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Trouble with playing OTA HD recordings

Dan ChDan Ch Posts: 10Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass

Hi everyone. I have 5 Apple TVs (2nd and 3rd generation) scattered throughout the house that I'd been using with iTunes but want to migrate to Plex. I also recently got a HDHomeRun Extend for OTA reception, and am using Plex for Live TV & DVR. The Plex server is installed on my Synology RS2416+ (with Intel Atom C2538, so not a terrible CPU as Synologies go). First off, the Plex installation itself seems to be working well - using the Plex app on my Mac, I can view archived movies or recently recorded OTA TV shows. And from within the Plex app, I can view the original format or transcoded formats on the fly.

But I'm having trouble with the Apple TVs. I installed PlexConnect on the Synology (V0.5-18, installed manually from the spk file hosted at brigittehelsen.be/plexconnect). The movies I've archived play back just fine (H.264 in m4v containers, compressed specifically to be compatible with what Apple TVs can handle). But the OTA recordings from the HDHomeRun won't play back - instead I get "An error occurred loading this content". It comes up right away, without seemingly trying too hard. I've also tried playing with the "Transcoder Action" and "Transcoder Quality" settings on the Apple TVs and I haven't seen any difference in behaviour.

I've tried changing the HDHomeRun Extend settings in the Plex app to even Medium quality (480p) so they shouldn't need to be transcoded for the Apple TVs, but no luck. But even with that said, the Synology is able to keep up fine with transcoding when I play via the Mac Plex app, so transcoding shouldn't be the issue.

I've tried the Apple TVs both wireless and wired directly to my router, with the same result.

Interestingly, one of my Apple TVs, for some unknown reason, does seem to work in playing back OTA recorded TV content. But I can't figure for the life of me what is different - it is a 3rd generation, identical to two other 3rd generations that don't work, and I've checked every aspect of its configuration and can't see anything different.

In any event, the plan is to use Plex with my HDHomeRun streaming to my Apple TVs to be able to "cut the cord" with our satellite provider, but this last part of the puzzle has me stymied. Does anyone have suggestions on what might be causing the "Error occurred loading this content" warning - apparently regardless of the quality setting - I even get the error loading a low resolution recording at 480p and 1.7 Mbps. Of course, the files recorded by Plex from the HdHomeRun are .ts files instead of the .m4v files that the Apple TV seems OK with, so maybe some on the fly preprocessing still has to be done but somehow isn't getting underway.

Thanks for any help!

Dan

Best Answer

Answers

  • moody_bluemoody_blue Posts: 3,221Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    edited March 7

    The HDHR expand should be able to transcode to H264 before passing the TV stream to your Syno. I've never tested if this is compatible with ATV3. But I can test if you send me a short recording. See PM.

    The Error occurred loading this content message occurs if PMS sends anything to the ATV in a non-acceptable format. Unless you are forcing DirectPlay, either PlexConnect or PMS will decide to transcode incompatible media.

    The good (and the bad) of the Syno installer (in your case the V0.5-18) is that it uses the most recent development PlexConnect version. It may be stable, or not. At the moment of writing it is stable, so if you install the .spk again (not removing the previous one), it will upgrade to a stable PlexConnect version.

    QNAP TS-253A 4G QTS 4.3.4.0569 + PMS 1.13.1.5063 + QPython2 2.7.12.0 + PlexConnect 0.6

    TV Sony KDL-32V2500 (720p) + aTV3 Rev. A firmware 7.2.2 + Denon AVR-1604 A/V Receiver 5.1 + Harmony Touch

    Portables 1x iPad4, 2x Android phone, 1x Android tablet, 2x PMP on Win10

    No support via PM unless requested by me

  • Dan ChDan Ch Posts: 10Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Thanks for your response! Incidentally, if it has any bearing on the issue, I wasn't able to install PlexConnect through my Synology Package manager exactly as described on https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/72356/plexconnect-on-synology, even after adding http://www.brigittehelsen.be/plexconnect/ as a Package Centre source as described. No matter what I tried, I wasn't able to see PlexConnect as a package to install. I noticed that in the Synology models list on that web page, my RS2416+ isn't listed as a model, so perhaps that's why? Regardless, they all seem to link to the same plexconnect_noarch-all_0.5-18.spk so I just downloaded that and installed it as a manual install. If that process might have something to do with the behaviour, please let me know!

    Dan

  • moody_bluemoody_blue Posts: 3,221Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    edited March 8

    Thanks for sending me the files:
    1. Dr. Oz contains one MPEG2 video track and 3 audio tracks, the firstAC3-5.1 and the others AC3-stereo
    2. etalk contains one H264 video track and one AC3-5.1 audio track

    I've played them without problem (in all 4 combinations). Can you please take a look at Q3 in PlexConnect FAQ ? I suspect that your Dolby Digital parameters are incorrect. They are defined at ATV level, not in Settings.cfg

    Also, to avoid video transcoding, you should record your shows in H264, as in etalk's case. It's a feature of the HDHR expand, use it instead of PMS transcoding. Regarding shows already recorded in MPEG2, you can convert them to H264 using PMS's optimize feature.

