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TikiShack

How can I improve transcoding?

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TikiShack

My media server will be running OMV. It’s an older motherboard/CPU that was specifically selected for its low power consumption. Can I just add a decent graphics card to get adequate transcoding? Or will I need to upgrade the mobo/CPU?

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Luke

Hi, the answer is that it depends. How old is the motherboard and CPU? Depending on how old you may get more out of upgrading that.

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Luke

@ may have some thoughts on that combination.

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Guest asrequested

My knee-jerk reaction to old tech is... yucky! But if you don't need much, it could work. For transcoding I'd suggest getting a decent GPU. Just be aware that board only has a PCIe 2x slot. We're on the verge of PCIe 4x, and most good GPUs are PCIe 3x

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TikiShack

Thanks for the response, Doofus. I’m only trying to transcode ripped Blu-rays; not worried about 4K. I would like to share my library with a couple other people and I’d like to have enough horsepower to be able to stream to my own system and have one other stream to a friend simultaneously. Would something like this get the job done? Asus GeForce GT 710 2GB GDDR5 HDMI VGA DVI Graphics Card Graphic Cards GT710-SL-2GD5-CSM https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073GF2CL6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_YkNCDb2N9FHF9

Or maybe even the 1GB version of that card? If that’s not a good choice, what would you recommend?

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TikiShack

@ If I decide to spend the money to upgrade the motherboard and CPU, are the Vega 11 graphics in a Ryzen 2400g going to get the job done?

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Guest asrequested

If you're looking to spend a little extra for a GPU, I would suggest just putting that extra money toward a newer Ryzen. Then you won't need a GPU for transcoding at all. You could probably get by with a Ryzen 5 2600, but more is always better. Then you'll be using software transcoding, which is more stable and more controllable. I use a Threadripper in my server. It's overkill but handles everything I throw at it.

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rbjtech

Another way to look at this, is why is the media transcoding in the first place ?  Fix that, and you can run Emby perfectly well with multiple streams on your current low powered hardware.

 

I'm not 100% sure on Roku but if the stream video is H264 and audio AAC, then assuming your Roku can get sufficient bandwidth (over wifi ) then there should be no need to transcode anything...

 

Perhaps try the convert feature to make the source stream 'friendly' (just needs to be done once, but may take a while on this hardware) and then you should see no transcoding.  :)

Edited by rbjtech

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Jdiesel

My knee-jerk reaction to old tech is... yucky! But if you don't need much, it could work. For transcoding I'd suggest getting a decent GPU. Just be aware that board only has a PCIe 2x slot. We're on the verge of PCIe 4x, and most good GPUs are PCIe 3x

 

I wouldn't be too concerned with PCIe v2, v3, or v4. Even the fastest cards today don't even come close to saturating a PCIe v3 x16 slot.

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Jdiesel

Thanks for the response, Doofus. I’m only trying to transcode ripped Blu-rays; not worried about 4K. I would like to share my library with a couple other people and I’d like to have enough horsepower to be able to stream to my own system and have one other stream to a friend simultaneously. Would something like this get the job done? Asus GeForce GT 710 2GB GDDR5 HDMI VGA DVI Graphics Card Graphic Cards GT710-SL-2GD5-CSM https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073GF2CL6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_YkNCDb2N9FHF9

Or maybe even the 1GB version of that card? If that’s not a good choice, what would you recommend?

 

You are likely transcoding due to PGS subtitles. You may want to look into setting up a subtitle plugin to get the SRT subtitles for your bluray rips. For your out of network clients bandwidth may still cause a transcode.

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Guest asrequested

I wouldn't be too concerned with PCIe v2, v3, or v4. Even the fastest cards today don't even come close to saturating a PCIe v3 x16 slot.

Sure. I just wanted to provide the information.

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TikiShack

If you're looking to spend a little extra for a GPU, I would suggest just putting that extra money toward a newer Ryzen. Then you won't need a GPU for transcoding at all. You could probably get by with a Ryzen 5 2600, but more is always better. Then you'll be using software transcoding, which is more stable and more controllable. I use a Threadripper in my server. It's overkill but handles everything I throw at it.

