4K HEVC not Direct Playing with update 1.19

apple-tv

#1

Hi there,

I've updated my PMS to version 1.9.6.4429 and my Apple TV to version 1.19. The changelog for 1.19 states that HEVC Direct Play is now supported, but my PMS is still transcoding 4K HEVC in a Matroska container to H.264 and destroying my server's CPU.

Is 4K HEVC in an MKV container still unsupported for ATV4K?

Some clarification on this would be great, thanks.


#2

Not yet supported with MKV containers, there other threads on this very topic already.


#3

The only container that HEVC will Direct Play for me is .MOV. MP4 with HEVC won't direct play/stream either.


#4

Doesn't work with MP4 either... latest PMS STILL doesn't have the right profile built in to do it. I had my profile manually edited and had to re-edit after today's 1.9.6 update. Going on almost 2 months since new Apple TV 4K availability and we still don't even have a basic update to allow direct play of the supported formats. So annoying...


#5

@tr2143 said:
The only container that HEVC will Direct Play for me is .MOV. MP4 with HEVC won't direct play/stream either.

Look up on the forum about the FourCC identifier, there is a quick fix for MP4 with HEVC that won't play or get a black screen with audio only.

Basically you can use Subler (https://subler.org) to fix those files.


#6

@nickp85 said:
Doesn't work with MP4 either... latest PMS STILL doesn't have the right profile built in to do it. I had my profile manually edited and had to re-edit after today's 1.9.6 update. Going on almost 2 months since new Apple TV 4K availability and we still don't even have a basic update to allow direct play of the supported formats. So annoying...

Can you show me how I can edit my profile to allow MP4's to play 4K HEVC?


#7

@BigMac7400 said:

@tr2143 said:
The only container that HEVC will Direct Play for me is .MOV. MP4 with HEVC won't direct play/stream either.

Look up on the forum about the FourCC identifier, there is a quick fix for MP4 with HEVC that won't play or get a black screen with audio only.

Basically you can use Subler (https://subler.org) to fix those files.

Can't seem to find it, do you have the specific link?


#8

To clarify, are you saying that if I have an HEVC file and us subler on it to create an optimized version it'll correclty set the FourCC identifier?

If so that's good news becuase I really didnt' want to have to re-rip all my movies again. (I had recently ripped all my movies in HEVC to save space but had been using the current version of Handbrake which evidently doesn't correclty set the FourCC Identifier). Just running them all through subler will still be a little bit of a pain but will be WAY less painful than starting over from the discs.


#9

@DrOct fwiw, I've tried multiple times to get subler to fix incorrect FourCC, and it never works right for me, but then again, I didn't RTFM...

I just use ffmpeg to do it -- in fact, I made a little automator app that I can just drag media onto and it fixes it for me. It just executes a "Run a shell script" action with "Pass input: as arguments" configured with this:

for f in "$@"
do
    /Applications/ffmpeg/ffmpeg -i "$f" -map 0 -c copy -tag:v hvc1  -movflags +faststart -f mp4 "${f%.*}.mp4"
rm "$f"
done

I was able to fix 100+ eps of a show in about 2 minutes.


#10

@kclimie

I presume that requires them to be .mp4 files to start with? I had ripped most of my media as mkv's, though I'm happy to convert them to mp4 (which is what I know subler would have done).


#11

I've have been able to reproduce this issue in 1.19 with HEVC/H.265 media that was remuxed to MP4. Media Direct Played without video track, only audio. When forced to transcode, audio and video both played as expected. I've filed an internal issue to have this investigated.

Steps to reproduce
1. Verify quality is set to play at original, so media Direct Plays
2. Play LG Chicago Two.mp4 HEVC H.265 media
3. Video is black while audio plays as expected
4. Verify media was Direct Playing
5. Change quality to force a transcode
6. Play LG Chicago Two.mp4 HEVC H.265 media
7. Audio and video tracks play as expected
8. Verify media was transcoding

Edit: it's entirely possible that some aspect of the media I am using is incompatible with Apple's AVPlayer. Engineering will investigate.


#12

@DrOct as long as the video is h265 (hevc) and the audio is in AAC or AC3 what I posted will work no matter what the container format. All that script will do is force mp4 container and set the FourCC to “hvc1”.

Note that if your MKV has DTS audio or VOBsubs it won’t work, MP4 will only work AAC/AC3 and with text based subs.


#13

Ah, many of my movies have one or both of those things. But this may help with some of them!


#14

Sorry, I said VPBsubs and I meant PGS. Basically, the subs need to be in a text-based format.


#15

Right. The variability in subs and the way the .mp4 container handles them has been on of the main reasons I've mostly just used .mkv's.

I admit I don't know all the ins and outs of why's of this stuff, I just know i can make an .mkv with pretty much anything I want in it, and .mp4's are much more restricted. Interestingly I've usually been able to use Subler to convert .mkv's with subs in them that aren't supposed to work in .mp4 files into perfectly usable .mp4's that still contain all the subs in them (or in many cases .m4v files. Which is a whole separate level of confusion since as I understand .m4v is sort of the same .mp4 but with fewer restrictions?).

Video file formats are weird.

Anyway! Thank you for your help and suggestions! I've learned stuff and will hopefully eventually be able to get everything to work the way I want it to (and/or Plex will just get updated enough to just handle it for me, which is as it should be).


#16

Yes, Subler OCRs the image based subs. The results can be a little wonky, especially with italicized or non-english tracks.


#17

Thanks for the info! I had wondered if that might be how it was handled. I haven't noticed any real issues with the subs it's OCR'd but I certainly haven't watched every one of the movies I've ripped with subs on all the way through. Anyway, I may just wait until Plex handles HEVC mkv's properly, rather than converting all my movies.