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Roku 2xs crashes


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#1 Il Maestro

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 02:10 PM

Hello!
I'm writing from Italy. I've buyed the Roku 2xs in an ebay store from USA because I use plex since 2 year (in my imac) and I like it so much. I'm a Mac user and because it's impossible to install it in the Apple TV 3 and I need a 1080p player I found it a very good idea instead of a Mac mini to use only for media player (too much expensive).
I've installed it but trying to use plex I found many bugs. Many MKV files won't start, in some case simple the audio doesn't work (stereo or 5.1 settings of roku isn't important, I've try them out), and in many other cases the playback start and then the roku crashes and restart by itself. I've tried to force direct play, direct stream or transcode but I ever found the same result.
I've try wired and wireless connected to my home network (where an imac with my media server is wired connected), the files are all MKV h264 at 1080p of resolution whit multi audio (I've tried to start with ac3 or dts but nothing is changed). In some cases forcing direct play, in some other forcing direct stream I can start the movie but sometimes it crashes after few minutes or simply start video without sound.
I've no problem with every movie in my database with no HD resolution, but for them I would use my Apple TV 2nd generation!
At this time I think I can put my roku in his box and take it to remember to not buy anything before I'm not sure what I'm buying... If there is something I can do to make it working well I'm hearing.
Lorenzo.

#2 schuyler

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:02 PM

Ciao! There are two known issues with MKVs:

1) Direct Play of an MKV often crashes the Roku. If you leave the playback options set to Auto, we'll never direct play an MKV because of this. But if you change the Playback Options to either Direct Play or Direct Play w/ Fallback, then it's not a surprise if it crashes.

2) Transcoding an MKV with 5.1 audio sometimes has the audio cutout followed by a crash of the Roku. We're trying to work with Roku to figure this out. In the meantime the only workaround is to disable 5.1 inside the Plex channel (Preferences -> Advanced Preferences).

If you're seeing something other than that, then I'm certainly interested to hear more. In particular, if you have an MKV with stereo audio that crashes the Roku when playback options are set to Auto, then that's something I'd like to get to the bottom of.

#3 Il Maestro

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:56 PM

I've no MKV with stereo tracks inside, all my files have ac3 or DTS audio track so I can't help you in this. I forget to tell that I have installed PlexApp in the Samsung TV in another room and the IOS version in my iPhone and iPad too. I know those apps are "work in progress" and I could be patient for next progress may come.
The same movie for example have no problems in other players than the incompatibility with internal subtitles and some limitations about audio selection (for Samsung version).
Thank you for your time and suggestion, I try to disable 5.1 inside the plex channel as soon as possible.
See you!

Lorenzo

#4 Il Maestro

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:29 PM

Ok, I'm here again.
There is no option about audio setting in plex channel but "audio boost". However I disabled the 5.1 option in the roku main settings and my roku stop crashes. Now the movie play (not fine but play). The transcoding of audio tracks determine continuously pause with "Waiting... Retrieving" messages and it's not possible to watch a movie like this. So I still can't watch my movie database but the Roku stop crashes.
I found some movie that won't play if I leave the automatic playback mode, and it send me the error message "we're unable to play this video, make sure the server is running and has access to this video". If I force the "Direct play" option in video playback the movie will start, but without audio. The file is an mkv that contain ac3 and dts audio tracks and various subtitles (in my test all subs tracks are disable). However the movie play for a few minutes with many step to step (without "waiting... retrieving" messages) than the image freeze and roku crash again.
Hope this help someone to make progress with plex!
See you

Lorenzo.

#5 schuyler

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 04:41 PM

Frequent buffering generally means exactly what you'd expect, something can't keep up. I'm not sure what kind of computer you're running PMS on, but it's possible for either the PMS/transcoder to be unable to transcode bytes fast enough, or it's possible that the Roku can't receive and interpret the bytes fast enough. If you attach a Plex Media Server.log after trying to play one of these videos, there's usually enough information in there to figure out which side is holding things up. You can also try lowering the quality setting on the Roku, especially if you have it cranked up above 8Mbps. And if your Roku is currently wireless, many people experience problems with the Roku's wireless antenna. If possible, try it with a wired connection. Or Roku themselves published a little how-to on boosting the wireless signal by adjusting the position of the device.

#6 Il Maestro

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 08:07 PM

My PMS run in an old iMac (2009) that can't play fine 1080p but I've buyed Roku exactly because I don't want to buy an expensive new iMac or mac mini. The same files (as I said) run very well form my PlexApp installed on My Samsung Smart TV, and I can see them on my iPad and iPhone too. Roku is wired connected as the iMac with PMS.
At this time I can't post the log file of my PMS but I post it as soon as possible.

#7 Il Maestro

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:40 PM

Sorry: my "old" iMac is 2006, not 2009.

#8 Paullywog

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:45 AM

Don't know if this will help but I was exp the same issues with my Roku and MKV files. Only was having issues with 1080P support on MKV. My DVD MKV all played fine but most of my blueray MKV caused crashing/freezing. Until a roku/mkv patch is released, changing the stream quality to a 780P stops all reboots and crashes. Kind of sucks downgrading to 780P but it is what it is.

Changing audio support from 5.1 has helped some people in this issue as well.

Sorry: my "old" iMac is 2006, not 2009.



#9 switchblade

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 01:55 AM

I was thinking of buying a Roku 2 xs ,but not sure after seeing this thread. Have the issues been resolved with a roku firmware update, or are there still issues with mkv and 1080p playback?

