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HEVC support in Apple-TV (Gen 4) app

igloiglo Posts: 15Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

Hi,

Does the Plex app for 4th gen apple TV support direct play of HEVC/x265 encoded files? If not, is it planned and is it possible at all?

-iglo

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Answers

  • wi.tomwi.tom Posts: 15Members ✭✭

    Not sure but does the ATV4 Hardware support HVEC/x265? I thought only H264 is supported...

  • igloiglo Posts: 15Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I can just transcode HEVC files on my NAS. But those are still low bitrate. That is the reason for my question. My TV have HEVC support though, so I think I have to switch over to some plex client on that device instead.

  • hackztor@gmail.comhackztor@gmail.com Posts: 485Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    When will people learn, Apple products almost never have the most current technology until the next device. They have a good business model on making money not to benefit the consumer. No 4k = no hevc (h265). That will be next year for the Apple TV. Meanwhile you can get a roku, new firetv or Nvidia Shield. You want the best streamer the Nvidia Shield has all the HD audio and 24 frame that the audio/video philes want (It will cost you however). I tried it but returned it because of the price. If they offered ability to sell it for lower price without any remote or provide an option to switch from the gaming remote to the streaming remote I would of kept it.
    Also FYI, transcoding H265 KILLS CPUS. Even a haswell i7 will do about 3 streams of h265. By the time I had 4 streams it was 100% cpu constant and 5th stream killed Plex server process.

  • jamauaijamauai Posts: 123Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @minbo said:
    If Apple includes a h.265 codec and goes with a HEVC Advanced license, then they would have to pay anywhere from $1.10 to $1.975 per apple tv and $0.80 to $1.50 per iPhone retroactively.

    Then why don't they just charge $2 extra for an Apple TV or iPhone? Extremely small fee from the customer's POV.

  • zerolim1tzerolim1t Posts: 407Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    would be nice if Plex did what infusion4 is doing! creating their own player

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  • wildkenywildkeny Posts: 206Members ✭✭

    The real issue is most people who encode HEVC ain't have any idea what they are doing, which makes average HEVC encodes no better if not worse than any h264 encodes.

  • spikemixturespikemixture Posts: 1,369Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited February 2016

    Interesting posts and I agree with most. I have a roku 3 and 4, nvidia shield and apple tv4. Streaming from a big synology NAS.
    I am retired a love playing with these things...

    As stated roku and shield have no problem with h265.
    The apple tv runs my nuc i5 plex server at 100% and buffers to the point of "why bother"
    And my Samsung tv works the i5 hard with same result as ATV
    The plex interface on all are different and I have yet to decide my favourite as all have different ways of getting to your media.

    I would like to make all my new media h265 but then that would exclude using the ATV4.
    I currently convert all to h264 aac mp4 which pretty much gets them to play on everything.

    Plex related : NAS Synology 1817+ & 1815+, 3x NUC (Skull i7, i5 & i3), Drobo 5N and 2 Nvidia Shields - 2017 and 2015 Pros
    Client hardware used or using - Shield 2015 (pro and 16gb) and 2017 pro, ATV4, Xbox 360 and one, Fire stick and TV, windows PMP, Raspberry PI, Roku Stick and 3 and 4 plus several Android Phones and Tablets.

    I give MY opinion from MY experience!

    So much importance is put on the processing power of your PMS box.
    I say equal or more should be put on correctly formatting and optimizing your media !

  • critter13critter13 Posts: 3Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    The new AppleTV hardware technically has h265 support. FaceTime on the iPhone 6 and newer uses h265. But Apple will have to flip the switch to allow that support, but from a hardware standpoint the capability is there.

  • critter13critter13 Posts: 3Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @critter13 said:
    The new AppleTV hardware technically has h265 support. FaceTime on the iPhone 6 and newer uses h265. But Apple will have to flip the switch to allow that support, but from a hardware standpoint the capability is there.

    just saw minbo's post re: the h265 capability

  • StPatty33StPatty33 Posts: 47Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited July 2016

    Hate to resurrect a dead post, but after 5 years of 264, I just switched to 265 a couple weeks ago, and my ATV4 plays my 265 videos as "Direct Play", not transcoding. It appears that switch has been flipped.

    I have to say it's pretty nice having file sizes 1/3 what they would be w/264, and at comparable quality.

  • zerolim1tzerolim1t Posts: 407Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    i will test it out! thank you!

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  • micdahmicdah Posts: 11Members ✭✭

    I experienced this issue with playing a h.265 video file via Plex, as it tried to transcode (my Plex server is running on a Synology box, so cannot keep up with a transcode).

    But using VLC on the Apple TV 4, I can play the file just fine - seems the hardware is capable.

    Will there be an update to the Plex app, to use Direct Play for h.265 as well?

