Apple TV 3 streaming vs Roku/Plex

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by cegwynne, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. cegwynne macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2011
    Hi All,

    Wanted to open up some questions to the group around streaming blu ray quality movies to Apple Tv vs using Plex and Roku 3. Lately I've been having trouble streaming my larger movies files via iTunes and Apple Tv3 (MKV converted to M4v) It was never flawless, but it's gotten worse, freezing at many moments and taking forever to start, if at all. I'm using a brand new Apple Time Capsule router which has been very fast.

    I picked up a Roku 3 the other day and installed Plex on my iMac, I couldn't be more amazed at how well the streaming works. Full 1080p with Dolby Digital or DTS direct movies start in seconds and never stop to buffer, and I don't have to remux the MKV files.

    Now I love the GUI on Apple Tv and will keep it for music playing via Airplay, but can anyone help me understand why PLEX/Roku combination stream my larger movie files worlds better than a quality product like Apple Tv 3?

  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009

    The limitations of the AppleTV:
    High or Main Profile level 4.0 or lower, Baseline profile level 3.0 or lower with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats.
  3. cegwynne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2011
    Hi Paul,

    I see, that makes sense. I used to use handbrake to convert MVV files into M4V with the APple TV present. Recently I've just been remuxing the files because the process is much faster. I guess the encoded MKS's have been above the Apple TV's limitations.

  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    plex may also be converting in the background instead of sending out the raw file.

    while you're watching something, go to the web manager for plex, then in the top right click the squiggly line (activity) then "Now Playing"
    you should see the file that you're watching, click the i, it will say if it's direct streaming or transcoding.

    i agree, i like the interface on the aTV much better, have a jailbroken aTV 2 with plex which is nice, but can be a little buggy. so have mainly been using the roku.

    right now i'm using the roku in my bedroom with a set of airplay speakers, that i also use for the roku, since the TV speakers aren't that great. which makes for a great combo.
  5. Idgit macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2004
    You can try using Subler to lower the profile level to High 4.0. Re-optimize it and see if it streams better.

    Or you can install PlexConnect on your ATV 3. It has no problem streaming high profile MP4s and MKVs. Of course, you'll need Plex Media Server running on one of your computers.
  6. PM-Performance macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2012
    I run the plex connect and think the quality is great. I am very picky.
    Audio I have never gotten dts to come up, but it seems to still work well with my setup.

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