Transcoder eats cpu on local cat5

server-windows

#1

Plex Media Server version is freebsd 1.2.0.3167 (the dvr beta). Slightly behind version, but please don’t default that that’s the problem :slight_smile:
Plex Media Player is latest version on Windows 7.
Connection is fully cat5 between these two boxes, not wifi.

When I play an mkv file, most of the time it transcodes it. This is a waste of PMS processor, because the same file can direct play.

The talk I see is that this means the PMS or PMP thinks the connection is too slow for direct play, but it certainly isn’t.

I can SOMETIMES get it to direct play. And yes, the PMP settings are set to allow direct play.

Any ideas? It seems like one or other of the components isn’t doing a good speed check before playing, and is defaulting to the transcoder.


#2

enable debug logging on the server
play a movie
wait 1 minute
inspect the Plex Media Server.log
seek for lines with MDE in them
they'll tell you exactly why the transcoding decision was made

If I had to guess, I'd say it has to do with network segmentation. Somehow Plex doesn't realise that the client is in the same local network as the server.
Which may have to do with the special way how FreeBSD connects its 'jails' to the network.

Don't ask me for details, I have never touched a FreeBSD box.
Your question is much better asked in the FreeBSD server forum.
https://forums.plex.tv/categories/freebsd


#3

The decision for the server to transcode is not only a matter of available bandwidth.
You could have a 480P file transcode with a 10gig connection between the player and server.
It is also a matter of the Codec the file is in, the codec the audio is in or if you are using subtitles that need to be burnt into the video.
If your player does not accept the codecs of that video file natively, Plex is forced to transcode for you to play it. If the CPU on your server is incapable of handling that transcode, it will often give that message.
That is why a lot of folks on here like OpenPHT (open sources plex player), it plays almost anything natively.


#4

Thanks a lot, both of you.
I followed your advice, Otto, and turned on debugging. While I was at it, I also went to settings>server>network and set LAN networks to 192.168.1.0/24
What I'm seeing in the log file is:
May 18, 2017 17:31:22.147 [0x80b0fc400] DEBUG - Request: [192.168.1.1:12761 (Subnet)] GET /:/timeline?hasMDE=1&ratingKey=6965&key=%2Flibrary%2Fmetadata%2F6965&state=playing&playQueueItemID=8889&time=224524&duration=8589981 (6 live) TLS GZIP Signed-in Token (orcuttg)
Odd that it doesn't specify the ip of the plex media player box as 192.168.1.101. The server jail ip is 192.168.1.151, so it should recognize it as LAN.

And the sample video I'm trying now is encoded at AVC (h.264 if I'm not mistaken), which IS a format plex can play natively. And the selected audio is DTS which should also be supported.

Also, this is more than just taxing the cpu. Almost all my movies are surround sound 5.1, and the transcoder forces everything down to stereo.

Any thoughts before I switch to the freebsd forum?


#5

@orcuttg said:
What I'm seeing in the log file is:
And the sample video I'm trying now is encoded at AVC (h.264 if I'm not mistaken), which IS a format plex can play natively.

not enough information.
the log file snippet is too short
AVC is not AVC. It depends greatly on the Level profile, number of 'Reference frames', color bit depth etc

Also, this is more than just taxing the cpu. Almost all my movies are surround sound 5.1, and the transcoder forces everything down to stereo.

Depends also on the settings you made in PMP.

post a full log


#6

Actually, I found the problem in a strange place.
I was recently doing some work on my super-anti-adware firewall and inadvertently deleted this line from my dnsmasq
rebind-domain-ok=/plex.direct/
I restored it and life is good again.
THANKS for your help!!


#7

Yes, that may cause the clients to be considered 'remote' instead of local.