    Thanks for reporting the problem with Synology installer, I've contacted its developper and let's hope that he will publish a solution soon.

    QNAP TS-253A 4G QTS 4.3.4.0569 + PMS 1.13.1.5063 + QPython2 2.7.12.0 + PlexConnect 0.6

    TV Sony KDL-32V2500 (720p) + aTV3 Rev. A firmware 7.2.2 + Denon AVR-1604 A/V Receiver 5.1 + Harmony Touch

    Portables 1x iPad4, 2x Android phone, 1x Android tablet, 2x PMP on Win10

    No support via PM unless requested by me

  • Dan ChDan Ch Posts: 10Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Thanks for helping through this - I think we're definitely getting closer, but not quite there yet.

    As one of my Apple TVs does work with the files and all the associated audio formats, it does make sense that it could just be that the TV it's connected to supports Dolby Digital and the rest don't. So it feels we're along the right path. But I changed the ATV settings under "Audio & Video" for Dolby Digital to "Off" instead of "Auto", and it still has the same problem - I get a "An error occurred loading this content" when viewing either of those files with the AC3-5.1 audio tracks (though it continues to work when playing the AC3-stereo tracks of Dr. Oz). I even tried rebooting the ATV in case that was required, but still no go.

    Q3 in the PlexConnect FAQ mentions that it should be turned off both in PlexConnect and the Apple TV and that in PlexConnect it is done by default. In trying to check PlexConnect's settings, I can't find an option for that (in settings under PlexConnect on the ATV). I also ssh'ed into my Synology to see PlexConnect's settings directly (presumably the *.cfg files in the /volume1/@appstore/plexconnect/share/PlexConnect directory), but didn't find mention of "dolby" in any of them. So I'm unsure if PlexConnect has Dolby Digital turned off or not, though I haven't changed anything knowingly from the defaults.

    In the Settings of PlexConnect (via the ATV Trailers icon), my Transcode settings are set for:
    Transcode Action: Auto (though I've experimented with DirectPlay and Transcode, with no change in behaviour)
    Transcode Quality: 1080p @40mbps
    Remote Bitrate: 720p @3mbps
    Photo Transcoder Action: Auto
    Subtitle Render: Auto
    Subtitle Size %: 125
    Audio Boost: 100

    Under Apple TV Settings, Audio & Video:
    Dolby Digital: Off
    Audio Output: Auto
    Audio Language: Default
    Subtitle Language: Auto
    Adjust for Airplay Overscan: On
    HDMI Output: Auto
    TV Resolution: Auto

    Do you see anything that may be the culprit?

    It does feel that we're getting close though. At one point, I swapped the Apple TVs connected to the one TV that worked with those files and the new Apple TV worked on that TV, while the Apple TV that used to be connected to that TV didn't work any longer on a different TV. It seemed the problem was following the TV rather than the Apple TV, and that didn't make sense to me then, but it does now if that TV happens to be the only one that supported Dolby Digital.

    I did find the following error messages in my PlexConnect.log - maybe they might shed some light?

    15:00:01 WebServer: Internal Server Error:
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "/volume1/@appstore/plexconnect/share/PlexConnect/WebServer.py", line 229, in do_GET
    XML = XMLConverter.XML_PMS2aTV(PMSaddress, self.path + query, options)
    File "/volume1/@appstore/plexconnect/share/PlexConnect/XMLConverter.py", line 382, in XML_PMS2aTV
    PMS = PlexAPI.getXMLFromPMS(PMS_baseURL, path, options, auth_token, enableGzip)
    File "/volume1/@appstore/plexconnect/share/PlexConnect/PlexAPI.py", line 426, in getXMLFromPMS
    response = urllib2.urlopen(request, timeout=20)
    File "/usr/lib/python2.7/urllib2.py", line 154, in urlopen
    return opener.open(url, data, timeout)
    File "/usr/lib/python2.7/urllib2.py", line 421, in open
    protocol = req.get_type()
    File "/usr/lib/python2.7/urllib2.py", line 283, in get_type
    raise ValueError, "unknown url type: %s" % self.__original
    ValueError: unknown url type: /library/metadata/1788

