Plex transcoding at wrong resolution/bitrate


#1

Some time several months ago at least, the plex bitrate and resolution used to match the what my transcoder was outputting. (e.g. 3mbit 720p plex selection actually transcoded/output at 1280x720 @ 3000k)
However, somewhere along the way though something changed and I currently get nowhere near the transcoding settings that I choose.

Server info:

Linux nick-services 4.10.17-1-pve #1 SMP PVE 4.10.17-16 (Tue, 11 Jul 2017 09:55:44 +0200) x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS
Release: 14.04
Codename: trusty

Plex Version:
Version 1.7.5.4035

Plex settings vs actual results on an example file:

Plex Setting=8mbit 1080p, (Actual Output=1920x1080 @ 7393k)
Plex Setting=4mbit 720p, (Actual Output=1280x720 @ 3676k)
Plex Setting=3mbit 720p, (Actual Output=720x406 @ 1891k)
Plex Setting=2mbit 720p, (Actual Output=720x406 @ 1724k)
Plex Setting=1.5mbit 480p, (Actual Output=720x406 @ 1290k)
Plex Setting=720kbit, (Actual Output=570x320 @ 573k)
Plex Setting=320kbit, (Actual Output=320x180 @ 196k)

Transcoder output:

8mbit:
/usr/lib/plexmediaserver/Plex Transcoder -codec:0 h264 -codec:1 ac3 -i myfile.mkv -filter_complex [0:0]scale=w=1920:h=1080,format=pix_fmts=yuv420p|nv12[0] -map [0] -metadata:s:0 language=eng -codec:0 libx264 -crf:0 23 -maxrate:0 7393k -bufsize:0 14786k -r:0 23.975999999999999 -preset:0 slow -x264opts:0 subme=2:me_range=4:rc_lookahead=10:me=hex:8x8dct=1 -map 0:1 -metadata:s:1 language=eng -codec:1 aac -ar:1 48000 -channel_layout:1 stereo -b:1 109k -f segment -segment_format matroska -segment_format_options live=1 -segment_time 1 -segment_header_filename header -segment_start_number 0 -segment_list http://127.0.0.1:32400/video/:/transcode/session/9dxnk45gk6bnkbs6dk6aur41/11d10877-74f2-43e8-8c6e-988848fb25ad/seglist -segment_list_type csv -segment_list_size 2147483647 -avoid_negative_ts disabled -map_metadata -1 -map_chapters -1 chunk-%05d -start_at_zero -copyts -y -nostats -loglevel quiet -loglevel_plex error -progressurl http://127.0.0.1:32400/video/:/transcode/session/9dxnk45gk6bnkbs6dk6aur41/11d10877-74f2-43e8-8c6e-988848fb25ad/progress

4mbit:
/usr/lib/plexmediaserver/Plex Transcoder -codec:0 h264 -codec:1 ac3 -i myfile.mkv -filter_complex [0:0]scale=w=1280:h=720,format=pix_fmts=yuv420p|nv12[0] -map [0] -metadata:s:0 language=eng -codec:0 libx264 -crf:0 23 -maxrate:0 3676k -bufsize:0 7352k -r:0 23.975999999999999 -preset:0 slow -x264opts:0 subme=2:me_range=4:rc_lookahead=10:me=hex:8x8dct=1 -map 0:1 -metadata:s:1 language=eng -codec:1 aac -ar:1 48000 -channel_layout:1 stereo -b:1 119k -f segment -segment_format matroska -segment_format_options live=1 -segment_time 1 -segment_header_filename header -segment_start_number 0 -segment_list http://127.0.0.1:32400/video/:/transcode/session/d0fjg1lff2d18ip3jo45kxja/73103349-6dbc-4116-add8-746590a8e173/seglist -segment_list_type csv -segment_list_size 2147483647 -avoid_negative_ts disabled -map_metadata -1 -map_chapters -1 chunk-%05d -start_at_zero -copyts -y -nostats -loglevel quiet -loglevel_plex error -progressurl http://127.0.0.1:32400/video/:/transcode/session/d0fjg1lff2d18ip3jo45kxja/73103349-6dbc-4116-add8-746590a8e173/progress

