Apple TV 4K Direct Play / Plex

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jacktorrance, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. jacktorrance macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    #1
    Hi all,

    Does anyone know whether it is possible to direct play 4K content from an iMac to Apple TV for playback on a 4K HDR TV?

    At the moment I'm able to view the content (MKV) through Plex but this is having to be transcoded by the iMac prior to display which results in spinning wheels and messages about the iMac not being powerful enough to transcode.

    I know that MKV is just a container and assume that converting to mp4 might work, I haven't tried this yet, but was hoping someone might've gotten it working with MKVs.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Poontaco macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2014
    #2
    Infuse. You can play 4K videos right from your Plex server without any transcoding.
    It will passthrough DTS sound too.
     
  3. timothevs macrumors 6502

    timothevs

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    FL
    #3
    @jacktorrance - do you have an Apple TV 4K? I too am interested in finding out whether direct play is supported by the native Plex App on ATV4K. So, to expand upon your question, in addition to 4K, can the Plex app play back 1080p/720p content without transcoding?

    I am considering getting rid of my Gigabyte Brix and Intel NUC setup for HTPC's around the house, and Plex being able to play natively would be instrumental in doing just that.
     
  4. Poontaco macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2014
    #4
    Direct play is supported if the file being played will play natively on the Apple TV.

    And have you tried Infuse?
    Also; Infuse is a great option.
    Have you heard of Infuse? It plays everything. And the basic version is free on the Apple TV app store.
     
  5. profets macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #5
    I'm curious if Plex on Apple TV 4K has the ability to play back 4K content at all - or if they would need to update the Apple TV app?
     
  6. timothevs macrumors 6502

    timothevs

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    FL
    #6
    Admittedly, no I haven't heard of Infuse. I am looking it up on Youtube as I type this. Thanks for the recommendation.
     
  7. jacktorrance thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    #7
    This worked a treat - you need to sign up to the pro version to play 4K HDR files but at £5.99 a year it's well worth it. I'm now finding that 4K files that are 50GB + in size play flawlessly. The subtitles feature is a really convenient addition too.

    Thanks for the recommendation.
     
  8. mrrobotoplus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #8
    Infuse is great. Should be there out of the box.
     
  9. hxlover904 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    #9
    Just an FYI for anyone else considering Infuse, you need to upgrade to the pro version for it to play mkv files. Since the free version advertises itself as being able to play them, I feel this was a bit misleading.
     
  10. Matthew Essex macrumors newbie

    Matthew Essex

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    #10
    Infuse fixed all my Plex cloud problems by just working! I just wish the library scanning was faster but I’ll take that negative for a great movie watching experience any day.
     
  11. archer75 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #11
    I know my 4k HDR files work fine via plex on the shield. Not sure what the formats are inside your MKV but if the ATV doesn't support them it could be transcoding.
    Infuse is too buggy for me to use. The library scan time makes it unusable for my TV shows as new ones won't show up until scanned. And it's messing up my play counts. Marking every other episode as watched when I haven't watched any.
     
  12. Everbarve macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    #12
    For a local player, and more, MrMC
    https://mrmc.tv

    is excellent, utilises HW decoding on ATV 4K and costs much less than infuse (Subscription or Pro).
    In fact, I left infuse for MrMC.
     
  13. cardsdoc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Shaker Hts, OH
    #13
    I haven't used MrMC in over a year but back then found the UI wasn't nearly as nice as infuse and didn't offer much that infuse didn't. Has much changed with MrMC UI since then or is there anything particularly unique is does relative to infuse?
     
  14. Everbarve, Oct 3, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017

    Everbarve macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    #14
    MrMC stems from xbmc/Kodi and inherited its UI which relies on Skins; it got a new nice skin BTW (see the website) and also its features which are not found in infuse (PVR, TV, DLNA remote, etc.) .
    The UI on infuse is actually “borrowed” from Synology DS Video app.
    UI aside, since it’s a matter of preference, MrMC has very active and capable developers who continually improve the player.
    Infuse behaved unkindly towards its infuse 4 Pro users by cutting the support to v4 completely leaving only two way to upgrade to v5; either subscription or another Pro purschase (to which I lost the trust).
    With MrMC, you pay once for the product life-time. Support is competent and very responsive.
    Player wise, Infuse 5.5.3 and 5.5.4 still have playback problems with HEVC on ATV 4 and even 4K although 5.5.2 was even better at that. In general, however, the player is good. MrMC has a proven player as well and the new version uses HW decoding under tvOS 11 and ATV 4K.
    The media management capabilities on infuse, especially media info. scrapping, leaves a lot to wish.
    MrMC media management is typical xbmc/Kodi.

    An important feature, especially for ATV 4 users, in MrMC are the integrated Plex and Emby clients which are lacking in infuse.

    I hope this helps.
     
  15. cardsdoc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Shaker Hts, OH
    #15
    Thanks, that's helpful. Will take another look at MrMC and see how I like it. Unfortunately I think the ATV itself remains the most limiting. All my content (primarily ripped blu-ray and dvd) are in plex which I really like. However in order to get HD audio passthrough, atmos as well as 24Hz I primarily use plex media player on a dedicated plex pc. I use ATV (now 4k) and TiVo OTA for everything else. My kids and wife will use plex through ATV as it's easier for them not to have to switch sources and they could care less about the audio. I know infuse and MrMC can decode HD audio and pass as LPCM but you loose atmos (for the few 1080p blu-rays that have it) and still a little skeptical that ATV is not touching the audio. So either way until ATV is able to better support the audio (24hz is sort of now supported but required changing modes) will probably not use Plex, Infuse, or MrMC on it much but always tinkering and re-evaluating best use.
     
  16. archer75 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #16
    For me I don't need to. I use my Nvidia Shield for all local content so I can get the HD audio. I use my ATV just for the streaming apps(aside from netflix)
     
  17. Everbarve macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    #17
    Plex media player (based on mpv) is easily the best media player currently available; I have a similar set-up on Mac mini.
    If you like nice UI, please look at Squire at squireapp.com; its player is, however, not HW decoding (yet), so its for l8mited use at 4K; but I don’t have a 4k TV anyway :)
     
  18. Che Castro macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #18
    The new plex app beta 1.18 allows 4k playback

    I don’t know if is for mkv or mp4
     
  19. Everbarve macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
  20. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #20
    Remember the content of your MKV needs to be encoded with a codec that fits Apple's playback requirements if you want direct play, as Plex uses the built-in Apple TV media decoder and not a proprietary one.

    And as mention by @Che Castro, the public release of Plex for Apple TV does not support 4K playback yet. Currently, everything will be transcoded to 1080p (Or whatever your AppleTV is set to output as).
     
  21. Trajan81 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario
    #21
    The plex 1.18 beta only allows h264 4K direct playback. They are still trying to figure out how to allow for direct play of HEVC 4K without breaking older iOS and tvOS clients.
     
  22. Che Castro macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #22
    That sucks
     
  23. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #23
    Client Option? They allow for different options now.
     
  24. yalag macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
  25. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #25
    It’s avalible on the nightly builds not public yet.
     

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