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How do YOU play UHD remuxes on Roku?

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lightsout

I have a few Roku TV's, the living room has an AVR so no big deal, but my other TV's have no external sound setup.

 

I am noticing that most of my 4K content has TrueHD audio, which the Roku all of a sudden hates, it literally freezes

the TV if I try to play a movie with a TrueHD track even if I select the regular DD track.

 

I am not faulting Emby here but just curious what others are doing. I just basically don't watch this stuff on those TV's,

but it has me hesitant to buy UHD blu rays for my daughter as she will want to watch them in a room with no AVR. I 

could get a different streaming device I understand that but would like to avoid that.

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RanmaCanada

If you honestly want to play the most formats, you are going to have to go Android and use Kodi.  Most people will recommend a Shield as you can hardwire it.  I have a TCL 6 series and I have an android box hooked up to it, and find that playback is far superior on Kodi than the Emby Roku app because of the limitations in the Roku software and the hardware of the TV.  You could also try re-encoding the audio to OPUS with 5.1 or 7.1 channels (whatever channels your track has 384 at 5.1 768 at 7.1) with just copying the video track, as the Roku can understand OPUS and it should also work on your AVR.  I suggest OPUS as it's superior to AAC as a lossy codec, and it's not as bloated as FLAC.  

 

It is also possible their might be a bug or something in the current build, and one of the devs might ask for a log, if they see this.  

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JohnnyM

What software would you use to reencode True HD 7.1 to Opus 7.1/?

 

Johnny M

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ebr

You don't have to use Kodi to get TrueHD support on the Shield.  Our app will support that just fine.

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speechles
Posted (edited)

I have a few Roku TV's, the living room has an AVR so no big deal, but my other TV's have no external sound setup.

 

I am noticing that most of my 4K content has TrueHD audio, which the Roku all of a sudden hates, it literally freezes

the TV if I try to play a movie with a TrueHD track even if I select the regular DD track.

 

I am not faulting Emby here but just curious what others are doing. I just basically don't watch this stuff on those TV's,

but it has me hesitant to buy UHD blu rays for my daughter as she will want to watch them in a room with no AVR. I 

could get a different streaming device I understand that but would like to avoid that.

 

This is us taking advantage of an "undocumented behavior" under special circumstances. When direct streaming HEVC and converting the audio it is possible to produce artifact/macroblock-ing and ruins the image quality. To prevent this we were letting ALL RokuTV models pass-through TrueHD because the RokuTV is down converting this with the TV circuitry to Dolby AC3. Basically decimate from 8 to 6 channels. It was doing this on the TV hardware. This allowed your media to direct play both video and audio streams in original quality in their original container.

 

Now with the newest Roku firmware pushed to TV models it has lost this unique ability. We must now transcode the TrueHD into Dolby AC3 with your Emby server. We must change to HLS delivery with an M3U8 Manifest and TS container. This slows down the delivery process just a bit. But a few milliseconds can mean the difference when you are encoding at 30 frames per second and the media plays back at 30 frames per second. Any little hiccup can cause the Roku to go into PANIC MODE and throw up the "Retrieving" screen. This happens when the Roku internal buffer falls below 3 seconds. You can witness this using the Stats-for-Nerds feature within the app. Watch the Transcoding Buffer and the time within parenthesis. This is your visual clue if your server is strong enough is that buffer stays considerable in size and doesn't drop to mere seconds. Live TV is different since runtime is an unknown and just a guess. The Transcoding buffer is Live and will show the exact same as Transcoding Progress will.

 

The Roku will also disregard your audio choice if there is a track set as DEFAULT. You should be able to get correct playback changing this to the Dolby AC3 track before playback using the detail screens pre-playback menu above the play button. If playback is still choppy coverting TrueHD to Dolby your Emby server may not be fast enough to do this at real time. You can check any ffmpeg logs created to see what the FPS is in the logs. If this is below the speed of the FPS of the encoded media it will have dropouts/pauses/buffering as it has to wait for the stream to build enough chunks for you to play enough until you exhaust them to repeat the process over and over. The request for new chunks and the speed of their delivery also comes into play which is highly dependent on how fast ffmpeg can provide these chunks.

