Upgraded my Plex server and need some help

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HeatM1ser2k4

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Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Location
Philly
Yesterday I replaced my old Vizio D650i-B2 1080p smart TV from like 2012 with a Hi-Sense 65H9F. Im super excited, and even before calibrating the new TV I can easily see a major improvement all-around. My first question is, do I need an HDMI cable capable of 48Gbps, or will this Monoprice HDMI cable be capable of streaming 4K videos at the highest resolution(as well as all the other features, like ARC, HDR10, Dolby Vision, ect). My media server only sits about 10 feet from the new TV. Also, I have a Logitech Z906 5.1 surround sound system that I will connect for sound, so will I even utilize ARC features? That brings me to my next question, will an HDMI cable be the best way to stream to this TV, or would an ethernet cable be better? Finally, wqith the new TV, should I connect the speakers with something other than a toslink digital optical cable for the best sound quality? Is USB 3.0 an option, or no? Since I can separate audio, could a USAB cable transmit video while an optical cable or something else handles the audio?
 
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Slayer2003

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Joined
Nov 14, 2003
Replaced our TV last year after a similar amount of time, and man I totally understand your excitement, looks so much better!

I use primarily Monoprice cables, from their Select series to the Ultra Slim stuff, and have never had an issue with them not supporting ARC, Dolby Vision, etc. so I think you'll be fine there. They work great with VR stuff too from our HTPC. However, how far would the PLEX server be from the TV? You might run into issues if say your server is in an office or closet on the other side of your place, and then maybe I'd say consider Ethernet or powered HDMI. From a quick Google 50' seems to be what most folks are saying for signal degradation/delays.

With the Logitech Z906's, I don't think they will support ARC, so you'd have to get a receiver to output a signal to them which may be more a pain that it's worth, they're just too old otherwise. I myself used to run my now ancient Logitech Z-5500's for home theater duty until a few years back, they just don't support the newer codecs and processing. Ended up getting a decent "Home theater in a box" from Onkyo and love it. It ended up having way more features, customization, and a way better upgrade path for the future.
 

HeatM1ser2k4

Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Location
Philly
Replaced our TV last year after a similar amount of time, and man I totally understand your excitement, looks so much better!

I use primarily Monoprice cables, from their Select series to the Ultra Slim stuff, and have never had an issue with them not supporting ARC, Dolby Vision, etc. so I think you'll be fine there. They work great with VR stuff too from our HTPC. However, how far would the PLEX server be from the TV? You might run into issues if say your server is in an office or closet on the other side of your place, and then maybe I'd say consider Ethernet or powered HDMI. From a quick Google 50' seems to be what most folks are saying for signal degradation/delays.

With the Logitech Z906's, I don't think they will support ARC, so you'd have to get a receiver to output a signal to them which may be more a pain that it's worth, they're just too old otherwise. I myself used to run my now ancient Logitech Z-5500's for home theater duty until a few years back, they just don't support the newer codecs and processing. Ended up getting a decent "Home theater in a box" from Onkyo and love it. It ended up having way more features, customization, and a way better upgrade path for the future.
The server is maybe 10 feet from the TV, which is why Im wondering if HDMI or ethernet would be best for streaming 4K movies at the highest resolution? SOunds like a passive HDMI 2.0 would suit my needs, like the Monoprice one I linked, right? Or are there better options that I havent thought of?

I went with the Z906 because I needed a cheap surround sound system to handle my theater and my gaming computer/Plex server, and my apartment is small. I dont need an additional receiver to play sound from the TV. I just had an optical cable connecting the Z906 to the TV.
 

habbajabba

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Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
There is no such thing as an hdmi cable being better or worse. They are all the same and perform the same. Your only consideration would be in getting smaller ones as compared to larger ones when you go to sleeve all the cables coming and going to the tv. The smaller cables will be lighter and easier to sleeve.
With that tv you should have given it a dedicated setup with 'soundbar', or even better the onkyo HT n a box like slayer. My main living room tv is a top of the line LG tv and the thing only has a single spdif for audio out. Nothing else. I got a bose $700 radio as a gift and I thought I could use it for the LG but the overpriced bose pos (bt/wifi and an ap for a smartphone) only accepts 3.5mm jack input. Pathetic. Bose is garbage. I shouldn't have to buy something else just for digital audio input (like a dac).
 

HeatM1ser2k4

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Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Location
Philly
Im not sure what Im doing wrong. I connected the HDMI cable to my video card, which is capable of 4k @30 Hz, but when I play a movie Plex tells me its streaming at like 23.8 Mbps at 1080p...am I doing it wrong? Is it because the video card cant run 4k at 60Hz+? And of course I did set the video card resolution to 3840x2160.
 