    15:00:06 WebServer: Internal Server Error:
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "/volume1/@appstore/plexconnect/share/PlexConnect/WebServer.py", line 229, in do_GET
    XML = XMLConverter.XML_PMS2aTV(PMSaddress, self.path + query, options)
    File "/volume1/@appstore/plexconnect/share/PlexConnect/XMLConverter.py", line 382, in XML_PMS2aTV
    PMS = PlexAPI.getXMLFromPMS(PMS_baseURL, path, options, auth_token, enableGzip)
    File "/volume1/@appstore/plexconnect/share/PlexConnect/PlexAPI.py", line 426, in getXMLFromPMS
    response = urllib2.urlopen(request, timeout=20)
    File "/usr/lib/python2.7/urllib2.py", line 154, in urlopen
    return opener.open(url, data, timeout)
    File "/usr/lib/python2.7/urllib2.py", line 421, in open
    protocol = req.get_type()
    File "/usr/lib/python2.7/urllib2.py", line 283, in get_type
    raise ValueError, "unknown url type: %s" % self.__original
    ValueError: unknown url type: /library/sections/2

    15:03:04 PlexAPI: ***
    15:03:04 PlexAPI: poke plex.tv - request Plex Media Server list
    15:03:04 PlexAPI: ***
    15:03:05 PlexAPI: poke Syzygy (f8710375765069bb77c4d960dd4568267f2a580e) at https://192-168-0-25.42748fcd930340f2a2a91a2e04c4e727.plex.direct:32400
    15:03:05 PlexAPI: response Syzygy (f8710375765069bb77c4d960dd4568267f2a580e) at https://192-168-0-25.42748fcd930340f2a2a91a2e04c4e727.plex.direct:32400
    15:03:05 PlexAPI: Servers (local, plex.tv, MyPlex): 2
    15:03:27 WebServer: File Not Found:
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "/volume1/@appstore/plexconnect/share/PlexConnect/WebServer.py", line 213, in do_GET
    f = open(sys.path[0] + sep + "assets" + self.path, "rb")
    IOError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '/volume1/@appstore/plexconnect/share/PlexConnect/assets/thumbnails/MediaBadges/mpegts.png'

    15:03:52 WebServer: File Not Found:
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "/volume1/@appstore/plexconnect/share/PlexConnect/WebServer.py", line 213, in do_GET
    f = open(sys.path[0] + sep + "assets" + self.path, "rb")
    IOError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '/volume1/@appstore/plexconnect/share/PlexConnect/assets/thumbnails/MediaBadges/mpegts.png'

    According to those same logs, the PlexConnect version is 0.5-dev-210316

    Do you see anything else I could try?

    Thanks again for your help!

  • Dan ChDan Ch Posts: 10Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    An interesting update:

    In trying again to swap Apple TVs between the different TVs they're connected to to further try and isolate the problem, I found that I can get them all to work.. but only if I set "Dolby Digital" in the Apple TV settings on each Apple TV to "On". If I set them to "Auto", the only Apple TV that works is the one that is presumably connected to my TV that supports it.. which I presume flags the Apple TV to turn it on. If I set them to "Off" specifically, it doesn't work anywhere. But if I set them to "On" specifically, they now all work... even on those that TVs that presumably don't support it natively. Assuming Dolby Digital to be a potential culprit, I'd tried "Auto" and "Off", but never intentionally "On".

    That seems to be to be backwards what is expected from Q3 in the PlexConnect FAQ. So I'm wondering if perhaps my installation of PlexConnect is also configured "On" somehow. If so, is there some way to try turning it off on the Synology (as I mentioned in my last post, I didn't find a setting for that either within the redirected "Trailers" app on the Apple TV or in the configuration file directly). Really, it should be off to reduce bandwidth if nothing else, as most of my TVs don't support it natively anyway. Is there something I should be looking at?

    Thanks again!

    Dan

  • Dan ChDan Ch Posts: 10Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Well, that did it! Turns out my old PlexConnect was the problem.

    I tried reinstalling plexconnect_noarch-all_0.5-18.spk, twice actually. And each time it didn't upgrade to anything other than 0.5-dev-210316 which is what I had initially. Maybe it's because I manually installed the spk instead of being able to do so by adding a Package Centre source?

    At any rate, the git install worked fine. The package centre manager on the Synology still says it's running 0.5-18 (I presume because the git upgrade bypassed the package centre manager), but according to the log on startup, it says it's running 0.7-dev-020318, which is also reflected by the changes in the user interface on the Apple TVs.

    Not only is the audio working properly now (with Dolby Digital turned off), but it seems to have an easier time keeping the audio in sync with the video. I'd noticed that when running the older PlexConnect (and using Dolby Digital), often the audio would start briefly, pause (buffering?) while the video continued, and then proceed a second or two out of sync with the video. Now, that problem seems to have gone away - if there is a pause for the network to catch up when things resume, they do so together. And pauses are rare now anyway.

    So it would seem that things are 100% now (keeping my fingers crossed). Thanks again for all your help in resolving this!

