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xbox one x directplay and 4k

parasmichaelparasmichael Members, Plex Pass Posts: 7 Plex Pass

Hi, i am planning to buy an xbox one x instead of building a dedicated htpc box that will run plex as a player in my living room.

I have a couple of questions:

  1. will mkv encoded in mp4 or hevc 1080p be direct played by the xbox one x? or will transcoding happen? 95% of my movies are in mp4 in mkv format.
  2. Will xbox one direct play my hevc 4k movies directly? or will transcoding happen?
  3. is plex buttery smooth in xbox one? i haven't owned one and I am used to playing plex in a local windows pc, which is buttery smooth.

Thanks!

Best Answers

  • jmckeejmckee Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 5,065 Plex Ninja
    Accepted Answer

    @parasmichael said:
    1. will mkv encoded in mp4 or hevc 1080p be direct played by the xbox one x? or will transcoding happen? 95% of my movies are in mp4 in mkv format.

    I am unsure if you mean h264 encoding in an mkv container. The Xbox One does support direct play of H264 and HEVC in 1080p. And those formats should work in either an MP4 or MKV container. However, with HEVC specifically if anything else requires transcoding then the HEVC will also need to be transcoded to H264. (Ie if you have unsupported audio in the file like DTS or HD Audio formats).

    1. Will xbox one direct play my hevc 4k movies directly? or will transcoding happen?

    As long as the audio is supported by the Xbox and you don't have any other factors that force a transcode (ie image based subtitles or bandwidth restrictions) then all 3 of the Xbox One's support direct play of HEVC 4K material. The Non-S version will play it but only output 1080p resolution. If there is something in the file that forces a transcode then you will NOT get 4K resolution. There is currently a bug with the H264 decoder that prevents 4K material in H264 and HEVC is not a part of the HLS streaming standard. This means that if transcoding occurs for any reason then the resultion video will be a 1080p stream with H264.

    1. is plex buttery smooth in xbox one? i haven't owned one and I am used to playing plex in a local windows pc, which is buttery smooth.

    With the recent update users have reported that the app is a lot more responsive. The app itself has the same user interface as the newer Plex Media Player interface. So if you want to get a handle on what the user interface looks like, that will be a good preview of the interface.

    With that being said I only have an Xbox One S so I cannot say how responsive the app will be on a Xbox One X, but with the improved hardware it should perform better then the previous generation of Xbox One's.

  • cayarscayars Members, Plex Pass Posts: 4,819 Plex Pass
    Accepted Answer

    I've got both and hands down I prefer the ShieldTV (even 16Gb version) over the Xbox for Plex.
    This of course is personal and subjective.

    The xbox has a newer interface which I think is nicer looking then on the ShieldTV but the library navigation on the new Xbox app (and PMP2) doesn't agree with me so I prefer library navigation on any other apps before Xbox/PMP2. Try PMP2 out and see if you like the top menu navigation or not.

    A side from cosmetics if your main objective is a Plex client there is no competition as the ShieldTV is just plain awesome. It will play back literally anything you throw at it and will just work. It also has the ability to load Kodi and the Plex for Kodi addin which can be even more powerful. The ShieldTV is snappy and handles large libraries like mine with absolutely no slow downs at all.

    I have two Xbox's in use so they get a work out from time to time but I've got a ShieldTV hooked up to my main Theater TV. In my house, the ShieldTV is part of my everyday use of Plex where the Xbox is used mainly for gaming but occasionally for Plex.

    One HUGE advantage to me about an Android Box such as the ShieldTV is that it uses APKs to load apps. Don't like a new app or find bugs in it and you can always side load an older app. It's more user controllable/configurable as well.

    Oh and the ShieldTV especially the Pro model can be a Plex Server as well. Even if this wasn't something you thought about previously it could always be setup and used as a backup server or a server you allow friends to stream from. It has built in Hardware Transcoding so it can transcode easily a few streams to external clients. You could also set it up as a dedicated "Plex PVR" as well. It's hard to go wrong with a ShieldTV.

