FireTV Stick & Unable to play channel - Protocol error

Help and support for HDHomeRun DVR and HDHomeRun software for Windows 10, Mac, Android, XBox, etc.
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MushyMiddle
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Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:37 pm

FireTV Stick & Unable to play channel - Protocol error

Post by MushyMiddle » Sun May 26, 2019 12:47 pm

Hi. I have an HD HomeRun PRIME, and a couple of gen 2 FireTV devices, on which the Kodi plugin works just fine. Also, DVR.

However, on my FireTV Stick, while all channels show up as expected, and it detects the DVR, every channel shows "Unable to play channel - Protocol error". No WiFi problems: Kodi can talk to my NAS on the same network with no issue, Prime Video works, etc. I get the same error in the HD HomeRun View Android app on the Stick (i.e. sans Kodi).

I'm not using all three tuners - only one other is active at the time on another (non-Stick) FireTV. My HDHomeRun shows all green - firmware is up to date. FireTV firmware is also up to date.

Any idea what might be wrong? Any way to get more (any) diagnostics?

Thanks...

NedS
Silicondust
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Re: FireTV Stick & Unable to play channel - Protocol error

Post by NedS » Sun May 26, 2019 2:15 pm

Can you tell me the Device ID printed on the bottom of your HDHomeRun PRIME?

MushyMiddle
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:37 pm

Re: FireTV Stick & Unable to play channel - Protocol error

Post by MushyMiddle » Sun May 26, 2019 3:32 pm

Device ID: 13238ADA

Thanks for the quick response...

NedS
Silicondust
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Re: FireTV Stick & Unable to play channel - Protocol error

Post by NedS » Mon May 27, 2019 6:56 pm

It looks like the record path is not set or found for the DVR on the NAS. Since the live TV playback buffer is extended through the DVR software, this can cause live TV playback issues. Easiest thing would be to just reinstall the DVR software on the NAS.

MushyMiddle
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Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:37 pm

Re: FireTV Stick & Unable to play channel - Protocol error

Post by MushyMiddle » Tue May 28, 2019 5:41 pm

OK, got it working. The problem was that at some point, the DVR app lost its path to the config file, which is in /usr/local/bin - it used to look there by default, but apparently no more. So, I installed the latest (Linux) DVR app, specified --config=/usr/local/bin/hdhomerun.conf, and it now works.

1. It would be nice if the DVR would log to /var/log somewhere, e.g. with a useful message like, "Cannot find config file". The DVR app said it was running, but clearly it wasn't. And, since it uses the config file to find the log path, and couldn't find the config file, it logged to...? Every other Linux daemon logs to /var/log...
2. "Unable to play channel - Protocol error" is an extremely misleading message. How about, "DVR application not working" or some such?
3. As mentioned, the app worked fine on my other FireTV boxes without the DVR working - why not on FireTV Stick?

Thanks for the idea of the DVR being the problem - I was thinking about disabling it anyway as a possible cause. HDHomeRun software needs some refinement.

jasonl
Silicondust
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Re: FireTV Stick & Unable to play channel - Protocol error

Post by jasonl » Tue May 28, 2019 6:33 pm

You need root permissions to create a new file in /var/log, and in many cases (including several of the NAS install packages) the DVR won't be running as root since it doesn't actually need root permissions. A lot of NASes have a bad habit of blowing away any changes to the root filesystem during firmware updates or even at each reboot, so even if the installation process was to create a log file writable by whatever user the DVR is running as, it wouldn't survive.

The error message could use improvement.

Would need log data from both apps to compare them to determine why the behavior was different.

gtb
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Re: FireTV Stick & Unable to play channel - Protocol error

Post by gtb » Thu May 30, 2019 8:47 am

MushyMiddle wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 5:41 pm
Every other Linux daemon logs to /var/log...
Only legacy apps do that directly. New distros use systemd/journald and apps have been migrating to the current capabilities.

FWIW, there was a RFE (which has disappeared due to age, as all posts eventually expire) that the engine (optionally) support use of the platforms native logging (which would enable access via the usual tools such as eventlog for Windows, the logevent capability of Mac, journald for Linux, etc.), and/or support console logging (which means you get logging for free on Linux if the service file is properly configured). And to send any initial startup messages to stdout (such as "I can't write here!"). I suspect that the request has been put in the eventual wish list, but is unlikely to get prioritized over actual functional improvements in the ecosystem.

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