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Why won't my Plex App's direct play h265 (HEVC)?

I've been using Plex for a while now, but I've hit a bit of a snag.
My library was always in x264, however recently I started converting it all to x265 (HEVC).

The problem is that Plex apps, such as on my Galaxy S7, Galaxy Tab A, and even my gaming PC, refuse to play in x265. All of these devices are well capable of playing x265, and even play them flawlessly when I physically put the copy on to the device and play it through an x265 capable media player.

I've set all of them to Direct Play but they are still being transcoded to x264, which given that my server is only a dual core, makes buffering quite laggy.

I've even paid for the Plex Pass on my tablet because I read about the N&I Plex Media Player, which supposedly has native support for x265. Even if I open Plex on my tablet, beam it to my TV that's running Plex for Opera, it still transcodes.

I am at an absolute loss as to why this is happening and it's making my TV watching very painful.


  • fetlock-plexfetlock-plex Posts: 60Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Your question was in March --- and no one has bothered to answer?

    I am using NVidia Shield ... which ... according to :

    "which supports 4K H.265 (HEVC) and VP9 video streams at a fast 60 fps refresh rate – making SHIELD fully HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 compliant. "

    When I played a HEVC video -- my i7 3.3Ghz went to 100% CPU ... transcoding the video and direct streaming the audio. I would have expected (wanted, desired) direct play.

    So ... what am I missing as my client is supposed to support it?

  • fetlock-plexfetlock-plex Posts: 60Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    just figured out ..

    1 - I was in a Smart TV forum ... I just searched and got here from the search... so I am in the wrong category
    2 - I found the Android TV group and someone else had similar issues. While reading their write up I had an interesting idea -- and checked. My old server couldn't keep up - so I topped out my video in my Android TV app at 10Mbs 1080p .. instead of Original. As soon as I switched to Original ... I am now in direct play

    and ... OMGoodness... the eye candy goodness... I thought I was watching 4K before .. and was embarrassed to say it kinda looked better. NOW that I am watching 4K... I can tell you. There IS a difference. Wow.

    Sorry your TV cannot do it. But - having spent that money ... perhaps NVidia Shield is something to consider?
    And the latest blog says they will have PMS for it soon (I don't think it is out yet)... not too sure what that means compared to my current setup ... but hey -- something to try.

  • ClemsterClemster Posts: 3Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I have a similar issue. I have a dual xeon E5504, 48gb ram server and all of my content is H.265 and in a MKV container. No matter what client I use (PC and Apple TV Gen4) the server transcodes every time. The server CPU's are then at 100% and this is madness. If I use KODI as a client, the CPU's on the server don't even move, use the Plex app or client and bang 100%. Plex now need to move to a position for direct play with H.265. We should be in a position where my PC, a Core i7 with 16 Gb ram should be able to play these files under their own horsepower. It does fantastically with other media players just not plex. It doesn't need the help of transcoding.

    Do we know if Plex are likely to bring this anytime soon?

  • wmadoss@hotmail.comwmadoss@hotmail.com Posts: 27Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    No transcoding for me with hevcfiles and my samsung smart tv 2016 or with plex kodi plugin.

  • frgglfrggl Posts: 4Members ✭✭

    Chromecast Ultra HEVC / h.265 directplay is not supported yet, but @Clmcm400 made it work by editing the chromecast.xml config file. More info for who's struggling with this: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1383957/#Comment_1383957

  • UFOGoldorakUFOGoldorak Posts: 6Members ✭✭
    edited May 2017

    I am having the same issue. I downloaded this sample 1 minute clip 4ksamples.com/elysium-2013-2160p-1-minute-sample-footage/ and I'm trying to get it direct play to a KS9800 Samsung set but I keep getting a conversion failed needed codec could not be found. The mkv lives on a Mac mini Plex server. I can drop the clip on a USB stick plugged into the tv hub and it plays fine. What am I missing here?

    EDIT: I just installed kodi on the Mac mini and it streamed the file without transcoding in all its 4K HDR glory so I'm not sure what's going on with Plex server.

  • SatalinkSatalink Posts: 20Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited June 2017

    Got MKV working... ditched MP4 due to MOV_TEXT crashing Plex Player on my Samsung Smart TV.


  • snnrmansnnrman Posts: 10Members ✭✭

    Same problem. Have i7 7700k 5Ghz and it's 100% because of Plex. Wtf?

  • worldtraveler0worldtraveler0 Posts: 18Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Same problem on me streaming to Chrome or Safari on MacOS 10.13 / High Sierra Public Beta and on Apple TVs amongst other devices (roku, amazon fire, chrome cast etc) Always pegging the server (intel XEON 2015)

  • SE56SE56 Posts: 2,266Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    TV:(1). LG 65UB950T UHD Smart TV WebOS 1.4, (2). Hisense 50K3300UW.Receiver Onkyo TX-NR646 Network Receiver, ARC configured. Server: iMac Late 2015, 32Gb Ram, 3.2GHz Intel i5 Skylake processors.Storage: 3 WD External USB3 HDD. Devices: 2 iPad Air 2 connected with AC Wifi Dual Band. Network: Gigabite Ethernet hardwired , 5 outlets with Cat 6 and 2 Ethernet switches, Full Duplex, AVB mode enabled Remotes: Onkyo ios app, Plex ios, LG Magic remote.Speakers: Bowers and Wilkins Floor Standing Fronts and Mordaunt-Short Genie, Centre, 200W Powered Sub & 4 Satellite Surrounds. Configured for 7.1 Channels.

  • miles267miles267 Posts: 61Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Unfortunately this page isn't very helpful.

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