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post #1 of 873 Old 01-22-2012, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
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plex.tv

 

Because I love Plex so much, I decided to make a list of a few of the great things about this media server application and HTPC front end:

 

-All of your media instantly available to you anywhere in the world on your phone, tablet, and web browser

-Very easy to setup (no messing with VPN's, IP addresses, etc., Plex does all the hard work for you)

-Central management of media through your web browser, with all changes pushed immediately to clients

-Excellent metadata scanner with support for movies, TV shows, and music

-Enormous number of devices supported (PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows phone, Roku, Google TV, Samsung Blu-ray players, and others as well as any device that supports DLNA)

-Any files your device does not support will be automatically transcoded

-Progress synced across all devices, so you can start playing something on your phone, and then pick up where you left off on your TV

-Plug-in support (Youtube, Daily Show, TED talks, etc.)

-Easily share your media library with friends and family over the internet

-Mostly free (some of the clients cost a few dollars)

 

There are a few cons:

-No live TV or DVR support (although you can use Plex to access your recordings)
-Doesn’t play nice with ISO's, Video_TS, or BDMV folders

 

Web app:

 

PC front end:

 

Android / Google TV:

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post #2 of 873 Old 01-22-2012, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Fyi, I noticed a lot of the stickied HTPC guides recommend XBMC. I used XBMC for a while, but now I've switched to Plex and will never look back. XBMC is capable of amazing things, but the end user has to do a lot of the setup. With Plex, so much work is already done for you. You can manage your media from any computer on the network, stream to mobile devices (with transcoding), instantly push web videos from your browser, and more. Also, the default skin is very attractive without being too flashy.

Additionally, if you want to add live TV, I recommend configuring Windows Media Center and then using an Xbox 360 as an extender. Then, use a Harmony Remote to switch between them seamlessly.

I mention all this because I've been trying for a couple years now to create the most functional and reliable HTPC setup that will also satisfy videophiles, and I think mentioning Plex in the stickies might benefit some people.

You do realize that Plex was ripped directly from XBMC code, right?

And what exactly makes it better for "videophiles"?

I think its fine for Apple users. But to say its the most "functional and reliable" just isn't really accurate unless you provide proof and examples.

And how does configuring WMC, a Harmony remote control and a XBOX constitute "work already done for you?"

Does it have HD Audio bitstreaming yet? I don't think so. That's important to many at AVS.

Not trying to be an ass. Just saying that you might not have used the other options in the correct manner.
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post #3 of 873 Old 01-22-2012, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Sheesh. I guess I just didn't want to go into every little detail, just trying to present plex as a viable alternative.

Yes I realize Plex was ripped directly from XBMC code. I'm not really sure how that affects that average end user that just wants to get their HTPC up and running. The reason why I prefer Plex over XBMC is because it has a lot of amazing features that work straight out of the box (such as streaming to mobile devices like a mentioned). The end user hardly has to do anything at all.

As far as the videophile comment, I had a enormous headache trying to get 24p to display properly within WMC. Plex (and XBMC obviously) have a "sync playblack to display" function that simplifies that. Additionally, getting WMC to play VC-1 files from a blu-ray is very frustrating. Assuming you have a modern video card, you just enable DXVA support in Plex or XBMC and any mkv with VC-1 plays perfectly.

Plex obviously doesn't have a live TV or DVR function. WMC happens to be an amazing DVR. I've tried various methods to switch between WMC and Plex using a remote control, but they were never very reliable for me, and even when it did work I didn't find it that elegant. The setup I describes gives you the best of both words. I fantastic DVR and a fantastic media playback device (Plex). Obviously, not all the work is done for you. The point is that setting up Plex, setting up WMC as a DVR, and using a Harmony remote are all very straightforward.

The HD audio comment is valid. That's something I forgotten to mention, and to me, is the one major compromise in this setup. For a while I tried using Blu-ray iso's, media center, and TMT just so I could get HD audio, but TMT (and PowerDVD) were horribly unreliable at mounting and dismounting blu-rays within media center.

Correct manner? That's actually the entire point of my post. My goal was to create a system that required the least amount of configuration and had the fewest opportunities to fail.

