4K Playback Client Questions



Hi everyone. So my Plex Setup is as follows; Hyper-V Host: DL380 G6 2xXeon L5640 48GB RAM. Plex runs in a VM on this host. VM can take 100% usage of processors and has 8GB RAM assigned to it. Media is on a FreeNAS server. The plex vm has a mapped share that points to my libraries which is how Plex identifies and plays the media. My plex player is a Zotac CI323NANO (Intel N3150 quad-core 1.6GHz, up to 2.08GHz, 16gb RAM, 120gb SSD, Gigabit Ethernet Connection). The software it is running is OpenPHT-Embedded- The zotac is connected to a LG 4k OLED TV (can find model number if it helps). I have a question.

One issue I am running into right now is with regards to 4k playback. I don’t have much 4k content right now (approx. 8 – 10 movies). All my movies are 1080p/4k BD Remuxes with an HD audio (TrueHD, DTS MA, etc) stream. All my movies are MKV format. Some play absolutely fine with no issues but with some the video just continuously choppy and gets this grey pixilation over it every minute or so. Basically, these movies that play like this are unwatchable. Now I examined each movie and noticed that most are HEVC but some are AVC. Then I saw that all the ones that play fine are all AVC. All the ones that have the performance issues are HEVC. Also, when I play from chrome on my desktop, all of them play fine regardless of which codec they are. I also watched my server while trying to do the 4K playback and noticed nothing abnormal performance wise there. It was not even coming close to maxing out cpu or memory resources. I told OpenPHT to direct play for everything on this player. I didn’t setup manual server config but not sure if that matters or not. Looking for some help here because I am not sure why some play fine and some can’t play well at all but again this is only through my plex player connected to my TV. Also, all other media plays absolutely fine through the zotac connected to my TV (1080p, 720p, etc.).

I am starting to think its just my player. I am wondering if the Zotac just can't handle direct playing 4K HEVC 10-bit. I am basically just looking for the best way to play my media as I have it now (and will continue to add it in the future). If you think it is my player, what you guys recommend to accomplish what I am trying to accomplish here? I see the Nvidia Shield TV recommended a lot. That would be easy to get as I can buy it at my local Best Buy. I appreciate your help and recommendations. Thank you.


Hey, without digging super deep it seems pretty clear that your server isn’t going to be an issue as far as processing power/transcoding. I’d agree it sounds like the bottle neck is going to be on the client end- playing HEVC/handle files that beefy. The fact you can play these files without issue on your desktop would seem to confirm this.

I can only speak to the players I use that doesn’t choke on big files, the Nvidia Shield as you mentioned is a great way to go for a streaming box that can play anything you throw at it, has a snappy interface etc. As far as an HTPC, something like a NUC with a fairly modern i3 or i5 cpu will also do the same. I use one of these with OpenPHT as well. This is my favorite but without the options for Netflix, HBO etc the shield recently took the top spot in my house at the living room tv (NUC is now in my office).

One thing you may want to try (if you haven’t already) is try the intel branch of OpenPHT. I read some people achieved better performance with the intel install. Might be worth it before you drop the $ on a new player.

Kind of a pain to buy another player but with all the work you put into your server, seems like you deserve a player that can play all your files hassle free. Hope this helps some.


Looks like your client isn’t capable of outputting the HDR/10-bit color space.