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Abandoned Serviio due to Roku Media Player

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rumplestiltskin

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Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:55 pm

Post Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:00 am

Abandoned Serviio due to Roku Media Player

As the topic says, I had to abandon my use of Serviio because Roku's Media Player app has become effectively useless. It won't play my 1080p files (but earlier App versions did). The REW, Play/Pause, and FF buttons no longer function (but they used to work just fine in earlier App versions). In short, I can't use Serviio because Roku's DLNA player is defective.

Isn't that a kick in the head? I can reach my Serviio server (v1.something) and play my media on my Mac, PC, and Android phone; but not on the Roku devices scattered throughout my home connected to my TVs.

I had to switch to Emby because they had both a server that ran on my Mac and a fully working Roku App.

Do you see the issue here? There is no other DLNA Roku app that can reach my Serviio server! No other working DLNA Roku app at all.

So I can either trash all my Rokus and buy a number of some other streaming box that might have a DLNA player app that can reach my Serviio server (for how many $$$??)
-or-
I can go with Emby which provides both the server and an app which works.

So that's where I'm at; G'bye Serviio because you don't have a Roku app. Not your fault but you know how to resolve this.

Thanks
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atc98092

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Location: Washington (the state)

Post Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:35 pm

Re: Abandoned Serviio due to Roku Media Player

While I agree that RMP has many issues, and Roku doesn't seem to be addressing them very well, I can't say I have any problem playing anything from Serviio. Trick Play works fine, with the exception of TS files, but that's a problem with RMP, not Serviio. I am a beta tester for RMP, and the developer does seem to be listening to the problems that have been reported.

It sounds to me that your Roku might have changed its IP address, and Serviio switched back to the default Roku profile. That profile is designed for older players, and you must select the correct profile for the latest Roku devices.

I did try to write a Roku app for Serviio, but my programming skills simply aren't up to the task. Roku uses a programming language that is just different enough from what I've used in the past that I could never get my head around it. And the Roku programming documentation is completely lacking any DLNA connection information. I'm sorry that Serviio doesn't do it for you any longer. Emby is a nice product, as is Plex. Both work well on Roku devices. Maybe after I retire I'll try writing a Serviio app again.

You have to remember that Roku players were not originally designed for local media playback. RMP didn't appear until 2014 or so. There was one attempt with a player before that (Chaneru, which is still there), but it was more problematic than RMP. DLNA playback is an afterthought to Roku, and I don't see them getting any better about it. And that is why I have added the Nvidia Shield as a player on my two largest screen TVs. There are limitations with Roku devices that nothing external can overcome, such as processing speed for playing 4K movie rips.
Dan

LG NANO85 4K TV, Samsung JU7100 4K TV, Sony BDP-S3500, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Insignia Roku TV, Roku Ultra, Premiere and Stick, Nvidia Shield, Yamaha RX-V583 AVR.
Primary server: Intel i5-6400, 8 gig ram, Windows 10 Pro, 22 TB hard drive space | Test server Windows 10 Pro, AMD Phenom II X4 965, 8 gig ram

HOWTO: Enable debug logging HOWTO: Identify media file contents
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rumplestiltskin

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Posts: 20

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:55 pm

Post Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:13 pm

Re: Abandoned Serviio due to Roku Media Player

I have a Roku 2 and a rather new Ultra; both are experiencing the same issues. I will, however, re-connect my Serviio machine and see if I can alter the Roku profile there. However, would this makes any difference if my Serviio does NO transcoding? I use Handbrake to convert all my media to either mp4 or m4v with no greater than 160kb AAC audio. If there are subtitles, Handbrake burns them in for me. In other words: Serviio is a "dumb playback unit" (and I mean no offense! :D ).

I agree that Roku's business plan has the RMP very low down on its "things to do" list (if it appears there at all) as they don't directly earn any income from it. But that leaves those of us who wish to play media locally (and that includes direct USB connection for those players that have such a port) without a reliable way to play it; that causes us to consider "other than Roku" when it's time to buy another device...or, in this particular instance, having to find a media server with a Roku channel/app designed specifically for it. The Emby server can actually pick up a Serviio server on the network and use its (Emby's) DLNA ability to "forward" it through the Emby server. Of course, it still requires Emby's Roku app.

I'm glad to know that you are an RMP beta-tester; perhaps you might pass along my dissatisfaction with the player and ask the dev to simply do a google search to find the history of issues with that app (as in the REW, Play/Pause, FF buttons stop working and "richer" (1080p) media playback being problematic). These issues go back at least two years. Now, I will say that some earlier version of the RMP app worked perfectly but I don't know which one and Roku doesn't give me any sort of option to revert to older versions (and I can understand why they would see such a "feature" as a support nightmare).

I don't stream any media larger than 1080 so even my old Roku 2 has been fine (though slower to load) up to this latest RMP issue.