Look, I've wasted hours and hours with WMC and XBMC. They're amazing pieces of software, but they aren't perfect for everyone. I also realize a lot of people are sore about Plex just ripping XBMC's code. Understandable, but the average Joe just doesn't care. I'm just trying to save people some frustration. It's hard to waste too much time with Plex. If it works for you great. If not, just uninstall it. I just don't understand how your antagonistic tone is really productive for this forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

You do realize that Plex was ripped directly from XBMC code, right?

And what exactly makes it better for "videophiles"?

I think its fine for Apple users. But to say its the most "functional and reliable" just isn't really accurate unless you provide proof and examples.

And how does configuring WMC, a Harmony remote control and a XBOX constitute "work already done for you?"

Does it have HD Audio bitstreaming yet? I don't think so. That's important to many at AVS.

Not trying to be an ass. Just saying that you might not have used the other options in the correct manner.

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post #4 of 873 Old 01-22-2012, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

I just don't understand how your antagonistic tone is really productive for this forum.

Because you come in here and list a bunch of ridiculous reasons that Plex is better than our "sticky" suggestions and I question it I am the bad guy?

Don't think so.
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post #5 of 873 Old 01-22-2012, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Because you come in here and list a bunch of ridiculous reasons that Plex is better than our "sticky" suggestions and I question it I am the bad guy?

Don't think so.

What?! Ridiculous reasons? I feel like I've outlined my reasons fairly clearly! Look, assassin, I realize you've put a lot of energy and hard work into the guides on this forum, and I think that's fantastic. I think avsforum is the absolute best website on the internet for obtaining information on home theaters. So when I visited this page today and noticed that the word "Plex" was not mentioned a single time in any sticky, I thought that was a little strange. Whether you like it or not, Plex is a great solution for a lot of people. And since avsforum is suppose to be an amazing source of information, why shouldn't it be mentioned?
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post #6 of 873 Old 01-22-2012, 09:59 PM
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I don't see that at all. The guy is just mentioning another software route to take. If he's prepared to give advice and opinion based on his experiences. Isn't that the entire point of a "forum"?

By all means disagree with the guy but don't jump on him for trying to post something he thinks is potentially beneficial to other people.


Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Because you come in here and list a bunch of ridiculous reasons that Plex is better than our "sticky" suggestions and I question it I am the bad guy?

Don't think so.

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post #7 of 873 Old 01-22-2012, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

You do realize that Plex was ripped directly from XBMC code, right?

And what exactly makes it better for "videophiles"?

I think its fine for Apple users. But to say its the most "functional and reliable" just isn't really accurate unless you provide proof and examples.

And how does configuring WMC, a Harmony remote control and a XBOX constitute "work already done for you?"

Does it have HD Audio bitstreaming yet? I don't think so. That's important to many at AVS.

Not trying to be an ass. Just saying that you might not have used the other options in the correct manner.

And here we all get to see in no uncertain terms how it is that assassin's demeanor on these forums can be a huge turnoff.

First, XBMC and Plex have deviated in some significant ways wrt the user experience (front-end and back-end, iOS integration, etc). To make a flippant comment about it being 'ripped from XBMC code' shows ignorance rather than insight.


As for your second comment -- ALL HE SAID IS THAT IT WOULD 'SATISFY VIDEOPHILES'-- not that it was 'better for videophiles.' It has auto-refresh-rate switching, hardware acceleration, and all the other things folks generally like. Sure, it can't use Reclock or madVR, but it has what most folks want.

WRT its reliability -- I can't speak to the Windows end of things except as a server rather than a player. I use it on my Windows machine to serve my downstairs macs, and have never had it shut down or crash in my months of using it. As a player, I can only speak to the mac end, and compare it to WMC/ Mediabrowser wrt playback -- all I can say is that it crashes much more rarely than the WMC on my Win7 HTPC. Granted, it's apples and oranges to compare how reliable it is in OS X vs how WMC is in Win7.

As for ease of setup when alternating w/ WMC -- meh. I tend to agree w/ you. It's a wash.

As for HD audio 'bitstreaming' -- no. It can't bitstream TrueHD and DTS-MA soundtracks, but, as you can see in my thread here, at least with an HDMI-equipped Mac Mini in OS X, it can:

a) transmit uncompressed PCM soundtracks made w/ MakeMKV
b) transmit lossless decoded DTS-MA and TrueHD soundtracks as long as the files are created with Clown_BD/ AnyDVD HD using the LPCM option in Clown_BD

I haven't tried these files with Plex on my Windows machine, but I'm sure they'd transmit as well.

