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Are you having Stuttering/Buffering Issues? Look Here

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  • robbie.a.johnstonerobbie.a.johnstone Members Posts: 2

    Good to be aware of the optimal approach to using Plex with Chromecast - thank you!

    This post had assisted in correcting buffering problems here!  :)

  • DancherBoiDancherBoi Members, Plex Pass Posts: 178 Plex Pass
    edited March 2014
    ludicrous_larry wrote on March 5 2014, 6:00 AM: »

    DancherBoi,

      Thanks for taking the time to respond.  I was a bit upset last night after the new version of media server did not resolve  the issue.  Here is the additional data...

    So the good news is that the logs are telling us volumes.

    The bad news is that there is something wrong here that no version of Plex will fix.

    You see these entries...(there are a ton of them)

    Mar 04, 2014 18:01:49 [0x10a06c000] VERBOSE - [TranscodeOutputStream] Waiting 100ms for more data...
    Mar 04, 2014 18:01:49 [0x10a06c000] VERBOSE - [TranscodeOutputStream] Waiting 100ms for more data...
    Mar 04, 2014 18:01:50 [0x10a06c000] VERBOSE - [TranscodeOutputStream] Waiting 100ms for more data...
     
    That is the transcoder pausing for some reason, perhaps because it can't read the data fast enough from your disk.
     
    Then there is this which I highlighted in the OP.
     
    Mar 04, 2014 18:01:51 [0x104e81000] DEBUG -  * speed => 0.5
     
    That speed entry is saying that the transcoder is only able to produce the video at half speed of real time. That's bad. 1.0 is real time. You are looking for a consistent entry here above 1.0. 2.0 is great. 6.0 is amazing. But 0.5 means that the server can only produce enough video at half the speed you should be viewing it at = buffering/stuttering.
     
    So you need to look at your hardware. 4GB is plenty of RAM. Not sure what version of the MacBook Pro you have in terms of processor performance, but I think even the lowest should do fine. Which leaves your hard disk drives.
     
    It's hard for me to believe that your media library is on that MacBook Pro. So where is your media? Ahhh...I see it, in your logs. /Volumes/Seagate Backup Plus Drive. So how is this drive connected to your MacBook? Please don't tell me USB. I am guessing that here in lies your problem. Plex needs faster access to the content, preferably on the same computer as the server...but if the interface from disk to device is fast enough, it may work. Not to mention that backup drives such as this tend to have slow HDDs in them.
     
    Do you have another rig that you can try?
  • MoveTimeMoveTime Members Posts: 2

    Seeing a ton of stuttering and buffering for some time.  Mac mini with 2.3GHz i7 and 16GB of RAM with nothing else really running.  H.264 AAC video files.  Chromecast is on a wifi network all by its own connecting to the Airport Extreme that's connected to the Mac mini via ethernet.  Streaming from a 7200rpm internal drive with nothing else reading from the drive at the time.  Plex Server version 0.9.9.5

  • DancherBoiDancherBoi Members, Plex Pass Posts: 178 Plex Pass
    MoveTime wrote on March 6 2014, 3:57 AM: »

    Seeing a ton of stuttering and buffering for some time.  Mac mini with 2.3GHz i7 and 16GB of RAM with nothing else really running.  H.264 AAC video files.  Chromecast is on a wifi network all by its own connecting to the Airport Extreme that's connected to the Mac mini via ethernet.  Streaming from a 7200rpm internal drive with nothing else reading from the drive at the time.  Plex Server version 0.9.9.5

    Logs plz.

  • ludicrous_larryludicrous_larry Members, Plex Pass Posts: 5 Plex Pass
    edited March 2014

    DancherBoi,

       Sorry for the delayed reply.  My newest drive was connected USB, so I moved the file to my G-Raid external connected via Firewire 800 (took the one out of the old directory and ensured that the refreshed Plex link was to the file in the new location).  It too started off fast enough but then dropped to below speed <=1.0.  I am learning as I go and will try to run the test file off of my computer's internal hard drive.  Once I do that, I will post relevant log files or declare victory as applicable.  Thank you again for your assistance.

  • MoveTimeMoveTime Members Posts: 2
    DancherBoi wrote on March 6 2014, 5:29 AM: »

    Logs plz.

    Which log file would you like it from?

