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Panasonic TX-55GZ950

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anniebody

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Post Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:47 pm

Re: Panasonic TX-55GZ950

Thanks for you advice and assistance, much appreciated.
I did have many more questions but, after wasting many hours trying to understand how Serviio works, believe it is too frustrating trying to resolve this issue myself any more!

I do not understand why the developers of Serviio are unwilling to provide sufficient information to allow users get profiles working themselves.
If they don't want any more involvement then they should provide more information to make it self sufficient.
Even those providing expert feedback don't know what things are doing in the profiles, so what chance do I have?
If you think someone can learn the language to program anything, C# for instance, by just playing with it without any help or instructions whatsoever, then you are clearly in cloud cuckoo land!
Writing a detailed description would not take more than a couple of days. Time well spent when it means a reduction in support hours.

I do not understand why the profiles.xml file should only work sometimes. As previously reported, the Roku4kTV would display all video, but now it does not play any video at all without having to do another full install.
Something else must be working with the profile.xml file to create different results from the same files.

I do not understand why stripping all unused profiles from the profiles.xml file and adding only RokuApp, Roku4kTV and GZ-Series should behave differently (no file playback at all) to a fully populated profiles.xml file.
Clearly, the profile is doing more than just following the sequence of profiles. It must be taking additional information from somewhere.

I do not understand why, with just the 'do not remove' ID1 in the profiles.xml file and GZ-Series user-profile.xml, video is being resized.
There doesn't appear to be anything that provides this instruction to transcode files to full screen.
There must be something in the basic configuration of ID1 or elsewhere, that is changing the video size regardless of whatever play settings are used.

In searching the internet for enlightenment, I came across Ultimate Media Server. So thought I would try it. Download, install and setup took 15 minutes.
This plays all video and sound for my Panasonic TV from the start without having to waste hours trying to decipher and reconfigure the Serviio file system.
Incidentally, the default file (it selects the best one to use for you) is for a Panasonic Viera TV. A much older model that doesn't work at all with my TV using the Serviio profile. So something is wrong there!
This product also appears to be supported by the developers and updated with new equipment and codecs.
It behaves like Serviio, so transition is a breeze.

While I have used and liked Serviio for many years, unfortunately, the time has come to recognise the lack of support now renders it useless for my requirements: someone who purchases modern equipment.
What a pity such a good and trusted piece of software should be rendered defunct due to a lack of developer interest when rivals still provide it. A shame.
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anniebody

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Post Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:32 pm

Re: Panasonic TX-55GZ950

OK, I'll come clean. I'm back, getting fat on lots of humble pie!
I did install and try Ultimate Media Server.
Ultimate is a claim that they can't fulfil!
While it did retain the 4k video size it lost all HD content, no HDR etc. as it couldn't just transcode the audio without transcoding the video too.
The 4k picture quality was very poor, washed out as if the colour had been drained. It also suffered from white flashes every few minutes.
Also, the file structure on my TV needed to be updated each and every time you accessed a folder, which took some time to populate. Go in wait, go out then back in wait again, sometimes for minutes!
Apparently, they can't populate the files on the streaming device like Serviio, as it takes too much work!

So, here I am back using Serviio. Sorry I doubted you!
It's not until I tried something else that I realised just why I stuck with you all this time. Better than the others by far!

As it is not yet possible to retain the image size: I see from other forums replies that it may be something to do with Panasonic, Serviio or FFmpeg, the jury's still out on that one.
I have found a work around...
Don't transcode at all!?
Yep, you read that correctly!
Instead of using Serviio to transcode, I have used Xmedia Recode to transcode all of my movies audio to DD+ 5.1 (although the TV only outputs 2.0 to my soundbar) then add the new tracks using MKVToolnix.
As most of them are MKV I can still retain the original audio for future proofing.
It only took a couple of nights to update my library, but they now all play without problem using the generic DLNA setting directly through my TV, so no additional box is required.
4K movies are back on the menu and what a stunning difference that makes!

I may still try an Nvidia Shield Pro at some time to see if the higher audio and 5.1 is worth it for my soundbar (I use a Samsung Q70 because it sounds a lot better than the TV).
I assume this will also use the general DLNA settings as the box does it's own transcoding.
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atc98092

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Post Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:57 pm

Re: Panasonic TX-55GZ950

I may still try an Nvidia Shield Pro at some time to see if the higher audio and 5.1 is worth it for my soundbar (I use a Samsung Q70 because it sounds a lot better than the TV).
I assume this will also use the general DLNA settings as the box does it's own transcoding.


