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Concupiscence
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H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:10 pm

I have a Core i3 4170 running in my home theater PC, which also runs Plex and periodically transcodes and streams video to an iPad or Chromecast in my bedroom. For my 1080p H.264 Blu-ray rips it's been fine; for DVDs, it's been effortless. However, I've recently seen just what a huge space savings H.265 encoding can make, even as the x265 encoder is murderously slow compared to x264. I'm contemplating making the switch, but am 99% certain the i3 would be outclassed by the demands of H.265 transcoding.

Given this, would it be reasonable to look for a socket 1150 i7 (or proper Xeon) to thunk into the existing system? Or should I consider spending the money necessary to build a new box for the purpose with more cores? Please advise. Thanks.
Last edited by Concupiscence on Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DancinJack
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:24 pm

Yeah, I don't think you'll want to do that on an i3 4170. Have you considered getting an updated GPU that supports HEVC decode/encode and using DirectPlay? (assuming your devices support H.265 playback, of course) (Like a GT 1030?)
Last edited by DancinJack on Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:24 pm

Concupiscence wrote:
I'm contemplating making the switch, but am 99% certain the i3 would be outclassed the demands of H.265 transcoding.


I have a i3-4150. Let me check ;)
 
techguy
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:27 pm

Storage is cheap. I have 56TB in my Plex server.
Processors that can handle HEVC encoding are not inexpensive. I have a 7900x and even I haven't converted to HEVC yet.

The solution seems clear if you ask me.
 
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:37 pm

I'm getting 49-51 fps just using ffmpeg to do it with 720p@30 1Mbps source material.

I'm trying to see if I have any 1080p HEVC at substantially higher bitrates.

also `ffmpeg -c:v libx264` seems to default to CRF 23 & the "medium" preset from the options it chose.

I'm not sure what plex does, and it's probably different for different devices.
 
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:05 pm

techguy wrote:
Storage is cheap. I have 56TB in my Plex server.

What is your setup?
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Waco
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:59 pm

My quad core Haswell Xeon can keep up for 1080p transcodes of x265...but if it's 4K, forget it.
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:01 pm

Waco wrote:
My quad core Haswell Xeon can keep up for 1080p transcodes of x265.

Movies? If yes, how long to convert?

Edit: sorry, transcode

Nevermind
Last edited by End User on Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Concupiscence
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:07 pm

Waco wrote:
My quad core Haswell Xeon can keep up for 1080p transcodes of x265...but if it's 4K, forget it.


My use case will be pretty simple: all it needs to do is manage a single transcode at a time from a 1080p H.265 file to a main profile H.264 file at the same resolution and higher bitrate, streamed to a device over wifi in my house. 4K is off the table; it's hard to conceive of a scenario where the cost delta would ever merit that. I don't foresee plural simultaneous transcodes at any point in the foreseeable future.
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techguy
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:16 pm

End User wrote:
techguy wrote:
Storage is cheap. I have 56TB in my Plex server.

What is your setup?


10x 4TB Toshiba X300 drives + 1x 8TB Toshiba N300 + 1x 8TB HGST Deskstar NAS drive = 56TB (not using RAID, separate external 8TB disks for backup)
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I have room for one more 3-drive caddy if I downgrade my PSU to a smaller unit which brings the chassis up to 15 drive capacity. I'll probably do this in the next 3-6 months.
 
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:51 pm

I use Serviio not Plex, but same basic idea. My OCed 6700K is overkill for the task. My old bluray players (that don't support H265) stream "H265" just fine. I don't notice any drop in quality either. Serviio does it by basically transcoding the H265 files to temporary MPEG2 files, and since MPEG2 encoding is pretty lightweight by modern standards I suspect a lot of CPUs would be able to handle it. The files are much bigger than H265 of course, but that doesn't matter since they are just temporary files anyway.

The really slow part of the process is encoding in H265 in the first place, but once you have H265 videos transcoding to MPEG2 it's pretty easy. Only one way to find out. :) Serviio does allow transcoding to H264 instead of MPEG2 as well, but I've never felt the need to try it (if it ain't broke don't fix it)
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:14 pm

You want to expend compute power converting H.264 -> H.265. And then you want to H.265 -> H.264 for your clients?

Storage is cheap. Compute is expensive. Seems like you want a couple of HDDs, not a new CPU.
 
