Apple TV is transcoding supported video formats?

apple-tv

#1

My Apple TV 4 is transcoding 24fps 1080p h.264 video that is in a mp4 container, the video also has a high profile level of 4.1. I am unsure why it is transcoding this as the Apple TV supports *H.264 video up to 1080p, 60 frames per second, High or Main Profile level 4.2 or lower with an mp4 container * (taken straight from http://www.apple.com/au/tv/specs/).

I am using MakeMKV to convert my blu rays to MKV files. I then remux this file to mp4 with a program called mp4tools (pretty much a gui for ffmpeg) in order to have a lossless conversion from MKV to mp4. I do not intend to use any transcoding tools like handbrake as I want blu ray quality files and will only be needing this quality on a few of my favourite films so it won't take up too much of my storage.

I have also tried removing the subtitle track as I have read sometimes this forces a transcode even if the video format is supported, however, this still does not work.

I also do not believe network speeds are an issue as I am trying to play the file over my local network, which should be more than fast enough. My MacBook Pro can also direct play (no transcoding) the file using Plex Media Player wirelessly so network speeds should be sufficient.

My only thought is the ATV has issues with the files high bit rate of 20.8mbps, however this is a wild guess?

Any help would be much appreciated!
Thanks in advance.


#2

I have a very similar problem. My Apple TV 4 stucks sometimes when I watch movies with subtitles (NOT when they are showing, just when u select them, the movie stucks every 1-5 minutes with the message "Your server is to slow…).

So I looked around here and found the hint with the burned subtitles, and I´ve set everything like here in the community told.

But nothing changed. When I play movies on the AppleTV the server tells me

On my iMac, MacMini with PMP it only shows “Direct Play”

So what´s the Problem the AppleTV has with the mkv files? I unselected the embedded SRT subtitles, but nothing changes.


#3

@BlueG6o said:
I have a very similar problem. My Apple TV 4 stucks sometimes when I watch movies with subtitles (NOT when they are showing, just when u select them, the movie stucks every 1-5 minutes with the message "Your server is to slow…).
Are you saying this happens when subtitles are on? It’s a bit unclear to me what you stated.
So I looked around here and found the hint with the burned subtitles, and I´ve set everything like here in the community told.

But nothing changed. When I play movies on the AppleTV the server tells me

On my iMac, MacMini with PMP it only shows “Direct Play”

So what´s the Problem the AppleTV has with the mkv files? I unselected the embedded SRT subtitles, but nothing changes.
You can not direct play a MKV file to an AppleTV. It must be remuxed to an MP4 container hence your status screenshot shows Transcoding with Direct streams. A MacMini should be able to remux this for the AppleTV. What are the specs for that MacMini and what other duties has it been relegated to other than Plex Media Server?


#4

Please see 'the support page here:
https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/200250387-Streaming-Media-Direct-Play-and-Direct-Stream

And some clarification from Elan here regarding MKV:
https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/992622/#Comment_992622

Although he was talking about iOS the same applies to tvOS.


#5

@D.C.C said:
My Apple TV 4 is transcoding 24fps 1080p h.264 video that is in a mp4 container, the video also has a high profile level of 4.1. I am unsure why it is transcoding this as the Apple TV supports *H.264 video up to 1080p, 60 frames per second, High or Main Profile level 4.2 or lower with an mp4 container * (taken straight from http://www.apple.com/au/tv/specs/).

I am using MakeMKV to convert my blu rays to MKV files. I then remux this file to mp4 with a program called mp4tools (pretty much a gui for ffmpeg) in order to have a lossless conversion from MKV to mp4. I do not intend to use any transcoding tools like handbrake as I want blu ray quality files and will only be needing this quality on a few of my favourite films so it won't take up too much of my storage.

I have also tried removing the subtitle track as I have read sometimes this forces a transcode even if the video format is supported, however, this still does not work.

I also do not believe network speeds are an issue as I am trying to play the file over my local network, which should be more than fast enough. My MacBook Pro can also direct play (no transcoding) the file using Plex Media Player wirelessly so network speeds should be sufficient.

My only thought is the ATV has issues with the files high bit rate of 20.8mbps, however this is a wild guess?

Any help would be much appreciated!
Thanks in advance.
Can you post media info?


#6

@lqvnguyen said:
Can you post media info?

The audio track is direct streaming while the video track says Transcoding H264 to H264?


#7

@D.C.C said:

@lqvnguyen said:
Can you post media info?

The audio track is direct streaming while the video track says Transcoding H264 to H264?

I believe this is due to the Ref Frames being 2. I am not positive but I believe Plex created a profile to deal with an issue on iOS and tvOS that is discussed in detail in this thread. What version of PMS are you running on what platform?


