Plex & Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV Apps' started by Jedwardoo, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. Jedwardoo macrumors member


    Aug 29, 2017
    Are there any issues for Apple TV 4th gen/4K (5th gen) when using Plex app on tvOS?

    Is it still worth getting any of the 2 models mentioned or will there be an upcoming refresh for the Apple TV this year 2019?

    Are there even any good/great games on tvOS?

    Are there even exclusive apps for tvOS alone?

    I still find Apple TV to be a good platform for gaming, I'm just not sure if there are even exclusive games or if it's even worth it. I was even planning to buy the controller for iOS/ATV one.
  2. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    Plex on aTV is good.

    no telling when the next one will come out.

    I'm not a gamer, so can't tell you anything about that,
    but for the most part, watching video (Plex, Amazon, HBO, Showtime, Channels*) is great.

    The Remote can suck,
    Both it's physical layout, Since it's completely symmetrical, quite a bit of the time I have it backwards, and don't notice, so I hit the wrong button.
    And sometimes it seems to lag for no reasons.

    although the HDMI-CEC is nice, and being able to turn on the TV with just the one remote.
    and the fact that you can use the remote from your TV to control it, or the iOS app.

    *Channels is an app that lets you access a TV tuner on your network, which allows you to watch Live TV, And it has an optional DVR upgrade.
  3. sxl1681 macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2019
    I have both 4th and 5th gen AppleTV. Plex works fine on both once I made a modification to the TVOS profile so that it will DirectPlay my Handbrake files. Before I did that, Plex would always want to re-compress the file on the fly and eat up server CPU (not to mention compressing to a lesser quality). You don't need to do this modification so long as your Plex server has enough CPU to transcode on the fly. I always conform my Handbrake encodes to H.264 High Profile, Level 3.1 or 4.1 depending if SD or HD which the recent AppleTV's handle without issue. The recent server versions may have fixed this issue and this fix may not be needed anymore.

    The one thing I did have an issue with for a while was streaming high bitrate H.265 files to the AppleTV 4K. Plex would constantly choke, stutter, pause playback on these files. These are 4K rips straight from 4K disc where I used MP4tools and ffMPEG to create an MP4 muxed stream containing the original H.265 track from the disc and a Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus sound track.

    I found out it was a buggy Plex server version and a recent upgrade fixed this issue. I was a happy camper once I saw the 80+ Mbit/sec h.265 file playing back nicely again. I confirmed that the Plex server sends the file without transcoding to the Apple TV 4K, it only changes the underlying transport from MP4 to M2TS.

    FYI, AppleTV does not support DTS sound tracks so either the Plex server transcodes these on the fly to Dolby AC3 or AAC or do what I do and transcode the DTS Master audio track to higher bitrate Dolby Digital Plus version beforehand so that the server doesn't have to do any transcoding.

    I don't game on AppleTV so no info on that.

    Also FYI, when I was setting up my parent's AppleTV 4K, Make sure you are using HDR 4K rated HDMI cables and receiver (if using one) and make sure the AppleTV is running in HDR mode in video settings. I was wondering why the video didn't look that much better on my parent's Sony XBR900F until I realized the AppleTV was not outputting HDR because of older HDMI cables. That made a big difference in image quality once I got the proper HDMI cables.

    I always wonder how many people are using 4K TV's without HDR because of not knowing you need these new high speed HDR HDMI cables for it to work.

    My biggest wish: Siri + Plex. Second wish: Bigger NAS.
  4. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    Don't run it in HDR mode
    run it in SDR mode, with dynamic range switching enabled.

    the aTV up-processing the SDR to HDR tends to give less than desirable results.

    My TV (LG OLED from a couple years ago) tends to black out for a couple seconds when changing to and from HDR and SDR, since most of the content I watch is SDR, by running the aTV in SDR mode, I experience that dropout much less. And having the menus in SDR vs HDR doesn't really change my experience.

    you should turn on frame rate matching too, as it can prevent jerky/stuttering motion due to frame rate mismatches.
  5. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    Plex runs fine on both, but I wouldn't get the ATV4, as it was underpowered at its launch. The ATV4K is just a little bit more money, but much more powerful.

    No one knows this, or if they did, they wouldn't say on this forum.

    A few, but due to Apple's mistakes at the launch of tvOS, there hasn't been much interest in bringing games to the ATV.

    Maybe this will change (I hope)....

    I am not sure, but probably not too many big games I bet.
  6. bumbo macrumors regular


    May 6, 2009
    This is really a question of your content and hardware serving it. The ATV4K is the best choice of device by far, but if your content isn't in a native Apple format, your server/NAS etc will need to be powerful enough to transcode it so the ATV can play it. And this is where Plex falls down.

    Infuse, on the other hand, does not need this and is, in my opinion, a MUCH better player than Plex.
  7. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    Plex are in the process of migrating to a new player which supports a wider range of formats. If you have a Plex Pass you can use it.
  8. bumbo macrumors regular


    May 6, 2009
    I do and have tried it already. Still presents issues. PMS still tries to transcode meaning Infuse still handles all these files without problems.

    A shame but not a deal breaker anymore
  9. darkcompass macrumors member


    Aug 22, 2018
    Games wise "Oceanhorn" (zelda like), and "Galaxy of Fire 3 : Manticore" (shoot-em up), are great games.
    Plex works great.
  10. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    Just played a 4K .mkv file with Plex and the new player. The video played direct with no transcoding. The audio was transcoded to EAC3. I assume that's the same thing Infuse is doing since that is all that Apple TV 4K supports?
  11. bumbo macrumors regular


    May 6, 2009
    Could be my setup...! I've just never had a single issue with Infuse and always had issues with Plex. The number of variations of file types, codecs and audio streams make it near impossible to catalogue what works when so I just stick to what I know
  12. Banglazed macrumors demi-god


    Apr 17, 2017
    Cupertino, CA
    MP4 H.264 1080p ACC will be direct play

    MP4 H.265/HEVC 4K ACC will be direct stream. ACC may be transcoded. However, it will direct play using Infuse app.

    I believe direct play is better with the Infuse app than Plex app.
  13. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    Er, what would be the difference? Direct stream just repackages the streams in the file container. It uses very little processing power and the video quality is the same as the original. In that sense it is the same as direct play.

    Since the video stream is sent in both cases without modification, the only difference between the new Plex player and Infuse would seem to be in the audio, if there is any.
  14. Peepo macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2009
    MrMC (Kodi port to ATV) has been playing from Plex for years without transcoding... in fact the first versions only direct played and they added transcode ability later on. It integrates Plex directly into the MrMC interface and you can easily switch between regular library or Plex server with the UI looking exactly the same.

    MrMC can also work with a Kodi friendly library, because it is essentially Kodi. This means it can import local NFO files and artwork if you happen to have your library organized in this way. I use MediaElch to do this. I do not like relying on cloud scrapers to constantly load my library each time I put on a new device.

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13 April 29, 2019