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[Recommendation] Develop a Video Player for the Apple TV 4 (tvOS)

timstephens24timstephens24 Posts: 373Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

While I generally like the idea to use native players (since we get app support for Plex extremely quickly), it's been shown (successfully) that developing your own video player will immensely enhance the playability of movies and TV shows on the Apple TV 4.

I think focusing the development for the Apple TV app to use it's own video player we would be able to get Direct Play playback for DTS/Dolby, subtitles, and high frame rate videos. With the current native player on the Apple TV this isn't possible, but a player developed for the Apple TV can be built that will play all of these files extremely well.

I understand it could take a little while to do, but I think the quality of the product would be enhanced drastically.

Denon X4200W 5.2.4 --> LG OLED65C6P
Apple TV 4K -- Channels App for TV+DVR
HDHomeRun Prime (x2) // HDHomeRun Connect
NVIDIA SHIELD Pro // Intel NUC D54250WYK // XB1X // PS4
============= SYNOLOGY DS1815+ DS513 =============

timstephens24

«134

Answers

  • niko34niko34 Posts: 46Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I vote for that. I realized after buying my ATV that it was completely useless to me. Just because Plex cannot passthrough dts audio to my AV receiver....
    I don't know how it would be difficult to use mpv player for the apple tv app, but please guys, think about it.

  • DavisNLDavisNL Posts: 663Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Would be cool if the developers commented on this so we could at least have clarity. The "just use Infuse" responses are becoming tiring to see in every thread. I'm appreciative of others trying to help fellow Plex users out, but Infuse is not Plex. Many of us would much rather see a Plex solution to this than abandon all the work we've done creating our libraries in Plex, and Infuse can't even hold a candle to Plex on this.

  • timstephens24timstephens24 Posts: 373Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited December 2015

    @mudasir.k said:

    You guys may want to try Infuse player, lots of good things written about it by other ATV4 users on here.

    While appreciate the post, I don't want to talk about what other specific apps can or can't do, since this is the Plex forums. I would like to keep it to recommendations for the Plex team to consider.

    Denon X4200W 5.2.4 --> LG OLED65C6P
    Apple TV 4K -- Channels App for TV+DVR
    HDHomeRun Prime (x2) // HDHomeRun Connect
    NVIDIA SHIELD Pro // Intel NUC D54250WYK // XB1X // PS4
    ============= SYNOLOGY DS1815+ DS513 =============

    timstephens24

  • kinoCharlinokinoCharlino Posts: 1,511Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Employee

    @DavisNL said:
    Would be cool if the developers commented on this so we could at least have clarity. The "just use Infuse" responses are becoming tiring to see in every thread. I'm appreciative of others trying to help fellow Plex users out, but Infuse is not Plex. Many of us would much rather see a Plex solution to this than abandon all the work we've done creating our libraries in Plex, and Infuse can't even hold a candle to Plex on this.

    Amen to that! This has my vote. Infuse is a great effort, but its a completely different product and while it has some features that Plex doesn't have, it lacks many features that make Plex a complete solution. I would also prefer to have fewer devices connected to get the job done. Apple TV can be that one device, and it comes at a lower price point than an Intel NUC. One device, one remote, Plex, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc. Simple.

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  • braintumorbraintumor Posts: 97Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited December 2015

    100% agree... This would make the ATV the ultimate plex player and solve a lot of problems, since a lot of issues raised in the forums are regarding transcoding issues (or not able to directplay)!

    Maybe offering a sort of "Plex Pro" version for a couple of $$$ with an external video player that can be licensed could be a solution. I think a lot of people are willing to pay for it, looking at how good the Infuse Pro app is doing in the ATV appstore.

  • zerolim1tzerolim1t Posts: 411Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    same here! this would be amazing!!!!

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  • Bas PostBas Post Posts: 113Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @braintumor said:
    100% agree... This would make the ATV the ultimate plex player and solve a lot of problems, since a lot of issues raised in the forums are regarding transcoding issues (or not able to directplay)!

    Maybe offering a sort of "Plex Pro" version for a couple of $$$ with an external video player that can be licensed could be a solution. I think a lot of people are willing to pay for it, looking at how good the Infuse Pro app is doing in the ATV appstore.

    +1
    I definitely would pay for these "extra" features. I would really like to have support for DD and DTS and the HD Audio codecs, even if I would have to pay for it

    Proud to be BALD!

