New Fire Stick 4K deinterlace issue

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
snowcat87
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Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:09 pm

New Fire Stick 4K deinterlace issue

Postby snowcat87 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:23 pm

Got the new Fire Stick 4K and have it all set up. But on some channels, specifically my ABC affiliate, when they go to commercial I get a blinking green screen. I have used enough boxes and software to know that this is a deinterlacing issue. I've seen it before on other boxes, specifically a Win7 box running Kodi using the HDHR for OTA - and it only happened on that box when it was plugged into a certain television. Turning off the deinterlacing in Kodi fixed that.

But with this new Fire Stick 4K, it happens on every single TV I own. After talking with Amazon support for a long time, they insist the problem is with the app. But it happens on the HDHR app, as well as the Channels app, and although is doesn't happen on the MrMc app, the video is so jittery you can't even watch it. Only setting the deinterlacing to bob-inverted helped, and even then the picture is horrible.

The real kicker is that any of the apps work just fine on the older fire stick, as well as the Fire TV (pendant). No issues whatsoever, it just works.

Is anyone else seeing this? Is it possible that the app(s) need to be updated to work with the new Fire Stick 4k because it handles things differently in regards to interlaced MPEG2 video?

Any thoughts/advice/suggestions/help is much appreciated

jseymour
Posts: 371
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Re: New Fire Stick 4K deinterlace issue

Postby jseymour » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:45 pm

There are two threads on this device already.

tmm1
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Re: New Fire Stick 4K deinterlace issue

Postby tmm1 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:05 pm

After talking with Amazon support for a long time, they insist the problem is with the app.
Hah. This is definitely a problem with the mpeg2 decoder on that device, and the MediaCodec API offered by FireOS. It is reproducible with Amazon's official player as well. I filed a bug here: https://github.com/amzn/exoplayer-amazon-port/issues/58

Interestingly it only affects some 1080i mpeg2 broadcasts. Many work just fine which is probably why they didn't catch it during QA. They previously made a big deal about confirming 1080i support: http://www.aftvnews.com/amazon-fire-tv- ... ta-tuners/

snowcat87
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Re: New Fire Stick 4K deinterlace issue

Postby snowcat87 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:25 am

Thanks for the information. I figured that must be the case as the behavior can be reproduced via multiple apps, or solved (sort of) with other apps. I have seen that the vast majority of channels play just fine. Interestingly, as I stated before, I have a problem with my local ABC station (broadcasts are 1080i), and not just on the Firestick 4k; using my HTPC (Win 7) box running Kodi 17.1, using NextPVR with the HDHR and hardwired ethernet, I can watch the station just fine. If I record a show from that station and attempt to fast forward through the commercials, it crashes Kodi EVERY TIME. If I just let it play, it's fine, but any attempt to skip forward or back, or fast forward/rewind will cause a crash. Recording from any other OTA channels don't seem to have this issue.

Thus far I have not been able to identify anything specific to this channel versus any other local channels that would cause this. I have other local channels that have higher or lower bitrates, variable bitrates (ABC station is constant), sub stations, and channels that are 720p as well as 1080i. I saw on another thread that some people seem to be having an issue with their CBS station which should be 1080i as well.

tmm1
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Re: New Fire Stick 4K deinterlace issue

Postby tmm1 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:12 am

What is your ABC station callsign? Most ABC feeds are 720p but a handful across the country are 1080i

scubajwd
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Re: New Fire Stick 4K deinterlace issue

Postby scubajwd » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:26 am

FWIW, ABC in Las Vegas is at 720p and is the only local channel (along with Fox) that
my Fire TV 4K is playing nicely with; NBC is intermittantly flickering green and
CBS refuses to live play at all (altho once I was able to live play for a few moments
a CBS OTA feed; all other locals on coming into the house via Cox cable; Emby right seems
to be the most willing app right now; I do not have a Channels app on my Fire TV so
I don't know how well it performs in that environment; HDHR refuses to view or play
CBS content entirely

snowcat87
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:09 pm

Re: New Fire Stick 4K deinterlace issue

Postby snowcat87 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:29 pm

The ABC station here is KOAT and is 1080i
https://www.rabbitears.info/market.php? ... y_id=53928

So far the HDHR app is working best. Channels works about the same unless I try and rewind anything, and then it crashes, saying it can't find the HDHR tuner. Pause and resuming play works fine on Channels. But the HDHR app seems to work best with both the OTA channels, and the Silicon Dust Premium TV channels. I don't use Emby, so can't report on that.

