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4k content causing transcoding nightmare

wsmeyerwsmeyer Members, Plex Pass Posts: 24 Plex Pass

I recently purchased a 4K TV and was excited to add 4K UHD rips to my collection which will now be a combination of DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K UHD rips. Unfortunately, at the moment they are mostly causing problems.

My Plex Media Server is a Coffee Lake i7 8700 with 32GB RAM

Main room has a 75" LG with a Plex Media Player on an NVIDIA Shield

No problems in that room, it plays everything without a hiccup and it's Direct Play so very little CPU/GPU usage.

The problem arises with our other devices: two Fire TV's and two iPads.

All of these devices can play 1080p but none have surround sound so Blu-ray rips would direct play video and transcode audio.

Now, I'll use the Lego Movie as an example, I already had a Blu-ray rip so when I add the 4k rip PMS properly stacks them in the library. When I try to play the movie though, PMS chooses to transcode the 4k rip instead of direct playing the Blu-ray rip.

When this happens the CPU on PMS rockets to 100% and the GPU ~ 20% and PMS says buffering. I've waited as long as 30 seconds and it won't start playing. This is disappointing as I thought the CPU would be able to transcode 4k without a problem. That would be ideal but that's not as big of a priority right now as just getting it working.

I realize I can use the Play Version route but that's not how this is supposed to work, right?

I thought I might be able to optimize the movie but that didn't work out either. The first issue is that regardless of which optimization settings I choose PMS chooses to transcode the 4k rip which takes forever. To get around this you have to split the movie back to one entry for each version, then optimize from within the Blu-ray verdion.

Second issue is that none of them result in the movie direct playing on my iPad. I have tried:

Optimized for Mobile
Optimized for TV
Custom
- Android 1080p 20Mbps
- iOS 1080p 20Mbps, 12Mbps, 10Mbps
- Universal Mobil 1080p 20Mbps
- Universal TV 1080p 20Mbps

And even with all of those versions, PMS still chooses to transcode frickin 4k rip!

Even more perplexing is that even if I use Play Version, all of those "optimized" versions are still transcoded by Plex and not direct played.

Sorry for the long post but I'm hoping someone has time to read it and a solution.

Answers

  • loz5678loz5678 Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

    I feel your pain. Here's my feature request, feel free to add a comment if you support it https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/279020/feature-request-stop-transcoding-from-4k-version-when-alternative-versions-exist/p1

  • TeknoJunkyTeknoJunky Members, Plex Pass Posts: 128 Plex Pass

    You should also make sure that hardware transcoding is enabled in your server settings.

    Your 8700 should be able to do GPU transcoding which will help a lot.

    However even so, transcoding HDR to non-HDR typically leads to washed out or weird colors.

  • wsmeyerwsmeyer Members, Plex Pass Posts: 24 Plex Pass

    @TeknoJunky said:
    You should also make sure that hardware transcoding is enabled in your server settings.

    Your 8700 should be able to do GPU transcoding which will help a lot.

    However even so, transcoding HDR to non-HDR typically leads to washed out or weird colors.

    It is showing HEVC(hw) to H.264(hw)

    But it never starts playing, I've waited about 30 seconds before giving up.

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