3mbit:
/usr/lib/plexmediaserver/Plex Transcoder -codec:0 h264 -codec:1 ac3 -i myfile.mkv -filter_complex [0:0]scale=w=720:h=406,format=pix_fmts=yuv420p|nv12[0] -map [0] -metadata:s:0 language=eng -codec:0 libx264 -crf:0 18 -maxrate:0 1891k -bufsize:0 3782k -r:0 23.975999999999999 -preset:0 slow -x264opts:0 subme=6:me_range=4:rc_lookahead=10:me=hex:8x8dct=1 -map 0:1 -metadata:s:1 language=eng -codec:1 aac -ar:1 48000 -channel_layout:1 stereo -b:1 217k -f segment -segment_format matroska -segment_format_options live=1 -segment_time 1 -segment_header_filename header -segment_start_number 0 -segment_list http://127.0.0.1:32400/video/:/transcode/session/vx356ec0vnrm8nt9us6sh5m4/21f5f6bb-26f5-49e8-b437-607eace88247/seglist -segment_list_type csv -segment_list_size 2147483647 -avoid_negative_ts disabled -map_metadata -1 -map_chapters -1 chunk-%05d -start_at_zero -copyts -y -nostats -loglevel quiet -loglevel_plex error -progressurl http://127.0.0.1:32400/video/:/transcode/session/vx356ec0vnrm8nt9us6sh5m4/21f5f6bb-26f5-49e8-b437-607eace88247/progress

2mbit:
/usr/lib/plexmediaserver/Plex Transcoder -codec:0 h264 -codec:1 ac3 -i myfile.mkv -filter_complex [0:0]scale=w=720:h=406,format=pix_fmts=yuv420p|nv12[0] -map [0] -metadata:s:0 language=eng -codec:0 libx264 -crf:0 21 -maxrate:0 1724k -bufsize:0 3448k -r:0 23.975999999999999 -preset:0 slow -x264opts:0 subme=6:me_range=4:rc_lookahead=10:me=hex:8x8dct=1 -map 0:1 -metadata:s:1 language=eng -codec:1 aac -ar:1 48000 -channel_layout:1 stereo -b:1 162k -f segment -segment_format matroska -segment_format_options live=1 -segment_time 1 -segment_header_filename header -segment_start_number 0 -segment_list http://127.0.0.1:32400/video/:/transcode/session/gk70inridw8ivmxpeu09ufvj/f079cd03-8173-4f75-a063-3f7de1dcb0a0/seglist -segment_list_type csv -segment_list_size 2147483647 -avoid_negative_ts disabled -map_metadata -1 -map_chapters -1 chunk-%05d -start_at_zero -copyts -y -nostats -loglevel quiet -loglevel_plex error -progressurl http://127.0.0.1:32400/video/:/transcode/session/gk70inridw8ivmxpeu09ufvj/f079cd03-8173-4f75-a063-3f7de1dcb0a0/progress

1.5mbit:
/usr/lib/plexmediaserver/Plex Transcoder -codec:0 h264 -codec:1 ac3 -i myfile.mkv -filter_complex [0:0]scale=w=720:h=406,format=pix_fmts=yuv420p|nv12[0] -map [0] -metadata:s:0 language=eng -codec:0 libx264 -crf:0 22 -maxrate:0 1290k -bufsize:0 2580k -r:0 23.975999999999999 -preset:0 slow -x264opts:0 subme=6:me_range=4:rc_lookahead=10:me=hex:8x8dct=1 -map 0:1 -metadata:s:1 language=eng -codec:1 aac -ar:1 48000 -channel_layout:1 stereo -b:1 128k -f segment -segment_format matroska -segment_format_options live=1 -segment_time 1 -segment_header_filename header -segment_start_number 0 -segment_list http://127.0.0.1:32400/video/:/transcode/session/xo1sxfe8dbi8b933kajcok82/4632a3df-797d-48c8-a785-ac93030c2150/seglist -segment_list_type csv -segment_list_size 2147483647 -avoid_negative_ts disabled -map_metadata -1 -map_chapters -1 chunk-%05d -start_at_zero -copyts -y -nostats -loglevel quiet -loglevel_plex error -progressurl http://127.0.0.1:32400/video/:/transcode/session/xo1sxfe8dbi8b933kajcok82/4632a3df-797d-48c8-a785-ac93030c2150/progress

