[Recommendation] Develop a Video Player for the Apple TV 4 (tvOS)

apple-tv

#1

While I generally like the idea to use native players (since we get app support for Plex extremely quickly), it's been shown (successfully) that developing your own video player will immensely enhance the playability of movies and TV shows on the Apple TV 4.

I think focusing the development for the Apple TV app to use it's own video player we would be able to get Direct Play playback for DTS/Dolby, subtitles, and high frame rate videos. With the current native player on the Apple TV this isn't possible, but a player developed for the Apple TV can be built that will play all of these files extremely well.

I understand it could take a little while to do, but I think the quality of the product would be enhanced drastically.


#2

I vote for that. I realized after buying my ATV that it was completely useless to me. Just because Plex cannot passthrough dts audio to my AV receiver....
I don't know how it would be difficult to use mpv player for the apple tv app, but please guys, think about it.


#3

Would be cool if the developers commented on this so we could at least have clarity. The "just use Infuse" responses are becoming tiring to see in every thread. I'm appreciative of others trying to help fellow Plex users out, but Infuse is not Plex. Many of us would much rather see a Plex solution to this than abandon all the work we've done creating our libraries in Plex, and Infuse can't even hold a candle to Plex on this.


#4

@mudasir.k said:

You guys may want to try Infuse player, lots of good things written about it by other ATV4 users on here.

While appreciate the post, I don't want to talk about what other specific apps can or can't do, since this is the Plex forums. I would like to keep it to recommendations for the Plex team to consider.


#5

@DavisNL said:
Would be cool if the developers commented on this so we could at least have clarity. The "just use Infuse" responses are becoming tiring to see in every thread. I'm appreciative of others trying to help fellow Plex users out, but Infuse is not Plex. Many of us would much rather see a Plex solution to this than abandon all the work we've done creating our libraries in Plex, and Infuse can't even hold a candle to Plex on this.

Amen to that! This has my vote. Infuse is a great effort, but its a completely different product and while it has some features that Plex doesn't have, it lacks many features that make Plex a complete solution. I would also prefer to have fewer devices connected to get the job done. Apple TV can be that one device, and it comes at a lower price point than an Intel NUC. One device, one remote, Plex, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc. Simple.


#6

100% agree... This would make the ATV the ultimate plex player and solve a lot of problems, since a lot of issues raised in the forums are regarding transcoding issues (or not able to directplay)!

Maybe offering a sort of "Plex Pro" version for a couple of $$$ with an external video player that can be licensed could be a solution. I think a lot of people are willing to pay for it, looking at how good the Infuse Pro app is doing in the ATV appstore.


#7

same here! this would be amazing!!!!


#8

@braintumor said:
100% agree... This would make the ATV the ultimate plex player and solve a lot of problems, since a lot of issues raised in the forums are regarding transcoding issues (or not able to directplay)!

Maybe offering a sort of "Plex Pro" version for a couple of $$$ with an external video player that can be licensed could be a solution. I think a lot of people are willing to pay for it, looking at how good the Infuse Pro app is doing in the ATV appstore.

+1

I definitely would pay for these "extra" features. I would really like to have support for DD and DTS and the HD Audio codecs, even if I would have to pay for it


#9

@braintumor said:
100% agree... This would make the ATV the ultimate plex player and solve a lot of problems, since a lot of issues raised in the forums are regarding transcoding issues (or not able to directplay)!

Maybe offering a sort of "Plex Pro" version for a couple of $$$ with an external video player that can be licensed could be a solution. I think a lot of people are willing to pay for it, looking at how good the Infuse Pro app is doing in the ATV appstore.

+1 here, too. I would pay a reasonable extra price for more functionality while keeping it simple on the Apple TV.


#10

I would like to be able to playback VC-1 without transcoding. Maybe there's a license option for that as well. Another item I would be willing to pay something extra to get in Plex for Apple TV.


#11

@Cinéma-Lumière said:
I would like to be able to playback VC-1 without transcoding. Maybe there's a license option for that as well. Another item I would be willing to pay something extra to get in Plex for Apple TV.

I believe if Plex would commit to adapt the ATV Plex player or create a paid "Plex Pro" version to support an external video player (built by plex or licensed), nearly anything can be possible as long as the ATV hardware is able to handle it.

Would just be nice to hear something from Plex at some point, just to know which direction we are headed with the official ATV player.