    Best to buy one of each! LOL

    Carlo

    10.7K+ Movies, 435 Shows - 37K+ TV Episodes, 515 Christmas Movies, 480 Documentary, 335 3D Movies, 1300 Sports Events, 1280 Educational Videos, Premium Music: 215K+ Tracks, 900 GB Plex Meta-Data. 9 Network Tuners.
    Thread on my setup with some tips and tricks: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/131308/cayars-setup-walk-through-and-some-tips-and-tricks/p1
  • jmckeejmckee Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 5,065 Plex Ninja
    Accepted Answer

    @cloventt said:
    According to Xbox support, DTS is supported but only when using bitstream out, which sounds like a simple passthrough.

    Pass-through is exactly what it is, but isn't quite as simple as just enabling pass-through. The developers are actively looking at getting pass-through and the HD audio codecs working, it just wasn't possible until the app was updated to the new framework.

    I don't have a dedicated audio receiver, so I have my Xbox configured to output Stereo Uncompressed. Does this mean the Xbox is unable to decode the DTS audio, and therefore Plex transcodes the entire file?

    Almost right on the money. Currently, the Xbox sound configuration does not affect the app at all. That is something that is being worked on in conjuction with the HD audio/pass-through stuff (as they all tie in together).

    So right now the server needs to transcode any audio format that cannot be decoded by the Xbox One. DTS is one of the codecs that there is not a decoder for, so that format will need to be transcoded. (Also any HD audio or 7.1+ tracks) One other exception is that only the first audio track can be direct played. So even if you have a supported audio track in the 2nd audio slot, the app will have to remux the file to move it to the playable slot. (Which because of the HEVC problem then transcodes the video). This is why I normally recommend to put your compatibility track(s) first in the file (such as an AAC or AC3 track), then keep the HD audio in the later parts.

    Would re-encoding the audio to a different format prevent this happening, and what format would be a good choice for this?

    Currently, the app is only supporting 5.1 audio as on the old framework 7.1 audio presented some issues during playback. With the move to he new framework that is being looked at again along with the pass-through/hd audio support.

    Re-encoding the audio would definitely fix the audio problem, and at this moment the best format for surround sound would be AC3 5.1 or AAC. For direct playback on my files what I do is make an AC3 5.1 track the first audio track and move my original HD audio track to the 2nd spot. This allows the AC3 track to work as the first track for direct play while still allowing me to keep my HD audio track intact for when I need it. You could always just replace the original audio track, but then you would have to re-rip the disc again to get it back in the future if you wanted it.

Answers

  • jmckeejmckee Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 5,065 Plex Ninja
    Accepted Answer

    @parasmichael said:
    1. will mkv encoded in mp4 or hevc 1080p be direct played by the xbox one x? or will transcoding happen? 95% of my movies are in mp4 in mkv format.

    I am unsure if you mean h264 encoding in an mkv container. The Xbox One does support direct play of H264 and HEVC in 1080p. And those formats should work in either an MP4 or MKV container. However, with HEVC specifically if anything else requires transcoding then the HEVC will also need to be transcoded to H264. (Ie if you have unsupported audio in the file like DTS or HD Audio formats).

    1. Will xbox one direct play my hevc 4k movies directly? or will transcoding happen?

    As long as the audio is supported by the Xbox and you don't have any other factors that force a transcode (ie image based subtitles or bandwidth restrictions) then all 3 of the Xbox One's support direct play of HEVC 4K material. The Non-S version will play it but only output 1080p resolution. If there is something in the file that forces a transcode then you will NOT get 4K resolution. There is currently a bug with the H264 decoder that prevents 4K material in H264 and HEVC is not a part of the HLS streaming standard. This means that if transcoding occurs for any reason then the resultion video will be a 1080p stream with H264.

    1. is plex buttery smooth in xbox one? i haven't owned one and I am used to playing plex in a local windows pc, which is buttery smooth.

    With the recent update users have reported that the app is a lot more responsive. The app itself has the same user interface as the newer Plex Media Player interface. So if you want to get a handle on what the user interface looks like, that will be a good preview of the interface.

