Struggling to play basic video files on OdroidN2Plus

Hello,
I’ve been running into some problems with Coreelec in Odroid N2+… Everything was working as a charm until yesterday (I honestly didn’t change a thing).
Files (mkv h264 1080p) that used to play without any issue are now strugling to play smoothly. Image freeze while playing sound, frame skips, frame jumps, starting playback in a negative timestamp…
Any help would be appreciated since i’m not very familiar with coreelec logfiles.

In a basic attempt to troubleshoot this, i’ve soft reset, hard reset and even updated to CoreELEC 19 RC1 but the issue remained on all cases, so I’ve downgraded back to 9.2.5… I’ve also connected a laptop to the ethernet cable and was showing 1000Mbit and playing the same files without issue

System log
CoreELEC Debug

Obviously you are playing files direct from a usb drive plugged into the device?

Hello @bubblegum57
No, I’m playing from a NFS share

So, the first thing to do is play from a usb stick, to rule out network issues.

Is there an effective way to troubleshoot the network interface in the Odroid N2Plus? I’ve tested with a ubs drive and the file played smoothly. And I’ve also connected a laptop to the same ethernet cable and everything was ok.

iperf3
It’s a comma line tool in System-Tools addons.
It’s also available for Server operating systems like Linux or Windows.

On server you start with parameter -s and on client (N2+) with -c server-ip-address

In past with this tool I found a CAT5 cable in my gigabit install. And I was wondering why I could only get 100MBit/s :innocent:

thanks… I’ll take a look at that

This is typical of how my N2 behaves when there is any network issue. CE seems to prioritize network availability over all other functionality so devotes all its resources to trying to establish a good connection.
A router reset would be my first port of call.

Shoog

Router reset done… :roll_eyes: no change whatsoever
And the iperf3 command seems perfectly fine to me :frowning:

Connecting to host 192.168.86.2, port 5201
[  5] local 192.168.86.5 port 53996 connected to 192.168.86.2 port 5201
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bitrate         Retr  Cwnd
[  5]   0.00-1.00   sec   112 MBytes   938 Mbits/sec    0    543 KBytes       
[  5]   1.00-2.00   sec   112 MBytes   941 Mbits/sec    0    543 KBytes       
[  5]   2.00-3.00   sec   111 MBytes   935 Mbits/sec    0    543 KBytes       
[  5]   3.00-4.00   sec   111 MBytes   933 Mbits/sec    0    543 KBytes       
[  5]   4.00-5.00   sec   112 MBytes   944 Mbits/sec    0    570 KBytes       
[  5]   5.00-6.00   sec   111 MBytes   933 Mbits/sec    0    690 KBytes       
[  5]   6.00-7.00   sec   111 MBytes   933 Mbits/sec    0    690 KBytes       
[  5]   7.00-8.00   sec   112 MBytes   942 Mbits/sec    0    690 KBytes       
[  5]   8.00-9.00   sec   111 MBytes   934 Mbits/sec    0    690 KBytes       
[  5]   9.00-10.00  sec   111 MBytes   933 Mbits/sec    0    690 KBytes       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bitrate         Retr
[  5]   0.00-10.00  sec  1.09 GBytes   937 Mbits/sec    0             sender
[  5]   0.00-10.04  sec  1.09 GBytes   931 Mbits/sec                  receiver

Hello hackno, are you using the default CoreELEC skin? I ask because I had similar problems with my N2+ with another skin’s “experimental features”. iperf showed fine results but I got BIG buffering problems anyway. Using the default skin (or turning off the other skin’s extra features) the problems went away. If you are using the default skin, try resetting all its settings to default.

Yes, I’ve hard reset Coreelec and only configured the audio passthrough and a NFS share… Nothing else

Maybe try to implement Netdata monitoring so you can see on your PC what is happening with your N2? It allow you to see all hardware parameters.


Also:

  1. do you experience the same results with all kind of content (x264, x265, avi) with all kind of parameters (resolution, bitrate)?
  2. is it the same if you watch content located on microSD or local USB drive?
  3. did you try to flash CoreELEC on another microSD? Is it the same result?

In general: you should try to narrow down potential root cause…

Apologies, bit late getting to this, Covid-19 depression is hard I miss sunlight. :cry:

Firstly run an update on Armbian as there have been some issues in December with Ethernet drivers so you may be looking at either a needed update or an update that’s reset your Ethernet config.

