No direct play of HEVC on iOS 11?

ios

#1

I have a number of videos encoded in HEVC/H.265 format. These are MP4 files properly encoded to work with Apple's HEVC decoder in macOS High Sierra and iOS 11. They play perfectly in the native media player on iOS 11. However, if I attempt to play them in the Plex iOS app, they are always transcoded, even if I try to select the direct play option, it simply immediately switches back. Any word on direct HEVC playback in the iOS app?


#2

We’re working on that and will be there soon, hopefully :smile:


#3

Would be really appreciated. I would expect it only to work for HVC1.

Converting my HEV1 files in anticipation already.


#4

With the new update, I am getting limited success with direct playing HEVC encoded with the latest nightly of Handbrake. I have found I am not able to select “play original” on some files (mostly movies) and it is forcing conversion. Older HEVC files encoded with earlier versions of Handbrake are only playing audio, which is the expected behaviour.


#5

Just tried a bunch of files and found that it won’t do direct play if there is a DTS audio track in the file. All of my primary audio tracks are AAC which should direct play perfectly fine.


#6

The release notes for the latest iOS update says “Add direct play support for HEVC video codec in MP4/MOV files on devices supporting hardware decoding”.

As I understand it, Plex can “repackage”/remux to a container the iOS device understands. Are there any limitations that prevent Plex from syncing a video in a mkv container?


#7

@trotsky40 said:
With the new update, I am getting limited success with direct playing HEVC encoded with the latest nightly of Handbrake. I have found I am not able to select “play original” on some files (mostly movies) and it is forcing conversion. Older HEVC files encoded with earlier versions of Handbrake are only playing audio, which is the expected behaviour.

Search the forum about the FourCC issue with HEVC files on Apple TV.


#8

@“Morten Andresen” right now Plex cannot remux HEVC because the server doesn’t support fMP4. Once we support fMP4 (the server team is working on that, but no ETA, sorry), we’ll support HEVC from other containers or even with MP4 where the audio stream requires transcoding.


#9

@sergiou87 Do you know any reason for Plex enabling direct play of HEVC only on devices with hardware decoding? Software decoding of HEVC should be available on all devices supporting iOS 11.


#10

@jpboivin there is a good summary of current and future HEVC support in https://www.reddit.com/r/PleX/comments/749emo/plex_with_ios_11_we_can_finally_natively_play/dnwsr4b/

The problem with devices not supporting hardware decoding is that they would run out of battery quickly with software decoding. On Apple TV that’s not an issue, but it usually is on mobile devices.


#11

@sergiou87 Thanks for the link. That’s good to know.

As you said, it is usually an issue on mobile devices. Personally, it wouldn’t be an issue for me, so instead of making it an automatic detection, have you thought of maybe making it an advanced setting? Maybe a force-enable flag to let people that really want it enable it, but for most users, they wouldn’t need to bother with it?


#12

Sorry but we’re trying to avoid adding (even) more settings. For now you can probably tweak the client profile XML which is inside of your Plex Media Server installation. However, this change has to be done for every server you use :confused:


#13

@“Morten Andresen” said:
The release notes for the latest iOS update says “Add direct play support for HEVC video codec in MP4/MOV files on devices supporting hardware decoding”.

As I understand it, Plex can “repackage”/remux to a container the iOS device understands. Are there any limitations that prevent Plex from syncing a video in a mkv container?

So in a carryon to this… neither my iPhone 8, nor my iPad Pro, which i would presume to have the necessary hardware decoding, are able to directplay HEVC files - which I have checked and remuxed via FFMPEG to be HVC1 tagged, with AC3 video at 6 channels. I even edited my server iOS.xml parameters to include the necessaries…

Is this a server limitation (using a ReadyNas Netgear - with the ‘approved’ version, the 212 that is Plex Approved and uptodate), or is there something else I should be doing?


#14

Is this still being worked on? I just tried it on my original iPad Pro 12 inch and it doesn’t work still.


#15

We were blocked by some server work that needed to be done. However, that work has been already done and AFAIK the server is able now to repackage/remux HEVC video if needed, which should improve a few scenarios where the app needed transcoding.

Now we only need some time to actually work on this on the iOS side :sweat_smile: We’ll try to take a look at this this week.


#16

@sergiou87 said:
We were blocked by some server work that needed to be done. However, that work has been already done and AFAIK the server is able now to repackage/remux HEVC video if needed, which should improve a few scenarios where the app needed transcoding.

Now we only need some time to actually work on this on the iOS side :sweat_smile: We’ll try to take a look at this this week.

Any update on this? I’m having trouble playing a HEVC 720p MKV file on iOS without transcoding to h264.
Using an iPhone X and latest server version for Windows 10, from what you posted above, this should just be remuxing to MP4?


#17

The user and all related content has been deleted.


#18

Really looking forward to have Plex for iOS both do direct play and sync of HEVC files. Any updates on this?


#19

Very, very, very interested in this feature!


#20

@Partition said:
I’m happy your working on it. I’m also wanting to play HEVC files on my iPad Air.

Depending on which Air you have, the performance may suffer. I have an original 2013 iPad Air (A1475) which has the A7 processor. It can only decode HEVC in software so the playback is horribad unless I sync the media to the device. 4K won’t play at all.

I believe hardware decoding was added in the A8 processor, which is the iPhone 6 and iPad Mini 4. The full sized iPads got the A8X processor in 2014 starting with the iPad Air 2.