If all you want to do with the Shield is stream video, you don't need the Pro version (assuming you can even find one at retail). The standard "tube" version is fully capable of playing everything I have, including lossless audio and UHD rips at full bitrate. I just use the generic profile and it works fine. It's not that the Shield transcodes anything, it's that it supports the audio and video codecs out of the box, so nothing needs transcoding. One the one system that supports it, I even get Atmos/DTS:X audio. No TV or Roku player can do that. :D

I think Kodi is the best player to use with Serviio, for a couple of reasons. I've also tested (even paid for) MrMC, as well as VLC. While both are capable of playing back everything, they don't have as nice as a user interface as Kodi. Also, MrMC and VLC don't display any metadata, while Kodi shows the same metadata as Serviio does through MediaBrowser or what displays when using a Roku player.
Dan

Samsung NU7100 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, 18 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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anniebody

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Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:47 pm

Re: Panasonic TX-55GZ950

Dan
The pro version looks better though! I want something that looks nice as well as performs.

If it doesn't transcode would I still need Serviio to transcode files through this box?

If I get one I'll have to get an HDMI switcher that works as I would also want to listen to headphones at night which you can't do when video streaming through a soundbar.
Tried a couple from Amazon and both were pretty useless despite performance claims, neither one worked properly, so a decent switcher will mean a lot of money.

I got put off of Kodi when I purchased a VERO4K box that claimed to stream everything, but didn't play 4k content.
As the support for this device was appalling, I had to return and get a refund rather than wait weeks to see if I could get it working.
I understand there are similar Kodi systems on Raspberry devices, but I really don't want to go down that path again.
Once bitten and all that!

Not having much luck upgrading to 4K!
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atc98092

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Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:46 pm

Re: Panasonic TX-55GZ950

No, Serviio does not need to transcode anything, because the Shield has built-in support for virtually all video and audio codecs. No transcoding needed anywhere.

Kodi handles 4K/HDR just fine. I have a handful of UHD movie rips, and they all play perfectly, along with lossless audio (Dolby TrueHD/Atmos and DTS Master Audio/:X). Of course, you need an AVR that supports those audio codecs. You also have to enable the Expert settings menu to reach the settings to enable all audio passthrough, and you have to whitelist what resolutions you want the Shield to output without scaling. Anything from 720p and higher can be output at native resolution and refresh rate.
Dan

Samsung NU7100 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, 18 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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anniebody

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Post Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:55 pm

Re: Panasonic TX-55GZ950

But surely, there is s diffrence between Nvidia supporting a format itself and connected devices not supporting that format?
Let's say I have streamed a TrueHD video via Serviio on my PC through the Nvidia, but my TV doesn't support TrueHD. What does Nvidia do to this file to make it playable on my TV?
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atc98092

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Post Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:31 pm

Re: Panasonic TX-55GZ950

anniebody wrote:But surely, there is s difference between Nvidia supporting a format itself and connected devices not supporting that format?
Let's say I have streamed a TrueHD video via Serviio on my PC through the Nvidia, but my TV doesn't support TrueHD. What does Nvidia do to this file to make it playable on my TV?


The Shield does nothing. If you connect the Shield directly to a TV, and the TV doesn't support the audio being streamed, you won't get any audio. The TV may or may not offer a warning about an unsupported codec. In cases like that, the Shield needs to be connected to an AVR that supports the codecs, and let it handle the audio. But if you can't/don't want to mess with an AVR, you could certainly use a profile in Serviio to transcode the audio. For audio only transcoding, very little computer power is necessary. For my Roku players, transcoding audio only takes about maybe 10% CPU power.

Now, is it possible that a player app like Kodi might support converting the audio itself to something supported? Perhaps, but since I have both of my Shields connected to full support AVRs, I've never investigated that possibility.
Dan

Samsung NU7100 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, 18 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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anniebody

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Post Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:17 pm

Re: Panasonic TX-55GZ950

So, if the Nvidia only streams content what purpose does it serve that cannot be accomplished by using Serviio on its own?
Why pay for an additional box that apparently does nothing more for you?

Also, I have found that by using Serviio to transcode the audio results in displaying the movie in an unnatural size with a distorted image.
For some reason, not yet explained to me Srviio takes it upon itself to change the size of the video when supposedly only transcoding audio.
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atc98092

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Post Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:08 pm

Re: Panasonic TX-55GZ950

I believe you confusing the difference between the media source and the player. Serviio is the media source. Serviio by itself is not a player, so you still need something to play the media. MediaBrowser is of course a player that's available with Serviio Pro, but it's browser based and requires transcoding that wouldn't be required when using a more capable player. Also MB has limitations that more robust players don't. It's really just a player that can be used when outside your firewall to access your media when not at home.

