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Roku 2 Long Buffering @ 13% then constant buffering during playback

tjpestilltjpestill Members Posts: 7 ✭✭

I am using a Roku 2 via wifi to connect with my Plex server in my house. I've adjusted the Wireless secret menu to maximize my signal strength, I have reduced the playback quality, and I have forced direct stream. I am still getting stuck at 13% for all videos I am playing back for extended periods of time. I have enabled remote logging at 10:46pm EST (7minutes ago as of this post time), my plex username is tjpestill. The video I have started watching has buffered twice since I enabled logging.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answers

  • drinehartdrinehart Members, Plex Pass Posts: 1,107 Plex Pass

    13% typically indicates the server is transcoding to the client and is building a buffer. Is your server slow?

  • tjpestilltjpestill Members Posts: 7 ✭✭

    My server doesn't necessarily appear to be slow. The transcode time on my Smart TV that's directly next to the router is generally 10s. I cant remember the specs of the server, but its a PC running Windows 7. 4gb RAM, quad-core AMD processor. The server is hard-wired to the router, my Roku is connected wirelessly to the router. I looked into the secret wireless settings and found that my wireless rate was dropped to 2mbs, which is horrible. I've tried to adjust my channel on my router but no luck. I am going to look into a new router first and see if that helps, if not then go Powerline.

    However, I thought when playing locally the server doesn't need to transcode?

  • drinehartdrinehart Members, Plex Pass Posts: 1,107 Plex Pass

    Depends on the client and the media. Post the mediainfo for your media you are having difficulty with (or better yet post your PMS log) for review and someone can probably explain why you are seeing transcoding rather than direct play. Lots of reasons possible.

  • tjpestilltjpestill Members Posts: 7 ✭✭

    @drinehart said:
    Depends on the client and the media. Post the mediainfo for your media you are having difficulty with (or better yet post your PMS log) for review and someone can probably explain why you are seeing transcoding rather than direct play. Lots of reasons possible.

    I find that my Roku and Samsung Smart TV which are on the local network both display the 13% transcoding before playing, however on the Roku it takes significantly longer for it to play.

    Here is one file which I have issues with on my ROKU, it was stuck on 13% for over two minutes, then went to 33% and got stuck there.

    Media

    Video Resolution 1080p
    Duration 1:37:03
    Bitrate 2169 kbps
    Width 1920
    Height 1072
    Aspect Ratio 1.78
    Container MP4
    Video Frame Rate 24p
    Web Optimized Yes
    Audio Profile lc
    Has 64bit Offsets 0
    Video Profile high
    Part

    Duration 1:37:03
    File Finding Dory (2016).mp4
    Size 1.47 GB
    Audio Profile lc
    Container MP4
    Has 64bit Offsets 0
    Web Optimized Yes
    Video Profile high
    Codec H264
    Bitrate 2050 kbps
    Bit Depth 8
    CABAC true
    Chroma Subsampling 4:2:0
    Duration 1:37:03
    Frame Rate 23.976 fps
    Frame Rate Mode cfr
    Height 1072
    Level 4.1
    Pixel Format yuv420p
    Profile high
    Ref Frames 4
    Scan Type progressive
    Stream Identifier 1
    Width 1920
    Codec AAC
    Channels Stereo
    Bitrate 112 kbps
    Audio Channel Layout stereo
    Bitrate Mode CBR
    Duration 1:37:03
    Profile lc
    Sampling Rate 48000 Hz
    Stream Identifier 2

    Also attached are my PMS logs as well.

  • ljunkieljunkie Plex Dev Team Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 4,799 Plex Employee

    @tjpestill it looks like the server was able to convert the video just fine, but the Roku itself has a very poor connection. This was in the logs for the Roku.

    Jan 23 19:44:24 Plex PlexForRoku: [tjpestill:{serial}] INFO Measured bandwidth: 262 Kbps (262 kbps)

    This is a good indication why the video is slow to load and buffers - the Roku is measuring less than 0.3 mbps. As you mentioned a new wireless router may help. Powerline is probably a better option too, but do know, those can be problematic too.

  • drinehartdrinehart Members, Plex Pass Posts: 1,107 Plex Pass

    Is Direct Play actually disabled on your Roku? It looks like the connection speed detected by the Roku is very low and forcing a transcode. Are you connected via wireless on your TV too? The wireless on the Roku 2 is pretty terrible. Try a wire if you can (long cable or move Roku to test) and see if that improves things. You TV may support 802.11AC whereas the Roku 2 does not.

  • tjpestilltjpestill Members Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited January 25

    Immediately after I posted this, I had network issues and reconnected the Roku, it's not showing a rate of 36Mbs (in the secret wifi menu), load time took all of 5seconds.

    @drinehart said:
    Is Direct Play actually disabled on your Roku? It looks like the connection speed detected by the Roku is very low and forcing a transcode. Are you connected via wireless on your TV too? The wireless on the Roku 2 is pretty terrible. Try a wire if you can (long cable or move Roku to test) and see if that improves things. You TV may support 802.11AC whereas the Roku 2 does not.

