Can someone assist me with Plex - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-23-2013, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
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There seems to be so many different "plex" things out there that it has become very confusing for me. There is plex media server, plex media center, my plex, plex pass, etc. and this does not even include the 3-4 plex apps that i noticed on the android market last night.. I am just trying to figure out how all these things fit together so that I can take advantage of the technology.

I have an htpc and an android phone. i believe I have plex media server on my HTPC and now I have to download a plex mobile app, but which one, should I do the one of the free ones or the one for $4.99. BTW what was the plex APP for Android that was released last week. Lastly where and how does plex media center and plex pass come into play and how would they make my view enjoyment better? And should I do a lifetime membership for $79.99?

It seems like great bit of technology, but it needs to be more streamline so folks like me and figured it out without having to post on AVS
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-23-2013, 05:19 PM
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$4.99

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post #3 of 11 Old 02-24-2013, 05:45 AM
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The media server is what catalogs your collection, pulls metadata etc. The media center is what displays and plays your media. The myplex stuff is what you setup for online viewing. (watch your movies remotely through ie, firefox, whatever) plex pass gets you into beta testing and getting features early. You do not need that unless there is some beta feature you just can't live without. The 4.99 app is the one you want. I think I covered that all correctly lol.
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-24-2013, 07:08 AM
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I've been starting to play with plex as well and find it confusing. The documentation on their site is either incomplete or out of date. Its frustrating just to find an answer to a simple question like what formats are supported
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-24-2013, 09:53 AM
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Basically, if you want to use Plex, you have to install Plex Media Server. That's how you manage all of your media. What you install after that just depends on what devices you want to use. For instance if you want a 10 foot interface for your HTPC, you'll want to install Plex Media Center (which will soon be replaced by Plex Home Theater).

What formats each Plex client supports just depends on there device you're using. If your device doesn't support a certain format, Plex Media Server will transcode it on the fly to something usable.

If you're wondering about Plex Media Center, it should support everything that XBMC 10.0 does, which is a lot. The major exceptions are ISOs, video ts folders, and bdmv folders (I'm not sure if Plex Media Server will properly transcode these formats either)..
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-24-2013, 11:04 PM
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as they said above. It's not too confusing really. I understand at first though.

As above, the Plex Media Server is where the meat of plex lays The libraries, metadata, transcoder. After that, it's just front ends for various platforms--PC, android, Roku, TVs, etc.

On the Android said, this is a little more convoluted, but it's in the description. Plex for Android is most like the one you want. Yes, it's five dollars, but it's been in use longest and works. Plex for PlexPass is actually a beta app. It's specifically for PlexPass subscribers, which gives them early access to builds that may not be done, ie still have bugs, or special features such as syncing. It's not really free, it's just no extra monetary cost. Currently, Syncing works, but not for all devices. I don't believe the Android Plex Server is working yet either. And there are a few other things crashing the app. It's definitely a beta app. If you're not comfortable with trouble shooting something, still with Plex for Android ($5) one.

My understanding, when the build for Plex for PlexPass is out of beta, it will become the new Plex for Android via an update, thus no extra cost to those who have bought it. Also, some features may not be available unless you're a subscriber, which I think may be syncing or android server.

XMBC is a good stuff too. The server and front end is a one of the key differences between the two. There are feature differences as well. If you're starting out with the whole digitize my local media, I would recommend trying both. One may suite your needs better than the other. I've ran both at various times.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-25-2013, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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So Plex Media Center is just like WMC. So If am I happy with WMC, I do not have to sign up PMC correct. Thanks for the assistance.
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-25-2013, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamina1914 View Post

So Plex Media Center is just like WMC. So If am I happy with WMC, I do not have to sign up PMC correct. Thanks for the assistance.

The major advantage of Plex is that you can view your media on your phone, tablet, browser, Roku, etc. It's not just limited to your HTPC. You can also view your media outside your network. The major advantage of WMC over Plex is live TV and DVR.
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-25-2013, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamina1914 View Post

So Plex Media Center is just like WMC. So If am I happy with WMC, I do not have to sign up PMC correct. Thanks for the assistance.

Not really. WMC is focused towards live tv and PVR, including EPG. Plex is more about your local digitized media distribution--PC and mobile devices--metadata associated to that content.

The lines to blur a bit when you start include mods and addons. WMC can handle local media with metadata with addons Plex can. with limits, play DVR recordings from WMC. But as of yet, there is no live TV or DVR recording functions within, mod, or addon in Plex. Plex Home Theater is nothing more than just a front end for Plex on the Windows platform. And within WMC, it is nothing more than just a short cut to the front end client so one can stay within the 10' interface.

Hopefully that clears up a bit more you.
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-04-2013, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to all. So I purchased the app and it works, well sort of. A few things I need to straighten out are my settings for video quality. There are options for local plexm remote and plex over 3g/4g. I am assuming that local means in my house or atleast using the same internet feed, while both remote and 3g/4g means when I am not home. Can some one assist me with the optimum settings. For example my current setting for local is 3Mbps, Should I go higher, I guess I can, I have Fioss 150/65 Mbps in my house right now, but what about the other settings.

Also I noticed that I could not fast forward on my phone. I would move the bar, but it would not play it just stayed there. Is a downloading/streaming issue?

Lastly when watching on my phone HLS transcoder appears on the screen. What is that? And what if anything can I do to optimize this. My CPU is the I3 3225.

Thanks
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post #11 of 11 Old 03-05-2013, 05:18 AM
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This is where you end having to do trail and error. Always start with the default settings and wee what happens.

HLS is not available on all devices. It's basically hardware video acceleration. You may want to uncheck that; it could solve the fast forward issue. On my Evo4g, it basically debunked playback when enabled.

As for speed settings, this is going to depend. 3g/4g is exactly what is says, when you're on a mobile data network. Having an idea of your bandwidth will really help. This is for both the mobile data network and your upload speeds at home. Doesn't do much good to have 3mbs setting if you have 5mbs down on the mobile, but 1mbps up at home. If you're getting a lot buffering, you may want to lower it. At some point, they'll have where you can change that setting while playing on movie instead of only in the settings. It's nice.

Local is as you guess, you're local network at home; within the same subnet. This is dependant on your local bandwidth; not your internet speeds. How much data can your LAN push from one machine to another. Trail and error.

Remote is like 3g/4g, but more when you have internet connection that is not on a mobile network. An example would be at friend's house or local coffee with WiFi access. Don't get confused with the actual remote mode that can be used with on LAN.

All these can also be effected by your PMS machine. Direct play is not an issue on it since it's jjust feeding a file and your client's power can effect playback. But if the PMS needs to transcode, say an MKV movie for a Roku, than the power of the PMS can have effects too. Transcoding is very CPU dependent.

I know this covered quite a bit, but it's hard to suggest any optimum settings, especially for mobile device. As you can see, there are a lot of factors. Seriously, the best method is trail and error. Start with the default, change one setting. If it doesn't work, change it back, and try something else. You may have to do this just to get playback to work in the first place. I've had updates that cause my current setting not work. The nice thing now, Plex on Android isn't nearly as nick picky as it use to be. You don't need to do as much firewall tweaks like when it first released.

The one setting I would suggest you try, is enabling more speed/less color. It's helps with having less buffering and may be able to up qaulity/bandwidth setting. It's possible changing it will bork playback on your Android device, so it may not be an option.
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