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Can anyone from MS update me on the Silverlight bug with streaming WHS 2011 Video via a browser? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Can anyone from MS update me on where your at in regards to the bug with Silverlight & WHS 2011?

    The bug is listed as a known issue and that you are working on this, but this was posted in regards to VAIL beta.  I'm running the retail V and its still got the bug.  IS this going to be fixedf as this is quite a big feature i think.

    The bug im reffering to is when streamin video using the remote web access video library.  When playing a video it opens a player window but the aspect ratio is always 4:3 for every video when they should be 16:9.

    IS there any news on this as i cant stream videos on the go until this is resolved.

    see this thread, which i found that refers to an answer from MS:-

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-GB/whsvailbeta/thread/beecc499-d5bf-4e91-92bd-1d63dea51ac4

    thanks

    JK

    Saturday, July 30, 2011 4:26 AM

All replies

  • On Sat, 30 Jul 2011 04:26:51 +0000, bodgeup wrote:

    Can anyone from MS update me on where your at in regards to the bug with Silverlight & WHS 2011?

    As an FYI Microsoft really doesn't comment publicly on this type of thing
    so I wouldn't expect an answer to your question.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    How do I love thee?  My accumulator overflows.

    Saturday, July 30, 2011 5:15 AM
  • OK thanks for your reply. 

    Can i ask re other users of WHS 2011 having the same issue that im having?  Is there a work around?

    Thanks

     

    JK


    john d kenny
    Saturday, July 30, 2011 10:56 AM
  • In addition to Paul's reply, I'll also point out that the bug report in the linked thread states pretty clearly that the issue is with Silverlight. Since the HSBS team isn't responsible for Silverlight, you can read between the lines and conclude that you aren't going to get a response here, and the HSBS team isn't going to do anything to correct the issue because they can't, short of replacing the Silverlight player (and possibly Silverlight itself) with something else.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, July 30, 2011 12:01 PM
  • For what it's worth, I'm only seeing this aspect ratio bug with Media Center recorded TV content.  Other WMV and M4V/MP4 content that I've created in Expression Encoder and/or Handbrake streams correctly (and looks awesome) in the Silverlight player.  Therefore, I suspect this has something to do with anamorphic content that has not been "expanded" to the correct pixel dimensions.

    Until Microsoft fixes this, you could possibly try transcoding/remuxing to another format and/or container.  VideoRedo handles .WTV files nicely. Handbrake is a great choice for coverting to MP4/H.264.

    G

    Sunday, July 31, 2011 5:10 PM
  • I definitely have this issue with mp4s encoded with handbrake, since my entire media library was encoded with handbrake. Though as someone pointed out elsewhere, it seems to only happen when watching something encoded in 4:3 before watching something encoded in another AR. If you close all browser windows and then log back in and play the video it seems to work properly.
    • Proposed as answer by qMarc1 Saturday, December 22, 2012 9:44 AM
    Sunday, July 31, 2011 5:50 PM
  • Thanks Gary, can you tell me what format your video's were initially?  Then what formats/settings did use in MS Expressions Enc to create a compatible MP4 video?

    Its just my Video is already MPEG4 in H264 format, my audio is in AC3 6ch format.  Which are both compatible with the MP4 container, so shouldnt in in theory be able to just re-container my file to an MP4 Container?

    I have tried this but even though it resulted in a playable MP4 video, it wouldnt be indexed by the media libraries on my WHS server.

    Which is why i would like to hear how you did yours so i can try to copy your process.

    Thanks

    JK


    john d kenny
    Monday, August 1, 2011 12:42 PM
  • Thanks Gary, can you tell me what format your video's were initially?  Then what formats/settings did use in MS Expressions Enc to create a compatible MP4 video?

    Its just my Video is already MPEG4 in H264 format, my audio is in AC3 6ch format.  Which are both compatible with the MP4 container, so shouldnt in in theory be able to just re-container my file to an MP4 Container?

