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Sudden Bandwidth Cap

Plexserver03Plexserver03 Posts: 1Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

I've always been able to stream videos at any stream bitrate. Suddenly, since a few days, I can no longer stream to iOS devices and Apple TV at more than 3 Mbps. I checked the Plex server settings, but I cannot find any limitation. Streaming to web client seems to still work at full speed.

It shows the playing session, but on iPhone it buffers forever, on AppleTV it stops after a few seconds and returns me to the screen for the TV episode.

Answers

  • ChuckPAChuckPA Posts: 18,386Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Plex Team Member Plex Team Member

    I more information. It sounds like you have a hardware issue but let's not jump to conclusions just yet.

    Would you please attach:

    1. Your log files after recreating the problem (play just enough to make it happen, wait 30 seconds, then collect the logs) Settings - Server - Help - Download Logs
    2. The XML of the file being played
    3. Basic information about your wireless config (A/B/G/N/AC, 2.4 / 5 Ghz, etc) I don't need model numbers.

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  • mindpowermindpower Posts: 10Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited May 15

    I just recreated the issue on iPhone. It does not matter wether I use my WiFi connection (45 Mbit), or 4G LTE (23 Mbit).

    I have attached the logs. I don't know how to get "The XML of the file being played".

    I have Version 1.5.5.3634 of the Server running on Linux.

    Another thing... the file in question is encoded at about 6 Mbit, but I cannot pick original quality. Only the "Convert to ..." lines can be selected. Any setting above 3 Mbit fails to play.

  • ChuckPAChuckPA Posts: 18,386Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Plex Team Member Plex Team Member

    The XML is available when you hover over the item you just played, Click "Get Info". In the lower left corner of the popup window, you will see "View XML"

    When you paste it here, please use the "Code" paragraph formatting for the block you pasted (select all of it then format as 'Code'). It will prevent the forum from 'eating' it (makes it invisible).

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  • ChuckPAChuckPA Posts: 18,386Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Plex Team Member Plex Team Member
    edited May 15

    Please check /tmp. The transcoder creates a few very small files (it's a RAMFS) for the audio.

    PMS is reporting it does not have permission to write.

    May 15, 2017 20:59:29.267 [0x3dffc281700] ERROR - [Transcoder] [ac3_eae @ 0x4073920] EAE watchfolder is not writable: /tmp/pms-14e4a3e6-3b07-4b39-bd43-7fea86690d85/EasyAudioEncoder/Convert to Dolby Digital (Low Quality - 384 kbps)/A32AF36F-6C35-4B83-B574-617FCD033530_30961-1-test.tmp

    If you stop PMS, verify 777 permissions for /tmp, and delete any residual pms-* directories.. it should put you back to were it can start properly.

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  • mindpowermindpower Posts: 10Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited May 16

    Here's the info. I cannot see a View XML button. My Linux guru is investigating... he thinks that it might be that the new audio encode has a permission problem, not the folder. The /tmp folder already does have 777 permissions.

    Files
    
    Z.Nation.S01E01.Puppies.and.Kittens.mp4
    Media
    
    Video Resolution 1080p
    Duration 41:24
    Bitrate 6214 kbps
    Width 1920
    Height 1080
    Aspect Ratio 1.78
    Container MP4
    Video Frame Rate PAL
    Web Optimized No
    Audio Profile lc
    Has 64bit Offsets 0
    Video Profile high
    Part
    
    Duration 41:24
    File Z.Nation.S01E01.Puppies.and.Kittens.mp4
    Size 1.80 GB
    Audio Profile lc
    Container MP4
    Has 64bit Offsets 0
    Web Optimized No
    Video Profile high
    Codec H264
    Bitrate 5436 kbps
    Bit Depth 8
    Chroma Subsampling 4:2:0
    Frame Rate 25 fps
    Height 1080
    Level 4.0
    Profile high
    Ref Frames 4
    Stream Identifier 1
    Width 1920
    Codec AAC
    Channels 5.1
    Language Deutsch
    Audio Channel Layout 5.1
    Profile lc
    Sampling Rate 48000 Hz
    Stream Identifier 2
    Codec AAC
    Channels 5.1
    Language English
    Audio Channel Layout 5.1
    Profile lc
    Sampling Rate 48000 Hz
    Stream Identifier 3
    
  • ChuckPAChuckPA Posts: 18,386Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Plex Team Member Plex Team Member

    The View XML is right below (lower left) where you got the media info from after clicking Get Info.

    I highly doubt it's a problem with the codec itself otherwise it would be profoundly widespread issue. We need to find out what's unique to your configuration and adjust accordingly.

    Do you have your PLEX_TMPDIR in a location other than the default (/tmp) ? Anything out on a network share other than media?

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  • mindpowermindpower Posts: 10Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Neither the web client nor my Mac client have this "View XML" button.

    My admin said that we are using a certain kind of kernel extension that blocks misbehaving processes. And that the audio encoder did not have the correct flag set to not trigger this blocking. Could it be that you are resetting the state of the encoder process after a certain time interval?

  • ChuckPAChuckPA Posts: 18,386Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Plex Team Member Plex Team Member

    If your kernel extension considers Plex a misbehaving process because it's making an iNotify watch folder request, I would suggest they've got it a bit too tight.

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  • ChuckPAChuckPA Posts: 18,386Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Plex Team Member Plex Team Member

    Also

    Is that your server or someone sharing with you? You cannot view the XML of a shared server. if the person sharing with you limited bandwidth, you need to talk to them to increase it

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  • mindpowermindpower Posts: 10Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    It is myself who shared it with myself. I am using a different user for viewing.

    The problem is this: Apparently whenever the EasyAudioEncoder tries to convert from AAC to EAC3 for tvOS or iOS then this fails after about 5-6 seconds. If I reduce the bandwidth to like 2 mbit then I see that it is no longer transcoding the audio, and thus the problem does not occur.

    A friend with another PMS has his server exactly set up the same, the only change is that he has Ubunto 16 (I have Ubunto 14) and that he has the most recent kernel. With his server I can place the files fine. Both have the PASecurity kernel extension.

    But the question is, why does PMS try to transcode AAC, tvOS and iOS are perfectly capable of playing AAC.

  • mindpowermindpower Posts: 10Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited May 20

    I found a workaround: by removing EAC3 from the tvOS profile, now it is always transcoding to AC3 and that plays fine even in the highest/original quality.

    EDIT: It did work for a while, but then stopped working. I think for a couple of files that I started playback.

    Then we also removed AC3 from the tvOS profile and we could see this would now always play AAC limited to 2 channels. That continued to work for more than 10 plays. I keep testing it.

    We also had tried to downgrade the server. I tried changing the audio channel setting to Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 and restarted AppleTV in between to make sure it got the change. If it weren't for the fact that it is working with EAC3 audio from the other server, I would suspect the tvOS app.

    But what's even odder is that on the server it looked like at first it tried to direct stream the original file and then switched to transcoding, but at that time the playback had already stopped. Maybe there is a problem in the client that it doesn't deal properly with the switch from direct to transcode?

  • ChuckPAChuckPA Posts: 18,386Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Plex Team Member Plex Team Member

    What I need to do then is recreate what you have. I'll need a sample of the file (snipped off by ffmpeg or dd

    https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/201035968-Generating-Sample-Files-from-Media

    Attach it here.

    With the contents of this thread plus the media, I will see what's going on

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