Yes, you can connect a portable drive to a Shield ($200 Pro version only) and play it without any server source. But then you don't have the media available for any other device on your network. The Shield Pro is capable of being a Plex server, and that would then become a data source for your network. But I much prefer Serviio because of the way it can be customized, plus it supports playlists.

Some TVs require special settings in the profile used to maintain proper video aspect ratio. I don't have any Panasonic TVs, so I am not familiar with those profiles. It's also possible that the video is being transcoded when not needed. Some profiles will transcode the video when it's only the audio that needs it. Again, I can't say if that's the case with yours.

Can you advise what profile Serviio has assigned to your TV, as I can examine the profile and perhaps see why it's messing with the aspect ratio?
Dan

Samsung NU7100 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, 18 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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anniebody

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Post Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:33 pm

Re: Panasonic TX-55GZ950

Dan
See earlier posts on this subject.
I tried to create my own profile, but had to give up due to a lack of information.
The user-profile provided screwed up the formatting, even when I only had the dlna default profile and the user profile loaded (a stripped out profile with all others removed).
As there was nothing in the panasonic user-profile that would change the aspect ratio I was stumped as to how the aspect ratio could change with nothing apparently making that change!
I was equally stumped when the video plays the correct profile using the dlna only option and only changes the video aspect ratio when only transcoding audio.
I noted that previously other forum questions have covered similar issues and surmised it was fundamental issue with Serviio.
UMS will not allow you to only transcode audio. It also transcodes and downgrades the video quality, but at least Serviio kept the original quality.
I believe it is something to do with ffmpeg when doing the transcoding.
Hence, I now add a second DD+ audio file to the media (mkv) and disable all transcoding (dlna profile). This works perfectly albeit taking time to do.
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atc98092

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Post Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:30 pm

Re: Panasonic TX-55GZ950

There is something that can be added to a profile to force an aspect ratio. I'm not familiar with its use, but @denyall is, so perhaps he'll jump in here. The command is this:

DAR - optional; forces the output video to the given display aspect ratio; possible values: 16:9, 4:3, 3:2, 21:9

I believe it is added to the target line as such:

<Video targetContainer="mpeg" targetVCodec="mpeg2video" targetACodec="mp2" maxVBitrate="8192" forceStereo="true" DAR="16:9" maxWidth="1920" maxHeight="1080">

I copied that line from the DirecTV profile, but I wouldn't use it as is for your TV. You would want the target audio to be ac3 and you probably wouldn't need the maxVBitrate either. But you can see the DAR command is forcing a 16x9 aspect ratio. I have no idea what that might do to a video that has a different native aspect ratio, but it might be something to try.
Dan

Samsung NU7100 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, 18 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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DenyAll

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Post Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:20 pm

Re: Panasonic TX-55GZ950

The best way to think about the DAR command is that it helps Serviio understand the aspect ratio of your target TV - so if your TV is 16:9 which most are, use the DAR="16:9" command. Its only needed if your TV isn't otherwise honoring the aspect ratio of the transcoded file (this is the case with Panasonics - as soon as you mux or transcode anything with a higher aspect ratio the TV stretches it to fill the screen. I did spend some time playing with different ffmpeg commands in the past to see if I could crack it - maybe time to revisit it).

This should work for you - its based on something I use for my 2018 model:

  Code:
<Profiles version="1.0">

   <Profile id="viera2019" name="Panasonic Viera (2019)" extendsProfileId="1">
      <Detection>
         <UPnPSearch>
            <FriendlyName>.*GZ950_Series.*</FriendlyName>
            <Manufacturer>Panasonic</Manufacturer>
         </UPnPSearch>
      </Detection>      
      <ContentDirectoryMessageBuilder>org.serviio.upnp.service.contentdirectory.PacketVideoDLNAMessageBuilder</ContentDirectoryMessageBuilder>
      <Transcoding>      
         <Video targetContainer="mpegts" targetVCodec="mpeg2video" DAR="16:9" targetACodec="ac3" aBitrate="384">
            <!-- Transcode DTS and HD-DTS-->
            <Matches container="*" aCodec="dts-hd" />
            <Matches container="*" aCodec="dca" />
            <!-- Transcode DivX (XVid is supported in 2018 model) -->
            <Matches container="avi" vCodec="mpeg4" vFourCC="div3,div4,div5,divx,dm4v,dx50" />
            <Matches container="avi" vCodec="msmpeg4" vFourCC="div3,div4,div5,divx,dm4v,dx50" />
            <Matches container="avi" vCodec="dvvideo" />
         </Video>
      </Transcoding>
      <GenericTranscoding>
         <Video targetContainer="mpegts" targetVCodec="mpeg2video" DAR="16:9" targetACodec="ac3" aBitrate="384" />
      </GenericTranscoding>
      <ThumbnailsResolution>HD</ThumbnailsResolution>
   </Profile>

