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Big_Gee
Level 7

PLEX - Roku and H265

Hello..

Just new to this forum and would like some help.
I have a Synology DS415+ NAS with PLEX installed.   I stream wirelessly to the PLEX app on my  Roku (earlier model) wirelessly from Asus RT-AC68U router.  Things work just fine until I try watch a 1080P movie encoded in HEVC H265.  When watching H265 encoded movies they play for a few seconds then stop, loads the buffer with a bit more, then repeats this process until I give up.  I can step it down to 720p and it works but not 1080P.  I noticed in the support pages that H264 is supported but no mention of H265.  Does anyone know if Roku intends to provide some kind of firmware upgrade to support H265?

As a further question here, would it matter if the connection of the Roku to the router was direct via Ethernet cable vs wireless?  Would that make a difference? 
Please answer this only if you know for sure,as running a cable from router or rather network switch would be a difficult task, but would try to do that if it would make a difference and make this work. 
I think it comes down to the Roku player being able to handle the H265 format itself.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
Big_Gee
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27 Replies
atc98092
Level 13

Re: PLEX - Roku and H265

Which Roku player are you using? If it's not a 4, Ultra, Premiere/+ or Stick +, it doesn't support H.265 and your NAS is trying to transcode the media and not keeping up. I've noticed that with my Ultra, when using Plex I had to force direct play, otherwise it tries to transcode H.265. 
.
Would wireless make a difference? Certainly possible.  In theory wireless could be faster than a wired connection (which is only 100 Mbps oon all Roku players with an Ethernet jack). But real world depends highly on interference. Right now I'm using my Insignia Roku TV, which has no network jack. When connected to a 5 GHz router only 6 feet away, the signal was good, but I was getting a little interference. I switched to the 2.4 GHz radio on the same router, and the hidden wireless status page was reporting a huge number of received "glitches". I switched to a different router in my home (further away) and back to 5 GHz, and the glitches disappeared. Looks like I need to work on one of my routers. But those glitches were certainly capable of causing playback hiccups, especially with higher bitrate media like 4K. 
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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Big_Gee
Level 7

Re: PLEX - Roku and H265

Hi Dan...
thank you for your response. I was not aware that the Roku Ethernet jack was limited to 100MB.  I have a gigabit network so it seems that going to hard wire would slow things down (good to know) but would probably keep any interference lower.
The Roku model I have its about 3 years old now and is about 3 inches square.
As for using direct play, is that a permanent setting that can be set once for all H.265 files or do you have to choose it for each playback?
Does anyone know (Roku folks if you are listening) if Roku units will upgrade the Roku Ethernet connection to handle gigabit connections?
Once again Dan, thanks for your help.
Cheers!
Garry
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atc98092
Level 13

Re: PLEX - Roku and H265

"Big_Gee" wrote:
Hi Dan...
thank you for your response. I was not aware that the Roku Ethernet jack was limited to 100MB.  I have a gigabit network so it seems that going to hard wire would slow things down (good to know) but would probably keep any interference lower.
The Roku model I have its about 3 years old now and is about 3 inches square.
As for using direct play, is that a permanent setting that can be set once for all H.265 files or do you have to choose it for each playback?
Does anyone know (Roku folks if you are listening) if Roku units will upgrade the Roku Ethernet connection to handle gigabit connections?
Once again Dan, thanks for your help.
Cheers!
Garry

Roku never announces future updates, so no idea if gigabit is ever coming. I don't use Plex enough to know if you can make force direct play the default setting, but I don't recall seeing it. If you Roku is 3 years old, it might be a Roku 4, but most likely is only a 1080 box. 3 inches square describes most all of them except for the sticks.  Smiley LOL
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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Big_Gee
Level 7

Re: PLEX - Roku and H265

thanks again Dan.   I decided to upgrade to the Roku Ultra despite not having HDR or 4K TV now (Kuro FD111) but providing for the future.   Definitely supposed to handle H.265 encoding so will see.
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atc98092
Level 13

Re: PLEX - Roku and H265

"Big_Gee" wrote:
thanks again Dan.   I decided to upgrade to the Roku Ultra despite not having HDR or 4K TV now (Kuro FD111) but providing for the future.   Definitely supposed to handle H.265 encoding so will see.

My Roku 4, Ultra and Sharp Roku TV all handle H.265 without issue. No worries there.
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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ndehmer
Level 7

Re: PLEX - Roku and H265

While wireless might indeed be theoretically faster, the 100Mb wired port is not going to limit your streaming at this point.  I have hardwired all of my Roku's as I got tired of the wife/kid asking why it's buffering or pausing or not playing or on and on and on.   You can't been a wired connection for consistency of connection. 
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Re: PLEX - Roku and H265

Roku has a bug now that may be causing this. Plex support, over on their forum, said they have a ticket open with Roku. I hope Roku can get on this promptly because solid Plex support was my only reason for buying a Roku and my return window is still open. https://forums.plex.tv/t/not-fast-enough-to-stream/278496/85
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Big_Gee
Level 7

Re: PLEX - Roku and H265

Thanks for the heads up Charliemurphy.  Checked out the link you provided here and it looks like even the ultra is going to go the same way.  Never had this problem before.  My PLEX media server sits on a Synology DS415+ NAS box which has its own dedicated CPU for streaming/transcoding and I swear that even on my Roku 3, everything worked up until a month or so ago.  Discussion over there seems to indicate that it is a PLEX media server upgrade that is causing the problem with Roku.   If problem continues on my new Ultra, I will see if I can roll back my media server to an earlier version on my NAS.  Somewhat disappointed in PLEX if indeed its their problem that they are not responding to the discussion in the other forum you provided the link to.  If it Roku then they should get on it ASAP as it will affect their credibility in the streaming world.   Gee wouldn't it be nice if the two of them (PLEX and Roku) could sit down TOGETHER and work it out.

 https://forums.plex.tv/t/not-fast-enough-to-stream/278496/85
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graybeard
Level 7

Re: PLEX - Roku and H265

Holy smithers I almost got a new machine to be able to transcode but thankfully found a working solution.

Just send the goddamn file to Roku, how hard is that, Plex?

Step 1: tell Plex to f-off
Step 2: Type "Media Streaming Options" in Windows 10 start menu.  It'll bring up the corresponding Control Panel page.
Step 3: turn it on, google for details if you want to customize settings
Step 4: Roku Media Player -> Videos -> select your Windows 10 DLNA server
Step 5: say good riddance Plex

Related question: does Roku have custom ASIC for decoding?  It's able to play smoothly while my i7 (few years old) chokes on the file.
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