Plex lags a lot after the latest Chromecast Plex app update.

chromecast

#1

Hi,

I have a big server with like 15 users on.

Yesterday and today, almost everyone has written to me because Plex doesn't work or lags a lot since the Plex Chromecast app has been updated, and I tried it myself and it stops, buffers, lags and it's a complete disaster for me and everyone of my users. Everything else works fine, Netflix, SVT Play, Youtube. But Plex doesn't work.

I can't downgrade the Chromecast app itself so how do I fix this? Just tell everyone to throw away their chromecasts and buy an apple tv? Seriously, the new update is shit.


#2

Please can you send me some PMS logs and info on the media to see where the struggle is?

Are the items transcoding or direct playing?


#3

What kind of logs do you want? The problem is not yet fixed by the update yesterday.


#4

The PMS/server logs, so we can see if it’s bottlenecked on transcode, or network, or Something Else. Thanks!

https://support.plex.tv/articles/200250417-plex-media-server-log-files/


#5

Here are a version of Plex Media Server logs, i have created a logfile for only the timeframe where i tested the problem this night.

Also the Chromecast returning a DeviceName = Chrome instread of earlier returning Chromecast.
Does that mean it does not even use Chromecast.xml but Chrome.xml instead?


#6

The device name bug should only affect the icon in the now playing/devices screen.

We’ve also changed the way we use the xml profile - the chromecast amends the profile based on what the device and connected display are capable of. So we are much less reliant on the xml in PMS.

There doesn’t seem to be any slowdown evident in the logs. Please can you send me a sample of one of the videos causing problems?


#7

It happends for every title tried primary MKVs.
Also its remote playing. I happends after 5-20min of starting, changing quality Again fix it tempovery, as do stop and start.


#8

Ah, it may be an issue with the default quality. We don’t appear to be honoring the setting and trying to play original where we previously played a lower transcode when accessing remote servers.

Looking into it now, but is this just with remote users on your server? What typical download do they have vs the bitrate of the media?


#9

Thanks alot, im hoping you find the problem. Alternatively i can add you access to the server for testing if its nessasary.

Yep but even if I set the quality to 2 mbit it works only for a while 10-20 min or so, and then starts stutting/lagging/buffering whatever it is.

Im not sure if it only happends on remote, I have no way to test if it works with chromecast from LAN. At the moment im not living at my home.

However, remote streams have no troubles when its direct iOS and Plex on Windows playing them even with higher bitrates than im trying for Chromecast 2-4MBit.

Also the problem starting appearing the second the new interface (new version of Plex for Chromecast) was up.
So as an IT technican working with development and operations as profession, I pretty much conclude that the problem should be found from what changed. And the only thing changed is the version for Chromecast.


#10

the only thing changed is the version for Chromecast.

Indeed. But since we changed the whole receiver, we may now be accessing your media differently (different quality, transcode, etc).

I have found and fixed the initial quality issue, so we hope to get that reviewed and released next week. Hopefully that will help, but obviously I’ll keep an eye out for general stutter/lag as well.


#11

I understand :smiley: The quality be default was different, sadly it didnt work for long to just change it, is there any place to actually see what quality (bitrate), format and so on a streams get transcoded into for Chromecast? To compare with?
Sadly i have no logs from earlier, but

Also its working fine the first 5-20min and the same after a stop or changed quality, can there be differents in the buffer methods/sizes from the old version to the new one?

Is there changes in the TCP/HTTP communication?

is there any posibilities to get logs from Plex on Chromecast?

Does it stream with a different format, codec, level now?


#12

@“Dom C” said:
I have found and fixed the initial quality issue, so we hope to get that reviewed and released next week. Hopefully that will help, but obviously I’ll keep an eye out for general stutter/lag as well.

Great, looking forward to see if it changes something.


#13

Dom C, I have uploaded 2 screenshots from the iOS app, the Plex Media Server log and a recorded video of the behavier of the Chromecast.


#14

Greetings,

I too have been encountering issues for the last few days, since the Plex for Chromecast app has been rewritten and now sports a new interface.
All 1080p or lower media in my libraries, as far as I can tell, still stream as in they always have in the past prior to the update, however, I am now noticing lag in some of my 2160p media (HEVC-H265-HDR), not all. For the ones that do suffer the lag issue, some are getting it worse than others, to the point where they will stop playing after 5 or 10 minutes, just hanging. Note that all of them used to work without any buffering/lagging/hanging issues until earlier this week, and this I am 100% sure of.
More information:

  • The instances I am reporting are all being streamed on my local network, and not remotely.
  • Vizio 2017 P series built-in Chromecast.
  • PC wired to network, TV on wireless 5G.
  • No changes have been made on my home network before the issue started.
  • All media, 2160p included used to stream without a hitch, until earlier this week.

