Why am I using Infuse?

apple-tv

#1

Because I was stupid enough to purchase an Apple TV again.

I have several nVidia Shields, all work perfect, I decided to get the new ATV4K and give it a whirl, to my discust Plex wants to transcode H264 to H264 and AC3 to AC3, and the picture is definitely lower quality when this happens.

I can use Infuse and it plays direct, perfectly, and I think there app is better the the Plex App in almost every way.

If I try and force the Plex App to direct play, it just refuses to play at all.

I had the Apple TV 4 when it first came out, and this bug was around then, its been a couple of years now, what the hell is going on with the development, if its funds you guys need, then charge a small fee for the app every time they release a new TVOS.

I don't mind handing over a few dollars if its worth it. But personally I would rather give the money to the Plex team instead of the Infuse team as I have been a massive user of Plex for many years.

The app should be able to play any format known to man and should be able to pass through any format of audio, no transcoding should take place on higher end hardware.

Looking at the quality off their App, If infuse raise enough funds, you might see them releasing server software that could end up being more popular then Plex.


#2

What container is your movie file in? MP4 or MKV? If MKV, Apple TV does not support that container and transcodes to MP4 (or other supported container). This is due to Plex using the native Apple TV player (which again does not support MKV files). Infuse is like VLC Player, it natively supports MP4/MKV/etc.


#3

I completely agree. Is the native Apple TV player really the best implementation if it can't even play mkvs? The great thing about Plex has always been that it is hardware agnostic. This does not seem to be the case anymore if there is no solution being worked on.


#4

I have bought an Apple TV 4K because any media player (starting with Plex) on my Sony Bravia with Android TV was driving me crazy. Plex had the same issues I have now with Plex on ATV4K, other media players were either insufficient, ugly, crashing, not supporting the audio, not supporting subtitles, just name it plus all of the above. Not to mention that for all of them slow is an understatement (but yes, it's an Android TV, thus with a ridiculously cheap SoC, not even good to raise the volume interactively).

After buying my ATV4K I installed Infuse, of which I had read so many good things and.. Bingo! All my local media streaming problems were fixed. Sure Infuse isn't perfect, there are some bugs here and there, it could improve on metadata management and stuff like that, but it plays whatever I throw at it. In 4K HDR HEVC up to 60fps, inside a mkv container with audio up to Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD MA (in tvOS 12 Dolby Atmos support should be coming for whom have the receivers supporting it).

But true, the tvOS media player is awful (and that's the reason why the Plex client has so many troubles). I know Apple wants to sell the movies in iTunes, but plenty of customers have larger needs..


#5

@ksnell said:
The great thing about Plex has always been that it is hardware agnostic. This does not seem to be the case anymore if there is no solution being worked on.
No, that is still the case and exactly what OP describes. The client hardware can not play whatever media he is serving it, and therefore the server transcodes it just as expected.

Personally I have also switched to Infuse. Reliable playback (No more random "your bandwith is not sufficient" errors!), faster start of playback, reliable skipping, support for changing subtitles and audio during playback. As soon as they have library support and extras support, I won't ever look back at Plex's clients. They've had their chance to provide even a speck of support for their userbase, or even pretend to listen to them, and this kind of arrogance is not something I will in any way support. Unfortunately I still rely on their server, which they can shut down at any time, so in time I will find a replacement there too. I am SO happy I haven't fallen for their Plex Pass scamming and paid for anything, which I would otherwise happily have done if they had managed to provide a working product.


#6

Move along. Nothing to see here.


#7

@"T'hain Esh Kelch" said:

@ksnell said:
The great thing about Plex has always been that it is hardware agnostic. This does not seem to be the case anymore if there is no solution being worked on.
No, that is still the case and exactly what OP describes. The client hardware can not play whatever media he is serving it, and therefore the server transcodes it just as expected.

Personally I have also switched to Infuse. Reliable playback (No more random "your bandwith is not sufficient" errors!), faster start of playback, reliable skipping, support for changing subtitles and audio during playback. As soon as they have library support and extras support, I won't ever look back at Plex's clients. They've had their chance to provide even a speck of support for their userbase, or even pretend to listen to them, and this kind of arrogance is not something I will in any way support. Unfortunately I still rely on their server, which they can shut down at any time, so in time I will find a replacement there too. I am SO happy I haven't fallen for their Plex Pass scamming and paid for anything, which I would otherwise happily have done if they had managed to provide a working product.