    With that being said I only have an Xbox One S so I cannot say how responsive the app will be on a Xbox One X, but with the improved hardware it should perform better then the previous generation of Xbox One's.

  • kraftykraftykraftykrafty Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

    Can the 2017 Shield handle this? Debating getting a Shield.

  • cayarscayars Members, Plex Pass Posts: 4,819 Plex Pass
    Accepted Answer

    I've got both and hands down I prefer the ShieldTV (even 16Gb version) over the Xbox for Plex.
    This of course is personal and subjective.

    The xbox has a newer interface which I think is nicer looking then on the ShieldTV but the library navigation on the new Xbox app (and PMP2) doesn't agree with me so I prefer library navigation on any other apps before Xbox/PMP2. Try PMP2 out and see if you like the top menu navigation or not.

    A side from cosmetics if your main objective is a Plex client there is no competition as the ShieldTV is just plain awesome. It will play back literally anything you throw at it and will just work. It also has the ability to load Kodi and the Plex for Kodi addin which can be even more powerful. The ShieldTV is snappy and handles large libraries like mine with absolutely no slow downs at all.

    I have two Xbox's in use so they get a work out from time to time but I've got a ShieldTV hooked up to my main Theater TV. In my house, the ShieldTV is part of my everyday use of Plex where the Xbox is used mainly for gaming but occasionally for Plex.

    One HUGE advantage to me about an Android Box such as the ShieldTV is that it uses APKs to load apps. Don't like a new app or find bugs in it and you can always side load an older app. It's more user controllable/configurable as well.

    Oh and the ShieldTV especially the Pro model can be a Plex Server as well. Even if this wasn't something you thought about previously it could always be setup and used as a backup server or a server you allow friends to stream from. It has built in Hardware Transcoding so it can transcode easily a few streams to external clients. You could also set it up as a dedicated "Plex PVR" as well. It's hard to go wrong with a ShieldTV.

    Best to buy one of each! LOL

    Carlo

    10.7K+ Movies, 435 Shows - 37K+ TV Episodes, 515 Christmas Movies, 480 Documentary, 335 3D Movies, 1300 Sports Events, 1280 Educational Videos, Premium Music: 215K+ Tracks, 900 GB Plex Meta-Data. 9 Network Tuners.
    Thread on my setup with some tips and tricks: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/131308/cayars-setup-walk-through-and-some-tips-and-tricks/p1
  • parasmichaelparasmichael Members, Plex Pass Posts: 7 Plex Pass

    thank you for the answers. hopefuly that HLS thing is a bug and will get fixed soon. looks like im sold on xbox one x, nvidia shield sounds interesting but i dont think there are any games there that i like.

    thanks again

  • kraftykraftykraftykrafty Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

    @cayars said:
    I've got both and hands down I prefer the ShieldTV (even 16Gb version) over the Xbox for Plex.
    This of course is personal and subjective.

    The xbox has a newer interface which I think is nicer looking then on the ShieldTV but the library navigation on the new Xbox app (and PMP2) doesn't agree with me so I prefer library navigation on any other apps before Xbox/PMP2. Try PMP2 out and see if you like the top menu navigation or not.

    A side from cosmetics if your main objective is a Plex client there is no competition as the ShieldTV is just plain awesome. It will play back literally anything you throw at it and will just work. It also has the ability to load Kodi and the Plex for Kodi addin which can be even more powerful. The ShieldTV is snappy and handles large libraries like mine with absolutely no slow downs at all.

    I have two Xbox's in use so they get a work out from time to time but I've got a ShieldTV hooked up to my main Theater TV. In my house, the ShieldTV is part of my everyday use of Plex where the Xbox is used mainly for gaming but occasionally for Plex.

    One HUGE advantage to me about an Android Box such as the ShieldTV is that it uses APKs to load apps. Don't like a new app or find bugs in it and you can always side load an older app. It's more user controllable/configurable as well.

