Video Glitches when adding new content

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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  • (Edited)
I have a problem when adding a new video or new presentation to my scheduling. The existing video's in the schedule result in the black screen of death..

I have around 10 video presentations in the schedule and all running normally. I then add a new video or other content and the existing video's begin to act up.

I eventually have to reboot the hardware to get everything to run as normal again. It may take two or three attempts to get it running ok and sometime I am over an hour to get the schedule display stabilised.

I thought the video's were cached in the hardware and I don't understand why adding new content should affect existing material.I am using either mp4 or webm video formats and the largest video is probably around 80Mbyte. The hardware is Gigbyte Brix unit with 60Gbyte SSD and 4 GByte memory running Windows 7 and hardwired to Ethernet.

As I am loading the content onto remote displays I would like to be able to update content reliably and without disrupting existing content. Can anyone explain what is happening or give me a pointer to how I can correct this.
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Posted 3 years ago

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Jim,

Which player are you using (Rise Packaged player or Chrome App Player)?

We've occasionally seen this if we re-publish a presentation with video content while it is running. It seems the players' CPU's sort of choke on digesting all the new content. I'm not familiar with the Brix units but a quick google search suggests they're rather low powered in the CPU/GPU department which could account for this. A lot of the signage player hardware out there that's rated for "1080p playback" is JUST powerful enough to do that and not a whole lot else at the same time. 

Our solution has been to publish presentation updates during off hours or to schedule new content to start when the displays aren't visible. Also, we found it helped to keep all the videos in the same format (codec) and resolution so the player isn't having to switch back and forth between content types. 

Hope that helps! 
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Hi Jim,
Along with the questions and suggestions that Rob has provided, do you have a link to your Company / Presentations and we can take a look?

Thanks

Hannah
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Thanks for your comments Robert and advice. We are using Rise Player version 2015.10.12.15.11

Hannah the presentation link is:
http://preview.risevision.com/Viewer.html?type=schedule&id=ca4cfbc3-81c1-42a7-98a2-4b506833ff19

The CID is 796XHBBARJGB

regards, Jim Coyle
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Hi Jim

I have noticed that one of the Displays (laptop and test unit) is on the Chrome App, the rest are on Rise Windows Player and that the schedule is pointing to all except the laptop.  Do you see the issue occur for all Displays?  Also which Windows version are you on?

Thanks,

Hannah
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Jim,

Are you using the video widget to play your videos? Were is the video content hosted? 
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Hi Robert/Hannah and again thanks for your assistance. Pointers you both provided prompted me to go back to basics and ensure I was looking at a level playing field.

I have been running a series of tests and ensuring the player versions etc are uniform across all the hardware and this is now the case - all are using RisePlayer 2015.10.12.15.11 - Viewer Version: 1-06-201510071813 - Installed Browser:Chrome 47.0.2526.80

The hardware consists of 3 of the Gigabyte Brix units all running Windows 7 Pro. plus a laptop and desktop running Windows 10 Pro. The laptop and desktop are high spec modern machines and have no issues with graphics, processor or memory capacity. 

I had been using the video widget until a couple of weeks ago when there was an issue on the RV side and I had reverted to using the basic video. I had stability issues before the RV hiccup occurred but it was lessened using the basic video link. I think some of my problems were due to mixing video formats and possibly some video codec issues but I believe I have unified and corrected the video's

Roberts comment prompted me to try the Video Widget once again - this led to a world of pain :)

The result of using the video widget was all the hardware had many issues and it prompted me to ensure my video content was properly coded so I worked my way through rebuilding the videos. I use Adobe After Effects and the Media Encoder to produce mp4's and then run this through AVS Video Converter to produce Webm's

Satisfied that the video's were built correctly I set up some tests on the various hardware using 4 presentations and split between mp4 and Webm formats. All the content is stored on Rise Storage. I have looked at the RV Cache and the cached content is present on each machine

The tests consist of a simple schedule containing two simple spreadsheets and two video's.

