XBMC Mediaserver + NAS or Plex? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 05-18-2013, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I have WHS 2011 installed on a Sempron LE1250 and I am thinking of stripping WHS and installing XBMC or Plex. I don't particularly need WHS automatic backups and I can do the backups manually.

I don't need transcoding just playback of videos in 1080P I have a separate desktop running Core i7 which I will use for heavy CPU load applications.

I do however need a central location to store all my media files and backups and I was also planning to hook it up directly to my TV to play HD Video on my PC.

I also have a SB Touch which I will hook up to this.

Is what I am asking for doable? Can XBMC or Plex double up as both a media streamer/HTPC and a decent fileserver?

Thank you for your help
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post #2 of 34 Old 05-18-2013, 12:08 PM
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why not try mediabrowser3 ?
its beta at the moment but looks VERY promising!
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post #3 of 34 Old 05-18-2013, 02:49 PM
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Mediabrowser 3 has a cracking media server. Give it a try.
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post #4 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 05:40 AM
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MB3 for sure it's coming along amazingly and they have everything planned from the server/client interface to media center plugin, rocku channel, android and ios clients, web client, and standalone interface!
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post #5 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 07:42 AM
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Good day,

The new mediabrowser 3 (still in beta) can do all what you ask for, and then some. Best to give it try and see how that software work for you.

My best
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post #6 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wraslor View Post

MB3 for sure it's coming along amazingly and they have everything planned from the server/client interface to media center plugin, rocku channel, android and ios clients, web client, and standalone interface!

Plex does all of this now and a whole lot more (minus true WMC plug-in). Definitely still worth checking out MB3, though.

IMO, if you don't need live TV or DVR, Plex is the perfect solution.
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post #7 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 08:50 AM
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+1 for MediaBrowser 3 - very stable even though still in beta.
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post #8 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 03:38 PM
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MB3, although in Beta, is a solid solution to your needs.


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post #9 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 04:05 PM
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lol @ these responses.

Plex is perfect for your needs. NOW.

And does a crapload more, in case your needs change.

MB3 may, eventually, possibly do what you want and more, and overcome its prior hiccups.

The only reason I use MB for any of my machines is because I personally prefer the video quality of MPC-HC w/ MadVR rendering, though Plex's playback is very good as well (I just find MPC-HC/MadVR to be stellar). And MB can be used to launch MPC-HC (as can XBMC).
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post #10 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 04:43 PM
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it's very doable.

A lot depends and what you're trying to achieve. Granted, XBMC and Plex, do a lot of the same thing. Looks like MB may be as well; I've never used it, so I cannot comment.

Just on the surface on what you say, any can do what you want. The only difference is really just the players. Just install on your i7 machine and point the WHS for your media. Nothing really tricky about it.

If you don't want to leave your i7 machine on all the time, then you may want to look at Plex, and possibly MB. Plex has server versions of the it's server. Can it transcode, yes. Will your WHS be powerful enough, maybe. But it only transcodes for clients that cannot handle a direct playback. Plex makes it easy to do remote playback on things like mobile devices. Plus, it even allows playback via web browser. It has a few other tricks. It may not able to do the whole live tv/dvr/pvr thing, but it can playback Windows Media Center recorded files, mtv, that are not flagged. It's not elogant, but it works. I've used it watch DVR shows while visiting friends five hundred miles away from home.

If you're wanting a more complete TV suite, you may want to look at XBMC. I don't believe XBMC can do encrypted channels, at least not as of yet. They're working on remote playback on mobile devices, but it's still early. I've read positive things on it thus far. I know quite a few prefer XBMC player because it can do HD audio. Plex supposedly has incorporated this, but I don't have an AVR that can do HD audio, so I cannot confirm. Many do a Plex and XBMC setup. They're use Plex Media Server to distribute the media, but use XBMC with the XBMCPlex plugin for playback. I believe this also gives live tv/dvr/pvr functionality as well.

Personally, I'm more partial to Plex. I like how it has lots and lots of clients such as Android, iOS, Roku, web browser. And if you're PlexPass member, you can turn your mobile device into a PMS for media that is stored on it or that has been synced via Plex. I don't playback many DVR recordings, thus it's not a big issue. I watch most at home using Windows MC.

I don't believe XBMC has gone to the server/client model, yet. Their community is larger, and you can find it a few more devices. Although, some they're not on such as the Roku.

You'll have to research on MB to see how it can fit your needs and what differences it may have from Plex or XBMC.

