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Transcoding ?


roberthleeii
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roberthleeii

I am going to start using MB3 as my homes media provider and plan on using rokus for a couple of tvs. I have an older computer as my media server which has worked fine I  the past but I have come across a problem with the windows store app (more info: http://mediabrowser.tv/community/index.php?/topic/4532-poor-playback-quality/) having the server transcodes, max out the CPU, and make the video unwatchable.it works great on my windows phone. Will this be a problem on a roku? 

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Koleckai Silvestri

The Rokus will direct play MKV and MP4 containers with h.264 and AAC audio. Some Rokus will support higher audio settings. Anything else will be transcoded same as on the app.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Depends on your source content.  A full Bluray rip will likely not play on a Roku without transcoding.  Basically, the higher quality of the video, the more transcoding that will take place.  There are some options on the Roku to set threshold for streaming/transcoding.  But a good low power CPU that is adequate for doing typical server duties may not be up to the task of transcoding.  If you look at cpubenchmark.com, I think you'll want something that scores 2000 and up.  I had a server that scored a little over 1000 and it would peg out and stutter on some transcoding, but sometimes it could keep up if the content was already compressed some.

 

There's always Handbrake if you want to rip them down to something lighter weight.

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  • 2 months later...
JMGNYC

Been thinking of getting a Roku for a 2nd room TV but I'm a little concerned about transcoding. It'll be on a wired connection. What types of limits does Roku have? How does MB decide if something needs to be transcoded or not? Is there hard limits for Roku?

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Been thinking of getting a Roku for a 2nd room TV but I'm a little concerned about transcoding. It'll be on a wired connection. What types of limits does Roku have? How does MB decide if something needs to be transcoded or not? Is there hard limits for Roku?

 

I can only speak of my experience over the last 6 months or so. My roku 3, which also runs over wired ethernet, has an approximate 20mb/s limit. Sometimes lower as this is the theoretical maximum, headers and overhead cut into this maximum. Roku supports h.264 within mkv or mp4 containers, with sound being aac in 5.1 (sometimes strangely 6.0 will work too???!) or 2.0 depending on setting you pick. Some profiles within these cause issues, you will see threads where people say audio doesn't work, video doesn't work, etc. These are likely profile problems (because the roku doesn't exactly tell you which profiles it supports) within h.264 or aac. I have a few movies that will play video, but no sound (direct play video and audio) what-so-ever if I leave audio on the roku set to 5.1. Soon as I set it to 2.0 (copy video, transcode audio) these movies play audio, albeit lacking surround :(

 

There is compromise for every client, unless its sticking an HDMI cable directly up to the PC hosting the mb3 server. I'm using an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4000+ @ 2.10Ghz and 4GB RAM. I can play full 720p bluray and not max out my server. 1080p full bluray and it has the "loading" with the blue bar filling up every few seconds or so, with pauses and all that glory. 1080p bluray rips on the other hand are no problem to play. Most of my collection for movies are bluray rips rather than full bluray just because of the transcoding issue.

 

EDIT: .. and appears roku updated their SDK documentation ( http://sdkdocs.roku.com/display/sdkdoc/Encoding+Guide#EncodingGuide-25SupportedVideoFormats ) with profile and level information now, go figure..

Edited by speechles
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roberthleeii

I have no problem playing Blu-ray rips over wire. I had to go in and change the settings in the MB app to up the quality, but the image is beautiful and no problems.

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leebo

I have an older Roku2. It does not have Ethernet, only WiFi.

My server is running an AMD Phenom X4 945 3 Ghz, with 8 gigs of ram.

 

When watching an uncompressed MKV from a BR this last weekend, I noticed a LOT of macroblocking. the PQ was definitely not BR!

I changed the streaming rate in the Roku client from 2.5 (or close) to 3.2Mbps. I only recall it buffering once, and only for a few seconds.

 

Is the reason for the poor PQ due to my Roku only having WiFi, or is it the transcoding of the MB3 server software?

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roberthleeii

I have my cranked to like 10.4 and my quality is great. At 3.2 I was very disappointed in the quality.

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leebo

I have my cranked to like 10.4 and my quality is great. At 3.2 I was very disappointed in the quality.

 

Yes, but is your Roku connected by WiFi?

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roberthleeii

No it is not but 3.2 is still sd on the roku. I would see how far you can crank it with out causing problems. It takes mine a few seconds to buffer and load on the higher setting but it is so much better quality.

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Koleckai Silvestri

I have an older Roku2. It does not have Ethernet, only WiFi.

My server is running an AMD Phenom X4 945 3 Ghz, with 8 gigs of ram.

 

When watching an uncompressed MKV from a BR this last weekend, I noticed a LOT of macroblocking. the PQ was definitely not BR!

I changed the streaming rate in the Roku client from 2.5 (or close) to 3.2Mbps. I only recall it buffering once, and only for a few seconds.

 

Is the reason for the poor PQ due to my Roku only having WiFi, or is it the transcoding of the MB3 server software?

 

All comes down to how many bits you can cram into the network. 3.2 is fairly low for an uncompressed Bluray.

 

What is your wireless protocol? Is the signal gain high at the Roku?

