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Plex on Amazon Fire TV doesn't play MKV

zementizementi Posts: 8Members
edited November 2014 in Android TV & Amazon Fire TV

Dear Plex-community,

 

I installed the Plex-Server on my Sinology DS212j-NAS and a amazon Fire TV in order to watch my media on TV.

 

Thing is, it will *only* play .mp4-files. When trying to play another format (i.e. .mkv) I get the following error-message: "It is not possible to play this video as no connection to the required Server could be found."

 

I am far from being an IT-expert, but to me this error-message doesn't make sense as the connection to the server is definetly established. So I guess there is another problem with respect to the file-format...

 

Confusingly (or not??), any file is being played without problem on my mac via the "Plex home theater"-app from the same source (Sinology-NAS).

 

Having made lots of research with no result, I am getting impatient as I would love to get Plex to work. You may be my last resort of help!

 

I hope that this pretty basic information is sufficient. Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • BigWheelBigWheel Posts: 8,474Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Employee

    That error message could definitely be improved, but your NAS cannot transcode which it would need to do to play the formats/codecs the fire TV does not support natively via HLS streaming.

  • zementizementi Posts: 8Members

    Thanks for the quick reply! Which means... I need another NAS?? 

  • BigWheelBigWheel Posts: 8,474Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Employee
    zementi wrote on November 5 2014, 8:23 PM: »

    Thanks for the quick reply! Which means... I need another NAS?? 

    or convert your files to mp4 with h264 video and AAC audio

    here is more info on NAS and which has a compatibility list of NASs that plex can be installed which includes details on which can transcode or not

    https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/sections/200286217-NAS-Devices

  • jmjlewisjmjlewis Posts: 1Members
    edited November 2014

    Changing the following settings on the Amazon Fire TV Plex App allowed me to play mkv files.

    Plex > Options > Settings > Device media profile > Media profile > Select "Force Direct Play".

    Then uncheck all the "Device supports ???" options.

  • Bert822Bert822 Posts: 9Members
    jmjlewis wrote on November 27 2014, 7:01 PM: »

    Changing the following settings on the Amazon Fire TV Plex App allowed me to play mkv files.

    Plex > Options > Settings > Device media profile > Media profile > Select "Force Direct Play".

    Then uncheck all the "Device supports ???" options.

    This method got it to play but no sound....(amazon fire stick)

  • kingargylekingargyle Posts: 558Members ✭✭

    If you force it to Direct Play, and it is an MKV with AC3 audio, you won't get sound.  You can direct play MKV's with AAC audio though.   Honestly your best bet if you can't transcode, is to use an External player with the app, or as was previously suggested re-encode all your content to MP4 with AAC audio.

  • Demerzel80Demerzel80 Posts: 15Members

    If i dont care about sound that much. only picture quality, and playing lots of mkvs, what settings should i have on the plex app in the AFTV?

  • jmckeejmckee Posts: 4,325Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    Demerzel80 wrote on December 27 2014, 12:23 PM: »

    If i dont care about sound that much. only picture quality, and playing lots of mkvs, what settings should i have on the plex app in the AFTV?

    The answer is going to depend a lot on what video codec you have as well.  Typically if it is h264 the Plex app is going to remux the file from mkv to mpegts which causes no quality loss as the video/audio arn't changing.  One thing to make sure is that you adjust the local quality setting from within the plex app I don't remember what it defaults to, but it was unecessarily transcoding my videos to a lower quality to hit the local quality mark.

    when using the Plex app I simply let it remux the containers and transcode the audio as needed to play through the FireTV.  If there is something I really want full quality and full surround on (Like my bluray rips), I will then switch to Serenity/XBMC.

  • Demerzel80Demerzel80 Posts: 15Members
    J_McKee wrote on December 27 2014, 1:36 PM: »

    The answer is going to depend a lot on what video codec you have as well.  Typically if it is h264 the Plex app is going to remux the file from mkv to mpegts which causes no quality loss as the video/audio arn't changing.  One thing to make sure is that you adjust the local quality setting from within the plex app I don't remember what it defaults to, but it was unecessarily transcoding my videos to a lower quality to hit the local quality mark.

    when using the Plex app I simply let it remux the containers and transcode the audio as needed to play through the FireTV.  If there is something I really want full quality and full surround on (Like my bluray rips), I will then switch to Serenity/XBMC.