As you can see, most of the difference lies in outside of the home. You'll have to decide what and where you plan to most of your media.
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post #11 of 34 Old 05-20-2013, 07:28 AM
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So ... no one noticed he wants to hook a Sempron LE1250 to his TV and use it as an HTPC? IJS...

 

 

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post #12 of 34 Old 05-20-2013, 10:29 AM
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Lol

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post #13 of 34 Old 05-20-2013, 11:16 AM
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ooops. but I also don't know that that is. it's like servers often sold with WHS or like a Drobo, he may be in trouble.

I did a quicky search on the Sempron LE1250, and all it gave was a CPU, which is a single core. Not good for an HTPC. You want at LEAST 2 cores. You can use as file server or PMS or MB servers. But it's a gutless for media playback. Either use an old computer or spend few hundred on an old PC or build one to use as HTPC.
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post #14 of 34 Old 05-20-2013, 09:01 PM
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I have tested both plex and media browser 3. I have been a fan of media browser since it used to be video browser. I wanted to try plex but it just doesnt have the same polished feel. It also isnt as great with a larger db and the way it stores its metadata isnt amazing.

+ Media Browser 3

also in the future Live TV support coming and a far better front end than plex can add!
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post #15 of 34 Old 05-20-2013, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Sheppard View Post

I have tested both plex and media browser 3. I have been a fan of media browser since it used to be video browser. I wanted to try plex but it just doesnt have the same polished feel. It also isnt as great with a larger db and the way it stores its metadata isnt amazing.

+ Media Browser 3

also in the future Live TV support coming and a far better front end than plex can add!

huh?

I have 1800 movies and 75 complete TV series. MB (both 2 and 3) can't keep up with scrolling through wall view. Plex, OTOH, allows me to scroll pages at a time without the dreaded blank pages from slow-loading movie posters.
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post #16 of 34 Old 05-21-2013, 09:26 AM
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Plex or XBMC are better if you have weak or crappy hardware. MB really benefits from better hardware with buttery smooth and slick performance.

All the complaints against MB are usually because the HTPC/client are crap.

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post #17 of 34 Old 05-21-2013, 09:59 AM
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Just tried MB3 server and client and I am hugely impressed. We will have to wait a while for all the bells, whistles and plug-ins but it already does what most people want even in beta. Never been able to get on with Plex especially as there is no WMC TV or MPC-HC integration.
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post #18 of 34 Old 05-21-2013, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Plex or XBMC are better if you have weak or crappy hardware. MB really benefits from better hardware with buttery smooth and slick performance.

All the complaints against MB are usually because the HTPC/client are crap.

I don't completely agree with this statement... :-)

I stopped using MB the day I tried XBMC (then the Eden version) with the plugin that made it bit-stream HD audio and never looked back...
My point back then was the simplicity of installing XBMC with its plugin compared to the complexity of installing and configuring MB, MPC-HC, LAV filters, MadVR...
The image quality of the two setups was completely at par when compared to each other.

With that being said, crappy hardware will not make any difference in quality regardless of what you install... XBMC or MB with its other components...

I have a Linux CentOS server with ZFS running Plex media server with DLNA activated...

Plex clients on iPhone 4S, iPad2, iPad3, jail-broken ATV2 and Samsung smart phone all connect and work seamlessly...

My three HTPCs have all been installed with Linux and running XBMC Frodo, they pick up media from the Plex server using DLNA...

I have been running this way for months and had a near zero maintenance to do compared to the days when I ran everything on windows...

The thought of going back to windows or installing a windows based server gives me goose bumps... :-)

You know what I like the most about Plex... it is a set it once and forget it system... whenever you install a new client, you don't need to provide the IP address of the server or do any thing special... the client and server simply hook up and off you go...

It doesn't have to be any more complex than that...
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post #19 of 34 Old 05-21-2013, 12:42 PM
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It's true. Mediabrowser is generally superior if paired with quality machines and hardware. But MB does require more effort to get it really nice. More tweaking and set up.

XBMC is better for a set it and forget it noob.

MB is best for a performance oriented enthusiast.

Both are good. anxious to see how MB3 shakes things up.

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post #20 of 34 Old 05-21-2013, 01:37 PM
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Not sure why it isn't mentioned, but openelec does everything your asking and boots from a flash drive. You can unplug your OS, leave your drives connected, and boot openelec to try things out without changing a single thing.

