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post #31 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

I found the best way to get a Harmony remote working properly in Plex on Windows is to select MCE Keyboard as your device in the Harmony software. Then you simply map your Harmony's buttons to the proper keystrokes (e.g., stop = x). Works perfectly assuming your IR receiver can receive the same commands the MCE keyboard can. This is the IR receiver I use.

Yeah, here is a fairly useful discussion of it on the Plex forums.

I guess that, when I say it's 'annoying,' I'm just comparing it to the ease of just clicking on 'Plex Player' in the Harmony setup and having it all done in 10 seconds. I am, after all, a Mac guy. Anything more than 2 clicks and we're out of our depth.
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post #32 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 11:41 AM
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From listening to a mac addict friend of mine boasting about plex and plex server, I decided to try the plex server out on CentOS 6.1 self built NAS.

To my greatest surprise, the installation was over in less than three minutes...

I went further and configured my media folders et al... it was almost identical to setting up mediabrowser, because you decide on the name you want to see on the top level (movies, shows... anything) and you assign folders to watch and update.

The scrapper was not like anything I have ever seen before. It looks like it takes the first frame of the movie and finds a match, and somehow it was close to 97% success rate. I had to modify some, but it was equally straightforward.

I was so impressed by the ease and speed of install that i decided to test drive the server and bought the plex client in the app store for my iPad2.

Once again, I was completely (positively) shocked by the smoothness and quality at which 1080p MKV files were being played over my wi-fi network by the iPad2. The transcoding is spectacular...
All of this was too hard for me to believe in one evening, I invited my mac friend over the next day.
He came with his mac pro to test drive the plex server and amazingly, the plex client on the mac pro played just as flawlessly as I could ever imagine...

Since having this in place, my 4yr old has nearly killed the iPad2.
That shows how easy it is to use.
My 4yr old can start the device, start plex, choose his movie and watch.
He sometimes even goes to bed with it.

The one most impressive thing is that the plex server has served all movies at 100% success rate, it did not crash once!

I bought an apple TV2 last weekend and the HTPC in the bedroom quickly found its place in the basement.

The apple TV2 was jailbroken probably an hour after I bought it and has been running plex since then.
SD and 720p movies play fantastically well, 1080p movies not very well, but there is newer version that will be released anytime soon that they promise addresses most issues with 1080p files.
At the moment, I use airplay to stream 1080p files from the iPad2 to the ATV2... this workaround is so exciting and phenominal...

All in all, there is still no replacement for the HTPC that does HD audio bitstreaming, 3D et al... but the plex setup is totally a no brainer to prefer when it comes to ease of setup and use.

I think it is also unfortunate for the XBMC folks that plex was forked out of their product... but hey... that is what life is all about...

Image quality is completely acceptable (in my opinion) if TV is well calibrated.
Audio quality not bad (excellent IMO) if you don't care about lossless HD audio (which most average users don't really care about anyway)

Final decision: HTPC in the living room stays as is with HDMI 1.4 for 3D and lossless audio support.
All others run on plex...

You have to try it to know what it really is...
My opinion on i-products has changed in the last month...
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post #33 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 11:47 AM
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Yeah, my son is 2, and he has taken over my iPad b/c of Plex. Sometimes when we're watching TV or doing something else he doesn't want to do or watch, he just says 'Movie!!' Then he proceeds to walk over to the iPad, wake it from sleep, choose Plex, navigate to his movie collection (it was actually the first time I realized that he knew what his name looked like in words), and start a movie.

It's mind-boggling to me...
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post #34 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by trooper11 View Post

Ive checked out Plex a few times since they added windows support, but it was the ui design that turned me off. Are there sources for custom ui modifications from the community or is that not supported?

There are custom skins just like XBMC I personally enjoy the PlexAeon skin which I believe is a copy from XBMC.
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post #35 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 12:14 PM
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One other thing I forgot to mention with the plex / plex server is how you can stop watching a movie midway on one device, and come back the next day to continue watching the same movie where you stopped yesterday on another machine...
You don't specifically need to configure anything for this... it is built in and works out of the box...
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post #36 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by balky View Post

One other thing I forgot to mention with the plex / plex server is how you can stop watching a movie midway on one device, and come back the next day to continue watching the same movie where you stopped yesterday on another machine...
You don't specifically need to configure anything for this... it is built in and works out of the box...

