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Sony Bravia 900E and Z9D Android TV Playback Issues

RyushinRyushin Posts: 68Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

First, I would like to point out that not having a bug tracker is beyond understanding. I could maybe understand limiting the tracker to Plex Pass users, but even then, that would probably be counter productive to finding a possible solution to a bug by refusing to accept everyone's help.

My problems arrose since the updating of Plex for Android TV in early February, some videos have not been able to play. While some can. I've browsed the threads over the last month to find a solution to no avail. Today I decided to sit down and try a bunch of options to try and find a working solution.

The problem files cause the spinning circle for about 30 seconds until Plex just crashes. All of these files worked fine until the early February update.

So it seems if I mess with the H.264 level in the Advanced settings, changing it from 5.2 to 4.2, then sometimes I can get the problem files to play. If Plex crashes or I reboot the TV, then I would have to change the setting again. Does not matter if I change it back to 5.2, 5.1, or another setting, just changing it allows the files to play for some reason.

I've attached the mediainfo for the problem file and the logs. I'm still going through the logs to see if I can find anything showing me what the problem is.

The Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF) is pretty low right now. I've found a workaround by using Kodi with the Plex plugin.

This is just one problem of three. The grey bars still exist for 4K HDR content which is so distracting that we won't use Plex for that until we can get this fixed. The other problem TrueHD streams. I'll deal with the other two problems later, but right now, I just want to get Plex working as well as it was before February.

Oh, Plex admins, please put in a bug tracker.

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Answers

  • ember1205ember1205 Posts: 201Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Question.... Are you finding that changing a stream from native to automatically transcoded will allow them to play? What format are they? I have two 900E and a 940D set and can't play anything HD in native resolution. it constantly locks up and says that I don't have a fast enough connection to play the content.

  • RyushinRyushin Posts: 68Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I have not tried the option to have it transcode as that will defeat the purpose for me. All files play fine over DLNA using serviio and before the February update. Files even play fine with Plex on Android on my 3 year old Nexus 6 without transcoding.

    That is strange you cannot play anything HD. I can play (at least before Feburary) all my HD content and even my 4K movies (albeit, grey bars) that have been converted using Ripbot264 to a smaller file size (still about 20GB per movie). I'm running my PMS on my local server running Linux, but I'm not sure that would make a difference for you.

    Files are encoded using x264 settings with a blu-ray profile to start and then I tweaked the Reference frames from 3 to 5 and B frames from 5 to 7, which strays from compatibility but I've had no issues at all playing on any device before that could playback a blu-ray file. You can see the attached mediainfo file information for the detailed information on the options used.

  • ember1205ember1205 Posts: 201Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    My media is all ripped from BluRay using MakeMKV. I then use Carlo's scripts to further manipulate the files and ffmpeg to re-code them to M4V format. I drop the file size considerably and lose no discernable PQ in the process (even on my 940D).

    I never had an issue and last night couldn't get a movie to play. I learned today that this has been going on for a little bit with other files and determined that all three TV's are having the exact same issue.

    Exactly what version of the Plex client do you have on your TV's? I have 6.13.7.3458 from 2/15/18 one the set that I discovered the issue on. According to the Play store, there was an update yesterday, but I can't see where that is actually a different version from what's installed.

  • rwofficerwoffice Posts: 267Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @ember1205 said:
    I have 6.13.7.3458 from 2/15/18 one the set that I discovered the issue on. According to the Play store, there was an update yesterday, but I can't see where that is actually a different version from what's installed.

    The last two releases are 6.14.0 and 6.14.1:

    http://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1624551/#Comment_1624551

  • RyushinRyushin Posts: 68Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Running 6.14.1 on both TVs and issues still exist.

    I too drop the size when encoding. A typical 105 minute movie will come out to be about 7GB for 1080p and a 4K movie will be about 18GB. I will use MDegrain2 to reduce the size if the file is too large while actually improving the picture quality compared to the source (at least in my eyes). In fact, Blade Runner in 4K was a grainy soupy mess until I ran MDegrain2 on it and then it came out so good the wife kept saying wow as we where watching it as she was very disappointed with the source material and thought we wasted our money on the 4K disc.

  • ember1205ember1205 Posts: 201Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @rwoffice said:

    @ember1205 said:
    I have 6.13.7.3458 from 2/15/18 one the set that I discovered the issue on. According to the Play store, there was an update yesterday, but I can't see where that is actually a different version from what's installed.