    Thanks

    You mean to set it to a higer bitrate in the app than in the server settings?

  • jmckeejmckee Posts: 4,325Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    Demerzel80 wrote on December 27 2014, 1:39 PM: »

    Thanks

    You mean to set it to a higer bitrate in the app than in the server settings?

    The server settings only affect the web manager player.  The section says player, but it only is for the web player and the options there will change a little depending on which browser you are currently using as well (Firefox vs chrome).

    You just need to make sure that the local setting on the app itself is higher than the files bitrate.  You can access it from the settings or while a video is playing.  You shouldn't run into issues until you start passing 20Mbps as the FireTV has a hard limit there for the default player.

  • Demerzel80Demerzel80 Posts: 15Members

    ah, great tnx!

  • cherry198810cherry198810 Posts: 5Members ✭✭

    A little searching turns up the solution. Actually, Plex on the Amazon Fire TV does indeed deliver DD 5.1 sound with MP4 files. The problem continues to be with MKVs. Amazon Fire TV can’t support MKV files especially encoded with DTS. A practical way is to convert MKV files to MP4 with H.26 video and AAC audio for Amazon Fire TV streaming via Plex Media Server. 

  • JuiceWSAJuiceWSA Posts: 2,105Members ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2015

    Xmedia Recode and a few minutes per file and away you go.

    The controls are fairly easy to grasp - I'm doing it, can't be that hard, but the jist of it is:

    Change container to MP4, 'Copy' the video, 'Convert' the audio - happens in a few minutes (under 2).

    I'm now an Advanced Master (lol) and can maintain the AC3 track while creating a new AAC track in under two minutes. Everything direct plays, but that AC3 track is there in case something happens down the road and I can actually use it for something.

    http://www.xmedia-recode.de/en/download.html

    (hot tip: maintain your originals - at least until you reach Zen Master - Advanced Master had to recode a few from disk... Dooop!)

    All my files are (way) less than 5000kbps, so I picked 10Mbps for AFTV's quality setting - good to go. You'll find the happy spot with your stick.

  • jmckeejmckee Posts: 4,325Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    ACraigo wrote on April 1 2015, 7:38 AM: »

    Xmedia Recode and a few minutes per file and away you go.

    The controls are fairly easy to grasp - I'm doing it, can't be that hard, but the jist of it is:

    Change container to MP4, 'Copy' the video, 'Convert' the audio - happens in a few minutes (under 2).

    I'm now an Advanced Master (lol) and can maintain the AC3 track while creating a new AAC track in under two minutes. Everything direct plays, but that AC3 track is there in case something happens down the road and I can actually use it for something.

    http://www.xmedia-recode.de/en/download.html

    (hot tip: maintain your originals - at least until you reach Zen Master - Advanced Master had to recode a few from disk... Dooop!)

    All my files are (way) less than 5000kbps, so I picked 10Mbps for AFTV's quality setting - good to go. You'll find the happy spot with your stick.

    If you put the AC3 track first the FireTV should be able to still direct play those mp4's.  It's only when the file needs to be transcoded/remuxed that it has trouble.  (And if the AC3 track isn't first the file gets remuxed which leads back to the original file).

    When I was encoding for the FireTV I always had the AC3 5.1 track first and then a 2 Channel AAC 2nd.  That way if the first one didn't work I could simply switch to the 2nd audio source and still watch the movie.

  • JuiceWSAJuiceWSA Posts: 2,105Members ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2015

    I've got a Roku2HD to gum up the works, but my AAC track is first, AC3 second. As long as the setting allows AAC and restricts AC3 no matter where the AAC track is it gets picked - apparently... all my Roku direct plays also direct play on Fire. I'm pretty sure that's the way it went, but I'm boxing up the Fire for a replacement pickup and can't check, due to that pesky issue nobody wants to tackle below.

    At any rate my encoding habits put AAC first, AC3 second and it worked.

    Xmedia Recode can put those things in whatever order you want - fast.

  • Alexwhite517Alexwhite517 Posts: 12Members

     And the MKV is just one of the container formats, the reall working thing is the inner codec, you can download some codec package or if you don't want to bother this, you can try some converter, like Handbrake, but the 5.1 may not well preserved. And this article teach you now to playback 5.1 video on HDX-1000 network media player, this may shed some light on you.

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