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Transcoding issue?

GB33GB33 Posts: 12Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass

I tried so damn hard not to have to be the new guy asking ignorant questions and despite my searching and trying, I just have to. I finally joined the cord cutting side of things and got Plex to be solely our DVR 90% of the time. HDHOMERUN tuner, but their DVR service was a waste of money and time. Very ugly and archaic interface.
So what I have is an HP Elite SFF Windows 10 desktop with an i7 4770 3.5ghz processor, 8gb RAM and SSD drive all hard wired with gigabit router and switch. From what I've read it has a benchmark score of 9795 and should be efficient enough for what I'm doing. But I get constant errors, buffering, or outright will not play when I or wife(!!!) goes to play back. This is on local AC or N clients with minimal if any other traffic Clients are iPads and Roku. It appears to be transcoding issue, as I've even received a format error before. When trying it out at the main server machine (it's only job btw) it works okay. Also, if important info, we have Spectrum cable internet with 100/15 service.
I have set PC power settings to always on and high performance to avoid going to sleep or decreased processor performance. What am I doing wrong?! She's ready to throw in the towel and go back to cable!

Answers

  • baileyjs78baileyjs78 Posts: 6Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    When viewing the video, what video settings are you using? There should be an option to change the data rate for the video. If you use Original, then this will be highest data rate (like 10Mbps), but the server should be hardly doing anything (check the CPU on the server). At this data rate, network issues will come into play. If you lower the data rate (to like 4Mbps), then the CPU should be at 100%, but you should be able to watch it.

    Once you have established if it is a data rate issue, then you have a couple of options:
    1) always watch at a lower data rate and make your CPU work (you may be limited to how many simultaneous streams you can run)
    2) Create an Optimized version using the plex interface. This will "pre-transcode" the video so that all you have to do is stream it at the lower bit rate.
    3) Use something like MCEBuddy to optimize the video (this also has the affect of removing commercials)

  • jeffmdjeffmd Posts: 75Members ✭✭
    edited October 6

    well new guy indeed,

    1. complete specs of the files being transcoded?

    2. you mention your cable speed, but this is all local network, no?

  • GB33GB33 Posts: 12Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Yes all internal, as I mentioned hard wired except for the Ipad clients over N or AC wireless (depending on which Ipad).
    I assume you mean the error log? Does it not help to say that it's literally every episode of every show? With the specs provided, shouldn't this be more smooth than not?

  • GB33GB33 Posts: 12Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited October 6

    @baileyjs78 said:
    When viewing the video, what video settings are you using? There should be an option to change the data rate for the video. If you use Original, then this will be highest data rate (like 10Mbps), but the server should be hardly doing anything (check the CPU on the server). At this data rate, network issues will come into play. If you lower the data rate (to like 4Mbps), then the CPU should be at 100%, but you should be able to watch it.

    ****I left it at automatic for internal network, took remote viewing down to 1080p 8mbps. With the equipment and setup I described, it's really possible to still have issues? I've seen Plex setup videos on Nvidea Shields and little fan less PC's and I'm struggling with what I have? Playing back just one file at a time? Doesn't seem right. I'm not thinking I have the Bugatti of Plex servers, but it's hardly a 2008 Honda Fit is it?!** **

    Once you have established if it is a data rate issue, then you have a couple of options:
    1) always watch at a lower data rate and make your CPU work (you may be limited to how many simultaneous streams you can run)

    Set to "make my CPU scream"? And "fastest" under transcoding?

    2) Create an Optimized version using the plex interface. This will "pre-transcode" the video so that all you have to do is stream it at the lower bit rate.

    ****Did that for a couple of episodes but then there is no time shifting or "live tv" viewing. Might as well just use Hulu. And this has to be done manually for each episode right? No auto script? ****

    3) Use something like MCEBuddy to optimize the video (this also has the affect of removing commercials)

    ****Have considered using MCEB but figured I shouldn't throw yet another monkey wrench into the mix. **
    **

  • baileyjs78baileyjs78 Posts: 6Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I am still uncertain if the problem is CPU or network.
    Can you try watching the program on the localhost? On the machine where Plex and the video's are stored?
    If you have buffering issues there, than it is very likely a CPU issue (which does sound strange)
    However, if it works well, then it could be a network/wireless issue.
    Don't be mislead by wireless claims of speed. A 54Mbps network means that in the BEST conditions it will get 54Mbps, however, you usually never get that. Distance, interference, walls, etc will all degrade the signal.

    Please post some data about these test in order to isolate CPU or network.

  • GB33GB33 Posts: 12Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I will be working on it tonight and will post my findings. Thank you so much for following up, I really appreciate it.

  • GB33GB33 Posts: 12Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    How about this?!!? "This server is not powerful enough to convert video"
    Are you freaking kidding me?! This machine has ONE task! And its playing back ONE show! An i7 can't transcode one freaking show?!!? Man has this been a horribly disappointing experience. I see all this crap about people running Plex on Nvidea Shields, old Core2's , small fan less units, but yet an i7 4770 with SSD drives can't transcode one freaking show without constant issues?! Dumb.
    Sorry I'm a bit upset right now

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