Plex 4k HEVC Transcoding on NAS and Nvidia Shield !

hey everybody it’s LAN Seidman and we are back once again with our sponsored monthly video from Plex and this month we’re going to continue a discussion we had last month about the Nvidia shield running as a Plex server a lot of you are wondering about HEV C transcoding and we’re going to be exploring that topic with the Nvidia shield tonight but also with a nasty vice here this analogy to 18-plus and we’ll be looking at my WD My cloud PR 2100 because I learned a lot about H EBC transcoding as I was researching this topic and we’ve actually got a lot to talk about here now the prerequisite for watching this video is to go back and look at a few of my other hardware transcoding videos so you can get the context of what this is all about especially as it relates to running a Plex server because we’re going to assume you’ve watched those already or understand the concepts as we explore this particular subject related to Hardware transcoding now I do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that this is a paid sponsorship from Plex however they are not reviewing or approving what you’re about to see before it was uploaded and all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own so let’s get into it now and take a look at HEB see transcoding starting on my WD My cloud Nass alright so

we’re gonna start off here by playing a movie from my WD My cloud Nass it’s in my server room next door and right now what I’m doing here is playing the movie back at 4 megabits per second at 720p and I selected the ac3 option but this is the 4k blu-ray version of the film and you can see it’s having a hard time playing back here it’s really stuttering and not really playing back all that efficiently and the my cloud that I’m using does support Hardware transcoding however the my cloud doesn’t support hardware decoding of 10-bit H EDC files like the one I’m trying to playback right now so you can see we’re getting buffering here in my status indicator and if we zoom out here and take look at the CPU you can see the CPU here is running at full blast and the plex server is mostly responsible for what’s going on here and I’m going to probably hear from my wife in a minute because I know she’s watching some TV upstairs and undoubtedly her experience is being impacted by the amount of CPU load to decode this movie so to understand how this works what we’re doing is we are reading the video file off the disk in HEV C 10 bit format and we have to convert it to something that we can stream out so in order to do this most efficiently we need to use the Hardware decoder to read the video and then the

hardware encoder to encode it and send it out so we’re not killing the CPU here and these are some of the enhancements that the Intel Quick Sync video provides on these devices so let’s jump back now to my computer screen and I can show you this in a more visual way so right now the video here is playing back but as you can see we’re not getting the hardware transcode thing here next to the video line for what it’s reading however it is transcoding the video in hardware to h.264 because that is supported on the chip inside of the WD my cloud so what we’re seeing here is that again it can’t decode that h.265 video but it’s able to encode it using the hardware so let’s take a look now at the Synology device that I have here on the desk because this one is able to do both the hardware decoding and the end coding let’s see what that does for performance so now we’re taking a look at the Synology 218 plus playing back the very same film but look at this it is decoding in hardware as well as encoding in hardware and if we remember from just a few moments ago the WD device did not have that HW next to it so this one is running much more efficiently and if we jump down to the CPU utilization check it out we are significantly lower on the CPU load here doing the exact same task because we’re making use of that accelerated intel hardware decoding and encoding to get this trans

code to work properly so how do you find out what chip you have and what it can do well the best thing you can do is google it so what I did here is I googled the WD My cloud PR 2100 and as you can see here it is running according to WD with an N 37 10 processor from Intel if you take that code and dump it into Google you’ll be brought to the Intel specification site and then when you’re there you want to look for the codename and you’ll see that this chip is a brass well chip so I’m going to pull up another page here on my computer’s web browser this comes from Wikipedia and I’ll have a link down below in the video description so you can find this and the processor inside of the my cloud is based on the brass well cherry trail architecture and if we look here on the chart for the quick sink support you’ll see that H EVC video decoding is supported but 10 bit is not supported at all now the Synology though is running with an Apollo Lake processor and that chip can decode the H EVC 10-bit video up to 8 K you can’t encode it but it can decode it and you’re able to get things to work better as we just saw in the demo here so now let’s move on to the Nvidia shield because the shield is unique it’s not powered by an Intel chip but it’s optimized for Hardware transcoding let’s see if it can tackle that same file so here we are on the studio shield and as you can see here we are decoding the video in hardware so the shields processor supports

hardware decoding of 10 bit HEV see and we are transcoding in hardware to h.264 so it’s running just as well as it was on the Synology device I did find it took just a little bit longer for it to spin up but really it’s feeling about the same me so as you can see here the shield can do a good job with all of the older media you might have and some of the newer media as well now one thing to know on the Nvidia shield is that it doesn’t have any CPU data inside of its analytics module so you’re not going to see how much of the CPU is being taken up by that Hardware transcoding session my advice on the shield is to try not to do too much on it while you’re serving media out because the shield isn’t really designed to be a server and as a result things that you might be doing locally like playing games or watching some other media might drain some of the resources available for the plex server to operate in so just take it easy on the shield as a server my advice always is to look at a Nast advice to serve your media if you’re going to be doing a lot of transcoding sessions now one last thing to talk about and that is color tone mapping this might be hard to see in this video but the color on screen here doesn’t look right and the reason is is that we have a 4k blu-ray movie and the video is encoded with HDR so when we’re on our fancy 4k displays it looks beautiful but on a transcode it looks a little less than beautiful right now because it’s not doing anything to get the color right during that

transcoding process so this means that if you are transcoding to a laptop with an HDR display it’s not going to be displaying the video properly even with an HDR display and of course if you’re on a SDR display like my MacBook here the colors will also look off on it and all of your 4k blu-ray files will not look good at all if you are transcoding them now if you’re like me and you generally watch those 4k movies just within your home that’s no problem it will effectively do the HDR playback when you’re not doing any transcoding at all but once that transcoder kicks in those color issues will kick in as well and that’s something you need to be aware of there so hopefully that answers some of your questions about HEV C and Hardware transcoding one thing that Plex does not do at the moment is encode in HEV C so if you’ve got a 4k movie at HEB C it will be transcoded to h.264 before it gets transmitted to your device I don’t know if they plan on changing that anytime soon it might deliver better quality down the road if you are streaming to a mobile device over cellular but right now the output

is h.264 only and of course that means it will be very compatible across many different devices and hopefully we’ll see a solution to the tone mapping here in the near future so you’ll have more flexibility with your 4k files what I’ve been doing for some of my favorite media as I store a 1080p version so I can stream it outside the house and then I also store the 4k version for local playback and again that’s why having a NASA but a lot of storage can really make a big difference so hopefully this was a helpful insight into the high efficiency video codec I’d love to hear your feedback down in the comments below because that will help us come up with more topics for the future i want to thank plex for their support of the channel and until next time this is Lian Simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the lon TV supporters including gold-level supporters the four guys with quarters podcasts Tom Albrecht Rajesh logic gr and Kalyan Kumar if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month at over two lon TV slash support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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