Presentation 1 = simple spreadsheet widget
Presentation 2 = video 1 (in both mp4 and Webm formats)
Presentation 3 = simple spreadsheet widget
Presentation 4 = video 2  (in both mp4 and Webm formats)

BRIX001 using basic video content:

Presentation 1 = simple spreadsheet widget
Presentation 2 = video 1 mp4
Presentation 3 = simple spreadsheet widget
Presentation 4 = video 2 mp4 

This is stable

BRIX002 using basic video content:

Presentation 1 = simple spreadsheet widget
Presentation 2 = video 1 Webm
Presentation 3 = simple spreadsheet widget
Presentation 4 = video 2 Webm

This is stable

BRIX003 using Video Widget and mp4:

Presentation 1 = simple spreadsheet widget
Presentation 2 = video 1 mp4
Presentation 3 = simple spreadsheet widget
Presentation 4 = video 2 mp4

This results in both video's progressively creeping and losing sync.

BRIX003 was also ran using Video Widget and Webm:

Presentation 1 = simple spreadsheet widget
Presentation 2 = video 1 Webm
Presentation 3 = simple spreadsheet widget
Presentation 4 = video 2 Webm

This results in both video's progressively creeping and losing sync.

The laptop is currently coupled with BRIX003 and the same effect of video creep is evident with both formats. I've swapped out the other two BRIX units with the laptop and the same effect is evident.

The desktop uses all of the test presentation content - basic video (mp4 & Webm) and the video widget (mp4 & Webm) - the same effect of video creep is evident. Over the full cycle the content using the video widget creeps but the content using the basic video link is stable.

It appears that running mp4 or Webm using the basic video link runs ok but using the video widget with either mp4 or Webm is problematic for me. Would seem to suggest a compatibility issue with my video's and the Video Widget.

It isn't a problem with hardware as the laptop and desktop are more than capable but the creep effect is evident on these machines. It doesn't appear to be a problem with the video's themselves as they run on all the hardware fine using just the basic video link for either mp4 or Webm.

I don't think it is software as the BRIX3 runs Windows 7 (as do the two other units) and the laptop and desktop are Windows10 but the creep effects I see are the same on any BRIX unit when coupled with the laptop.

It appears to be when using the Video Widget with either format that creep appears. I am talking about substantial creep of a few seconds such that the video may eventually start in the middle of a 35 second video. It is progressive creep and starts out a second or so out of sync and gets progressively worse.

Hannah I would be very much obliged if you could look at these video's and how they are handled by the video widget and possibly identify some issues that could assist me. What does the video widget do with regards to timing that the basic video doesn't? The tests are still setup on my account if you would kindly have a look.

As it stands I seem to have a stable setup using the basic video link for either mp4 or Webm. However this is with the test presentations as described above. I have yet to try building up the presentation to the required schedule containing about 30 items including ten videos - this may highlight other problems. I would prefer to use the Video Widget if possible.

Sorry if this was long winded but I wanted to describe fully what I am finding.

regards,
Jim Coyle
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Jim, thank you for the detailed summary. This is really helpful. I believe the issue you are seeing is are the differences in video playback between Video Widget and Video Item.

When rotating with other Presentations in a Schedule, the Video Widget will resume playing a video where it last was whereas the Video Item will always start playing a video from the beginning.

We have work queued up to address this by letting the User configure if the Video Widget should resume where it last was or if it should start from the beginning. We'll post an announcement once this has shipped.

Thanks!
(Edited)
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Jim,

Thanks for the thorough investigation. It's very helpful to the community when people thoroughly evaluate the situation and provide constructive feedback. It makes projects like Rise Vision work! 

Also, my apologies for leading you into the weeds. :) 

My only question right now is with regard to how the Video Widget is configured. Are you using Play Until Done or entering the duration of the videos? 
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Hi Robert and thanks for persevering with me :)

The presentations holding the video's are using the PUD for PH0 - there are no other placeholders.
I checked that the setting is correct on the UI and in the html code. In the schedule I am also setting the time duration for each video. 

I've experimented by adding or removing a second or so to the duration in the schedule for the video's using the Video Widget but even though I can see the affect of this it doesn't resolve the creep issue.

