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Plex on Shield TV - Direct Play (1080p x264 and 4k x265) broken

MagenofMagenof Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

Direct play was working fine, even for high bitrate content, a few updates ago but lately Direct Play content is always buffering. The message 'Your server isn't fast enough blabla' message keeps popping up even though that's total bullshit, my server and network are more than fast enough for a 40mbps movie, let alone the 20mbps content it has now trouble with.

When I limit the data rate to 20mbps and a play a normal 25mbps movie (so the content is forced to transcode) it works fine without stuttering.

Can this please be fixed? This is very annoying. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has trouble with this. And worst of all it was working perfectly fine a few updates ago. Also whats happened with 4k hevc always transcoding now on the shield tv, which was also working perfectly a few updates ago?

I know this is a lot of complaining but it feels like every few updates lately is 1 step forward and 10 steps back.

Best Answer

  • MagenofMagenof Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass
    Accepted Answer

    @danjames92 Solved my issues by suggesting switching to Kodi with Plex add-on, everything working correctly on that.

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Answers

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

    Please list your quality settings, the Plex app version, and the PMS version and what OS runs the PMS.

    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

  • MagenofMagenof Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass
    edited July 31

    Quality settings from the plex app?
    Video quality:
    Audjust automatically: off
    Home streaming: maximum
    internet streaming: maximum
    Play smaller video: on

    Plex app: 6.2.1.1036
    PMS: 1.8.0.4109
    Windows 10

  • interweb-techinterweb-tech Members, Plex Pass Posts: 104 Plex Pass

    I fixed this by uninstalling all updates from the Plex app in Shield TV. Back to factory and direct play of 4K content works great. My settings are the defaults.

    unRaid 6.4.0-rc7a Pro 63TB
    Dockers: Plex Media Server, PlexPy
    DVR: x2 HDHomeRun EXTEND
    NVIDIA Shield TV > X4300H > XBR65X900E
    NVIDIA Shield TV > VSX-822-K > TCP-65S60
    remote clients: Roku, FireTV, Chrome, Android mobile.

  • MagenofMagenof Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

    @interweb-tech did you also have issues with direct playing high bitrate 1080p content before you downgraded?

  • interweb-techinterweb-tech Members, Plex Pass Posts: 104 Plex Pass

    @Magenof said:
    @interweb-tech did you also have issues with direct playing high bitrate 1080p content before you downgraded?

    Not that I am aware of. I just got a 4K TV so I'm still new to getting the most out of it with UHD content. All the 4K stuff was transcoding and very choppy at that with the message about "too high bit rate, has to be trasncoded"

    unRaid 6.4.0-rc7a Pro 63TB
    Dockers: Plex Media Server, PlexPy
    DVR: x2 HDHomeRun EXTEND
    NVIDIA Shield TV > X4300H > XBR65X900E
    NVIDIA Shield TV > VSX-822-K > TCP-65S60
    remote clients: Roku, FireTV, Chrome, Android mobile.

  • felixbuenemannfelixbuenemann Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass
    edited August 2

    Something is definitely broken in the latest Update for the Plex App for Shield TV. Trying to play back 4K HDR HEVC results in a completely broken green mess on the screen and the status overlay shows "too high bit rate, has to be transcoded", even though "force direct play" is enabled in the preferences. Uninstalling all Updates to downgrade to 5.6.1 fixes this (but now refuses to play some files with "the plex server is not responding").

  • felixbuenemannfelixbuenemann Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

    I did some checking and the last working version for me is 6.0.1.523, everything beginning from 6.1.0.648 is broken, including the unreleased 6.3.0.1090 I found on apkmirror. Apparently there is a newer version 6.3.0.1201, but I could find a legal apk for that.

  • MagenofMagenof Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

    Removing the Plex App, reinstalling and restarting the Shield got me better direct play for 1080p again. I have no idea what was wrong though. On the latest release, like @felixbuenemann said, 4k HEVC is a green mess.

  • felixbuenemannfelixbuenemann Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

    Problem still exists on 6.3.0.1280 which sadly removes the preference settings for direct play and direct stream.

    It looks like it is trying to use direct stream now, the info overlay shows "direct" for both video and audio with the "too high bit rate" message as transcode reason.

    On some videos it somewhat manages to play back the video with lots of tearing and jumping.

    I noticed that the same problem happens on older versions if you enable direct stream and disable direct play.

    I think what might be happening is that the plex server direct streams the file while reading the selected video and audio tracks on two different threads in parallel and the usb 3 hdd is just not fast enough to seek around to accommodate that access pattern.

