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Plex for Android TV - DD/DTS Passthrough Broken on Sony Bravia XBR devices

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Answers

  • MacRae HomeMacRae Home Posts: 393Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @chiller77 I also use Kodi and have it exclusively for Plex so have the Plex Channel start automatically...however I also like to use Plex DVR which doesn't work in the Kodi/Plex add-on so I am ever hopeful that the Plex team can finally make it work.....

    What worries me is I have seen many from LG, Samsung all complaining of no 5.1 sound, all PCM 2.0...so it seems it's a problem across many platforms.

    What gets me is Kodi, Emby TV, Netflix...hell everything BUT Plex works with DTS and 5.1 from my Android TV to my BOSE via Optical....

    Windows PLEX Server : Intel Core i7-3820 CPU @ 3.60Ghz, 8GB Ram, Intel SSD 120GB boot drive, RAID5 4TB media store
    Desktop Clients : 2 x Windows 7 (64-bit) Zotac Nano AD11 XS's (nearly as small as aTV's) and 1 x Windows 7 (64-bit) Intel NUC's (4inch x 4inch, small) 1 x Windows 7 (32-bit) ATOM ION2, 1 x 15.4 Retina MBP, 1 x 11" MBA
    Mobile Clients : 2 x iPhone 5's, 1 x iPad 2, 2 x iPadMini's, 2 x aTV2, 2 x aTV3, 1 x ROKU2 XS
  • mmhordammhorda Posts: 98Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Not really.
    pass-through works very well on nVidia shield (it is android TV device). It just works!
    I think PLEX devs approaching wrong company to sort those things out (if even approaching). SONYs X1 CPUs are Mediatek in reality. Maybe Mediatek could provide some docs for their drivers and then PLEX could do pass-through on SONY Android TVs.
    KODI is not an option on SONY Android TV. Since It only works with a low bit-rate files. Once you give it a file with high bit-rate KODI will start lagging. Plus don't forget that KODI only passes though AC3. all the rest it transcodes on the fly to AC3 and then passes it through.

  • chetmnchetmn Posts: 2Members

    Doubt Plex developers are approaching anybody. The PS4 app has the same issue (only stereo) and they've done basically nothing for over a year - even tried to blame the PS4 in one post.

  • arronshieldsarronshields Posts: 80Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Hey @MacRae Home apologies for delay in response, I've kind of given up on fixing this issue so haven't been on in a while.

    I bought a 3rd gen Fire TV (the diamond shaped dongle one) on a whim and plugged that into my Sony - 5.1 works just fine now when using Plex on the Fire TV, go figure, given that's running a forked version of regular Android.

    It's all down to implementation, Android (and hence Android TV) after version 6.x is good for 5.1 surround in a number of formats, but if the company using it don't implement the API correctly... I think with Sony being Sony and the issues around MediaTek chips, the chances of getting this sorted are slim to zero as Plex relies on the client device for playback. Netflix etc don't. I've had this conversation elsewhere, but Plex ultimately need to take all our cash and develop their own player for android embedded in Plex to ensure consistent playback across the myriad of variations and implementations of Android. I think the exoplayer is the first steps down that path, we'll see.

    Worst tech mistake I ever made, buying a TV with Android TV built in. Dongles/STBs are the right way to do 'Smart' I've come to realise, cheap, interchangeable and easily replaced as things move forward.

    Go NVidia if you want to stay on Android TV, or get a FireTV if you don't!

    PMS (Plex Pass) on Windows 10 PC
    Desktop Windows 10 PC running Media Player
    Sony KD-43X8305C Smart 4K UltraHD 43-inch TV running Plex for Android
    Amazon FireTV (2nd & 3rd Gen) running Plex for Android
    OnePlus 6 running Plex for Android

  • arronshieldsarronshields Posts: 80Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Point of note, the 3rd gen FireTV runs on a forked version of Nougat, while the 2nd gen and sticks run on a older version of Marshmallow. We have these and they can't do 5.1 surround in Plex, same app on same platform, different underlying implementation of Android - one works, one doesn't. At least Amazon have got it working, Sony are shockingly poor at fixing their software.

    PMS (Plex Pass) on Windows 10 PC
    Desktop Windows 10 PC running Media Player
    Sony KD-43X8305C Smart 4K UltraHD 43-inch TV running Plex for Android
    Amazon FireTV (2nd & 3rd Gen) running Plex for Android
    OnePlus 6 running Plex for Android

  • mmhordammhorda Posts: 98Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @arronshields said:
    Point of note, the 3rd gen FireTV runs on a forked version of Nougat, while the 2nd gen and sticks run on a older version of Marshmallow. We have these and they can't do 5.1 surround in Plex, same app on same platform, different underlying implementation of Android - one works, one doesn't. At least Amazon have got it working, Sony are shockingly poor at fixing their software.