I hope I get a fix for this which I can report in here and that the content of my long winded response may be of some help to other users in the future. As a newbie to this I am still on a learning curve but then every day is a school day :)

regards,
Jim Coyle
(Edited)
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Sorry, Jim, I meant the Play Until Done on the items within the placeholder. See screenshot. I'm assuming you're using the old editor as you'd mentioned both the video gadget and widget. 

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Jim,

If I'm understanding you correctly, your currently problem is with what you've dubbed "video creep" in your schedule. This is where the schedule will play through, but the videos will begin playing further and further within the actual video, is that correct?

For instance, you have Video X in the schedule, the first three times it plays through, it appears to start at the beginning. The next few times through, you can tell it's starting at 2sec, 4sec, 6sec into the video. Let me know if I'm incorrect.
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Hi team and thanks for your comments.

Alan I think you are correct although I haven't timed the 'creep' accurately it would seem to restart from its last position.

Robert my apologies for any confusion and I am referencing the Video Widget in all cases. There is no PUD as your screenshot display shows and it is the new editor I am using.

Blake I think Alan is more accurate - the timing difference isn't a discrete value of 2, 4, 6 seconds etc. It appears to be a start from last position reached. The video's start from the beginning in the schedule but next time through the schedule the timing difference appears and moves forward on every subsequent run of the schedule.

The files themselves are playing under the Video Widget so it doesn't appear to be a codec issue. I believe it is a timing issue I am seeing.

regards,
Jim Coyle
(Edited)
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Thanks again Jim and just to confirm, the creep is the difference in time from when the Video Widget is visible to the time the video is loaded by the Video Widget and starts playing it. We are probably talking milliseconds here, but it accumulates with each cycle. 

Thanks!
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Hi Alan - yes the timing difference is cumulative. It isn't apparent that the video hasn't completed on first play but on subsequent runs of the schedule the video begins playing further and further into the file. It would seem to suggest it is starting from last position reached but as I say I haven't timed it to confirm.

On first run there is occasionally a slight hiccup of perhaps a half second and sometimes the video will stutter slightly during play - this would cause the overall length of play to be curtailed and move on to the next item in the schedule. This only happens with the Video Widget and doesn't happen with the basic video item when playing the video's.

I have tried to ensure the video's are an exact time. Video 1 is reported as exactly 15 seconds - video 2 is reported as exactly 34 seconds. At least this is what is reported when I play the video's. However in reality they may be 15.125 seconds or 34.25 seconds or some other very fractional time offsets. Would these fractional time differences affect the scheduled timing and cause a restart from a different point in the video?

regards,
Jim Coyle
(Edited)
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Yes, it would indeed cause the problem in your scenario because you are rotating through multiple Presentations in a Schedule because Schedules don't support PUD (Play Until Done). 

We will be starting work soon to the Video Widget that will allow you to configure if the video should always start from the beginning or resume where it was last to address this. 

If you were to add multiple instance of the Video Widget to a single Playlist (so one Presentation) and configured each video to Play Until Done, you would not see this issue.

Hope that helps. Thanks!
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Hi team,

Well I finally have a consistent setup with smooth operation and no hiccups - so far.. I've been running for 24 hours without a glitch now so I'm confident the issues are resolved in the main.

Following comments by Alan Clayton I setup a single presentation with each video running its PUD setting and this resolved the creeping effect - thanks for this Alan.

However I soon began to experience issues with RV Storage blocking some of the files and complaining they were being requested too much. This puzzles me as the schedule was being sent to three devices and runs over about 10 minutes as my test setup. The files were being requested three times over ten minutes yet seemed to cause a hiccup with storage. The display were offset and its not as if each was requesting a file at exactly the same time. Additionally once the files were cached the would be no download - maybe a check to see if the file had been updated.

So I reverted to my Amazon AWS setup and sourced each video from there. There was an immediate and noticeable difference in the resulting displays. Each ran smoothly with no hiccups, stuttering or other artifacts appearing. The difference was very noticeable.

