How to get movie sound from Plex on Android box?
December 12, 2017 8:55 PM   Subscribe

I installed Plex server on my PC with all my movies. I bought an Android box running Android 7.1.2 and bought/installed the Plex app on it. But of course something doesn't work right and I don't understand computers/codecs/Plex enough to google the right questions.

The problem is that while video plays perfectly, audio doesn't work on 95% of my movies. Most of them use AC3 or DTS sound, which I have no idea what that means other than it doesn't work. Movies that have AAC (I think it is) sound work fine. Music MP3s play fine also. I only have two speakers on my TV so I don't need surround.

But these same movies play fine on my Android phone.

I've been fooling around with the server to try to tell it to "transcode" (if that's even the word I'm looking for) but no luck. There's no option to disable "Direct Play" or "Direct Stream" on my Plex app, and there's no setting on my device to tell it I only have a two speaker setup. I have found some articles about making a custom profile but I don't have the skills or knowledge to figure out where to even start with that. The only person who offered me help told me that I should pay the monthly fee for Plex premium and them use the Plex addon for Kodi, which seems needlessly complex. Also I'm really reluctant to throw more money at this problem right now.

Is there anyone here who can tell me in simple terms how I can make my movies play on this Android box using Plex?
posted by Sternmeyer to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Apparently Android codec support depends on the device and more can't be added. Can Plex transcode to AAC?
posted by rhizome at 9:04 PM on December 12, 2017

What Android box it is (hardware, not OS) matters here. There are config files that the player sends to the server (to tell the server what formats to send back to the player) and I’m guessing the config file doesn’t match the decoding capabilities of the player hardware. If you edit it yourself you can theoretically tell it to transcode all audio to AAC.
posted by supercres at 9:07 PM on December 12, 2017

Are you getting your videos from "nefarious" places?

A simple fix (without delving into the world of transcoding, which isn't really that difficult) would be to ensure that you're "getting" videos with the audio codec that you know works. The audio codec used will almost always be in the file name (or description).
posted by kuanes at 4:58 AM on December 13, 2017

It might be easier to install Kodi and share your library with a regular Windows file share (SMB if you're not running Windows). Plex doesn't get you much if you aren't transcoding, IMO. Unless you purchased a terribly crappy box, it should be able to run Kodi's software audio decoder just fine. I had a phone with a 600Mhz Cortex A9 that could do it, so surely the box can.

Alternatively, you could see if it is possible to set Plex to use an external player and install/use VLC as a player instead.
posted by wierdo at 10:15 AM on December 13, 2017

Have Plex Analyze your Movie Library. This always resolves my no audio playback issues.
posted by zinon at 10:53 AM on December 14, 2017

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