#8

@lqvnguyen said:

@BlueG6o said:
On my iMac, MacMini with PMP it only shows "Direct Play"

So what´s the Problem the AppleTV has with the mkv files? I unselected the embedded SRT subtitles, but nothing changes.
You can not direct play a MKV file to an AppleTV. It must be remuxed to an MP4 container hence your status screenshot shows Transcoding with Direct streams. A MacMini should be able to remux this for the AppleTV. What are the specs for that MacMini and what other duties has it been relegated to other than Plex Media Server?

If you are using MacOS a good program for remuxing MKV to MP4 is MP4tools. Its free to use and pretty simple, just set the video and audio streams to passthrough and it will convert your MKV to a MP4 container in a couple of minutes without any loss in quality. You can find the software here:
http://www.emmgunn.com/mp4tools-home/

This should Direct Play instead of Direct Stream


#9

@D.C.C said:

@lqvnguyen said:

@BlueG6o said:
On my iMac, MacMini with PMP it only shows "Direct Play"

So what´s the Problem the AppleTV has with the mkv files? I unselected the embedded SRT subtitles, but nothing changes.
You can not direct play a MKV file to an AppleTV. It must be remuxed to an MP4 container hence your status screenshot shows Transcoding with Direct streams. A MacMini should be able to remux this for the AppleTV. What are the specs for that MacMini and what other duties has it been relegated to other than Plex Media Server?

If you are using MacOS a good program for remuxing MKV to MP4 is MP4tools. Its free to use and pretty simple, just set the video and audio streams to passthrough and it will convert your MKV to a MP4 container in a couple of minutes without any loss in quality. You can find the software here:
http://www.emmgunn.com/mp4tools-home/

This should Direct Play instead of Direct Stream

Yes I am aware of such tools:
ffmpeg -i file.mkv -c copy file.mp4

Just clarifying for the second poster, since his content is MKV.


#10

@lqvnguyen said:
Yes I am aware of such tools:
ffmpeg -i file.mkv -c copy file.mp4

Just clarifying for the second poster, since his content is MKV.

Thank you, I was also responding for the second poster in case he didn't know how to convert his MKV's.

I believe this is due to the Ref Frames being 2. I am not positive but I believe Plex created a profile to deal with an issue on iOS and tvOS that is discussed in detail in this thread.

Thanks I'll have a look at the thread.

What version of PMS are you running on what platform?

I am using PMS Version 1.3.3.3148 on Windows 10 PC, I have just seen an update so will install this and see if it helps


#11

If you check your server logs, it should give you the reason why it transcoded. If I remember correctly it should state something about device profile.


#12

@lqvnguyen said:
If you check your server logs, it should give you the reason why it transcoded. If I remember correctly it should state something about device profile.

I have downloaded and checked the server logs and have found this:

Feb 06, 2017 16:49:16.672 [0292] DEBUG - MDE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012): no remuxable profile found, so video stream will be transcoded

I couldn't find anything relating to 'device profile', however will keep looking as its my first time ever reading the logs and there is a lot of text to go through!

Really appreciate your help by the way.


#13

@D.C.C said:

@lqvnguyen said:
If you check your server logs, it should give you the reason why it transcoded. If I remember correctly it should state something about device profile.

I have downloaded and checked the server logs and have found this:

Feb 06, 2017 16:49:16.672 [0292] DEBUG - MDE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012): no remuxable profile found, so video stream will be transcoded

I couldn't find anything relating to 'device profile', however will keep looking as its my first time ever reading the logs and there is a lot of text to go through!

Really appreciate your help by the way.

Again I could be wrong in a profile being installed by default now.
Here is the post with the profile:
https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1174733/#Comment_1174733


#14

@lqvnguyen said:

@D.C.C said:

@lqvnguyen said:

@BlueG6o said:
On my iMac, MacMini with PMP it only shows "Direct Play"

So what´s the Problem the AppleTV has with the mkv files? I unselected the embedded SRT subtitles, but nothing changes.
You can not direct play a MKV file to an AppleTV. It must be remuxed to an MP4 container hence your status screenshot shows Transcoding with Direct streams. A MacMini should be able to remux this for the AppleTV. What are the specs for that MacMini and what other duties has it been relegated to other than Plex Media Server?

If you are using MacOS a good program for remuxing MKV to MP4 is MP4tools. Its free to use and pretty simple, just set the video and audio streams to passthrough and it will convert your MKV to a MP4 container in a couple of minutes without any loss in quality. You can find the software here:
http://www.emmgunn.com/mp4tools-home/

This should Direct Play instead of Direct Stream

Yes I am aware of such tools:
ffmpeg -i file.mkv -c copy file.mp4

Just clarifying for the second poster, since his content is MKV.

and if you add "-movflags +faststart" to your ffmpeg command, it will be web optimized and will direct play on ATV4(WITHOUT subtitles).

i am remuxing always my mkv content to mp4 with "ffmpeg -i file.mkv -c:v copy -c:a libfdk_aac -ac 2 -movflags +faststart file.mp4" and can direct play it on ATV4(without subtitles).