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:39 pm

I run a PowerEdge 2900 with dual E5410 Xeons. At some 98-100% CPU use, it will recode one 1080 film from 265 to 264. If my wife kicks something else up, it will struggle a little. I have the buffer set to 240 seconds, and I'll pause the film and let the server do its thing for a while, then play again.

So with the setup you have, I would say leave at 264 for now and bump up the storage capacity.
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Waco
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:01 pm

Concupiscence wrote:
Waco wrote:
My quad core Haswell Xeon can keep up for 1080p transcodes of x265...but if it's 4K, forget it.


My use case will be pretty simple: all it needs to do is manage a single transcode at a time from a 1080p H.265 file to a main profile H.264 file at the same resolution and higher bitrate, streamed to a device over wifi in my house. 4K is off the table; it's hard to conceive of a scenario where the cost delta would ever merit that. I don't foresee plural simultaneous transcodes at any point in the foreseeable future.

You'd probably be okay with any modern quad, but a dual core (even with HT) likely won't keep up. I can barely manage a pair of 1080p x265 transcodes at the same time with mine - https://ark.intel.com/products/75054/In ... e-3_30-GHz. Unless you're employing some kind of hardware acceleration, but as far as I know, that's still a ways off in Plex.

I've got a little script that auto-encodes anything I rip at 4K into a 1080p rip as well just for this reason. I keep waiting for Epyc mobos to show up for workstations...:lol:
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:43 pm

 
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:52 pm

DragonDaddyBear wrote:
https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/115002178853-Using-Hardware-Accelerated-Streaming

Seems like nvidia's encoder is supported, any reason why OP can't just get a GT 1030 for ~$70? I've got one inside my HTPC and it lets me do 4k 60fps even on YouTube. Feels so wrong for a Sandy Bridge Celeron but it's great.
 
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:11 pm

DragonDaddyBear wrote:
https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/115002178853-Using-Hardware-Accelerated-Streaming

I guess I should pay more attention. I run Plex on BSD, so none of that stuff works. :P

On Windows it'd probably be pretty easy based on that link!
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:37 am

Duct Tape Dude wrote:
DragonDaddyBear wrote:
https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/115002178853-Using-Hardware-Accelerated-Streaming

Seems like nvidia's encoder is supported, any reason why OP can't just get a GT 1030 for ~$70? I've got one inside my HTPC and it lets me do 4k 60fps even on YouTube. Feels so wrong for a Sandy Bridge Celeron but it's great.

The 1030 has the NVENC unit fused off. 1050+ needed.
 
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:37 am

shizuka wrote:
Duct Tape Dude wrote:
DragonDaddyBear wrote:
https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/115002178853-Using-Hardware-Accelerated-Streaming

Seems like nvidia's encoder is supported, any reason why OP can't just get a GT 1030 for ~$70? I've got one inside my HTPC and it lets me do 4k 60fps even on YouTube. Feels so wrong for a Sandy Bridge Celeron but it's great.

The 1030 has the NVENC unit fused off. 1050+ needed.
Did not realize that! That's unfortunate. The 1050 is about twice as much as the 1030 :(
 
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:00 am

The joys of product segmentation.
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Concupiscence
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:28 am

Duct Tape Dude wrote:
DragonDaddyBear wrote:
https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/115002178853-Using-Hardware-Accelerated-Streaming

Seems like nvidia's encoder is supported, any reason why OP can't just get a GT 1030 for ~$70? I've got one inside my HTPC and it lets me do 4k 60fps even on YouTube. Feels so wrong for a Sandy Bridge Celeron but it's great.


I'm planning to throw my GTX 1050 Ti into the home theater PC once I've gotten a GTX 1080 in my workstation. That might be a very tidy solution to the problem - thank you! I just hope it works under Windows 8.1 Pro x64...
Workstation: Ryzen 1700, 16 gigs RAM, GTX 1050 Ti, Win10 Pro x64
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:03 am

Also keep in mind there are still many limitations with NVENC and Plex. Some code paths will end up sending results back and forth between CPU and GPU before outputting the stream. This is especially true with HEVC. If you're ok using nothing but H.264, NVENC could get you close to a "complete" solution with products available today.