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habbajabba

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Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
Probably. Video streams ultimately will be restricted by the capabilities of the TV itself. Some tv's are better than others and can decode most streams and some only accept the most common ones via the usb ports (which are STILL limited to fat32 for some lame reason).
When the day comes I need a new tv I won't be getting one. I'll be buying a proper DLP, essentially removing ALL the stupid restrictions that come into play with settop boxes. Prices are somewhere at the 3k mark last I checked but ones for around a thousand can easily get you a huge 65"+ screen quite easily. All you have to do is buy a few bulbs and it essentially could last a lot longer than a tv, and the best part is it accepts all comers with zero exceptions.
You have a google enabled tv so no telling what kind of data is being sent to google or what exactly the tv does with the connection data. Luckily my vizio M 49" still has a great pic after 7 odd years. The problem with led/lcd screens is heat and limited life. I notice that on the side of the tv where all the connections go it seems to have a dark 'area' if you will which I can only assume is because of the heat from the connectors themselves. I have been thinking of putting a small fan behind it (usb kind) to see if I can mitigate the issue but you can't really see it when there is 'video' playing. Not a big deal really, just something I noticed.
On my vizio I have netflix and youtube only installed (spectrum ap is too new), whereas the LG has spectrum and a lot more incl a voice enabled remote. I never even turn it on. It just sits there looking pretty.
One other thing is the LG has a browser builtin but I noticed it won't render some sites (of fng course) so I find it to be more of a joke than anything. I refuse to allow google to pretend to be a gateway for information. Nice tv you have but I would myself never have bought it for that very reason.
 
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custom90gt

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Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Sorry maybe I missed this, what video files are you playing on plex? It's not going to up convert anything. Most of my 4K content is HVEC.
How are you "streaming" from plex if you're connected directly to the plex machine via HDMI? Via the Web player?
I'm assuming you have the TV set up as a second monitor? And it's resolution is set to 4k? Does the TV have a way to show you what resolution it's currently set to?
I find that 4k files are difficult to play unless you have a good device. My amazon 4k stick sucks at it, but my fire cube is much better at it. My Xbox one x doesn't balk at it. I'm still not clear on how you're playing plex on your TV I suppose.
 

HeatM1ser2k4

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Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Location
Philly
I connected an HDMI cable to the video card in my desktop that also serves as the Plex server, and I plug that into the 4th HDMI port on the TV bbt cause it’s ARC capable and so forth. I was streaming 4K movie files from the web browser on my desktop to the TV, but every time I checked the resolution within Plex on the television it said it was 1080 P. Now my video cards about seven years old so it’s probably the main issue. I believe the R9 290 is only capable of playing 4K at 30Hz. I took the HDMI cable out and I connected the TV directly to the router with an ethernet cable, and it seems to be playing at 4K this way. I’m not sure if upgrading my video card would allow me to connect the computer directly to the TV to stream. What do you think?
 

custom90gt

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Joined
Aug 20, 2003
So according to this: https://forums.plex.tv/t/info-plex-4k-transcoding-and-you-aka-the-rules-of-4k/378203

"The sixth rule of 4k is
You cannot direct play HD audio via optical or ARC, instead you must use use a compatible lossy audio stream such as dolbydigital/dts 5.1 or stereo. You can either manually remove the HD audio streams (ie remux), or choose a non-hd audio stream from within plex pre-play screen or pause screen options."

Their recommendation is to us an NVIDIA shield.

If it's working with the TV connected to ethernet, why look a gift horse in the mouth so to speak? I picked up my Fire Cube for $29 bucks refurb, but I've never seen that deal come back. I had issues with my Vizio TV playing 4k content directly, but I don't have the ability to run ethernet to my entertainment system.
 

stompah

Deep Pain Senior Member
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2001
There is no such thing as an hdmi cable being better or worse. They are all the same and perform the same.
Beg to differ with that one a bit. I'm in the same situation as OP. New TV moved the HDMI inputs further away from HTPC. I was using a 5' cable, so I opened a brand new cheap 6' cable that I had. I went from perfect connection to black and green screen flicker. Moved the PC closer and used old 5' cable and problem went away. Bought a new 10' and problem solved. I guess what I am saying as I have said before you don't have to spend big bucks to get a functional cable but buying rock bottom will get you rock bottom quality.

HeatM1ser2k4, it looks like your TV supports Plex, has and optical out and your z906 system has optical in. Why not make it easier and just use the TV with plex app installed and optical out to the z906 system?