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leebo

I don't remember ever seeing a signal gain reading in the ROKU, but physically it's only about five or six feet from the router, with a wall in between. Under signal strength it says "excellent".

 

N protocol, claiming "up to" 300Mbps. I will try higher bitrate settings until I get buffering, then back down to see what PQ I can get.

 

Sent from my generic not my computer device.

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  • 2 weeks later...
roberthleeii

So how did it turn out? How high were you able to turn it up. My videos looked really crappy at 3.2

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Koleckai Silvestri

I don't remember ever seeing a signal gain reading in the ROKU, but physically it's only about five or six feet from the router, with a wall in between. Under signal strength it says "excellent".

 

N protocol, claiming "up to" 300Mbps. I will try higher bitrate settings until I get buffering, then back down to see what PQ I can get.

 

Sent from my generic not my computer device.

 

Sorry. I use an app on my Kindle Fire Tablet called WiFi Analyzer that tells me what the signal is. They are available for phones as well. Handy to know. 5-6 feet shouldn't pose a problem though. Though 5-6 feet from my router, I get a signal of -55 dBm with the closet door closed and -40 dBm with it open. These are strong signals.

 

On the upstairs Roku, it would connect to the WiFi but once we tried to play anything it would drop the connection. This is on an "N 300" network but my devices connect at around 115-120 Mbps. That Roku is about 15 feet from the router and the signal was -60 dBm there. My son ended up taking a Saturday and wiring the entire upstairs to account for this and added a second WiFi network for phones and tablets upstairs.

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leebo

I tried the next quality setting up from 3.2 (5.something). No stuttering, but that was not a BR rip (though it was n HD MKV).

 

I will have to install media info to check the bit rates of these files.

 

I will probably be installing Plex soon however, for reasons I explain in my "subtitles issues on Roku thread. In a nutshell, MB3 cannot display subs in files created by Handbrake, and for files created with other means, it transcodes them separately, i.e. two video streams at once. Either my network or my server can't keep up, and it buffers every few seconds.

 

People are telling me Plex has no such issue. I am anxiously awaiting for this issue to be fixed in MB3 server.

 

Sent from my generic not my computer device.

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we're going to be overhauling our subtitle support in the next server release.

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Koleckai Silvestri

I will have to install media info to check the bit rates of these files.

 

 

You should be able to see the Bitrate of different streams in the Web Client by selecting the item and choosing "Media Info". It also shows in Library Browser window of the Server component, but you may need to put the server into debug mode for this to show up when you right-click on the icon in your system tray.

Edited by Wayne Luke
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leebo

Thanks WL. So even at that 3.2Mbps setting, I get stuttering when attempting to display sub's. The last mkv ripped from BR had a bit rate of 12330. MB is transcoding it to 3.2, plus attempting to transcode the subs as a sperate stream, resulting in excessive buffering. If I re encode the movie to lower bit rate using Handbrake, MB3 displays the subs off the screen.

 

So I am waiting for the next release which will hopefully either transcode the subs in the same stream, or properly display subs in Handbrake encodes, or both.

 

Sent from a mobile device.

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Koleckai Silvestri

Is there a particular reason why you're leaving the Roku at the default bitrate?

 

Haven't used Handbrake to include subtitles. I usually mux them in using MKVMerge. What kind of container are you using and what type of subtitle stream?

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leebo

At what bitrate should I set it? If it can't handle 3.2 with subs turned on, surely it can't handle anything higher.

The subs in question are PGS but he entire file is re-encoded to a smaller file size MKV.

 

For instance, 30 Gb BR encoded with Handbrake to say, a 10Gb MKV, inc. subs and usually at least a couple of audio streams. This has been documented in another thread.

 

So I patiently await the next server release.

 

I did re-encode Stalingrad using HB with the subs burned in, due to the fact MB3 cannot properly display subs in a Handbrake encoded file. I will attempt to watch it tonight and see if it plays without issues. Of course, this means I cannot turn subs off.

 

Sent from my generic not my computer device.

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sure we do. the encoding tool makes no difference. it's formats used that matter, and the server can handle pgs.

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Koleckai Silvestri

I have mine set at the maximum which is 20 Mbps. The only thing it transcode are the subtitles and that takes about 15 minutes max for a two hour movie. My actual video isn't transcoded as it is already in the h.264 format. Even blurays.

 

Processing video isn't intensive, best to offload it to the client. Converting video from one format to another is expensive, you want to do this as few times as possible.

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Tikuf
Processing video isn't intensive, best to offload it to the client. Converting video from one format to another is expensive, you want to do this as few times as possible.

 

Overlaying pgs subs is expensive and there is no other way to display pgs subs on roku than a burn in

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Koleckai Silvestri

I would still do it once. Though I don't watch anything without subtitles. Just not worth it if you can't understand what they are saying without turning the sound up high enough that others are uncomfortable.

 

If I wanted to turn them on and off, I would store two copies of the video. That is for my use though. Different philosophies I guess.

Edited by Wayne Luke
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roberthleeii

If this helps anyone, I have a haswell i7 and I was very upset because I thought it was having trouble transcoding for the Roku on sd and HD rips until I found the settings and turned it up. At 3.2 it looked like my cheap old (around 8 years old) AMD processor was trying to do the work.

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