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Roku 2 direct play stops after some time

HowchieHowchie Posts: 41Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
edited September 1 in Roku

Hi all,

I am aware there are issues with the latest Roku firmware, however I'm not sure whether this is related or not. Every file that I have that should direct play (and used to) now starts direct playing, but after a seemingly random amount of time buffers, then starts transcoding. The error messages are weird to me, and it seems like the Roku app or server are getting confused about what files can direct play (e.g., the attached logs say direct play failed due to a framerate of 23.976, but this is pretty much the standard for movies, and has always worked in the past).

I've attached the media server and roku logs from the latest incident, occurring at about 10:32pm in the server log, and 12:32 in the roku log (not sure why the Roku is on the wrong time, it's fine on the device). Any help would be appreciated, it's very frustrating, as the files tend to switch back and forth between transcode and direct play throughout playback.

EDIT: Sorry for the double post, the forum is telling me the post fails to add, but now there are several threads created

Best Answers

Answers

  • shopgirl284shopgirl284 Posts: 2,754Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Forum Moderator Plex Ninja

    If the Roku can no longer access the media, it will automatically send the request to Plex Media Server to try to transcode it, so it sounds like there is an issue maintaining the connection with that media file.

    Your Roku log just says the connection failed. And your PMS log has an error about being unable to access the file because it is being used by another process.

    So, that sounds like there is probably some other program that is running on your operating system, like a virus scanner, that is interfering with the access to the media file. You would need to put an exception in that software so it does not access your Plex media. But, if your data folder or media is stored on a system other than your Plex Media Server, there could be an issue maintaining the network connection.

    Users in the Plex Media Server section of the forums would be more familiar with Plex Media Server on your operating system and would be able to better provide advice on how to prevent interference or dropped connections for your media.

    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
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  • HowchieHowchie Posts: 41Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Hi shopgirl,

    It seems unlikely it is a connection issue, files that should transcode (e.g. old avi codec files) play through fine transcoding, and as mentioned, the files that should direct play continually switch between direct and transcode. It seems as if the server and/or roku app are either mis analyzing the files, or not making the correct decision about transcode/direct play. The roku log clearly says that the server decided it couldn't direct play the file. This is evidenced further by the fact that I've now turned direct play to 'off' in the roku app and for the moment everything seems to play properly (transcoding). This wouldn't happen if there was an intermittent connection issue right?

    I've added exclusions to my media drives in my AV just in case. the server is just a windows PC with media on its own drives. The server and roku are both directly wired to my router, and all other devices (and indeed, netflix on the roku) work fine.

  • JuiceWSAJuiceWSA Posts: 6,777Members ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2

    Noticed that on July 14th:
    https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/279608/roku-3-7-7-direct-play-wham-transcode

    Absolutely, Positively related to the dreaded 7.7 FW issue, because rolling back to 7.6 stopped it and now they've allowed my Roku 3 4200x to move forward to 7.7 Build 4139 and most issues with the evil 7.7 have been resolved - except the 'hippity-hoppity-jimpity-jumpity' menu jitters, but I'm not going to mention it right now for fear they'll explode the whole thing trying to fix that.

    https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=104029
    The Cure starts on page 14 of this cage-match.

    Tony

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    Plex Clients: AFTVs, Androids, PMP, Rokus (running RARflix: http://mkvxstream.blogspot.com/2014/09/roku-plex-setup-guide.html ) Link May Work - May Not

  • HowchieHowchie Posts: 41Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    That's a shame. I haven't seen much mention of the roku 2 in that thread, hopefully I can be moved forward as well.

  • shopgirl284shopgirl284 Posts: 2,754Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Forum Moderator Plex Ninja

    @Howchie said:
    Hi shopgirl,

    It seems unlikely it is a connection issue, files that should transcode (e.g. old avi codec files) play through fine transcoding, and as mentioned, the files that should direct play continually switch between direct and transcode. It seems as if the server and/or roku app are either mis analyzing the files, or not making the correct decision about transcode/direct play. The roku log clearly says that the server decided it couldn't direct play the file. This is evidenced further by the fact that I've now turned direct play to 'off' in the roku app and for the moment everything seems to play properly (transcoding). This wouldn't happen if there was an intermittent connection issue right?

    I've added exclusions to my media drives in my AV just in case. the server is just a windows PC with media on its own drives. The server and roku are both directly wired to my router, and all other devices (and indeed, netflix on the roku) work fine.

    Does this occur when you try to direct play all of your media? Or does it only occur when certain media is direct played?

    From your original statement and the Roku log, it is direct playing at the beginning, but then loses the connection (and states the connection failed) and only then does the Roku send the media to PMS to be transcoded. So the file is only transcoded when the Roku can no longer access the file directly. So the key is determining why the media can be accessed by the Roku at first, but that access is lost at some point during direct playback.

