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Old 07-29-2014, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
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PleXBMC Noob question

I have searched around and have not found the answer I am looking for, so I do apologize if this has been answered and I just overlooked it.

So I am 1 week into running XBMC Gotham on a dedicated HTPC and now I have found out about Plex. I have a great interest in running Plex for the streaming aspect and wanting to share my library with friends and family on my NAS that is connected to my network. So my question is, if I install the PleXBMC add-on, is that just running a "virtual" server? or does it turn my XBMC experience into more of a Plex? I am vacillating rather or not to turn a new Mac Mini into a dedicated Plex server or if I will be able to provide the same exact functionality (no slow downs, watered down so to speak) with just installing PleXBMC on my main HTPC?

Any help in pointing me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-30-2014, 07:25 AM
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http://wiki.xbmc.org/?title=Add-on:PleXBMC

PleXBMC is just an add on to allow you to access your PLEX server thru XBMC. You will still need to set up PMS on your main rig or your Mac Mini.

Good luck.
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:40 AM
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PlexBMC is just the front end. Whether you run that, regular XBMC, or anything else on your HTPC won't effect the experience of anyone else you're sharing your plex server with.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, a much clearer overview. Thanks.

So final question, would I be shooting myself in the foot so to speak by installing PMC on my HTPC then? or would it be best to just separate the two? My HTPC is my "old" gaming rig but is still quite beefy even by todays standards:

Quad core i7 3.4 2600k
16gb RAM
2gb GTX-660

My goal is to serve/stream as much content as my 6mbps upstream will allow.

Denon AVR-X4000
Polk RTi 7.1
BenQ W1080ST projector
custom game/HTPC running XBMC (gotham)
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:36 AM
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Mac mini is too much price for too little CPU. The only realistic bottleneck in transcoder performance will be your CPU

It'll proudly be cheaper to build your own with a more powerful cpu as your plex server
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:03 PM
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PHT is the client that you install if you want the latest PLEX Client on your old gaming rig. You can also install PMS the server software on the same machine and it should run and perform just fine. The specs on your HTPC are nice so, their shouldn't a problem there.

You should be able to have both PHT and XMBC on that same machine as well and you can decide which interface you prefer for your content.
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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The thing with the Mini is, I already have one that was given to me for trade work (late 2012) and it's just sitting in the box.

I might hit up Newegg or Amazon and see how much it would be to build a small box.

What is the word on the Gigabyte Brix?

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Old 07-30-2014, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by simplemind355 View Post
So final question, would I be shooting myself in the foot so to speak by installing PMC on my HTPC then? or would it be best to just separate the two? My HTPC is my "old" gaming rig but is still quite beefy even by todays standards:

Quad core i7 3.4 2600k
16gb RAM
2gb GTX-660

My goal is to serve/stream as much content as my 6mbps upstream will allow.
I guess I was typing the first time around when you posted this

No need to separate the two. Your specs can handle PMS just fine

Where is the bulk of your media stored and planned to be stored?
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by oman321 View Post
PHT is the client that you install if you want the latest PLEX Client on your old gaming rig. You can also install PMS the server software on the same machine and it should run and perform just fine. The specs on your HTPC are nice so, their shouldn't a problem there.

You should be able to have both PHT and XMBC on that same machine as well and you can decide which interface you prefer for your content.
I will play around with installing PMS and PHT on the HTPC and messing around with it and decide later if it requires a dedicated box or not. This way I can keep that Mini for something else... I don't know what yet, but nice to have it on hand.

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Old 07-30-2014, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplemind355 View Post
The thing with the Mini is, I already have one that was given to me for trade work (late 2012) and it's just sitting in the box.

I might hit up Newegg or Amazon and see how much it would be to build a small box.

What is the word on the Gigabyte Brix?
Seeing as you already have it, then it can make for a perfectly acceptable HTPC (sans HD audio afaik). It's a good form factor to look at You can run PlexHT directly within OSX snow leopard and later, so it makes for a nice plex frontend in that regard. You can use PlexHT locally or remote
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post
I guess I was typing the first time around when you posted this

No need to separate the two. Your specs can handle PMS just fine

Where is the bulk of your media stored and planned to be stored?
I am getting a Synology 414 NAS (looking at the 415play as well) and loading it up with 4-4TB drives the first of next week. I currently have a 4TB external USB 3.0 drive connected to the HTPC.