    Philips Android TV also do not passthrough audio. I start thinking that the problem either in 3rd party software itself or in the mediatek drivers.

  • mmhordammhorda Posts: 98Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    By the way. Forgot to mention.
    AC3 Actually works on Sony (probably Philips too) Android TV the problem is with DTS only. The fact that Plex not passes through AC3 is the Plex problem not Sony/Mediatek/Android.

  • arronshieldsarronshields Posts: 80Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @mmhorda that's the thing though, you can use the Sony 'video' app on Android TV and pass through AC3, DTS, etc no problem via DLNA from your Plex server, I did this for a while as a work around but it's a shocking navigation experience and app. But Sony built the player and paid the licences for the codecs so it WORKS. Anything 3rd party has to provide it's own player or it defaults to the embedded android player and if that hasn't been implemented correctly... no codecs, no pass through.

    I swear Sony, Phillips etc do this on purpose, they just don't get what people wanted out of an Android TV. We didn't need a sh*tty Sony player, they just needed to implement Android properly and keep it up to date. Personally, I think Plex should be looking at ways to tap external players (MX Player or even Sony's app) that are on the system, then problem solved.

    PMS (Plex Pass) on Windows 10 PC
    Desktop Windows 10 PC running Media Player
    Sony KD-43X8305C Smart 4K UltraHD 43-inch TV running Plex for Android
    Amazon FireTV (2nd & 3rd Gen) running Plex for Android
    OnePlus 6 running Plex for Android

  • AfullmarkAfullmark Posts: 836Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @arronshields said:
    @mmhorda that's the thing though, you can use the Sony 'video' app on Android TV and pass through AC3, DTS, etc no problem via DLNA from your Plex server, I did this for a while as a work around but it's a shocking navigation experience and app. But Sony built the player and paid the licences for the codecs so it WORKS. Anything 3rd party has to provide it's own player or it defaults to the embedded android player and if that hasn't been implemented correctly... no codecs, no pass through.

    I swear Sony, Phillips etc do this on purpose, they just don't get what people wanted out of an Android TV. We didn't need a sh*tty Sony player, they just needed to implement Android properly and keep it up to date. Personally, I think Plex should be looking at ways to tap external players (MX Player or even Sony's app) that are on the system, then problem solved.

    Maybe install kodi from App Store then plexkodiconnect.

  • arronshieldsarronshields Posts: 80Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Hi @Afullmark, no need I use FireTV 3rd gen and all is fine there. I did have Kodi v16.1 on my Sony with Plex addon, but that broke once Kodi went to v17 as they removed the audio hack, plus it's not really a great solution is it, opening an app within an app to get to your content?

    The point I was trying to make, was we're somewhat reliant on 3rd parties to implement an opensource platform and some are better than others. Plex should be using our money to ensure that their software stands and works alone in such a fragmented market as Android.

    PMS (Plex Pass) on Windows 10 PC
    Desktop Windows 10 PC running Media Player
    Sony KD-43X8305C Smart 4K UltraHD 43-inch TV running Plex for Android
    Amazon FireTV (2nd & 3rd Gen) running Plex for Android
    OnePlus 6 running Plex for Android

  • DaClownDaClown Posts: 2Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I've been lurking through these Android TV forums for a bit. With 7.0 Nougat installed on my XBR55-X850D, v.7.0 of the Plex app & the TV's Android Audio options set to "Auto 2", I can get DD 5.1 audio pass-through no problem through ARC but DTS still transcodes down to DD 5.1 through ExoPlayer v2. However, through the ugly UI Android Video app from my Plex server, my Denon receiver turns on the DTS lights. It's so frustrating. Bleh.

  • mmhordammhorda Posts: 98Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @DaClown said:
    I've been lurking through these Android TV forums for a bit. With 7.0 Nougat installed on my XBR55-X850D, v.7.0 of the Plex app & the TV's Android Audio options set to "Auto 2", I can get DD 5.1 audio pass-through no problem through ARC but DTS still transcodes down to DD 5.1 through ExoPlayer v2. However, through the ugly UI Android Video app from my Plex server, my Denon receiver turns on the DTS lights. It's so frustrating. Bleh.

    What i read on Sony forums is that SONY didn't implemented DTS passthrough with public standard. Sony video player does it in some other way and seems nobody except of Sony knows how.
    AC3 doesn't work via optic in Plex. It will be good if devs will fix it.

  • mmhordammhorda Posts: 98Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I've just ordered this device

    Seems like DD and DTS 5.1 works over HDMI ARC channel on SONY Android TV.
    Will post back if it works in a few days.