#12

Another vote for a plex player. As many other users I'm running the Plex Server on a NAS but it is just too slow for many transcoding tasks. The result is, that many files cannot be played on ATV. I'm willing to pay up to 20$ for an ATV Plex Player which plays any file locally.


#13

After testing other mediaplayers that has it´s own player i realized it´s not easy to make it.
They all has some kind of irritating bugs,stuttering playback or missing features.
With the newest update for tvOS and PMS CPU usage dropped from 300-400% to just 30-100% when using subtitles.
Som for me personally now i´m happy how thing works.


#14

@Lappen71 said:
After testing other mediaplayers that has it´s own player i realized it´s not easy to make it.
They all has some kind of irritating bugs,stuttering playback or missing features.
With the newest update for tvOS and PMS CPU usage dropped from 300-400% to just 30-100% when using subtitles.
Som for me personally now i´m happy how thing works.

You are right that the update is a step forward, but I think a lot of folks here are forgetting that there are people like me that have possibly multiple playbacks at the same time on multiple plex players.
This is the whole idea behind the server/client concept of plex with the centralized content database/server!

So if the NAS with the update is now able just to get the video running with real-time transcoding, that will mean when somebody else in our household starts a movie that also needs transcoding its game over again and we are back to the same old problems.

There needs to be a sustainable solution to this problem that plex has and I think an affordable client that is able to locally transcode the commonly used video AND audio codecs is the solution!
I believe the ATV4 is the nearly the perfect platform to be that affordable client a lot of us needs...

If the plex team doesn't move in this direction, I believe it will be just a question of time until a 3rd party developer like Simple X will create/release a plex client with a ffmpeg player that can handle most files locally.


#15

I vote for this to, I just can't help thinking why did Plex make their own player for iOS and not for ATV4.

On iOS you still can't direct play MKV, FLAC and the list goes on you even can't play ALAC which seems kind of odd since it apples own codec, anybody know why they made these choices?


#16

@coz2001 said:
I vote for this to, I just can't help thinking why did Plex make their own player for iOS and not for ATV4.

On iOS you still can't direct play MKV, FLAC and the list goes on you even can't play ALAC which seems kind of odd since it apples own codec, anybody know why they made these choices?

Plex for iOS doesn't have their own player.


#17

Don't know why I got the impression of the other.


#18

You guys are missing the point of Plex and why it's powerful. By moving all of these nuances to the server you can have light way simple clients like the Apple TV. This is why Plex has a client on every device because they're simple, the server does the heavy lifting. Plex can play any media file it just has to be transcoded depending on what the client wants. Besides DTS passthrough I see nothing wrong with the apple tv player and even DTS isn't that big of a deal, I doubt most people could tell the difference anyway.


#19

@detz said:
You guys are missing the point of Plex and why it's powerful. By moving all of these nuances to the server you can have light way simple clients like the Apple TV. This is why Plex has a client on every device because they're simple, the server does the heavy lifting. Plex can play any media file it just has to be transcoded depending on what the client wants. Besides DTS passthrough I see nothing wrong with the apple tv player and even DTS isn't that big of a deal, I doubt most people could tell the difference anyway.

Yeah, but what I think people are getting at is that the server no longer needs to do the heavy lifting. I 100% get that if you're using an old Chromecast or something, but the Apple TV 4 isn't really lightweight. It's powerful enough to transcode and is a fraction of the cost of the server I was running PMS on.


#20

@EdPentelow said:

@detz said:
You guys are missing the point of Plex and why it's powerful. By moving all of these nuances to the server you can have light way simple clients like the Apple TV. This is why Plex has a client on every device because they're simple, the server does the heavy lifting. Plex can play any media file it just has to be transcoded depending on what the client wants. Besides DTS passthrough I see nothing wrong with the apple tv player and even DTS isn't that big of a deal, I doubt most people could tell the difference anyway.

Yeah, but what I think people are getting at is that the server no longer needs to do the heavy lifting. I 100% get that if you're using an old Chromecast or something, but the Apple TV 4 isn't really lightweight. It's powerful enough to transcode and is a fraction of the cost of the server I was running PMS on.

But that's the minority, most players (roku, fire tv, phones) can't do that so why would/should plex spend their time optimizing for a single use case? I'd much rather them focus on features and creating a great product for every client (in case people switch) than putting time and effort in "fixing" the Apple TV.