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Transcoding vs Direct Play

Which to use and when
I know I'm jumping the gun by asking about transcoding before its released, but I wanted to understand it better. I suppose some of the advantages of transcoding might include the ability to play unsupported files types and possibly the ability to overcome stuttering when the client is faster than the server can stream. I'm wondering if transcoding might also fix An issue I've encountered with some problem files that don't handle trick play (specifically Fast forward) well. Some files don't let you easily jump to a future time point or don't fast forward at more than 1x or 2x. I have a few files that take close to 15 minutes before I can jump to the 15 minute mark. I believe those sort of issues are a function of poor encoding, but might transcoding those files fix those issues?

Also, when the feature is released, will we be able to engage it from the app, on a file by file basis as needed?


  • OrcaOrca Plex for Samsung Developer Posts: 6,613Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    edited October 2012
    You can use transcoding when:
    - A movie has codecs that the device can not play by default.
    - A movie uses bitrates that the TV can't handle (stutter).
    - Your network isn't fast enough to handle high bitrate movies (Like over wifi)
    - You have a C-series device, but want to listen to another audio track then the default one (audio switching is normally not available on C-series)
    - You can try it in general when a movies is having problems, transcoding is not the holy grail, but it can fix some of the problems.

    For example:
    I have a bad encoded movie that will play fine, but always hangs my TV when I stop it. When I use transcoding on that one, it stops without a problem.

    There are some drawbacks to transcoding though. You have to understand that for every jump, the transcoder needs to stop and create a new transcode.
    Depending on the speed of your PMS that will take at least a couple of seconds. If you are running PMS on a NAS, it will probably be to slow to use transcoding.
    The new client version has a different way of searching and jumping. You can now keep the button pushed and the progress bar will move to the place you want.
    Only after you let go the movie will jump. This will make big jumps a lot easier when the movie is transcoded.

    Ofcourse we can not fix every bad movie. I recently had a 2 part movie that was just cut in half with a tool, so the first part reported that the movie was full length.
    Those kind of problems can not be resolved by transcoding. The new way of searching will indicate that something is wrong, because it just will not jump.
    If you see that happening there is most likely something wrong with the keyframes of the movie.

    On the fastforward and rewind, Samsung only supports this on wildvine widevine movies, so if we detect a problem, you will get a "Fastforward not available" message in the new version.
    This will also be disabled if you are transcoding.

    Hope it's a bit clearer now :)
  • itzmeitzme Posts: 412Members ✭✭
    edited October 2012
    For the most part, your reply cleared up a lot! You did confuse me about what wildvine is and how it may affect fast forward in the future. Thanks!
  • OrcaOrca Plex for Samsung Developer Posts: 6,613Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    I can understand that confusion, it's a typo, it should say widevine :)
  • itzmeitzme Posts: 412Members ✭✭
    Ok, so I googled wide vine and have an idea of what it is. But how will it affect us playing our mkv and avi files on plex in the next version?
  • OrcaOrca Plex for Samsung Developer Posts: 6,613Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    There will be not much difference with the current situation, if a movie can FF/RW now it will also do that in the next version.
    I just wanted to make clear that FF/RW is not supported on all types of movies.
  • itzmeitzme Posts: 412Members ✭✭
    Oh yeah, so can transcoding be easily turned on from the client, like on the fly, for those occasional troublesome videos?
  • OrcaOrca Plex for Samsung Developer Posts: 6,613Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    Sorry, that's not possible yet, it's currently a preferences setting. So it's all or nothing atm.
  • itzmeitzme Posts: 412Members ✭✭
    Well I my server is in the other room. I guess I could change preferences to and from, if needed. Thanks
  • itzmeitzme Posts: 412Members ✭✭
    So I think I jinxed myself by posting this thread. I just watched 1:30 mins of a 2:05 min 3D movie. Plex kicked me out at around 1:30 and the resume failed and reset to 0. Setting the Green button's time tracking for 1:20 took about 10+ mins or so, only to fail at the same point, and this time it turned off my TV, too. BUT I was just reading your From the Developers sticky and found this:

    v 0.984 - 2012-10-06

    - [FIXED] - Player - Jumpforward/Backward would close the player on movies with bad timeframes

    Is that my issue? And is that the version that is coming next when Samsung approves? I'm assuming I have a file with bad timeframes (Iv'e had one before).

    Before I forget... I just want to say whatever I can to thank you and provide encouragement to be persistent with Samsung. THANKS!
  • OrcaOrca Plex for Samsung Developer Posts: 6,613Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    Yes, that's the issue, the movie reports bad timeframes and the player will think that the movies has reached the end, and closes.
    That a bad movie may actually hang your TV, that one I can't fix, because that is handled by the Samsung API.

    BTW, no need to walk to your server, it's in the preferences screen on your TV
  • itzmeitzme Posts: 412Members ✭✭
    great, again thanks!
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