H.265 stuttering playback in Plex

    • OMV 2.x
    • Resolved
    • H.265 stuttering playback in Plex

      Hey, all, regarding the "new" h.265/HEVC codecs, it seems as though my system is struggling to provide a smooth experience with a lot of taxing on the CPU. I have an i5-2500k that I ripped from my old gaming rig, and it's topping out at 100% at times when playing a video with this codec.

      I don't have many h.265 files, so I've just handbraked most of them back to h.264, but I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for smooth playback on the Plex app on a TV Fire Stick? I'm just stumbling around in the dark a bit, here.

      Thanks!
    • Yes, on my Vizio smart TV that's wired in, but at first I assumed the Vizio Plex app was to blame. The stuttering seems to be inconsistent, though. Looking back, it may be strong enough to decode 720p files in HEVC, but not 1080p. I can go back and do a comparison between 1080p/720p in HEVC on wired/wireless devices. Are there any other settings that I could check in the meantime?

      I was looking around at this... it seems it's not quite out of preview version, though.support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/artic…eating-Optimized-Versions
      support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/artic…eating-Optimized-Versions
    • Just wanted to rule out wireless.

      I don't know Plex well enough but I'm guessing there is a setting on how much compression it does while transcoding (mobile vs heavy on some devices).

      If you have one of the new FireTVs, it can decode HEVC in hardware eliminating the need to transcode. I use kodi 15.2 on all of my FireTVs and Sticks accessing content over samba. No need to transcode :) New sticks are cheaper than upgrading your hardware.
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      The post was edited 2 times, last by ryecoaaron ().

    • johndoe86x wrote:

      Yes, on my Vizio smart TV that's wired in

      Be sure that your Vizio smart TV got a 1Gbps ethernet controller. Most of media players and connected TVs, even high-end TVs got only 100Mbps (wich can handle only 12,5 MB/s). If you got a 1080p movie with a higher bitrate it will transcode it.

      johndoe86x wrote:

      1080p/720p in HEVC on wired/wireless devices

      The crappy thing with them "connected apps" is that often they don't get the full functionality like the Plex Network Discover. So if it is, your app will connect to your PMS through the internet. If you got 5-10Mbps in upload you're pretty fucked. Happened to me on my TV Box ...

      To test it, stream it through the web interface on a desktop PC connected with a 1Gbps link so you can be sure that your PMS is not transcoding at higher rate.
    • OK, so I've run a few tests over the wire between 720p and 1080p. I think your initial assumption, @benitude, regarding the Plex app and several other aspects is correct. I'm apparently a few releases behind the Android app. The TV does stutter over the wire. I haven't tried putting an HVEC file on a USB and playing it, though. I'm going to assume that would work fine.

      Regarding the wired TV, I believe the problem is with the app, itself. I don't think it's utilizing the local network. I have TWC 300 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up, so the 20 Mbps up would be the cap.
      Regarding the Fire Stick. I believe that's an unfortunate wireless communication between my router in the next room and the FIre Stick. My router doesn't quite seem to be outputting the initial throughput that it used to for some reason. I'm hoping a future firmware update will fix that. I have Kodi 16 Beta 4 installed on there and HVEC is a grayed out mess (the audio works surprisingly well, though).
      Regarding the wired PC through a browser, there was no stutter that I could see. I wasn't sure of a way to test the connection.
      Regarding the wired PC through the Windows 10 Plex App, there was also no stutter there. It showed a connection of 112 Mbps. I actually think that it is properly utilizing my LAN, and I think that speed is actually 112 MBps. When I run NAS connection tests using this software: 808.dk/?code-csharp-nas-performance, I consistently get 112-ish MBps.

      I think my short term solution will be to install Kodi on my Windows/gaming box and add it to the Steam library then stream it through the Steam Link which is wired at 10/100 Mbps. That Nvidia Shield TV is looking pretty good right about now...

      Edit: @ryecoaaron, If you don't mind, I may send you one of my files to see how well Kodi on your Fire Stick handles it.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by johndoe86x ().

    • benitude wrote:

      Be sure that your Vizio smart TV got a 1Gbps ethernet controller. Most of media players and connected TVs, even high-end TVs got only 100Mbps (wich can handle only 12,5 MB/s). If you got a 1080p movie with a higher bitrate it will transcode it.

      You shouldn't need more than 100mbps. Even 4k at 60fps is a max of 68 mbps. The new FireTV does 4k and doesn't have a gigabit ethernet port.

      johndoe86x wrote:

      Edit: @ryecoaaron, If you don't mind, I may send you one of my files to see how well Kodi on your Fire Stick handles it.

      I can test on the Stick and a 1st gen Fire TV.
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      omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github

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    • ryecoaaron wrote:

      You shouldn't need more than 100mbps. Even 4k at 60fps is a max of 68 mbps. The new FireTV does 4k and doesn't have a gigabit ethernet port.

      I've made a huge huge mistake, you're right. I apologize to @johndoe86x for this misinformation :|.
      Therefore I've made some tests that drawn my attention. If I'm playing a video with a max 50Mbps bitrate, it will take at least 10-15% more.
      But yeah, finally the 100Mbps vs 1Gbps must be taken out of the equation.

      johndoe86x wrote:

      Regarding the wired PC through a browser, there was no stutter that I could see. I wasn't sure of a way to test the connection.

      Be sure to connect via the private IP, should be something like "http://192.168.1.100:32400/web/index.html#" and no "http://www.plex.tv....".

      @johndoe86x, I am pretty sure that your problem comes from the TV App which is connecting and reading files on your PMS through the internet. Here's how you can test it to be sure if you don't got the required tools (network monitoring):

      1) Play a file with a bigger bitrate than 20Mbps from your wired computer through the PMS web interface
      2) On the OMV's web interface, go to "System information" > "Performance statistics" > "Network interface" and monitor it while the video is playing (for 2-3 minutes for example). It should be bigger than 20Mbps and of course the video won't struggle.
      3) Play the exact same file on your TV through the app
      4) Monitor the network interface on OMV's web interface the same way to see if it is stuck around 20Mbps. If this is true, then you're sure that you're streaming it through the internet ...
    • @ryecoaaron, I just checked Amazon's page and I don't see anywhere that has the Stick with H.265 support, however, the FireTV does! The Nvidia Shield TV supports this as well, and they seem to be pretty quick with their updates. Another + for the Shield TV is the game stream from my main PC as well.

      @benitude, no worries regarding the Ethernet controller. I will try playing the file as you suggested to see what that turns up.

      Either way, it looks like I'm going to retire the Fire Stick with some beefier specs that also allow for a wired connection. I'm going to mark this as solved, but I'll be back to post my findings regarding the Plex Web App vs the TV App.
    • 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.