 

You can show us some ffmpeg logs and where you feel it should be possible to keep up. We can help you decide if perhaps your Emby server just isn't powerful enough. In that case you need to find media in a format that can be direct played. Unfortunately with Roku using TrueHD is an undocumented feature that will hopefully come back one day and when it does we will again take advantage of it. Roku does not advertise it supports TrueHD with RokuTV. They also do not explain why the undocumented support for TrueHD pass-through decimation to Dolby was present on their RokuTV models. It might come back in firmware version 9.3 and when that firmware is released we can come back to this and see if TrueHD pass-through on RokuTV is again enabled. 

 

When it is we will of course take full advantage of that on the RokuTV. Apologies again, it isn't us, but it is Roku that broke things. :)

Edited by speechles

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rbjtech
Posted (edited)

For all my media, I add a 2 channel AAC (formed from the 1st Audio Track - incl TrueHD) as the first default Audio track.    This results in all my TV's and remote streaming being able to play this with zero issues. 

 

On the one TV that I do want to play the other Audio streams (because it has an external multi-channel Atmos receiver) - I simply select the other Audio Track I want to use.

 

I have a post processing script that does this (and it also extracts all the txt based subs where possible and then removes all embedded subs) keeping the media file as 'direct play friendly' as possible with every device out there.

 

I'm waiting for the day you can keep preferred options with emby 'devices' - that way you could set the capabilities and it auto select the multi-channel audio track for example.

 

That's how I do it - it's a litle bit of extra work upfront - but my ancient server rarely needs to transcode anything as a consequence.  

Edited by rbjtech

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lightsout

This is us taking advantage of an "undocumented behavior" under special circumstances. When direct streaming HEVC and converting the audio it is possible to produce artifact/macroblock-ing and ruins the image quality. To prevent this we were letting ALL RokuTV models pass-through TrueHD because the RokuTV is down converting this with the TV circuitry to Dolby AC3. Basically decimate from 8 to 6 channels. It was doing this on the TV hardware. This allowed your media to direct play both video and audio streams in original quality in their original container.

 

Now with the newest Roku firmware pushed to TV models it has lost this unique ability. We must now transcode the TrueHD into Dolby AC3 with your Emby server. We must change to HLS delivery with an M3U8 Manifest and TS container. This slows down the delivery process just a bit. But a few milliseconds can mean the difference when you are encoding at 30 frames per second and the media plays back at 30 frames per second. Any little hiccup can cause the Roku to go into PANIC MODE and throw up the "Retrieving" screen. This happens when the Roku internal buffer falls below 3 seconds. You can witness this using the Stats-for-Nerds feature within the app. Watch the Transcoding Buffer and the time within parenthesis. This is your visual clue if your server is strong enough is that buffer stays considerable in size and doesn't drop to mere seconds. Live TV is different since runtime is an unknown and just a guess. The Transcoding buffer is Live and will show the exact same as Transcoding Progress will.

 

The Roku will also disregard your audio choice if there is a track set as DEFAULT. You should be able to get correct playback changing this to the Dolby AC3 track before playback using the detail screens pre-playback menu above the play button. If playback is still choppy coverting TrueHD to Dolby your Emby server may not be fast enough to do this at real time. You can check any ffmpeg logs created to see what the FPS is in the logs. If this is below the speed of the FPS of the encoded media it will have dropouts/pauses/buffering as it has to wait for the stream to build enough chunks for you to play enough until you exhaust them to repeat the process over and over. The request for new chunks and the speed of their delivery also comes into play which is highly dependent on how fast ffmpeg can provide these chunks.

 

You can show us some ffmpeg logs and where you feel it should be possible to keep up. We can help you decide if perhaps your Emby server just isn't powerful enough. In that case you need to find media in a format that can be direct played. Unfortunately with Roku using TrueHD is an undocumented feature that will hopefully come back one day and when it does we will again take advantage of it. Roku does not advertise it supports TrueHD with RokuTV. They also do not explain why the undocumented support for TrueHD pass-through decimation to Dolby was present on their RokuTV models. It might come back in firmware version 9.3 and when that firmware is released we can come back to this and see if TrueHD pass-through on RokuTV is again enabled.

 

When it is we will of course take full advantage of that on the RokuTV. Apologies again, it isn't us, but it is Roku that broke things. :)

It's not that they play choppy or the server can't keep up. The tv straight locks up and reboots.