Now, given what I showed above, the appropriate question in response to YOUR question would be how it is in ANY way pertinent as to whether it's bitstreamed or transmitted in LPCM format? But w/e

Try not jumping down people's throats so much just because they may not agree with you.


To the OP -- try transmitting the LPCM stream from any uncompressed PCM BR's you've ripped (the first 2 POTC movies were released in LPCM, as were Full Metal Jacket and a number of others), or use Clown_BD to re-rip the DTS-MA/TrueHD tracks decoded to LPCM, and see how it does with the lossless soundtrack.
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post #8 of 873 Old 01-22-2012, 11:34 PM
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I think a big plus for plex is the media server it offers. I can watch shows anywhere in the world also I can share my library with friends and my friends can share theirs with me.

I would argue that plex is easier to setup and go. It is more 'simplified' imo not saying that is better or worse but just has less of a learning curve. Of course with xbmc you can use plexbmc I believe if the media server part interests you. Regardless both are great, and until you try both I don't think it is fair to really critique one over the other.

Sidenote: I wish there was a way for plex/xbmc to teamup with MLB.TV, NBA league pass,Hulu,Netflix etc etc to incorporate those into the clients.

(I know there are user made plugins for xbmc and plex but if there was full support these clients would be perfect for me)
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post #9 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 12:22 AM
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I've never used anything other than MediaPortal. Heard XBMC is great but after the hassle of trying to figure out and set everything up correctly in MP I decided to just stick with it lol. Maybe I'll try plex out but I already have my 500+ titles categorized the way I want in MP : /

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

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post #10 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

And here we all get to see in no uncertain terms how it is that assassin's demeanor on these forums can be a huge turnoff.

Well isn't that the pot calling the kettle.

I don't see what's wrong with my "demeanor". Someone comes in a forum and posts no less than 8 opinions.

I counter with my opinion with specific examples of why I disagree with these opinions.

With the exception of streaming to additional devices I don't see where they are dramatically different. And, as someone pointed out, you can use plexbmc with xmbc if you want to. Is the setup any easier on plex? Maybe ---- maybe not. Again, a matter of opinion.

So are those of us who use the stickies "doing it all wrong" as the OP suggests?

I don't think so at all. But hey its a public forum. If you want to shout the praises of Plex or anything else feel free to do so. Just don't get all bent out of shape if someone disagrees.
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post #11 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 02:21 AM
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I don't think the OP was saying who ever does the stickies is wrong. I read it as more an omission. I believe he was more pointing that as an alternative to XBMC, it would more than satisfy most users in performance and ease of setup.

As to anyone's demeanor, it just boils down to word choices. I think we may have a few cases of over reaction.

And Assassin is correct that Plex is a derivative of XBMC. So was Boxee. Although, that was years ago and I tend to agree they have grown enough to be consider their own. There's a nothing wrong with sharing a past.

On a personal note, I do prefer Plex over XBMC and Boxee on Windows. I use nothing but Windows 7. I have Plex, XBMC, and Boxee setup. I use Boxee to watch video podcasts. The UI is really nice. XBMC is ok. I just don't like how they did the plugins. I haven't used the latest XBMC, but I found XBMC's player could be finicky at times; some movies would stop and I couldn't get past certain points, so I would have to use Boxee. I think it was that file because it was only on a few movies.

Plex, I really like how they have the server and font end clients. I haven't kept up XBMC, but I believe they were going that route as well. With plex, I can stream my media to my Rokus, other PCs, and Android phone. Granted, some of these clients are done by community members and don't have all the bells and whistles of some of the other fronts such as the PC. The MyPlex thing really makes streaming outside the network a lot easier; although I found it a touch easier before it, but I understood networking and port forwarding, and IP addresses. The server, you just set your library up in one place, and all your clients have the setup, even new ones you may add. \\

As for live TV, I think that may more depend on your tuner. I know Plex has has a plugin to be able to watch TV using the HDHomerun. It's earlier and definitely rough. The WMC integration, it's just a short cut to Plex, like WMC Netflix and Hulu integration people have made. So, you're actually just using WMC's TV functions. I know there is some work in XBMC to live tv, and possibly PVR. But what Plex does with WMC, is maintain the 10' UI. It's actually pretty nice.

