[Update: Fix released] Chromecast with Google TV freezing & restarting issue when you play next episode on Plex still under investigation

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on October 19, 2021) follows:

There are a bunch of streaming devices available in the market and Chromecast with Google TV is one of them. All you need is a Wi-Fi network and a compatible device to start streaming.

Using Chromecast with Google TV, users can stream TV shows, movies, and games. It includes almost all big platforms such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, YouTube, and many more.

Google TV initially came in Chromecast with Google TV streamer in 2020. Basically, it’s the same as Android TV that was released back in 2010 by Intel, Sony, and Logitech, but it’s much improved now.

Chromecast-with-Google-TV-inline-new
Chromecast with Google TV

However, a widespread issue on Chromecast with Google TV when streaming on Plex has been bothering users for quite some time.

Many users have reported that Chromecast with Google TV is freezing and crashing when playing the next episode on Plex.

As per reports, playing the first episode of a show on Plex is fine but moving on to the next episode of the same show results in a zoomed and stretched-out video. Additionally, hitting back crashes the Chromecast and it has to be restarted.

chromecast-with-googletv-issue
(Source)

If I choose to play an episode of a show (MKV HEVC) it plays well. If I choose to play the next episode it will be displayed zoomed in and eventually the player app crashes and takes the device with it. (Source)

This is constant and easily reproducible for me. If the auto-play video starts zoomed in, I can sometimes back all the way out of plex back to the google tv main menu and avoid a crash. I only back out to the season/show or plex home screen, then it will freeze and reboot. (Source)

This bug was initially reported in April and remains unfixed until now. It has been there for the past few months and even though it was acknowledged back then, it is still under investigation.

Chromecast with Google TV crashing bug with Plex player is still haunting users in different ways. And those who have been waiting for a proper fix are getting frustrated with lame replies from Plex’s support team.

We’ve also seen reports of HEVC videos crashing issues on Github with respect to ExoPlayer on Chromecast with Google TV, but still no official solution has been provided.

In the most recent acknowledgment, a Plex employee who has been looking into this issue has assured those affected that they are taking it as a serious bug and it is still under investigation.

google-tv-chromecast-issue-acknowledged
(Source)

However, these kinds of acknowledgments have also popped up several times in the past, but still, no resolution has been found. Also, no workaround has been provided as a temporary fix.

On the brighter side, the crashing problem is apparently fixed for some users after installing a newer version of Plex player but not everyone is on the same page.

We hope that this long-lasting issue gets fixed soon enough so that users can continue to use Plex on Chromecast with Google TV without getting zoomed in or stretched out images.

Update 1 (November 03)

03:43 pm (IST): A Plex employee confirmed that the company has gotten to the bottom of the issue and has worked out a fix for it. Here’s what they have to say:

With information from Google and the SOC manufacturer we’ve found the issue is down to the tunnelling decoder for HEVC on the Chromecast with Google TV device.

Here’s a build that should provide stable HEVC playback with no device reboots or image stretches, it will land in the v8.26 beta should be out next week.

https://artifacts.plex.tv/android-experimental/8.26.0.28805-ec518bea/PlexForAndroid-8.26.0.28805-ec518bea-Armv7aGooglePlayStdExo.apk

Update 2 (November 09)

06:08 pm (IST): The fix is now officially out in beta and can be downloaded by heading here, as confirmed by a Plex employee on the community forums.

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Aashish Singh

I developed a keen interest in technology ever since my school days. And writing about it keeps me closer to this fascinating world. When I’m not working you can catch me playing video games.