OpenPHT, openELeC Plex, Asus Chromebox
I noticed that the threads on openELeC plex chromebox,has been inactive for about a year, but I wanted to share my experience on this.
Read an article on cord cutting site, was impressed with it, as I was looking for a good plex client box which can do basically the 3 things well: Play DD TrueHD and DTS master Audio, play 24p native films without stutter, and direct play higher bit rate files (35mbits thereabouts).
Seems like this project achieves all the above BUT with some very glaring problems, which have been reported on the web elsewhere. I haven't been able to get a solution to it, hopefully some of you who have gone this route can shed some light.
First problem is with the HD audio. Sometime, intermittently, movies with these HD audio will play without sound. You will then need to reboot your chromebox, and it will play again properly. I have also read that some people have success by changing settings then replay that HD file, and it will work, or play a normal 5.1 file, then the HD file, and it will work again. I just do the reboot route since it's really quick to reboot.
Second, and a bigger issue, which I have no solution to at the moment, is the 24p playback problem. When setting 'Adjust frame rate to match video to Start/Stop', picture looks very good on native 24p files, BUT will exhibit occasional judders intermittently, i.e. Every few mins, or sometimes every 30-40sec.. It's not fixed. The HD sound, audio sync, and picture quality is very good, no issues at all, except for this annoying judder.
It makes it look like either processor is not fast enuf (not the case, info shows no more than 25% utilization), or network file serve is slow (not the case, no buffering, and info shows 99% buffer still full)
You can eliminate this but not in e best way. you change the Refresh Rate setting in the Plex client app to 60.00 and then switch 'Adjust frame rate to match video' setting to Off. However this will cause your 24p files to be played with a 3:2 pull down, which in turn makes the picture softer. It does practically eliminate the 24p judder issue above.
So, why not just run Plex at 24.00 refresh and leave the Adjust rate to off? you can't do this as there is another big. Setting the refresh rate other than 60.00 will cause a black crush problem, everything u play will be very dark, and u lose lots of details in shadows. Some have suggested that you limit the RGB to 16-256 by ending the config file, but I noticed this is not good, especially if your screen can play deep color or are one of the newer generation Tv/Projectors.
Thus, I am stuck with a problem. Either accept the 24p superior quality with occasional, irritating judders, or watch 24p material converted to 60p, with softer image, less detail, but with practically no judders.
With either method, u will still get the HD audio being lost once in a while, but at least with that, there a a solution, just reboot. it doesn't happen mid way a movie for me, so that's ok, but that judder on 24p really bothers me.
Hope someone here have some experience on this and have solved it. I am on the latest OpenElec Intel 3.4.2 for the asus Chromebox M004U, with latest Plex 184.108.40.206-47a90f0. These are the latest versions available that I can download.
Appreciate some help or insights from the community!