Roku 3 "This video isn't supported for direct play"
Good day everyone. This is my first post as a Plex user. Plex has become my favorite new hobby and I'd like to thank everyone who put their hard work into it. I would ask for help with this, but I've done a lot of reading through the forums in the last week trying to get a Samsung BD-C6500 and a BD-D5700ZA as my clients for my home media set up. For the last 3 months I've been ripping my library of DVD's and Blu rays with DVDfab and unless something prevents me from doing so, I use the AVI.H264.AUDIOCOPY setting for everything. This gives me AVI files in the highest resolution possible with whatever audio is used which about half are DTS and another 40% being AC-3 because of a bug in converting TrueHD that makes it to AC-3 instead. There is a small mix of other formats also though. I've probably got half my library ripped and there are around 750 disks.
Going through the stages of setup, I struggled for a long time on my Samsung BD-C6500. Everything would play perfectly with direct play after optimizing the buffers. Everything EXCEPT a file that had DTS. I later found that this is an issue with the player not being able to handle direct play for the DTS. I have always held on to this machine because it does not have the hardware that recognizes the Cinavia watermarking on ripped files. I should have started with the BD-D5700ZA because once I adjusted the buffers every file I have plays perfectly in direct play. Unfortunately this one does have the Cinavia. Luckily I have another BD-D5700ZA that I bought as a spare, but I have it out on loan to my father. I'll fix that later.
Getting to the point of this message, my Plex Server is set up on a Dual Core laptop with 3GB of memory. It's on the lower end of what it probably should be, but it works fine along with my GoFlex NAS drive I have set up. Since the clients direct play, it puts minimal usage of the laptop and I use it for working the cataloging for the database in Plex/Web. I am a network engineer and long ago I set up wiring all through my house, so I have direct wire to key places. I also have a b/g/n wireless network set up. Unfortunately, I live in the middle of nowhere and the only Internet access I can get is wireless. I have tried everything and finally settled on Verizon 4G which I just recently got in my area. Speed is great all over and there are no networking issues; however, Internet needs to be monitored and I can't afford to pay the extreme charges I would receive if I tried to stream frequently over the Internet. So I basically lock down the network internally for streaming with limited access onto the Internet for necessities. So life is good until yesterday.
I've got a third TV in my kitchen that I want to be able to stream to because I eventually want to cut the cord from and do OTA. I've been doing a lot of research on different devices that might work for my streaming. It's not a smart TV and doesn't have a network jack on it, but I have it wired close by for a TV that is. So I finally make a decision to go and get a Roku 3 yesterday. I can hang it off the back and do everything I need for my local streaming on my network. So I now have the latest client and server versions running and I'm flipping through my library and Plex is working great. I've got it set for 1080P and went through the settings for some other optimization. Then I tried a test. Armaggedon was the choice since I know it was the highest resolution in DTS. It immediately starts buffering and took about 30 seconds to load. Everything looked great and sounded good, but after a minute or so it started loading the buffer again. I knew I'd seen this before, so I went to the server and sure enough the processor was pegged at 100%. I immediately went back to the Roku and went into the settings. I found it on Automatic, so I looked at the choices. I knew it need to be on direct play so it went straight to the NAS and let the Roku do the transcoding. That's when the issue arose in the "Topic Title" and I realized I couldn't play it directly. Having the server do the transcoding is not an option my opinion. That is not a proper use of a server and the work should always be done by the client in my opinion. So I start checking my whole library. I could not find one file that did not get this error. There were other mixes of MP3, Dolby 2, MK4, even Mono. So I headed for the Internet.
I get a lot of conflicting reports on what the Roku 3 is capable of doing. I found a thread in hear that also talked about multiple streams causing the problem. I've checked many files with MediaInfo and they all show that there is only video stream and one audio stream. So after digging deeper into technical specs of the Roku 3, I found different conflicting answers. Video Support: MP4 (H.264), MOV (H.264), MKV (H.264), ASF/WMV (WMV9/VC1) and Audio Support: MP3, AAC, Dolby Digital (MP4, MOV, and MKV pass through only), DTS (MKV pass through only). Needless to say, AVI is not included here not that it makes any difference because I also tried a MP4 with MP3 as a test and it didn't work either. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I think it is more along the lines of Roku was not meant for someone who isn't going to stream over the Internet so they severely limited what it could transcode itself. I chose AVI because of good compression and it is still supported in most places even though it's very old. I also like the best audio to run through my sound system when I can. I'm not about to go back and redo or create new versions just to meet Roku's poor list of support for Video and Audio. So I guess I'm taking it back later today or tomorrow since it did not meet my needs.
I would have included logs and examples because I'm sure you guys might even have suggestions to try and fix the problem, but I'm pretty sure it's just going to be a limitation that I can't get around without having to conform to someone elses choices for standards. Heck, for $99 I could probably get a blu ray that would support Plex that would handle all my needs like the Samsungs did. Unfortunately, the TV is on a very elaborate and clean wall mount installation that gives grand flexibility in being able to move it in any direction without much cable exposure. The Roku would have fit perfect on the back and you wouldn't even know its there. Somehow I think the blu ray idea isn't going to fly. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent in my first post.
If anyone has any suggestions, I think I gave a pretty good description of what I'm doing here and a recommendation to make this dumb TV smart with a Plex capable client that can direct play for my style of library ripping would be greatly appreciated. Keep up the great work and hopefully I'll be able to make some contributions in the future.