XBox360 Skip Freeze

Troubleshoot and discuss the XBOX 360, XBOX One, Linksys, and other extenders.

XBox360 Skip Freeze

Post#1 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:13 pm

On my XBox360, skipping forward causes the recorded AV stream to occasionally freeze, and requires a restart of the XBox360 to continue playback.

Backstory:
For years my WMC7/Xbox360 extender worked fine, no problems skipping. Came back from a vacation about a year and a half ago, and the old Intel 80GB SSD that was being used as the system disk on the WMC PC had died, and so I swapped in a new one and started from scratch (had the recordings mxf to repopulate the scheduled recordings). From around that point on, we started noticing the skipping freezes when skipping thru commercials or sporting events only on the extender. It rarely (never?) happens in the first 30 minutes or so of a show. Since then, in various attempts to get things working I have:
* Modified various netwokr driver settings like disabling flow control, offload, etc. because I have a vague recollection of having to tweak some things there years before.
* Run new network lines between the WMC and the unmanaged switch and the switch and the extender to rule out network cable issues.
* Replaced the Realtek NIC in my WMC box with an Intel one per some other discussions in this board.
* Replaced the WMC PC entirely (upgraded the old built-in 2009 one to something a couple of years old about 2-4x faster), with a new NIC, etc.
* Used the same (non-SSD) harddrive for recordings (old computer), and then replaced the harddrive (new computer). (Some other forum posts mention that the HDD can cause issues with playback freezes when skipping.)
* Swapped out XBox360s.
* Tried various drivers for network cards, etc.
* I will say my Comcast provider has switched more(all?) of my local content to h264 also around this time frame, muddying the waters a bit, as I have read other forum posts about freezes, but those were on the PC and not the extender IIRC.
* Probably the one thing I haven't swapped out is my 16 port unmanaged TPLINK switch, but it worked before and don't otherwise have network issues.
* HDHomerun Prime is the device I use for tuners, but this shouldn't be relevant.

Of course, the extender/location is the one my wife uses, so it has high aggro.

Has anyone run across anything like this before? Are there any tools that will help figure out what the network issue might be (WireShark?). It has been so long, I don't recall if I had any custom codecs or anything installed on my (pre-crash working) WMC. How can I really narrow down where the problem is, or are there any particular network settings I should look at? Obviously thing are more difficult to test from the Xbox360 hardware end of things, but seems like I would see a lot more problems if that was really what is going on.

Any helpful suggestions appreciated! Thanks!
Last edited by slaingod on Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
slaingod
 
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Post#2 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:33 pm

The first step is always, always to remove the extender from WMC and re-add it.

Otherwise, this is guaranteed to be (a) a network issue, anywhere from your PC drivers through the end of the cable connecting to the XBox, or (b) a codec issue.

Probably the one thing I haven't swapped out is my 16 port unmanaged TPLINK switch, but it worked before and don't otherwise have network issues.


Aha.

At the VERY least, move either the PC or the XBox to another port.
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Post#3 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:09 pm

I deal with the same issue on my DMA extender. Even odder is the fact that shows recorded on my HD antenna skip commercials perfectly while shows recorded on our Dish SD signal exhibit the same skipping issue you describe. The SD content files are smaller than the HD files so you would think it would be the opposite.
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Post#4 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:46 am

adam1991 wrote:The first step is always, always to remove the extender from WMC and re-add it.

This was done any number of times, and especially because the WMC PC was changed. But good to know.

adam1991 wrote:Otherwise, this is guaranteed to be (a) a network issue, anywhere from your PC drivers through the end of the cable connecting to the XBox, or (b) a codec issue.

Probably the one thing I haven't swapped out is my 16 port unmanaged TPLINK switch, but it worked before and don't otherwise have network issues.


Aha.

At the VERY least, move either the PC or the XBox to another port.

So I will try swapping ports on the switch or even using the router ports instead or different mini switch or something.

Otherwise, like seriously, why is networking so ridiculously hard to debug in this day and age? What tools are people using? Is it that you just need a $1000 piece of hardware to tell you you have a short on pin 6? why can't my card tell me that lol. I have an optional mini switch at the xbox end (optional in that I've both used it and not used it and still see the issues.) But what can I run to detect these issues? Do I need to run a transparent proxy or wireshark to actually see what the heck is going on during a skip forward that is putting such a strain on the network?
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Post#5 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:10 am

Clean out the Xbox hard drive

Disable WiFi on the Xbox

Test the cables with Network Throughput Software (might be called a flooder)

Cold Boot the network.....Yes....Everything Off and unplugged from the 120V

Uninstall the AntiVirus on the HTPC
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Post#6 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:27 am

Crash2009 wrote:Clean out the Xbox hard drive

Disable WiFi on the Xbox

Test the cables with Network Throughput Software (might be called a flooder)

Cold Boot the network.....Yes....Everything Off and unplugged from the 120V

Uninstall the AntiVirus on the HTPC


Nothing on Xbox besides h264 WMC app thingy, only ever been used for WMC.

I had Windows Firewall and Windows Defender running. Disabled those, are they known to be issues? Been so long since I have dealt with this stuff, and I would have expected my searches of 'skip freeze' to yield more along those lines.

Will take a look at flooder. Thx.
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Post#7 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:36 am

Since the skipping started shortly after the new hard drive.... run some tests on the new one.

Any one else complaining about that model? Firmware update?
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Post#8 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:18 pm

Crash2009 wrote:Cold Boot the network.....Yes....Everything Off and unplugged from the 120V


Yes, this.

Shutting HAL down is often overlooked, but is sometimes VERY useful.
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Post#9 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:32 pm

Crash2009 wrote:Since the skipping started shortly after the new hard drive.... run some tests on the new one.

