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Roku 3 "This video isn't supported for direct play"

Roku 3 codecs plex channel

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#1 grumps56

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 08:01 PM

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.

 

 



#2 schuyler

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 03:13 PM

Sorry to respond with a fraction of the word count, but here goes.

 

AVI isn't supported by Roku at all. The only on-the-fly solution is transcoding at the server. I'm afraid we disagree on that front as I think that's an appropriate use for a server, but to each his own.

 

MP4 is supported, but MP3 audio isn't supported inside MP4. Again, a Roku limitation, the solution is on-the-fly transcoding.

 

MKV is only supported by Roku when playing off USB, MKVs can't be streamed over HTTP.

 

WMV/ASF is only supported by Roku on their first gen players, not the Roku 3.

 

So, if transcoding isn't an option for you, then your only options are reencoding your media or finding a client with much richer native codec support. Sorry.



#3 Dylan

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 05:58 PM

I see a lot of posts about Roku not supporting Direct Play MKV over HTTP but it seems to work fine for me? I'm running a Synology 2411+ with Plex Server and my NAS and Roku 3 are both hard-wired into a gigabit switch. If I set Plex to transcode, it bogs my NAS CPU to 99% (it used to only take up 60-70 so I guess Plex made some adjustments for the worse). If I switch everything to Direct Play, it take about 2-5% of the CPU and plays fine.

 

The only time I ever see an issue is if the encoder used some funky codec within the MKV container. 99% of my files are H.264 so they play just fine. I've never seen the direct play not supported that so many others report and this is my first Roku device.

 

The few times I've encoded my own video I always used Handbrake, H.24, MP4 and DTS settings. I downloaded an optimal handbrake settings file from some encoder site online and the results were much better than my weeks of tinkering. 



#4 prem1er

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:06 PM

In this case it is only remuxing the video and copying it to a valid container (mp4), not transcoding. This is why you aren't seeing very much CPU use.


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#5 portishead

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 04:19 AM

I see a lot of posts about Roku not supporting Direct Play MKV over HTTP but it seems to work fine for me? I'm running a Synology 2411+ with Plex Server and my NAS and Roku 3 are both hard-wired into a gigabit switch. If I set Plex to transcode, it bogs my NAS CPU to 99% (it used to only take up 60-70 so I guess Plex made some adjustments for the worse). If I switch everything to Direct Play, it take about 2-5% of the CPU and plays fine.

 

I'm also having fairly good success with Direct Play.  Synology 212+ everything gigabit.  I think YMMV though.  I'm using the Test channel and experimental encoder and 4.1 support.  I wish Roku would just release HTTP support though.  Maybe the PS4 will support mkv playback and 24fps (it's a joke).



#6 jbmia

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 02:36 PM

This is a bit of an old thread, but I thought I'd add a bit for folks browsing after the fact...

 

To schuyler's point above about server transcoding, from my perspective... you'll never be able to control all of the various supported file formats on all of the various supported clients.  Hardware manufacturers often make decisions that don't necessarily align themselves with our needs.  IT is what it is.  That being said, you do have control over your "server" and PMS that's running on it.  I think it's brilliant that the Plex development team have put together a "one size fit's all solution" that will serve up a format if it can be consumed and transcode on the fly if it can't it if it can't.  You just have to throw some processing power and some bandwidth at.  (which is why I've stayed away from pre-packaged NAS solutions.) 

 

With respect to file format and containers.  MKV is the de-facto standard these days.   AVi is old. The other problem I've had with AVI files is that over time, for some reason or another, they can become corrupted and need to be repaired.  It's not too big a deal, but a pain when you just want to watch a video.  Not sure why this happens, but it has to me a handful of times.

 

Cheers!



#7 GameFace;-(

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:18 AM

Hey guys!!  got the direct play thing solved.  the problem is Roku/Plex combo.  Yes Roku does support (MP4, MOV, and MKV pass through) However the MOV and MKV are only if played via USB plugged into Roku.  If streaming direct only one format is supported MP4 (H264.) with ACC audio.  Additionally,  if 5.1 surround is desired the re-encode video with MP4 and two audio tracks one 2.0 Stereo and one 5.1 Surround both ACC however, (theres a catch) Roku will only play if the 2.0 stereo track is remuxed first on listed tracks with the 5.1 surround listed second.  Roku will then direct play the file with 5.1 surround sound (after track is chosen on Plex menu).  Also works for direct streaming to android devices however, subtitles are not supported on direct play to android client.  Hope this helps guys!! Direct play is AWESOME!!  Video loads with lightning speed and the stability during play is unmatched.  Good luck and let me know how it goes.  