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Old 07-30-2014, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post
Seeing as you already have it, then it can make for a perfectly acceptable HTPC (sans HD audio afaik). It's a good form factor to look at You can run PlexHT directly within OSX snow leopard and later, so it makes for a nice plex frontend in that regard. You can use PlexHT locally or remote
I am not so concerned with HD audio on the mini, as it would strictly be around to serve and transcode for streaming. Having said that, what do people do for DolbyHD/DTS-MA if they are running a mini as their HTPC?

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Old 07-30-2014, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by simplemind355 View Post
Having said that, what do people do for DolbyHD/DTS-MA if they are running a mini as their HTPC?
That was actually meant to say no-bitstreaming-hd-audio

I believe xbmc can decode it on osx and pass it as lpcm, but if not they can certainly just pass the core audio
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by simplemind355 View Post
I have searched around and have not found the answer I am looking for, so I do apologize if this has been answered and I just overlooked it.

So I am 1 week into running XBMC Gotham on a dedicated HTPC and now I have found out about Plex. I have a great interest in running Plex for the streaming aspect and wanting to share my library with friends and family on my NAS that is connected to my network. So my question is, if I install the PleXBMC add-on, is that just running a "virtual" server? or does it turn my XBMC experience into more of a Plex? I am vacillating rather or not to turn a new Mac Mini into a dedicated Plex server or if I will be able to provide the same exact functionality (no slow downs, watered down so to speak) with just installing PleXBMC on my main HTPC?

Any help in pointing me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.
If you like XBMC for your front end, another option would be to go with Media Browser 3 instead of PLEX. It does the same thing and has seamless integration with XBMC (called XBMB3C).Either way, the PC that is controlling the NAS needs to have Plex Media Server or Media Browser Server on it. Any other machines that you want to be able to see the media needs to run either a Plex or MB3 client. Both can be used in conjunction with XBMC.
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplemind355 View Post
Okay, a much clearer overview. Thanks.

So final question, would I be shooting myself in the foot so to speak by installing PMC on my HTPC then? or would it be best to just separate the two? My HTPC is my "old" gaming rig but is still quite beefy even by todays standards:

Quad core i7 3.4 2600k
16gb RAM
2gb GTX-660

My goal is to serve/stream as much content as my 6mbps upstream will allow.
I just love this forum...

And imagine... look at all the nice replies to someone who has researched and hasn't found information on required HW specs to run PMS or PHT and cannot judge if the two can run side by side in the same box...

Something's a bit fishy out here... LOL... I've seen posts where OPs with more technical questions get the RTFM responses...
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:54 AM
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Sometimes finding the simple answers can be so alluding. I've been and often still am in that end of the spectrum, and find that this community is always willing to help out where needed.

Just paying it forward
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I have received WAY more help here than anywhere, so yes, I do love this forum. The XBMC forum is... not up to the same standard I'll say.

Yes, could not judge if XBMC and Plex can exist in peace and play nice in the same environment or if it's better to separate the two environments, because... I am a total HTPC noob (hence referencing that right from the start )

I do thank everyone for their valuable input. I have the NAS on order, and I will install Plex server on the rig today, and then report back to this stream on my success/failure after a week or so of testing.

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Old 11-26-2014, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post
Mac mini is too much price for too little CPU. The only realistic bottleneck in transcoder performance will be your CPU

It'll proudly be cheaper to build your own with a more powerful cpu as your plex server

Sorry little late but just ran across this and wanted to clear something up: the mac-mini is not at all lacking in power, and is a great option for pms. Plex was originally created specifically with the Mac-mini in mind. The MM comes in quite a few dif options in terms of the cpu, but even the base model i5 2011 is going to give you enough power to not only play any file seamlessly but you'll be able to also support transcoding for a couple remote users simultaneously. And the quad core Mini's can host multiple transcoding users without making a dent in the cpu. There are lots of people that host PMS on a nas; and generally those cpu's are a fraction as powerful.


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Old 11-30-2014, 12:55 AM
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Sorry little late but just ran across this and wanted to clear something up: the mac-mini is not at all lacking in power, and is a great option for pms. Plex was originally created specifically with the Mac-mini in mind. The MM comes in quite a few dif options in terms of the cpu, but even the base model i5 2011 is going to give you enough power to not only play any file seamlessly but you'll be able to also support transcoding for a couple remote users simultaneously. And the quad core Mini's can host multiple transcoding users without making a dent in the cpu. There are lots of people that host PMS on a nas; and generally those cpu's are a fraction as powerful
I never said it was lacking in power, I said it was lacking in power for the price. Your only expansion options are USB (sucks) or Thunderbolt (awesome but awesomely expensive for the pegasus arrays)

