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BUG : Sony Android TV, Transcoding & Subtitles forcing video transcode

hspencerhspencer Members, Plex Pass Posts: 225 Plex Pass

Hi,

I searched for this, but couldn't find anything on this topic. Apologies in advance if this is a duplicate.

There appears to be a bug (or, possibly, an unintended consequence) in the current version of Plex for Android TV, perhaps specific to the Sony Android TV line, that is forcing unneeded video transcodes, but only when subtitles are enabled and an audio format requiring transcoding is found. The expected behaviour would be a Direct Play for the video and subtitles, with an audio-only transcode

Take this example of a video file with this structure :

  1. Matroska container
  2. h264 video
  3. DTS-MA audio
  4. AC3 448k audio
  5. Forced SRT subtitles

Manually selecting the AC3 audio results in a Direct Play, with subtitles correctly displayed when forced. This is the behaviour that is expected.

However, upon switching the audio stream to the DTS stream, this not only triggers the expected audio transcode, but it also triggers a video transcode to burn the subtitles in -- despite the TV being perfectly happy to Direct Play the video and subtitles.

Disabling the subtitles then returns the TV to Direct Stream of the video and transcode of the DTS audio stream - which is again expected.

I believe that when the Android client is telling the Plex Media Server to transcode audio due to the capabilities of the device, it also tells the PMS to burn any enabled subtitles to the video stream, regardless of whether those subtitles can be Direct Played by the device or not. if there are no subtitles enabled, Direct Play works fine on video as expected.

Can this be investigated with the possibility of a fix please ? In my specific case the video transcode is causing occasional problems with my NAS which has plenty of grunt enough to cope with an audio transcode no problem, but burps occasionally on a 1080p video/audio transcode so this would be hugely helpful to me and I suspect other low power PMS users.

Cheers,

hspencer

Best Answer

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Answers

  • danjames92danjames92 Members, Plex Pass Posts: 3,067 Plex Pass
    edited July 2016

    @hspencer said:
    Can this be investigated with the possibility of a fix please ? In my specific case the video transcode is causing occasional problems with my NAS which has plenty of grunt enough to cope with an audio transcode no problem, but burps occasionally on a 1080p video/audio transcode so this would be hugely helpful to me and I suspect other low power PMS users.

    Cheers,

    hspencer

    You'll need to provide logs for anything to get fixed. Server and client, xml too.

    Mac Mini (2.7GHz, Late 2012, Windows 10, Kodi DSPlayer) | SATV 16GB | Panasonic TX-P50GT50B | Yamaha RX-V675 | Q Acoustics 2010i (FL, FR, Left S, Right S), Q2000ci Center, Q2070si Sub

     

  • hspencerhspencer Members, Plex Pass Posts: 225 Plex Pass

    Guess I'd better try to find out how to get client logs out of a TV then.

    Not that this couldn't be replicated in 2 minutes with a sample file in a lab anyway.

    BBIAB...

  • TreksterTrekster Members, Plex Pass Posts: 16 Plex Pass

    Yes, exactly the same behaviour i am experiencing using both Android TV and the Android client on my phone. Will test on my iPad when i get home.

    The whole video is transcoded when an audio transcode is in progress and subtitles are selected. When the video is directly played and the same subtitles are selected everything is working fine and no transcoding is necessary.

  • TreksterTrekster Members, Plex Pass Posts: 16 Plex Pass

    Did a test om the same movie on my iPad. So the audio still gets transcoded but the whole video is not even though I chose subtitles. So the iOS client has the desired behavior...

  • hspencerhspencer Members, Plex Pass Posts: 225 Plex Pass

    It's definitely an artefact of the Android client.

    I'm struggling with getting TV client logs at the moment, soon as I get some I'll post everything up here, and a short sample demonstrating the issue

  • hspencerhspencer Members, Plex Pass Posts: 225 Plex Pass
    edited July 2016

    Hmmm there's a new Android & Android TV version out an hour ago -

    http://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1225374/#Comment_1225374

    One of the line items in the fix list is this :

    • Resolve issue that was preventing VobSub subtitles from being direct played.

    Perhaps this might also have resolved this issue with direct playable srt's not direct playing when audio is being transcoded. I'll check later tonight, assuming I get the update.

