Inconsistent 4K Playback

I am running the latest version of the Infuse app (subscription) on a brand-new Apple TV 4K.

I use Infuse for playing back 4K media files stored on a NAS server. My ‘network share’ setting is SMB-Auto.

My 4K files are a mixture of AVC and HEVC mp4’s (264/265) in MKV containers. All have 5.1 or 7.1 Dolby TrueHD audio. All files are direct (not re-encoded) rips of UHD Blu-rays. All files have been sourced from Usenet but I own the UHD Blu-ray counterparts (I am unable to rip the discs myself).

For the most part, playback of my 4K files via Infuse is faultless. However, there are a couple of files which consistently exhibit buffering or freezing issues only a minute or so into the programme. In file-size, codec, and encoding-parameters, these problematic files are no different to one or other of the numerous other files which play all the way through without issue.

I tried changing the SMB protocol from ‘Auto’ to ‘Legacy’ but this had no effect on the playback issue one way or the other. I’ve done quite a bit of online research but most of the ‘hits’ were from years ago.

On the face of it, there seems to be no obvious reason why a minority of 4K files are problematic for Infuse to play. If any among the readership have a solution, or troubleshooting suggestions, I’d appreciate contributions. Thanks.

What do you get on one of these files using the speed test in Infuse?

Speed test - 2.2Gb 4K file (the smallest of the problematic files)
Average 84.24mbps
Minimum 28.67

Sounds like you might have a network problem or something. These speeds are generally too slow for 4K. Is your Apple TV connected to WiFi by chance? If so try connecting with Ethernet and see if that helps. Also sometimes when a usb drive is plugged into a NAS that slows it down.

Did you look at the graph of that file and see if it may have dips correlating to the buffering?

I replaced one of the problematic movies with a version from a different source. The new file plays perfectly.

It is interesting that although the Infuse-reported speeds are supposedly insufficient for reliable 4K playback, the practical reality is that 95% of my 4K files (the majority of which are straight rips of UHD Blu-rays) play, in their entirety, without issue, via Wi-Fi.

I connected my Apple TV via ethernet (albeit mains power-adapter route). The average speed, on ethernet, was in the low 90Mbps range; the minumum was around 70Mbps. The problematic file still didn’t play properly.

The same file also presented issues when played on VLC media player, so I’m pretty-much convinced that the architecture of the file(s) is/are the culprit. I cannot discount that despite claiming to be repackaged UHD-BD rips, some of the files may have had a degree of re-encoding in some form or another which compromises playback.

Thanks for your replies to my query.

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