And, just for some clarification, it gives you the option to either restart at the beginning OR resume wherever you are watching.
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post #37 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balky View Post

One other thing I forgot to mention with the plex / plex server is how you can stop watching a movie midway on one device, and come back the next day to continue watching the same movie where you stopped yesterday on another machine...
You don't specifically need to configure anything for this... it is built in and works out of the box...

This is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about. There are so many little conveniences built into Plex that add together to make it such a great program. It's also extremely easy to add another HTPC to my home. I simply install plex and login to my myplex account, and there I have an experience that matches all the other HTPCs in my home. Heck, I don't even have to enter an IP address or navigate to the folders containing my content.

This is also why I like using extenders rather than the native WMC client for each TV in the house. I simply add an Xbox 360, use the add extender function on the main computer, and there I have a DVR added to another TV in the house.
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post #38 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 01:43 PM
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Thanks for the clarification on some of those points. Since the UI can be customized, ill look into the options there.

I currently use media center master for my metadata and its worked fine, so thats why i was interested in how well plex handles it. Does anyone know what sources it uses for metadata?

Oh and regarding the feature of resuming a video from the last place you left it, that's something Ive been using in media browser for a while now. Its a great feature to have. I can resume any video ive played or choose to restart it at a later time.

the thing i like about mediabrowser is the extensive community support and development of apps that add all sorts of additional functionality. hopefully the developments of plex for windows can grow as well and offer a similar community of possibilities. That way you don't have to rely just on the program devs to add features, especially if its something they may not care about supporting even when the community is (say the BR iso/folder support or audio bitstreaming). Its still very early for the windows version. Hopefully the devs care enough about the windows platform to keep it up.
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post #39 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper11 View Post

Thanks for the clarification on some of those points. Since the UI can be customized, ill look into the options there.

I currently use media center master for my metadata and its worked fine, so thats why i was interested in how well plex handles it. Does anyone know what sources it uses for metadata?

Oh and regarding the feature of resuming a video from the last place you left it, that's something Ive been using in media browser for a while now. Its a great feature to have. I can resume any video ive played or choose to restart it at a later time.

the thing i like about mediabrowser is the extensive community support and development of apps that add all sorts of additional functionality. hopefully the developments of plex for windows can grow as well and offer a similar community of possibilities. That way you don't have to rely just on the program devs to add features, especially if its something they may not care about supporting even when the community is (say the BR iso/folder support or audio bitstreaming). Its still very early for the windows version. Hopefully the devs care enough about the windows platform to keep it up.

Plex uses a few metadata agents, and you can prioritize which metadata agents to prefer over others for each specific user-created group. The baseline metadata agents are freebase for movies, TheTVDB for TV shows, and Last.fm for music.

I've found that its metadata scraping is generally much more accurate than many others (including MCM) for 'imperfectly named' files.

If you're worried about your MCM-created folders giving it problems, don't. I used MCM to make everything Windows-friendly, and Plex had no problems with using the cover art (including folder.jpg and its analogues) that was created by MCM (except it doesn't rotate fanart in the background like MB does).

The movie and episode summaries, OTOH, are not used, as it doesn't use/read .nfo files. The info is auto-populated. You can edit the info, cover art, etc in the Media Server app, but, if you went through and painstakingly made .nfo files for your non-scrapeable content, you're going to need to repopulate it in Plex.

Below is an example of what I did for my recording of the 2010 National Championship. Took a couple of minutes to find the jpg's online and past the game summary, but works for me!