I may keep the Serviio server running and check it periodically if I see the RMP has been updated. If it starts working properly again, I'll disable updates on the Roku! :lol:

Thanks for listening!
Barry
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atc98092

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Location: Washington (the state)

Post Wed Oct 06, 2021 5:58 pm

Re: Abandoned Serviio due to Roku Media Player

There's five different versions of the Roku 2, so I can't say for certain which profile you should use for it. The Ultra should be using the 4K player with MPEG2 support. I can't say for certain if the generic Roku profile might still be transcoding, even since you've transcoded the files yourself. That's one reason I wrote all the other profiles, because the original Roku profile transcoded far more than newer players needed.

I really wish Roku would listen to me more, but I can't seem to get anywhere with the current RMP developer. The original developer retired, and he was great to work with. I have a feeling the one in charge of RMP now had it dumped in his lap when Dale retired, and either doesn't have the time or the interest in making it better.

There's no way to disable Roku updates without completely powering them off. If it's turned on and connected to a network, it will update itself daily. There's no setting to disable in unfortunately.
Dan

LG NANO85 4K TV, Samsung JU7100 4K TV, Sony BDP-S3500, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Insignia Roku TV, Roku Ultra, Premiere and Stick, Nvidia Shield, Yamaha RX-V583 AVR.
Primary server: Intel i5-6400, 8 gig ram, Windows 10 Pro, 22 TB hard drive space | Test server Windows 10 Pro, AMD Phenom II X4 965, 8 gig ram

HOWTO: Enable debug logging HOWTO: Identify media file contents
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rumplestiltskin

Streaming enthusiast

Posts: 20

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:55 pm

Post Wed Oct 06, 2021 8:08 pm

Re: Abandoned Serviio due to Roku Media Player

My Serviio server is running version 1.10.1. I don't see anything about setting profiles; maybe the version I have didn't have that(?).

I did a complete uninstall and reinstall of Servio and then set the prefs I normally use - no transcoding, no metadata lookup; in short, just a couple of folders with movies and TV shows. I did not replace the media in the Movies and TV folders.

...and guess what? Now all of my Roku devices are working properly with Serviio and RMP! I even dropped in that last 1080 video that was cycling between playing a second and the "Loading..." screen; it plays perfectly now. I'm totally stumped although quite happy. Did Roku update RMP overnight? I'll keep the Emby server online just in case it's needed but I'll keep a good thought.

I did see that there's no way to stop updates as long as I have the Roku connected to the Internet (and I still need that for Netflix, etc.).

Anyway, thanks for listening to my various rants. I do like how Serviio makes the server side so convenient and runs nicely on an old Mac mini (2010, "4,1").
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atc98092

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Location: Washington (the state)

Post Wed Oct 06, 2021 8:32 pm

Re: Abandoned Serviio due to Roku Media Player

Yes, your version has profiles for the players that have been recognized by Serviio. You can see the assigned profile in the Serviio console on the Status page. Find the device in the table and it will show the profile that Serviio assigned to the player. As I mentioned, it assigns the generic Roku profile to all Roku devices, regardless of their capabilities. You need to manually assign the correct profile for Roku devices.

Great that it started working correctly again. No, there hasn't been any RMP update that might have changed this. They've been focused on music playback with the past few updates, not video. No problem keeping Emby running as well. I have Plex running on my Serviio machines as well, sharing the same media libraries, and there's no interference between them.
Dan

LG NANO85 4K TV, Samsung JU7100 4K TV, Sony BDP-S3500, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Insignia Roku TV, Roku Ultra, Premiere and Stick, Nvidia Shield, Yamaha RX-V583 AVR.
Primary server: Intel i5-6400, 8 gig ram, Windows 10 Pro, 22 TB hard drive space | Test server Windows 10 Pro, AMD Phenom II X4 965, 8 gig ram

HOWTO: Enable debug logging HOWTO: Identify media file contents
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rumplestiltskin

Streaming enthusiast

Posts: 20

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:55 pm

Post Wed Oct 06, 2021 9:12 pm

Re: Abandoned Serviio due to Roku Media Player

A-ha, yes. I see the profiles. My Roku2 is an older (pre-2016) unit so I'd guess I should just leave it as "Roku Media Player". The Ultra is a 4K player but I never play anything in 4K so would be it okay simply to leave it as the generic profile or is there a need to set it to the 4K (2016+) profile? I would assume if everything I play is 1080 or 720 with 160kb AAC audio, that should be pretty generic. What do you think?

Thanks,
Barry
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atc98092

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Post Wed Oct 06, 2021 10:21 pm

Re: Abandoned Serviio due to Roku Media Player

No, don't leave the Ultra on the generic Roku profile. It will transcode files that don't need it. That profile is for Roku players from 2013 or older, because they can't handle bitrates much over 15 Mbps, so 1080 content will be transcoded, and perhaps even 720. That profile will transcode everything to limit the bitrate. You want to use the 4K with MPEG2 support, even if you don't have 4K material. The Ultra can handle video bitrates of 100 Mbps or higher, so no reason to transcode to limit it.