    I have tried this but even though it resulted in a playable MP4 video, it wouldnt be indexed by the media libraries on my WHS server.

    Which is why i would like to hear how you did yours so i can try to copy your process.

    Thanks

    JK


    john d kenny


    Hi John.  I just use Handbrake to encode to H.264 MP4(M4V) files.  (I will also set the anamorphic and detelecine/decomb options as needed).  You do need to be careful with the H.264 options, as some of the advanced settings will create files that cannot be played on some software. If you stick to the basic settings in the 'Normal' profile, things should be fine.

    The problem with your media files could be the audio stream.  Use of multichannel AC3 audio in the MP4/M4V container format is non-standard, and the files will not play back (or play without sound) in most Windows software.  What I do is create a primary AAC audio stream that is a mixdown to 2-channel Dolby Surround (which delivers a convincing enough surround experience with most surround receivers), and store the original AC-3 audio as a secondary "pass-thru" stream in the M4V container. This secondary stream is ignored by Windows Media Player, WMC, and Zune, but it is there for future use.  For these "primary" files which are played back in my home usinig WMC and on the Xbox, I use a high quality setting (video constant quality 18) and high-bit-rate audio. 

    From these files, I also create "secondary" files using the Handbrake batch tool for streaming to Windows Phone.  I use a constant video quality setting of 22, a single 2-channel AAC audio stream at 160Kbs, and a max width of 720 pixels (this is the largest dimension supported for native playback on Windows Phone).  These files also work wll on other mobile devices, such as iPhones and iPads.  This batch encoding is done on Windows Home Server (I have a 4-processor system with spare cycles). These files stream great to the phone using the Windows Server Solutions Phone Connector add-in for WHS.

    If you absolutely must have discreet surround for WMC playback, you cannot use an MP4 container.  Your only native alternative for Windows Media Center is WTV, which can handle H.264 and AC3, and you can remux from your MP4s to this container using VideoRedo.  (These files cannot be played back on an Xbox 360 Extender, however.)  If you are willing to deal with 3rd party codecs and plug-ins, there are also ways of getting MKV containers to play back in Windows Media Center and on the Xbox, but I dislike installing this stuff as I prefer my network to be as stable as possible.

    Hope this helps.

    Gary








    Monday, August 1, 2011 7:02 PM
  • Thanks Gary, can you tell me what format your video's were initially?  Then what formats/settings did use in MS Expressions Enc to create a compatible MP4 video?

    Its just my Video is already MPEG4 in H264 format, my audio is in AC3 6ch format.  Which are both compatible with the MP4 container, so shouldnt in in theory be able to just re-container my file to an MP4 Container?

    I have tried this but even though it resulted in a playable MP4 video, it wouldnt be indexed by the media libraries on my WHS server.

    Which is why i would like to hear how you did yours so i can try to copy your process.

    Thanks

    JK


    john d kenny


    Hi John.  I just use Handbrake to encode to H.264 MP4(M4V) files.  (I will also set the anamorphic and detelecine/decomb options as needed).  You do need to be careful with the H.264 options, as some of the advanced settings will create files that cannot be played on some software. If you stick to the basic settings in the 'Normal' profile, things should be fine.

    The problem with your media files could be the audio stream.  Use of multichannel AC3 audio in the MP4/M4V container format is non-standard, and the files will not play back (or play without sound) in most Windows software.  What I do is create a primary AAC audio stream that is a mixdown to 2-channel Dolby Surround (which delivers a convincing enough surround experience with most surround receivers), and store the original AC-3 audio as a secondary "pass-thru" stream in the M4V container. This secondary stream is ignored by Windows Media Player, WMC, and Zune, but it is there for future use.  For these "primary" files which are played back in my home usinig WMC and on the Xbox, I use a high quality setting (video constant quality 18) and high-bit-rate audio. 

