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Amazon Fire Tv (2nd Gen)

Big problem, all of sudden Plex forces the transcoder to open when playing videos on Fire TV.

XML of file is attached.

I have never needed transcoder to run to play files on the fire tv (2nd gen) and now all of a sudden it won't play unless the transcoder is open. Its even trying to transcode AC3 audio to AC3 when the audio is AAC to begin with.

Answers

  • JuiceWSAJuiceWSA Posts: 4,003Members ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 17

    N:\Television\
    ...........The Vampire Diaries\
    .................The Vampire Diaries Season 4\
    ......................S04E09 -.mp4

    The first thing is you're non-compliant (that's the next thing that's going to blow up - if it's not blowed up now).

    Correct Example:
    N:\Television\
    .........The Vampire Diaries\
    ..............Season 04\
    .................The Vampire Diaries - S04E09.mp4

    The next thing is the audio is AAC 5.1, not AC3.

    <Media videoResolution="720" id="560744" duration="2550379" bitrate="3764" width="1280" height="720" aspectRatio="1.78" audioChannels="6" audioCodec="aac" videoCodec="h264" container="mp4" videoFrameRate="24p" optimizedForStreaming="1" audioProfile="lc" has64bitOffsets="0" videoProfile="high">

    The forum is replete with problem posts about AAC 5.1. It's all up in the air as to who's in charge of the blame, but for now I would expect a Direct Stream (Video Copy, Audio Convert) unless you'd like to spend a minute or two creating an AAC 2.0 or AC3 5.1 track either of which will probably direct play.

    Xmedia Recode: http://www.xmedia-recode.de/en/download.html

    Also (if remote) make sure your Plex app remote quality is set a bit higher than the source bit rate - otherwise that forces a transcode no matter what else is going on. For local it should be 'Original' - that right there is enough to force a transcode and it may show exactly what it's showing in 'Now Playing'.

    To get a better look you should activate 'Information Overlay' in the Plex app:
    Play an item (any), hit OK, arrow down and activate Information Overlay.
    Now hitting Ok will show some info in the upper left corner of the picture: Resolution/Direct Play/Transcode and if so the reason for the transcode. That really helps when things are not going as expected.

  • JayBourneJayBourne Posts: 18Members ✭✭
    edited February 17

    1st, the naming of the file has nothing to do with the question but thanks for your suggestion.

    2nd, Reason for transcode is "multichannel audio is not supported on this device". I can assure you that this limitation is completely new on the Fire TV (2nd Gen). I have been playing AAC 5.1 audio at "Original" on all my devices(All Android) and my entire server is set up as such media wise and never had an issue. Currently playing on my Note device and my shield TV and all is direct playing without the need of the transcoder. In fact, my 2 fire TVs were playing just fine with the same configuration last night and today once booted up they all of a sudden need the transcoder. Just for good measure I rebooted all my Android TV devices just to make sure they were still set up to force Direct play and all is good except for the Fire TVs.

    Years ago I determined what Plex allowed to direct play and transcode and set my entire server up accordingly and all of a sudden the 2nd generation Fire TV decides to transcode multichannel AAC audio.

  • JayBourneJayBourne Posts: 18Members ✭✭

    So I visit Amazon app store and find this little gem:

    Plex Product Details:
    Latest Developer Update: February 16, 2017

  • JayBourneJayBourne Posts: 18Members ✭✭

    My Web browser is more useful than my 2nd Gen Fire TV now.

  • JayBourneJayBourne Posts: 18Members ✭✭
    edited February 18

    Just plugged in my Nexus player which was collecting dust in my closet and that direct plays same file with no problem. AAC 5.1 audio is still working on the Nexus for those that still have one. :)>-

  • JayBourneJayBourne Posts: 18Members ✭✭

    still no Plex Dev to address this issue

  • JayBourneJayBourne Posts: 18Members ✭✭

    Now I'm getting reports that the audio that's being transcoded is dropping out. This bug has to be addressed by Plex Team asap the app is useless on the Fire TV

  • emh5945emh5945 Posts: 12Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    You need to manually add your plex server's local IP address to the Plex app. Local discovery stopped working and it connects remotely if you don't.

  • JayBourneJayBourne Posts: 18Members ✭✭

    @emh5945 said:
    You need to manually add your plex server's local IP address to the Plex app. Local discovery stopped working and it connects remotely if you don't.