</Profiles>
Save this as "user-profiles.xml" in your "C:\Program Files\Serviio\config" folder and restart Serviio (or your PC). After restarting you may need to manually assign this profile to your TV (I have taken a stab at the detection block to automate that but if it doesn't work I will need more information). Note that as your TV supports UHD I haven't limited the output resolution (via the maxHeight or maxWidth commands).

Now having said all of that, another option (if you are technically inclined) is to remove the need to transcode all together. Simply add an AC-3 audio track as your first audio stream in the file and the TV will accept it natively (without transcoding using the Generic profile). You could still retain your DTS track for any other device that supports it (selectable as the second audio stream) and the the file would play better - native files always play better than transcoded (ffwd, rew, skip all work better). Tools such as XMediaRecode can do this easily enough or you can use the ffmpeg command that comes with Serviio.
DenyAll
Panasonic Viera FX800A | Panasonic Viera CS610A | Sony PS4 | Sony PS3 | Panasonic DMP-BD79 | Yamaha RX-V500D | iPad | Windows 10 | Serviio 1.10.1 Pro
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anniebody

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Post Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:46 pm

Re: Panasonic TX-55GZ950

"as soon as you mux or transcode anything with a higher aspect ratio the TV stretches it to fill the screen"
But as only the audio is being transcoded surely the aspect ratio of the video is irrelevant?

Also, why have a DAR value at all when you don't want to change the current aspect ratio?
Surely, you should only need to invoke a setting when you want to change something, not when you do not want the software to make any changes at all to the video?

Also, when the default dlna settings doesn't change the aspect ratio and the profile doesn't mention video at all where does this aspect ratio change come from?
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DenyAll

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Post Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:40 am

Re: Panasonic TX-55GZ950

But as only the audio is being transcoded surely the aspect ratio of the video is irrelevant?
It's to do with changing container types - so whether you re-mux (transcoding audio only) or transcode the video we need to wrap the video and audio streams in a new MPEG-2 container. As soon as that happens the Panasonic doesn't honour the embedded aspect ratio metadata and will expand the video to fit the screen.

In the past I have looked into the transcoded MPEG-2 file and can see that the aspect ratio metadata data is intact. For some reason its not honored. Unfortunately there are very few containers that support transcoding-on-the-fly - I have tried different ones and get the same outcome. All of my playing though was years ago, so maybe ffmpeg has other options now - I haven't played for a while but may have some more time now.

This seems to be an almost uniquely Panasonic thing going back to its earliest models. A small flaw in what I think are some of the best TV's on the market (and soon to be no more I believe....)

Also, why have a DAR value at all when you don't want to change the current aspect ratio?
As above the DAR is required to overcome the TV's limitation. It adds pads (black bars) to the top and bottom of the video stream to give the illusion that the aspect ratio is maintained.

In times gone by I did suggest through bit-bucket for a MATCHES element based on aspect ratio - eg <Matches container="*" DAR>"16:9" aCodec="dca" />, to ensure it was only padded when needed, but it didn't get supported. Probably a fair call as it would have made it even more complex.

Also, when the default dlna settings doesn't change the aspect ratio and the profile doesn't mention video at all where does this aspect ratio change come from?
Not sure what you mean, but hopefully from the above you can see that it doesn't change - its just no longer being read/honored by the TV once its in a MPEG2 container.


The DAR command is less than ideal, but does work very effectively in overcoming what appears to be the TVs limitations. The only way to avoid all of this is to change the source file to avoid transcoding (create a new (or move the existing) AC-3 audio stream as the first audio stream in the source file... takes minutes once you get it right with the right tools).
DenyAll
Panasonic Viera FX800A | Panasonic Viera CS610A | Sony PS4 | Sony PS3 | Panasonic DMP-BD79 | Yamaha RX-V500D | iPad | Windows 10 | Serviio 1.10.1 Pro
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Please do not PM me for support as any solution cannot be shared with others.
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atc98092

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Post Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:39 am

Re: Panasonic TX-55GZ950

And that's why I said we needed DenyAll's assistance. Thanks mate!
Dan

Samsung NU7100 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, 18 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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