720k
/usr/lib/plexmediaserver/Plex Transcoder -codec:0 h264 -codec:1 ac3 -i myfile.mkv -filter_complex [0:0]scale=w=570:h=320,format=pix_fmts=yuv420p|nv12[0] -map [0] -metadata:s:0 language=eng -codec:0 libx264 -crf:0 24 -maxrate:0 573k -bufsize:0 1146k -r:0 23.975999999999999 -preset:0 slow -x264opts:0 subme=6:me_range=4:rc_lookahead=10:me=hex:8x8dct=1 -map 0:1 -metadata:s:1 language=eng -codec:1 aac -ar:1 48000 -channel_layout:1 stereo -b:1 99k -f segment -segment_format matroska -segment_format_options live=1 -segment_time 1 -segment_header_filename header -segment_start_number 0 -segment_list http://127.0.0.1:32400/video/:/transcode/session/n7oiusr4h6lfrudm4rm40m17/d0fed0dd-770e-4538-bf1e-ee33ac400579/seglist -segment_list_type csv -segment_list_size 2147483647 -avoid_negative_ts disabled -map_metadata -1 -map_chapters -1 chunk-%05d -start_at_zero -copyts -y -nostats -loglevel quiet -loglevel_plex error -progressurl http://127.0.0.1:32400/video/:/transcode/session/n7oiusr4h6lfrudm4rm40m17/d0fed0dd-770e-4538-bf1e-ee33ac400579/progress

320k
/usr/lib/plexmediaserver/Plex Transcoder -codec:0 h264 -codec:1 ac3 -i myfile.mkv -filter_complex [0:0]scale=w=320:h=180,format=pix_fmts=yuv420p|nv12[0] -map [0] -metadata:s:0 language=eng -codec:0 libx264 -crf:0 24 -maxrate:0 196k -bufsize:0 392k -r:0 23.975999999999999 -preset:0 slow -x264opts:0 subme=6:me_range=4:rc_lookahead=10:me=hex:8x8dct=1 -map 0:1 -metadata:s:1 language=eng -codec:1 aac -ar:1 48000 -channel_layout:1 stereo -b:1 106k -f segment -segment_format matroska -segment_format_options live=1 -segment_time 1 -segment_header_filename header -segment_start_number 0 -segment_list http://127.0.0.1:32400/video/:/transcode/session/raefxfnl7ihkguivrylzrryx/150376ee-0f58-44fb-976f-b2700d7e1391/seglist -segment_list_type csv -segment_list_size 2147483647 -avoid_negative_ts disabled -map_metadata -1 -map_chapters -1 chunk-%05d -start_at_zero -copyts -y -nostats -loglevel quiet -loglevel_plex error -progressurl http://127.0.0.1:32400/video/:/transcode/session/raefxfnl7ihkguivrylzrryx/150376ee-0f58-44fb-976f-b2700d7e1391/progress

Plex XML info for sample file:

Media
Video Resolution 1080p
Duration 59:17
Bitrate 9585 kbps
Width 1920
Height 1080
Aspect Ratio 1.78
Container MKV
Video Frame Rate 24p
Video Profile high

Part
Duration 59:17
File myfile.mkv
Size 3.97 GB
Container MKV
Video Profile high
Codec H264
Bitrate 8945 kbps
Language English
Bit Depth 8
Chroma Subsampling 4:2:0
Frame Rate 23.976 fps
Height 1080
Level 4.1
Profile high
Ref Frames 4
Scan Type progressive

Here is the transcoder log I get when selecting to stream at 3mbit 720p.