    This is a remote client. Why would I manually add server's IP to their client? Also what does that have to do with the media's AAC 5.1 audio transcoding all of a sudden on all Fire TV's locally and remotely? And even when transcoding, why does it show AC3 transcoding to AC3 when the audio is indeed AAC? (Should be AAC to AC3 if anything)

  • jmckeejmckee Posts: 4,599Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    edited February 23

    The transcoding AC3 to AC3 is a bug in the web client. You would need to look at the actual server log to see what the codecs are (But it sounds like you already know AAC -> AC3).

    I don't have a second generation FireTV, but I know the 1st gen TV and Stick's have a long standing issue with multichannel AAC where if it was sent directly to the device the internal device decoder was dropping the center channel so it requires a transcode before being sent to the device. Previously it meant that there was no surround sound, but with the AC3 it allowed the devices to get multichannel audio back.

    As far as I know this behavior should not have carried over to the 2nd gen devices (Transcoding multichannel aac to ac3), so I reported the issue to the developers as that behavior should not be on the 2nd gen devices.

    -edit

    If possible can you include the server logs from one of these playback attempts so I can forward them onto the developers.

  • JayBourneJayBourne Posts: 18Members ✭✭

    @jmckee said:
    The transcoding AC3 to AC3 is a bug in the web client. You would need to look at the actual server log to see what the codecs are (But it sounds like you already know AAC -> AC3).

    I don't have a second generation FireTV, but I know the 1st gen TV and Stick's have a long standing issue with multichannel AAC where if it was sent directly to the device the internal device decoder was dropping the center channel so it requires a transcode before being sent to the device. Previously it meant that there was no surround sound, but with the AC3 it allowed the devices to get multichannel audio back.

    As far as I know this behavior should not have carried over to the 2nd gen devices (Transcoding multichannel aac to ac3), so I reported the issue to the developers as that behavior should not be on the 2nd gen devices.

    -edit

    If possible can you include the server logs from one of these playback attempts so I can forward them onto the developers.

    Thank you. I can say this is a new issue as the entire library is multichannel AAC audio and it was not transcoding before, I want to say before the February 16th Amazon plex app update but I cant be certain what update broke it. When I get home I will try to send a log of the behavior.

  • JayBourneJayBourne Posts: 18Members ✭✭
    edited March 1

    @jmckee sorry for delay but I have been trying to start up media on my Fire TV device for 2 days with no luck. The device will not play, displaying an error that the server is not accessible and to please check connection but there are 13 other devices on the server actively watching media. Happens on 5 different Fire TV devices(3 which are remote). I gave up and just blew the dust of my nexus players and put in place for now until this gets resolved.

  • JayBourneJayBourne Posts: 18Members ✭✭

    This issue is so annoying. 3 server updates later and still no fix for 5.1 AAC audio on the 2nd Gen Fire TV (4K) that was direct playing just fine before without the need of opening up the transcoder. Devs pick up a player, replicate the issue and tackle

  • jmckeejmckee Posts: 4,599Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    Are you sure that is the video you are having an issue with? Your screen shot shows that nothing is being transcoded, that both your video and audio streams are being copied into a new container (IE Direct Stream). If the 5.1 was being changed from 5.1 to 2 channel it should be showing Audio: Transcoding AAC to AAC.

  • JayBourneJayBourne Posts: 18Members ✭✭
    edited March 21

    Exactly my point. That is the video I'm having the issue with and same with the other Fire TV you see in that screenshot and any Fire TV that streams from my server, they're both saying Direct Stream on Video and Audio essentially calling for the Transcoder but nothing get transcoded, just opens in processes. Before the March 2nd update it used to say Audio: Transcoding AAC to AAC, again shouldn't even do that because 5.1 AAC audio was working just fine without the need of the transcoder being called upon on these Fire TV (4K) devices before.

    If I disable my transcoder you can't even open up media on the Fire TV (4K). Which is insane.

  • jmckeejmckee Posts: 4,599Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    The March 2 update fixed an error that copied over the 5.1 limitation from the FireSticks. Those devices say they support 5.1 AAC but instead of remuxing the stream down it simply drops out the surround and center channel which leaves an audio stream with no voices. So for that device it needs to be transcoded. On the 4K device's it is not needed which is why that was fixed.

    The reason the transcoder is opening will be in your Plex logs, we can't tell you why the file is remuxing without knowing why the device is saying it can't direct play the item or the media info. Without that information I can only guess at what is happening.

