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All 4K HEVC content is being transcoded. Why?

TheRealDeriaTheRealDeria Posts: 16Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

Hi,

With the new HDR-capable release, I was very excited about the possibility of ditching my Shield TV in favor of my Xbox One X. I tried out the new Plex client and... well, something is clearly not working the way I am expecting it to.

As far as I can tell, -all- 4K HEVC videos are being transcoded (both video and audio).

As an example, consider this file which is typical of what I expect to be able to play:

Container: MKV, Bitrate 63711 kbps, Width 3840, Height 2160, Color Space bt2020nc, Frame Rate 23.976 fps
HEVC Level 5.1 Profile main 10 Ref Frames 1, Size: 58.08 GB

When I look at my log, this is what I see:

May 06, 2018 16:09:47.818 [13368] DEBUG - MDE: analyzing media item 46716
May 06, 2018 16:09:47.818 [13368] DEBUG - MDE: SampleFile: Direct Play is disabled
May 06, 2018 16:09:47.818 [13368] DEBUG - MDE: SampleFile: media must be transcoded in order to use the dash protocol
May 06, 2018 16:09:47.818 [13368] DEBUG - MDE: SampleFile: no direct play video profile exists for http/mkv/hevc/truehd
May 06, 2018 16:09:47.818 [13368] DEBUG - MDE: SampleFile: no direct play video profile exists for http/mkv/hevc/dca
May 06, 2018 16:09:47.818 [13368] DEBUG - MDE: SampleFile: no direct play video profile exists for http/mkv/hevc/eac3
May 06, 2018 16:09:47.818 [13368] DEBUG - MDE: SampleFile: no direct play video profile exists for http/mkv/hevc/eac3
May 06, 2018 16:09:47.818 [13368] DEBUG - MDE: SampleFile: no direct play video profile exists for http/mkv/hevc/eac3
May 06, 2018 16:09:47.818 [13368] DEBUG - MDE: SampleFile: no direct play video profile exists for http/mkv/hevc/eac3
May 06, 2018 16:09:47.818 [13368] DEBUG - MDE: SampleFile: no direct play video profile exists for http/mkv/hevc/eac3
May 06, 2018 16:09:47.818 [13368] DEBUG - Sample File - video.bitrate limitation applies: 58463 > 4000
May 06, 2018 16:09:47.818 [13368] DEBUG - Sample File - audio.channels limitation applies: 8 > 6
May 06, 2018 16:09:47.818 [13368] DEBUG - Sample File - video.bitrate limitation applies: 58463 > 4000
May 06, 2018 16:09:47.818 [13368] DEBUG - MDE: SampleFile: no remuxable profile found, so video stream will be transcoded

It seems pretty clear that it thinks Direct Play is disabled, except... it isn't. On the Xbox One X, in settings, I have:

Allow Direct Play: checked
Allow Direct Stream: checked
Allow HDR: checked
Local Quality: original

What am I doing wrong? It feels like this video should not be being transcoded, but it is.

Answers

  • TheRealDeriaTheRealDeria Posts: 16Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Odd that I can't edit my post, but:

    1) I did see this thread: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/294993/xbox-one-x-directplay-and-4k#latest which indicates that with HEVC that Plex will have to transcode if anything at all needs transcoding (ie: audio) but I tried selecting different audio streams all the way down to stereo.

    2) It is worth mentioning that this same file, streamed from the same device, through the same network, plays just fine through Kodi on the Shield TV.

  • SoundtweakerSoundtweaker Posts: 54Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    If your cpu isn't powerful enough it will transcode even if allow direct stream is checked.

  • TheRealDeriaTheRealDeria Posts: 16Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    If my CPU isn't powerful enough... for what? The whole point of direct play is to avoid needing a powerful CPU by simply streaming the content to the device and letting the device handle it through hardware decoding (which the XBOX One X is capable of doing).