To ensure I had both types of files (mp4 and Webm) available I setup two of the Brix units on mp4 and one Brix unit with Webm along with the laptop. The Webm setup would run for perhaps 10 or 30 minutes or even an hour and then suddenly crash. There were no apparent errors that I could find in logs - all I had was a black screen and this was on the Brix and laptop. Saving the schedule for the Webm immediately restarted both the machines - there was no load up time. It appeared just to be a black screen and that Chrome was idling.

This was using the RV Player for Windows. I switched to the Chrome App player on the Webm presentation and lo' and behold it worked flawlessly and has been for 24 hours. 

This is a puzzle - why should there be any substantial difference between the behaviour of the players when the content is exactly the same?

However I am simply trying to get a working system so I am happy that I have an mp4 schedule and a Webm schedule that appear to work without problems. Its not perfect in that everything is contained inside a single presentation but its working and I can deploy to a customer site with some confidence and give me a breathing space to try other methods.

I can now concentrate on content rather than hardware/software issues for the time being.

Thanks for everyone's comments and help and I am most appreciative. I have learned a great deal and am beginning to see the depth of functionality within the RV setup. The last few days have been quite intensive and frustrating but I have gained a lot from it.

regards,
Jim Coyle
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Hi Alan,

Finally got time to back and look at this. There seems to be a change in the behaviour of the issue I reported but it is perhaps me seeing this with more clarity. Here's what I am finding now.

I am using the schedule 'AWS Content Webm Widget' which contains the presentation 'Full Video List AWS Webm Widget' - on BRIX003. (The other two Brix units are now deployed with a customer and using the AWS mp4 setup with no problems.)

When using the RVPackagedAPP in Chrome there are no issues.

When using the Rise Player for Windows the schedule runs straight through on its first run. On the second run the sequence stopped at the file 'Spiders_Poker4.webm'.

I thought it may be a file issue so I recoded the video and reloaded this onto AWS and RV Storage as 'Spiders_Poker_60sec.webm'. However same result - the schedule would run through its initial sequence completely but on subsequent run it stopped again at the same point.

All the other webm videos run fine. If I remove this file completely the sequence runs through with no issues.

In the RV log file there are no errors reported and I can see when the file is requested. The log file simply stops at that point. The player sits with just a black screen. It doesn't skip the file or report any error - it just sits as if waiting or cycling.

It certainly points to a file problem for both versions of the 'Poker' file. However it puzzles me that the sequence should run through on its first play with no problem but subsequent plays it fails and that there are no apparent errors.

The other puzzle piece is it only appears to happen with the RV Player in Windows and the package app has no problems.

I have sourced both the files from AWS and from RV Storage but the same problem exists.

In case it was a software/hardware/config issue I have reinstalled Windows and the RV Player and PackageApp but with no discernible difference.

I know you are busy and this problem is very low on the priority list so when you get a free moment please have a look and see if you can identify a file problem or some other issue I am missing.

regards,
Jim Coyle
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Hi Jim, I think we've figured out what is causing the issue you are seeing. That's the good news. The bad news is that we won't be able to start work on the fix for this until next week. This is high priority for us and we'll give you an update once we are ready to deploy.

Your feedback has been very helpful in helping us find this issue. Greatly appreciated. Thanks and Happy Holidays!
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Hi Alan well I'm pleased you have found something and I'll be interested in due course to find out what it is.

There is no real importance to this as I have a working setup but please do provide some feedback after the holidays.

I hope you and the rest of the RV team and every user in this community have a great holiday break.

regards,
Jim Coyle
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Hi Jim, we have a fix ready for the issue you have been experiencing. While we perform our own testing, I'd like to have you try it out and provide your feedback.

The instructions to configure your media player with the fix is just below. Please let me know if you have any questions or need any assistance.

Look forward to hearing how this works for you.

Thanks!

UPDATE: 
The latest version of Rise Cache is now included with our latest Player which can be downloaded from here, https://help.risevision.com/user/create-a-display.

