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Help! What happened to Direct Play Option on just Updated ATV Plex App?

rafaellua@me.comrafaellua@me.com Validating, Plex Pass Posts: 12 Plex Pass

PLEASE HELP! I now have a problem with the new Plex player app on the apple TV. It seems that the new Apple TV Plex App update (1.11) no longer has the options to select Direct Stream or Direct Play. I had resolved past issues by simply selecting Direct Play and keeping Direct Stream checked off, and this was working beautifully. Now, videos that had choppy play in the past are playing choppy again (MKV copies of Avatar, Storks etc..,). I downgraded my PMS for my WD My Cloud PR2100 from 1.71 to 1.61, but this did not help. Please help and restore the options to uncheck Direct Stream or let me know how to downgrade my apple TV app so I can have these options in the settings back...

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Answers

  • gmcallowgmcallow Members, Plex Pass Posts: 24 Plex Pass
    edited May 27

    I have a very similar problem. I have a number of video files that the internal Apple TV player doesn't seem to decode very well (mostly HD .ts files from UK Freeview - i.e. the sorts of files recorded with Plex DVR). These have always glitched (freezes, occasional corruption) if the file is simply streamed to the AppleTV without transcoding.

    The solution I've been using for some time is simply to turn off DirectPlay in the AppleTV client - that caused my PMS server to transcode (at full quality) and everything played fine.

    Now that option has been removed, I'm back to glitching video files. Selecting alternative quality settings at 1080p (i.e. 20Mbps or 8Mbps 1080p) doesn't cause PMS to kick in the transcoder. I have to select a 720p option to now playback a 1080p file without glitching - that causes the transcoder to kick in.

    Can we get the DirectPlay and DirectStream settings restored to the AppleTV client please.

    --

    [Edit] - And the 'Play Smaller Videos at Original Quality' setting doesn't restore the original behaviour either. With that off or on, the Transcoder doesn't do much on PMS and I get glitching videos on the AppleTV. The only way I can get transcoding behaviour like I had before is to set the quality to 720p - but that's clearly sub-optimal.

  • jhudsonwajhudsonwa Members, Plex Pass Posts: 10 Plex Pass
    edited May 29

    Wow, you guys just broke my setup. I've never had a video that could play, even with a wired connection, from plex server to the ATV4 using direct play. I always just set it to direct stream and it worked well. Now you removed that option and it buffers every 5 - 10 minutes. Lame. Why remove what was working? Clearly the server is not making the right choice on almost any piece of content (all mp4 movies, which I assume it just thinks the ATV can play, but alas it doesn't well).

  • gmcallowgmcallow Members, Plex Pass Posts: 24 Plex Pass

    Many thanks for the reply @hsousa ,

    I've uploaded a clip that shows what the problems are with my AppleTV:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4DsKDtPczRyWDBhRXV5c1RHWlU/view?usp=sharing

    Just to summarise the problems:

    • The AppleTV will play back this clip without transcoding. However, there are glitches and corruption that occur. So, in this clip, we get a little corruption when the '2' appears, there are pauses during the opening credits, and there's quite a bit of glitching and corruption about 10 secs into the first act performing.
    • These sorts of issues seem common playing back UK HD DVB files - all channels.
    • These are long standing problems (they've been present since the very first release of Plex on AppleTV). However, the solution was always very simple - turning off DirectPlay caused PMS to transcode at maximum quality. I haven't had to worry about it until this most recent update of the AppleTV client.
    • With the newest version of Plex on AppleTV, changing the quality settings in the Apple TV client to another 1080p option doesn't cause the transcoder to kick in for me. I have to select a 720p option for transcoding to now kick in on the server, resulting in a reduction in quality. This is the case, irrespective of what 'Play Smaller Videos at Original Quality' is set to.

    It looks like there's something present in UK HD DVB broadcasts that 'trips up' the Apple TV decoder to me, and that transcoding (at full quality) removes whatever artefact is causing the problem in the transmission. Clearly it'd be ideal if the client could be fixed to play back these files correctly, so I don't have to transcode. Not sure that's possible though, given it's the Apple TV decoder that appears to be having the issues.

    At the moment, I don't appear to have a workaround to transcode at maximum quality - that's what turning off DirectPlay in the settings did for me. The options in the Apple TV client don't appear to cause PMS to do this, so to get these videos to playback I have to select a lower quality option.

  • bforishbforish Members, Plex Pass Posts: 3 Plex Pass

    So disappointed that these settings were removed. Please, please, please return them. Your new way of changing the quality doesn't fix the issues. The simple toggle for direct play and direct stream worked flawlessly. Without those settings most of my movies are useless and I might as well hook my Mac Mini back up to my TV and ditch Plex.