    If you are hardwired and all the media is on the hard drive of your Plex Media Server computer, it should not be a connection issue. But if your media is stored on another device, it could be caused by that hard drive going to sleep after a period of time.

    Plex Media Server may send more requests to the drive when transcoding media than the Roku may send when direct playing the media and that difference in the number of requests is keeping the connection alive and therefore you do not see the issue when media is transcoded. (I cannot be sure of this, but it would make sense that transcoded media is accessed more actively than media that is direct played).

    And the error in the PMS log about the file being being used by another program seems to indicate that another program is trying to access that media and that is causing an access failure. The usual culprit of this is antivirus software, but it could be other programs that scan your media files. But this is more likely the case if the issue only happens some of the time.

    I would not think that it is an issue with the media file itself unless it always occurs at the same part of the video and is not happening with every media file you play. If it does always occur at the same part of a particular video, you can always run that media file through Handbrake to try to resolve any issues with the media itself.

    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

  • HowchieHowchie Posts: 41Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @shopgirl284 said:

    @Howchie said:
    Hi shopgirl,

    It seems unlikely it is a connection issue, files that should transcode (e.g. old avi codec files) play through fine transcoding, and as mentioned, the files that should direct play continually switch between direct and transcode. It seems as if the server and/or roku app are either mis analyzing the files, or not making the correct decision about transcode/direct play. The roku log clearly says that the server decided it couldn't direct play the file. This is evidenced further by the fact that I've now turned direct play to 'off' in the roku app and for the moment everything seems to play properly (transcoding). This wouldn't happen if there was an intermittent connection issue right?

    I've added exclusions to my media drives in my AV just in case. the server is just a windows PC with media on its own drives. The server and roku are both directly wired to my router, and all other devices (and indeed, netflix on the roku) work fine.

    Does this occur when you try to direct play all of your media? Or does it only occur when certain media is direct played?

    From your original statement and the Roku log, it is direct playing at the beginning, but then loses the connection (and states the connection failed) and only then does the Roku send the media to PMS to be transcoded. So the file is only transcoded when the Roku can no longer access the file directly. So the key is determining why the media can be accessed by the Roku at first, but that access is lost at some point during direct playback.

    If you are hardwired and all the media is on the hard drive of your Plex Media Server computer, it should not be a connection issue. But if your media is stored on another device, it could be caused by that hard drive going to sleep after a period of time.

    Plex Media Server may send more requests to the drive when transcoding media than the Roku may send when direct playing the media and that difference in the number of requests is keeping the connection alive and therefore you do not see the issue when media is transcoded. (I cannot be sure of this, but it would make sense that transcoded media is accessed more actively than media that is direct played).

    And the error in the PMS log about the file being being used by another program seems to indicate that another program is trying to access that media and that is causing an access failure. The usual culprit of this is antivirus software, but it could be other programs that scan your media files. But this is more likely the case if the issue only happens some of the time.

    I would not think that it is an issue with the media file itself unless it always occurs at the same part of the video and is not happening with every media file you play. If it does always occur at the same part of a particular video, you can always run that media file through Handbrake to try to resolve any issues with the media itself.

    It's definitely happening with every media file that can direct play (and ONLY files that are direct playing). It's only started happening in the last month or so, and the media files are on the PC that is hard wired to the router. The AV software has not been changed since I set up the computer 2 years ago, and the folders with media are completely excluded from any kind of scan. I would have to assume it is likely linked to the Roku 7.7 firmware as stated by other users, as that would seemingly fit the timeframe.

  • shopgirl284shopgirl284 Posts: 2,754Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Forum Moderator Plex Ninja

    Since this issue is not occurring for all Roku users with all direct played media, my first thought would be that the firmware could not cause this.

    But this could be an issue that only affects the Roku 2 player with that firmware update and we do not have many Plex users with a Roku 2 box.

    Please report back, if reverting back to the older firmware fixes this issue.

    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

  • HowchieHowchie Posts: 41Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Thanks all. I've sent an email off to get the different firmware. I'm on the Roku 2 that is identical to the Roku 3 but without the 'wifi direct' remote, so I'm sure that's the likely cause. I'll report back if I get upgraded AND still have the issue.

  • JuiceWSAJuiceWSA Posts: 6,777Members ✭✭✭✭✭

    I was almost sure you had the 'New 2' (basically a 3) because my old 2HD never got the dreaded 7.7 and still works - if you can believe it.

    It'll take a while, but do let us know what happens.

    Tony

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    Plex Friendly Handbrake Guide - DVDs/BluRays: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1335697/#Comment_1335697

    Plex Clients: AFTVs, Androids, PMP, Rokus (running RARflix: http://mkvxstream.blogspot.com/2014/09/roku-plex-setup-guide.html ) Link May Work - May Not

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