Openelec (unlike the average linux distro) will automount any attached drives (from just about any format - including NTFS). Samba is enabled by default. The only thing you'll have to do for other windows machines or openelec boxes to see the drives is edit a samba.conf file. link

Several files already shared by default, but those all reside on the flash drive - including the conf files you have to edit. Free, lightweight, builtin samba serving, automounts drives, r/w from windows machines . . . sounds like everything

Not sure why anyone would think xbmc is for noobs. Don't know any other frontend that lets you dig into every single aspect of it's design (skin, library, playback, addons) out of the box. There are some 3rd party tools to "peek" into WMC, but nothing from MS and nothing that's truly stable that let's you completely change anything you'd like. Mediabrowser used to be just an addon for WMC and it's setup was (is) the noobest of them all. Point click point click point click. Even a pay product like Jriver is more complex to setup than mediabrowser
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post #21 of 34 Old 05-22-2013, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by 4th-horseman View Post

Not sure why it isn't mentioned, but openelec does everything your asking and boots from a flash drive. You can unplug your OS, leave your drives connected, and boot openelec to try things out without changing a single thing.

Openelec (unlike the average linux distro) will automount any attached drives (from just about any format - including NTFS). Samba is enabled by default. The only thing you'll have to do for other windows machines or openelec boxes to see the drives is edit a samba.conf file. link

Several files already shared by default, but those all reside on the flash drive - including the conf files you have to edit. Free, lightweight, builtin samba serving, automounts drives, r/w from windows machines . . . sounds like everything

Not sure why anyone would think xbmc is for noobs. Don't know any other frontend that lets you dig into every single aspect of it's design (skin, library, playback, addons) out of the box. There are some 3rd party tools to "peek" into WMC, but nothing from MS and nothing that's truly stable that let's you completely change anything you'd like. Mediabrowser used to be just an addon for WMC and it's setup was (is) the noobest of them all. Point click point click point click. Even a pay product like Jriver is more complex to setup than mediabrowser

Yes, you're correct on the openelec thing... I have been test-driving an installation for the last three weeks and I think I am going to install on all my three HTPCs over this weekend or next...

What I find interesting the most is that it takes less than 5 minutes to do a full install on a hard drive, and after that, all I have to do is point to my DLNA enabled Plex server and that is it...
I have also installed tvheadend on the same box that is running the Plex server to test live-tv in openelec, and it can tell you that it works like a charm. I have been watching live tv on my main PC just to see how well it works.

Guess what, the days of tweaking and tweaking the tweaked setup are over...

I think it is just a question of personal opinion to say that xbmc is for noobs... in my opinion I think that is far from the truth...
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post #22 of 34 Old 08-04-2013, 04:44 PM
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So -- Any results to report? I'd be curios to hear your opinions.

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post #23 of 34 Old 08-04-2013, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

It's true. Mediabrowser is generally superior if paired with quality machines and hardware. But MB does require more effort to get it really nice. More tweaking and set up.

XBMC is better for a set it and forget it noob.

MB is best for a performance oriented enthusiast.

Both are good. anxious to see how MB3 shakes things up.

This is no longer true. Throw all of your perceptions out the window. I am as relentless about performance as anybody out there, and I can tell you that MB3 server flies, and uses system resources sparingly (aside from transcoding, obviously).

The same can also be said of the soon to be released MBT. From the words of our lead tester, Abobader, about MBT:


I till you the truth buddy, this thing, is for tomorrow wired network smile.gif

I think GB network it too slow for it, indeed well done.

I confirm low memory usage as well, it do not seem you running powerful app doing what it doing now, btw, my 2 sons and some family members just watching how fast is it as I demo the action for them, well done indeed.
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post #24 of 34 Old 08-04-2013, 05:58 PM
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This is no longer true. Throw all of your perceptions out the window. I am as relentless about performance as anybody out there, and I can tell you that MB3 server flies, and uses system resources sparingly (aside from transcoding, obviously).

The same can also be said of the soon to be released MBT. From the words of our lead tester, Abobader, about MBT:


I till you the truth buddy, this thing, is for tomorrow wired network smile.gif

I think GB network it too slow for it, indeed well done.

I confirm low memory usage as well, it do not seem you running powerful app doing what it doing now, btw, my 2 sons and some family members just watching how fast is it as I demo the action for them, well done indeed.

I know biggrin.gif I've got MB3 Server and Classic up and running on my system now. My comments were about MB2 and the fact that many try to run it without SSD, with very little ram, and weak CPU and they don't get the robust experience you can get with a proper HTPC.

XBMC is a bit more forgiving in that you can run it off USB stick on something like a Rasberry Pi, but honestly those and also jailbroken Apple TV's are really crappy performance in comparision so while you can go that route it's not ideal at all.