Another weird behavior I have been experiencing, which started exactly the same day, when the Plex for Chromecast app update occurred, is that I can no longer connect to my media server securely using Plex Web Apps, from within my own local network. I know this does not sound related to Chromecast, but it did start happening at the same time. If I tried to access Plex by opening it from the Plex Media Server tray icon (127.0.0.1:32400), no issues. However, when trying from 192.168.xx.xx:32400, or from the Android app, or from TV apps (2 different TVs), or from https://plex.tv, I will either get an insecure Indirect connection to my own server, or none at all (Unavailable), on my own LAN! Even weirder is that from outside my own LAN, everyone gets fully connected to my server, directly and securely.
After doing a bit of Google searching, I found that with my network setup (I am behind a pfSense router), I should add in the DNS Resolver section an exception for the plex.direct domain so it uses an alternate DNS server. Once I made that change, I am now able to connect directly and securely to my PMS. What’s weird is this solution was written in a forum and dates back to 2015. I have been behind pfSense for at least one and a half year, and never needed such a tweak before, this only started the same day the Chromecast update came. Doesn’t make much sense I know, but this is my experience, as far as I can explain it.

Hopefully this may help enlighten developers with the lag issue we are experiencing.

Raz


#15

I am also experiencing this issue, it seems to happen halfway or so into the content, whether it’s a movie or a TV show. I am using the Android app and a Chromecast Ultra.

  • Start watching content, it sets correctly to a reasonable size and bitrate, say 2mbps 720p
  • Stuttering begins about halfway in, cannot pause, stop or change quality myself.
  • Nothing can stop this from occurring immediately, I have to stop casting and re-cast to “reset” the screen.

Also been having troubles seeking content after it has started. I will move the seekbar on the android app and yet it either doesn’t respond or just starts the content from the beginning again. It may work after the fourth or fifth try.

I’ve attached the log for my server here.
EDIT: also attached the logfile for my android app, running store version 6.14.1.3753.


#16

I also have 2 users that use Chromecast and chromecast ultra complaining about intermittent play of movies in the past 2-3 days. I lowered remote quality from 1080p-8Mbps to 720p-4mbps. I even optimized and left only the 720p-4mbps optimized version but no improvement.

Rares


#17

Sorry, I’m gonna post some logs I’ve just been busy and I’m away on vacation and will be home in the end of the week.

However, I just must ask, why… why didn’t this go through some sort of beta testing? Seriously? Chromecast is a very popular device that almost all of my 20 users use, and now no one can stream anymore.

This is really bad, I wont pay for Plex Pass anymore. I just cancelled my payment subscription.

As someone wrote on Reddit: "I feel like we’re becoming the quality control and beta testers more as time goes on. Which is especially fustrating with the Chromecast app as we have no option but to use the updated one. At least we have some control over the Plex server version. "


#18

@Krazos said:
Sorry, I’m gonna post some logs I’ve just been busy and I’m away on vacation and will be home in the end of the week.

However, I just must ask, why… why didn’t this go through some sort of beta testing? Seriously? Chromecast is a very popular device that almost all of my 20 users use, and now no one can stream anymore.

This is really bad, I wont pay for Plex Pass anymore. I just cancelled my payment subscription.

As someone wrote on Reddit: "I feel like we’re becoming the quality control and beta testers more as time goes on. Which is especially fustrating with the Chromecast app as we have no option but to use the updated one. At least we have some control over the Plex server version. "

This is exactly how I feel but I hope that this process will be a warning to the developers. It is deeply frustrating, last week I introduced my parents to Plex and this occurred - great introduction to the service! I am seriously considering alternatives, but it seems so stupid considering it has worked for ages before this.


#19

I’m sorry you’re all having such problems here. As mentioned previously, I’m hoping many of these issues stem from the incorrect selection of quality when playback starts - which we’ll have a fix for soon. We’re also looking at the best way to integrate logging with the device.


#20

@“Dom C” said:
I’m sorry you’re all having such problems here. As mentioned previously, I’m hoping many of these issues stem from the incorrect selection of quality when playback starts - which we’ll have a fix for soon. We’re also looking at the best way to integrate logging with the device.

Thanks for the response Dom. I just wanted to point out though that this has happened to me twice on content that is ~576p or less (old TV shows) in quality on the server, even though I’m used to streaming most of my content at 720p/1080p 6-8mbps.