  • RDDannaRDDanna Members, Plex Pass Posts: 5 Plex Pass
    edited March 2014

    Hello, I'm getting stuttering but I don't believe it's for any reason I've seen posted about.

    filetype: mp4

    video: H264

    Audio: AAC

    If i'm reading the op correctly plex shouldn't have to do any transcoding right?

    anyways, heres the log https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bzn0Sw0J8LCgbGVWM3VjenpuX0k/edit?usp=sharing

    Edit: more info

    I just updated my plex server today to see if that would help, it does not.

    The files play fine on just about everything else (Apple TV, Plex web app, PC, iPhone)

  • DancherBoiDancherBoi Members, Plex Pass Posts: 178 Plex Pass
    MoveTime wrote on March 13 2014, 11:12 PM: »

    Which log file would you like it from?

    From the Plex Media Server.

  • DancherBoiDancherBoi Members, Plex Pass Posts: 178 Plex Pass
    RDDanna wrote on March 15 2014, 5:30 AM: »

    Hello, I'm getting stuttering but I don't believe it's for any reason I've seen posted about.

    filetype: mp4

    video: H264

    Audio: AAC

    If i'm reading the op correctly plex shouldn't have to do any transcoding right?

    anyways, heres the log https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bzn0Sw0J8LCgbGVWM3VjenpuX0k/edit?usp=sharing

    Edit: more info

    I just updated my plex server today to see if that would help, it does not.

    The files play fine on just about everything else (Apple TV, Plex web app, PC, iPhone)

    You are right, Plex shouldn't...and by looking at your log find that in your case isn't...doing any transcoding.

    Did you check if you have DirectPlay and DirectStream set to "Yes" in the Plex app settings on your iPhone? And what is your 'Quality over local network' setting? I think I read in this forum that if you are playing files that don't require transcoding, setting this option to Maximum produces the best results.

    You may also want to look into your WiFi. In other words, how far away is your Chromecast from your router? The closer, the better. And are you using 5.0GHz...if so, try switching to 2.4.

  • RDDannaRDDanna Members, Plex Pass Posts: 5 Plex Pass
    edited April 2014
    DancherBoi wrote on March 15 2014, 7:00 AM: »

    You are right, Plex shouldn't...and by looking at your log find that in your case isn't...doing any transcoding.

    Did you check if you have DirectPlay and DirectStream set to "Yes" in the Plex app settings on your iPhone? And what is your 'Quality over local network' setting? I think I read in this forum that if you are playing files that don't require transcoding, setting this option to Maximum produces the best results.

    You may also want to look into your WiFi. In other words, how far away is your Chromecast from your router? The closer, the better. And are you using 5.0GHz...if so, try switching to 2.4.

    I tried all of that and it didn't help, however I did notice that the media seems to have problems at the same point every time, which leads me to believe something went wrong with the rip and not the server or chromecast, Thanks for your help!

    Edit: Turns out this is not the case.

  • eif999eif999 Members, Plex Pass Posts: 12 Plex Pass
    edited March 2014

    Just to followup with what I've been doing:  I upgraded my router and moved it closer to my Chromecast TV.  The good news is I can play anything on the Plex on the wired Roku, the wired Smart TV Samsung, my android phone and my Kindle tablet wirelessly anywhere in the house..  However, Chromecast was still stuttering and staggering certain files.  The only solution was to lower the quality to unacceptable levels -- I could get files to play but with noticeable drop in picture quality.  I bought Bubble upnp and put their server on the computer and the app on my phone.  Streamed everything that was having issues previously with Plex to my chromecast (streaming the PLEX library upnp and "Casting" it through Bubble upnp.)  Guess what?  No issues at all!  I can play all videos at a high resolution now.  I'm sure Plex will get there but I'm more than annoyed that lots of these threads kept saying it's you.. it's your computer.  Well, it was my network causing some of the issues, but I believe the transcoding Plex does just doesn't play well with Chromecast.  Anyway, still using Plex on everything else but Chromecast for now.

  • stiblstibl Members, Plex Pass Posts: 19 Plex Pass

    So I've been troubleshooting the stuttering problem for a while and tried close to everything recommended on this forum. And nothing did the job. 