  • WunderwallyWunderwally Posts: 405Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    The ATV4 can't direct play h265. Apps like VLC use their own videoplayer which transcodes the videos using software. Plex uses the Apple "standard" player.

  • igloiglo Posts: 15Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @StPatty33 said:
    Hate to resurrect a dead post, but after 5 years of 264, I just switched to 265 a couple weeks ago, and my ATV4 plays my 265 videos as "Direct Play", not transcoding. It appears that switch has been flipped.

    I have to say it's pretty nice having file sizes 1/3 what they would be w/264, and at comparable quality.

    I have to try this today! If it works, this will be go-to going forward.

  • zerolim1tzerolim1t Posts: 407Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    doesn't work with me. Anyone here have it working?

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  • Lappen71Lappen71 Posts: 165Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @iglo said:

    @StPatty33 said:
    Hate to resurrect a dead post, but after 5 years of 264, I just switched to 265 a couple weeks ago, and my ATV4 plays my 265 videos as "Direct Play", not transcoding. It appears that switch has been flipped.

    I have to say it's pretty nice having file sizes 1/3 what they would be w/264, and at comparable quality.

    I have to try this today! If it works, this will be go-to going forward.

    It´s impossible. ATV4 doesn't support x265

  • amadiganamadigan Posts: 6Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    For anyone who's still wondering about this, I can confirm that VLC will play an H265 file on the Apple TV, but Plex will transcode it. Specifically:

    • If you try to play an H265 video using VLC over SMB, the video will play
    • If you use Plex's DLNA server and connect VLC to it, the video will also play without transcoding
    • It doesn't appear that there's any way to have Plex 'beam' video to VLC like it can to the Plex app
    • If you use a different DLNA client (I used LocalCast) the video won't play
    • If you try to play the video directly in Plex it will transcode. If your machine is powerful enough, that's fine. Otherwise, it will just buffer until you give up.

    Kind of annoying for me because I'm in the process of transcoding my library to H265 to save space. The job is still in progress but so far the files are averaging half the size with a q-value of 27. I've tried watching the videos side-by-side and can't see the difference. I'm using the nvidia encoder via ffmpeg. I also bought the WD Passport Pro, which runs Plex, and WILL transcode, but it's only powerful enough transcode SD video from H265 to H264, throw 1080p content at it and it just won't play.

    Really unfortunate, I love Plex's media browser, but it looks like when I'm on the road I'll be using plain DLNA.

  • ClemsterClemster Posts: 3Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I have been having an issue where I am running a heavy beefy Plex Server. It is a dual intel zeon server with 48gb ram running Sever 2012 R2 and when playing from Plex to apple TV it is running at 99% on the CPU!! In fact this happens when it is playing to ANY Plex application or Plex Media player on a PC.

    My media files are all H.265 in a MKV container and are between 3.5 - 9GB in size. I have done some experiments where I have played exactly the same files either direct from the folder on the server to a PC (Windows 10, Core i7 and 16 GB ram) and using VLC where there was no increase in CPU loading. It didn't budge. Play the same file via the Plex server to a Plex client(PC or Apple TV) then it murders the CPU ,normally at 99% so much so that in some cases it has rebooted the server. I cannot how I try get the Plex server to just direct play and save the CPU. This is because it has to transcode.

    So, reading earlier content on this forum I have conducted the same experiment but this time with VLC loaded on my Apple TV Gen 4 (it being the weaker device). Again I played the same blue ray file that was encoded with H.265 in an MKV container. The Plex app on the Apple TV made the CPU run at 99% on the server. However, when I played it via the VLC app on my Apple TV but again using the Plex server as the source, it didn't make the CPU budge. It was static at around 13%. Just to add some controversy as well, I did the same via KODI on my PC. I told Kodi to play from the Plex Server and saw no increase at all in CPU load.

    The conclusion is this. The Apple TV Gen 4 has the horsepower to play the files fine and it works just great. My Plex server is sat here nearly idle whilst doing so with no issues whatsoever.

    To solve the problem Plex now need to build in the HEVC H.265 software as VLC have done so that the server does not need to transcode. As we move to the new gen of codecs (no longer next Gen) this now needs to be part of the build structure of ALL Plex clients.

    Plex looks great but they are now being overtaken by lesser in my mind media players and to my eyes are seen as unreliable when the apps cant play content that is on their own server. Other platforms have done it with no issues at all. Don't rely on Apple to come to the rescue as they have lost the plot and cant/wont innovate. It is clear that if VLC can run H.265 on an Apple tv with no issues then Plex should be able to.

    That would solve a few issues for people. It seems to be sloppy and lazy coding here guys. Come on, you are much better than that.

    This is what my server looks like. It isn't slow or underpowerd so the fault is not here.

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