Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Help and support for HDHomeRun DVR and HDHomeRun software for Windows 10, Mac, Android, XBox, etc.
PTSD
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:24 pm
Device ID: 1078183D

Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Post by PTSD »

I recently moved my HDHomeRun DVR instance to a MECOOL KM2 Plus 4K Android TV Box with 2GB RAM and an external SSD configured as Removable Storage (full specs below), being fed by an HDHR5-4US CONNECT QUATRO running the latest firmware. HDHomeRun (latest version) and several streaming apps (Pluto TV, Tubi, etc.) are installed. AIDA64 typically shows ~750 MB of free RAM.

HDHomeRun is the only installed recording app, and it's the only app that seems to be having issues, which are mostly repeatable. The most frequent issue is on playback of a recorded show, where all that happens is that audio plays but with only with a black screen that says "Audio only". Usually when this first happens it eventually gets progressively worse, e.g. same black screen with no audio at all, or a silent black screen with the scrub bar and playback controls visible...

When things go sideways like this I am sometimes able to use the back key on the remote to exit the app completely. Other times that won't work and I have to hit the power button for Android TV to shut down the system gracefully, followed by a manual power-on with the remote. In extreme cases even that won't work and the only option is to hard power-cycle the unit by pulling and reseating the power connector.

Today after first seeing the black "Audio only" screen I exited the app by using the back button. I then reopened the app and after clicking the folder icon for the same recorded series, it immediately opened the same episode with the same black "Audio only" screen. But this happened without me actually selecting that specific recording for playback. I managed to cleanly exit the app again, however while navigating the Google TV homescreen to attempt to open Android Settings, the HDHomeRun black "Audio only" screen suddenly opened again, as if it had been running in the background all that time(?)

I noticed a few older fixes in the Changelog for this black "Audio only" screen issue. Some of those apply to ATSC 3.0 but the HDHR5-4US CONNECT QUATRO is not ATSC 3.0 capable, and all of these recordings are for ATSC 1.0 streams. Also, there doesn't seem to be any problems with the actual recordings. They will frequently open with no problem at all, and even when things go sideways I can usually get them to open correctly by taking extraordinary measures (such as flushing the cache from the HDHomeRun app, etc.)

Running AIDA64 on Android TV generally implies that other user-installed apps are not running. So I have no way of knowing if 750 MB is enough free RAM for HDHomeRun to work as a DVR for playback.

I've had "Send diagnostic information" turned ON for the last day or so and it should have captured today's misbehavior. Hopefully someone can take a look at the diags and figure out what's going on here? My Device ID is visible in my user profile.

Thanks guys...

MECOOL KM2 Plus 4K Android TV Box
Amlogic S905X4 @ 2.0GHz, 2GB RAM, 16GB Flash memory
AV1, VP9, H.264, H.265 (HEVC) video codecs, HDR10 & HLG HDR
Android 11, Google Certified with Chromecast built-in, Netflix Supported, Prime Video Certified
Latest OTA update version C3.0.6_20231109

Plugable Technologies USBC-NVME Enclosure with latest firmware v1.29.12
Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD, 500GB

(Edited to correct erroneous reference to "ATSC 2.0 streams")
Last edited by PTSD on Wed Feb 21, 2024 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

PTSD
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:24 pm
Device ID: 1078183D

Re: Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Post by PTSD »

Ticket #223580 opened to track this issue. Thanks...

jasonl
Silicondust
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Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:23 pm
x 63

Re: Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Post by jasonl »

Do you see any issues with live TV in the HDHomeRun app?

If you watch the same recording simultaneously on the MeCool box and something else, does the second device experience any issues when the MeCool goes to the audio only screen?

PTSD
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:24 pm
Device ID: 1078183D

Re: Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Post by PTSD »

jasonl wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2024 5:23 pm Do you see any issues with live TV in the HDHomeRun app?
We don't spend a lot of time in Live TV in the HDHomeRun app. Wife will usually just switch the TV inputs back to OTA antenna and watch it from there. I believe I saw a problem in Live TV in the HDHomeRun app only once myself, but I think that was after the black "Audio only" screen had already appeared when trying to play a recording? Not sure about that but I will check Live TV the next time we have a problem watching Recordings.
jasonl wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2024 5:23 pm If you watch the same recording simultaneously on the MeCool box and something else, does the second device experience any issues when the MeCool goes to the audio only screen?
I haven't tested that yet. I have the app installed here on my PC and will check that the next time we see the problem appear on the Android TV box (where the recordings are made).

PTSD
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:24 pm
Device ID: 1078183D

Re: Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Post by PTSD »

Right after I posted that last reply I checked the Android TV again and tried to watch a scheduled recording made today. I got the black Audio only screen with audio. I immediately tried to watch the same episode from here on my PC and I had no problem doing that. Exited the recording on the Android TV and tried again and that time it was the Audio only screen but with no sound. But still no problem watching the recording from here on my PC...

After getting only a silent Audio only screen on the Android TV, I exited the recording and switched to Live TV and immediately got the same silent Audio only screen. But I had no problem watching the same channel from here on my PC...

I exited Live TV on the Android TV and tried to watch Live TV again but still got a silent Audio only screen. But still no problem exiting Live TV and watching again from my PC...