The best experience IMO is a dedicated media server (not a NAS) with client SSD HTPC and quad cores. Your LAN need to go over 100MB/sec and your server needs to be able to read and write those speeds too. This is the holy grail experience IMO. The new MB3 set up of server (on a server) and client on the client shares the duties and really does improve efficiencies. I am liking MB3 so far.. it's a nice experience and I can see many opportunities it's going to get better.

I just read (and posted about) the switch from VLC code to support for DirectShow and LAV which will allow for MadVR, Reclock, SVP, and all the goodies we love in a couple forum posts. This is exactly the features and functionality MB3 needs to lay sole claim to the "ultimate" front end. Assuming it works with integrated player and can be set up easily (well almost easily is even ok considering the trouble we go through now to do it) and the overlay and integration remains unlike using an external player then MB3 theater will instantly be the top choice for those looking for the best possible picture and sound quality. If you win the high end, and you win on the small details only enthusiasts care about then the perception and knowledge will trickle down to the intermediate and beginner levels. MB3 need to be clearly superior out of the gate to avoid the traditional pissing contest with XBMC and PLEX and all the rest IMO. Right now MB2 and XBMC are about tied IMO, with a slight edge going to MB2 because it's a bit slicker when properly set up. MB3 looks to ditch WMC- and move forward in many areas. I am really excited to check it out !! Nice work Luke. biggrin.gif

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post #25 of 34 Old 08-04-2013, 06:02 PM
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We're not leaving any platform behind. We've got a mono port in progress to get the server running on Linux, and I'm actively recruiting in raspberry pi communities to find a developer for that. So that's only a matter of time.
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post #26 of 34 Old 08-04-2013, 06:11 PM
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Running something like MBtheater on USB stick AKA OpenELEC XBMC is really a cool idea. Some people just don't want to pay for the Windows copy or royalty to MS. I'm not one of those (I just bought another 5 pack of Windows Pro x64) but I see the obvious advantages. I'd probably even have another machine in the basement running it. Right now wife wants MB and HTPC on the small LCD I mounted for her treadmill - but I can't justify spending tons of cash on hardware and software for something that gets used a few hours. I'd repurpose an old machine on USB stick- that seems cool. I tried it with XBMC and OpenELEC for her but she never really gave it a chance. I guess I can try again. haha.

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post #27 of 34 Old 08-04-2013, 06:14 PM
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Running something like MBtheater on USB stick AKA OpenELEC XBMC is really a cool idea. Some people just don't want to pay for the Windows copy or royalty to MS. I'm not one of those (I just bought another 5 pack of Windows Pro x64) but I see the obvious advantages. I'd probably even have another machine in the basement running it. Right now wife wants MB and HTPC on the small LCD I mounted for her treadmill - but I can't justify spending tons of cash on hardware and software for something that gets used a few hours. I'd repurpose an old machine on USB stick- that seems cool. I tried it with XBMC and OpenELEC for her but she never really gave it a chance. I guess I can try again. haha.

Not MBT, a whole new app. The server's api is open to all and is extensively documented on github:

https://github.com/MediaBrowser/MediaBrowser/wiki

And the server tray icon has interactive docs as well. The web client, MBC, MBT, and all of our other apps all tap into the same api. (android, ios, roku, win phone, win rt, media portal, etc). So the idea is to find a developer for raspberry pi to utilize the server's api. Whatever technologies they want to present the content and play video are up to them to decide on.
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post #28 of 34 Old 08-04-2013, 06:15 PM
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Not MBT, a whole new app. The server's api is open to all and is extensively documented on github:

https://github.com/MediaBrowser/MediaBrowser/wiki

And the server tray icon has interactive docs as well. The web client, MBC, MBT, and all of our other apps all tap into the same api. (android, ios, roku, win phone, win rt, media portal, etc).

So anything done by one client can easily be done by another. The idea is to find a developer for raspberry pi to utilize the server's api. Whatever technologies they want to present the content and play video are up to them to decide on.
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Sorry, edit post gone wrong. Looks like I can't delete the dupe.
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post #30 of 34 Old 08-04-2013, 06:43 PM
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Sorry, edit post gone wrong. Looks like I can't delete the dupe.

Haha.. You need a certain amount of posts before AVS gives you that. I edit and delete posts all the time and I just recently realized this is not something everyone can do. I am not sure how many posts you need before you are granted this feature. I have had it for a long time.

I often delete and repost my posts after editing them and combine multiple posts of mine into one for clarity. I am not sure why they limit some from doing this.

Did you really just join today? Or a new screen name?

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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