You can also customize how movies are listed (the Die Hard movies, for example, can be listed together in chronological order despite their very different names).
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post #40 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 02:38 PM
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trooper11 - And the resume feature that people are talking about is actually the multiple HTPC resume feature, not just a "normal" resume. Basically the resume point is stored in the Media Server Database and you can resume your movie from any of the HTPCs or iOS/Android devices connected to that Media Server, so say you`re watching a movie on HTPC A in the living room, you exit it and later on you can resume from the point you exited on HTPC B in the bedroom, both connected to the same Media Server app. You can do the same with XBMC but you need to use an MySQL db, which can range from easy (Windows/OS X) to hard (UnRAID) in regards to the setup process. I think you can setup a common db for Media Browser, but not sure since i`ve never tried it.

Here`s how the Server app looks like, btw :

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post #41 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 02:57 PM
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Assassin, I never meant to suggest that people who aren't using plex are "doing it all wrong." My issue is, as lovekeii read, the omission of Plex from the stickies. I'm not saying Plex is categorically better than XBMC or WMC; it's just a better solution for a number of people.

Another major reason I use an Xbox 360 is for Netflix, ESPN 360, etc. AFAIK, the only way to obtain hi definition ESPN 360 is through an Xbox 360.

Unfortunately, there are two major compromises with using an Xbox 360 though. First, you need an Xbox live gold membership to access the streaming services (although, you can get 4 gold memberships for $100 a year, which isn't that bad). The other problem is that the Xbox 360 app framework currently doesn't support 1080p, only 720p. Netflix's streaming quality isn't great to begin with, though, so I don't think the lack of 1080p is a big problem. Also, from my experience, the Netflix plugins for XBMC and Plex work very poorly compared to Netflix on an Xbox 360.

Also, thank you everyone for your insight. I didn't know lossless audio was possible through Plex. I'm definitely going to check that out.

I don't understand this, "omission from stickies"?

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post #42 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't understand this, "omission from stickies"?

I really don't understand what's so controversial about this statement. I realize Plex wasn't deliberately omitted from the stickies on this forum. That's not what I mean at all. It's completely plausible that no one has made a good guide yet to get Plex up and running. Heck I might even make one at some point, but I just don't have the time right now.

I just made this post because I noticed, 'hey, plex isn't mentioned anywhere on the front page, and I think it's a great program for a lot of people.' That being said, it would be nice if there was a guide that simply summarized all the available HTPC software solutions (XBMC, WMC, MediaPortal, Plex, etc.). Again, though, I don't really have time right now for that. Maybe in the future. That's why I made this 'here's my 2 cents' post in the time being.
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post #43 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 03:27 PM
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Well, if enough like it, that's where it may end up.

"The purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis." Spock, Mark of Gideon, TOS
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post #44 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 03:32 PM
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Well, if enough like it, that's where it may end up.

Yeah, it will really need to mature in its Windows implementation and popularity to reach that point.

But, as you imply, there's certainly nothing wrong with just making this a Plex discussion thread. If folks post on it frequently enough, it'll stay on the first couple of pages and become the de facto Plex thread, just like the JRMC thread and all the others.

I'd suggest, if I may, that the OP could conceivably edit the title to 'Plex discussion thread' so as to avoid any rancor.
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post #45 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, it will really need to mature in its Windows implementation and popularity to reach that point.

But, as you imply, there's certainly nothing wrong with just making this a Plex discussion thread. If folks post on it frequently enough, it'll stay on the first couple of pages and become the de facto Plex thread, just like the JRMC thread and all the others.

I'd suggest, if I may, that the OP could conceivably edit the title to 'Plex discussion thread' so as to avoid any rancor.

Advice taken :P
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post #46 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 05:46 PM
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Sorry for the rough start guys. Didn't mean any ill will. I think I misunderstood a bit the purpose of the OP's first post.

There is always room for another option. And there is ALWAYS room for more people passionate about HTPC whatever the format.

BTW I agree with and like the new title of this thread.
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post #47 of 2023 Old 01-23-2012, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Sorry for the rough start guys. Didn't mean any ill will. I think I misunderstood a bit the purpose of the OP's first post.

There is always room for another option. And there is ALWAYS room for more people passionate about HTPC whatever the format.

BTW I agree with and like the new title of this thread.

