Originally Posted by AnthonyB
Don't mean to hijack.. But what can these two Media "browsers" do that wmc can't?
I am trying to understand if I might want to give it a shot some day.
If it can't record copy protected channels that would be good to know
You can't record TV *at all* using Plex currently, though there are some people working on getting that working. There is DVR (or PVR - however you like to call it) support on XBMC, but it requires separate PVR back-end software (of your choosing), and WMC isn't really supported as a back-end. Right now, only WMC supports channels marked as copy-once. In my case, I have Comcast and no "pay" channels (like HBO) and all of my subscribed channels are marked copy-freely, so I *could* use a few of the other PVR options, but since I already have a working WMC 7 server and some XBox 360's, I'd prefer to stick with WMC for that purpose. However...
I have this crazy notion that in my ideal world, I'd have a single consistent UI across all of my devices. Plex comes closest to that in that there are Plex client apps for Windows, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, and more. And the Plex server component will do on-the-fly transcoding of your content when playing it on lesser-powered clients, while also streaming it as-is to fully capable clients. So with my WMC server / Plex server in my bedroom, I can watch in my living room (on my Acer Revo 1600 nettop PC with GPU fully capable of handling full bitrate Blu-ray rips) I can fire up the Plex client app, choose Movies, further select by genre or new releases, select my movie, and it will stream it to that client without transcoding anything. Or, I can open the Plex client app on my iPhone and do the same thing, but this time the Plex server will do on-the-fly transcoding and still deliver a beautiful looking picture.
I also wanted to post back in this thread to say that it doesn't have to be about Plex vs XBMC. It can also be Plex + XBMC. I've been doing some testing over the last day or so and am kind of liking the idea of this total approach:
- Windows Media Center (WMC), WTV-MetaRenamer, Plex Media Server (PMS), and the Ceton My Media Center server component, all running on a central computer. This computer would also be a client running XBMC Eden (with the PleXBMC plug-in) and the WMC front-end for true live TV / Electronic Program Guide (EPG) surfing / series management).
- Low-power, but fully capable, client computers (e.g., my Revo 1600) running XBMC Eden w/PleXBMC plug-in.
- Smartphone/tablet running Ceton's My Media Center app for EPG / series management. In my case, I've been testing this out on my iPhone 5, but they also offer Android and Windows Phone versions.
Some added details...PleXBMC is a plug-in for XBMC which allows XBMC to tie directly into your PMS metadata. Apparently (I haven't tried/confirmed this yet), this also allows you to tie into PMS' transcoding functionality, so you could use even lower-powered client devices (e.g., a jailbroken AppleTV 2).
The reason for using XBMC Eden (v11.0, vs the latest XBMC Frodo v12.0) is because, thanks to a tip from someone in the Plex forums, I've discovered that XBMC Eden will let me play WMC .wtv TV recordings that are *still in progress* without interruption. Whereas, w/XBMC Frodo, if I've set up a show to record 5 minutes ago, when I go to play it in XBMC, the time/status bar will indicate a total runtime of 5 minutes and it won't keep it accurate while playing (even though WMC is still recording the show continuously), so when I hit the end of that 5 minutes, XBMC will stop playing it, and I'd need to select it and start playing it again (at which point, the time/status bar will indicate a total runtime of 10 minutes - so I'd hit this annoyance again).
I'm very, very excited about the prospects of this total solution, but I have run into one major issue, which is that there seems to be some sort of conflict with running XBMC Eden on my central computer while WMC and the Ceton My Media Center server component run in the background. If I can resolve this, I may start up a new thread in the near future to provide all of the necessary details/links for getting this working. IMO, it would offer a very workable solution for setting up a multi-room WMC setup with low-power HTPCs and ATVs acting as WMC "extenders".