– Whenever I try to playback 4K HEVC video (AC3 5.1) (usually ~30 mbps) on my Samsung smart TV, it has issues with the playback with skipping, repeating, etc. The audio plays uninterrupted but the video is super glitchy.

– Plex won’t play HEVC h.265 .mkv remux files from my PC to Plex app via roku stick+? When I try to play the file, it says video is unavailable, please check server.

– Plex apps, such as on my Galaxy S7, and my gaming PC, refuse to play in x265. All of these devices are well capable of playing x265, and even play them flawlessly when I physically put the copy on to the device and play it through an x265 capable media player.

HEVC (a.k.a. H.265), featuring high compression ratio with improved video quality but lower bit rate, is now widely used in many fields, from digital cameras, mobiles to media apps, websites, for 4K recording and playback. Plex, the popular cross-platform client-server media player, gives its announcement to support 4K HEVC playback. However, problems arrive at the same time. Why won’t Plex play HEVC/H.265 availably or smoothly? How to fix Plex 4K HEVC MKV/MP4 playback issues? Answers can be found here!

Plex Won’t Play HEVC/H.265 – Reasons

1. There is an unaccepted 4K HEVC video.

Plex publishes explicit requirements for achieving 4K HEVC direct playback. 4K content you want to play on a device should meet the following properties.

Container Resolution Frame Rate Bit Depth
MP4 3840 x 2160 or lower 30fps 8 bit

Plex will give warning: it is an unavailable video when you play any incompatible HEVC file, like HEVC MKV, 4K HEVC 60fps, HEVC 10-bit. Device may be the other trouble. Currently, 4K HEVC videos can be only watched on – TiVo Roamio & Bolt (Series 6) devices, 2016 or newer Tizen-based Samsung models, VIZIO televisions – via Plex.

2. There is an incompetent computer.

Despite of HEVC support on Windows 10 and Plex, glitchy playback issue usually occurs. Why? High system requirements are required to play HEVC, especially for 4K HEVC videos. A computer wrapping powerful processor and graphic cards is quite necessary to watch HEVC videos smoothly with Plex.

Glance at Minimum System Requirements of 4K HEVC Playback:

Processor GPUs RAM
Intel Kaby Lake or newer Integrated Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4200 or better/AMD A10-7800 APU 8GB
Discrete Graphics: GeForce GTX 650 or better/AMD Radeon HD 700 Series or better

3. There is a very slow HEVC transcoding speed.

Plex will automatically transcode 4K HEVC videos which don’t meet the above-mentioned properties to 1080P via Plex Media Server instead of direct playback. Transocding is a CPU-intensive task leading to horrible performance to handle other tasks unless you have a sufficient CPU. And, slow transcoding speed can kill everyone’s patience.

Plex Media Server uses hardware acceleration to offload transcoding to GPUs with the purpose of getting a faster performance and lowering CPU usage. The new problem is that video quality may be compromised.

How to Fix Plex HEVC/X265 Playback Issue?

If you wish to direct play H.265/HEVC files on Plex Media Server, you will need to perform a format transcoding process.

Here, a powerful H.265/HEVC converter – U2USoft Total Video Converter or Video Converter for Mac is highly recommended to you. The program can swiftly convert H.265/HEVC MP4/MKV files to Plex Media Server direct playable formats listed above. For those people who care much about output file quality, you can flexibly adjust the output video codec, bit rate, frame rate, resolution and audio codec, bit rate, frame rate and channels to achieve the best video playback settings for Plex.

Apart from H.265/HEVC, you can also use the program to convert other unsupported file formats such as MP4, MOV, MKV, M2TS, VOB, etc for Plex Media Server direct playback.

Download HEVC/H.265 Video Converter for Windows:

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Download HEVC/H.265 Converter for Mac:

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How to Convert H.265/HEVC for Plex Media Server Direct Playback?

Step 1. Import H.265/HEVC video files.

Launch the program, click “Load file(s)” or “Add video” button to load the H.265/HEVC video file you want to convert in your PC into the program.

Play HEVC H.265 Videos to Samsung Smart TV

Step 2: Choose proper output format.

Click “Format” bar, from its drop-down option, select to output “HD Video” > “H.264 HD Video(*.mp4)” that are supported by most devices Plex.

Set output video format

Step 3: Adjust output profile parameters

Click “Settings” to open “Profile Parameters” settings window, here, you can flexibly tweak output video codec, video codec, bit rate, frame rate, resolution and audio codec, bit rate, frame rate and channels.

Step 4: Begin the conversion process.

Go back to the main interface, click right-bottom “Convert” button to start H.265 to Plex Media Server most compatible H.264 HD format conversion process.

When the conversion is done, click “Open Output Folder” button to pop out the folder with converted files, then add converted files to plex for playing with the Plex app on different devices.