End of the day, neither is better than the other. Each has thier pros and cons. And really, it's just more a matter of time before the other has the features of the other. XBMC has the better Android remote controller, but not able to stream. Plex can stream, but the remote isn't working, yet. Not that I know from experience (may setup cannot do it), but apparently XBMC can do HD audio (or easier) and Plex can't.
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post #12 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Whether you like it or not, Plex is a great solution for a lot of people. And since avsforum is suppose to be an amazing source of information, why shouldn't it be mentioned?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovekeiiy View Post

End of the day, neither is better than the other. Each has thier pros and cons. And really, it's just more a matter of time before the other has the features of the other. XBMC has the better Android remote controller, but not able to stream. Plex can stream, but the remote isn't working, yet. Not that I know from experience (may setup cannot do it), but apparently XBMC can do HD audio (or easier) and Plex can't.

Agree with these points.

I never said that there isn't room for Plex on AVS. Of course there is. But just like the XBMC vs WMC vs Media Browser vs MediaPortal vs MyMovies vs J.River debate which occurs on AVS at least weekly there are a ton of choices. One is not necessarily better than the other.

I am really neutral on the whole thing. I like what works and what works for anyone to get into HTPC.

Just be careful touting any 1 thing as better than the other or the end all solution for HTPC. There simply isn't one. Plex is just another imperfect option just like the rest.

That's all I was trying to say. No one is right or wrong here including those that use the Stickies (XBMC, WMC, Media Browser, MPC-HC, Madvr, etc). Just pick one that meets most of the needs for what you want or need your HTPC to do.
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post #13 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
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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.
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post #14 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 08:28 AM
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there's no app restriction on 1080p. Zune Marketplace videos have been available in 1080p for awhile now.

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post #15 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by chad473 View Post

there's no app restriction on 1080p. Zune Marketplace videos have been available in 1080p for awhile now.

You're right, the Zune Marketplace does support it. My understanding is it only applies to the latest app framework released in December. Source (from a Vudu engineer): http://forum.vudu.com/showthread.php?t=75111
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post #16 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 08:37 AM
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interesting. hopefully they get that worked out.

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post #17 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 08:48 AM
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I've recently taken a look at Plex since they now have a Windows client. It does have a number of things to recommend it. The media manager is pretty good, the UI is nice enough and it supports a lot of plug ins. Plus, the iOS support is a nice feature if you live in that world.

However, there is a real lack of support for BD and DVD .iso formats.

I am also quite leary of the transcoding it does. I'm never really sure if it's playing the video directly or doing some transcoding. Perhaps I just don't know enough about it.
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post #18 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Well isn't that the pot calling the kettle.

I don't see what's wrong with my "demeanor".

Of course you don't. Some of us understand that posts like yours above read as argumentative when the OP wasn't trying to start an argument or post something controversial, and apparently others don't...

Someone comes in a forum and posts no less than 8 opinions.

I counter with my opinion with specific examples of why I disagree with these opinions.

The condescension was positively DRIPPING from your post.

With the exception of streaming to additional devices I don't see where they are dramatically different. And, as someone pointed out, you can use plexbmc with xmbc if you want to. Is the setup any easier on plex? Maybe ---- maybe not. Again, a matter of opinion.

So are those of us who use the stickies "doing it all wrong" as the OP suggests?

And here we see again your ability to 'find' stuff that just isn't there. Maybe it's a reading comprehension issue?

I don't think so at all. But hey its a public forum. If you want to shout the praises of Plex or anything else feel free to do so. Just don't get all bent out of shape if someone disagrees.

Yeah, definitely a reading comprehension problem.


All the dude was asking is why there isn't more discussion re Plex on this forum. It's ok. Really.


And, AGAIN, to those who spoke above on Plex and HD audio soundtracks, Plex DOES indeed play HD audio soundtracks -- they just need to be ripped in a specific fashion, just as needs to be done w/ many other applications. Hell, I'm currently in my theater watching and listening to Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds Live at Radio City using Plex, and am getting full 96kHz/24 bit TrueHD Audio (decoded to LPCM) as you can see below:




The BD .iso and BDMV folder format, OTOH, are not supported at this time. And, given the Plex founders' general opinions on BR's, I personally think they likely won't do so ever. Plex is focusing on the App and iOS market, with built-in clients in TV's and other, less robust audio environs. It is disappointing to me personally, but every developer has his/her own priorities.
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post #19 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

All the dude was asking is why there isn't more discussion re Plex on this forum. It's ok. Really.