    As of now my chromecast is about 20 cm away from my router so take this into account. But I solved my stuttering problem and I hope this helps someone else besides me :)

    It was my anti-virus program bitdefender. I am almost 100% sure. I was having some unrelated problems with bitdefender (bsod) so I ditched it and installed Microsoft Security Essentials instead, and lo and behold my chromecast streaming from plex is now 100% stutter free. Every file I throw at it transcodes no problemos. I am very happy! 

  • dazzawrightdazzawright Members, Plex Pass Posts: 8 Plex Pass

    Hi. Just in case anyone else has a similar setup to me with stttering issues i thought i'd let you know the cause of my chromecast stutter.

    My main "Server" is WHS2011 running on a Quad Core AMD Black , 16GB. This is (was?) my only plex server and for us it worked brilliantly. No stutter on any mobile device or on TV..until chromecast where it stutters regardless of what I try and stream from my mobile (android .. N4 or N7).

    I was puzzled how everyone else (most everyone else) was having no problems at all so I installed a new Plex server on my windows 7 VM. This only has 2GB RAM and use of 1 core of a quad core CPU but it plays to the chromecast via my android phone brilliantly. No stutters what so ever. So the cause of my issues is Windows Home Server which I assume is not supported by Plex ?

    Now I need to figure out how to change my setup .. maybe move the WHS into a VM and use the real server as windows 7 ? what a laborious task that will be,

  • yuckoyucko Members, Plex Pass Posts: 52 Plex Pass
    edited March 2014

    What I find very strange is the load on my PMS when using different devices to start the cast.

    PMS = DS412+ running DSM 5.0 with Plex 0.9.9.8.436.8abe5c0 (PlexPass)

    Video being played is always the same, ST Enterprise S02E26 (720p H264, AAC 2.0)

    All android devices used Plex for PlexPass v3.2.11 for casting the videofile

    my findings:

    • HTC Flyer running android 3.2.1--> cpu load on PMS 97% / 98% with buffering issues (transcode session)
    • Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Wifi (P3110) running android 4.0.4 --> cpu load on PMS 81% / 92% with no buffering issues (transcode session)
    • Galaxy Note 1 (N7000) running custom rom android 4.4.2 --> cpu load on PMS 1% / 2% with no buffering issues (no transcode session)

    Why the difference in transcoding/no transcoding and resulting difference in load on the PMS when casting the same videofile but only using different devices to start the cast? As far as I understand, the device (Flyer/Tab2/Note 1) only send the command and info to the chromecast to start casting a file from a certain location.

    It seems like the ability for the android device for direct-play the videofile is resulting in different command being send to the chromecast and thus a different session (transcoded/non transcoded) even though the chromecast could play the file without transcoding.

    Plex Client 1.00x @ LE40C650

    Plex Client 1.014 @ UE40ES6100

    Plex for PlexPass Client 3.3.2.137 @ Samsung Note & Tab2 7.0

     

    Plex Media Server 0.9.9.7 @ Synology DS412+

  • AsphyxNYCAsphyxNYC Members, Plex Pass Posts: 1,347 Plex Pass
    edited March 2014
    yucko wrote on March 29 2014, 9:51 AM: »

    What I find very strange is the load on my PMS when using different devices to start the cast.

    PMS = DS412+ running DSM 5.0 with Plex 0.9.9.8.436.8abe5c0 (PlexPass)

    Video being played is always the same, ST Enterprise S02E26 (720p H264, AAC 2.0)

    All android devices used Plex for PlexPass v3.2.11 for casting the videofile

    my findings:

    • HTC Flyer running android 3.2.1--> cpu load on PMS 97% / 98% with buffering issues (transcode session)
    • Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Wifi (P3110) running android 4.0.4 --> cpu load on PMS 81% / 92% with no buffering issues (transcode session)
    • Galaxy Note 1 (N7000) running custom rom android 4.4.2 --> cpu load on PMS 1% / 2% with no buffering issues (no transcode session)

    Why the difference in transcoding/no transcoding and resulting difference in load on the PMS when casting the same videofile but only using different devices to start the cast? As far as I understand, the device (Flyer/Tab2/Note 1) only send the command and info to the chromecast to start casting a file from a certain location.

    It seems like the ability for the android device for direct-play the videofile is resulting in different command being send to the chromecast and thus a different session (transcoded/non transcoded) even though the chromecast could play the file without transcoding.

    Different Devices support different types of Media Codecs and containers differently.

    A lot depends on their GPU and Version of Android.