  • kegobeer-plexkegobeer-plex Members, Plex Pass Posts: 5,274 Plex Pass
    edited May 30

    @bforish said:
    So disappointed that these settings were removed. Please, please, please return them. Your new way of changing the quality doesn't fix the issues. The simple toggle for direct play and direct stream worked flawlessly. Without those settings most of my movies are useless and I might as well hook my Mac Mini back up to my TV and ditch Plex.

    Why are most of your movies useless? Instead of trying to make your Plex server do the work, have you considered converting the movies into a format that your native player will accept?

    Where are my log files?

    How do I properly name my media files?

    NVIDIA SHIELD SMB/NAS Sharing How-To - / - NVIDIA SHIELD Support Documents

    Plex Server: 1.8.0 running on ThinkServer TS140 w/Server 2012 R2 Essentials
    Primary Plex Player: Shield TV, always the latest beta build, always the latest firmware revision

  • bforishbforish Members, Plex Pass Posts: 3 Plex Pass

    It worked before with minimal intervention on my part. I get what you're saying but taking away these settings just requires more work on my end to convert most of my films. They should be trying to make things easier for the end user, not harder.

  • darciliciousdarcilicious Members, Plex Pass Posts: 586 Plex Pass

    @kegobeer-plex said:
    Why are most of your movies useless? Instead of trying to make your Plex server do the work, have you considered converting the movies into a format that your native player will accept?

    Lord, I have so many different players, are you suggesting I need to convert all my content (years worth, thank you!) to be native to each player? Thanks, but no.

  • kegobeer-plexkegobeer-plex Members, Plex Pass Posts: 5,274 Plex Pass

    @darcilicious said:

    @kegobeer-plex said:
    Why are most of your movies useless? Instead of trying to make your Plex server do the work, have you considered converting the movies into a format that your native player will accept?

    Lord, I have so many different players, are you suggesting I need to convert all my content (years worth, thank you!) to be native to each player? Thanks, but no.

    I have a lot of clients on different ecosystems, but I have no issues playing them back on any of them, the same as the vast majority of Plex users. What is your specific issue with playback?

    Where are my log files?

    How do I properly name my media files?

    NVIDIA SHIELD SMB/NAS Sharing How-To - / - NVIDIA SHIELD Support Documents

    Plex Server: 1.8.0 running on ThinkServer TS140 w/Server 2012 R2 Essentials
    Primary Plex Player: Shield TV, always the latest beta build, always the latest firmware revision

  • gmcallowgmcallow Members, Plex Pass Posts: 24 Plex Pass
    edited May 30

    Hi @kegobeer-plex ,

    I can't speak to the others but my problems with playback are outlined in my posts above.

    I think we all understand we could transcode our large libraries into other formats to allow problem files to be played back in Plex on AppleTV. The point is that before this latest update we didn't have to.

    In my case, these problem files are created by Plex DVR (although this is a longstanding issue with UK DVB HD recordings before Plex DVR existed when I used another tuner). If Plex DVR creates files that then need to be transcoded offline using something else to then be played back in Plex on an Apple TV in full quality, then that hardly seems ideal.

    As I mentioned before, if we can get these files to play back correctly in Plex on AppleTV, with no glitches, without using the PMS transcoding then fantastic. But in the meantime, the easy workaround has been removed and its not surprising that there are unhappy people about it.

    [Edited for clarity]

  • h00ligan76h00ligan76 Members, Plex Pass Posts: 150 Plex Pass

    I'm another person who is not happy you removed his and is having a ton of problems with atv. All
    Of a sudden now I have transckde everything for it to play on appletv. Not the case before when audio only transcription was needed. Furthermore when transcoding the end of the video seems to run out of buffer. This is happening over and over again.

    Whatever changes were made to Apple TV need to be rolled back. You've made a great client basically useless and I can't use my plex pass subscription until you fix it.

    Either I have unwatchable choppy video or I force transcoding as specified and by the end of the video it's pausing every five seconds and the finishes sometimes a few minutes early. Ruining the experience because I can't watch a. Complete video.

    To replicate the easiest way is force transcoding and the. Pause the video or ff toward he end. You guys have really broken the appletv player. Which is a big deal for a lot of us who rely on this device.

    Please roll back whatever changes you've made until you can isolate these HUGE problems.

  • superflauschsuperflausch Members, Plex Pass Posts: 2 Plex Pass

    I'm also seeing the same behaviour on my Apple TV. Prior to this change all my movies and tv shows worked just fine. The got directly played (or streamed) from my Synology NAS. Now a transcode is forced every single time. Unfortunately my Synology Server is not powerful enough to handle this properly so the whole viewing experience is very disappointing.

