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Both video and audio is being transcoded on one of my Android devices, but I don't understand why.

pellz0rpellz0r Members Posts: 12 ✭✭

Alright, I'm new to the Plex world and this is my first post, so be gentle :)
I have done my best searching this forum for an answer, but failed to find anything that explains my issue.

My smartphone, a Huawei P10, always transcodes both the video and the audio when watching media which has AC3 or DTS sound (which ~95% of my archive is using). I understand that the audio needs to be transcoded as my device doesn't support AC3 or DTS, but I cannot understand why the video gets transcoded as well, putting a lot of strain on my PMS which I'd like to avoid.

On my Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 the behaviour is correct however. Audio is transcoded, but the video is "direct". I have checked and compared the settings in the PMP app between the devices and cannot find any differences except my phone has H264 maximum level 5.1, while the Samsung tablet has 4.2, both having their values set to what the app recommends.

If I activate Direct Play on the phone, it does actually play it without transcoding, but without sound as expected as DTS isn't supported.

Subtitles is disabled as well as it will need to transcode the video as it burns the subtitles (if I understand it correct).

Attaching part of the logs (the start which has the MDE parts) for both devices, and also the XML for the media used in the logs.

Any help would be highly appreciated!

Best Answer

Answers

  • BigWheelBigWheel Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 9,747 Plex Employee

    it is getting what it is getting from the phone itself as what it can play

    May 03, 2017 20:33:06.678 [7192] DEBUG - TranscodeUniversalRequest: using augmented profile Android

    it is transcoding because of

    May 03, 2017 20:33:06.694 [7192] DEBUG - Chappie - video.profile limitation applies: high != baseline|main [list]

    but don't recall ever seeing that reason before. usually it is just the level number not wether it is high or baseline that matters

    will investigate

    Logs > https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/201869908-Log-Files
  • pellz0rpellz0r Members Posts: 12 ✭✭

    Thanks for looking into it. But isn't it weird that it plays fine when forcing direct play?

  • BigWheelBigWheel Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 9,747 Plex Employee

    well something is off- dunno what yet. it is possible to get logs from Plex app on device itself when starting playback of that same movie

    Logs > https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/201869908-Log-Files
  • pellz0rpellz0r Members Posts: 12 ✭✭

    Thanks for the tip, I could get the logs through the app with "Email device logs".

    Attaching log snippet from a try yesterday with the same movie.

    05-03 20:33:07.870 i: [video] The device doesn't support the 'high' profile, only: main
    Shows up here as well. But at the same time MediaDecisionEngine says CanDirectStreamVideo: true
    05-03 20:33:07.916 i: [MediaDecisionEngine] Decision: CanPlay: true CanDirectPlay: false CanDirectStreamVideo: true CanDirectStreamAudio: false CanDirectPlaySubtitle: false CanTranscodeSubtitle: false Transcode Reason: DTS audio is not supported by the device

    Yet the final decision is transcode: true
    05-03 20:33:07.955 i: [video] Decision made, transcode: true

    In the same log file there was also logs when I played a movie that didn't need audio transcoding (Analyzing media: 1920x800 1343kbps (Container: mkv, Video: hevc, Audio: aac))
    But still "The device doesn't support the 'high' profile, only: main" shows in the log here. Decision then was transcode: false.

    I hope these logs can be of help.

  • pellz0rpellz0r Members Posts: 12 ✭✭

    Any update on this one? Would more logs help?

  • pellz0rpellz0r Members Posts: 12 ✭✭

    BigWheel, have you had the chance to look more into this issue? I've enrolled in the android beta, but this is still happening on the latest release.

  • Dion250Dion250 Members, Plex Pass Posts: 121 Plex Pass

    I recently upgraded to the latest android version and its also transcoding my video all the time too.. Wasn't doing it in 5.8

    I discovered that the h264 profile setting is broken in the current android version. Maybe this is what is causing this for you too.

    I also have a thread about it.
    https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/272599/h264-maxium-level-broken-plex-for-android-5-10-0

  • pellz0rpellz0r Members Posts: 12 ✭✭

    Just tried 5.8 by grabbing it from apkmirror, but I'm having the same issues...so I'm not sure the issue is the same :/

  • Dion250Dion250 Members, Plex Pass Posts: 121 Plex Pass

    @pellz0r said:
    Just tried 5.8 by grabbing it from apkmirror, but I'm having the same issues...so I'm not sure the issue is the same :/

    Well it was worth a try I guess.. Looks like we both have problems then...

  • pellz0rpellz0r Members Posts: 12 ✭✭

    Still no update on this issue? It sucks that it's forcing transcode of video when it's only the AC3 audio that needs transcoding.

    On another note, is the "force direct play" option gone now? Using the latest beta version and can't find it any more :/

  • pellz0rpellz0r Members Posts: 12 ✭✭

    Installed Kodi on my phone, and then added the KodiPlexConnect addon in Kodi, and it worked fine with Direct play according to the status seen in Plex web. Why is it working in Kodi and not the Plex app? Does Kodi have built in support to decode AC3 etc?

    I would prefer using the Plex app as Kodi really isn't optimal for touchscreen...

  • jmckeejmckee Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 4,828 Plex Ninja

    @pellz0r said:
    Does Kodi have built in support to decode AC3 etc?

    Kodi will typically package software decoders that can cope with codecs that a device cannot playback natively. In effect Kodi is handling the conversion instead of the server for playback.

    Unfortunately, I have no additional information on the status of the report BigWheel put in.

  • pellz0rpellz0r Members Posts: 12 ✭✭

    Thanks for the explanation @MovieFan.Plex!

    How exactly is the device reporting this kind of information to the Plex app? Is this something that could be fixed/hardcoded if my device is rooted, or is it on a deeper level? I'm guessing that it's a pain to actually try to report this issue to Huawei, and then actually receive a fix for it... :disappointed:

  • MovieFan.PlexMovieFan.Plex Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 15,442 Plex Employee

    The Plex app calls an Android API that pulls the information from the device. You can report this to Huawei and see if they can fix it.They can contact us if they need specifics.

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