I'd have to know specifically which Roku 2 you have to suggest a profile. There are five different versions, and the three oldest are no longer supported by Roku. Assuming it's one of the latest models, the Roku 1080 Player profile would be the best for you.
Dan

LG NANO85 4K TV, Samsung JU7100 4K TV, Sony BDP-S3500, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Insignia Roku TV, Roku Ultra, Premiere and Stick, Nvidia Shield, Yamaha RX-V583 AVR.
Primary server: Intel i5-6400, 8 gig ram, Windows 10 Pro, 22 TB hard drive space | Test server Windows 10 Pro, AMD Phenom II X4 965, 8 gig ram

HOWTO: Enable debug logging HOWTO: Identify media file contents
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rumplestiltskin

Streaming enthusiast

Posts: 20

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:55 pm

Post Wed Oct 06, 2021 10:33 pm

Re: Abandoned Serviio due to Roku Media Player

If I have the Serviio set to NOT do any transcoding, won't it just provide the video "as is"? Even my 1080p content is no more than 6000kb (and mostly under 3000kb).

Or are you saying that, with the wrong profile, Serviio will transcode regardless of the bitrate of my media?

Forgot to mention: The Roku2 is the 4210X which does 1080p. I also have a couple of Streaming Sticks which Roku says will do 1080p.
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atc98092

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Location: Washington (the state)

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 12:35 am

Re: Abandoned Serviio due to Roku Media Player

With the 4210 and any Stick model newer than the 3500, absolutely use the 1080 Player profile. Depending on the profile and the media, yes it might still be transcoding, even with it disabled.

If your media has all been bitrate throttled with Handbrake, chances are the default Roku profile is working just fine for you and no transcoding is occurring. But the players you have are capable of a far higher bitrate than that. The 4210 was an excellent player for the time, and still holds up quite well. Roku still supports it with OS updates, although it's now 6 1/2 years since it was released. In general, Roku drops support after they reach 7-8 years old. I have three versions of the Ultra, and they will all play videos with bitrates of 120-150 Mbps from the USB port. The Ethernet connection is too slow for that speed of video. And I've never been able to get the wireless to connect any faster, even using 802.11ac.

The generic Roku profile only looks at the video codec and resolution to determine if transcoding is required. It's possible that yours might still trigger it, although I would not expect it with transcoding disabled. Using the burn-in subtitle function of Serviio triggers transcoded even when disabled, but you mentioned you burn them in when you run them through Handbrake, so that's likely not an issue.
Dan

LG NANO85 4K TV, Samsung JU7100 4K TV, Sony BDP-S3500, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Insignia Roku TV, Roku Ultra, Premiere and Stick, Nvidia Shield, Yamaha RX-V583 AVR.
Primary server: Intel i5-6400, 8 gig ram, Windows 10 Pro, 22 TB hard drive space | Test server Windows 10 Pro, AMD Phenom II X4 965, 8 gig ram

HOWTO: Enable debug logging HOWTO: Identify media file contents
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rumplestiltskin

Streaming enthusiast

Posts: 20

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:55 pm

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 2:53 am

Re: Abandoned Serviio due to Roku Media Player

Thank you, Dan, for your valued assistance. I tend to transcode anything that's not mp4/m4v and reduce the bitrate in order to keep my videos as compatible with everything as I can. Additionally, should it become necessary to send a file to a family member, a smaller file is easier for everyone.

I've set the profile for my Ultra to 1080 but left the 4210x as the generic Roku. I do have one other device that occasionally is called upon to pull media from the Serviio; that's my Android phone which is running the Slick UPnP app; the Serviio server IDs that as a Generic DLNA Device and that Android app has never experienced any sort of misbehavior. I wonder if just using that profile for everything would remove any possibility of transcoding?

Thanks,
Barry
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atc98092

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DLNA master

Posts: 4546

Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:22 pm

Location: Washington (the state)

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:39 pm

Re: Abandoned Serviio due to Roku Media Player

Yes, Generic DLNA Device does absolutely no transcoding. The only reason something would be transcoded would be if burn-in subtitles was enabled in the Serviio console. Android based devices are fairly compatible with the majority of media, so the generic profile is fine for them. That's all I use for my Nvidia Shield players. I've yet to encounter something they can't play. :D
Dan

LG NANO85 4K TV, Samsung JU7100 4K TV, Sony BDP-S3500, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Insignia Roku TV, Roku Ultra, Premiere and Stick, Nvidia Shield, Yamaha RX-V583 AVR.
Primary server: Intel i5-6400, 8 gig ram, Windows 10 Pro, 22 TB hard drive space | Test server Windows 10 Pro, AMD Phenom II X4 965, 8 gig ram

HOWTO: Enable debug logging HOWTO: Identify media file contents
<<

rumplestiltskin

Streaming enthusiast

Posts: 20

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:55 pm

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:32 pm

Re: Abandoned Serviio due to Roku Media Player

Thanks, Dan. I'm going to set the profile for all my Roku devices to that Generic DLNA setting and see how they react to that. As all my media is 1080p or lower, under 4000kb (usually under 2200) with AAC 160kb (max) and encoded as "Main 4.0", I'd think it's a good bet that everything will just work. I know the Ultra is capable of much more but the benefit I saw (replacing an older R2 unit) was just that it's faster in navigation (which is appreciated).

Let's close up this thread and mark it solved (if that's possible).

Be well!

Barry

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