    I'll have to move over a problematic file to an ssd to verify that theory though.

  • felixbuenemannfelixbuenemann Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

    IO-Performance does not appear to be the issue. I moved a 40 GB 4K HDR HEVC (overall bitrate around 37 Mbps) over to the system SSD in my mac and the issue persists. I watched the CPU usage on the system while using direkt stream and it was peaking a single core at 100% cpu most of the time, even though it was not transcoding video or audio.

    Tested with PMS 1.8.0.4109 on a Core i7-5557U 3.1 GHz running macOS 10.12.6.

  • MagenofMagenof Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

    With the new version Direct Play forcing is even removed, its even worse now :s Sigh, even more steps back

  • MagenofMagenof Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass
    Accepted Answer

    @danjames92 Solved my issues by suggesting switching to Kodi with Plex add-on, everything working correctly on that.

  • felixbuenemannfelixbuenemann Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

    Switching to another app is nor really a solution to the problem, it needs to be fixed by plex devs.

  • jluequijluequi Members, Plex Pass Posts: 4 Plex Pass

    Same here. Green screen on 4K content. Uninstall all updates and working again but it updates automatically on nvidia sheild. Cannot find where to stop the updates. Plex really needs to fix this please, its annoying. Did play a recent 4K movie and it worked, passengers.

  • khisayruoukhisayruou Members, Plex Pass Posts: 25 Plex Pass

    @jluequi said:
    Same here. Green screen on 4K content. Uninstall all updates and working again but it updates automatically on nvidia sheild. Cannot find where to stop the updates. Plex really needs to fix this please, its annoying. Did play a recent 4K movie and it worked, passengers.

    Open the play store and go into settings to stop auto update.

  • swchisholmswchisholm Members, Plex Pass Posts: 8 Plex Pass

    I would like to know why it continues to be acceptable to the developers to continue removing useful, usable options. Direct play and stream we're helpful in forcing Plex to not transcode video it didn't need to and therefore not lose DTSHD audio streams in the process. Now if it picks up anything it doesn't like in the video file, ie. h.264 profiles, it forces transcoding and I can't turn it off. This comes after the recent removal of identifying DTSHD streams in the video info panel with no real explanation from developers. I paid for a lifetime subscription to keep what I had and get further updates, not lose functionality.

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

    @swchisholm said:
    I would like to know why it continues to be acceptable to the developers to continue removing useful, usable options. Direct play and stream we're helpful in forcing Plex to not transcode video it didn't need to and therefore not lose DTSHD audio streams in the process. Now if it picks up anything it doesn't like in the video file, ie. h.264 profiles, it forces transcoding and I can't turn it off. This comes after the recent removal of identifying DTSHD streams in the video info panel with no real explanation from developers. I paid for a lifetime subscription to keep what I had and get further updates, not lose functionality.

    Greg explained exactly why the DTS-HD logo was removed - because "DTS" is the exact string contained in the video headers. And I'm sorry to break it to you, but no piece of software makes a promise that you will forever have the features that came with whatever version you got when you bought it...unless of course you never, ever update it. Hell, the Plex Pass doesn't even have anything to do with core functions in PMS - those are absolutely free for everyone.

    This software belongs to Plex, not you, not me, not anyone else. The develop how they want, just like any other software developer.

    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

  • swchisholmswchisholm Members, Plex Pass Posts: 8 Plex Pass

    I saw the "explanation" a while ago; you may disagree with me - that's fine, but it still leaves users with no way of identifying what DTS streams are available for a given movie without digging into info. Headers or not, if the Blu-ray packaging identifies it as such, the application should as well. And I don't disagree with your statement of they never made any promises for anything to anyone, but I would've not made my purchase to support them years ago had I known I'd be back to using KODI to return functionality I once had. I'm not trying to start a flame war, just tired of software (Plex is not alone in this) getting streamlined for the masses and power users losing out.

  • cmwill1284cmwill1284 Members, Plex Pass Posts: 2 Plex Pass

    Have this problem on my 2nd Gen Nvidia Shield TV. Rolling back to Plex 5.8.x that came loaded with the Shield fixes it, but every few days it auto updates to Plex 6.3.x, breaks direct play and removes the settings for it. Any one know how to block Plex from updating itself? My content is 4k and 1080p x264, x265 with DTS-HD or TrueHD, so direct play is a necessity for me, its essentially why I got the Shield--4K content and DTS/TrueHD bitstreaming.

  • x64Manx64Man Members, Plex Pass Posts: 61 Plex Pass

    Google Play Store/Settings/Auto-update apps/Do not auto-update apps.

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