No worries. I think I was just trying to spice it up when I picked the original title. I should have been more clear.
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post #48 of 2023 Old 01-24-2012, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Sorry for the rough start guys. Didn't mean any ill will. I think I misunderstood a bit the purpose of the OP's first post.

There is always room for another option. And there is ALWAYS room for more people passionate about HTPC whatever the format.

BTW I agree with and like the new title of this thread.

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No worries. I think I was just trying to spice it up when I picked the original title. I should have been more clear.

I'm very happy to see things going in the right direction...
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post #49 of 2023 Old 02-03-2012, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I just learned something else amazing about Plex. I wanted to play TV shows on my laptop remotely, so I began looking into how to properly configure VPN to do so. Apparently, though, you don't have to do anything at all! It's already set up. Just open Plex while you're on a remote network and just navigate to your videos and hit play like you would at home! If you want, you can adjust the quality in case there's not enough bandwidth to play your videos directly. Mind blown
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post #50 of 2023 Old 02-04-2012, 09:36 AM
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LOL, but good stuff. Plex makes a lot things easy. Although, I think you meant to say recorded or downloaded TV shows, and not so much live TV.

I tried the HDHomerun channel on Android, and wouldn't play the channels. Although, not that critical to me. Just a limitation at this point. Maybe another tuner could work.
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post #51 of 2023 Old 02-04-2012, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
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LOL, but good stuff. Plex makes a lot things easy. Although, I think you meant to say recorded or downloaded TV shows, and not so much live TV.

I tried the HDHomerun channel on Android, and wouldn't play the channels. Although, not that critical to me. Just a limitation at this point. Maybe another tuner could work.

Yeah I definitely mean recorded TV shows. If plex could do OTA live television with a program guide, then I could stop using WMC7/extenders completely. Now that would be something!
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post #52 of 2023 Old 02-05-2012, 04:57 PM
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I know some people were working on live/PVR tv stuff on XBMC. But it was still a ways to go for something they could make official.

Plex has someone working on a plug-in for the HDHomerun but it is just one guy overall, and it's still very early. No EPG, no PVR. Just live TV. On a side note, I don't think WMC is all that bad of experience. The only bummer part is the DRM recording format and just the date recording naming. Otherwise, one could just add a folder in Plex for the recordings.
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post #53 of 2023 Old 02-06-2012, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I just found something worth noting. While trouble shooting some color space issues I turned DXVA off and noticed that video playback was very poor. It appeared that only one core of my Intel q8400 was being stressed. The same file played back smoothly in XBMC with the load being spread across all four cores.

I forget where I found it, but someone suggested that the Mac and Linux clients support multiple threads but the Windows version does not. That's something to keep in mind if you plan on using the Windows client without hardware acceleration. I'm still looking into the issue though.
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post #54 of 2023 Old 02-06-2012, 10:32 PM
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Not to necessarily disagree with you, but I think your information may be off a bit. I just took this screen capture of Plex, played Wall-E from a MKV I made from the Blu Ray disc I own



I run both the Windows version of Plex front end and server. From the screen, it appears I am using mutliple cores. I'm only using a late 2009 Mac Mini with Windows 7 (no boot camp), and it's only a 2.66ghz C2D. What it may be the case, it may not support qaud core or more, yet.

As for your experience, I would check your settings for video and audio both within plex and on your machine. Other than hardware limitation dealing with HD audio, Plex plays fine on my machine. I found XBMC to be a bit more finicky with my media files compared to Boxee or Plex. Although, XBMC is still a good a player.
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post #55 of 2023 Old 02-06-2012, 10:53 PM
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I've used both, and IMO the most amazing thing about Plex is the total rewrite they did for the media library. Unifying library and files mode, a very nice organized system of scrapers, agents etc that gives a lot of flexibility, a media server that's separated from the client etc. All described here - http://elan.plexapp.com/2010/03/24/t...-introduction/

A lot of nice ideas that are the 'right' thing to do. Unfortunately the 2 camps have not agreed to combine their codebase, otherwise we could have the best of both worlds.

