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Hardware question regarding 4K playback (Plex)


Corvo

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I have a question about direct play (no transcoding) with Plex, Emby and so on, and hope here is the right place.

 

When i want to play something 4K, the playback is buffering all the time and i would like to know if anybody can tell me where my bottleneck is.

I can get a smooth playback if i transcode with Intel Quick Sync but it can't be right that i have to do that on my local network with only one user ?

 

I think it's the cpu that is not powerfull enough but i'm not sure. 

 

Network is cabeled 2,5Gb were the player is an Apple TV 4K with a 1Gb connection (No wifi anywhere)

 

Don't run any VM's

 

Unraid server is

 

Asus PRIME H410M-A
Intel® Core™ i5-10400 CPU @ 2.90GHz
32 GiB DDR4
2,5 GB network card
3 spinning disks
1 cache ssd

 

I have no Gpu in the machine, would it help if i did or is a Gpu only used for transcoding or can you also use it in direct playback ?

 

Hope someone can help me forward, thanks.

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10 minutes ago, Corvo said:

When i want to play something 4K, the playback is buffering all the time and i would like to know if anybody can tell me where my bottleneck is.

I can get a smooth playback if i transcode with Intel Quick Sync but it can't be right that i have to do that on my local network with only one user

Are you sure that your client device is compatible with the file format and capable of playing 4K files, as configured?

Edited by Lolight
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8 minutes ago, Michael_P said:

this

 

1- make sure the drive where the video is stored isn't being actively accessed by anything else

2- try another device 

3- check your network

 

1. The server is only a storage server with Plex installed

2. Have tried with Windows and Mac machines all hardwired

3. Network run at max speed if i test it.

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9 minutes ago, Lolight said:

Are you sure that your client device is compatible with the file format and capable of playing 4K files, as configured?

Client is a New Apple TV 4K. Maybe i'm dumb, but should it not be able to playback mkv's ? 1080 mkv is running fine. Dont see any settings in the Apple Tv or in the Plex app regarding 4K ? 

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3 minutes ago, Corvo said:

Client is a New Apple TV 4K

 

Sure, but if you have something else to try you can rule it out

 

9 minutes ago, Corvo said:

1. The server is only a storage server with Plex installed

2. Have tried with Windows and Mac machines all hardwired

3. Network run at max speed if i test it.

 

Were the windows and mac machinese connected to the same network port as the Apple TV?

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I have a very similar setup like you, i5-10400 CPU, but 62GB RAM an d 1Gbit Network. The CPU is more than capable to stream "Direct Play". I can even play 4K on my iPad via WiFi.

image.png

 

EDIT: The movies are stored on 6TB WD Red Plus and 18 TB Thosiba HDDs.

Edited by b_tob
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9 minutes ago, Corvo said:

Client is a New Apple TV 4K. Maybe i'm dumb, but should it not be able to playback mkv's ? 1080 mkv is running fine. Dont see any settings in the Apple Tv or in the Plex app regarding 4K ? 

yeah, it definitely should.

I don't use Plex, woudn't know where to look.

You could try Emby or Jellyfin and see if it makes a difference.

btw, the problem is not related to the CPU.

Edited by Lolight
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3 minutes ago, Michael_P said:

 

Sure, but if you have something else to try you can rule it out

 

 

Were the windows and mac machinese connected to the same network port as the Apple TV?

Have tried with my Sony Tv with Plex installed and it's the same

 

And yes all on the same port

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2 minutes ago, Lolight said:

yeah, it definitely should.

I don't use Plex.

You could try Emby or Jellyfin and see if it makes a difference.

btw, the problem is not related to the CPU.

Have also tried Emby and Jellyfin and its the same.

 

Regarding the Cpu. When i try to play 4K content it pretty much runs all cores at 100% ?

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1 minute ago, Corvo said:

Have tried with my Sony Tv with Plex installed and it's the same

 

And yes all on the same port

 

OK, you can try moving the movie to the cache drive if you have one and try playing from there to rule out the drive, or try another computer to play the file from, next you can start swapping out network components

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1 minute ago, Michael_P said:

open a terminal on the server and type: top

 

It seems it's transcoding but i dont know how to disable it

 

top - 15:15:02 up 5 days,  4:28,  0 users,  load average: 4.75, 2.86, 1.62
Tasks: 339 total,   2 running, 336 sleeping,   0 stopped,   1 zombie
%Cpu(s): 70.2 us,  2.2 sy,  7.1 ni, 20.4 id,  0.2 wa,  0.0 hi,  0.1 si,  0.0 st
MiB Mem :  31951.9 total,  22039.6 free,   3284.1 used,   6628.2 buff/cache
MiB Swap:      0.0 total,      0.0 free,      0.0 used.  27896.6 avail Mem 

 

  PID USER      PR  NI    VIRT    RES    SHR S  %CPU  %MEM     TIME+ COMMAND                                                      
32407 nobody    20   0 1277080   1.0g  13296 R 457.3   3.2   4:00.66 Plex Transcoder                                              
 5741 root      20   0   10.9g 212476  48968 S   3.3   0.6 146:13.07 unraid-api                                                   
28606 nobody    20   0  253932  79588  28496 S   1.3   0.2   4:32.91 Plex Media Serv                                              
28155 root      20   0  721016  12236   1740 S   1.0   0.0   2:55.55 containerd-shim                                              
 6336 root      20   0  695596  26700    516 S   0.7   0.1  33:57.75 shfs                                                         
 9351 root      20   0   95564  30688  24056 S   0.7   0.1   0:00.22 wg_poller                                                    
10819 999       20   0  449104  11424   5704 S   0.7   0.0   1:54.78 pihole-FTL                                                   
  698 root      20   0   95512  14328   7816 S   0.3   0.0   0:00.03 php-fpm                                                      
 2203 root      20   0    4748   2800   2544 S   0.3   0.0   0:00.01 intel_gpu_top                                

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3 minutes ago, Michael_P said:

Make sure you've touched the appropriate file to enable the igpu

Make sure the Plex container is set up to use it

Make sure you have a plex pass

 

That will solve your issue :) 

I will have to look at it later, no more time today. Thank you for the help

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If you confirmed that the video is actually Direct Play (check in Plex dashboard), there shouldn't be stuttering or high CPU usage.

 

Try some other videos to eliminate it being a file issue.

 

Are subtitles turned on?  This will usually cause a file to need to be transcoded.

 

A shot in the dark, but one I've recommended and has solved many peoples' issues - Delete the Plex codec folder from your appdata.  Sometimes a corrupted codec can cause issues.  Restart Plex, and it will download a fresh set of codec.

CODEC folder path.JPG

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In the past Apple TVs have could not natively play MKV files.  All MKV files were transcoded to MP4 file.  My apple tv was a couple generations old thou.  Also if your tv and apple tv share the same hardwired port you could also possibly have a cabling issue.  Try plugging in another device at your TV drop.

Edited by Gragorg
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