Direct Play Formats

windows-store-app

#1
NB: among other containers, mkv (on Windows 8.1), wtv and dvr-ms are not supported by Microsoft Media Foundation, and third party splitters and codecs cannot be accessed from a Windows Store app.

NB: Items in bold have been added in release 2.1.3.1
 
The following video formats will Direct Play inside the Plex for Windows app.  Other formats will be transcoded or remuxed to mpegts/h264/aac|ac3|mp3|pcm using HTTP Live Streaming:
 
Containers: mkv (Windows 10-only)
Video codecs: mpeg4, msmpeg4, msmpeg4v2, hevc, h264, vc1
Audio codecs: aac, ac3, eac3,mp3, flac, pcm

Containers: mp4
Video codecs: mpeg4, msmpeg4, msmpeg4v2, h264, Windows 10-only: hevc, vc1, wmv, dvvideo, mjpeg
Audio codecs: aac, ac3, eac3, mp3

Containers: mov
Video codecs: mpeg4, msmpeg4msmpeg4v2, h264, Windows 10-only: hevcvc1wmvdvvideomjpeg
Audio codecs: aac, ac3, eac3, mp3, Windows 10-only: pcm

Containers: mpegts
Video codecs: h264
Audio codecs: aac, ac3, eac3, mp3, mp2, pcm
 
Containers: asf
Video codecs: vc1, wmv3, wmv2, wmv1 (Windows 10-only)
Audio codecs: wmav2, wmapro, wmavoice
 
Containers: avi
Video codecs: mpeg4, msmpeg4, msmpeg4v2, msmpeg4v3, mjpeg, Windows 10-only: h264, vc1, wmv, dvvideo
Audio codecs: mp3, ac3, eac3, mp2, pcm
 
Containers: dv (Windows 10-only)
Video codecs: dvvideo
Audio codecs: mp3, ac3, eac3, mp2, pcm
 
The following video formats will Direct Play inside the Plex for Windows app when the Windows Media Center Pack is installed and the relevant preference is enabled:
 
Containers: mpeg
Video codecs: mpeg1video, mpeg2video
Audio codecs: mp2, mp3, ac3
 
Containers: mpegts
Video codecs: mpeg1video, mpeg2video
Audio codecs: mp2, mp3, ac3, eac3
 
The following music formats will Direct Play inside the Plex for Windows app.  Other formats will be transcoded to streaming MP3:
 
Containers: asf
AudioCodecs: wmav2, wmapro, wmavoice, Windows 10-only: wmav1, wmav3
 
Containers: flac (Windows 10-only)
AudioCodecs: flac
 
Containers: mp4
AudioCodecs: mp4, aac, Windows 10-only: ac3, eac3, alac
 
Containers: mp3
AudioCodecs: mp3
 
Containers: mp2 (Windows 10-only)
AudioCodecs: mp1, mp2
 
Containers: wav
AudioCodecs: pcm
 
References:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/06/08/building-a-rich-and-extensible-media-platform.aspx
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh986969.aspx

#2

Thanks for the great Windows 8 App guys!

I am a bit confused on the whole transcoding thing though, and pretty uneducated about it, so please bear with me...

I just upgraded to 1.0.2.0 this evening, and noticed I wasn't getting 5.1 audio from my .mkv files any more.  I checked into the Plex settings and noticed that the option to choose the profile (HTTP, MPEG2-TS, etc.) is no longer there.  Previously, I had this set to MPEG2-TS, and it played my .mkv files just fine (the files are h264 video and AC-3 audio, in 5.1).  Now the app tells me I'm getting direct-stream of the video but I'm getting transcoded AAC audio (2CH).

I was reading this sticky with interest, and I assume that the opening couple of sentences address my question, but it was working before, and now it's not...  It's kinda disappointing!

Thanks!


#3

jdhallam:

I'm sorry we removed something you were using.

HLS support has matured a lot in the last couple of releases, while MPEG2-TS unfortunately was never stable enough to use as a primary transcode format.  The Media Foundation player would fail when resuming (for no apparent reason) on a decent percentage of remuxed videos.  You may have run into this yourself.  That's why we decided to remove the option and just focus on HLS.

Eventually more audio formats will be supported via HLS.  Also, unless we find something odd during testing, there will be a version of PMS soon that will transcode to multi-channel AAC, which plays just fine on Win8.  So you should get your 5.1 transcodes back in the short term.

Mid-term, if none of this works out for people, we can bring back the MPEG2-TS option.  But for now, it make sense for us to invest in HLS and avoid confusing people with options that don't work 100% of the time.