    The last two releases are 6.14.0 and 6.14.1:

    http://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1624551/#Comment_1624551

    So, why does my local device say that the app is up to date?

  • rwofficerwoffice Posts: 267Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @ember1205 said:

    @rwoffice said:

    @ember1205 said:
    I have 6.13.7.3458 from 2/15/18 one the set that I discovered the issue on. According to the Play store, there was an update yesterday, but I can't see where that is actually a different version from what's installed.

    The last two releases are 6.14.0 and 6.14.1:

    http://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1624551/#Comment_1624551

    So, why does my local device say that the app is up to date?

    I guess because it still hasn't been approved in whatever app store Sony uses. For example, Amazon is always behind because they take longer to approve the apps than Google does. Does Sony use Google Play?

  • ember1205ember1205 Posts: 201Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Yes, these apps come from the Google Play store. According to the store, it shows an update happened on 2/28. According to the installed app on the TV, it's date 2/15.

  • RyushinRyushin Posts: 68Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    So the WAF was going down and I needed to do something. I used ADB to side load 6.12.0 released on January 15th 2018 and all the problems went away. So I side loaded 6.13.0 released on February 5th 2018, and all the problems came back. So I guess the new feature:

    • Brand new video player with more direct play capabilities and improvements
      Actually does not work very well yet with Sony.
      So is there a way to debug what the new video player is having an issue with? I reverted back to 6.12.0 and configured the play store app to not update automatically.
  • RyushinRyushin Posts: 68Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Does anyone know if the Sony 900E or Z9D can directly play TrueHD natively? I have Audio Passthrough set to auto and the server is still transcoding.

  • ember1205ember1205 Posts: 201Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Can I ask where you got the old app versions from? I could really use a working setup over here.

  • RyushinRyushin Posts: 68Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited March 2

    I downloaded them from here:
    http://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1624551/#Comment_1624551
    You will need armv7a. It says you need a plex pass to download which I do have. Since this is really the only fix I'll post it on my cloud for a week.
    https://cloud.chrisdos.com/index.php/s/rpfNrb3fj5Ldg4C

    Use ADB from another computer to side load it or copy them to a USB stick and use a file manager from the play store to select and install them.

  • ember1205ember1205 Posts: 201Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Thanks for the links. I'll definitely keep that in my list of favorites. I'll be out of town for a little bit, but will take a run at this when I get back.

  • sixonessixones Posts: 411Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Employee

    @ember1205 said:
    My media is all ripped from BluRay using MakeMKV. I then use Carlo's scripts to further manipulate the files and ffmpeg to re-code them to M4V format. I drop the file size considerably and lose no discernable PQ in the process (even on my 940D).

    I never had an issue and last night couldn't get a movie to play. I learned today that this has been going on for a little bit with other files and determined that all three TV's are having the exact same issue.

    Exactly what version of the Plex client do you have on your TV's? I have 6.13.7.3458 from 2/15/18 one the set that I discovered the issue on. According to the Play store, there was an update yesterday, but I can't see where that is actually a different version from what's installed.

    What script are you running the files through?

    @Ryushin said:
    First, I would like to point out that not having a bug tracker is beyond understanding. I could maybe understand limiting the tracker to Plex Pass users, but even then, that would probably be counter productive to finding a possible solution to a bug by refusing to accept everyone's help.

    My problems arrose since the updating of Plex for Android TV in early February, some videos have not been able to play. While some can. I've browsed the threads over the last month to find a solution to no avail. Today I decided to sit down and try a bunch of options to try and find a working solution.

    The problem files cause the spinning circle for about 30 seconds until Plex just crashes. All of these files worked fine until the early February update.

    So it seems if I mess with the H.264 level in the Advanced settings, changing it from 5.2 to 4.2, then sometimes I can get the problem files to play. If Plex crashes or I reboot the TV, then I would have to change the setting again. Does not matter if I change it back to 5.2, 5.1, or another setting, just changing it allows the files to play for some reason.

    I've attached the mediainfo for the problem file and the logs. I'm still going through the logs to see if I can find anything showing me what the problem is.

    The Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF) is pretty low right now. I've found a workaround by using Kodi with the Plex plugin.

    This is just one problem of three. The grey bars still exist for 4K HDR content which is so distracting that we won't use Plex for that until we can get this fixed. The other problem TrueHD streams. I'll deal with the other two problems later, but right now, I just want to get Plex working as well as it was before February.

    Oh, Plex admins, please put in a bug tracker.