    Oh and the ShieldTV especially the Pro model can be a Plex Server as well. Even if this wasn't something you thought about previously it could always be setup and used as a backup server or a server you allow friends to stream from. It has built in Hardware Transcoding so it can transcode easily a few streams to external clients. You could also set it up as a dedicated "Plex PVR" as well. It's hard to go wrong with a ShieldTV.

    Best to buy one of each! LOL

    Carlo

    Thanks! Ipulled the trigger and ordered the shield (I have an Xbox one x already) How is streaming Netflix and using other apps on it. Plex is pretty rare for me to use but I want to get rid of my nuc as this is pmp only device which is great at playing plex but not for anything else. Looking for that one streaming box to rule them all.

  • jmckeejmckee Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 5,065 Plex Ninja

    @parasmichael said:
    thank you for the answers. hopefuly that HLS thing is a bug and will get fixed soon. looks like im sold on xbox one x, nvidia shield sounds interesting but i dont think there are any games there that i like.

    If you mean the no HEVC in HLS, unfortunately it is not a bug. It just simply hasn't been added to the HLS standard yet. Once it gets added to the standard and devices are updated to handle it, then HEVC can be used in HLS for the various clients.

  • cloventtcloventt Members Posts: 1

    @jmckee said:
    However, with HEVC specifically if anything else requires transcoding then the HEVC will also need to be transcoded to H264. (Ie if you have unsupported audio in the file like DTS or HD Audio formats).

    So if I, say, have an mkv container file with 4K HEVC and 7.1 DTS audio, Plex will transcode down to h264 1080p?

    According to Xbox support, DTS is supported but only when using bitstream out, which sounds like a simple passthrough. I don't have a dedicated audio receiver, so I have my Xbox configured to output Stereo Uncompressed. Does this mean the Xbox is unable to decode the DTS audio, and therefore Plex transcodes the entire file? Would re-encoding the audio to a different format prevent this happening, and what format would be a good choice for this?

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge around this stuff.

  • jmckeejmckee Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 5,065 Plex Ninja
    Accepted Answer

    @cloventt said:
    According to Xbox support, DTS is supported but only when using bitstream out, which sounds like a simple passthrough.

    Pass-through is exactly what it is, but isn't quite as simple as just enabling pass-through. The developers are actively looking at getting pass-through and the HD audio codecs working, it just wasn't possible until the app was updated to the new framework.

    I don't have a dedicated audio receiver, so I have my Xbox configured to output Stereo Uncompressed. Does this mean the Xbox is unable to decode the DTS audio, and therefore Plex transcodes the entire file?

    Almost right on the money. Currently, the Xbox sound configuration does not affect the app at all. That is something that is being worked on in conjuction with the HD audio/pass-through stuff (as they all tie in together).

    So right now the server needs to transcode any audio format that cannot be decoded by the Xbox One. DTS is one of the codecs that there is not a decoder for, so that format will need to be transcoded. (Also any HD audio or 7.1+ tracks) One other exception is that only the first audio track can be direct played. So even if you have a supported audio track in the 2nd audio slot, the app will have to remux the file to move it to the playable slot. (Which because of the HEVC problem then transcodes the video). This is why I normally recommend to put your compatibility track(s) first in the file (such as an AAC or AC3 track), then keep the HD audio in the later parts.

    Would re-encoding the audio to a different format prevent this happening, and what format would be a good choice for this?

    Currently, the app is only supporting 5.1 audio as on the old framework 7.1 audio presented some issues during playback. With the move to he new framework that is being looked at again along with the pass-through/hd audio support.

    Re-encoding the audio would definitely fix the audio problem, and at this moment the best format for surround sound would be AC3 5.1 or AAC. For direct playback on my files what I do is make an AC3 5.1 track the first audio track and move my original HD audio track to the 2nd spot. This allows the AC3 track to work as the first track for direct play while still allowing me to keep my HD audio track intact for when I need it. You could always just replace the original audio track, but then you would have to re-rip the disc again to get it back in the future if you wanted it.