Plex Transcoder Statistics.log:

<SessionReport version="1" startTime="0" startTimestamp="Jul 31, 2017 14:06:54.855" key="/library/metadata/14941" session="51kaswwtoji0alrzkqzvkst8" transcode="0cg3c1gbv3cumtda8lrj3ul0">
<User id="1" thumb="https://plex.tv/users/00205b831b5bfc58/avatar?c=1501527893" title="SirMaster" />
<Player address="" device="Windows" machineIdentifier="" model="" platform="Chrome" platformVersion="61.0" product="Plex Web" remotePublicAddress="" state="" title="Plex Web (Chrome)" vendor="" version="3.14.1" local="0" userID="1" />
<Variants>
<Variant id="9eb6011f-2380-4f08-82e9-c38635b1365d" targetBitrate="2214" context="streaming" sourceVideoCodec="h264" sourceAudioCodec="ac3" videoDecision="transcode" audioDecision="transcode" protocol="http" container="mkv" videoCodec="h264" audioCodec="aac" audioChannels="2" transcodeHwRequested="0" transcodeHwFullPipeline="0">
<Media id="14384" videoProfile="high" audioChannels="2" audioCodec="aac" bitrate="2108" container="mkv" duration="3557600" height="406" videoCodec="h264" videoFrameRate="24p" videoResolution="SD" width="720" selected="1">
<Part deepAnalysisVersion="2" id="14500" requiredBandwidths="45849,29823,18388,18388,18388,18388,18388,18388" videoProfile="high" bitrate="2108" container="mkv" duration="3557600" height="406" width="720" decision="transcode" selected="1">
<Stream bitrate="1891" codec="h264" default="1" frameRate="23.975999999999999" height="406" id="41316" language="English" languageCode="eng" requiredBandwidths="45209,29185,17872,17872,17872,17872,17872,17872" streamType="1" width="720" decision="transcode" />
<Stream bitrate="217" bitrateMode="cbr" channels="2" codec="aac" default="1" id="41317" language="English" languageCode="eng" requiredBandwidths="640,640,640,640,640,640,640,640" selected="1" streamType="2" decision="transcode" />

Why is the targetBitrate="2214"? Why is it selecting height="406" videoResolution="SD" width="720"?

I feel like this issue maybe started when the Streaming Brain was added, but I cannot be completely sure. However I do not have a plexpass, so I don't have the Streaming Brain anyways.

Anyway, all I am looking for here is to get my Plex streaming back to the correct resolution and bitrates that I select, since the quality looks absolutely terrible right now when I am getting less than 480p when I have 2 or 3 mbit selected when it used to be 720p.

I did try a complete uninstall/reinstall, new library, rescanned all my media and that did not change anything.

Thanks


#2

I was having a bit of conversation about this issue with @ChuckPA so here is the summary of the additional information.

The main Issue is that I'm seeing a gigantic visual display difference.

Old plex versions when I selected (3mbit 720p), the transcoder would transcode at 1280x720 at 3000k video and 217k audio.

I understand that the new version should factor in the audio to make the total bitrate around 3000k and that is good and fine.

However, around the time they implemented the streaming brain I believe the change happened, but when I currently select 3mbit 720p option I see a video bitrate of only 1891k and an audio bitrate of 217k (2,108k combined). But the biggest part of the visual problem is that the resolution the transcoder is running at is only 720x406! when I selected 3mbit 720p. 720x406 is significantly visually worse compared to 1280x720.

I have uploaded a clip of sample file that I am using that is by all means a pretty standard file. But at least if we want to be consistent, people can use it to make sure everything is the same.

https://nicko88.com/misc/SirMasterTestFile.mkv

This file is by all means not special as I see this issue with everything I play in Plex. The other thing is, my friend on his Plex server is seeing the same issue, so I know it's not just me.

I have also installed a fresh VM and a fresh copy of Plex with stock settings and the issue is still there. 2mbit and 3mbit just never play at 1280x720 since whatever change happened, they play at way too low of a bitrate and way way too low of a resolution (720x406 or so).

Another possibly crucial piece of information is I was asked about:

Also, if you remove all bitrate limits, what happens to the video? Does the transcoder demolish it in preparation for playback?
If you apply upload bandwidth limits independent of transcode limits (you need not apply both anymore), what happens?

