagged as Auto so this gets fixed eventually on playback.
  • The EVT_SVCSTATUS messages (delivered to TAPs) actually communicate the changing of audio PID... most of the time!
  • Sometimes there can be a number of errors on the audio and it will change to the right PID, then error, then reselect it, then error...
This last issue suggested that there might be something in that mechanism (and the specific data at the playback start point) that is causing the big delay. One thing that may be significant is that the errors seem to be used to also flag the encryption status of the stream. However, it's hard to tell much more because the cases when there is a lack of correct EVT_SVCSTATUS messages are a symptom of a lack of internal messages -- there are obviously changes being made elsewhere.

Fixing the header might make a bit of a difference (and stop the faffing in Auto), but it's probably not a complete solution. Some more significant testing would be good, so does anyone have any reliably bad files or easily reproduced scenarios where the delay is really big?

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Andy K
Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:25 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 14 Jun 2005 Posts: 3520
Nigel knows a bit more about it.

This problem was created or made worse at some point.
I think it now does extra checking before playback, I think to ensure it plays back the correct audio track. (where as before you may of got no sound now and then or something similar.)
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glenmcfar
Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:14 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Dec 2006 Posts: 4519 Location: Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
Programmes on E4 have a massive delay. Massive, I tell you...

Glen.

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Livy
Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:39 pm Reply with quote
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glenmcfar wrote:
Programmes on E4 have a massive delay. Massive, I tell you...

Glen.


Agreed! Evil or Very Mad

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R2-D2
Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:43 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Dec 2006 Posts: 12148
glenmcfar wrote:
Programmes on E4 have a massive delay.
Top tip! (Must admit it's not one of my most watched channels... especially at the moment.)

Couple of quick tests showed that fixing the header made the delay on startup about 2.5s. This was the same in both tests. The same .rec file with the unfixed header took 4.5s and 6.5s!

The thing that bothers me is that dropping to live TV normally has zero audio delay -- I'd have thought the sync process ought to be fairly similar. Confused

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glenmcfar
Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:47 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Dec 2006 Posts: 4519 Location: Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
2.5 seconds sounds wonderful (to start with Cool )... My highly technical testing gave results of up to 10 ('elephant') seconds unpatched.

Glen.

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simonc
Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:51 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 12 Apr 2005 Posts: 5640 Location: Cheltenham
The playback audio delay got considerably worse with, I think, 5.11.79. If you can compare that with the original first release firmware, you might be onto something.
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jumbo
Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:20 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 11 Apr 2005 Posts: 4731
Given the level of technical input by various parties, this is exactly the kind of annoying and longstanding f^%$&p that Topfield should resolve quickly by participating in the forum. And I don't buy the "our engineers English ain't good enough" excuse.
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PeteY
Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:23 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 08 Dec 2006 Posts: 164 Location: Lombardy, Italy
R2-D2 wrote:
Been trying out a few things to see what might be happening under the hood during the delay and I've noticed a few odd things:
  • The .rec header seems (invariably?) to contain the second audio track PID (not the main one).
  • It is flagged as Auto so this gets fixed eventually on playback.


Interesting. When converting/editing on MPEG Streamclip (I'm using the Mac version) it reliably selects the second audio track instead of the first, and has to be worked around. If that could be fixed with a patch, it would be useful for that reason alone, if it fixed it, of course.

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R2-D2
Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:47 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Dec 2006 Posts: 12148
simonc wrote:
The playback audio delay got considerably worse with, I think, 5.11.79. If you can compare that with the original first release firmware, you might be onto something.
I've not got anything earlier than 5.11.79. Sad

And do you think RecordingFixer would be able to correct/alter the audio PID? Or does it not look at that sort of info?

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simonc
Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:15 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 12 Apr 2005 Posts: 5640 Location: Cheltenham
We might be in luck if we can get a copy of 5.11.78. There was a bug in live radio audio, which Topfield fixed quickly and released the following day as 5.11.79. It was at this point that the audio delay began.

RecordingFixer can copy information from the a specific channel, so it'd probably be able to improve matters if it doesn't already. Not sure without looking at the code.
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R2-D2
Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:47 am Reply with quote
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simonc wrote:
RecordingFixer can copy information from the a specific channel, so it'd probably be able to improve matters if it doesn't already. Not sure without looking at the code.
Ah yes, the "fix from channel data" mode ought to work. And a quick test shows that it does improve things a bit (so that's an easy way for people to try the difference on their E4 recordings...). Interestingly this leaves the audio as Auto (as it should) -- I have a feeling the problem may be a combination of the Auto mode and checking for an encrypted stream, but certainly getting the PID right at the start is a help.

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mike.hinson
Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:07 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Nov 2005 Posts: 1735 Location: Bordon, Hants UK
glenmcfar wrote:
Programmes on E4 have a massive delay. Massive, I tell you...

Glen.
Could this be regional or dependant on the program broadcast? I seem to get a delay of about 2.5 second on the start of playback of E4 recordings.

/\/\
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chunkywizard
Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:36 am Reply with quote
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I think Hyde keeps old firmwares....

Are you there Hyde??

CW

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Wallace
Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:39 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 22 Mar 2008 Posts: 911
chunkywizard wrote:

Are you there Hyde??

CW


I think he must be hiding... Very Happy

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