Shield TV - Can it play 4K MKVs?

android-tv
fire-tv

#1

Hello

I am thinking of picking up the Shield TV mainly on the basis that for both Plex (or Kodi) it seems to play just about anything you can throw at it and as I have recently moved up to a 4K setup I have found that pretty much every other plex client I have struggles with 4K content.

Can the Shield really play everything though? I have read a couple of comments that it is not being able to direct play 4k MKVs in Plex. Further searches have not been able to confirm or deny this, anybody on here know if this is the case?

Where I am right now (other than considering ditching Plex for Kodi!) is that a server capable of transcoding 4k stuff when needed is likely to be significant (My 2015 MacBook pro does not even get close for example) so having clients capable of direct play or stream would seem a better option.

Thanks

Neil


#2

I’m on the latest Sheild update (3.3) and it will not play my 4k MKV’s natively. It is trying to transcode them and I receive a message saying my server isn’t fast enough. My server is a ReadyNAS 516.


#3

Thanks, that is interesting. The issue is that you need a pretty meaty server to transcode 4K

What about the same file on Kodi or SPMC?


#4

Don’t transcode…
encode your 4k to
h.265 video
AC3 5 / 2 Chan
mp4 container

That format Direct plays 4K perfectly to my Roku 4s. I suspect the Plex client on the Shield would be similar


#5

So my shield TV arrived from Amazon and I have been able to test it.

Most of my 4k mkvs direct play just fine. The only exception so far has been one with a dts sound track which direct played with no sound but then switched to transcode when I disabled pass through.

It looks therefore that it is the audio not video causing the issue. I need to test some 1080p as in theory I’d guess this issue would persist with these too.

Spmc on the other hand works great, definitely the better option IMO and with trakt installed it is pretty easy to switch between kodi/spmc and Plex.


#6

Personally I cannot see anything in kodi/spmc that makes it/them a better option than PLEX.

If it is an audio thing then fine (makes very little difference to me) but the ease of use / layout / sharing/ watched /unwatched everywhere makes it way way ahead.


#7

Well I guess SPMC/Kodi can direct play pretty much anything whereas clearly plex cannot. It is not so much of an issue as transcoding audio is not that resource hungry so my server can manage it just fine.

Personally I have always preferred plex but in truth I really do not like the layout and UI of the app on the Shield TV, whereas SPMC with a nice skin is pretty slick.


#8

@bjevers said:
I’m on the latest Sheild update (3.3) and it will not play my 4k MKV’s natively. It is trying to transcode them and I receive a message saying my server isn’t fast enough. My server is a ReadyNAS 516.

We need the mediainfo from the xml. Is the Plex for Android TV app up to date?


#9

This was posted by cyjack on the Nvidia forums:

"If it’s not in a plex support format it will transocde.

Per plex:

Some 4K (ultra high definition) devices are recognized by the Plex app. We’re working to bring 4K playback support to other devices, too. 4K/UHD content matching the following will Direct Play on supported devices:
Container: MP4
Resolution: 3840x2160 or smaller
Video Encoding: HEVC (H.265)
Video Frame Rate: 30fps
Video Bit Depth: 8
4K content not matching the above properties will be transcoded to 1080p. Transcoding 4K content is a very intensive process and will require a powerful computer running Plex Media Server. "

The videos I was trying to play were transcoding because they were in 4K H264 and 10 bit color.


#10

Additionally if your 4k Video meets all the video specs above…
and if the 5.1 audio is in any other format than AC3 Plex will also transcode… (At least this is true on the Roku4)


#11

For the AC3 point though it only transcodes the audio right? I am guessing that as my server does not have the horsepower to transcode 4k video and the 4K files in DTS whilst transcoding play just fine.

Re the other point there may be some hope for the fire TV and others after all then? My FTV and also the built in player in my TV will not play 4K stuff and for the TV in particular I know it can play these files.


#12

It is not the TV but the Plex client that determines what format will direct play or not.

4K (At least on the Roku 4) with any codec other that AC3 for 5.1 audio, will always transcode as AC3 5.1 is NOT supported and therefore triggers a full transcode to re-mux the audio into the stream.


#13

I am running into this issue as well. I have a Nvidia Shield TV with the latest software and latest Plex client. My server is a Windows Server, latest Plex server software. The client does not seem to want to Direct Play - it tires, but falls back to transcoding. I am testing a small clip, 4k HEVC (h265) video with AAC audio. AAC audio by itself does not trigger transcode - I have many non 4k HEVC + AAC video files and they all direct play. The only other thought is that the 4k video has 10-bit color… does that trigger transcode? It is frustrating. Even Apple is about to have a 4k Apple TV and will play HEVC 4k videos and my top of the line Android TV box (well Plex client) does not…


#14

@roman@loygroup.com said:
I am running into this issue as well. I have a Nvidia Shield TV with the latest software and latest Plex client. My server is a Windows Server, latest Plex server software. The client does not seem to want to Direct Play - it tires, but falls back to transcoding. I am testing a small clip, 4k HEVC (h265) video with AAC audio. AAC audio by itself does not trigger transcode - I have many non 4k HEVC + AAC video files and they all direct play. The only other thought is that the 4k video has 10-bit color… does that trigger transcode? It is frustrating. Even Apple is about to have a 4k Apple TV and will play HEVC 4k videos and my top of the line Android TV box (well Plex client) does not…

Do you get green artifacts too? Have you solved your problem? I have this issue.


#15

I came here to echo the above sentiments. I have an 4K HEVC encoded .mkv. It plays just fine and (IN HDR!) under Kodi on the my nvidia shield but via under plex the client is telling the plex server to encode it and therefore… fail. I am a paying customer, can we get a timeline on this?


#16

attached is my mediainfo output


#17

Since it has been a while, has this been sorted out. Has the Shield TV Plex client caught up with Kodi’s ability to play 4k mkv’s yet?