  • kinoCharlinokinoCharlino Posts: 1,511Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Employee

    @braintumor said:
    100% agree... This would make the ATV the ultimate plex player and solve a lot of problems, since a lot of issues raised in the forums are regarding transcoding issues (or not able to directplay)!

    Maybe offering a sort of "Plex Pro" version for a couple of $$$ with an external video player that can be licensed could be a solution. I think a lot of people are willing to pay for it, looking at how good the Infuse Pro app is doing in the ATV appstore.

    +1 here, too. I would pay a reasonable extra price for more functionality while keeping it simple on the Apple TV.

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  • kinoCharlinokinoCharlino Posts: 1,511Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Employee
    edited December 2015

    I would like to be able to playback VC-1 without transcoding. Maybe there's a license option for that as well. Another item I would be willing to pay something extra to get in Plex for Apple TV.

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  • braintumorbraintumor Posts: 97Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @Cinéma-Lumière said:
    I would like to be able to playback VC-1 without transcoding. Maybe there's a license option for that as well. Another item I would be willing to pay something extra to get in Plex for Apple TV.

    I believe if Plex would commit to adapt the ATV Plex player or create a paid "Plex Pro" version to support an external video player (built by plex or licensed), nearly anything can be possible as long as the ATV hardware is able to handle it.

    Would just be nice to hear something from Plex at some point, just to know which direction we are headed with the official ATV player.

  • GethsemaneGethsemane Posts: 26Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Another vote for a plex player. As many other users I'm running the Plex Server on a NAS but it is just too slow for many transcoding tasks. The result is, that many files cannot be played on ATV. I'm willing to pay up to 20$ for an ATV Plex Player which plays any file locally.

  • Lappen71Lappen71 Posts: 171Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    After testing other mediaplayers that has it´s own player i realized it´s not easy to make it.
    They all has some kind of irritating bugs,stuttering playback or missing features.
    With the newest update for tvOS and PMS CPU usage dropped from 300-400% to just 30-100% when using subtitles.
    Som for me personally now i´m happy how thing works.

  • braintumorbraintumor Posts: 97Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @Lappen71 said:
    After testing other mediaplayers that has it´s own player i realized it´s not easy to make it.
    They all has some kind of irritating bugs,stuttering playback or missing features.
    With the newest update for tvOS and PMS CPU usage dropped from 300-400% to just 30-100% when using subtitles.
    Som for me personally now i´m happy how thing works.

    You are right that the update is a step forward, but I think a lot of folks here are forgetting that there are people like me that have possibly multiple playbacks at the same time on multiple plex players.
    This is the whole idea behind the server/client concept of plex with the centralized content database/server!

    So if the NAS with the update is now able just to get the video running with real-time transcoding, that will mean when somebody else in our household starts a movie that also needs transcoding its game over again and we are back to the same old problems.

    There needs to be a sustainable solution to this problem that plex has and I think an affordable client that is able to locally transcode the commonly used video AND audio codecs is the solution!
    I believe the ATV4 is the nearly the perfect platform to be that affordable client a lot of us needs...

    If the plex team doesn't move in this direction, I believe it will be just a question of time until a 3rd party developer like Simple X will create/release a plex client with a ffmpeg player that can handle most files locally.

  • coz2001coz2001 Posts: 284Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I vote for this to, I just can't help thinking why did Plex make their own player for iOS and not for ATV4.

    On iOS you still can't direct play MKV, FLAC and the list goes on you even can't play ALAC which seems kind of odd since it apples own codec, anybody know why they made these choices?

  • oriolisoriolis Posts: 78Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @coz2001 said:
    I vote for this to, I just can't help thinking why did Plex make their own player for iOS and not for ATV4.

    On iOS you still can't direct play MKV, FLAC and the list goes on you even can't play ALAC which seems kind of odd since it apples own codec, anybody know why they made these choices?

    Plex for iOS doesn't have their own player.

  • coz2001coz2001 Posts: 284Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Don't know why I got the impression of the other.

  • detzdetz Posts: 110Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    You guys are missing the point of Plex and why it's powerful. By moving all of these nuances to the server you can have light way simple clients like the Apple TV. This is why Plex has a client on every device because they're simple, the server does the heavy lifting. Plex can play any media file it just has to be transcoded depending on what the client wants. Besides DTS passthrough I see nothing wrong with the apple tv player and even DTS isn't that big of a deal, I doubt most people could tell the difference anyway.

