Advantages of Infuse Pro over Plex as a media player for AppleTV 4K?

I do have Plex pass but am not wowed with the performance I am seeing from the beta video player.

I tried Plex Pass and running it on a Windows 10 machine. It looked great but I had all sorts of issues… Most notably with bigger files and running 4K material. Some files it just wouldn’t run. Kept getting an error message that I didn’t have enough bandwidth (on a cabled connection). I did a search for it and it seems it’s one of those errors they never fixed, so if you get it you’re f****** basically. So I went back to infuse.

No issues with Infuse at all in this department. I have to say having tried quite a few solutions now, infuse is the best for me with ease of use and it just runs everything that I ask it to.

I will probably always run Plex since it lets me have multiple users, different shared media for kids, ability to sync playback and other things between devices.

However I am definitely interested in getting the best playback quality possible on my big new OLED set.

Is there any difference in playback quality when integrating infuse to Plex vs using it standalone?

No difference. When using Plex as share in Infuse, all the Metadata, Library etc. is taken form Plex, but Infuse will directly access the files via direct stream.

Until now, there are some features of Plex that are not supported by Infuse yet.

This includes

  • Plex Collections (is announced for version 6.1)
  • Plex Users
  • Plex Trailers
  • Plex Live TV
  • Plex add ons

But IMHO Using Plex to manage your files and Metadata and Infuse as player is unbeatable.

That is great information, thank you.

Do you have a source for information about what the infuse player capabilities are around things like supported codecs, bit rates, etc. on the Apple TV 4K?

For example, did Infuse license the VC1 video codec for playback or will it require the back end server transcode that video stream or will it try to make the ATV transcode it?

Thanks!

all is here

https://firecore.com/infuse

scroll down a bit. To get additional codecs, you need a subscription

But basically Infuse will play almost everything you throw at it

Thanks. Surprised no VC1 support or Dolby Vision or Atmos support.

Guess it’s time to start to carve out some time to do some A/B testing with Plex beta vs infuse.

You may want to read through Help get (more) Dolby Atmos on Apple TV

regarding Atmos.

I have no Atmos so I don’t know the status.

VC-1 is supported in Infuse, in fact most VC-1 videos are playable on the 4th gen Apple TV too. :slight_smile:

So I’ve done some a/b testing with one of my favorite test films, a full BD rip of Gravity in MKV format with DTS-HD audio. I like this clip because the white astronaut suits against the black space background make any motion artifacts immediately apparent.

When this is played back on Plex with default settings there is noticeable video judder (almost looks like frames are dropping) that is not eliminated by messing with the motion settings on the C9.

Oddly if the video playback quality is reduced in Plex to 20mbps 1080P the playback is nearly perfect. I’m not sure if this is due to the transcode lowering the bit rate or if the conversion is eliminating 24P judder.

If I play the same video in infuse I am also getting the stuttering effect that almost looks like frame drops.

Is there any way to further debug it?

Can you check to see if you have the Match Content options enabled, as described here?

1 Like

I have never adjusted those options so I assume they are at the default. I will investigate, thanks for the tip.

Is there any way to get Infuse to display information on playback such as codec and resolution in use, bit rate, drop frames, etc?

This kind of info is super helpful for debugging under Kodi.

Believe it or not, Apple has chosen to have the Match Content options off by default, so I would highly recommend enabling them. I suspect this choice was made for compatibility, as not all TV support 24Hz input.

In particular, without the frame rate matching option enabled, the Apple TV will be outputting a fixed 60Hz (or 50Hz) signal, which will always leave you with 3:2 pulldown judder when playing 24p videos.

Infuse does not currently have a debugging overlay option, sorry.

1 Like

So this info was solid gold as it does seem to have resolved the choppiness which must have been introduced when the ATV was doing its own 24p-60p conversion and doing a rotten job of it.

These settings also fixed some odd content color depth issues I was seeing in my material which was probably introduced when ATV took REC.709 color space material and “upconverted” it to Dolby Vision.

So, here’s my observation now that I have these settings locked in;

  1. Plex legacy player was struggling with high bit-rate BD material resulting in some macro-blocking and other artifacts.
  2. Plex beta player did not have this issue.
  3. Infuse did not have this issue.
  4. Infuse seems to have some other advantages such as showing scene information in the scrubber bar which is missing in both Plex players.

A couple outstanding questions;

  1. Every time I play a new title with Infuse I am getting the subtitles, is there an option that will disable the subtitles automatically but still display forced subs in MKVs that have those (I believe I set something on the server side to display forced subs automatically bot not sure if that propagates to players like Infuse).

  2. Is there any way to see a feature roadmap for this player? I’m interested if multiple user profiles, etc., are coming along with more information about audio format support (I’m curious if the TrueHD and DTS-MA HD audio support can eventually go bitstreamed and if other high resolution audio format support is coming.

  3. I signed up for the free one week subscription, and when I go manage it on my Apple device I only have options for monthly or yearly subscriptions. I believe there was an option for a lifetime subscription and if I pay for the application that is what I would prefer.

Thanks!

Glad things are working out for you! I think I can help with some of your questions.

  1. In settings, there is a option under the “Playback” section called “Subtitles” there you can choose to have On, Force Only, or Off.

2 There is a forum thread here that lists the features that are in the works here Upcoming Features (updated 5/12/20) and it’s kept current in the first post.

  1. This thread gives you the info on purchases https://community.firecore.com/t/-/13836 . Just remember, what gets many people confused is the difference between a Lifetime subscription to the free version and the single purchase of Infuse Pro 6. The lifetime subscription will give you all the pro features and future updates including major updates like version 7 and on with no additional costs. The outright purchase of Infuse Pro 6 will give you free updates for all future releases of version 6 only. When version 7 comes out you’ll need to either purchase Infuse Pro 7 as an outright purchase or at that time start a subscription to get the new features and updates.

For me the lifetime subscription is the way to go since it’s good for ever and I don’t have to worry about remembering a monthly or yearly subscription fee. You’ll see comments about a “Special Lifetime” subscription which is a bit cheaper but that is for people that have purchased the stand alone Pro version in the past and want to upgrade to the Lifetime subscription.

Both versions have the same features.

If I’ve missed the finer points I’m sure James will fill in the blanks. Good luck!

EDIT TO ADD: Also if you do decide to go with the lifetime subscription you will need to cancel the monthly subscription you started other wise it will be billed with it comes due.

Thanks for the info on the forced subtitles, I now have that working!

On the subscription when I go to manage the sub I am only seeing the monthly/annual options. Is there something else that needs to be done to get the lifetime to show up as an option?

Thanks

Since the lifetime license is a one-time purchase it won’t show up in the subscriptions area, but you can access it by tapping the ‘View Subscription’ link which appears below the Infuse Pro logo in Infuse > Settings.

Thanks! A bit confusing, when I tried to do this yesterday it kept complaining that I already had a subscription.

Today it worked and I was able to purchase.

Is there any way to move the life subscription to the App Store, thus disabling the option to renew the monthly/yearly subscription? It gets very confusing at times. Not to mention that one with the life subscription may renew another (unneeded) timed subscription by mistake.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Plex client (without the advanced VMP player) can now play 4K, HEVC, HDR movies under tvOS 13 beta 2 without video transcoding (direct stream); EAC audio is transcoded, however.
It seems that the native Apple player is greatly improved in tvOS 13 especially with respect to HEVC playback.