  • TreksterTrekster Members, Plex Pass Posts: 16 Plex Pass

    Have yet to recieve the new update, however here is the log of the video being played with subtitles enabled:

    7-27 19:59:05.723 i: [video] Unable to report progress to server, since no duration is available.
    07-27 19:59:05.728 i: [MediaSessionHelper] Setting media session playback state with tag video and state 3
    07-27 19:59:05.732 i: [MediaSessionHelper] Setting media session playback state with tag video and state 3
    07-27 19:59:05.745 i: Resuming VideoPlayerActivity.
    07-27 19:59:05.753 i: [PlayQueueBehaviour] Clearing audio PQ because video playback has started.
    07-27 19:59:05.894 i: [MediaDecisionEngine] Transcode server selected: The-Rock
    07-27 19:59:05.896 i: [MediaDecisionEngine] Analyzing media: 1920x800 9428kbps (Container: mkv, Video: h264, Audio: ac3)
    07-27 19:59:05.908 i: [MediaDecisionEngine] Unable to direct play; Dolby Digital (AC3) lyd er ikke understøttet af denne enhed
    07-27 19:59:05.916 i: [MediaDecisionEngine] Original quality selected, skipping resolution/bitrate check
    07-27 19:59:05.917 i: [MediaDecisionEngine] Decision: CanPlay: true CanDirectPlay: false CanDirectStreamVideo: true CanDirectStreamAudio: false CanDirectPlaySubtitle: false CanTranscodeSubtitle: false Transcode Reason: Dolby Digital (AC3) lyd er ikke understøttet af denne enhed
    07-27 19:59:05.979 i: [video] Decision made, transcode: true
    07-27 19:59:05.981 i: [TranscodeSession] Media choice updated
    07-27 19:59:05.981 i: [VideoOverlay] Updating...
    07-27 19:59:05.981 i: [video] Starting Playback for: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
    07-27 19:59:05.982 i: [ExoVideoPlayer] Using HlsRendererBuilder.
    07-27 19:59:05.984 i: [video] User maximum h264 profile determined: 51
    07-27 19:59:05.984 i: [video] Device recommended h264 profile determined: 51
    07-27 19:59:05.985 i: [VideoUtils] MediaCodec found (OMX.MTK.VIDEO.DECODER.MPEG2) for video/mpeg2
    07-27 19:59:05.985 i: [VideoUtils] MediaCodec found (OMX.MTK.VIDEO.DECODER.HEVC) for video/hevc

    And here it is with subtitles disabled:

    7-27 20:00:40.547 i: [ExoVideoPlayer] Player state changed: 1, Restarting: false
    07-27 20:00:40.552 i: [TranscodeSession] Media choice updated
    07-27 20:00:40.554 i: [MediaSessionHelper] Starting media session with tag: video
    07-27 20:00:40.556 i: [MediaSessionHelper] Creating media session with tag: video
    07-27 20:00:40.557 i: [video] Unable to report progress to server, since no duration is available.
    07-27 20:00:40.562 i: [MediaSessionHelper] Setting media session playback state with tag video and state 3
    07-27 20:00:40.568 i: [MediaSessionHelper] Setting media session playback state with tag video and state 3
    07-27 20:00:40.575 i: [MediaDecisionEngine] Starting media decision for: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (part index 0)
    07-27 20:00:40.591 i: Resuming VideoPlayerActivity.
    07-27 20:00:40.602 i: [PlayQueueBehaviour] Clearing audio PQ because video playback has started.
    07-27 20:00:40.611 i: [MediaDecisionEngine] Provided video item has no streams, checking files...
    07-27 20:00:40.612 i: Fetching [method:GET] https://192.168.0.250:32400/library/metadata/27409?checkFiles=1&X-Plex-Token=...RVxK
    07-27 20:00:40.805 i: [MediaDecisionEngine] Transcode server selected: The-Rock
    07-27 20:00:40.806 i: [MediaDecisionEngine] Analyzing media: 1920x800 9428kbps (Container: mkv, Video: h264, Audio: ac3)
    07-27 20:00:40.810 i: [MediaDecisionEngine] Unable to direct play; Dolby Digital (AC3) lyd er ikke understøttet af denne enhed
    07-27 20:00:40.813 i: [MediaDecisionEngine] Original quality selected, skipping resolution/bitrate check
    07-27 20:00:40.815 i: [MediaDecisionEngine] Decision: CanPlay: true CanDirectPlay: false CanDirectStreamVideo: true CanDirectStreamAudio: false CanDirectPlaySubtitle: false CanTranscodeSubtitle: false Transcode Reason: Dolby Digital (AC3) lyd er ikke understøttet af denne enhed
    07-27 20:00:41.068 i: [video] Decision made, transcode: true
    07-27 20:00:41.070 i: [TranscodeSession] Media choice updated
    07-27 20:00:41.070 i: [VideoOverlay] Updating...
    07-27 20:00:41.070 i: [video] Starting Playback for: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
    07-27 20:00:41.071 i: [ExoVideoPlayer] Using HlsRendererBuilder.
    07-27 20:00:41.072 i: [video] User maximum h264 profile determined: 51
    07-27 20:00:41.074 i: [video] Device recommended h264 profile determined: 51
    07-27 20:00:41.074 i: [VideoUtils] MediaCodec found (OMX.MTK.VIDEO.DECODER.MPEG2) for video/mpeg2
    07-27 20:00:41.074 i: [VideoUtils] MediaCodec found (OMX.MTK.VIDEO.DECODER.HEVC) for video/hevc
    07-27 20:00:41.090 i: [pms] /127.0.0.1:36392 - GET /proxy