Great comments.
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post #20 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
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Great comments.

Mature as always...
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post #21 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

....The BD .iso and BDMV folder format, OTOH, are not supported at this time. And, given the Plex founders' general opinions on BR's, I personally think they likely won't do so ever. Plex is focusing on the App and iOS market, with built-in clients in TV's and other, less robust audio environs. It is disappointing to me personally, but every developer has his/her own priorities.

Plex comes from the Apple world. It's Windows client is very new. Given Apple's view of blu-ray it doesn't surprise me that it would be at the bottom of their list.

In my 5 year journey with my HTPC, blu-ray (disc and .iso) has been the single biggest bane to my existence. It's always something with unplayable discs, PDVD problems or my ATI video/audio driver glithes or something.

I do think Plex is on the right track to ignore disc formats and go for file playback. As soon as LAV comes out with hardware acceleration for VC-1 on ATI I'll probably ditch my BD .iso's for 1080p .m4v files.
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post #22 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMGNYC View Post

Plex comes from the Apple world. It's Windows client is very new. Given Apple's view of blu-ray it doesn't surprise me that it would be at the bottom of their list.

In my 5 year journey with my HTPC, blu-ray (disc and .iso) has been the single biggest bane to my existence. It's always something with unplayable discs, PDVD problems or my ATI video/audio driver glithes or something.

I do think Plex is on the right track to ignore disc formats and go for file playback. As soon as LAV comes out with hardware acceleration for VC-1 on ATI I'll probably ditch my BD .iso's for 1080p .m4v files.

It's not just Apple in this case. Ask the Plex developers about HD audio, and the response has always been "99% of people can't tell the difference unless you have like a $20k audio system." Not even speaking to whether or not that statement were actually TRUE, what about those of us that DO have $20k+ setups???

As for iso's -- when I first built my Windows HTPC, I thought that .iso support for BR's was gonna be a huge boon to me. Then I started playing back my iso's, and quickly realized "ya know what? In practice I'm not using the menu's or the extras, like, EVER."
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post #23 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 10:32 AM
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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?

As far as being user friendly, it sure does look easier on the initial setup, but I'm not sure how much easier to use it is once its setup. I'm currently using WMC+MB and I have to say its a powerful combination. As far as setup, it required setting up one codec pack (enabling support for all the formats I need) and then customizing the look of WMC and MediaBrowser to suit me. I also had to setup my media collection for metadata access and get my harmony remote setup to control it all (i haven't used plex yet, so i don't know if it makes any of that easier).

After that initial setup, I haven't had to do much other then the occasional update. Actually using WMC and MediaBrowser is a breeze for my family, so I cant complain about day to day usage being difficult.

If Plex can make it easier for me to setup remote control, metadata for local content, and offer good ui customization, then Id definitely considering trying it out on a new htpc build.
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post #24 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

It's not just Apple in this case. Ask the Plex developers about HD audio, and the response has always been "99% of people can't tell the difference unless you have like a $20k audio system." Not even speaking to whether or not that statement were actually TRUE, what about those of us that DO have $20k+ setups???

Well not to mention that comments like that are completely ridiculous from the get go. Why would you tell someone what kind of ice cream they have to like? "Obviously no one can tell the difference between light chocolate and dark chocolate..."

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post #25 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 10:42 AM
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Well, ISO and BR folders are file playback . They are played from the HDD not from your BR disk, with the AACS DRM removed via various methods.

Anyway, i did recommend Plex a couple of times when i was asked about streaming to tablets/phones. This is what i also use Plex for, streaming to my iPhone via WLAN/3G, but truth to be told, aside from the times when i am away from home, i`ve rarely used it. I mean, at home i have a 60incher and 600W of power in my speakers, why would i choose to watch movies on a 10 inch tablet or 3.5-5 inch phone with 1W speakers the size of my nail? Doesn`t make any sense. It is useful however when i am not at home and want to watch a movie on the road (and don`t have my laptop on me).

The media server comes with very good design, i like it alot, but the issue is, on Windows unlike OSX, it is web browser based, meaning it`s kinda slow and clunky, compared to the Cocoa based OSX version. Also, it doesn`t save the metadata locally, only inside the Plex MySQL (i think that`s what they use) database.