    Dan

  • moody_bluemoody_blue Posts: 3,221Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    Thanks for reporting back. Happy Plexing.

    QNAP TS-253A 4G QTS 4.3.4.0569 + PMS 1.13.1.5063 + QPython2 2.7.12.0 + PlexConnect 0.6

    TV Sony KDL-32V2500 (720p) + aTV3 Rev. A firmware 7.2.2 + Denon AVR-1604 A/V Receiver 5.1 + Harmony Touch

    Portables 1x iPad4, 2x Android phone, 1x Android tablet, 2x PMP on Win10

    No support via PM unless requested by me

  • moody_bluemoody_blue Posts: 3,221Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    edited March 10

    May I ask you a favour ? I've updated the Synology installer, can you pls test it ?

    The link is https://github.com/iBaa/PlexConnect/files/1798915/plexconnect_v0.6-1_for_dsm6.zip

    I no longer have a Syno to test myself :(

    QNAP TS-253A 4G QTS 4.3.4.0569 + PMS 1.13.1.5063 + QPython2 2.7.12.0 + PlexConnect 0.6

    TV Sony KDL-32V2500 (720p) + aTV3 Rev. A firmware 7.2.2 + Denon AVR-1604 A/V Receiver 5.1 + Harmony Touch

    Portables 1x iPad4, 2x Android phone, 1x Android tablet, 2x PMP on Win10

    No support via PM unless requested by me

  • Dan ChDan Ch Posts: 10Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Sure, I'd be happy to - but you might have to guide me on how. I've manually installed spk files in the past, but I'm not sure what to do with the zip file (I didn't find any spk files inside). Would I be correct in assuming that the spk format is just a regular zip file with that particular extension, so it can be installed as is (or perhaps renamed to have an .spk extension)?

    The manual git install did work for me in the end, so I'm also hoping that bypassing the package manager as I did wouldn't confuse the new installer.

  • moody_bluemoody_blue Posts: 3,221Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    edited March 12

    zip files are used to group and compress several files into a single one. Incidently spk files are equivalent but can be used in Synology environments only.

    There are several tools to unpack zip files (7-zip, etc) but Windows can also do it. Inside the zip file there is one spk file. It's this file that you need to install manually in your Syno. It can be installed over the existing package. The PlexConnect that is installed is one week older than what you have now, but recent changes do not afect Syno environments.

    Thanks for testing.

    QNAP TS-253A 4G QTS 4.3.4.0569 + PMS 1.13.1.5063 + QPython2 2.7.12.0 + PlexConnect 0.6

    TV Sony KDL-32V2500 (720p) + aTV3 Rev. A firmware 7.2.2 + Denon AVR-1604 A/V Receiver 5.1 + Harmony Touch

    Portables 1x iPad4, 2x Android phone, 1x Android tablet, 2x PMP on Win10

    No support via PM unless requested by me

  • Dan ChDan Ch Posts: 10Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Ah - I see what happened. My unarchiver (Archive Utility) not only uncompressed the .zip file, but also the .spk within it... I had ended up with files entitled INFO, PACKAGE_ICON_120.PNG, etc. So I just unzipped the file with a less feature-heavy program, and it extracted the .spk and just left it alone.

    I'll hopefully be able to give it a shot on installing on the Synology later tonight, and I'll let you know how it goes.

  • Dan ChDan Ch Posts: 10Validating, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I tried to install the updated spk, but it said a newer version was already installed. So I uninstalled what I had (0.7-dev-020318) and reinstalled the 0.6-1 spk you linked to above. That time it worked. The logs say I'm running 0.6-250218 now instead of 0.7-dev-020318 and other than having to reinstall the certs on the Apple TVs and copying the .cfg files from my original installation (so I didn't have to go creating prefs again on each TV separately), it seems to have gone well. At least from the testing I've done so far, it looks like things are still working.

    Dan

  • moody_bluemoody_blue Posts: 3,221Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    Let me think on how to correct the spk so that it no longer says that a newer version is installed. But I will not ask a new test, I don't want to disrupt your installation again.

    FYI, 0.7-dev-020318 and 0.6-250218 are PlexConnect versions. The Synology spk has it's own version, different from these two. It's the spk version (not the PlexConnect version) that is used to check if you are installing over a newer version by Synology's package center.

    Thank you very much.

    QNAP TS-253A 4G QTS 4.3.4.0569 + PMS 1.13.1.5063 + QPython2 2.7.12.0 + PlexConnect 0.6

    TV Sony KDL-32V2500 (720p) + aTV3 Rev. A firmware 7.2.2 + Denon AVR-1604 A/V Receiver 5.1 + Harmony Touch

    Portables 1x iPad4, 2x Android phone, 1x Android tablet, 2x PMP on Win10

    No support via PM unless requested by me

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