Plex, nVidia Shield, Player Broken? Read this

I want to bring this to anyone’s attention to those who use an nVidia shield with Plex. I was having an issue where the now playing information wouldn’t show at the top of the activity and the play button wouldn’t work. It appears after a plex upgrade for nVidia shield it set the enable new video player to ON. If you go to your plex settings and advanced to the right will be enable new video player. If this is set to ON you will not get media status playback information at the top of your activity and a few of the buttons will not work as expected, mainly the play button. Turning this to off fixes the problem.

Support request. Can you please look into this new player as i suspect at some point it will be automatically switched to ON as default on a future plex version upgrade and as of right now your integration with it is broken.

I recently noticed this issue too, and was about to submit a support ticket. Thanks for posting a workaround.
@Will_Price - should we submit an official support ticket for this?

Same… posting here to subscribe/watch (as I too suspect that at some point they will force the new player as the standard).

Based on Plex’s forums, the new player is currently a disaster. So you probably just want to turn it off. It seems unclear whether Plex will ever be fixing their control mechanisms as they remove such features from their own app, and the related features remaining in their app do not work with their new player (such as playing content to Plex Shield from their app which currently plays into an invisible window!)

If you need to leave it on for some reason, switch your control to use the nVidia Shield device for now which obviously continues to work fine. You will miss some feedback that way, but control will work. If they leave it broken, we may try to blend some feedback into the Shield device one day. But for now, given they provide the option to turn it off, and given that it seems deeply broken in many ways, using it seems misguided.

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Fully agreed. It doesn’t work with my Nvidia remotes correctly either, so it definitely is getting turned off (though the Plex app on Shield loves to ‘re-enable’ it every time there is an update). Thanks for confirming you’re tracking it in any case.

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With the new player being more mature, any further plans to add feedback support for the Shield? Seems keyboard support is a bit shoddy when I’ve tried it recently - let me know if I should contact support on this if not known.

With the new player being more mature

What evidence is there of that? Were any of the larger bugs I referenced fixed? Since it was a disaster in February, is it not now? Seems like almost no time has passed since the last post on this topic given the intervening shutdowns. I have not re-checked Plex Shield to see if they fixed anything since then. Improvements here will need to be preceded by Plex actually making fixes in these areas. Because of the Plex Shield issues, my own daily Plex usage is on Apple TV, so I likely won’t notice if they fix things unless it’s posted here.

Only reason to use plex on shield would be if you have a nice surround system and want lossless audio and atmos (DTS HD-MA,Dolby TrueHD, with or without Atmos extensions). Nvidia Shield is the only one that does that at the moment. Apple TV 4Ks atmos is Dolby Digital+ with Atmos extensions and those are from the streaming services. I use my Apple TV 4K for everything else as it does most of those apps better,(refresh rate switching,etc)

YouTube (until tvOS 14) and plex go Shield, everything else Apple TV 4K, if you care about lossless surround formats such as dts hd ma and Dolby true hd.

I’ve got a 7.1.4 atmos system and all my BDs and UHD BDs are ripped into mkv on my nas to playback lossless from plex on the Shield.

As a Plex device or Shield device? I only use the Shield device and have only had it for a little over a month, but Play/Pause control works for me. I do not use the Plex device as my server is remote and does not come up in the listing. Let me know of anything I can check working or not.

Yep this is my use case as well. Apple TV just doesn’t cut it with lossless audio.

If you just have a generic debate between ATV and Shield, then sure the lack of true Atmos is a major issue with ATV. OTOH if you’re looking for Nirvana, it just isn’t there. The lack of usable DV HDR on Shield (not the streaming layer type) also makes it imperfect for perfect modern format playback. Neither device checks all the boxes. But we’re talking very specifically about Plex here. To use Plex for the use case where you need maximum audio and video quality seems like the wrong tool for the job. Plex excels in flexibility, watch it anywhere, but getting all the transcode options set correctly and eliminating all hiccups and pauses with high bandwidth formats has at least in my experience been almost hopeless. Even today I often start a Plex session by giving the Shield or ATV a restart first just for hygiene, and then make sure to avoid any maximum quality format regardless.

I use Kodi on Shield because then I know for sure it’s not transcoding, and Kodi doesn’t get into religious wars over formats like ISO, BDMV, etc. With the exception of Apple never adding Blu-ray support to Macs, Plex never adding ISO/BDMV has to be the longest running, most nonsensical thing I’ve seen in this area.

Control and feedback and media guide work great with Kodi of course on all platforms.

Anyway, to repeat the important point made above, if you do use Plex on Shield today and for some reason need the experimental player, just use the Shield remote instead of the Plex remote. Or use Plex on ATV where everything works fine.

You are correct, there is no perfect solution here. What i’ve done to mitigate the issue is just make app updates manual on my shield this way i can control when plex gets updated since usually when it does it changes the default player to the new one which is super annoying. This works better for me than the surprise this doesnt work again when i want to watch a movie, oh plex must have gotten updated and i need to go change the settings again before i actually start my movie.

I am using a JVC NX7 4K projector and luckily for me my projector does frame by frame tonemapping for HDR so no need for DV. I used to rip all my movies in ISO format and the folder structure but a while back switched to just ripping the movie into a lossless mkv format straight from the disk with makemkv since i wanted quicker movie playback and never actually watched the extras on the disc. Setting plex to direct playback i’ve never had a transcoding issue, BD and UHD BDs playback without a hitch, even something more complex like Billy Lynns Long Half Time Walk which is a 4K/60 title plays back fine.

KODI is a great solution as well so i can’t knock that solution. I guess i got lazy and wanted the metadata population that plex seemed to do for me without any work as opposed to a more hands on approach with KODI.

I do love my Apple TV 4K and would love to someday get rid of the shield and just use that for my use case.