The Windows/OS X client just feels like dumbed-down XBMC, same design ideas (since it is based on XBMC) but with less features (like for example the TV Show Next Aired feature that gives you a TV Guide for your TV SHows). Also it lacks HD audio bitsreaming. While the native XBMC build also lacks it, you can use DSPlayer to get HD audio bitstreaming or an external player like MPC-HC (i tried getting MPC-HC as an external player working using the playercorefactory.xml for XBMC and it didn`t work, and there is no documentation regarding external players in the plex wiki)
The default skin does look better than the default XBMC one.

Re-ripping to LPCM would take me weeks, around 180 movies atm, but it is indeed an option if you`re starting fresh with your collection.

And NewOrlnsDukie , Plex uses a lot of code from various projects, the current release is based on XBMC Dharma 10.1 (which means it is also slower than XBMC 11 Eden since there have been serious improvements in Eden in terms of performance on low power sistems), this was mentioned in the release notes for the new version, Laika, ffmpeg for transcoding on the server side and i think some form or MySQL for the server database (not sure though)

Why Plex isn`t mentioned so much here? Well, probably because the Windows client was only recently ported to Windows and is still in beta stage, so there are still some bugs in it (compared to the OSX client or iOS/Android clients).

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

It's not just Apple in this case. Ask the Plex developers about HD audio, and the response has always been "99% of people can't tell the difference unless you have like a $20k audio system." Not even speaking to whether or not that statement were actually TRUE, what about those of us that DO have $20k+ setups???

And as a note, this kind of attitude also keeps me from using it. I mean, they got the 99% of people unless you have a 20K system statement from where exactly ? What research did they base that affirmation on? I haven`t seen any research pointing to this i.e. take 100 random people of the street and do a blind test on them, and post the research results.
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post #26 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

It's not just Apple in this case. Ask the Plex developers about HD audio, and the response has always been "99% of people can't tell the difference unless you have like a $20k audio system." Not even speaking to whether or not that statement were actually TRUE, what about those of us that DO have $20k+ setups???

As for iso's -- when I first built my Windows HTPC, I thought that .iso support for BR's was gonna be a huge boon to me. Then I started playing back my iso's, and quickly realized "ya know what? In practice I'm not using the menu's or the extras, like, EVER."

I definitely like having the menus and extras about 20% of the time. The reamining 80% of the time I fine them annoying.

I'd definitely give up the .iso's if I could get MPC-HC/MadVR/LAV to play unconverted BD rips. But there's no HW acceleration for my ATI card and my CPU is over 70% and up on a straight BD to MKV conversion. There's playback problems for sure with VC-1. I wonder if Plex would have the same trouble or whether their Win client suppost HW acceleration on ATI.
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post #27 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 11:00 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?

As far as being user friendly, it sure does look easier on the initial setup, but I'm not sure how much easier to use it is once its setup. I'm currently using WMC+MB and I have to say its a powerful combination. As far as setup, it required setting up one codec pack (enabling support for all the formats I need) and then customizing the look of WMC and MediaBrowser to suit me. I also had to setup my media collection for metadata access and get my harmony remote setup to control it all (i haven't used plex yet, so i don't know if it makes any of that easier).

After that initial setup, I haven't had to do much other then the occasional update. Actually using WMC and MediaBrowser is a breeze for my family, so I cant complain about day to day usage being difficult.

If Plex can make it easier for me to setup remote control, metadata for local content, and offer good ui customization, then Id definitely considering trying it out on a new htpc build.


The Harmony remote control setup for Windows HTPC's is still annoying, from what I understand. For macs, there is a 'Plex Player' option actually in the Harmony database that allows you to just map Plex as a separate CE device, and it gives you all the necessary controls w/o having to fiddle w/ the keymap.xml file.

Let's just remember -- this has been a 4+ year process of development on the OS X side, with a number of OS-X-specific capabilities that Windows doesn't have seamless as of yet, and the ease of Harmony setup is one of the bigger annoyances.

Long-term? No clue how things will progress, but, the way I see it, the sooner we have the big brains over at AVS involved in its development, the faster these seams could be smoothed out.
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post #28 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

... My issue is, as lovekeii read, the omission of Plex from the stickies...

These forums, including the sticky threads, are entirely contributor driven. If someone has passion for a piece of technology that's new, not being discussed, etc. they can and should start a thread dedicated to that subject. I've seen a couple of "guide" threads become stickies in the past year. If there's enough content and interest that thread could eventually become a sticky.