Rtings review of your TV. Scroll down to the 'Inputs' section. The info directly above and below the 'Info' bar may explain your problem. Your TV does not support variable refresh rate (VRR) and only supports 4k at 60. It does not support 30Hz at any resolution, that must be your problem.

I would try installing the Plex app and see how that solution works for you. If it does then you're good. If not maybe find a slightly newer video card that will support 4k @ 60Hz.

Good luck and have fun with the new TV!
 

HeatM1ser2k4

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Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Location
Philly
Beg to differ with that one a bit. I'm in the same situation as OP. New TV moved the HDMI inputs further away from HTPC. I was using a 5' cable, so I opened a brand new cheap 6' cable that I had. I went from perfect connection to black and green screen flicker. Moved the PC closer and used old 5' cable and problem went away. Bought a new 10' and problem solved. I guess what I am saying as I have said before you don't have to spend big bucks to get a functional cable but buying rock bottom will get you rock bottom quality.

HeatM1ser2k4, it looks like your TV supports Plex, has and optical out and your z906 system has optical in. Why not make it easier and just use the TV with plex app installed and optical out to the z906 system?

Rtings review of your TV. Scroll down to the 'Inputs' section. The info directly above and below the 'Info' bar may explain your problem. Your TV does not support variable refresh rate (VRR) and only supports 4k at 60. It does not support 30Hz at any resolution, that must be your problem.

I would try installing the Plex app and see how that solution works for you. If it does then you're good. If not maybe find a slightly newer video card that will support 4k @ 60Hz.

Good luck and have fun with the new TV!

Ah, the VRR explanation makes sense! The Z906 are connected via optical cable---which is why I was asking if would even have a need for using ARC through the HDMI cable. I can stream in 4k with just an ethernet cable, but I wasnt sure if an HDMI connection would give me a better picture. The reason I was posting this was to future-proof, if possible. Seems like the standard 18 Gbps HDMI cables will do everything I need--for now--- but what about in 2 years? WIll that 18 Gbps be enough for what the current technology allows in 2022? I guess the worst case scenario is that I just buy new cables when I need to. Was looking at an RTX 2070 Super as my upgrade to my AMD R9 290.

BTW, are the calibration setting over at AVSForum.com still applicable? Are there better resources for calibrating my new TV? I used the setting on Rtings.com, but they didnt calibrate the entire TV.

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So according to this: https://forums.plex.tv/t/info-plex-4k-transcoding-and-you-aka-the-rules-of-4k/378203

"The sixth rule of 4k is
You cannot direct play HD audio via optical or ARC, instead you must use use a compatible lossy audio stream such as dolbydigital/dts 5.1 or stereo. You can either manually remove the HD audio streams (ie remux), or choose a non-hd audio stream from within plex pre-play screen or pause screen options."

Their recommendation is to us an NVIDIA shield.

If it's working with the TV connected to ethernet, why look a gift horse in the mouth so to speak? I picked up my Fire Cube for $29 bucks refurb, but I've never seen that deal come back. I had issues with my Vizio TV playing 4k content directly, but I don't have the ability to run ethernet to my entertainment system.

Thanks for that link!
 

HeatM1ser2k4

Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Location
Philly
BTW, are the calibration setting over at AVSForum.com still applicable? Are there better resources for calibrating my new TV? I used the setting on Rtings.com, but they didnt calibrate the entire TV.
 

habbajabba

Member
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
Seriously? I used to buy the 50 stack of blank dvd-rw discs from Fry's electronics. I purposefully got the cheapest ones for ~$15 per 50. They had a no-name label.
I learned right away to never buy the cheapest no-name discs again because without fail they would have some of the discs not be readable. Obviously most of them worked but it was iffy. Plus if your burning, you want the disc to last. Point is china, as will others, sell absolute garbage, knowing the return rate will be low enough to make a profit anyways. What are you gonna do with your $20 purchase? Return it? Or toss it?
Just because you had a 'new' cable that was crap is meaningless. Usb drives are another scam my buddy fell for on ebay (2TB flash drives for some ridiculously low price-total scam) lol. I had a 12v air pump for my car I saw an ad for on tv. ~$30? Lasted a week. Did I try to get my money back? No. All hdmi cables work the same if made correctly.
Threads like these only make me want a DLP more.
As for calibration of your tv to your setup. It's all in the eye of the beholder. Quantum dot. Pretty funny. Looks like a nice tv too. Seriously though it all depends on the content right? Nothing's perfect so try not to get caught up in the settings when all the content is constantly changing anyways.
 
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