Any one else complaining about that model? Firmware update?


As alluded to in the original post but to expound further, the system SSD was replaced by a different SSD when that SSD died triggering the need to rebuild the system. The recorded TV drive did not change at that time. Since then, a completely different hardware PC is now in use, including different HDD (both system and recording, non SSD currently in this build) and the same problem persists. Seems to rule out HDD IMO.

General Updates:
So I have disabled Windows Firewall and MSE/Windows Defender. No change.
I have used a network cable to network the WMC PC to the Xbox on a completely different switch from my TPLINK. This one is a little 5 port trendnet or netgear. No change.

Want to reiterate that these seem to be all be h264 recordings (MPEG2 recordings do not freeze when skipping ever to my recollection), and it predominantly happens near the end of the recordings (50 min mark or so on hour long show, 25min on 30 min long show, etc.). Is WMC simply streaming the HDHRPrime h264 to disk directly or is it doing any processing? Maybe there is some way to rule out that the files themselves are causing the problem (missing key frames or whatever...I've definitely seen mp4s I've downloaded take longer and longer to skip the further into the file you are, though not saying that is what the xbox is doing...it is simply freezing).

Beyond that are there any specific things to try with regard to the network driver settings that can be looked at? What other factors could impact this? Thanks.
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Post#10 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:47 am

Use MCEBuddy to convert the WMC files, then play the results remotely to see how they behave.
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Post#11 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:02 am

This is a strange one.

Any similarities to the complaints in this thread?

viewtopic.php?p=112760#p112760
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Post#12 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:54 am

Crash2009 wrote:This is a strange one.

Any similarities to the complaints in this thread?

viewtopic.php?p=112760#p112760

Thanks, but I had seen that one previously, but it doesn't discuss XBox360 extenders at all, it is all about the WMC PC, which does not freeze or have any other issues for me, only the extender. Plus multiple video card options have been tried, NVidia and Intel HD, in case there is some sort of DXVA type thing happening on the WMC PC (though I don't believe so otherwise the Xbox360 wouldn't need to download the media codecs for h264).
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Post#13 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:14 pm

Must be the Comcast H.264 problem. My everything was broken when they started that here. It was so bad, I dumped them and went OTA.

That reminds me.... just as a test... disconnect your cable pull the CableCARD and unplug the internet. My problems went away after that.
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Post#14 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:36 pm

So does anyone think it is worth a try to swap out my old white xbox 360 for like an Xbox 360 E? I haven't considered this in the past, but maybe the updated processors/gpu/lower power might help things? Maybe the GPU has a slightly different hardware acceleration assist?
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Post#15 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:13 pm

I don't know if you would gain anything or not by dumping the white and upgrading to an E.

This thread "live and recorded FullScreen H.264 streams on the HTPC" suggests disable hardware acceleration. Might be worth a try....

viewtopic.php?p=10513#p10513
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Post#16 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:10 pm

Crash2009 wrote:I don't know if you would gain anything or not by dumping the white and upgrading to an E.

This thread "live and recorded FullScreen H.264 streams on the HTPC" suggests disable hardware acceleration. Might be worth a try....

viewtopic.php?p=10513#p10513


This seems to be directed more towards the HTPC itself, not an Xbox360 extender, unfortunately.
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Post#17 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:05 pm

So I guess another way to approach this:
Who is using Xbox360 extenders on Comcast (or even more specifically Comcast in Nashville) with an HDHomerun Prime (on Windows 7 if that matters)? Can you confirm that you don't get Xbox360 extender freezes when skipping forward on h264 channels (like Bravo or NBCSportsNetwork for the Olympics)?

If you don't have skipping freezes, are you using Wifi or Ethernet (I am using ethernet, just curious)?
What hardware is your HTPC using?
Network Adapter & Driver Version:
Graphics Adapter & Driver Version:
Any special Network Adapter settings like flow control, checksum offloading, etc?
Would figuring out how to upgrade to Windows 8 or 8.1 make any difference in people's opinions?
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Post#18 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:07 pm

Hey, just wanted to chime in with my experience. I also use Comcast and have an identical set up to yours. Windows 7 media center and silicon dust HD homerun prime. I also experience the skip issue in virtually the same way you have reported. It is 100% related to the Comcast H264 cutover. You are going to tear your own hair out trying to find a solution thinking that it’s your own hardware or network. It is not. Save yourself the frustration. If you continue to use Comcast and Xbox 360 extenders you will have to live with this unfortunate situation. It’s enough to make me switch to a completely different backend and retire media center at last.
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Post#19 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:08 pm

Hey, just wanted to chime in with my experience. I also use Comcast and have an identical set up to yours. Windows 7 media center and silicon dust HD homerun prime. I also experience the skip issue in virtually the same way you have reported. It is 100% related to the Comcast H264 cutover. You are going to tear your own hair out trying to find a solution thinking that it’s your own hardware or network. It is not. Save yourself the frustration. If you continue to use Comcast and Xbox 360 extenders you will have to live with this unfortunate situation. It’s enough to make me switch to a completely different backend and retire media center at last.
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Post#20 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:47 pm

Hi, i'm seeing the exact same behavior here, Redmond WA. Comcast, with Ceton InfiniTV 5 PCIe (it was a 6 when i bought it. :) ). Skipping ahead or back frequently eventually causes the video stream to hang. I swapped out my XBOX 360 Slim with an older original XBOX 360, and get the same behavior (maybe a bit worse). We have found that fast forward / fast rewind doesn't ever seem to hang. Also, can reset by hitting the Green X button (Xbox home), exiting the MCE software, wait a few seconds and reloading MCE (using the green button), generally works, so it's in the XBOX Mediacenter code. I suspect it is a memory leak in the skip code when decoding the new Comcast H264 data streams.
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