  • parasmichaelparasmichael Members, Plex Pass Posts: 7 Plex Pass

    @jmckee said:

    @cloventt said:
    According to Xbox support, DTS is supported but only when using bitstream out, which sounds like a simple passthrough.

    Pass-through is exactly what it is, but isn't quite as simple as just enabling pass-through. The developers are actively looking at getting pass-through and the HD audio codecs working, it just wasn't possible until the app was updated to the new framework.

    I don't have a dedicated audio receiver, so I have my Xbox configured to output Stereo Uncompressed. Does this mean the Xbox is unable to decode the DTS audio, and therefore Plex transcodes the entire file?

    Almost right on the money. Currently, the Xbox sound configuration does not affect the app at all. That is something that is being worked on in conjuction with the HD audio/pass-through stuff (as they all tie in together).

    So right now the server needs to transcode any audio format that cannot be decoded by the Xbox One. DTS is one of the codecs that there is not a decoder for, so that format will need to be transcoded. (Also any HD audio or 7.1+ tracks) One other exception is that only the first audio track can be direct played. So even if you have a supported audio track in the 2nd audio slot, the app will have to remux the file to move it to the playable slot. (Which because of the HEVC problem then transcodes the video). This is why I normally recommend to put your compatibility track(s) first in the file (such as an AAC or AC3 track), then keep the HD audio in the later parts.

    Would re-encoding the audio to a different format prevent this happening, and what format would be a good choice for this?

    Currently, the app is only supporting 5.1 audio as on the old framework 7.1 audio presented some issues during playback. With the move to he new framework that is being looked at again along with the pass-through/hd audio support.

    Re-encoding the audio would definitely fix the audio problem, and at this moment the best format for surround sound would be AC3 5.1 or AAC. For direct playback on my files what I do is make an AC3 5.1 track the first audio track and move my original HD audio track to the 2nd spot. This allows the AC3 track to work as the first track for direct play while still allowing me to keep my HD audio track intact for when I need it. You could always just replace the original audio track, but then you would have to re-rip the disc again to get it back in the future if you wanted it.

    wow, this is very insightful thank you very much.

    Ok so here is my plan:

    1080P/720P movies - i dont mind transcoding as my server and bandwidth can handle it.
    4k movies (very few only unfortunately - reencode the movie with AC3 5.1 or AAC on the first track (can handbrake do this?) and move the original audio to track 2 (that way i have an original soundtrack in case they can directly play this in the future)

    is this plan any good?

  • cayarscayars Members, Plex Pass Posts: 4,819 Plex Pass

    @kraftykrafty said:
    Thanks! Ipulled the trigger and ordered the shield (I have an Xbox one x already) How is streaming Netflix and using other apps on it. Plex is pretty rare for me to use but I want to get rid of my nuc as this is pmp only device which is great at playing plex but not for anything else. Looking for that one streaming box to rule them all.

    For streaming it's hard to do better. Handles LiveChannels (live TV, recording and IPTV), Kodi, Plex, Emby, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube, CBS All Access, NFL, ESPN, NBC, Fox, CNN, etc... Pretty much any online channel you would want. Also try installing Pluto and TubiTV (search for APK-not in store).

    I don't use my Shield for Gaming but only for Streaming and wouldn't replace it for the world.

    10.7K+ Movies, 435 Shows - 37K+ TV Episodes, 515 Christmas Movies, 480 Documentary, 335 3D Movies, 1300 Sports Events, 1280 Educational Videos, Premium Music: 215K+ Tracks, 900 GB Plex Meta-Data. 9 Network Tuners.
    Thread on my setup with some tips and tricks: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/131308/cayars-setup-walk-through-and-some-tips-and-tricks/p1
  • jmckeejmckee Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 5,065 Plex Ninja

    @parasmichael said:
    1080P/720P movies - i dont mind transcoding as my server and bandwidth can handle it.
    4k movies (very few only unfortunately - reencode the movie with AC3 5.1 or AAC on the first track (can handbrake do this?) and move the original audio to track 2 (that way i have an original soundtrack in case they can directly play this in the future)

    is this plan any good?