Not only are you apples to apples already paying more for less processor (compared to DIY) but the cost for storage expansion is even more expensive on top of that

The base model i5 2011 (which is a mobile processor) is roughly the equivalent of a sandy bridge i3 (desktop processor). They were giving those things away (see i3-2100 $80 when ivy bridge i5/i7s were released, much cheaper at this point)

Saying "quad-core" doesn't denote very much at all. A j1900 is a quad-core but it would be a suck-a-delic PMS machine

People that host PMS on a nas also have suck-a-delic PMS servers in terms of transcoding performance, that is unless of course they sprang for the much more expensive x86 models. You can always do less for more money, but not many people in a DIY-centric forum will end up recommending it . . . but as always it's your prerogative

As for the advice given to the OP, she had a more powerful machine ready to go that included much better HDD expansion options. It would be senseless to recommend the mini over that
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Old 11-30-2014, 01:18 AM
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So exactly what will other people be running as far as devices go?

As for setting up a media server with a Mac Mini (which I have done) ... I elected to skip over OSX and install Linux. I have also installed Win 7 on another (for a friend) and both use XBMC and CAN play HD audio on movie files. Only reason a Mac Mini will not play HD audio streams is because of OSX. Apple simply chose intentionally not to support it.

Doing on the fly conversion for streaming requests can eat up a lot of CPU and limits the amount of users that can stream at the same time. An alternative is to have your master files and create a file from it that is more or less a smaller file that is ready to go. Typical to Apple users is a free software called Handbrake. You could store your master files and then files to go in another directory. Having these smaller files ready to go really provides for a smoother over all experience (at the cost of more drive space).

You might want to investigate both QNAP and Synology as some of their models are capable of doing the on the fly conversion and use XBMC or PLEX applications/modules to handle the entire operation. I admit I am not experienced in this area and you should check their respective sites.

As for me, I much rather have the small files ready to go and let them reside on my NAS with specific outside access rights. (Passworded FTP site access as example).
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:44 AM
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I never said it was lacking in power, I said it was lacking in power for the price. Your only expansion options are USB (sucks) or Thunderbolt (awesome but awesomely expensive for the pegasus arrays)

Not only are you apples to apples already paying more for less processor (compared to DIY) but the cost for storage expansion is even more expensive on top of that

The base model i5 2011 (which is a mobile processor) is roughly the equivalent of a sandy bridge i3 (desktop processor). They were giving those things away (see i3-2100 $80 when ivy bridge i5/i7s were released, much cheaper at this point)

Saying "quad-core" doesn't denote very much at all. A j1900 is a quad-core but it would be a suck-a-delic PMS machine

People that host PMS on a nas also have suck-a-delic PMS servers in terms of transcoding performance, that is unless of course they sprang for the much more expensive x86 models. You can always do less for more money, but not many people in a DIY-centric forum will end up recommending it . . . but as always it's your prerogative

As for the advice given to the OP, she had a more powerful machine ready to go that included much better HDD expansion options. It would be senseless to recommend the mini over that
My apologies if I misunderstood your intention.

Curious though, the 2011 mac-mini base model- i5, 2.3 was $500. Here are the benchmarks: intel Core i5-2415M @ 2.30GHz>> 3215. Granted there are more powerful machines, but this never struck me as unreasonable price for what it delivered as an HTPC .
BTW I'm dying to know which mobile phone this was made for . That would be quite the phone!

I wasn't sure your point about the i3 you referenced, but here are the benchmarks as a point of reference: Intel Core i3-2100T @ 2.50GHz>> 2799

Ironically, the 2014 base Mac mini has very similar benchmarks to that of the 2011 (the plex forums has a cost/benefit analysis if you're interested in the breakdown of this years models). This years model, 3 years later -also $500.

I'm sure you're right, those processors themselves arent super expensive. I just put together a windows machine with a new Intel i5 4670 which is a fairly powerful processor and it was still just over $200.

In terms of the quad core comment- it was in regards to the specific conversation about the mac-mini. The i7 quads were only made in the 2011, 2012 models. I do understand a quad core from another processor (AMD, or an Atom) is going to mean something else entirely.

Lastly as an FYI, I use a thunderbolt/USB3/Esata adapter with my mini connected to my synology nas and getting transfer speeds 5x faster than standard gigabit. It's actually pretty awesome and worth the few extra bucks (the adapter was $75). I assume what you meant was USB 2 sucks. Obviously USB 3 doesn't suck at all).

Anyway, best of luck.
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