    With the video not transcoding and the audio not transcoding it normally is a case of the app having direct play disabled which forces remuxing to everything. The other normal reason is that a specific audio codec isn't supported in a specific container but it is compatible in the HLS stream. Since you are saying that this is AAC, the second reason would normally not be applicable.

  • JayBourneJayBourne Posts: 18Members ✭✭
    edited March 21

    Where in the logs can I find info where it shows why the transcoder is being called to remux media that should not be transcoded so I can provide. Also in the very 1st post there is an XML file if that helps.

  • jmckeejmckee Posts: 4,599Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    The easiest way to find it will be doing a search for MDE: Those lines are the media decision engine and log what the app decided to do. Occasionally, there might be lines near there where the app sends an augmented profile (I don't recall the exact wording in the log though) which tells the server to override the stored profile. Normally, you shouldn't see any of these for the situtation above as the augmented ones will be used when converting or avoiding converting a video/audio stream.

    Here is a sample MDE section from my log:

    Mar 20, 2017 21:11:21.260 [0x7f55b5bf9700] DEBUG - MDE: analyzing media item 2370887
    Mar 20, 2017 21:11:21.260 [0x7f55b5bf9700] DEBUG - MDE: E6 - Immortal Emerges from Cave: Direct Play is disabled
    Mar 20, 2017 21:11:21.260 [0x7f55b5bf9700] DEBUG - MDE: E6 - Immortal Emerges from Cave: no direct play video profile exists for http/mkv/h264
    Mar 20, 2017 21:11:21.260 [0x7f55b5bf9700] DEBUG - MDE: E6 - Immortal Emerges from Cave: no direct play video profile exists for http/mkv/h264/ac3
    Mar 20, 2017 21:11:21.260 [0x7f55b5bf9700] DEBUG - MDE: Marvel's Iron Fist - S1 E6 - Immortal Emerges from Cave: selected media 0 / 2370887
    Mar 20, 2017 21:11:21.260 [0x7f55b5bf9700] DEBUG - Streaming Resource: Added session 0x7f55b8c82ba0:hm7jkppf2kchj6inq3vo8yqf
    Mar 20, 2017 21:11:21.260 [0x7f55b5bf9700] DEBUG - Streaming Resource: Reached Decision id=1109466 codes=(General=1001,Direct play not available; Conversion OK. Direct Play=3000,App cannot direct play this item. Direct play is disabled. Transcode=1001,Direct play not available; Conversion OK.) media=(id=2370887 part=(id=2474067 decision=transcode container=mkv protocol=http streams=(Video=(id=5064854 decision=copy width=1920 height=1080) Audio=(id=5064855 decision=transcode bitrate=256 encoder=aac channels=2 rate=48000))))

  • JayBourneJayBourne Posts: 18Members ✭✭
    edited March 21

    I can't find MDE anywhere in my logs. I did come across some errors when one of my clients using a fire tv started playing media a few moments ago:

    Mar 20, 2017 21:34:32.548 [11400] ERROR - Error issuing curl_easy_perform(handle): 28
    Mar 20, 2017 21:34:32.548 [11400] ERROR - HTTP 408 downloading
    Mar 20, 2017 21:34:32.548 [11400] ERROR - TranscodeUniversalRequest: unable to get container:
    Mar 20, 2017 21:34:32.548 [11400] WARN - Failed to obtain a streaming resource for direct play of part 2795244
    Mar 20, 2017 21:34:52.583 [13080] ERROR - Error issuing curl_easy_perform(handle): 28
    Mar 20, 2017 21:34:52.583 [13080] ERROR - TranscodeUniversalRequest: unable to get container:
    Mar 20, 2017 21:34:52.583 [13080] WARN - Failed to obtain a streaming resource for direct play of part 320348

  • jmckeejmckee Posts: 4,599Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    If the logs are cycling too fast to see the MDE. The absolute best way to get why a client is not direct playing the item is to look at the client logs.

    This support article explains how to get them in depth:
    https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/201573117-Android-Android-TV-and-Fire-TV-Logs

    The basic steps are:
    1) Enable network logging. Settings -> Privacy -> log to device -> enable
    2)Write down/remember the address that pops up as this will be how you get the logs
    3)Playback an item you are having issues with
    4)Goto the address from step 2.

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