Plex, Movies, Surround Sound...Oh My!

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mic j, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #1
    After suggestions about how great Plex is, I installed the server on MBP and client on aTV4. I then let it fully index the contents of a movie folder on an external HDD connected to my AEBS. To test, I played Avatar (mp4 (h.264), 2 audio tracks #1 AAC stereo, #2 AC3 DD). Got a lot of buffering, like every few minutes. Also noticed that my AVR indicated the audio output was PCM. Went into the aTV setting and change Surround setting from Auto to DD. Restarted and got DD showing up on my AVR.

    Next, wanted to see if the HomeSharing had the same buffering problem. So I played the same file through HS. No buffering at all, however, the AVR indicated the audio was PCM. I went to the movie info by pulling down at the top of the screen and it has an audio selection, but it does not give me the option of choosing DD. It shows it but doesn't let me check it. Also, I played a Purchased iTunes movie and the AVR shows DD. So the issue is definitely with playing local files through HS on the aTV4 and not the aTV3.

    I have encoded all of my mp4's using Handbrake and have the 1st track as AAC stereo and the second track as AC3 DD. This was a standard transcoding setup and i had no problem with the aTV3. It looks like the aTV4 automatically selects the first audio track and won't let me change it. Has anyone else noticed this or have a solution to it?

    Finally...what's up with the buffering using Plex? I'm not even challenging it with a on-the-fly transcode and buffers like crazy. My AEBS is in the same room, wifi is smokin' (300Mbps). I do like the Plex interface but not worth using with the current buffering issue. Any ideas on that?
     
  2. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Scotland
    #2

    Dive into the Plex settings and check what the streaming rate is set at. Normally it's set to 8MB 1080p from fresh, but if your getting buffering it might be worth checking.
     
  3. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Mar 15, 2012
    #3
    It is set to 8Mbps (local)
     
  4. Gueeds macrumors member

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    Jul 29, 2015
    #4
    PCM typically means the device is doing the decoding but still surround instead of the receiver. Depending on what receiver you have, mine is a Denon and shows Multi In for 5.1 sources and Stereo for 2.0 sources when the ATV surround setting is at Auto. I'm also able to get 5.1 sound from home sharing files encoded with AC3 audio, but I only encode with DD and remove the stereo tracks.
     
  5. xsmett macrumors member

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    Nov 1, 2015
    #5
    Funny. I have a lot of buffering with Home Sharing, but no buffering at all with Plex. Wanna trade? ;)
     
  6. askunk macrumors regular

    askunk

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    Oct 12, 2011
    Location:
    London
    #6
    Get a Wifi scanner and check whether your neighbour is not on the same frequency or try directly to change the channels manually on the Wifi router.
     
  7. iphonetravel macrumors member

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    Mar 8, 2008
    Location:
    EU
    #7
  8. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Mar 15, 2012
    #8
    Thanks for that info. I thought PCM meant it was getting a stereo signal and then using some sort of decoder to generate 5.1 audio. I will check in to that.
     
  9. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #9
    My wifi is super and have already optimized my AEBS channels. Don't have a problem with anything buffering...except Plex. I should also note there are a few posts on the Plex Forum about buffering on the aTV.
     
  10. ZeRoLiMiT macrumors 6502a

    ZeRoLiMiT

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    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Southern California
    #10
    Make sure you have direct play on Plex settings ON
     
  11. iphonetravel macrumors member

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    Mar 8, 2008
    Location:
    EU
    #11
    Whilst I agree with Gueeds, it's worth remembering that in years gone by, Apple did not have a Dolby licence so just did pass through for an amp to process.

    Still, we should have a choice and the specs are not clear. Added to that the DD+ support has not been evidenced. Pass-through should always be offered.
     
  12. haruhiko macrumors 68040

    haruhiko

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    #12
    Not sure why Plex just can't display my SRT subtitles file in the same folder with the same file name as the movie file. The SRT file is perfectly fine for VLC.
     
  13. dotnet macrumors 6502a

    dotnet

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    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #13
    You get to select the audio track (as well as subtitle options) through the Settings button on the movie screen (alongside the Play and + buttons).

    Note that there is a UI issue in the Plex app at the moment, the check box doesn't move from AAC to AC3 if you select AC3. Going out of the settings and back in you can verify that the change to AC3 has actually been applied. ATV4/Plex outputs DD fine to my AVR.
     
  14. 98EXL macrumors regular

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    Jun 16, 2012
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    not on the moon
    #14
    yeah, that I can't believe is something you have to turn on, but I stream fully ripped BDs no problem, no lag. It's scary fast
     
  15. bhall110 macrumors regular

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    Jun 11, 2012
    #15
    I would try a wired connection all the way. That would eliminate any network issues as you should be 100mb all the way to the apple tv which is way more then enough. Then look at your cpu memory and disk usage in activity monitor. If you notice anything spiking then that might be the cause. Try this and report back. One question, are these movies stored on your external hard drive?
     
  16. mellofello macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    #16
    If it is in the same room it might be worth hard wiring it. I don't have the latest ATV, but I use the plex app on my TV. I can stream 18gb bluray rips without even a stutter. I have a all hard wired network though.
     
  17. Donka macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #17
    I have the Plex stuttering issue. Tried every combination of quality and networking and the issue remains. Unlimited, 20mb, 8mb. Wireless N, AC and Ethernet. Mac mini quad i7 server with 16gb ram remains practically idle and network shows a very small amount of traffic.
    Same files with Plex on other devices such as iOS devices, Roku or Samsung TVs playback perfectly.
    Something is messed up with the new Apple TV and local streaming.
     
  18. Jme Saunders macrumors member

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    Mar 5, 2015
    #18

    There really is. I've tried bringing attention to this. Just out of interest, have a go with a DLNA app. I had no problem in playing back from Plex with DLNA.
     
  19. Donka macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    May 3, 2011
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    Scotland
    #19
    I have the DLNA option disabled in Plex but can certainly enable that and test it out. Which DLNA app did you use?
     
  20. Jme Saunders macrumors member

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    Mar 5, 2015
    #20
    I used 'LocalCast'. Any ole DLNA app should work
     
  21. Donka macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #21
    I would need a DLNA app on the Apple TV to effectively test this out. Having said that, I'm sure I already pulled one down earlier so will try that tonight but I expect the same issues.
     
  22. Jme Saunders macrumors member

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    Mar 5, 2015
    #22
    You would! Give it a go, tell me how you get on with it.
     
  23. fpnc macrumors 68000

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    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #23
    The AEBS really isn't designed to be a streaming source. It may or may not work for you depending on a number of factors but it's really better suited as a file backup solution rather than an HD streaming source (IMO, and I own one of the recent generation Airport Time Capsules with an internal 2TB drive). The disk is pretty slow and the latency is very high which means that you're likely to have endless problems trying to use it for anything other than the most basic file storage and relatively low bit-rate content.

    That said, I have used iTunes running on a Core i7 Mac mini to stream low-bit rate 1080p movies from the Time Capsule to my ATV4. However, I'm using wired ethernet for all of my connections, so that my help. But, as always YMMV.
     

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