    Something I want people to try when the logs show no issue with transcoding but stuttering is present on CCast...(Just an experiment and not a permanent fix by any means)

    Please try shutting off Router encryption and trying a stream on the open network.

    Some have solved stuttering by disabling AES encryption and using TKIP. AES is more secure of course and even if it fixes your issue no one is expecting you to run a less secure router but I have a theory on what maybe causing Stuttering that Google introduced in later CCast updates and I would like to try and see how many people it might be affecting...Then we might be able to convince Google they did something they need to correct.

  • yuckoyucko Members, Plex Pass Posts: 52 Plex Pass

    and I'm saying that it should not matter which device I use to send the cast-command to the Chromecast device. The Chromecast is playing the file ... not the android device initiating the cast. The file to be played, and the location, are the same.

    But somehow at this moment I have to use my Note 1 to get non-transcoded-playback via Chromecast because when I use my HTC Flyer to do the same results in my PMS starting a transcoded session.

    Plex Client 1.00x @ LE40C650

    Plex Client 1.014 @ UE40ES6100

    Plex for PlexPass Client 3.3.2.137 @ Samsung Note & Tab2 7.0

     

    Plex Media Server 0.9.9.7 @ Synology DS412+

  • DancherBoiDancherBoi Members, Plex Pass Posts: 178 Plex Pass
    yucko wrote on March 31 2014, 3:27 PM: »

    and I'm saying that it should not matter which device I use to send the cast-command to the Chromecast device. The Chromecast is playing the file ... not the android device initiating the cast. The file to be played, and the location, are the same.

    But somehow at this moment I have to use my Note 1 to get non-transcoded-playback via Chromecast because when I use my HTC Flyer to do the same results in my PMS starting a transcoded session.

    You are right, that it "should" not matter which device you use, but in reality it "does". The way Plex works is that the client (or device as we are calling it here) has settings that impact how Plex decides to stream the content to the Chromecast. For example, assuming you have a h.264, aac mp4 and the bitrate on the media file on your Plex server is 12000kbps, and on your iPhone you have the "Quality over local network" set to Maximum, but on your iPad it's set to 2Mbps, you are going to get a different experience between the two. The session initiated by the iPad will be transcoded, where the iPhone session will not. That's because you have set the maximum setting on your iPad lower than the encoded bitrate of the media file, thus it will transcode. The iPhone session will not transcode.

  • RDDannaRDDanna Members, Plex Pass Posts: 5 Plex Pass

    Found a solution for my problem.

    I have been using my iPhone to cast, and was playing around with settings and found that when I turn off "Direct Streaming" everything plays flawlessly. I don't know why this was a problem when all of my videos should be able to be streamed directly to the chromecast, but my problem is gone so i'm not complaining.

  • yuckoyucko Members, Plex Pass Posts: 52 Plex Pass
    edited April 2014
    DancherBoi wrote on April 1 2014, 3:41 AM: »

    You are right, that it "should" not matter which device you use, but in reality it "does". The way Plex works is that the client (or device as we are calling it here) has settings that impact how Plex decides to stream the content to the Chromecast. For example, assuming you have a h.264, aac mp4 and the bitrate on the media file on your Plex server is 12000kbps, and on your iPhone you have the "Quality over local network" set to Maximum, but on your iPad it's set to 2Mbps, you are going to get a different experience between the two. The session initiated by the iPad will be transcoded, where the iPhone session will not. That's because you have set the maximum setting on your iPad lower than the encoded bitrate of the media file, thus it will transcode. The iPhone session will not transcode.

    well I find it odd that Plex (when casting to CC) looks at the local network playback quaility settings on my android device if the CC itself can play the original file without transcoding in case of used video and audio codec.

    Maybe they'll add an extra setting to the Plex app on android in order the chose the preferred playback quality when casting to CC [/wishfull thinking]

    Plex Client 1.00x @ LE40C650

    Plex Client 1.014 @ UE40ES6100

    Plex for PlexPass Client 3.3.2.137 @ Samsung Note & Tab2 7.0

     

    Plex Media Server 0.9.9.7 @ Synology DS412+

  • elanelan CTO and Co-founder MauiMembers, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 9,357 Plex Employee

    If you have a Plex Pass, try the new 0.9.9.9 release which was just released, it may help.

    instagram: @elan // the wife's photography site.
    the brother's photography blog // the dog's twitter feed.

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