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4K streaming through Plex on Samsung UN65KS8000 buffers. Is this common?

pistol44pistol44 Posts: 12Members ✭✭

I've been reading some posts here and it seems some people seem to speak about this same issue here.

I'm running my PMS locally on an i7 4790k CPU running at 4.5ghz. 16GB of ram (also using Samsung 850 SSD and Nvidia GTX 1080 in case this matters for some reason). My PC is hard wired into my router and my TV is hard wired into my router so I have a stable connection between all devices. My current internet plan also provides me 300+ mbps download speeds. I am playing all movies through the Plex app on the Samsung TV. I've also tried this through Plex on my Xbox One S and found the same results.

Playing all 1080p videos have given me zero issues regardless of the size. Whether they are 25 GB .mkv files or smaller. I recently just bought this tv and was pretty excited to try some 4K movies so I acquired a few. The Revenant, Star Trek Beyond and Pacific Rim all in 4K with file sizes varying between 65 to 85GB.

To my surprise these files cause severe buffering. Some times every 10 seconds and sometimes every 20 seconds or so. I am currently "streaming them" at "original" quality as I assumed this wouldn't be an issue. Apparently I assumed wrong. I always thought that the streaming was dependant on my internet speeds. Being I can download over 300mbps I figured that I'd have no issues. Later research taught me the issue likely lies with transcoding.

I tried a suggestion by someone on the forums by "optimising" all these films. I wasn't expecting to see that doing this at "original quality" would take literally half a day. One film refuses to optimise and keeps failing. The other 2 completed and converted to MP4.

Playing these new .MP4 4K files worked fine and they played without any buffering however, fidelity in the picture depreciated regardless of optimising at "original quality".

Does an easy fix exist for this issue? Am I trying to accomplish something that currently just isn't possible? Is there just some settings I can adjust in my PMS server to resolve this? I have my transcode speed set to "fast" in the PMS settings and "Make my CPU Hurt". Figured that would be good enough but clearly it is not.

Best Answer

Answers

  • jjrjr1jjrjr1 Posts: 1,749Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited December 2016

    That is exactly correct and I have the exact same experience with 4K.
    You need to encode your videos in a format that Plex can Direct Play

    On the Roku 4 and Ultra (Have not personally tried the Ultra) and probably most other streaming boxes, encoding your media to
    Container MP4
    Video Codec HEVC / H.265
    Audio Codec AC3 2 channel and 5.1 channel

    A note for your Very High BW media (Greater that 20k I think) you will need to set the client app for Original Bitrate..

    The problem with your TV is most likely the Plex App.
    Through experimentation and discussions with some Plex Developers, it was explained to me like so.

    Even though it is a 4K TV and can probably play that file directly from a USB or HDD drive, Those internal codecs are often not available to the Plex Client App.

    This means that the manufacturer is actually causing the issue since Plex cannot "SEE" 4K capability. This causes the client to inform the server that only 1080p is available. This makes the server transcode.
    Good luck getting 4K to transcode without Buffering!!!

    BTW I Run an I7 as well and also have a SSD for Transcoding Temp Files. Still buffers 4K if the media is not in a Direct Play compatible format. Forget streaming 4K to your Phone, Tablet, or Web Browser at this time. Impossible LOL

  • pistol44pistol44 Posts: 12Members ✭✭

    Wow, thank you both for the plethora of information on this!

    So 2 questions remain. Firstly, I'm trying to think of the cheapest way to watch 4k movies without either upgrading my PC or purchasing another media player (since I already have 3 or 4). If I just buy a USB 3.0 portable drive, dump my 4K mkv's on it, connect it directly to the TV's USB port and avoid Plex entirely will it solve all my problems and play them without a problem?

    Lastly, now that I recognise this is a problem with Plex for Samsung TV's specifically is this something that is "fixable" by Samsung through something as simple as an app update? Or is the TV's hardware the issue? I'm just curious if this is something that can be fixed by Samsung down the road or if this problem will be permanent. Just seems silly they would sell a 4K TV without a way to play 4K movies in their Plex app lol.

  • piper5ulpiper5ul Posts: 14Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    1. I think the cheapest way to watch 4k is really to use a client like Roku 4 Premiere or Ultra. Craigslist is your friend - sell the older one and get the newer one. Also use Hardwired ethernet. I have done a bunch of tests with wifi - nothing beats a hardwire connection especially for that sustained bitrate.

    2. I have not tried the direct connection with Roku+usb drive .. if you are able to, please test and post back the results. :)

    3. The issue you are facing is with Transcoding capable hardware on the server side (your computer) - not your TV, or Plex Software. HEVC is new, and if you force transcoding then there isn't a bunch of capable hardware decoders around to do this well in real time. I haven't searched but I am sure there is a version of the file that will stream directly to the plex@KS8000 with no hiccups. May be force play direct with the HEVC / AC3 audio and see if that works ?

    4. Broadly speaking, if you want to see how quickly things can transcode - try to manually "optimize" a 4k file on plex server and notice that the speed is like 0.4x or 0.7x. I you try to optimize a blu-ray (non-4k) file, the speed is like 2.2x ... for you to get flawless streaming on your file of choice to your client of choice, your transcoding hardware needs to convert at 1.0x or faster to prevent buffering.