    Would you be able to produce logs and a sample file that shows the crash you are experiencing? If you could grab them from 6.14.1 we will investigate.

    The grey bars with HDR on the Sony TV seem to be an issue in the hardware, though we are still reaching out to Sony on whether we can work around this.

    @Ryushin said:
    Does anyone know if the Sony 900E or Z9D can directly play TrueHD natively? I have Audio Passthrough set to auto and the server is still transcoding.

    Sadly TrueHD passthrough is not supported on Sony TVs, only the NVIDIA SHIELD is capable of passing TrueHD to an AVR. The TrueHD passthrough requires the vendor to license the hardware from Dolby.

  • ember1205ember1205 Posts: 201Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @sixones said:

    @ember1205 said:
    My media is all ripped from BluRay using MakeMKV. I then use Carlo's scripts to further manipulate the files and ffmpeg to re-code them to M4V format. I drop the file size considerably and lose no discernable PQ in the process (even on my 940D).

    I never had an issue and last night couldn't get a movie to play. I learned today that this has been going on for a little bit with other files and determined that all three TV's are having the exact same issue.

    Exactly what version of the Plex client do you have on your TV's? I have 6.13.7.3458 from 2/15/18 one the set that I discovered the issue on. According to the Play store, there was an update yesterday, but I can't see where that is actually a different version from what's installed.

    What script are you running the files through?

    @cayars has developed and released a collection of scripts to transcode and remux a variety of media files. I am using this collection to specifically handle the repositioning of the MOOV atom to the front of the file and I am also using Handbrake to transcode the file from MKV to MP4 while dropping the file size and retaining "most" of the original PQ (the loss is not discernable by the human eye).

  • RyushinRyushin Posts: 68Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @sixones said:
    Would you be able to produce logs and a sample file that shows the crash you are experiencing? If you could grab them from 6.14.1 we will investigate.

    The grey bars with HDR on the Sony TV seem to be an issue in the hardware, though we are still reaching out to Sony on whether we can work around this.

    @Ryushin said:
    Does anyone know if the Sony 900E or Z9D can directly play TrueHD natively? I have Audio Passthrough set to auto and the server is still transcoding.

    Sadly TrueHD passthrough is not supported on Sony TVs, only the NVIDIA SHIELD is capable of passing TrueHD to an AVR. The TrueHD passthrough requires the vendor to license the hardware from Dolby.

    The attached logs from the first message are from 6.14.1. Please let me know if you need another.
    I sent you a PM with the sample file.

    The TrueHD problem for me is not passing through to an AVR, though that is good to know and actually something I was gong to buy down the line. My TrueHD problem is such that the server is transcoding TrueHD to AC3 instead of direct playing the stream. The Plex Kodi plugin is able to direct play the stream the TrueHD stream without the need for the server to transcode.

    Hopefully the grey bars can be fixed. Sony's own Video app (though there is no audio when using TrueHD) and the Plex plugin for Kodi do not display the grey bars.

    There does seem to be an issue with HDR playback regardless of the grey bars at least with 6.12.0. When playing a 4K movie with HDR, and using the remote, going into picture adjustments, it shows that HDR is enabled and playing, but the picture being displayed certainly is not HDR. I can take camera pictures if you like of the same file being playing played by the Oppo UDP_203 player and Plex. Both say HDR, but the display is vastly different.

  • sixonessixones Posts: 411Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Employee

    @Ryushin said:

    @sixones said:
    Would you be able to produce logs and a sample file that shows the crash you are experiencing? If you could grab them from 6.14.1 we will investigate.

    The grey bars with HDR on the Sony TV seem to be an issue in the hardware, though we are still reaching out to Sony on whether we can work around this.

    @Ryushin said:
    Does anyone know if the Sony 900E or Z9D can directly play TrueHD natively? I have Audio Passthrough set to auto and the server is still transcoding.

    Sadly TrueHD passthrough is not supported on Sony TVs, only the NVIDIA SHIELD is capable of passing TrueHD to an AVR. The TrueHD passthrough requires the vendor to license the hardware from Dolby.

    The attached logs from the first message are from 6.14.1. Please let me know if you need another.
    I sent you a PM with the sample file.

    The TrueHD problem for me is not passing through to an AVR, though that is good to know and actually something I was gong to buy down the line. My TrueHD problem is such that the server is transcoding TrueHD to AC3 instead of direct playing the stream. The Plex Kodi plugin is able to direct play the stream the TrueHD stream without the need for the server to transcode.

