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Lots of rebuffering on Roku 3

Plan-BPlan-B Posts: 88Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

I've been having major issues playing content on my Roku 3. Whenever I try to play something around 7mb/s or more, I get lots of pauses to rebuffer. I'd say it happens 2 or 3 times per minute. Which makes it unwatchable.

I hadn't used Plex in about 3 months (travel and relocating to a different state). I updated to PMS 1.7.2 as soon as I unpacked all my hardware and got my Synology set up. I'm running DSM 6.1.2-15132 on a DS1815+. The Roku player version is 4.4.1 according to the settings screen. Both the Roku and the Synology are wired via CAT5E to a Netgear Nighthawk X6, so they have gigabit connections.

A few days ago I tried to play a movie at about 10.9mb/s average and first noticed the rebuffering. It was the first time I've used Plex since the beginning of March. So I switched from the 1080p version to a 720p version at about 6.1mb/s average and it played fine. Last night, I tried another movie at 7.5mb/s average and it did the rebuffering thing again. When I back out of playback mode, I get the message that says my network isn't fast enough, which can't be the case.

I flipped over to my old Nexus Player running Plex 6.1.1.656 on Android 7.1.2. The Nexus Player is on WiFi, yet it played back the whole movie without any stuttering.

In both devices, the players are set to Auto Direct Play with no subtitles. The movies have h.264 video tracks and DTS audio tracks. Log files are attached. I played the same movie for the first 5 minutes on each player back to back for comparison. Something seems broken in the Roku player.

Answers

  • Plan-BPlan-B Posts: 88Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Well, it seems that the issue isn't just a Roku problem. It's just the most annoying on my Roku. Playback on my Nexus Player also seems to have bandwidth issues, I just didn't notice before. I thought there was some choppy animation in Lego Batman, but going back to a live action movie, I noticed that the framerate gets really bad around the times when the Roku 3 would just stop and re-buffer. But if I force the video to transcode down to 720p @ 4mb/s, I get clean playback from start to finish. So now it seems I have to figure out why wired gigabit isn't fast enough for the Roku, and why AC WiFi isn't fast enough for the Nexus Player.

  • concordconcord Posts: 35Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @Plan-B said:
    Well, it seems that the issue isn't just a Roku problem. It's just the most annoying on my Roku. Playback on my Nexus Player also seems to have bandwidth issues, I just didn't notice before. I thought there was some choppy animation in Lego Batman, but going back to a live action movie, I noticed that the framerate gets really bad around the times when the Roku 3 would just stop and re-buffer. But if I force the video to transcode down to 720p @ 4mb/s, I get clean playback from start to finish. So now it seems I have to figure out why wired gigabit isn't fast enough for the Roku, and why AC WiFi isn't fast enough for the Nexus Player.

    If you haven't already rebooted your modem and router, switches, I recommend turning off everything for one to ten minutes, then boot the modem, router and switches, and finally the RAID and Roku...

  • Plan-BPlan-B Posts: 88Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Sadly, everthing's rebooted multiple times over the past few weeks for various reasons. The Roku occasionally locks up on me (usually with Netflix) and I have to force it to reboot. My Synology NAS has had a couple of DSM updates. I reboot my router fairly regularly, and I updated the firmware recently. The modem is Comcast, so it has to be rebooted regularly when the Internet connection goes wonky (it goes out during the 5pm hour almost every day, and I reboot it every 3-4 days to force it to reconnect).

    I asked about this in the Plex Pass general forum and after a TON of experimenting, it seems to be related to the playback method. Movies which played fine before suddenly rebuffer. Some movies with high bitrates have no issue. Forcing a downsample transcode works, so that's my workaround for now.

  • Markmac13Markmac13 Posts: 33Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Are your direct play titles buffering? or just the ones that have to transcode?

  • shopgirl284shopgirl284 Posts: 2,635Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Forum Moderator Plex Ninja

    This sounds like a Plex Media Server or home networking issue, since it is occurring on multiple Plex players. Buffering/playback issues for those using a NAS for their Plex Media Server are usually due to the transcoding limitations of the NAS device (see the NAS Devices and Limitations support article).

    You will receive much better help and find more users with knowledge about Plex Media Server on your NAS device in the section of the forum for Plex Media Server on your NAS device/operating system. The users here in the Plex app for Roku section of the forum (and also in the General Plex Pass section) use Plex Media Server on a wide variety of operating systems and most use Windows or Mac. So they are much less likely to be familiar with PMS on a NAS system or know about the most common issues and/or solutions specific to PMS on a NAS.

    As for transcoding/direct play on the Plex app for Roku, you can hit the * button on your Roku remote once the video starts playing to see all the video playback settings for that media including whether it is transcoding (under "Stream Info"). To know why a specific piece of media is transcoding on the Plex app for Roku, your Roku Logs would be needed. And the Roku support site article How to use Roku Media Player to play your videos, music and photos includes information about the media file types and audio supported by the various Roku models.

    Many issues and questions can be resolved by reviewing the Plex Support Documentation
    Providing details about your issue, Plex setup, and including log files are important when when asking for help on the forums.
    See Log Files
    Before posting channel plugin questions or issues, please review the pinned threads at the top of the Channel Plugin forum:
    READ FIRST: Guidelines for Posting Channel Plugin Issues/Questions and Things to Check First
    FAQ for Channel Plugin FAQ

  • Plan-BPlan-B Posts: 88Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    The rebuffering does not occur when titles transcode. So I can say unequivocally that it's not a transcoding limitation on my NAS. In fact, forcing transcode smooths out the playback issue and I'm using that as a workaround. As for it being a networking issue, my Roku is on a wired, gigabit connection. As is my Synology. I do agree, however, that the issue is not specifically Roku related as the same happens with my Nexus Player (it just manifests itself differently on that device). I'm convinced it's related to some sort of direct play issue since titles that played fine several months ago now have issues.

    At this point, I'm just living with the fact that I have to force transcode on a lot of my files and hope that someone spots my other thread and decides to look further (https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/277674/anyone-know-why-a-wired-gigabit-connection-isnt-fast-enough-for-plex).

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