    I feel like there is definitely an issue here. I could see it thinking it needed to transcode if there wasn't sufficient network bandwidth, but the Shield TV is sitting right beside the Xbox and using the same network segments and pulling the content from the same file-server, so I can't imagine that's the issue.

  • spinner88spinner88 Posts: 2Members

    @TheRealDeria said:
    If my CPU isn't powerful enough... for what? The whole point of direct play is to avoid needing a powerful CPU by simply streaming the content to the device and letting the device handle it through hardware decoding (which the XBOX One X is capable of doing).

    I feel like there is definitely an issue here. I could see it thinking it needed to transcode if there wasn't sufficient network bandwidth, but the Shield TV is sitting right beside the Xbox and using the same network segments and pulling the content from the same file-server, so I can't imagine that's the issue.

    Disable subtitles, even forced one. And try 5.1 audio

  • MoussaMoussa Posts: 1,630Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Employee
    edited May 7

    video.bitrate limitation applies: 58463 > 4000

    Your video stream is being transcoded because the quality limit is not set to Original. That bitrate limit value is the default value for remote servers, so I suspect that the Xbox One cannot reach your server locally for whatever reason. You can confirm this by going to the Media Server Status menu item and check whether your server is remote or local. Check out our support article for DNS rebinding issues, or you can work around it by increasing the quality limit for remote servers to Original.

  • TheRealDeriaTheRealDeria Posts: 16Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Ok, so this took a bit of time to investigate. Sorry for the delay in responding.

    I've moved my Xbox One X to the same network segment as my Plex Server, and now in Media Server Status it says "Nearby".

    When I try to play the same file now, it does indeed switch to HDR mode and if I press the hamburger button (three stacked lines) on the controller it says "canDirectStreamVideo: true" on the left which makes me think that all is well except that 5-15 seconds later the following happens:

    1. a buffering message appears
    2. after a few seconds of that, the HDR mode on the TV turns off
    3. eventually the video starts playing again (without HDR)

    I don't particularly want to post my server logs in a forum, but I do want to help. I'm not sure if it is possible to send a DM on these forums, but I'll try.

  • elitemikeelitemike Posts: 49Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    That is exactly what is happening on my end too. maybe 30 seconds of HDR, then buffering and then no HDR

  • adamskoogadamskoog Posts: 2,525Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    @TheRealDeria You can PM me your logs if you wish and I'll make sure they get to @Moussa

  • TheRealDeriaTheRealDeria Posts: 16Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I sent them to him as a PM. I was just not familiar with this particular forum package, but it only took a minute to figure out. Hopefully he can use them to figure our what might be happening here.

  • kqmaverickkqmaverick Posts: 16Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I have seen the same, video will start HDR then buffer and transcode video/audio.

  • sillyphilliesillyphillie Posts: 4Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Same here. I hope someone can get this addressed soon. Basically 4k is useless right now.

  • rampage1999rampage1999 Posts: 5Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Same problem

  • nrobson04nrobson04 Posts: 6Members ✭✭

    yes same problem here. It starts fine, then anywhere between 2 - 8 mins stops, buffers, and turns off HDR. I tested my network, and streamed the same file through the Xbox One S "Movies and TV" app, via the plex media server as you can do that, and the content streams fine, however that Xbox app does not support all audio formats so its useless to me. I noticed on this issue my "Plextranscoder.exe" is trying to use CPU of almost 100%... which is not helping..... definitely a problem with Plex. FIX IT PLEX.

  • TheRealDeriaTheRealDeria Posts: 16Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited May 20

    I submitted a sample file to Moussa that illustrates the problem in a repeatable way, so hopefully he can see it and solve it.

  • nrobson04nrobson04 Posts: 6Members ✭✭

    yer well lets hope they fix this issue. all my 4k content is sitting there unwatched because these guys havent got their **** together to fix the Plex Xbox app/Media server problem

  • DJ CallymanDJ Callyman Posts: 11Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Same issue here. My brand new 4K tv is sad.

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