Back to the Android TV, I exited the app completely by confirming the Exit dialog, but the HDHomeRun background screen remained visible for several seconds after exiting. And after that finally went away, there was nothing but a blank screen. It took several seconds for the Google TV screen to finally reappear.

So the problem seems to be limited to video rendering on the Android TV. And it feels like once rendering fails, something is still keeping the video in memory.

P.S. Not just video rendering but rendering in general, since audio eventually fails as well.
Last edited by PTSD on Wed Feb 21, 2024 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PTSD
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:24 pm
Device ID: 1078183D

Re: Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Post by PTSD »

The wife will be pleased to know that at least she can watch her recordings from a tablet, thanks. :)

PTSD
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:24 pm
Device ID: 1078183D

Re: Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Post by PTSD »

  • Confirmed no problem watching Recordings made on Android TV from here on my PC, on my wife's iPad, and on an Android phone, even when Recordings won't playback on the Android TV.
  • Also confirmed no problem watching Live TV from any of those devices, even when Live TV won't work on the Android TV (so no problem with our SD tuner).

PTSD
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:24 pm
Device ID: 1078183D

Re: Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Post by PTSD »

After cleanly restarting the Android TV, I opened the HDHomeRun app there I repeatedly opened and closed Live TV (probably 20 times), but I was unable to trigger the black "Audio only" screen. Doing the same thing with a Recording took only a few tries to get the black Audio only screen. After that happened, the same thing happened immediately in Live TV. So it seems that any problem in Live TV on the DVR is only a consequence of rendering failing when watching a Recording there?

Also, when the black Audio only screen gets so bad that audio is also not working then the whole TV box seems sluggish, even if I'm able to exit the HDHomeRun app there (and at least once the black Audio only screen popped up over the Google TV home screen several seconds after we had already exited HDHomeRun). At that point we usually end up powering the TV box off and then back on to get it back to a stable state.

Hopefully your engineers can get some diagnostic data and figure this out...

jasonl
Silicondust
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Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:23 pm
x 63

Re: Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Post by jasonl »

OK, next test, to determine if it's the combination of DVR+viewing on the MeCool that is the issue, or if it happens with any DVR. Restart the MeCool to get it into a working state, turn off the DVR on it, and install the HDHomeRun Software for Windows on the PC ( https://download.silicondust.com/hdhome ... indows.exe ), go into the DVR tab in HDHomeRun Setup, enable the DVR, and click OK (or Finish). Record something (or multiple things) on there, and then play them on the MeCool and see if it still does the audio only.

PTSD
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:24 pm
Device ID: 1078183D

Re: Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Post by PTSD »

Thanks Jason. Will my current recordings remain on the MeCool after I disable recording there, or do I need to take special steps to make sure we don't lose them?

PTSD
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:24 pm
Device ID: 1078183D

Re: Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Post by PTSD »

I figured out that to be safe I can just shut down the MeCool, disconnect the external drive, then restart the device and disable DVR service from within HDHomeRun Settings -- I assume by clicking the "Not Me" button next to my email address?

jasonl
Silicondust
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Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:23 pm
x 63

Re: Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Post by jasonl »

Disabling the DVR will not remove the recordings. Just don't uninstall the app, because that will.

PTSD
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:24 pm
Device ID: 1078183D

Re: Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Post by PTSD »

Thanks Jason. Please check my PM to you regarding an issue with my subscription that might preclude disabling recording.

PTSD
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:24 pm
Device ID: 1078183D

Re: Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Post by PTSD »

Thanks Jason for explaining that there is no need to mess with my Subscription settings. I was pretty certain that there was an option to "Use this device for making recordings" in the gear menu but I swear I couldn't find it when I first looked there. I finally saw it and just turned it OFF.

I now have a few recordings of Live TV running on my PC. In preliminary tests I am having no problems watching those recordings from the MeCool KM2 box. The recordings are still running on my PC and I will test watching them again from the MeCool after they complete.

PTSD
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:24 pm
Device ID: 1078183D

Re: Black screen with "Audio only", etc.

Post by PTSD »

On the MeCool KM2 I made repeated attempts at watching recordings made on my PC. Playback always worked as expected and it never got stuck on the black "Audio only" screen.

Something possibly related: After turning off recording on the MeCool and exiting HDHomeRun, I noticed after launching it again that there were two new options in the gear menu: "Video quality" and "Video quality (FHD)". Both were set to LOW. Those options were definitely NOT there prior to turning off recording.

I have "Early access to new features" turned ON and currently see "Version 20240116 (App) / 20240124a (UI) (beta)" in the lower right hand corner of the gear menu. Based on those dates, it doesn't seem that these Video Quality options were pushed down today. In any case I went ahead and switched both settings to their highest (HIGH and MEDIUM respectively).

I had to switch recording back to the MeCool box to prepare for a regularly scheduled recording this evening. After that I tried my best to get that black "Audio only" screen to come up via repeated launches of shows previously recorded on the MeCool box. Prior to this round of testing, just a few launches would bring up the black "Audio only" screen. This time it took about 20 launches before things went finally went south. I didn't get the black screen, but I did get playback stuck on a single frame of a specific show, no matter which recording I tried to watch.

After that playback freeze I exited HDHomeRun, launched it again, and checked the gear menu again. Those Video Quality settings have disappeared again(!)

Is problematic playback corrupting the settings, causing more playback issues?

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