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Buffering Issues in Plex Streaming from Seedbox

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  • Buffering Issues in Plex Streaming from Seedbox

    I have been trying to find the root cause of buffering issues with Plex on my seedbox for months now, and would really appreciate any advice or ideas you have to help me get to the bottom of this. Sorry if the post is a little long, will do my best to sum up my investigation so far.

    Some background - my seedbox is being hosted by - a Dedibox XC SATA 2016 (8C @ 2.4 Ghz Intel C2750 processor, 16 GB memory, 1 Gbit/s bandwidth guaranteed). In general the connection speed is incredibly good. I download torrents with rTorrent, load them in to Plex media server, and stream them to the plex app on my xbox one.

    Sometimes it streams perfectly at 2 Mbps, and sometimes even at lower rates it lags so bad that it's unwatchable. When the buffering issues start up I've tried switching to different video formats (resolution, bitrate, container, codec) but it had little to no impact. I've seen excessive buffering occur when plex does Direct Stream, and not happen when it transcodes, it doesn't seem to make a difference. I've ran monitoring tools such as "htop", and CPU is usually low (max of 70% during a spike), and "nload" to see Outgoing bitrate, which averages between 2-5 Mbps for a single 720p stream (if running multiple streams it increases steadily as expected). Unless I'm missing something, I don't think its lack of horsepower or bandwidth on the seedbox side.

    It seems to be connected to the time of day. If I'm watching between 12 AM and 5 AM CST I never run in to issues, even at higher qualities. However during peak hours from 5 PM to 10 PM there's nearly always trouble. I have cable internet at home, and my download speeds are always great. Even if many people are using cable in my area at once, only Plex runs in to buffering issues, other apps like Netflix and Hulu will work just fine... even if multiple devices are running them simultaneously.

    So I've done fairly extensive testing and monitoring on server side and at home, looking for any choke point, but I just can't nail down a culprit. As a last resort I'm thinking that maybe because the seedbox is in France, and I'm in US, during peak hours the pipes are getting clogged somewhere in between. That said, whether I'm having buffering issues or not, when I ping the server, the response time stays fairly consistent average around 120ms.

    Any other ideas what could be going on? Quite frustrated and happy to try anything at this point.

  • #2
    Via plex settings try 2 things ,1st:
    1.untick any DLNA options.usually the 1st two
    2.untick via "network" --> GDM "option".

    3.could be, either online / your ISP obviously reduce/limit their pipes, on rush hours .
    recall the server u have/use shares the line with other servers.


    • #3
      I'm pretty sure its your network problem. Your ISP may not have a reliable connection to Try downloading a test file from your seedbox and check how much speeds you get.


      • #4
        Thanks for the tips. I changed the settings MrG.A suggested but it didn't seem to have a noticeable difference.
        Need to try a few more file transfers at different times throughout the day, but agreed it sounds more and more like a network issue.
        Assuming this is the case, any ideas for workarounds or ways to improve? I like the current server I have. Maybe there's a way to rent a cheap server that is physically closer to my home, and use it as a go-between. Is it possible to somehow just route the traffic through a server? If that makes sense / would even help. Idk what a good way to do this is... if I transferred the full files after downloading, it would need a lot of storage, and then also a good CPU for Plex transcoding, and at that point might as well rent a nicer server close to home altogether :/


        • #5
          If your ISP is still a suspect, try optimizing the file. I've ran into similar issues with different plex apps on different networks, and the resolve was to "Optimize" for TV or mobile. Plex will convert the file to a format that is better streamed.


          • #6
            The way a video is encoded impacts buffer times there are a number of one click groups (EVO ect) that use buffer rates that are excessive even for BD on standard files (1.4GB)
            You can check VBV buffer rates of the problem files in media info to test
            you should be looking for around 1000-2000 per GB of video, apposed to the unset 65000+ used in unset encoders (regardless of video size)


            • #7
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