ARMv8 platform alpha testing - Synology and QNAP

server-armv8-testing

#1

Please read the following completely.

Overview

After what seems like an eternity, myself (@ChuckPA) and @WingmanNZ have completed the building and packaging of aarch64 Plex Media Server binaries for the Synology and QNAP ARMv8/Realtek platforms.

We are inviting our users who have a Synology and/or QNAP NAS with the ARMv8/RealTek CPU (DS118, DS218, DS418, DS418j, TS-128A, TS-1635AX, TS-431XU, TS-832XU) to join us in final testing of Plex Media Server for these platforms.

Did you bring the :popcorn: ?

We have created this special forum tag server-armv8-testing for this effort and request all discussion and problem reporting stay confined to this tag to keep all our efforts focused. Upon completion of our testing, this alpha test will be archived. Support will continue normally in the regular forum. I will then update the NAS Compatibility Guide based on our results here and final QA testing.

Upon completion of our testing, the next steps are conducted by QA and the production team. They will conduct formal QA testing while the production team completes final release implementation.

When both are completed, you will see:

  1. Officlal ARMv8 64-bit support for QNAP NASes
  2. Officlal ARMv8 64-bit support for Synology NASes
  3. The NAS Compatibility Guide will be updated to show support and the results of our testing here.

While these final steps are happening, I will continue to provide updated packages for everyone to use as they become available to me.

Testing Goals

  1. Confirm PMS installs and/or is migratable to another volume as per the norm for your NAS.
  2. Confirm PMS running on this ARMv8 platform behaves just as it does on existing platforms without ARMv8-unique crashing or other problems.
  3. Determine a wider sense of how much ‘transcoding’ the ARMv8 can really do beyond what lab testing has been able to provide to far.

Expanding on these points, I request:

  • For installation errors, please report: NAS model, firmware version, the name of the file you installed, and what you attempted.

  • For Start/Stop/Restart errors: These are self evident. Please let me know and I will address it immediately. Include NAS system logs/screenshots as appropriate

  • If you discover a problem which is unique to the ARMv8 and it’s not been previously reported, please report it.

    • If the problem as already been reported, please “Like” that post. Please do not report “Me too” type posts. This only serves to make the thread grow unmanageably long too quickly.

    • Please include DEBUG log file with your report. Verbose log files will only delay my correcting the issue.

  • Off-topic / non-related posts will be removed or moved as appropriate. The sooner we complete our task here, the sooner I can release to the download site.

  • I cannot address PMS functionality issues here. We can only test “Does it work the same as the other platforms?”

  • DirectPlay, DirectStream, and Transcoding testing:

    • I would like confirmation of which codecs and playback use cases are working without stuttering.

    • It is my goal to also allow real-time transcoding to “Some” level if safe to do so. Sync will work as always.

    • This will provide the information I need to add all the new entries to the NAS Compatibility Guide.

    • To provide verification of results, without the need to send binary video files, I strongly recommend use of sample files from http://www.jell.yfish.us as verification before reporting.

    • As post examples to report success or failure:

      • Success: DS118, DirectPlay, 1080p H.264 - 35 Mbps, AC-3 5.1
      • Stutter: TS128A, Transcode, 1080p MPEG2 -> 1080p H.264 (16 Mbps), AC-3 -> AAC
      • Success: TS128A, Transcode, 1080p MPEG2 -> 1080p H.265 (12 Mbps), AC-3 5.1 -> AAC 2.0
      • No Audio: DS418j, DirectStream, 1080p H.264 18 Mbps, DCA-> AAC
  • Any other anomalies you discover which don’t exist on other platforms.

    • Crash: DS118: Scanning movie library
    • Failure: No metadata retrieval - TV library (please make certain you have success on your other system before posting metadata issues)

Known limitations & Important Changes

Migration can take a very long time to complete and for PMS to become ready again due to the CPU, hard drives, and size of the library (amount to move). It is not possible to estimate how long a migration might take in advance. In some cases, a Zip/Unzip might just be faster on Synology. You will need to experiment by making a simple backup file (ZIP) and gauging from there.

The ARMv8 has performed admirably in testing so far and is expected to be noticeably faster than ARMv7 systems in all cases, but is not an “Intel class” CPU with lots of memory so please be fair in your evaluation. Our internal pre-QA testing of it has been quite impressive (QNAP TS-128A and Synology DS418j)

There is no hardware transcoding support in this alpha-test of the software. Hardware transcoding is spec’d to be available for certain machines but it is not here because ARMv8 chips do not support Intel QSV video. The sole purpose here is to verify the basic PMS port to 64-bit ARM platform is valid.

HEVC transcoding/procesing is impossible on an ARMv8 processor due to its limited Passmark score and lack of hardware transcoding.

H.264 & MPEG2 transcoding / processing appears to be up to ~20 Mbps. Hopefully a more precise practical upper limit is discovered during this Alpha Test process.

QNAP

  • The Plex Media Server package now supports installation volume selection.

  • Be advised that when updating PMS on the system it will install on top of the existing installation. This is normal. (you can’t have the same app installed in two different places)

  • The Plex Media Server package now supports migrating the app to another volume.

    • Should you opt to migrate your PMS installation, BE ADVISED: PMS will be offline during this time because of how QTS implements the migration (moving of files). This is beyond our control.

Synology

  • The Plex Media Server package now supports installation volume selection.
  • Migration support is not yet ready for use. There is one last issue to resolve. Please continue moving the Plex share as you have in the past for now.

Confirmed working:

  • DirectPlay - everything
  • H.264 - 1080p - up to ~20 Mbps (so far)
  • DTS 5.1 - decode
  • AAC - decode + encode
  • AC-3 - decode
  • File formats: MKV, AVI
  • DVR with HDHR

Players:

  • Plex/web
  • iOS

Community reported transcoding capabilities: (editing now)

Transcode, 1080p H.264 (4 Mbps) -> 720p H.264 (2 Mbps), EAC-3 5.1 -> AAC
Transcode, 1080p H.264 (12 Mbps) -> 720p H.264 (2 Mbps), DCA 5.1 -> AAC

Issues:

  • TrueHD 7.1 to AppleTV player - Identifed Resolved
  • TrueHD 7.1 to Roku 3 player - Identified Resolved

24-Jul-2018

  • AppleTV & Roku playback issue has been identified / pinpointed. This is a PMS bug which manifests (oddly) on ARMv8. Three of us walked through the code line by line and pinpointed the exact changed required. A long time to get but a trivial correction. I do not know if the correction will make it into the update I get for us here. I’m going to try

  • I was about to provide an updated build (1.13.4) but want to include a PMS fix. I will wait a few more days and release 1.13.5 for our testing here.

26-Jul-2018

  • AppleTV and Roku issue fixed.
  • Missing Japanese, Chinese, and other missing fonts now included (size of package has grown)
  • Pending release to alpha testing as soon as codecs have deployed globally

27-Jul-2017

Download Links:

  • Please do not post these anywhere outside the forum. They are subject to change at any time as I make corrections and update to newer builds. Upon completion of our testing, ARMv8 support will be publicly available through the normal downloads page

Synology and QNAP ARMv8 packages (PMS 1.13.6) - 27-Jul-2018

Thanks


Support for DS118 - Realtek RTD1296 - NOW ALPHA TESTING
ARMv8 platform alpha testing - Discussion & Troubleshooting
ARM V8 Support
Invitation to Plex Pass holders about ARMv8
ARMv8 platform alpha testing - Discussion & Troubleshooting
[Manually] unable to install flex PlexMediaServer-1.13.4.5271-200287a06-x86.spk on Synology
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