#8 hackztor@gmail.com

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 01:27 AM

I directed stream mkv over ethernet alot since roku updated the firmware. I also use the plex test channel and just found an even better channel called rarflix which is same as plex test channel, but some guy adds a few other features like rottentomatoe scores and better hud information (when pressing down on the remote you can see if its transcoding or direct playing.



#9 Mediaconoclast

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 08:52 AM

Hey guys!!  got the direct play thing solved.  the problem is Roku/Plex combo.  Yes Roku does support (MP4, MOV, and MKV pass through) However the MOV and MKV are only if played via USB plugged into Roku.  If streaming direct only one format is supported MP4 (H264.) with ACC audio.  Additionally,  if 5.1 surround is desired the re-encode video with MP4 and two audio tracks one 2.0 Stereo and one 5.1 Surround both ACC however, (theres a catch) Roku will only play if the 2.0 stereo track is remuxed first on listed tracks with the 5.1 surround listed second.  Roku will then direct play the file with 5.1 surround sound (after track is chosen on Plex menu).  Also works for direct streaming to android devices however, subtitles are not supported on direct play to android client.  Hope this helps guys!! Direct play is AWESOME!!  Video loads with lightning speed and the stability during play is unmatched.  Good luck and let me know how it goes.  

 

I suspect you're not describing a Plex->Roku situation at all, but rather a Roku->TV->AVR situation.  I Direct Play MKVs with AC3 and DTS audio all the time ... at least with the Roku2XS and the Roku3, that is. I use HDMI to go Roku->AVR->TV.


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#10 dwanthny

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 05:48 AM

Hey guys!! got the direct play thing solved. the problem is Roku/Plex combo. Yes Roku does support (MP4, MOV, and MKV pass through) However the MOV and MKV are only if played via USB plugged into Roku.


I'm sure there is great info in your post, but MKV streams direct to Roku from Plex since the last Roku firmware update.

#11 shpankey

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 01:55 AM

Yup



#12 osburnfamily

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 01:23 PM

Greetings All.

 

I know this may be a dying thread but I'm new to Plex & Roku 3.  I'm not new to encoding however as I have a large library and am coming from an old Windows Media Center & XBOX Extender world.

 

I'm moving away from all the WMC/Extender world into Plex & Roku 3.

 

I may not be looking to re-encode my existing library; however, moving forward-- I'm looking for what the best container/codecs solution is when under a Plex Media Server with hard-wired Roku 3 clients all connected to TV/AVRs with HDMI.

 

I'd like the highest quality from my blurays with the best audio available (my receivers can do just about anything).

 

So... Containers is my first question.  MKV or MP4

After containers comes video codecs.  H264, MPEG2, MPEG4, VC1, WMV9

Last is the audio codecs.  AC3, AAC (here's where I need some help cuz I don't quite understand AAC and 5.1 audio)

 

Sounds like Plex & Roku can do all of the above but what I'm really looking for is what the proper mix is.

 

Any help is greatly appreciated even if it's just to point me to another link that shows what codecs are supported under what containers for direct-play.  Would prefer not to transcode-- but that's not a requirement.

 

Thanks!

 



#13 schuyler

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 02:06 PM

Many people follow destructo's Rokoding guide.

 

In short, MKV and MP4 are both fine (though I usually recommend MP4 as being more universally playable), H.264 (without a crazy profile), and a combination of stereo AAC and surround AC3. That's going to offer the most surefire support, and the Rokoding guide has more specifics.



#14 osburnfamily

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 02:34 PM

Fantastic.  Thanks for the quick response!  I had come across the Rokoding link but I hadn't found a clear answer as to the support mix of codecs & containers.

 

So as long as I end up with mkv or mp4 and the stream is h264 with either aac or ac3 I should be good.

 

I can manage the bitrate choices from there.

 

Thanks again!







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