One of the aforementioned limitations is a maximum simultaneous stream encode limit of 2 for the vast majority of Nvidia GPUs. Only Tesla P100 and V100 raise this limit to 3, and who wants to pay that kind of money for 1 extra stream?
 
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:08 am

Just remember you need to have a Plex Pass subscription for that.

I'm really eager to see how that works for you. Please do share. I've thought about turning my big server (PowerEdge 2950) into a straight Linux box and dropping in a 1050 myself once content gets to that level. 12 Cores and 6 channels of memory might be a lot, but H.265 is very computationally expensive, even for that big boy.
 
Glorious
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:12 pm

I tried this with my plex on a skylake quicksync ubuntu 16.04

Crashed it immediately.
 
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:22 pm

Glorious wrote:
I tried this with my plex on a skylake quicksync ubuntu 16.04

Crashed it immediately.

I wonder how well it would work with a newer kernel. That's a new-ish CPU for an old-ish release. Can you try swapping kernels and let us know how it works? Or maybe try Clear or something with newer drivers?
 
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:35 pm

I thought the same thing: I'm on 4.4

I looked on their site and what I think was sub-forum for hardware transcode and didn't catch anything that mentioned a requirement for HWE of 4.8 or 4.10, but like you said, skylake support was real new back when 4.4 was released.

If I have the time I might give it a shot, especially since Ubuntu NEVER BACKPORTED THE FIX FOR THE CIFS BUG IN 4.4

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour ... ug/1686099

*SHAKES FIST AT SKY*
 
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:58 pm

In my experience, x265 constant quality settings are a little more aggressive than x264.

I found that x264 at 20 was around the same as x265 at 19. because the new codec blurs content way more at the same settings. Keep this in mind when comparing the two, since the "space savings" is somewhat paved-over by different "equivalent" quality settings.

For Blu-Ray I just don't see the benefit of going HEVC over AVC. Devices that can decode HEVC are still pretty rare, and the "2x compression improvement" is strictly on-paper (it's closer to 1.5x) :(

HEVC shows more of an improvement with 4k streams, which have enough image information for the the large blocks of HEVC to play.
 
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:49 am

techguy wrote:
End User wrote:
techguy wrote:
Storage is cheap. I have 56TB in my Plex server.

What is your setup?


10x 4TB Toshiba X300 drives

Ah. Those X300's aren't NAS drives so they are cheap.
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:13 am

End User wrote:
Ah. Those X300's aren't NAS drives so they are cheap.

NAS drives are overrated, IMO. Unless you're sticking them in something you intend to call support for (where the qualified drive list may get you into trouble if you deviate) I wouldn't spend the extra cash.
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techguy
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Re: H.265 decode requirements with Plex

Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:43 am

Waco wrote:
End User wrote:
Ah. Those X300's aren't NAS drives so they are cheap.

NAS drives are overrated, IMO. Unless you're sticking them in something you intend to call support for (where the qualified drive list may get you into trouble if you deviate) I wouldn't spend the extra cash.
End User wrote:
techguy wrote:
End User wrote:
What is your setup?


10x 4TB Toshiba X300 drives

Ah. Those X300's aren't NAS drives so they are cheap.


^this

Buying NAS drives for reliability at the 4TB size didn't make sense to me given the price disparity between cheap consumer desktop drives, especially when you're buying this many. At the 8TB size the gap is much smaller (on a $/TB basis). I was spending $115-120 per 4TB drive for desktop drives and I had 11 of them originally. If I bought NAS drives that would jump up to around $150 per drive. There's also the total cost to factor, with an ~ $300-350 difference between these options. Moving to 8TB drives I've been able to get the NAS drives on sale for no premium vs. their desktop counterparts because thus far, there has been very little demand for 8TB desktop drives, it seems.

Additionally, I have always intended to replace the drives anyway as my library grew. I'm just starting that process now and have replaced 1 of the 11 original 4TB drives with an 8TB NAS drive (and added a 2nd 8TB NAS drive to fill up the final 12th drive bay).

As for actual reliability, I've had those 4TB drives in service for almost 2 years now with no failures of any kind. I'm beyond impressed with Toshiba. At this point I only recommend HGST and Toshiba when someone asks me for a storage recommendation. Seagate can pound sand for all I care and WD is usually over-priced.

my 2 cents

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