Well, I don't have plexpass, so these bitrate and transcode limits are not available to me to be changed. Maybe If i did have these options available and set them really high my problem would go away? It's still a big problem for non plexpass users though even if that were the case.


#3

I have only been able to reproduce with DVR'd files and your test file. most files I have are fine. you don't have a PP to have DVR but i am guessing it was created similarly ( but maybe not ).

Anyway still should not do it. Need to figure out common thing about files that is causing transcoder to be strange


#4

@BigWheel
I mentioned it a while back and it happens with all files I see so far.
My test file was " Der Pate 3 (1990)". [ The Godfather Part 3 ]
https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/267162/3mbps-720p-spielt-in-niedrigeren-aufloesung-ab/p1

Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - Scaled up video bitrate to 48448Kbps based on 1.500000x fudge factor.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - Scaled maximum bitrate for resolution reduction to 21532Kbps.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - Codecs: testing mp3_mf (encoder)
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - Codecs: testing aac_mf (encoder)
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - Codecs: testing ac3_mf (decoder)
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: received PLEX_PROTOCOL_ANY from client, selected protocol hls
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: analyzing media item 53951
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): Direct Play is disabled
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): media must be transcoded in order to use the hls protocol
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): selected subtitle cannot be converted to a compatible format, burning into video stream
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): avoiding video remux due to burned subtitle stream
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): no remuxable profile found, so video stream will be transcoded
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: computed resolution bounding box of 1280x720.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - Scaled up video bitrate to 48448Kbps based on 1.500000x fudge factor.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - Scaled maximum bitrate for resolution reduction to 21532Kbps.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - Codecs: testing mp3_mf (encoder)
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - Codecs: testing aac_mf (encoder)
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): selected media 0 / 53951
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - Streaming Resource: Changing decision parameters to fit bandwidth limit of 3000kbps
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: computed resolution bounding box of 1280x720.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - Scaled up video bitrate to 48448Kbps based on 1.500000x fudge factor.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - Scaled maximum bitrate for resolution reduction to 21532Kbps.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - Codecs: testing mp3_mf (encoder)
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - Codecs: testing aac_mf (encoder)
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: received PLEX_PROTOCOL_ANY from client, selected protocol hls
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.816 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: analyzing media item 53951
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): Direct Play is disabled
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): media must be transcoded in order to use the hls protocol
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): selected subtitle cannot be converted to a compatible format, burning into video stream
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): Direct Streaming is disabled, so video stream will be transcoded
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): no remuxable profile found, so video stream will be transcoded
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: computed resolution bounding box of 1280x720.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - Scaled up video bitrate to 48448Kbps based on 1.500000x fudge factor.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - Scaled maximum bitrate for resolution reduction to 21532Kbps.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): Audio Direct Streaming is disabled, so video's audio stream will be transcoded
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - Codecs: testing mp3_mf (encoder)
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - Codecs: testing aac_mf (encoder)
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): selected media 0 / 53951
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - Streaming Resource: Reducing playback quality for 2857kbps stream bitrate: video resolution to 720x406, audio channels to 2
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: computed resolution bounding box of 720x406.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - Scaled up video bitrate to 48448Kbps based on 1.500000x fudge factor.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - Scaled maximum bitrate for resolution reduction to 6829Kbps.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - Codecs: testing mp3_mf (encoder)
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - Codecs: testing aac_mf (encoder)
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: received PLEX_PROTOCOL_ANY from client, selected protocol hls
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: analyzing media item 53951
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): Direct Play is disabled
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): media must be transcoded in order to use the hls protocol
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): selected subtitle cannot be converted to a compatible format, burning into video stream
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): Direct Streaming is disabled, so video stream will be transcoded
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): no remuxable profile found, so video stream will be transcoded
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: computed resolution bounding box of 720x406.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - Scaled up video bitrate to 48448Kbps based on 1.500000x fudge factor.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - Scaled maximum bitrate for resolution reduction to 6829Kbps.
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): Audio Direct Streaming is disabled, so video's audio stream will be transcoded
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - Codecs: testing mp3_mf (encoder)
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - Codecs: testing aac_mf (encoder)
Apr 12, 2017 14:17:00.832 [4568] DEBUG - MDE: Der Pate - Teil 3 (1990): selected media 0 / 53951

The only stream that Plays in the right Resolution is with 4Mbps.


