I owe Plex for the peace and quiet life they gave me, so I must say I LOVE Plex just for that alone. lol
Longer version: This is not meant to try and start an argument, this is simply our experience in the friendliest way I can say it.
My two WDTV Live's (SMP versions) were also VERY good with DLNA, probably the best DLNA device I ever found (Not counting MPC-HC or VLC on a HTPC), but it don't hold a candle to Plex Media Server, night and day difference for us here. Plex IS the single best investment to media sharing and playback this family ever did, hands down.
A million times better then DLNA, for us anyway. And the Roku 3's user experience when compared to our WDTV's, well LOL is not even in the same league. Granted I found the WDTV UI to be slightly nicer looking, but that's where the Pro's ends for me (and I dealt with WDTV devices for 5 years). And all I had to do was install Plex on the media server, for free, really? This family instantly had beautiful, easy-to-navigate and easy to understand playback in every room of the house. 6 family members instantly happy with media playback, especially my Mom who never could figure out how to navigate the WDTV using DLNA even with her Live SMP setup as best I could. Each WDTV firmware just kept introducing bug after bug after freggin bug, and she would have to get up, yelling at me in the process of course, and remove power from it and power it back on and then wait and wait and wait for it to boot, and that was with two WDTV devices, her first one and the replacement with the same exact issues. Now she just hits the Plex button on the Harmony remote (no matter what the on/off condition is of the Roku) and bam all her TV shows and Movies just come to life in a beautiful format with all her metadata, cover art, movie Trailers, user ratings etc. It couldn't get any more flawlessly easy for her. Her exact words to me was "Son, why didn't you do this for me sooner". And all I could say was "I didn't realize just how amazingly easy the Plex world was Mom, sorry". Especially its trouble free Transcoding, which is amazing and years a head of its time. If I decide I want to rip a movie to its full Blu-ray size (which I rarely do), the Plex Transcoder will automatically make sure she gets the best possible playback quality regardless if the playback device supports it or not. AND not to mention, I can select ANY container format I want. 2014 has been the absolute least troubled year for media playback to date for us
, all thanks to Plex. Lol, even my little brother Joshua a thousand miles away, on business trip, in a cheap Motel room was streaming a movie from my Plex server and he said he simply could not believe just how smooth and easy the process was using Plex. Took like 1 minute for him to figure it out and his Roku 3 played the entire movie flawlessly, from my home server in the remote rural desert of NM to a motel in Kansas City. REALLY? Lol, Plex is light years a head of DLNA... BY FAR!
Sadly, I put my Mother through two years of fighting with DLNA which is something a 67 year old, wonderful human being and a great Mother did not need or deserve. Wish I had discovered Plex sooner just for her alone as she "almost" went completely back to disk only usage thanks to horrid WDTV experience we had here. Anyway, I apologize for this but the ONLY reason we got this Samsung BD player, as apposed to say the LG (almost got that instead though) or another Panasonic, was solely because of its beautiful Plex app. Sadly, it has cinavia (which I was NOT aware of before hand) and "had" some sort of buffering issue (with earlier firmwares I assume) when my brother used it in 2013, so he would not put up with those problems. With Moms 1500+ DVD's and my 200+ DVD's, and a hundred or so combined BD disks, he was not willing to put up with the constant buffering issues this player gave him. My Mom and Brother Daryl are utterly addicted to bringing home new and used disks. My brother Daryl is a truck driver and is constantly looking at the collections you find in every truck stop. He has a short fuse with electronics though, lol so will not put up with a problem for more then a few hours tops, then he is off to the store to buy another device to replace it. I on the other hand have a HTPC next to my non-smart TV, on HDMI port #3
, so if something don't work on the F5900 (cinavia perhaps?), it most certainly will on my PC using Plex Home Theater. I do not need a smart device or TV myself, but I like having this F5900 for when my room gets to warm, I can then turn off the computer, turn on the little AC box, and only have the TV and BD player producing heat. My room is only 13' x 13' so it gets warm really quick here in central New Mexico, even in the winter.
Needless to say I sold all of our WDTV's, just way too much trouble, and too slow when working properly, and got rid of most of the old DVD and VHS players (yeah we have hundreds of those too, Mom will not get rid of them lol)... Only kept one Panasonic BD player (BD65), this Samsung F5900 and got Dad a Samsung Smart TV on Black Friday, and Mom a Roku 3 earlier this year, and all my siblings have the R3 as well (except for me). My brother Mike streams from my server on his Comcast internet but he is only 14 miles away and only streams 720p (I make sure of that). At any rate, the Family is FINALLY enjoying media the way it should have been from the beginning...
Oh, and not sure what you meant by "I want to play local DLNA content and don't take seriously any players that require Plex for that."
??? The Roku Media Player plays back DLNA
just fine, so Plex is not required. Plex is an app and that is a user choice to install and has never been required. All DLNA devices on planet earth need to have a DLNA player, regardless if its a Plex app or not. Our Roku's all playback DLNA perfectly over both Ethernet and WIFI from my DLNA enabled WHS2011 server, with or without Plex installed.
Anyway, please forgive me for this long version, LOL, but Plex has made MY life MUCH better because now my name is no longer yelled out almost everyday of the year to fix DLNA issues. I owe Plex for that peace and quiet they gave me. Now any maintenance I do is on my terms and my schedule...
Don't know if there will be a DLNA v2, but this family will not be going back to it any time soon. Haha