Secondly check your network settings by running ethtool eth0 look for anything disabled or if the link mode isn’t showing 1000baseT/Full you can also test the system by forcing gigabit networking by the command ethtool -s eth0 speed 100 autoneg off followed by ifup eth0 to bring it back online. (This is not persistent after a reboot, instructions to make it persistent are online)

One of the error messages in your your system logs “could” indicate that the network hardware is damaged it may also indicate that the Ethernet settings are back to default.
Was there a thunderstorm the day or night before you started having problems?

Network Checks (General List)

Some basic network checks to go through if your still having issues:-

On the NFS server check the settings for the network adaptor, make sure jumbo frames are enabled and anything to do with either “Green Ethernet” or Power Saving is disabled. As you say you haven’t touched anything it may be as simple as an upgrade has reset your network adaptor back to default settings. This would be my first go-to as it happens a lot

Try the following in any order you like.

Check the network sockets and plugs, use an air duster on the sockets if you have one blow the dust out with a straw if you haven’t. Wipe any contacts on the plugs clean with a tissue and then blow or air dust them.
I have had good results in the past using WD40 Specialist Contact Cleaner plus Ethernet (RJ45) Dust Covers are a cheap and good option for any unused ports, though if you don’t have fingernails buy the ones that have “knobs” on them for easier removal.

Try the steps listed in this very good and easy to understand tutorial for nfsstat. from the nice people at RedHat as it will tie down if its a physical issue.
NB nfs-utils is an entware package so if you need it SSL into CoreELEC and issue the command installentware wait until its installed and rebooted then SSL back in and issue opkg install nfs-utils

Run the network cable your using through your fingers and feel for any nicks or punctures. If you feel any chuck it and buy a new one.

Reboot any network hardware including switches then check that the router / modem / switches etc are all running on the latest firmware.

Run a sanity check to make sure that you haven’t moved anything that could cause RFI interference near the network cable run router or switches. DECT Cordless phones are a big culprit for this along with some cheap and not cheerful WIFI controlled lightbulbs.

Thank you all for helping!!!
I’ve found the problem, or at least it’s now working again…

It was not related no N2+ but on a raspberry pi 4 where I have the NAS. The issue is related to kernel update because as soon as I’ve reverted to 5.10.10 (default at the moment is 5.10.11) the files started playing smoothly.

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@hackno You may want to look at ditching Armbian for your NAS and switch to OpenMediaVault may provide better long term stability for you.

Openmediavault is built on debian and is excellent, has a fairly steep learning curve and its not straightforward to add already full HDD’s (it really needs to control the formating and labelling of its disks to be stable).
I have an Atomic Pi (low power quad core Atom CPU) running OpenMediaVault as my NAS, it also runs TVHeadend with COMSkip, Pi-Hole, SQUID server and UrBackup. Cannot however vouch for how well it runs on ARM based hardware. I believe it has a well supported port on the RaspPi’s.

Shoog

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@Shoog, kudos for getting that lot running on that board, cant have been easy. Can I ask how your connecting the hard drives to it?

I have a Ugreen USB3 hub with four ports. One port is given over to a XBox tuner, the other three run UGreen USB external harddrive enclosures. I have seen throughput in drive to drive transfers of 600Mb/s. Unlike on the Pi’s the USB3 is not a bottleneck on the AtomicPi and if you choose a good HDD enclosure such as the Ugreen - the HDD are always present and available.
I also have a 2.5" HDD attached to the USB2 port which is used exclusively for backing up the OMV server on a weekly basis. This is painfully slow. Having a good backup regime is critically important for the OMV NAS as I guarantee you that you will have to do full restores at various stages of your learning curve.

Trying to get NextCloud running on the AtomicPi was a step to far, this would cause random lockups and reboots as it ran out of memory on a fairly regular basis.

If you are technically minded (setting up a case and power supply is tricky) the AtomicPi will, in my opinion, outperform just about any ARM SBC as a NAS or general server.

Shoog

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@Shoog The Atomic Pi is virtually sold out, it was a salvaged board from the Kuri Robot after all. For the price it was a stunning deal (if you knew what you were doing).

Still mulling if its worth building my own NAS as the 3 drives I have plugged into the Odroid N2+ work fine for what I need. As for backups I pay for Google drive storage and sync my files with Insync that way I have my files stored “offsite” if the worst happens.

Very underrated board the AtomicPi, a once in a lifetime bargain. Its just not great as a media player because of its video limitations. It can even transcode (though I don’t have mine doing that). NAS is always going to be more stable over the long run and you can add features to it like the Urbackup solution which now automatically backs up all my Computers whenever they are plugged in.

Shoog

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