    Notes:

    The client reports back tht it cannot directplaysubtiles(Set to false) and the only other difference can see is if I turn subtitles on i get:

    19:59:05.723 i: [video] Unable to report progress to server, since no duration is available.

    Maybe this forces the server to transcode the whole video?

  • TreksterTrekster Members, Plex Pass Posts: 16 Plex Pass

    Did a quick test on my Android phone with the new client, still the same problem. Will check when i get home with the TV.

  • hspencerhspencer Members, Plex Pass Posts: 225 Plex Pass
    edited August 2016

    Have given up trying to get client logs out. There are several other reports now of this problem, in a few different ways. Perhaps once there's enough background noise the Plex developers might chase it down.

  • Martin...Martin... Members Posts: 50 ✭✭

    None of my files what are m4v (from handbrake or subler) works direkt play. If i change the container to mkv with mkvtools they work, subs and everything.

  • jamesbannanjamesbannan Members, Plex Pass Posts: 6 Plex Pass

    I've just come across this issue too, on a Sony Bravia X8500D with the latest Plex app (PMS is running on a Synology NAS which doesn't really have the grunt to transcode 1080p content smoothly). I watch a lot of movies and TV shows with subs, so this is something of a major roadblock. Any sign of a fix or workaround?

  • SkaronatorSkaronator Members, Plex Pass Posts: 39 Plex Pass
    edited January 3

    I'm coming from this thread and I can confirm this issue is still not fixed.

    If I would estimate it is just a wrong if () logic in the code which could be fixed within a minute.

    Maybe ping @ManuelPG or @jesusMC and hope that they will read this.

  • TreksterTrekster Members, Plex Pass Posts: 16 Plex Pass

    I've moved on(and given up on the Android platform for several reasons), for the last couple of months been running an Pi3 with everything running as direct-stream and working passthrough to my AV setup.

  • SkaronatorSkaronator Members, Plex Pass Posts: 39 Plex Pass

    Uhm thats bad. Pi3 doesn't support 4k at all and there are no other alternatives. Shield would cost over 200$ and its android as well. Fire TV has Android as well. Pretty groundbreaking this bug.

  • jamesbannanjamesbannan Members, Plex Pass Posts: 6 Plex Pass

    which raises the perennial question of which is the best platform to use for Plex. It seems that aside from a fully-dedicated Windows-based system running Plex Media Center (which is a pain to maintain), then every single other platform has some kind of limitation. At the moment, I'm having to run a Pi3 to get around the subtitle issue as well as some irritating audio/video sync issues which the TV exhibits but the Pi3 doesn't.

  • SkaronatorSkaronator Members, Plex Pass Posts: 39 Plex Pass
    edited January 9

    Probably the best setup would be a HTPC with linux and then openPHT or the Plex Media Player. Also Kodi might be a option if it's done since the Kodi backend can play nearly everything without transcoding.

  • hspencerhspencer Members, Plex Pass Posts: 225 Plex Pass

    I've moved to a Samsung 2016 Smart TV, which has good soft subtitle support (thanks to Plex's Samsung developer '@kay.one' being very responsive and receptive, and listening to a bunch of my moans :-) )

    There are still some Samsung-inflicted lumps and bumps in the client, but for my use-case it's near-perfect, even for 4k.

    The only other solution I think might work might be PMP on OpenElec. While I appreciate many people like PHT, the visual style isn't my cup of tea and I suspect people like it so much because misery loves nothing more than company ;-)

  • SkaronatorSkaronator Members, Plex Pass Posts: 39 Plex Pass
    edited January 13

    Bumping this thread until it's fixed, or till @ManuelPG gave us any update about this issue.

  • oxydiusoxydius Members, Plex Pass Posts: 4 Plex Pass

    I have this issue with the latest PMS on FreeBSD streaming to January 13th Android app on Nexus Player.
    DirectPlay works for video but switches to Transcoding when enabling UTF-8 SRT subtitles. Client side logs say CanDirectStreamSubtitles false, CanTranscodeSubtitles false.

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