Laggy Playback of 4k UHD from Plex to ATV on wired gigabit

MKV playback, recompression, remuxing, codec packs, players, howtos, etc.
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eebbrr@gmail.com
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Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2023 5:23 am

Laggy Playback of 4k UHD from Plex to ATV on wired gigabit

Post by eebbrr@gmail.com »

I’ve been ripping DVDs for the past few weeks with makemkv and it’s been nice. I just into my 4k UHD collection tonight.

The setup is the “raw” .mkv files are served up via a Plex sever, streaming to a (first gen) AppleTV 4k (Plex player app installed) over a wired, gigabit network. Both the Plex server and the appletv are connected at gigabit.

Playback works but it’s a little laggy and the audio is out of sync. I’m sure it’s just the sheer number of bits being shoved through the network. So…

What do y’all recommend for a transcoding target? I don’t really care about saving space. What I care about is saving my time of having to transcode a few hundred 4k UHD movies. And also, most of all, it seems I care that I can actually stream them without lag!

Maybe it’s not the network and it’s the AppleTV? Would upgrading to gthe latest gen3, or even some other device entirely, be a thing to do to avoid needing to transcode? Unfortunately the NAS that is the Plex server isn’t powerful enough to transcode the movies in real time.

Thoughts or ideas?
dcoke22
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Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:25 pm

Re: Laggy Playback of 4k UHD from Plex to ATV on wired gigabit

Post by dcoke22 »

I use Plex and an AppleTV 4K (2nd gen and now 3rd gen) as a client on wired gigabit ethernet. I have no lag, even for raw rips of UHDs.

Plex might be transcoding your rips for you. You would probably be best served using Direct Play.

In the Plex client on AppleTV, when a video is playing, you can swipe down on the remote and show the Plex menu. The tab on the right is called Technical Details (I think) and it will show if you're doing Direct Play or something else.
eebbrr@gmail.com
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2023 5:23 am

Re: Laggy Playback of 4k UHD from Plex to ATV on wired gigabit

Post by eebbrr@gmail.com »

Yeah, it's doing "Direct Play".

I installed "Infuse" on that AppleTV and it actually plays the same movies just fine -- no lag or sync problems at all.

I suppose I'll spend the $130 and upgrade that gen1 AppleTV4k to the newest gen3 and see. Kinda smells like it's not quite powerful enough. I'm gonna guess that maybe "Infuse"'s code is slightly more optimized, so a better processor will fix it up for Plex.

Thanks!
dcoke22
Posts: 1518
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:25 pm

Re: Laggy Playback of 4k UHD from Plex to ATV on wired gigabit

Post by dcoke22 »

On the gen 3 AppleTVs, you have to buy the higher spec, $150 version to get an ethernet port. You also get more storage and Thread support.

I'm surprised a 1st gen AppleTV 4K wouldn't be powerful enough with an A10X SoC, but maybe. I used to have one, but I wasn't running Plex at the time. I buy a new AppleTV whenever Apple ships a new one. I like the new remote control better than the old one.

I have used Infuse before and like it. Its performance is often subtlety different and usually better than the Plex client.

As a side note, transcoding UHDs is a lot more complicated than a standard blu-ray because of the various HDR formats. The most problematic of those is Dolby Vision.
eebbrr@gmail.com
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2023 5:23 am

Re: Laggy Playback of 4k UHD from Plex to ATV on wired gigabit

Post by eebbrr@gmail.com »

As a side note, transcoding UHDs is a lot more complicated than a standard blu-ray because of the various HDR formats. The most problematic of those is Dolby Vision.
Yeah, I bet. And I really don't want to get into that.

We have an actual MadVR device between the audio processor and the projector, so it takes care of the HDR tone mapping for us with ease. For the price, that thing ought to have a Plex player built-in.

And yeah, I bought the $150 ATV with the ethernet port. It'll be here Monday sometime and I'll report back if that fixed my issue. I really figured the movies were saturating my network until I saw that "Infuse" worked just fine.

One thing I can't figure out is if the rips are actually playing the Atmos track. For the titles I've ripped with Atoms, makemkv says the TrueHD codec is "Atmos HD" so I know I got it off the disc. And Plex/Infuse say they're using that audio track, however my receiver will tell you what kind of audio format is being used, and it just says "Dolby Surround" whereas if I stream some Atmos-enabled thing off, say, Netflix, it'll say "Atmos". The ceiling speakers do appear to be engaged, but I find that to be true regardless of "Atmos" or not.
eebbrr@gmail.com
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Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2023 5:23 am

Re: Laggy Playback of 4k UHD from Plex to ATV on wired gigabit

Post by eebbrr@gmail.com »

Sure enough. The latest gen3 AppleTV plays back the uncompressed 4k UHD titles with Plex just fine.

Cool!
pesos
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:08 am

Re: Laggy Playback of 4k UHD from Plex to ATV on wired gigabit

Post by pesos »

Hope it's ok to piggyback. I'm currently doing my UHD-disc-backup-folder playback using an oppo clone with an external usb hard drive. Obviously the old oppo interface isn't super family friendly.

Is Infuse a client that feeds off the plex server the same way the plex client does? Aren't there some limitations wrt to dolby video and/or dolby atmos playback with this approach?

Thanks!
eebbrr@gmail.com
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2023 5:23 am

Re: Laggy Playback of 4k UHD from Plex to ATV on wired gigabit

Post by eebbrr@gmail.com »

Is Infuse a client that feeds off the plex server the same way the plex client does? Aren't there some limitations wrt to dolby video and/or dolby atmos playback with this approach?
I didn't spend much time with it, but it was easy to use, found my NAS without any drama, and it at least played the uncompressed 4k UHD mkv's I tried. It's also $1/mo subscription to use.
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