    From these files, I also create "secondary" files using the Handbrake batch tool for streaming to Windows Phone.  I use a constant video quality setting of 22, a single 2-channel AAC audio stream at 160Kbs, and a max width of 720 pixels (this is the largest dimension supported for native playback on Windows Phone).  These files also work wll on other mobile devices, such as iPhones and iPads.  This batch encoding is done on Windows Home Server (I have a 4-processor system with spare cycles). These files stream great to the phone using the Windows Server Solutions Phone Connector add-in for WHS.

    If you absolutely must have discreet surround for WMC playback, you cannot use an MP4 container.  Your only native alternative for Windows Media Center is WTV, which can handle H.264 and AC3, and you can remux from your MP4s to this container using VideoRedo.  (These files cannot be played back on an Xbox 360 Extender, however.)  If you are willing to deal with 3rd party codecs and plug-ins, there are also ways of getting MKV containers to play back in Windows Media Center and on the Xbox, but I dislike installing this stuff as I prefer my network to be as stable as possible.

    Hope this helps.

    Gary








    Thanks again Gary,

    I will try MP4's again with AAC audio this time.  That could be the problem.  Im not too worried about the surround sound, i just want to be able to stream my video in the correct aspect ratio using WHS's Remote web site video library streaming feature.  I also dont want to have to do a long re-encode everytime i DL a new video, I only normally re-container them after downloading them to get them to play on my TV.

    Thanks for your time.

    JK


    john d kenny
    Tuesday, August 2, 2011 9:21 AM
  • All,

    I have ran into the same issue when tring to stream from my server at home. Something I have found is that the issue is not allways the same, sometimes I can open a video once and it is in the correct format. Other times it might take me opening it eight (literally) times to get the video to open in the 16:9 format.

    ** On a side note, can anyone shead any information why the video playback is grainy and crap???

    -=-Mark

    Friday, August 12, 2011 2:21 PM
  • ** On a side note, can anyone shead any information why the video playback is grainy and crap???

     

    Most likely this has to do with the streaming quality settings supported by your server processor.  You need a reasonably powerful CPU to support streaming / transcoding in highest quality (I believe MS suggests a CPU having  WEI score of 6.6).   

    I upgraded from an Atom DM510 based server to an AMD Phenom II x4 and quality is now fine.  See this article for some thoughts on CPU selection: http://www.wegotserved.com/2010/07/27/selecting-processor-windows-home-server-vail/

    Gary

    Friday, August 12, 2011 2:41 PM
  • Aspect ratio: There's been quite a bit of discussion about this. Some people think it's related to whether anamorphic video was ripped, expanded, and encoded in widescreen, or at 4:3 with the appropriate flags for widescreen playback. Some seem to have no problem until they play a 4:3 video, after which widescreen also plays at 4:3. And some, like me, don't understand why someone would want to stream video from my home server to a device I have on my person (like the smarphone in my pocket). If it's an issue in the Silverlight player, I suspect the HSBS team isn't going to be able to do much about it; the SilverLight player wasn't built by them.

    Video playback: When you say "grainy and crap" do you mean your video is downsampled for playback? Is your video being transcoded? If it is, you're dependent on your server's ability to transcode and stream in real time. If your server doesn't believe it has the CPU to transcode original resolution video, it will downsample to be able to meet streaming requirements. See this page in the online help for a little more information:

    http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/windowshomeserver2011/video-processors-2.aspx


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, August 12, 2011 2:47 PM
  • ** On a side note, can anyone shead any information why the video playback is grainy and crap???
    Are you streaming outside your home network? If so, this is probably a limitation of your upstream bandwidth.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Friday, August 12, 2011 3:22 PM
  • Aspect ratio: There's been quite a bit of discussion about this. Some people think it's related to whether anamorphic video was ripped, expanded, and encoded in widescreen, or at 4:3 with the appropriate flags for widescreen playback. Some seem to have no problem until they play a 4:3 video, after which widescreen also plays at 4:3. And some, like me, don't understand why someone would want to stream video from my home server to a device I have on my person (like the smarphone in my pocket). If it's an issue in the Silverlight player, I suspect the HSBS team isn't going to be able to do much about it; the SilverLight player wasn't built by them.