I can put a decent video card in there for $50-80 (I think — I’m really not sure what would be adequate.) But if I buy a new CPU and motherboard, I have to buy new RAM as well (DDR4 vs DDR3). I don’t have a lot to spend and the difference is 3-5X vs just upgrading the graphics card.

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TikiShack

Another way to look at this, is why is the media transcoding in the first place ? Fix that, and you can run Emby perfectly well with multiple streams on your current low powered hardware.

Now THAT’S interesting... how exactly do you find that out?

I'm not 100% sure on Roku but if the stream video is H264 and audio AAC, then assuming your Roku can get sufficient bandwidth (over wifi ) then there should be no need to transcode anything...

Pardon my ignorance, here, but those things are determined by the way the files are encoded, right? I think there’s a variety of different audio and video encoding used. Partly because I’ve played with different settings (mostly I now prefer a straight rip, now, without any reencoding but these rips have happened over a long period of time and I’ve done a fair amount of experimentation) and partly because some I didn’t rip myself.

Perhaps try the convert feature to make the source stream 'friendly' (just needs to be done once, but may take a while on this hardware) and then you should see no transcoding.  :)

Where do I find that? What other things should I try? Should I look at the A/V encoding options for each movie that won’t play properly?

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TikiShack

You are likely transcoding due to PGS subtitles. You may want to look into setting up a subtitle plugin to get the SRT subtitles for your bluray rips. For your out of network clients bandwidth may still cause a transcode.

I don’t watch many movies that require subtitles and I usually don’t bother to include subs in my rips.

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rbjtech

When the movie is transcoding (you can see it in the dashboard) click on the information to find out WHY it is transcoding.    Your Roku is a very capable device - and will play almost anything you throw at it - but if you have full bitrate blu-ray rips, then it may simply be struggling with bandwidth over wifi.  Emby will report something like 'bitrate exceeded limit' if this is the problem.

 

If this is the problem, then the solution is just to reduce the bitrate of the rip - by using the convert feature in Emby or another transcoding tool such as handbrake or ripbot264 to shrink the rip to a lower bitrate - OR get better wifi  ;)

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Guest asrequested

Using stats for nerds is better than the dashboard. More information.

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TikiShack

it may simply be struggling with bandwidth over wifi.

I meant to mention it during my previous reply... this isn’t a WiFi issue. My Roku has an Ethernet connection.

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rbjtech

I meant to mention it during my previous reply... this isn’t a WiFi issue. My Roku has an Ethernet connection.

 

ok great, so we can rule that one out - so let us know what the transcoding reason says and we can take it from there.

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TikiShack

OK. Thanks! It might be a little while ‘til I can provide more details. My server is in a big rackmount case and lives in a rack. I pulled it out to upgrade it — pulled all the drives out, etc. — so I could upgrade it. Now I’ll have to reassemble and reinstall it in order to play some movies. I wish I had posted this question and gotten all this help before I took such extreme measures!

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Jdiesel

It wouldn't hurt to upgrade your GPU anyways. Keep your eye out for a used Nvidia GTX 1050. You should be able to find less than $100 depending on your local market. That should be plenty for what you are asking to do.

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TikiShack

It wouldn't hurt to upgrade your GPU anyways. Keep your eye out for a used Nvidia GTX 1050. You should be able to find less than $100 depending on your local market. That should be plenty for what you are asking to do.

Cool. Thanks! Is that going to work OK in my PCIe 2 slot? What about a GT 1030? I can get one of those (fanless - which I’d really prefer) on Amazon for $80.

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TikiShack

I found a GTX 1050 locally for $75. I’m picking it up a little later today.

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Jdiesel

That should lessen the strain on your CPU. Just be aware that some tasks will still occur on the CPU such as audio transcoding but the heavy lifting should be done on the CPU. You might want to try this patch to remove the 2 stream restriction that Nvidia puts on its consumer GPUs.

 

https://github.com/keylase/nvidia-patch

 

Edit: Also I see you are running OMV, I don't have any experience with HWA on that OS but I'm sure it can be done.

Edited by Jdiesel

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