    It sounds good. Handrbake will not pass through the original video and will attempt to convert that as well. For just remuxing/moving audio tracks I use either ffmpeg from the command line or mkvmerge for a program with a GUI. I tend to use those for this task as they allow you to leave the video alone and just do the audio which turns a 3+ hour encode into around a 5-10minute encode (Converting just the audio is very trivial for most CPU's)

  • cayarscayars Members, Plex Pass Posts: 4,819 Plex Pass

    You can use my scripts which will do this automatically or for News who like a simple GUI I'd recommend XMedia Recode which is really nice http://www.xmedia-recode.de/

    Carlo

    10.7K+ Movies, 435 Shows - 37K+ TV Episodes, 515 Christmas Movies, 480 Documentary, 335 3D Movies, 1300 Sports Events, 1280 Educational Videos, Premium Music: 215K+ Tracks, 900 GB Plex Meta-Data. 9 Network Tuners.
    Thread on my setup with some tips and tricks: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/131308/cayars-setup-walk-through-and-some-tips-and-tricks/p1
  • emma24xiaemma24xia Members Posts: 99 ✭✭

    4K is supported on Xbox One X, so long as it is compatible (see below). If the content is not compatible, your Plex Media Server will need to be capable of transcoding the content.

    Native playback of 4K content is supported so long as it meets the following criteria:
    Resolution: 4096x2160 or smaller
    Video Encoding: H.265 (HEVC; both 8-bit and 10-bit) and mpeg4
    The content is being Direct Played
    No subtitles are enabled

    Tip!: If you have 4K content with a different encoding (such as H.264), it cannot be played at 4K and will instead be transcoded down to a maximum of 1080p.

  • DirectPlayerDirectPlayer Members Posts: 3 ✭✭

    Regarding the criteria above, it still can't direct play videos that meet those criteria AND have HDR and/or Dolby Atmos sound.

    Plex server running on Windows 7 Desktop PC (always on).
    Plex devices (gigabit wired): Nvidia Shield, Xbox One X, Tivo STB and minis

  • jmckeejmckee Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 5,065 Plex Ninja

    @DirectPlayer said:
    Regarding the criteria above, it still can't direct play videos that meet those criteria **AND **have HDR and/or Dolby Atmos sound. Can't wait for that.

    HDR currently does not affect the ability to directly playback a media file, but an Atmos Track will.

  • TyShevyTyShevy Members, Plex Pass Posts: 2 Plex Pass
    edited December 2017

    @jmckee said:

    HDR currently does not affect the ability to directly playback a media file, but an Atmos Track will.

    Thanks for the clarification. Properly stated: even if a video meets those criteria AND has HDR, it won't play in HDR mode.

    - Plex Server running on PC

    - Plex Clients running on:

       --- Xbox One

       --- Android Ouya

       --- Android Phone

       --- Android Tablet

  • ZangieeZangiee Members, Plex Pass Posts: 1 Plex Pass

    It took me AGES to find a solution but here it is.... drum roll please:

    Use an Amazon Fire TV running Kodi with the Plex add-in.

    In that specific configuration (instead of native Plex app on Fire TV), it plays anything and everything I throw at it.

  • cayarscayars Members, Plex Pass Posts: 4,819 Plex Pass

    Along the same lines, just use a Shield TV which handles H.264, H.265 and Mpeg2 via hardware decoding and allows just about everything to direct play. Mpeg2 support is important if you are interested in LiveTV or DVR.

    Carlo

    10.7K+ Movies, 435 Shows - 37K+ TV Episodes, 515 Christmas Movies, 480 Documentary, 335 3D Movies, 1300 Sports Events, 1280 Educational Videos, Premium Music: 215K+ Tracks, 900 GB Plex Meta-Data. 9 Network Tuners.
    Thread on my setup with some tips and tricks: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/131308/cayars-setup-walk-through-and-some-tips-and-tricks/p1
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