    Video playback: When you say "grainy and crap" do you mean your video is downsampled for playback? Is your video being transcoded? If it is, you're dependent on your server's ability to transcode and stream in real time. If your server doesn't believe it has the CPU to transcode original resolution video, it will downsample to be able to meet streaming requirements. See this page in the online help for a little more information:

    http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/windowshomeserver2011/video-processors-2.aspx


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    The reason I want to stream media from my home server is so that my Dad can watch our videos on his pc's a6t his work.  It is far simpler to do it this way so he doesnt have to transfer videos back and forth from an external storage device.  When using a PC as the streaming client i have found the video quality to be pretty good, but when it comes to videos with aspect ratios other than 4:3 we have a problem as the video becomes unwatchable.

    I have my WHS set to transcode at best quality and it seems to a good job.  It may be that it depends on your broadband or networks transmission rates that have effect on the quality?

     

    JK


    john d kenny
    Saturday, August 13, 2011 2:36 AM
  • I have posted my question on the Silverlight forums but haven't had as much feedback as i have had here.

    I recently looked at my MKV videos much more deeply and i noticed that the video stream doesnt not have the right Aspect ratio set on it, I just get 1:1.  Which is strange as when playing this video with my normal desktop player it detects the right aspect ratio.

    But anyway i am trying to find out if there is a way i can set the correct aspect ratio in the MKV container itself or on the H264 video stream itself?

    If anyone knows how i can achieve this please let me know?

    I see that a few people on this thread are having quality issues, I tried to replicate these myself and came to the conclusion that either the streaming quality setting in the WHS console server settings was set too low or the video is being streamed over a low bandwidth connection.  I have my setting set to best but Ive not personally had issues when streaming over the internet as i have Virgins' 100meg BB service that gives me 10meg upload.  Have the users in question tried streaming over there LAN, to see if this makes a difference?

    Thanks

    JK


    john d kenny
    Saturday, August 13, 2011 2:44 AM
  • Has this problem been solved already?
    Friday, July 27, 2012 3:25 PM
  • I doubt it, since I've encountered this issue just now.  Been looking into it, and I've got a few results that unfortunately I don't know enough about to know whether they're right.

    For demonstration purposes, I've ripped a preview of a DVD using Handbrake's "Normal" profile.  I haven't changed any of the defaults, and Handbrake generates a 30 second clip at around 5mb.  It's a UK PAL DVD.

    Handbrake lists the Source size as 720x576 and a display size of 1024x572 on the Normal profile

    If I open this file in VLC, it plays fine.  If I use the snapshot function of VLC and load the created PNG file in Photoshop, I get an image of 1024x572.

    If I put the video on to my server, go on to the web interface and select it in the video area, Home Server lists the dimensions of 720x572.

    Playing it over Home Server plays it in a square box, looking close to 4:3.  Taking a screenshot of that and cropping the window out looks like it's about 370 x 300 (although it's a bit of a rough crop).

    As a side issue, copying the file onto my Android Mobile cites the file's resolution as 720x572.  It plays fine, and a snapshot of that creates an image of 1024x572.

    I don't know whether Handbrake is creating a file that has multiple specs listed, and Silverlight / WHS is reading a different file spec, but I thought that posting some findings here might help somebody isolate the issue (I'm assuming that it's with Silverlight, as people have specified).

    Wednesday, October 3, 2012 9:27 AM
  • Hi There! I've a short question..whs 2011 media library mkv files show up so i can see in the local computer,but when i want to play it on the web, the silverlight show error:An error has occurred on the server. Please try again later. If the error continues, view http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=179234worth "fighting" with this error? Or it is resloved?

    Thnx.


    Monday, October 8, 2012 2:40 PM
  • Hi i resolved my question,i installed the server side this sharky007 32 and 64 bit codec packs. A restart and working with no error(mkv video) in the silverlight.

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012 1:57 PM