For me, Plex no longer qualifies as device agnostic. I have a dual x5675 CPU Plex server and it is choking on 4k mkv transcodes to the Apple TV 4k. The magic of Plex has always been that it "just works," no matter what you throw at it, file wise or device wise. Not everyone is going to care to remux their entire library to a certain container just for one type of device. This was the whole point of the Plex server, and it is also where it is critically failing. I understand it is the native tvOS player that is slacking, so why is Plex relying on it with such a popular device. If Infuse is capable of making their own player, Plex should be too.

As for Infuse, it appears I am going to have to give it a look for my 4k content. The paid version says you get the HD audio support like TrueHD which many of my files have. Did you go with the paid version? Is there any upgrade limitation or device number limitation to the lifetime purchase for Infuse?


#8

@ksnell said:
As for Infuse, it appears I am going to have to give it a look for my 4k content. The paid version says you get the HD audio support like TrueHD which many of my files have.

While Infuse does support HD audio streams, note that it will convert the audio to PCM then send it to your receiver. So dont be surprised if all you see is PCM and not TrueHD/DTS-HD on the receiver. Its still the same audio quality, the only difference is Infuse is decoding the audio instead of the receiver. This is because ATV does not support HD audio tracks.


#9

@simon_lefisch said:

@ksnell said:
As for Infuse, it appears I am going to have to give it a look for my 4k content. The paid version says you get the HD audio support like TrueHD which many of my files have.

While Infuse does support HD audio streams, note that it will convert the audio to PCM then send it to your receiver. So dont be surprised if all you see is PCM and not TrueHD/DTS-HD on the receiver. Its still the same audio quality, the only difference is Infuse is decoding the audio instead of the receiver. This is because ATV does not support HD audio tracks.

Very interesting. I guess Tautulli would read it properly though. So the question is, what DOES ATV4K support? Hah, half kidding. In a world where everything is going 4k HDR/TrueHD/Dolby etc. etc., you would think support for all of these would be "A#1" priority.


#10

I feel like ATV is finicky when it comes to 4K content. When I say finicky, I mean it may need to be a proper encoded file. ie; correct conatiner (mp4/mov/m4v), correct HDR profile, etc. I dont have any 4K content, but 95% of my media is mkv format mainly for DTS/DTS-HD audio tracks. I was (and still do) using my Shield for this since it handles all file containers and supports DTS/HD audio streams. Since I have an iPhone/Macbook Pro, I was trying to stay in the Apple eco-system.

Another note about Infuse, it does not support multi-file movies at the moment. ie; I have the extended editions of The Lord of the Rings which I encoded in 2 mkv files w/ DTS-HD audio. Infuse will only play the first file currently. I believe they plan to implement this feature but havent seen an eta. For this, I still have to use my Shield. I could use my ATV but I wont get the HD audio. Otherwise, Infuse is a great app.


#11

@ksnell said:
As for Infuse, it appears I am going to have to give it a look for my 4k content. The paid version says you get the HD audio support like TrueHD which many of my files have. Did you go with the paid version? Is there any upgrade limitation or device number limitation to the lifetime purchase for Infuse?

You need the Pro version with videos using only HiRes or otherwise not supported by tvOS audio formats. If you have a video with let's say only Dolby TrueHD Infuse will ask you to subscribe. Still there is a 30 days free trial period (at least there was when I have got it). You may download it, test it as "freemium", see how it works and then get the 30 days free promotion, removing the automatic subscription.

Regarding limitations, as long as you use the same Apple ID any device in any number should be fine. I have recently bought my first iPad, downloaded Infuse and the Pro subscription was active. Oh, and as long as the video format is x264 it should also support Chromecast (non Plus). With IMO a better interface (and sure, much better subs management since usually they go crazy with Plex).

Not sure if there would be issues with unsupported audio, though (well, I am not sure which audio formats the Full HD Chromecast supports either). The 4K one (Chromecast Plus) should play most stuff, but I don't have one, so I wouldn't know. AirPlay is obviously supported as well.

Just to be clear, since it isn't very nice to publicise another product in someone else forum, I wouldn't mind to pay for Plex if it had that kind of support for most A/V formats (and a decent subtitles management).


#12

@"Jecht Sin" said:

@ksnell said:
As for Infuse, it appears I am going to have to give it a look for my 4k content. The paid version says you get the HD audio support like TrueHD which many of my files have. Did you go with the paid version? Is there any upgrade limitation or device number limitation to the lifetime purchase for Infuse?

You need the Pro version with videos using only HiRes or otherwise not supported by tvOS audio formats. If you have a video with let's say only Dolby TrueHD Infuse will ask you to subscribe. Still there is a 30 days free trial period (at least there was when I have got it). You may download it, test it as "freemium", see how it works and then get the 30 days free promotion, removing the automatic subscription.

