Buffering issue with Plex

Discussion in 'Third Party Products' started by Chris Lee, May 10, 2021.

  1. Chris Lee

    Chris Lee New Member

    Having a strange issue streaming the .mp4 files from a Plex NAS server (DS918+) to either a Windows 10 client or Nvidia Shield. Both are connected via ethernet cable so throughput shouldn't be an issue, yet I will get buffering problems trying to stream video.

    Playback on the Windows 10 box using VLC is totally fine, which makes me think Plex is transcoding on the fly or doing something else to cause the problem, but why would it then say it's a buffering issue?

    This is only a problem trying to play the AnyStream created .mp4 files. HandBrake converted .mkv files stream just fine. I do not have any other .mp4 files on the Plex server.

    I realize this may not be directly AnyStream related, but anyone an idea what might be happening?
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
  2. Ch3vr0n

    Ch3vr0n Translator NL

    Wrong section, not an AnyStream problem. I'd suggest you post over at Plex.tv where they can help you the best.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

    BALLOFIRON Active Member

    never had a issue anystream and plex. but my plex server is a old pc. with has more processing power than a NAS hard-drive

    try plex.tv as suggested and maybe run anystream .mp4 in handbrake if needed
  4. cartman0208

    cartman0208 Well-Known Member

    I noticed something similar when playing from Plex over WAN to my Samsung TV.
    That might not be the same setup, but could be related.
    Do you embed the subtitles in your files?

    The buffering increases a lot when playing AS created files with embedded subtitles.
    Looking at my router firewall I see hundreds of connections opened and closed in seconds.
    So it seems Plex has trouble playing the embedded timed text subtitles in mp4 files.
    Playing a file without embedded subtitles removes the buffering.

    My solution for this is to remux the files to MKV converting the tx3g to S_TEXT/UTF8 during the process.
    That usually takes only mere seconds on a local SSD (depending on filesize) and the Plex buffering is gone.
  5. DQ

    DQ Well-Known Member

    I can almost guarantee you what is going on is Plex is transcoding. Plex is typically very good at looking at the source and then the capabilities of the destination (audio and video) and doing what it needs too on the fly to make it all work out. Don't assume it's the video that's being transcoded either as it could also be the audio. You can see what Plex is doing on your playback device by pausing and hitting the 3 dots on the right and then go to "Stream Info". If you see "copy" it means it's not converting anything, if you see "convert" then of course it is transcoding.

    If I had to make a guess I would bet you it's the audio.

    And to Ch3vr0n's point, this is not at all an AS issue.
  6. DQ

    DQ Well-Known Member

    I think you have something else going on entirely other than what you think you do. Not sure why you would come over your WAN connection to play on your own TV (maybe you are in another location or something) but that WAN connection is probably the bottleneck. Plex transcodes by different rules when it's remote vs. local (on the same network) playback. And sometimes if you have local issues it will try to redirect via the internet in a very clunky and ugly way. But the solution there is to solve the network issue.
  7. cartman0208

    cartman0208 Well-Known Member

    My Plex server is located in a datacenter nearby, I like to share my video collection with my family and that is faster done over a 10Gbit line than my DSL with 40Mbit upload ;)
    So my TV pulls the stream via WAN, and I'm making sure all is run via "direct play" rather then transcode, because the box in the DC is only a NAS.
    That said, the AnyStream files "direct play" but the buffering occurs anyway, which brought me to look at my firewall and notice the messages mentioned above.
    Without embedded tx3g the stream runs smooth, I can fast forward and reverse with little to no buffering.

    In no way I want to discredit AnyStream, it's a great product which I don't want to miss and I can absolutely live with my solution (I additionally add a second audionstream during remuxing)
    I just wanted to point out my findings which might help others locating their issues.
  8. DQ

    DQ Well-Known Member

    Just speaking from experience here but unless you have Direct Play set to "Force" (it's set to Auto by default) it can and will still transcode based on auto detection of capabilities of both ends and I think there is a special note it has about subtitles on that one. Of course there is also the situation of Allow Direct Stream (but that's on by default) and the whole remote quality vs. local quality which can also cause transcoding.

    Not trying to say your setup is misconfigured or anything, just bringing up the myriad of things that can cause video or audio transcoding. It's a bunch of shenanigans I recently dinked with a ton trying to tweak my UHD moving watching. And that was with my Plex server sitting in the next room. In your case being remote complicates it up even more.
  9. 84Lion

    84Lion Member

    I have a QNAP TS-251+ NAS as the server. I either use a Fire TV 4K stick or Tivo Mini box as the platform for the Plex player. When I use the Fire TV 4K stick, M2TS 1080p files (direct rip from BR) play just fine. In most cases, M2TS 4K files will play OK also although I have had occasional issues. When I play 1080p MP4 AS files, it will play fine for maybe 15 minutes or so, then it will start with the buffering/stuttering issues. The Tivo box, for some reason, handles the MP4 AS files reasonably well. So I use that for Plex streaming of the AS files. AS MP4 Files less than 1080p (e.g. – 480i) seem to work fine on the Fire TV 4K stick. Chris, what program are you using for the file remux? I’m not familiar with tx3g – is this embedded subtitles or are you downloading the subtitles via AS as a separate file? I might try this especially with 1080p files.

    I have tried VLC as a client/program but it’s not nearly as elegant as Plex. Plex does two things I like – one, it nicely saves “where you are” in a particular program across all platforms using Plex, and two, it will play subtitles.

    The big issue with Plex is that there are so many things that can go wrong – server, network, platform. It actually works well 99% of the time as long as you understand the limitations.

    I agree that this is not an AS issue, however, I have not yet found hardware (e.g. – Blu-Ray player, TV, etc.) which will play MP4 files and show subtitles. I have a Sony UBPX-700 which plays M2TS and MKV files just fine and will play MP4 files – but doesn’t show the subtitles. In fact, that’s been the big bugaboo for me and why I went to Plex – it’s the one way I can play the MP4 files and keep the embedded subtitles.