AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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I'll chime in on this one. Some will be information will just repeat from above.
There's no limit to how many servers the plex clients can access. As for your problem, you have two potential major issues--CPU power, and bandwidth.
As mentioned, one thing you can do when converting your video digital, to them something more multiple client friendly such as MP4. Unfortunately, transcoding is a very CPU intense activity versus just transferring the file for a direct play. Although, the newer Roku boxes are able to play MKV, but I don't know what specs for MKV it can handle. So, if you're going to use format that needs transcoding, you may want to upgrade the PC you're using with the PMS, more CPU cores and ram. Then you'll have more headroom to handle multiple transcodes better.
The other issue is how much upload bandwidth you have. If you parents have HD TVs, they're probably wanting something close to 720, which is usually 2mb bitrate. If both are trying to watch video, that's 4mb. There is a setting, I believe on the PMS, you can choose to have more bandwitdh versus quality, you may want to try it. I use on my mobile devices and I never noticed much difference between video quality, but helped with streaming.
You could setup some kind of FTP for new files to be transferred to a PMS on your parents' homes. Unfortunately, this may not be a good solution. Depending on the size of your digitize media files, this can be very time consuming. If you have a movie that's say, 5GB file, you may be looking at hours if not a good day to complete the transfers. Tack on more time if you're streaming anything to them anyway.
What may be better, although still CPU intense, maybe to try doing the sync feature of Plex. I don't recall if available on the roku, but if they have mobile devices like a Android tablet or Ipad, they can sync it there. Then, they can use mobile device as a server and watch on the Roku. This still does require CPU power and uploading, but the files will be smaller. Unfortunately, I don't remember if the mobile server option is a PlexPass member option only. I do know you can sync over the internet because I've done it over 3G/4G networks.
Unfortunately, there's no nice solution to your situation.