#4

Thanks for the reply.  I understand and appreciate you concentrating on providing a robust product, and I appreciate the explanation.

I will be very much looking forward to a future release to bring back my multi-channel audio!!  You know what the next question is now, don't you?   ;)


#5

Eventually more audio formats will be supported via HLS.  Also, unless we find something odd during testing, there will be a version of PMS soon that will transcode to multi-channel AAC, which plays just fine on Win8.  So you should get your 5.1 transcodes back in the short term.

Mid-term, if none of this works out for people, we can bring back the MPEG2-TS option.  But for now, it make sense for us to invest in HLS and avoid confusing people with options that don't work 100% of the time.

- any update on Win8 getting our 5.1 transcodes back. Just curious. Its the one thing that is preventing me from moving exclusively to an all-Plex, all the time media center. 


#6

The latest version of PMS should support remuxing and transcoding to 5.1 AAC to the Win8 app.  If you're not seeing that, let me know and I can retest it.


#7

I notice several apps (mobile.HD, powerDVD, pressplay) in the windows store that support mkv playback to varying degrees of stability. Has Microsoft relaxed the limitations, or are these other players getting around it somehow? Might we see support for this implemented at some point? The box I'm running both the plex server and client on stutters on mkv files when it needs to transcode and play.


#8

These players are including their own MKV media source.  They may have written it themselves, or licensed it from someone else.

I'm not aware of an MKV media source available on the open market, either as open source or for licensing.  If you're aware of one, let me know.


#9

Would you be able to leverage the open source player than vlc is working on to play mkv files natively?


#10

If they ship a usable MF media source that splits MKV and / or provide source code, and the license is right, then sure.


#11

Just purchased the W8 player and got the Plex server up and running with no issues as far as connectivity.  However, not until I purchased the ap and dug up these forums did I realize all the background transcoding going on as the majority of my files are in the MKV container.  That just doesn't work well on my system with numerous artifacts showing up, and overal picture quality not being so good on 1080P content.

Is there no way to have the plex player call up a third party software pkg to play on the "other" side of W8?  There are some other aps that launch VLC and handle MKV... but their gui just isn't as polished as your plex software. 

Enjoying the applicication on lower rez stuff...hope I'm able to get the higher end flowing smoothly soon.

Thanks..


#12

Artifacts when DirectStreaming video can be a result of "interesting" settings being used when encoding.  You could reproduce these on your own for experimental purposes by running ffmpeg or similar with -vcodec copy.  While it works most of the time, it can be hit and miss for various reasons.  Which is why there's an option to disable it and do a straight transcode.

So a workaround would be to disable DirectStreaming, but then of course your CPU will be much more heavily taxed when playing back high-res video.

And no, there's nothing simple we can do to DirectPlay MKV.


#13

Will play around with some settings over the weekend and see what I can nail down.  It's not on every movie, yet I encode every movie the same so who knows??  All movies play fine if I launch them traditionally with VLC or Cyberlink PDVD 12.

Nice app overall and I'll use it to stream lower res stuff to my mobile devices in the meantime.

Thanks...


#14

Does CoreCodec not offer licensing on this?

I'd gladly buy another Plex app that contained native MKV playback.

These players are including their own MKV media source.  They may have written it themselves, or licensed it from someone else.

I'm not aware of an MKV media source available on the open market, either as open source or for licensing.  If you're aware of one, let me know.


#15

They don't appear to. I'll ask.


#16

Any thoughts/clues on a Microsoft fix for these third-party encoder issues? I absolutely love the Windows 8 app (far better than the usual Windows one, especially with touchscreen), but since my server doesn't allow for 1080p transcoding, it's pretty much useless now.


#17

Another plug for native MKV support if possible.


#18

How about the divx media foundation codec for mkv playback?  This used to work really well for enabling the Media Center app on Xbox360 to play mkv content natively without transcoding as it could access media foundation codecs.


#19

Is multichannel audio transcoding supposed to work now?

I am getting this: https://db.tt/67l7pk1h

shot_131130_084600.png

My reciever doesn't get DTS like it does when the same movie is played with mpchc/vlc/xbmc.


#20

I don't believe there's any way to do DTS or AC3 passthrough via the standard MSFT video controls (aka MediaElement -> Media Foundation).  So we don't try to do that.

Instead, we transcode multi-channel DTS and AC3 to multi-channel AAC.  It seems to work okay on my own 5.1 setup, as I hear distinct audio from distinct speakers when we do that.