It just takes an expert who's willing to put in the work and get it done.

 

 

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post #29 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenEyez View Post

Well, ISO and BR folders are file playback . They are played from the HDD not from your BR disk, with the AACS DRM removed via various methods.

Anyway, i did recommend Plex a couple of times when i was asked about streaming to tablets/phones. This is what i also use Plex for, streaming to my iPhone via WLAN/3G, but truth to be told, aside from the times when i am away from home, i`ve rarely used it. I mean, at home i have a 60incher and 600W of power in my speakers, why would i choose to watch movies on a 10 inch tablet or 3.5-5 inch phone with 1W speakers the size of my nail? Doesn`t make any sense. It is useful however when i am not at home and want to watch a movie on the road (and don`t have my laptop on me).


The media server comes with very good design, i like it alot, but the issue is, on Windows unlike OSX, it is web browser based, meaning it`s kinda slow and clunky, compared to the Cocoa based OSX version. Also, it doesn`t save the metadata locally, only inside the Plex MySQL (i think that`s what they use) database.

Yeah, the browser-based aspect of it kills one of my favorite parts of its implementation in Os X. The media server app on OS X is wonderful.

The Windows/OS X client just feels like dumbed-down XBMC, same design ideas (since it is based on XBMC) but with less features (like for example the TV Show Next Aired feature that gives you a TV Guide for your TV SHows). Also it lacks HD audio bitsreaming. While the native XBMC build also lacks it, you can use DSPlayer to get HD audio bitstreaming or an external player like MPC-HC (i tried getting MPC-HC as an external player working using the playercorefactory.xml for XBMC and it didn`t work, and there is no documentation regarding external players in the plex wiki)
The default skin does look better than the default XBMC one.

I can certainly understand this viewpoint. External players can be launched (in my case, I use it to launch eyeTV) and it can be set up to minimize and then return when eyeTV is closed.

As for the default skin -- Laika definitely made it a much better UI than the old default one. There are a number of other skins (in Os X, at least), such as PlexAeon and (my personal favorite) Retroplex, but the guys who designed these skins are currently trying to catch up w/ Laika, as it involved some changes.


Re-ripping to LPCM would take me weeks, around 180 movies atm, but it is indeed an option if you`re starting fresh with your collection.

Yeah, I have 500 BR's. So I understand the issue. I'll just do it a little at a time -- just like I did w/ my 1500 BR's and DVD's when I first loaded them on the server. Just set the Mac Pro to rip, and, over time, it will eventually be done again...

And NewOrlnsDukie , Plex uses a lot of code from various projects, the current release is based on XBMC Dharma 10.1 (which means it is also slower than XBMC 11 Eden since there have been serious improvements in Eden in terms of performance on low power sistems), this was mentioned in the release notes for the new version, Laika, ffmpeg for transcoding on the server side and i think some form or MySQL for the server database (not sure though)

I'm aware. I just think it's not productive to be dismissive of it just because it is derivative or offshoot of other projects.

Why Plex isn`t mentioned so much here? Well, probably because the Windows client was only recently ported to Windows and is still in beta stage, so there are still some bugs in it (compared to the OSX client or iOS/Android clients).

Agreed. But you gotta start sometime...

And as a note, this kind of attitude also keeps me from using it. I mean, they got the 99% of people unless you have a 20K system statement from where exactly ? What research did they base that affirmation on? I haven`t seen any research pointing to this i.e. take 100 random people of the street and do a blind test on them, and post the research results.

Understood.


Obviously, it's a work in progress...
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post #30 of 873 Old 01-23-2012, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

The Harmony remote control setup for Windows HTPC's is still annoying, from what I understand. For macs, there is a 'Plex Player' option actually in the Harmony database that allows you to just map Plex as a separate CE device, and it gives you all the necessary controls w/o having to fiddle w/ the keymap.xml file.

Let's just remember -- this has been a 4+ year process of development on the OS X side, with a number of OS-X-specific capabilities that Windows doesn't have seamless as of yet, and the ease of Harmony setup is one of the bigger annoyances.

Long-term? No clue how things will progress, but, the way I see it, the sooner we have the big brains over at AVS involved in its development, the faster these seams could be smoothed out.

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.
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