#10 Il Maestro

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 05:31 PM

In my experience I suggest to don't buy the Roku 2 XS if your database contain 1080p movie!!! I found in Roku that mkv at 1080p is impossible to play fine. Maybe if the movie is in mp4, I don't know... I don't have any movie in this format but for this movie an Apple TV 3rd generation with iTunes work very well.
I'm really sorry but for me buy the Roku 2 XS will be a mistake, it doesn't play fine any movie of my database (all my movie are mkv at 1080p). Maybe if the server is installed in a good hardware that can transcode the audio from ac3/DTS to stereo or the video from 1080p to 720p, maybe it would play this movie but I want to see it at 1080p and, because I have a DTS amplifier, I want DTS/AC3 audio also!
Please, report this incompatibility for every users: It can't play any mkv at 1080p.
See you!

#11 Il Maestro

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 05:32 PM

Sorry, I forgot... Merry Christmass to everybody!

#12 switchblade

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 07:46 PM

thanks for the reply. Merry Christmas to you too!

Sad to read this post and too bad they haven't resolved these issues.

With the Roku 2 off the list, what options are out there? Again, I need a solid Plex client that will play 1080P and mkv files with no issues. With all of these mini streaming devices out there, isnb't there at least one that can run Plex with no playback issues?

#13 Il Maestro

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:44 PM

I was searching for the same solution and I found (in my experience) the only way to solve all problem and use a fully functionally plex client with no issue is to buy a Mac mini aluminum (because before it haven't 1080p video out) and install the Mac version of plex media center. It's not an economy solution but it's the only way to close all problem. I have a Samsung tv and I have installed the Samsung smart tv version of plex: work fine but can't change audio track and doesn't support internal subs, I need to extract srt subs to put in the same directory of MKV... Good if you don't need subs and the first audio track is the one you want (ac3 support is ok).
I have an Apple TV 2nd gen JB with plex installed and work fine for 720p movie.... My movie are all 1080p so I use it to play some anime for my son.
I have tried an Apple TV 3rd gen and use it via air play from my iPad/iPhone and it work fine... If you don't need subs. Direct play doesn't support any kind of subs, so I can't play subs movie even on my iPad/iPhone... I hope this issue will be solved in future update but at this time there is no way to have a simple solutions but a Mac mini... Or this is what I find.
By now I use plex from Samsung smart tv for most of my movie and I use the air play solution to play the movies I need to change audio track.
Not the best, this is why I'm thinking to buy a reconditioned Mac mini (if I found it) or wait hoping in next update of plex (Samsung smart tv version or iOS version) will solve the issues.
Hope this help someone to find some solution and maybe help us!
See you!

#14 bahnstormer

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 12:16 AM

I'm keen to see the reviews on the Popcornhour A-400 and if it can use the Plex interface...

I stopped using my (VERY!) old Popcornhour A-110 in favour of the Roku2XS because the PCH didn't support Plex as a browsing interface.... but it had all the codecs it needed: so no transcoding and it would "DirectPlay" everything at a higher quality than the Roku2XS and without crashing during playback or dropping audio (or needing to drop audio to stereo).... and you could mount video_ts folders, iso and bin files as DVD's too :)

Drawbacks were - a flakey power-save function (require hard rebooting all the time) and no Plex support.

#15 switchblade

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 02:18 AM

don't hold your breath re the pch a-400. Unless Plex has signed a deal to include it and support it with their product out of the box, don't bother. I have the pch a-300 and it has the horse power to play anything, but no plex client. There is a alfa being tested, but very buggy and not supported by anyone.

I have to agree that the only solution that I have heard of with no issues at all is the mac mini. All others have at least a few issues, while most have critical issues that make them a deal breaker if you want 1080p and have mkv files.

Really is sad that there isn't more options out there.

#16 Il Maestro

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:07 AM

Waiting: the Apple TV 3 seems to have the necessaries horses to play MKV at 1080p, and even there is no way to install plex on it the air play solution will be acceptable for me and MKV play great... the problem is the support for subtitles of direct play.

#17 paolo.ceola

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 07:46 PM

Hi,

I’m from Italy too and I’m currently evaluating the best/cheap solution for a plex client to connect to my TV.

My Plex Media Server will run on a Synology DS213 NAS, so I’ve no chance of transcoding video on the fly.

At the time being I’m leaning towards one of these solution:

-          Roku 3 connected through the powerline to the router and NAS: this should be the most cost effective solution, with wide support of codec and little problems of bandwidth, anyway:

o   Is there any problem in creating a Roku account outside of the USA? I’m not interested in any region-limited contents like Netflix, Hulu, etc…just want the device to work with plex

o   Is Roku able to manage both PAL and NTSC?

-          Apple TV3 + ipad: this solution should provide a nice user experience, but I’m scared of the limited number of codecs supported by Apple and of the bandwidth needed for HD content.

I do not considered a mac mini a solution since too expensive for my needs.

 

@Lorenzo: you seem to have tested both solution, I’d really appreciate any suggestion you can provide me.

Obviously everyone suggestions are appreciated! :-)

 

Thx!

Paolo



#18 prem1er

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 11:48 AM

Just to clarify the Roku has very limited support for both audio and video codecs. Unless your files are in an mp4 container with H264 video and AAC audio, there is little chance your NAS won't have to transcode or remux. If you are set on running from a NAS and don't want to have to worry about codecs you might want to look at one of the Google TV set top boxes for around $100 US. Are your videos standardized?


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#19 paolo.ceola

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 07:31 PM

Thx prem1er,

I'm used to a first gen wd tv so I supposed Roku codecs support to be at least as good as wd is.

Unfortunately my videos are not standardized, I could spent some times transcoding them but I'd avoid it if I can.

I'm doing some research on plex app on Samsung BD Player with smart hub, at the moment it seems the most cost effective and supported solution among the ones available in my country.

 

Thx again!