    I tried both disabling/leaving it enabled Direct Play in the global settings of the ROKU Plex app, with the same results. However as I mentioned above your quote, once my network issue got resolved and the ROKU speed increased, the buffer time was lessened. My TV is connected via wireless, however it is within 2ft of the router, so I anticipate speed is no issue. I am going to consider investing in a Powerline, a long ethernet cord is simply not an option.
    However, as your 1st reply stated, the 13% is related to transcoding, which I thought wasn't supposed to happen when viewing locally.

  • drinehartdrinehart Members, Plex Pass Posts: 1,107 Plex Pass

    Powerline did not work well for me, but YMMV. I ended up using MoCA 2.0 adapters in my home and they have been working great (Actiontec ECB6200). Can get near gigabit speeds out of them.

  • tjpestilltjpestill Members Posts: 7 ✭✭

    @drinehart said:
    Powerline did not work well for me, but YMMV. I ended up using MoCA 2.0 adapters in my home and they have been working great (Actiontec ECB6200). Can get near gigabit speeds out of them.

    Unfortunately it doesn't seem that MoCA 2.0 adapters are readily available in Ontario. Will give the powerline a try first.

    However, should I still be transcoding when played locally?

  • ljunkieljunkie Plex Dev Team Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 4,799 Plex Employee

    However, as your 1st reply stated, the 13% is related to transcoding, which I thought wasn't supposed to happen when viewing locally.

    13% and 33% are not an indication of transcoding. Roku jumps to those numbers when it's determining the video format. After 33% is the video buffering before playback.

    Transcoding is based on media compatibility and bandwidth. If the media is not compatible, then it will be transcoded for local and remote environments.

  • apuds83apuds83 Members, Plex Pass Posts: 36 Plex Pass

    I have come to the conclusion that the Roku issue is with the BT Smart Router! I have taken my roku 2 and set it up at my dads house (via wifi) and when connected to my server remotely it is faster than if the roku 2 was connected on my own LAN. I haven't done any technical tests but the proof is in the pudding.

    Windows 7 (plex server)
    AMD FX8350 Black Edition 8 Core Processor (4.0/4.2GHz, 8MB Level 3 Cache, 8MB Level 2 Cache, Socket AM3+
    24 gig RAM, SSD for OS, 2x2TB HHD internal mirrored , 2x2TB Terra Master DAS mirrored.
    Various Roku boxes wired 100/1000
    Various Roku boxes connected via WIFI
    NVidia Shield TV connected via ethernet

  • druasmith@gmail.comdruasmith@gmail.com Members Posts: 4 ✭✭

    I'm having this issue too. Here's some logs. Others have reported this issue and provided logs so there should be a resolution by now. What's the resolution?

  • Lio37Lio37 Members Posts: 2

    I hope this solution helps for this issue.

    I've been having the same issue as well. I have a Roku Premiere + and it stays on 13% for a long time before finally playing. When it does play, it then buffers. It's been driving me crazy.

    I also have the latest Roku Stick (3600X) and it plays fine. Starts at 13% but gets up to 100% in a matter of 5-10 secs. No buffer while playing and works great. I was thinking how does the less powerful Stick do that compared to the Premiere + box. I checked every setting in Plex and Roku to see if it was the same.

    What I found was my Roku Stick was using the 2.4Ghz WiFi while my Premiere + was on the 5ghz WiFi. When I changed the Premiere + to the 2.4ghz, it now works without any lag at 13%. I am not sure why this change fixes the problem, but it did and now I'm happy. I thought the 5ghz has the faster speeds, so I'm puzzled to why 2.4ghz works.

    Anyhow, this helped me solve the problem.

  • djumvdjumv Members, Plex Pass Posts: 34 Plex Pass

    Same issue for me as OP. Don't have time to collect logs ATM, as work is constraining me.

    My build is in my sig, I find it almost impossible to believe that this is hardware or throughput related, as I run mine from an 8-port 10gbe LBT that typically doesn't typically even use enough bandwidth to spill the traffic over to the second link in the team (75% utilization is required for the algorithm to push traffic to another link in the team), I barely ever hit over 65% memory utilization in my PMS guest, and have observed absolutely no CPU contention or over-utilization. To test, I placed a copy of a video that I was having issues with on a drive that was local to the PMS server, outside of my stretched vSAN cluster that averages around 50,000 IOPS. Didn't start happening to me until the release of PMS 1.7.6.

    DJUMV - VCIX-DCV, VCIX-NV, CCNP R&S, CCDP, MCSE - 2013 Messaging

    • PMS running as a VMWare VM on top of a 3-host redundant HA Cluster.
    • vSphere Hosts Build: 2x Xeon 10-core E5-2650-v3, 128GB RAM, 2x 1TB SSD RAID 1 (hardware controller, LSI SAS), 2x Quad-Port 10Gbe NIC per host.
    • 8TB vSAN stretched cluster across 10k RPM SAS drives
    • vSAN over 8-port LBT dvSwitch
    • Cisco 4506e with supVII
    • PMS Virtual Machine: Server 2016, 8 Virtual processors, 32GB RAM.
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