  • EdPentelowEdPentelow Posts: 94Members ✭✭

    @detz said:
    You guys are missing the point of Plex and why it's powerful. By moving all of these nuances to the server you can have light way simple clients like the Apple TV. This is why Plex has a client on every device because they're simple, the server does the heavy lifting. Plex can play any media file it just has to be transcoded depending on what the client wants. Besides DTS passthrough I see nothing wrong with the apple tv player and even DTS isn't that big of a deal, I doubt most people could tell the difference anyway.

    Yeah, but what I think people are getting at is that the server no longer needs to do the heavy lifting. I 100% get that if you're using an old Chromecast or something, but the Apple TV 4 isn't really lightweight. It's powerful enough to transcode and is a fraction of the cost of the server I was running PMS on.

  • detzdetz Posts: 110Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @EdPentelow said:

    @detz said:
    You guys are missing the point of Plex and why it's powerful. By moving all of these nuances to the server you can have light way simple clients like the Apple TV. This is why Plex has a client on every device because they're simple, the server does the heavy lifting. Plex can play any media file it just has to be transcoded depending on what the client wants. Besides DTS passthrough I see nothing wrong with the apple tv player and even DTS isn't that big of a deal, I doubt most people could tell the difference anyway.

    Yeah, but what I think people are getting at is that the server no longer needs to do the heavy lifting. I 100% get that if you're using an old Chromecast or something, but the Apple TV 4 isn't really lightweight. It's powerful enough to transcode and is a fraction of the cost of the server I was running PMS on.

    But that's the minority, most players (roku, fire tv, phones) can't do that so why would/should plex spend their time optimizing for a single use case? I'd much rather them focus on features and creating a great product for every client (in case people switch) than putting time and effort in "fixing" the Apple TV.

  • timstephens24timstephens24 Posts: 373Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited December 2015

    @detz said:
    You guys are missing the point of Plex and why it's powerful. By moving all of these nuances to the server you can have light way simple clients like the Apple TV. This is why Plex has a client on every device because they're simple, the server does the heavy lifting. Plex can play any media file it just has to be transcoded depending on what the client wants. Besides DTS passthrough I see nothing wrong with the apple tv player and even DTS isn't that big of a deal, I doubt most people could tell the difference anyway.

    You're missing the point of this. Plex would still be powerful, but less work would need to be done by the server that's running Plex, allowing people with weaker processors to be able to use Plex. No transcoding would be needed for any file, which also means we get better quality picture and sound. Just because you don't see anything wrong doesn't mean other people have no issues.

    Here's a few:
    Dropped frames and video stuttering on high bitrate files.
    Fast forward and rewind cause the video playback to be stopped.
    VOSUB and PGS subtitles still need burned in.
    Frame-packed MKV's don't even play at all unless you force transcoding.
    Anything not DD 5.1 needs transcoded.

    While it's great that you can play all of your files and you don't notice a difference between DTS and the transcoded output, the same can't be said for everyone. Also not everyone is running a powerful server 24/7. I have one that I could run, but I don't want to waste the power running it when I have a Synology that could be my main server if transcoding isn't required.

    Again, it's been shown by other apps that these improvements are definitely possible, and provide a much better experience, if the Plex team would build a video player for the Apple TV. This would give us the best of both worlds. I love Plex. The interface is great, and the server is great. The client on the Apple TV just needs some work.

    @detz said:
    But that's the minority, most players (roku, fire tv, phones) can't do that so why would/should plex spend their time optimizing for a single use case? I'd much rather them focus on features and creating a great product for every client (in case people switch) than putting time and effort in "fixing" the Apple TV.

    They have different developers working on different areas and handle the improvements to the server, web app, and different clients. This wouldn't detract from them developing new features and improvements for the different clients/products.

    Denon X4200W 5.2.4 --> LG OLED65C6P
    Apple TV 4K -- Channels App for TV+DVR
    HDHomeRun Prime (x2) // HDHomeRun Connect
    NVIDIA SHIELD Pro // Intel NUC D54250WYK // XB1X // PS4
    ============= SYNOLOGY DS1815+ DS513 =============

    timstephens24

«134
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