Best way to pass daw timecode to a VST3 plugin (when no hostsync is available)

From my current understanding, max’ vst~ doesn’t communicate transport/timecode information to the hosted plugin. The only information I do receive at the playhead is the current BPM. On the max forum I read, that vst~ doesn’t even forward timecode from its inlet to the plugin. But i’m not 100% sure, if this is correct. I haven’t tested it myself.

Now I’m wondering what’s the “best” way to realize it programmatically. Currently I’m having the following ideas:

  1. Passing the timecode through plugin parameter(s) (not sure if this is a good idea…)
  2. Using OSC protocoll
  3. encode the timecode into audiosamples, pass them as audio to the plugin and decode it in the plugin (probably the hardest way for me to realizie, because i’m not an DSP-expert)
  4. Since my plugin only sends midi-notes, another idea is, to encode the timecode into midi-note-information.

The solution should offer an accurate and stable timing.

Has anyone a suggestion for me?
Are there other/better solutions?

thanks and regards