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Google Fiber TV box: "Unable to Cast" video with AC3 / Dolby audio (Debug Logs included)

ACiDxCHRiSTACiDxCHRiST Posts: 4Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
edited June 2017 in Google Chromecast

Whenever I try to cast a video with AC3 / Dolby audio to the Google Fiber TV box, it fails and I get a "unable to cast - There was a problem playing this item." error on the TV screen. Video with DTS, FLAC, or AAC audio play successfully.

Plex Media Server:

  • Ubuntu Server 17.04 with Kernel 4.10.0-24-generic
  • Plex Media Server v1.7.3.3937-70f781325 linux-ubuntu-x86_64

Casting from:

  • Huawei Nexus 6P
  • Android Version: 7.1.2
  • Plex Version: (6a09a7d5)

Casting to:

  • Google Fiber TV box
  • Platform Version: gftv200-46.51.2
  • Operating System: Linux 3.19.0-gfiber0+

The timeline of events for the logs is: I tried to cast "10 Cloverfield Lane" with AC3 audio and it failed. I then tried to cast "10 Cloverfield Lane" again and it failed. I then tried to cast "10,000 BC" with DTS audio and it started playing successfully. I let it play for around 30 seconds and then stopped it manually. I then tried to cast "12 Years a Slave" with AC3 audio and it failed. I tried one more time to cast "12 Years a Slave" and it failed.


  • finleymediafinleymedia Posts: 1Members

    Have you found a solution? I'm on Ubuntu 16.04 and am thinking about switching to Windows if this is a server problem.

  • ACiDxCHRiSTACiDxCHRiST Posts: 4Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited May 1

    No I have not.

    I have a strong feeling that the issue is in the Android app, or rather the code of the Chromecast app that is transmitted from the Android device that forms the Plex interface on the Chromecast.

    The Plex Chromecast applet is informing the Plex server that the device supports AC3 when in reality, it does not. If it simply said that AC3 was not supported, then the Audio would be transcoded to AAC and the movie would play fine.

    Movies with DTS audio and even E-AC3 audio work because the Plex server is informed that the Google Fiber TV Box Chromecast device does not support those codecs and the Plex server transcodes the audio to 2 Ch AAC.

    I have tested many movies with 5.1 Ch AC3 and 2 Ch AC3 and not a single one will play. I have only tested with the Android Plex app as the casting device and Linux Ubuntu x64 server and Synology Diskstation x64 server.

  • jneufeld73jneufeld73 Posts: 4Members

    Just wondering if there's been any fix for this issue. I've been unable to cast MKV files on my Google Fiber TV boxes via their built in chromecast capability for the past year. Everything had worked fine up until some update on one side or the other made things stop working. I've searched for solutions, but haven't found anything that has worked. MP4 files seem to generally play fine.

  • ACiDxCHRiSTACiDxCHRiST Posts: 4Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    This issue is firmly in Google's court as Plex is doing what it is supposed to and adhering to the standards that Google set for the Chromecast protocol. I have since cancelled my Fiber TV and replaced it with Nvidia Shield TV boxes that have a working and standard adhering Chromecast protocol, and it works just fine. Since the Shield boxes have a native Android TV Plex app, I just use that now instead. I also tested Plex with a standalone Chromecast and it worked fine on that too.

    The issue is Google Fiber not keeping their Chromecast functionality up-to-date on their Fiber TV boxes. Plex could possibly alter their code to specifically detect Fiber TV boxes and handle the process in a way that is compatible with them, but I REALLY don't see that happening. Plex already does a great job supporting a ridiculous number of platforms and devices simultaneously, and adding another one that has such a small user base probably doesn't interest them at all. Also, Fiber TV is basically dead as Google has stopped even offering it to the newer regions that they are rolling out to.

    Even if Google Fiber doesn't start cancelling Fiber TV in areas where they have already made it available, I am pretty sure next-to-nothing will be dedicated to improving any part of the Fiber TV experience going forward. So, it is unlikely that Plex will accommodate Fiber TV's broken Chromecast implementation, and it is unlikely that Google Fiber will update their broken Chromecast implementation.

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