 

I do like the idea above of an additional aac track. That could eliminate this hassle if it would actually work with that track as the first one.

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RanmaCanada

I believe EBR posted in another thread that Roku's can only handle a max of 25mbit in regards to decoding capability.  Most remuxes are at minimum 40+, and I have seen some hit almost 100mbit.  Again I would recommend an Android Box for THE best playback experience, especially if using an AVR and complete home theatre setup.  The Nvidia Shield by far is the most compatible with no hacks.

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lightsout

I believe EBR posted in another thread that Roku's can only handle a max of 25mbit in regards to decoding capability. Most remuxes are at minimum 40+, and I have seen some hit almost 100mbit. Again I would recommend an Android Box for THE best playback experience, especially if using an AVR and complete home theatre setup. The Nvidia Shield by far is the most compatible with no hacks.

I have a 2019 Shield in the living room, plus other boxes around the house. Was just curious what folks were doing that were using Roku specifically. I'm not usually watching movies in the bedroom so it's not a huge deal. But I'd like all my devices to be able to play all my media. Guess that's not going to be the case with a roku tv.

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speechles
Posted (edited)

I have a 2019 Shield in the living room, plus other boxes around the house. Was just curious what folks were doing that were using Roku specifically. I'm not usually watching movies in the bedroom so it's not a huge deal. But I'd like all my devices to be able to play all my media. Guess that's not going to be the case with a roku tv.

 

All latest Roku models support secondary audio channels. If you stick the AC3/Dolby track anywhere at all with your HEVC you can still DirectPlay. If TrueHD is default and AC3 is before or after really does not matter. You can select the correct track after the video starts to play or before it plays and still DirectPlay. It is only when TrueHD is the only audio stream with your 4K HEVC HDR10+ that you may have problems. This can be totally alleviated by including a secondary audio stream. It IS that simple to fix.

 

Roku can handle up to 100Mbit/s as it is based on ethernet. Whether it can "keep up" with rendering is where the problem lies. The complexity of some scenes may become too much to render at that bitrate. You may see macroblcoking (green blocks) in spots. You may see blotchy dithering. You may see partially rendered scenes that immediately move to the next scene. Like its smearing them together like paint. It will definitely start to decay video quality when you pass that threshold. For 60fps content that threshold is even lower. As both the bitrate and the framerate are conspire against you. The Roku will usually slowly drift audio out of sync when it gets close. You may find yourself having to resume items to get the lips moving in sync with their voices over and over. This is normal as Roku has not optimized the video player for HEVC yet entirely. This is why we lack certain detection methods for HEVC. Roku is working on it. ;)

Edited by speechles

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lightsout
Posted (edited)

All latest Roku models support secondary audio channels. If you stick the AC3/Dolby track anywhere at all with your HEVC you can still DirectPlay. If TrueHD is default and AC3 is before or after really does not matter. You can select the correct track after the video starts to play or before it plays and still DirectPlay. It is only when TrueHD is the only audio stream with your 4K HEVC HDR10+ that you may have problems. This can be totally alleviated by including a secondary audio stream. It IS that simple to fix.

 

Roku can handle up to 100Mbit/s as it is based on ethernet. Whether it can "keep up" with rendering is where the problem lies. The complexity of some scenes may become too much to render at that bitrate. You may see macroblcoking (green blocks) in spots. You may see blotchy dithering. You may see partially rendered scenes that immediately move to the next scene. Like its smearing them together like paint. It will definitely start to decay video quality when you pass that threshold. For 60fps content that threshold is even lower. As both the bitrate and the framerate are conspire against you. The Roku will usually slowly drift audio out of sync when it gets close. You may find yourself having to resume items to get the lips moving in sync with their voices over and over. This is normal as Roku has not optimized the video player for HEVC yet entirely. This is why we lack certain detection methods for HEVC. Roku is working on it. ;)

This hasn't been my experience. The videos I was trying to play all had a secondary track, some had DD 5.1 and DD 2.0. And before the thing would even start playing the TV would straight freeze. Tested it on numerous files. Sometimes they would play for a second then it would happen, the TV reboots itself.

 

This was happening on a Roku 6 series (2019), just tried it on m,y 4 series and it worked as it should like you said. I will try the 6 when I get a chance, I know it got an update recently to 9.3 so not sure what that might change.

Edited by lightsout

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