    Hope this helps.

  • piper5ulpiper5ul Posts: 14Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited December 2016

    @jjrjr1 said:
    Even though it is a 4K TV and can probably play that file directly from a USB or HDD drive, Those internal codecs are often not available to the Plex Client App.
    This means that the manufacturer is actually causing the issue since Plex cannot "SEE" 4K capability. This causes the client to inform the server that only 1080p is available. This makes the server transcode.

    Oh.. that is cool. I didn't realize that codecs may also be an issue. So theoretically TVs can get updated in the future with the right codecs and that sort of fixes the problem in this specific case as well.

    Thanks for the tip - I will keep a look out for this.

  • molloyrobbiemolloyrobbie Posts: 1Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    As far as I'm aware that TV should support a lot of formats, It's probably the audio that's causing it to transcode, see here: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/244168/samsung-and-5-1-dts-playback/p2

    There's a setting in the app (under your user profile -> settings) to allow DTS that might fix this for you!

  • pistol44pistol44 Posts: 12Members ✭✭

    I've seen that DTS option so maybe I'll try that too.

    But on a side note I went the easiest route and just bought a Seagate Ultra Slim 2TB USB 3.0 drive that was on sale for boxing day. Transferred my 4K movies over to it, plugged it into the TV and they all play flawlessly this way.

    Only thing I noticed is that they don't look that much better than my up-converted 1080p movies. File sizes are about triple the size so they should. But when I play 4k videos on YouTube those definitely look crisp.

  • Martinbengtzon@gmail.comMartinbengtzon@gmail.com Posts: 6Members ✭✭

    That is wierd, i can directplay all my 4K and my CPU is much less stronger than yours, why do you directstream if you're on local network?

    When you stream a movie, go into PMS and check the "lightning"-thing in the upper right corner, there it says what movie you are playing on the server, click the little (i) on the movie and you will se what is streamed/transcoded etc

    I have directPlay on my, but as soon as i add a .srt, i get directStream and lots of buffer.

    65+mbs 4K runs smooth without .SRT

  • pistol44pistol44 Posts: 12Members ✭✭

    I guess I assumed Directplay was on by default. How do I enable this?

  • pedromirrapedromirra Posts: 30Members ✭✭

    hello everyone,
    i'm facing some problems with 4k movies.
    Since i need to transcoding (for subtitles) event with an i3 processeur, movies are buffering constantly.
    My question is : a roku premiere/ultra will solve my problem? my movies/data are in a synology NAS ...

  • HawkeyeFLAHawkeyeFLA Posts: 35Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @molloyrobbie said:
    As far as I'm aware that TV should support a lot of formats, It's probably the audio that's causing it to transcode, see here: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/244168/samsung-and-5-1-dts-playback/p2

    There's a setting in the app (under your user profile -> settings) to allow DTS that might fix this for you!

    Well, what do you know. The DTS option in the Plex app on my UN60KU6300FXZA fixed this for me. Just got some 4k content on my PMS and loaded it up this evening and got stutterville. Just started reading online and came across this thread. After enabling DTS, I see DirectPlay on the status page on PMS.

  • mugslvmugslv Posts: 1Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I have exactly the same problem with my new 4K Samsung. However I have a 4K Sony TV in another room with no issues (wireless too). If I plug in an Amazon Fire Stick into the Samsung, and use the Plex app there, it also works fine with no buffering issues. I was not able to cure the problem on the Samsung by enabling DTS. I have also tried DirectPlay on and off, same issue. Never had a problem with the Sony or the FireStick, so for now thats how I'm viewing. Doesn't seem like it should work that way, since my Sony & FireStick works fine. I might add that the Samsung replaced a 1080p Vizio, that was giving me the same problem if the file size was too large.

  • dbornackdbornack Posts: 3Members

    Wow.. Can't believe turning on DTS on the Samsung side was the only thing killing my 4k.

    My passmark is only about 2500, and the CPU is only about 5700. I can't believe it's that weak of a system.

    AMD A107870k - 3.9GHz
    SSD

    Etc...

    But, I'm watching an HVEC h265 10-bit file now. Working like a champ.

  • rjgwrjgw Posts: 1Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @molloyrobbie said:
    As far as I'm aware that TV should support a lot of formats, It's probably the audio that's causing it to transcode, see here: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/244168/samsung-and-5-1-dts-playback/p2

    There's a setting in the app (under your user profile -> settings) to allow DTS that might fix this for you!

    YOU are a golden god! Ticked that box, Absolutely no transcoding on 4K Original. The Transcoder doesn't even start. Can't believe that's what it was :D

  • johnmalakjohnmalak Posts: 1Members

    I have the same TV KS8000 and i had the same problem
    TV Samsung KS8000
    core i3 for Plex server 10GB RAM with C is SSD and the movies are on RED NAS drive regular 5200 RPM
    the problem is that when you leave the default Samsung plex settings with 4K it will buffer like hell because the settings are different than the movie so the Plex server start trans coding

    so the fix for me was not using subtitles then the computer wont trans code and it direct play

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