From your media player;
  1. Stop Rise Player by entering the key combination
    CONTROL + W
  2. Stop the Rise Player and Rise Cache processes by running the following command from command prompt.
    taskkill /f /im javaw.exe
     
  3. Download the updated version of Rise Cache from here. The name of the file downloaded will be "RiseCache.jar"
  4. Move the downloaded version of "RiseCache.jar" to the directory below replacing with the Windows user account Rise Player was installed under. When prompted, select Yes to overwrite or replace the existing file. 
    C:\Users\\AppData\Local\RVPlayer\RiseCache
  5. Restart Rise Player
(Edited)
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The latest version of Rise Cache mentioned above is now included with our latest Player which can be downloaded from here, https://help.risevision.com/user/create-a-display.

Anyone looking to upgrade their Rise Cache should use the new installer versus following the instructions above.

Thanks
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Hi Alan and thanks for you quick response .
I have a timed schedule running for the New Year celebration so will wait until this is over before modifying and testing the update.

I'll try and provide some useful feedback and hopefully see my issues resolved.

regards,
Jim Coyle
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An initial test was ran with an installation of the new Jar file supplied by Alan Clayton. I used one of three identical hardware units as a test.
This was using a schedule and presentation that had been running without pause for three  days on all three hardware units and comprised of a set of mp4 videos and a mixture of presentations with spreadsheet data, rss feeds and text/images - about 15 items in total within a single scheduled presentation. The mp4 files are being sourced from my Amazon AWS bucket.

This test didn't work and I had a similar issue as previously where the scheduled presentation ran for one sequence then seemed to 'fail' - sat on idle with a black screen - no errors in logs. I restarted and was able to repeat this issue several times however the 'stop' point would vary. Sometimes a full sequence would run and then stop but at othertimes it stopped at some random point. It didn't appear to be a video section where it would stop - just appeared as a random effect and would happen with a spreadsheet or other presentation item.

Whilst running this test on one of the three hardware units the other two were still using the PackagedApp in Chrome and suffered no errors in running exactly the same scheduled presentation. It didn't appear to be an issue with network or anything that affected all three units with some common factor.

I decided a fresh start was necessary so I removed Rise Player from the test hardware unit and the PackagedApp from Chrome and also emptied the cache in Chrome. As clean as I could see of all references to Rise.

I rebooted the PC then did a fresh installation of the Windows 7 64 bit version of Rise Player from scratch.

This has been running for over an hour so far without pause or errors of any kind and displaying exactly the same content as previously scheduled. It now appears to be a stable setup and I will let it run over the next 24 hours to be satisfied no errors appear.

I then intend to go back and test using mp4's loaded from Rise Storage. Then rinse and repeat with Webm's from storage and then with a mixture of mp4's and Webm's from both storage and from the AWS source. Hit the setup with quite a few variations and see if it remains stable.

I'll report back on these tests in due course. 

regards,
Jim Coyle
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HI Jim,

How did everything run over the 24 hour period?
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Hi Robb,

No problems at all for this initial run I'm pleased to report.

I am moving onto multiple format tests and will let you know how this goes.

regards,
Jim Coyle
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Fantastic Jim! Thanks for the update. 
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I've run a series of tests and have had no problems to report.

I used three presentations for the tests:

1. Containing mp4 videos alternating with spreadsheet pages, external URL pages and text/image pages. All video's from  RISE storage

2. Containing Webm videos alternating with spreadsheet pages, external URL pages and text/image pages. All video's from  RISE storage

3. Multi format content with two mp4's from AWS, two Webm's from AWS, two mp4's from Rise Storage and two Webm's from Rise storage - alternating with a collection of spreadsheet pages, external URL pages and text/image pages.

Every combination played without pause or interruption. All video's were set to play until done and had the checkbox unchecked for 'Restart from last position played'

I also looked at the transitions and start point for video's and could see no discernible difference between any of the combinations used. There is still a momentary 'blink' until a video starts but at less than a second I can live with this.

So congratulations to the Rise team as I think the new Player is working a treat.

Thank you to everyone who has provided advice and assistance.  

regards,
Jim Coyle
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Fantastic. Thanks Jim!