#5

@BigWheel said:
I have only been able to reproduce with DVR'd files and your test file. most files I have are fine. you don't have a PP to have DVR but i am guessing it was created similarly ( but maybe not ).

Anyway still should not do it. Need to figure out common thing about files that is causing transcoder to be strange

Interesting. Actually the source of my video sample is a BluRay rip, encoded then with x264.

I can send some other video clips if that would help find a pattern in the files.

I tried to install older versions of plex server to see where the change occurred, but I was only able to make it back to v1.5.4. Earlier versions of plex no longer functioned as they were missing some decoder library files that were supposed to download from some plex server.

@Cabel330 noticed this issue in his post from April 12 which is around v1.5.4 as well.

My best guess is that the change occurred somewhere between v1.2.1 and v1.5.4 since the streaming brain was added and tweaked. Hopefully that info helps.


#6

I have also that problem. Many shows are now transcoded with 720x406 if I play it over the WebApp, even if it is on “Original Quality”, though the Source is 1080p.

And remote streaming is also just at 720x406 even if it is 720p selected!

It looks like this if played over LAN.


#7

I'm also having this issue.. almost everyone is streaming a transcoded file at 720x406 :(


#8

This really needs more attention. It’s happening to all my friends too.

I feel like it’s happening to everyone, except just not everyone pays that close attention or something.


#9

I have the same issue with some added extra issues when it comes to files with bitrates that are lower than then set bitrate hevc for one. For example a 1080 hevc with 1.6mb bitrate on android if it is compatible with the device it direct plays just fine when it is not that is when the fun starts i get 2 options choose a lower bitrate with means 480p because the bitrate of the file is lower than 720p that option is not availible to choose from and because 480p is not 480p for me that is 320p on a TV thats just some scrambled pixels in comparison to 1080p. Or change player to android player then 8mb bitrate equals 200mb bitrate and everything else under 1080p is 320p. I would love the ability to force transcoding att set bitrate as i could before on older Plex server software.


#10

Same problem here. WTH? When people stream 720p or 1080p videos from me, Plex is transcoding them at 720x406 or 720x388.


#11

Same here, latest Plex Pass server in Ubuntu 16.04, mostly iOS clients (but the web app on macOS and windows leads to te same results).
The only 720p quality setting that achieves 720p output is the 4 Mbps one.


#12

I’m playing with creating 720p files with total bitrate under my set remote stream setting of “3 Mbps 720p”
File was encoded at avg bitrate of 2049 for video, 640 for audio. Plex sees the total source rate at 2743 kbps however my test of the remote stream saw it transcoded to the “1.5 Mbps 480p” quality with a bitrate of 1232 kbps. It displayed at 720x406 instead of 1280x720-- I’m pretty thrown off, I really expected it to Direct Play but I guess it decided this bitrate should be 480?

Video is H264, audio is AC3 and remote client is a new model TCL Roku TV.
It’s weird, it transcoded the audio to AAC too even though I swear I saw this client Direct Play AC3 from a DVD rip…


#13

Good luck figuring that out.
I swear Plex must make money every time the transcoder runs because ever since they came up with this Automatic Quality ‘Feature’ it’s a miracle if Direct Play ever happens.

They’ve currently got this thing so messed up you’d just better make sure your server can transcode everything - 'cause it’s gonna transcode everything 9 times out of 10 no matter what you do.

They should change the name of Automatic Quality to Automatic Transcode. It would be more accurate 'cause that’s what it does.


#14

Well, in fairness I shouldn’t have been looking at avg bitrate… file was just added so no deep analysis yet which means assumed 2x bitrate to account for peaks. It would have been out of the 3Mbps limit in this case so no Direct Play. I still don’t get why it was putting it at the 1.5Mbps/480p setting, I hadn’t seen that on any other streams.