XBMC is obviously on the cutting edge and Plex take code drops from newer XBMC releases, but they go ahead and maintain the Plex media server as a separate entity. It is such a pity, I woul dlove to use the latest and greatest XBMC player code, skins and plugins with the flexibility of PMS. And I'm sure it won't take a lot to write a dedicated desktop app for PMS rather than the web based version.

Video playback on OX is in the dark ages compared to Windows.
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post #56 of 2023 Old 02-07-2012, 02:26 AM
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A lot of nice ideas that are the 'right' thing to do. Unfortunately the 2 camps have not agreed to combine their codebase, otherwise we could have the best of both worlds.

XBMC is obviously on the cutting edge and Plex take code drops from newer XBMC releases, but they go ahead and maintain the Plex media server as a separate entity. It is such a pity, I woul dlove to use the latest and greatest XBMC player code, skins and plugins with the flexibility of PMS. And I'm sure it won't take a lot to write a dedicated desktop app for PMS rather than the web based version.

Entirely the fault of the Plex developers for making the Media Server code closed source. It's a shame that the Plex developers only take from open source projects like XBMC but never give anything back to the open source community, would have been nice of them to release their Media Server rewrite as open source so projects like XBMC could benefit.
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post #57 of 2023 Old 02-07-2012, 06:55 AM
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The Plex closeness is more about commercial business. They're trying to sell the software to various consumer electronics such as TV and BR players.

I haven't used the latest XBMC. I'm sure it's good piece of software. Although, the overall experience of using the two are very similar such as watching a movie, I found the other stuff with XBMC a bit more frustrating compared to Plex. Plugins were the worse for me.

As mentioned above, I really like the separate meda server and front end client. It lets you just setup and maintain all your video libraries and plugin's from one location. Thus, if you add another device, all that stuff is setup. From what I can tell, the Plex community seems to be pretty aggressive with trying to make it where you can consume your media anywhere, anytime.

On a personal note, I really did miss Plex when I first switched over to Windows from OSX.
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post #58 of 2023 Old 02-07-2012, 12:25 PM
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Entirely the fault of the Plex developers for making the Media Server code closed source. It's a shame that the Plex developers only take from open source projects like XBMC but never give anything back to the open source community, would have been nice of them to release their Media Server rewrite as open source so projects like XBMC could benefit.

Yes, completely agree.
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post #59 of 2023 Old 02-07-2012, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lovekeiiy View Post

Not to necessarily disagree with you, but I think your information may be off a bit. I just took this screen capture of Plex, played Wall-E from a MKV I made from the Blu Ray disc I own


I run both the Windows version of Plex front end and server. From the screen, it appears I am using mutliple cores. I'm only using a late 2009 Mac Mini with Windows 7 (no boot camp), and it's only a 2.66ghz C2D. What it may be the case, it may not support qaud core or more, yet.

As for your experience, I would check your settings for video and audio both within plex and on your machine. Other than hardware limitation dealing with HD audio, Plex plays fine on my machine. I found XBMC to be a bit more finicky with my media files compared to Boxee or Plex. Although, XBMC is still a good a player.

Hey lovekeiiy, is that with DXVA turned off? Also, what do you mean "Mac Mini with Windows 7 (no boot camp)"? Don't you need boot camp to run Windows 7 on a Mac?
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post #60 of 2023 Old 02-08-2012, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Because of some issues I've been having with DXVA, I've been testing some other software solutions out there, many of which I've used before. Something I've taken for granted since using Plex is just how accurate the metadata collector is in the Plex Media Server. I tried XBMC, MyMovies, and Jriver, and all of them had various issues with bits of my media. Perhaps some of my media could be organized or named better, but PMS (Plex Media Server) does not care at all. PMS literally has not made a single mistake since I've started using it. I have not had to edit single piece of metadata. Judging by how the other programs fared, this must be quite an accomplishment.

The single issue I have with PMS, and others have mentioned it, is that it's a bit slow (although there is a cocoa version for mac that I hear is much faster). However, I never have to edit anything, so it's not really an issue.
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