4K Playback on FireTV 2



I was wondering if you could help me. Like I read on your homepage it should be possible to stream 4k videos to the fire TV 2 now but it's always playing in 1080p. The app shows me that it is in 4k and that the playback is in 4k as well but my TV won't switch to 4k. I am trying to.play a mkv file on the fire TV 2 plex app on a 50 inch Bush 4k telly. It works perfectly with Amazon video and Netflix BTW


Nobody got an idea?


If the playback is 4K but your TV is stuck in 1080p, then you should only be seeing a quarter of the video. So I think you may be misunderstanding something. Best would be to provide the XML for the movie from Plex, https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/201998867-Investigate-Media-Information-and-Formats. Then turn on the overlay on the playback screen and list what it says.


I seem to be experiencing the same issue on the Amazon Fire TV 4K. Used the optimizer to convert my source, the device now plays the item without transcoding, the device overlay reports the correct resolution and that it is using "Direct Play", however the TV resolution still reports 1080p. The whole scene is present, not just showing 25% but 100% of the picture.

Here is the XML output:

<MediaContainer size="1" allowSync="1" identifier="com.plexapp.plugins.library" librarySectionID="17" librarySectionTitle="Untitled" librarySectionUUID="33e8c1e4-de6e-4b78-8c5d-b0be7771ea5d" mediaTagPrefix="/system/bundle/media/flags/" mediaTagVersion="1479896320">
<Video ratingKey="201956" key="/library/metadata/201956" guid="com.plexapp.agents.none://ee0aa44ad168ce371e1dff1d80ecf962bd176caf?lang=xn" librarySectionID="17" type="movie" title="xxxxxx.S02E01.Chapter.14.2160p.x265.10bit" summary="" viewOffset="69337" lastViewedAt="1480663258" year="2016" thumb="/library/metadata/201956/thumb/1480663149" art="/library/metadata/201956/art/1480663149" duration="2977475" originallyAvailableAt="2016-05-03" addedAt="1480521617" updatedAt="1480663149" createdAtAccuracy="epoch" createdAtTZOffset="0">
<Media videoResolution="4k" id="343652" duration="2977475" bitrate="4258" width="3840" height="1920" aspectRatio="1.85" audioChannels="6" audioCodec="aac" videoCodec="hevc" container="mkv" videoFrameRate="24p" audioProfile="he-aac" videoProfile="main 10" title="Original">...</Media>
<Media videoResolution="4k" id="344074" duration="2977478" bitrate="12799" width="3840" height="1920" aspectRatio="1.85" audioChannels="6" audioCodec="aac" videoCodec="h264" container="mp4" videoFrameRate="24p" optimizedForStreaming="1" proxyType="42" audioProfile="he-aac" has64bitOffsets="1" target="Original Quality" targetTagID="29125" videoProfile="main" title="Original Quality">
<Part accessible="1" exists="1" id="351735" key="/library/parts/351735/1480628528/file.mp4" duration="2977478" file="\\x.x.x.x\xxx\xxxx\xxxxx\Plex Versions\Original Quality\xxxxxx.S02E01.Chapter.14.2160p.x265.10bit (2016).mp4" size="4763516424" audioProfile="he-aac" container="mp4" deepAnalysisVersion="1" has64bitOffsets="1" optimizedForStreaming="1" requiredBandwidths="19059,18415,16805,14786,13130,13120,13120,13120" videoProfile="main">
<Stream id="787419" streamType="1" default="1" codec="h264" index="0" bitrate="12586" bitDepth="8" cabac="1" chromaSubsampling="4:2:0" codecID="avc1" duration="2977478" frameRate="23.976" frameRateMode="cfr" hasScalingMatrix="0" height="1920" level="51" pixelFormat="yuv420p" profile="main" refFrames="4" requiredBandwidths="18856,18212,16601,14582,12922,12918,12918,12918" scanType="progressive" streamIdentifier="1" width="3840"/>
<Stream id="787420" streamType="2" selected="1" default="1" codec="aac" index="1" channels="6" bitrate="206" language="English" languageCode="eng" audioChannelLayout="5.1" bitrateMode="cbr" codecID="40" duration="2971092" profile="he-aac / lc" requiredBandwidths="208,208,208,208,208,208,208,208" samplingRate="48000" streamIdentifier="2"/>
<Stream id="787418" key="/library/streams/787418" streamType="3" codec="srt" language="English" languageCode="eng" format="srt"/>
<Media videoResolution="1080" id="344066" duration="2977478" bitrate="2300" width="1920" height="960" aspectRatio="1.85" audioChannels="6" audioCodec="aac" videoCodec="h264" container="mp4" videoFrameRate="24p" optimizedForStreaming="1" proxyType="42" audioProfile="he-aac" has64bitOffsets="0" target="Custom: Universal TV" videoProfile="main" title="Custom: Universal TV">...</Media>
<Extras size="0"></Extras>


Plex cannot create a 4K optimized version, only 1080p. If you are trying to play the optimized version, you will get the 1080 one. I see that your original video is 10-bit H265. The AFTV2 does not support 10-bit video so it will get transcoded. So for thia video, it is not possible to get 4K output.