#15

@cybergrimes said:
I’m playing with creating 720p files with total bitrate under my set remote stream setting of “3 Mbps 720p”
File was encoded at avg bitrate of 2049 for video, 640 for audio. Plex sees the total source rate at 2743 kbps however my test of the remote stream saw it transcoded to the “1.5 Mbps 480p” quality with a bitrate of 1232 kbps. It displayed at 720x406 instead of 1280x720-- I’m pretty thrown off, I really expected it to Direct Play but I guess it decided this bitrate should be 480?

What was the quality setting on the client? If the upload limit you set is 3Mbps, then something else is triggering the transcode to 1.5. At 1.5, the resolution will be set up 480p.

Video is H264, audio is AC3 and remote client is a new model TCL Roku TV.
It’s weird, it transcoded the audio to AAC too even though I swear I saw this client Direct Play AC3 from a DVD rip…

This depends on the model TV you have. Earlier Roku’s were not capable of decoding AC3, only passthrough. So if your TV is based on an older Roku, transcoding to AAC is expected, unless you have your TV hooked up to an AVR that supports AC3.

If you can provide the logs from the Roku for either of these situations, I can see what is going on.


#16

@“MovieFan.Plex” said: If you can provide the logs from the Roku for either of these situations, I can see what is going on.

Thanks for the reply, I had the remote client play the file again and it’s same result of 1.5Mbps/480p quality with AAC audio. They had not changed any settings, remote quality was 4Mbps/720p which is less than server side limit. Direct Play & Stream enabled.

The Roku is a TCL P607, as near as I can tell from manufacturer product page should decode AC3 and passthrough E-AC3. These files were encoded with HandBrake as AC3 with a Dolby Pro Logic II mixdown. The Roku TV is connected to a 2.1 Sony soundbar via optical cable. I don’t have the model# on the soundbar but I remember it’s Dolby/DPL II capable. He looked at TV sound settings and everything was set to Auto. I’ve asked to see if they can set TV output to only Dolby Digital (instead of letting it auto select between PCM, Dolby or Stereo) & try this title again. Unfortunately I could not get user to pull the logs ;/


#17

Ok, can you get me the PMS log from that attempt. There maybe something there.


#18

@“MovieFan.Plex” said:
Ok, can you get me the PMS log from that attempt. There maybe something there.

PM sent with the log, thanks again


#19

@“MovieFan.Plex” said:
Ok, can you get me the PMS log from that attempt. There maybe something there.

I was browsing the forum when I saw this post which reminded of this issue-- low bitrate remote stream files playing at 720 width instead of height. I never could get logs from the remote Roku user but decided to hotspot my Shield to see if it happened there and it did. So here we go…

I played my movie encoded at 1280x720 which has a 1829 kb/s video bitrate with 640 kb/s audio rate-- the player was set for a remote limit of 3Mbps/720 which is the same as the server. Server reported file as being transcoded to 1.5Mbps/480.

I see this in the log:
02-08 18:36:15.550 i: [MediaDecisionEngine] Analyzing media: 1280x720 2520kbps (Container: mkv, Video: h264, Audio: ac3)
02-08 18:36:15.553 i: [MediaDecisionEngine] Resolution or bitrate exceeds maximum allowed

2520kbps seems like it should play within that 3Mbps limit but even if bitrate spike puts it over the 3Mbps limit I still don’t understand why it would change the resolution down to SD 480p?

Sending the full log to you MovieFan.Plex
Thanks again


#20

In every example where the source is 1280x720 the remote stream outputs at 720x406 if remote bitrate limit is set at 3Mbps/720. If the source is a cropped encode at 1280x544 then it plays remotely at the same 1280x544 using 3Mbps/720. If I turn the remote limit up to 4Mbps/720 then the problem 1280x720 files play at the same resolution. Something about 3Mbps/720 isn’t allowing an actual 1280x720 files to play correctly. Here’s a different example with a much higher bitrate than my last–

See it went SD but didn’t use the 1.5Mbps bitrate limit. It’s using the 3Mbps limit instead.

Here’s a different file where it streamed 1280x720 correctly after changing limit to 4Mbps/720