Regarding limitations, as long as you use the same Apple ID any device in any number should be fine. I have recently bought my first iPad, downloaded Infuse and the Pro subscription was active. Oh, and as long as the video format is x264 it should also support Chromecast (non Plus). With IMO a better interface (and sure, much better subs management since usually they go crazy with Plex).

Not sure if there would be issues with unsupported audio, though (well, I am not sure which audio formats the Full HD Chromecast supports either). The 4K one (Chromecast Plus) should play most stuff, but I don't have one, so I wouldn't know. AirPlay is obviously supported as well.

Just to be clear, since it isn't very nice to publicise another product in someone else forum, I wouldn't mind to pay for Plex if it had that kind of support for most A/V formats (and a decent subtitles management).

Fantastic information - thanks so much. I already pay for Plex with a lifetime PlexPass so I do not feel bad. At this point it is about getting my content to play on my devices in any way possible. I am pretty loyal to a company when I choose them but this lack of 4k support is horrendous.

I hope Plex will soon update their player on Apple TV and I would be happy to give their app another shot, but until that point, I need something that works.


#13

@ksnell said:
I hope Plex will soon update their player on Apple TV and I would be happy to give their app another shot, but until that point, I need something that works.

Just to be clear, it's extremely unlikely that Plex will ever "update their player" on the ATV beyond what the ATV can play. Plex will continue to use ATV's native player because that's all they can afford to do (resource-wise).


#14

Well all they’ve done in last two months is a big fat zero!!!! Feels as if there’s no resources or work being carried out on the Apple TV at the moment!! there hasn’t been any notable features or bug fixes in two months!!! I thought Elan(Plex Staff) said they have a Plex TVOS team, how can you have no bug fixes in the last two months! No one can defend that, when there are many posts about them in this forum, they are obviously putting their resources and man hours somewhere else.

Unfortunately I feel the ATV app has gone the same way as the PS4 and smart TV apps. Thank god there are other apps on the market for the Apple TV.


#15

@darcilicious said:

@ksnell said:
I hope Plex will soon update their player on Apple TV and I would be happy to give their app another shot, but until that point, I need something that works.

Just to be clear, it's extremely unlikely that Plex will ever "update their player" on the ATV beyond what the ATV can play. Plex will continue to use ATV's native player because that's all they can afford to do (resource-wise).

Is this a guess or has Plex officially announced this? If it is about resources, I feel like they forgot about their core business and did not keep their eye on the ball while playing with niche items like VR. I would venture to guess the vast majority of paying customers (myself included) were drawn to Plex by having a rock solid media server for their movies and TV shows, it's ability to match metadata, and play the content on just about any device. These areas should be fundamental and it is a bummer that Plex is struggling here now as I am a big fan of theirs.


#16

It’s an educated guess based on Plex’s history and in general based on my experience with all kinds of streaming products. I’m a long-term user of Plex having migrated over from the Boxee/Boxee Box days.


#17

@darcilicious said:
It’s an educated guess based on Plex’s history and in general based on my experience with all kinds of streaming products. I’m a long-term user of Plex having migrated over from the Boxee/Boxee Box days.

Nice, so basically, pay the money for Infuse and don't look back until Apple decides to add more support... haha!


#18

@ksnell said:

@darcilicious said:
It’s an educated guess based on Plex’s history and in general based on my experience with all kinds of streaming products. I’m a long-term user of Plex having migrated over from the Boxee/Boxee Box days.

Nice, so basically, pay the money for Infuse and don't look back until Apple decides to add more support... haha!

Pretty much.

Infuse is 100% focused on Apple TV. Their only product is their Apple TV app. They devote 100% of their resources to making the best Apple TV app they can.

Plex just cobbled something together using the native player so they can say they're on everything. They seem to be more focused on dumb stuff that no one uses (live DVR, cloud, podcasts, etc.) rather than improving the apps they already have.

Screw the Plex devs.


#19

Apparently you never visit the DVR forum section. Plenty of people using DVR/live TV. (Or trying to).

And once Plex podcasts can be downloaded locally I’ll probably switch over that from my current podcast app.

Plex isn’t perfect, far from it; but if you can work within its limitations, it works pretty darn well.


#20

@molnizzle said:

Infuse is 100% focused on Apple TV. Their only product is their Apple TV app. They devote 100% of their resources to making the best Apple TV app they can.

That's not completely true. Infuse works on iPhone and iPad as well. :)