I did find a couple more quirks so far; last night turned on ABC and a show called good doctor was on. Usually the programs are fine, but the commercials have the blinking green screen. During that good doctor show, is was blinking green through the entire show, sometimes worse than others. But I let it run for a while to see if it would improve (what the heck, right?) and eventually the HDHR app just crashed, and wouldn't work again until I restarted the stick. I tried using the Channels app after HDHR app crashed, but it wouldn't work either unless I restarted the stick - BUT, when channels crashed, it said it couldn't find the HDHR tuner anymore.

These instances where it says it can't find the tuner happen on both WiFi (802.11 ac), and Ethernet.

scubajwd
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:31 am

Re: New Fire Stick 4K deinterlace issue

Postby scubajwd » Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:51 am

Channels Devs have submitted a work-around for their App to
Amazon which allows for a software decoder in lieu of the
on-board hardware decoder; this purports to help freezes
and flickering thought to be related to mpeg2 de-interlacing;
at this moment the only reliable channel for me is ABC coming
into the house at 720i; it upscales nicely to 60 FPS w/o
incident; all my 1080i sources are non-watchable; BTW, my new shiny
ROKU Ultra is now my streaming and TV viewing champ displacing
my older Apple TV (not the new 4K model); the ROKU has NO
issues with mpeg2 and streams in directly w/o transcode..
I have 3 more weeks in my Amazon window of return and then
the Fire Stick goes back unless we see some vast improvement
handling 1080i sources

snowcat87
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:09 pm

Re: New Fire Stick 4K deinterlace issue

Postby snowcat87 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:07 am

Activity on the issue of the Firestick 4K seems to have died down as there is a fix (sort of). As noted elsewhere the developer of the Channels app put a feature in that allows you to disable the hardware decoding on the Firestick 4K. Once that's done, the Channels app works. It just works, no more flashing green screens, no more lockups on fast forward or rewind, switching channels takes a fraction of a second longer than it did on previous devices, but hardly noticeable. So until Amazon manages to sort out their issues with the new chipset and/or SD updates the HDHR app to allow you to stop using the hardware for deinterlacing, use the Channels app.

Once I got the Channels app working and had time to sit and watch both OTA channels and SD Premium channels, I found that the new antenna design and 802.11ac wireless connection on the Firestick 4K is ALMOST good enough, but I would still lose the tuner on occasion. Adding and ethernet adapter fixed that. But at $50 for the stick and another $15-20 for the ethernet adapter...there may be other solutions in this price range that aren't as much of a headache.

snowcat87
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:09 pm

Re: New Fire Stick 4K deinterlace issue

Postby snowcat87 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:48 pm

In case anyone is still trying to work through these issues on the 4K stick, I swapped my stick for my older Pendant Fire TV 4K. Lo and behold, all issues are GONE. Works with Channels, HDHR app, VLC - any of 'em.

There is no question the new firestick is quicker overall. And if all you are doing is streaming (Prime, Netflix, etc) then it awesome. But if you are doing OTA or even the premium channels, the pendant or even the old firestick is a much better choice. Amazon's not selling them anymore though (except refurbished) so finding one means Ebay.

NYPlayer
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Device ID: 104112F4,104162C4,10438DAD,10438DF5,10701381,13147C7B,131A192A
Location: Portland OR, 97217

Re: New Fire Stick 4K deinterlace issue

Postby NYPlayer » Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:27 pm

I am lucky enough to have an EMBY Server … EMBY plays all channels just fine.... out of the BOX.

twobucktoll
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:08 pm

Re: New Fire Stick 4K deinterlace issue

Postby twobucktoll » Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:45 pm

I too have this issue. My setup: Brand new Fire Stick 4K, connected to a 1080p TV. On the HD Homerun app, the 720p and 480i OTA channels play perfectly. On some of the 1080i channels (in my area, which is Northern VA in the Washington DC metro area, that is NBC, ABC and Maryland Public Television) I get intermittent green screen flashes. The green happens to look a lot like the HD Homerun green FWIW. It seems to happen more on channels with marginal signal. The worst for me is MPT, which is also the most distant transmitter. I get the same symptoms when running the Plex app connected to my plex server when playing these channels live or even playing recordings from the channels. For some reason the Plex server wants to transcode all my 1080i channels, and my server is old iron and is not powerful enough to handle it. We get another 1080i channel, WETA (PBS) and I have not had a problem with this channel; it also has a strong signal where I am.

720p channels come in fine, even ones from Baltimore which have marginal signals.

twobucktoll
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:08 pm

Re: New Fire Stick 4K deinterlace issue

Postby twobucktoll » Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:40 pm

Here is an update on my 1080i green flickering issue on Fire Stick 4K on 1080i content. My stick got a firmware update two days ago and that seems to have fixed the problem.

Before this I had contacted Amazon support and they had said it was an app issue. I contacted Silicon Dust who said they had confirmed it was a Fire Stick issue and they had opened tickets with Amazon. It seems that Amazon development doesn't always talk to Amazon support.


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