    Hopefully the grey bars can be fixed. Sony's own Video app (though there is no audio when using TrueHD) and the Plex plugin for Kodi do not display the grey bars.

    There does seem to be an issue with HDR playback regardless of the grey bars at least with 6.12.0. When playing a 4K movie with HDR, and using the remote, going into picture adjustments, it shows that HDR is enabled and playing, but the picture being displayed certainly is not HDR. I can take camera pictures if you like of the same file being playing played by the Oppo UDP_203 player and Plex. Both say HDR, but the display is vastly different.

    Thanks for the logs and samples. Camera pictures to show what you are seeing for the HDR issue would be great!

    KODI has software decoders for TrueHD as it's an open source project, sadly this isn't possible for Plex on Android. On KODI you should find that it's outputting the TrueHD as decoded PCM to your AVR and not passing through the stream - unless your on the version with the PCM hack which allowed TrueHD and other formats to be passed through.

  • RyushinRyushin Posts: 68Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @sixones said:
    Thanks for the logs and samples. Camera pictures to show what you are seeing for the HDR issue would be great!

    KODI has software decoders for TrueHD as it's an open source project, sadly this isn't possible for Plex on Android. On KODI you should find that it's outputting the TrueHD as decoded PCM to your AVR and not passing through the stream - unless your on the version with the PCM hack which allowed TrueHD and other formats to be passed through.

    Here are the HDR example pictures:
    https://cloud.chrisdos.com/index.php/s/ZXDnfgxGY6R6smP
    Interesting is that the Oppo HDR images don't reflect the background as much compared to the Plex HDR. Let me know if you want me to take pictures in a darkened room. I took pictures with my Nexus6 and my wife's Note4.

    So TrueHD can't be passed directly to the TV? That is all I'm doing right now. It will always have to be transcoded? Kinda wondering if I should make a second AC3 audio stream in any 4K file I make.

  • sixonessixones Posts: 411Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Employee

    @Ryushin said:

    @sixones said:
    Thanks for the logs and samples. Camera pictures to show what you are seeing for the HDR issue would be great!

    KODI has software decoders for TrueHD as it's an open source project, sadly this isn't possible for Plex on Android. On KODI you should find that it's outputting the TrueHD as decoded PCM to your AVR and not passing through the stream - unless your on the version with the PCM hack which allowed TrueHD and other formats to be passed through.

    Here are the HDR example pictures:
    https://cloud.chrisdos.com/index.php/s/ZXDnfgxGY6R6smP
    Interesting is that the Oppo HDR images don't reflect the background as much compared to the Plex HDR. Let me know if you want me to take pictures in a darkened room. I took pictures with my Nexus6 and my wife's Note4.

    Thanks for the sample will get someone to give it a try on their Sony TV and see if they can replicate. The images are hard to compare as it looks like your room is darker when using Oppo. The Plex images almost make it look like it's the backlight bleeding through. Does your TV let you turn off HDR, if so does it still look grey instead of black?

    So TrueHD can't be passed directly to the TV? That is all I'm doing right now. It will always have to be transcoded? Kinda wondering if I should make a second AC3 audio stream in any 4K file I make.

    That's correct, they would always have to be transcoded unless you have an Android or AVR device with a TrueHD decoder - most new soundbars and AVR's will support TrueHD but the only Android device I'm aware of with support is the SHIELD and that only offers passthrough support (so the AVR needs to support it).

  • RyushinRyushin Posts: 68Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @sixones said:

    @Ryushin said:

    @sixones said:
    Thanks for the logs and samples. Camera pictures to show what you are seeing for the HDR issue would be great!

    Here are the HDR example pictures:
    https://cloud.chrisdos.com/index.php/s/ZXDnfgxGY6R6smP
    Interesting is that the Oppo HDR images don't reflect the background as much compared to the Plex HDR. Let me know if you want me to take pictures in a darkened room. I took pictures with my Nexus6 and my wife's Note4.

    The images are hard to compare as it looks like your room is darker when using Oppo. The Plex images almost make it look like it's the backlight bleeding through. Does your TV let you turn off HDR, if so does it still look grey instead of black?

    I'll test turning off the HDR. It is supposed to be able to do that. I know, it looks weird when the HDR was in effect. I'm wondering if the optical sensor in the camera made things look darker because the image was brighter. I did not have HDR on the phone itself turned on for the phone pictures.

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