If the overlay is showing you the 4K resolution, that may be a bug in the overlay showing the wrong version. To be sure what version is playing, I'll need to see the logs from the AFTV2. https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/201573117-Android-Android-TV-and-Fire-TV-Logs


Ahhh... well that explains it - thanks for the response.

I knew about 10-bit limitation, which is why I tried to go down the "optimize - original" route.

If you would like the logs, I can post them? - otherwise I'm happy with the answer.


No need for logs, if you got your answer. I can test for that bug.


I have posted a similar question on the forums :) But research now shows that a lot of people have identical problems with 4k output on FireTV. Has anyone ever been able to play 4k on FireTV with Plex? If there is any special file specification I would like to know so I can tune handbrake accordingly in my transcodings. Is the Plex app on FireTV approved for UHD resolutions as is the Netflix and Amazon app, cause I see that not all apps are allowed to switch res on the box.


gstergiou: I am unable to get 4K output on FireTV using Plex. I have been able to encode a file which Plex plays directly (h265/aac/mp4). Plex info shows 3840x1608 while playing, which reflects my encoding settings. Unfortunately, the TV info shows 1920x1080.

I'm not sure if behavior changed since MovieFan.Plex's answer but currently that answer is wrong: there is no cropping of the 4K frame to fit 1080p; instead, Plex scales the 3840x1608 frame to fit 1080p output (AR preserved).

Additionally, I can get 4K out of Amazon and YouTube. Those apps show an interstitial message about changing the resolution to 4K which takes a moment. Plex doesn't make any similar fuss.

I wish Plex would be more transparent about this problem and stop giving us the run-around.

(edit: typo h264->h265)


Do you mean Fire TV or Fire TV 2? The original does not support 4K video so PMS has to transcode it to 1080. On a Fire TV 2, assuming nothing else in the video is causing it to be transcoded, PMS can pass the 4K video directly. If your TV isn't 4K, the Fire TV 2 (no transcoding needed) will then scale the video to match the TV.

If this isn't working for you, please provide logs.


I personally have not been able to make it work no matter what file I through to it. I want to believe that I have debugged it thoroughly.

My setup supports 4k since other apps can switch and render the content at its intended resolution. The TV is last years samsung so i am hopping its as compatible as it can get.

I mean if there is a file that works then I would be really interested to see it and replicate all my encodings to its specs. If anyone in this forum has a file that works on FireTV2 with plex please share it in one of the major download sites so we can test it locally and figure it out.

Run-around or not I am confident now after all this testing that its not supported, neither have i seen a post in the forums of anybody claiming that it works. I am sure amazon must be very strict in certifying apps and allowing them to switch to 4k mode.


I have seen 1 report where the Fire TV 2 itself would not send the 4K signal to tell the TV to switch, but PMS was correctly sending the 4K file. If you can playback a 4K file and get me the log from the Plex app I can check if you might be experiencing this issue.


I am using a Fire TV 2. The title of the thread says "4K Playback on FireTV 2". I indicated that I can get 4K output using Amazon and YouTube apps. Also as indicated, there is no real-time transcoding: the info Plex shows while playing indicates "Direct Play" and the original resolution. My TV is capable of displaying 4K/2160p: as previously indicated, I've been enjoying 4K content from YouTube and Amazon and my TV switches to 2160p when doing so.

Logs will come when I have time to figure out how to get them. (https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/201573117 Android TV & Fire TV, for those playing along at home.)

Please accept my apologies for being curt: I've already sunk several hours of my time into this problem and my patience is wearing. I've painstakingly ensured my content doesn't get transcoded and have nothing to show for it. Attempting to glean relevant clues from this forum is also frustrating--as is the general lack of documentation.


Ok. If you see direct play on the screen, then you may be experiencing the same issue I mentioned above. This was a hardware issue with the Fire TV 2, which I thought had been fixed. Let me see if I can find the original thread that dealt with this issue to see if there was a resolution.


I managed to capture a log. See attachment.

Any luck finding additional info MovieFan.Plex ?


Plex added official support for 4K video files on the 2nd generation Amazon Fire TV with their v4.21.0.528 update. This means 4K videos can be directly played on the Fire TV without your Plex server needing to transcode the files. This includes support for H265 HEVC encoded files, however many users are finding their 4K files don’t meet the required specifications for direct playback by Plex. For starters, files must be encoded with a maximum bit depth of 8-bits per sample and contain metadata identifying them as having a Main profile level. Missing surround sound support is also an issue, so files should have an AC3 or AAC audio track present. Even if the file fits all the criteria, it still may not play directly due to a bug identified last week. Plex is working to improve 4K playback on the Fire TV, so look for better support with future updates. While the newly added 4K support is not perfect, it’s a good first step towards local 4K content playback on Fire TV 2 via Plex.


@lanjesus said:
I managed to capture a log. See attachment.

Any luck finding additional info MovieFan.Plex ?

Sorry for the delay. Your logs do not show the information I was looking for. Can you try force closing the app, turn on the logging feature, try to playback that file again, then get me the logs again.