Suggestions for Symology+Plex for DLNA

Plex package allows users to manage and playback their media collections to local or remote desktop/mobile running Plex media client through Synology DiskStation
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MAMiller44
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Suggestions for Symology+Plex for DLNA

Postby MAMiller44 » Fri May 12, 2017 11:58 pm

So I have a DS214play that I've always used Plex on to stream my movies over my home network to my older (2012ish) LG LM series TV. I always used the LG media player which was "powered by Plex" but not a true Plex app. For 5 years it's pretty much never failed me...until recently. I had to maintain an older version of the Plex server on my NAS because newer versions were incompatible with the built in LG/Plex player. I eventually had to update the server because it was no longer compatible with basic plex.tv or mobile apps, which is what lead me to where I am now.

I tried playing my movies on my home network with the Plex app on my Roku3, and it rarely works. I believe I have everything t setup right but only about 20% or my movies play well. Most just buffer every few seconds. I often get error messages about either the server or network not being powerful enough for playback. So I guess this question is 2 parts:

1) The Roku3 should be working better, right? Any insight on to what I might be doing wrong? Again, the LG media player always worked flawlessly. The Roku just isn't working well. Is there any way to confirm it's playing via DLNA and not actually streaming over the web? I typically never truly stream from my NAS. Only play movies at home or sync to mobile devices in preparation for traveling.

2) Any suggestions on the best way (if I should be going a different route) to play movies from my Plex server on my home network? Again, home network is really the only playback I truly care about with Plex. Nearly all my movies are either MP4 or mkv.
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Rusty1281
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Re: Suggestions for Symology+Plex for DLNA

Postby Rusty1281 » Sat May 13, 2017 10:06 am

It could be that your content atm (via roku) is not being handled by roku itself and its pushing the trandcode request back to your NAS. In return that process is taxing your CPU and you get the buffering problem. You can verify this by playing something (that wont stream flawlessly) and log into your Plex server via a browser. In the upper right hand corner there is a hearbeat icon. After you click it switch to 'Now playing' tab and see the tile representing your stream. There is an 'i' button on it for info and you can see whats going on with that stream (whats being transcoded).

This way you will know if you audio or video part is transcoded, streamed or directplaying.

One way is to recode your media to be more compatible with roku, or you can give a go with XPlay app (https://xplay.itkey.ru). As far as I know LG's native Plex client is still forcing transcode process no matter if the TV can actually read the file on its own and decode it. Xplay is a much more rich Plex compatible app (supports direct play, sub and audio manipulations etc...) then the native one.

You can run it for a trial run and see if all your content is running fine. I have several friends that use it on their LG's (2015 models mostly) and never had any problems with it.

Hope it helps
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MAMiller44
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Re: Suggestions for Symology+Plex for DLNA

Postby MAMiller44 » Fri May 19, 2017 9:14 pm

Thanks Rusty, I'm guessing it is transcoding. Here are a few examples of movies and their results of playing:
Constant Buffer: CPU 98% / RAM 68% / H264 to H264 / DCA to AAC
Constant Buffer: CPU 94% / RAM 68% / H264 to H264 / AAC to AAC
Runs Smooth: CPU 28% / RAM 37% / Direct Video / DCA to AAC
Runs Smooth: CPU 30% / RAM 37% / Direct Video / AAC to AAC

Unfortunately it doesn't look like I can get Xplay on mine because it's such an old model (2011). I guess my next option is to make sure I don't run into video transcoding. Is there a backage available from Synology or a third party that I could use for this? I'm also confused now on why some videos are transcoding from H264 to H264 and not just playing directly. Any idea why?
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Re: Suggestions for Symology+Plex for DLNA

Postby Rusty1281 » Fri May 19, 2017 10:32 pm

These smooth runs were also on roku or via tv?

It all depends on the media that you are pushing to your devices. Not sure you will have any luck but to be sure that the media file that you are streaming is compliant with direct play settings needed by Plex and its client.

You can try DS Video from syno as an alternative, but not sure you will get anywhere that much. If I were you I would get a better plex clinet device and use the TV as just that, a TV. Something like AppleTV, or nvidia shield etc...

Apart from that (considering the age of your TV) you wont get 2 much luck with apps on your TV, so you will be stuck with a set top box of sort. Another option (if you will use those streams for watching it on TV) is to use KODI application instead.
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MAMiller44
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Re: Suggestions for Symology+Plex for DLNA

Postby MAMiller44 » Sat May 20, 2017 7:58 pm

All the above is playback to the Roku. The TV always worked flawlessly for the past 5+ years but LG keeps removing functionality which is causing the issue and why I've ended up stuck with the Roku. I'm starting to think Roku is the issue, here's an example of what's happening with two movies that I know have issues with the Roku:

Movie 1
Roku 3 Plex App: 93% CPU / 60% RAM / Video H264 to H264 / Audio AAC to AAC
iPhone 6 Plex App: 8% CPU / 38% RAM / Video Direct Stream / Audio AAC to AAC
Surface Pro 4 Plex App: 27% CPU / 37% RAM / Transcoding Info Unavailable

Movie 2
Roku 3 Plex App: 96% CPU / 69% RAM / Video H264 to H264 / Audio AAC to AAC
iPhone 6 Plex App: 3% CPU / 38% RAM / Video Direct Stream / Audio AAC to AAC
Surface Pro 4 Plex App: 28% CPU / 36% RAM / Transcoding Info Unavailable

Looks clear that the issue is the Roku client now, thanks for opening my eyes to that. The fact of how well everything is running to my iPhone 6 makes me want to look into an Apple TV, I can only imagine the same tech is used as far as how the devices transcode. Thanks!!

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