  • arronshieldsarronshields Posts: 80Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Hey @mmhorda I'd be very interested to see what that does. Not sure I'm understanding what exactly it's for! Where will it sit in your setup? Between the TV and your amp, connected to the ARC HDMI on the TV and optical to the amp?

    Is the theory that this box can pull surround sound channels out of the Plex app on the Sony TV and pass to the amp over the optical? (so DD or DTS) which the TV connected directly can't?

    Must admit it would be great to ditch the FireTV and use the app on the TV, really bugs me I have all the apps I need on the TV but have to plug another box in with the same apps on to get Plex to work with surround sound. This box could be tucked away and it would be back to one remote.

    Let us know how you get on!

    PMS (Plex Pass) on Windows 10 PC
    Desktop Windows 10 PC running Media Player
    Sony KD-43X8305C Smart 4K UltraHD 43-inch TV running Plex for Android
    Amazon FireTV (2nd & 3rd Gen) running Plex for Android
    OnePlus 6 running Plex for Android

  • mmhordammhorda Posts: 98Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited June 5

    @arronshields said:
    Hey @mmhorda I'd be very interested to see what that does. Not sure I'm understanding what exactly it's for! Where will it sit in your setup? Between the TV and your amp, connected to the ARC HDMI on the TV and optical to the amp?

    Is the theory that this box can pull surround sound channels out of the Plex app on the Sony TV and pass to the amp over the optical? (so DD or DTS) which the TV connected directly can't?

    Must admit it would be great to ditch the FireTV and use the app on the TV, really bugs me I have all the apps I need on the TV but have to plug another box in with the same apps on to get Plex to work with surround sound. This box could be tucked away and it would be back to one remote.

    Let us know how you get on!

    Yes the idea is to hook it up to HDMI/ARC and then to decoder via optic cable and this should work (in theory)
    Device won't pull the sound. Plex outputs it via ARC that device will catch it and reroute it to optic cable. (dreams dreams, but i hop it is true and will work)

    It won't be delivered today. Hopefully tomorrow during the day so I will be testing and let you know here the results.

  • mmhordammhorda Posts: 98Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Still waiting for device.
    But I managed to call Philips support meanwhile (I don't have Sony phone number). They told me it will work (interesting). let's see.

  • mmhordammhorda Posts: 98Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Got the device. Testing. everytime i am connecting it via HDMI it says Device connected. but i have no sound. hmmm

  • mmhordammhorda Posts: 98Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited June 7

    Results are rather bad.
    It is working but very bad really. Better on Philips than on Sony though.
    I think all people who are using ARC probably not getting real surround sound either.

    Tested with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio file.

    1. Philips TV
      front left, center, front right - OK
      surround left mixed with front left, surround right mixed with front right
      no LFE!
    2. Sony TV
      center - OK
      front left, front right, surround left, surround right are all mixed together. (f....ng mono :-D - the same as via TOSLINK though)
      no LFE!

    Could be device broken as well? Not really. I hookd up PS4 to it, installed PLEX for PS4, stared the same file and it was just perfect surround sound.

    PS: I guess if it is broken in firmware it is broken then completely for all outputs.

  • arronshieldsarronshields Posts: 80Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @mmhorda oh dear :( that's such a shame. Was hoping you'd found a hardware hack then. For the record, I get 5.1 DTS from my PS4 in Plex on passthrough hooked up to the same Android TV that won't pass 5.1 from it's native Plex app... well played Sony, well played.

    PMS (Plex Pass) on Windows 10 PC
    Desktop Windows 10 PC running Media Player
    Sony KD-43X8305C Smart 4K UltraHD 43-inch TV running Plex for Android
    Amazon FireTV (2nd & 3rd Gen) running Plex for Android
    OnePlus 6 running Plex for Android

  • mmhordammhorda Posts: 98Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited June 11

    @arronshields said:
    @mmhorda oh dear :( that's such a shame. Was hoping you'd found a hardware hack then. For the record, I get 5.1 DTS from my PS4 in Plex on passthrough hooked up to the same Android TV that won't pass 5.1 from it's native Plex app... well played Sony, well played.

    Indeed Passthrough works via TOSLINK if your source is coming from HDMI.
    I don't think it is SONY problem. It is probably Mediatek drivers issue. Since all Mediatek devices struggles from the same problem. I don't know how Sony passthrough DTS in their own video app but DD/DD+ works. It uses older standard for DD/DD+. and PLEX uses newer one. And this new standard is what failing on Mediatek ;)
    Plex could actually workaround it and make DD/DD+ work same as KODI/netflix/amazon and etc did.

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