    I was super happy with my Plex setup, now it's not usable anymore. To be an option this has to improve again.

  • h00ligan76h00ligan76 Members, Plex Pass Posts: 150 Plex Pass

    I had to take plex server off my synology a long time ago because it couldn't handle the transcoding process (it could handle a couple of Audio streams. I was actually considering trying to move it back but clearly that's not an option now.

    @super if you play to iOS device or android is it still working fine? In the mean time looks like ds video is the only option for you but that doesn't work if you have any Divx

    I hope plex can admit this issue and roll back the changes. I get that they're trying to make it more user friendly but removing advanced options isn't the way to do that. Better default settings is.

  • jizmirlianjizmirlian Members, Plex Pass Posts: 2 Plex Pass

    So kind of related to this post, here is my situation. I've been downloading HEVC files recently due to their superior compassion size and quality. I was super stoked to see Apple announced HEVC support with TvOS 11, iOS 11, and High Sierra, so as a registered developer today I figured I give it a try and see if I should begin switching my videos over to HEVC x.265.

    My results:

    HEVC direct play through PMP on macOS High Sierra works flawlessly and it is amazing!

    Now the bad. Both on my iPad and AppleTV running the beta software does not work. PMS always wants to transcode to x.264 so now my server struggles to transcode and makes it all useless which brings me to my point, BRING BACK FORCED DIRECT PLAY to iOS and AppleTV. You an still have an auto feature for people that don't know what they are doing but don't hurt your core audience that has been with you since the beginning. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

    One final thought... Could an update to the app fix this? cuz if it works automatically then yeah we dont need direct play but it should still be an option for users. Thanks

  • art0013art0013 Members Posts: 1

    i believe i am having the same troubles as mentioned above. All my movies played without flaw before the update. I thought it was my server, then thought it was the apple tv. Spent the entire weekend looking for a solution, sad. I looked at the other options to play movies on ATV but prefer Plex and would like to keep it but right now 90% of the movies buffer constantly and sometime just crash all together. It seems that only the movies with DTS are having trouble. I have tried a bunch of movies and its the same. I have tried many, many, many suggestions on the internet with changing settings and nothing seems to help. My movies play great on my mac, even the ones with DTS, but don't want to hook it up to the tv every time to watch a movie, also makes the mac hot. I think it is too late to return the ATV so i am really hoping for a update soon. Please help make Plex an enjoyable experience again, i really do love your product.

    Regards
    adam

  • jayz78jayz78 Members, Plex Pass Posts: 159 Plex Pass

    Add me to the list of users with very unreliable ATV playback on Plex.

    I've owned the ATV4 since it's release. It worked well until earlier this year when whatever changes were made to the Plex ATV client (or PMS) caused all sorts of issues.

    Previous files that Direct Played (MP4 h264) now seemed to buffer at times, episodes would abruptly end early or a message would appear saying your network isn't fast enough even though it is an unchanged Ethernet network that works flawlessly.

    I think the Plex TvOS developers need to sit down, read the forums and collect as much bug info from affected users to address whatever has made the ATV so unstable and unpleasant to use.

  • clajinessclajiness Members, Plex Pass Posts: 1 Plex Pass

    Please add me to the list of folks who would love to have the missing Direct Stream and Direct Play options returned. The ATV sucks when the server decides to Direct Stream, and it worked perfectly with those options turned off. My server can handle a ton of transcodes, so I'd love to be able to do so.

    Thanks much!

  • BrianNewellBrianNewell Members, Plex Pass Posts: 6 Plex Pass

    Thanks for the reply Hugo.
    Do you need any additional info / media information / sample files, or is a fix already in the pipeline?

    @hsousa said:
    To help us improve the decisions on PMS, we'd love if you could possibly get us the media information for the files giving you trouble and/or a sample file, so we can properly investigate isolated issues.

    Thanks,
    Hugo

  • snapesnape Members Posts: 1

    I'm suddenly having issues on Apple TV4, particularly with mkv files season 10 of Doctor Who. Files either won't play, distort or they stutter like crazy. I'm not sure what my settings were before, but now under Quality I just see options to transcode or play at original quality. Changing these settings helps, but I don't know if it results in redundant transcoding and it's confusing I don't get why I'd want to transcode to 20 mbps.

  • h00ligan76h00ligan76 Members, Plex Pass Posts: 150 Plex Pass

    Yes plex now has to transcode to play smoothly. Direct stream is broken. You can use the convert automatically setting in the actual file settings rather than set it globally. At least that way some files hat don't have issues don't need to be transcoded.

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