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post #1 of 62 Old 01-24-2016, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Plex vs. Emby

I've been getting quite a few emails from Emby about server updates and stuff. I currently run Plex, but I was running Emby until late summer last year. Before that I was running Plex since it worked better with offline sync. I'm back to Plex because I was having complaints about casting when I switched my out-of-state family to Emby and how Emby didn't have offline sync. I don't really know what was going on with their casting issues since it would just not work well for them as soon as I left town. Also, the HTPC standalone program for Emby didn't seem to work as well for me compared to Plex HT after I ditched WMC and thus Emby Classic.

Anyway, where is AVS leaning in 2016? I know this forum is more biased toward Emby because of its Media Browser WMC roots. I used Media Browser way back in the day as well before it was broken into a server and client model and before it needed the word Classic added to it. I've also used Media Portal and My Movies. What I haven't used too often is Kodi due to my need for a high WAF DVR.

One thing I noticed on the Google Play Store was Emby had 100,000+ downloads and ~2,000 reviews while Plex had 1,000,000+ downloads and ~70,000 reviews. That isn't really a strong metric on performance, but it is way out of balance.

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post #2 of 62 Old 01-24-2016, 01:06 PM
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I use both, and they both have their good and not-so-good points. Emby is on a very rapid development cycle, and is in the best position for the future, but it was Emby Classic (that requires WMC) that is still be best client with lots of plugins and themes. Emby Theater, just released as a beta, is the one with most potential though. Early days at the moment though, with it's worth a punt to have a look. Emby on Roku is good, but the new Plex UI is very nice indeed. Plex server is very limited - feature wise - compared to Emby Server though, but Plex server is lower on transcoding resources, but Emby transcoding is better quality (generally). Plex has also been around a lot longer than Emby, so that's why Plex is showing more downloads (I think Plex was a fork of XBMC at one point)

Personally, I've been using Emby since early Media Browser days, and that's where I'll stay. Both require premium membership to get all the features though.
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post #3 of 62 Old 01-24-2016, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bryansj View Post
I've been getting quite a few emails from Emby about server updates and stuff. I currently run Plex, but I was running Emby until late summer last year. Before that I was running Plex since it worked better with offline sync. I'm back to Plex because I was having complaints about casting when I switched my out-of-state family to Emby and how Emby didn't have offline sync. I don't really know what was going on with their casting issues since it would just not work well for them as soon as I left town. Also, the HTPC standalone program for Emby didn't seem to work as well for me compared to Plex HT after I ditched WMC and thus Emby Classic.

Anyway, where is AVS leaning in 2016? I know this forum is more biased toward Emby because of its Media Browser WMC roots. I used Media Browser way back in the day as well before it was broken into a server and client model and before it needed the word Classic added to it. I've also used Media Portal and My Movies. What I haven't used too often is Kodi due to my need for a high WAF DVR.

One thing I noticed on the Google Play Store was Emby had 100,000+ downloads and ~2,000 reviews while Plex had 1,000,000+ downloads and ~70,000 reviews. That isn't really a strong metric on performance, but it is way out of balance.
Plex, they are actively working on HD audio support for Android TV which is important for my setup. Also, Emby has issues finding metadata for the tv shows I have, + the Emby developers are smug and condescending.

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post #4 of 62 Old 01-24-2016, 03:32 PM
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I noticed Emby lifetime is cheaper than Plex $99.99 vs $149.99.. Maybe that is important to some people.
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post #5 of 62 Old 01-24-2016, 06:36 PM
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Plex, they are actively working on HD audio support for Android TV which is important for my setup. Also, Emby has issues finding metadata for the tv shows I have, + the Emby developers are smug and condescending.
Really? I am currently running both and my experience has been the polar opposite. Emby finds metadata without problem where I have to manually tweak Plex. Also the Plex developers dont seem to give two chits about adding features and just rake in the membership fees but Emby is tripping over themselves to add any and every feature they can. Emby even works hard to support other 3rd party platforms (Kodi for example) where plex flat out doesnt care. Plex is definitely leading with all the platforms they support but Emby is poised to catch up fast!
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post #6 of 62 Old 01-24-2016, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Really? I am currently running both and my experience has been the polar opposite. Emby finds metadata without problem where I have to manually tweak Plex. Also the Plex developers dont seem to give two chits about adding features and just rake in the membership fees but Emby is tripping over themselves to add any and every feature they can. Emby even works hard to support other 3rd party platforms (Kodi for example) where plex flat out doesnt care. Plex is definitely leading with all the platforms they support but Emby is poised to catch up fast!
What are some of the features Emby has added that I may have missed? I stopped using it around the time they rolled in the Emby TV service. Plex is supposed to get the silicon dust DVR, but who knows when that'll happen.

I'm a paid member of both so it isn't too much to switch other than getting family to buy a new app.

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post #7 of 62 Old 01-24-2016, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by pearsco View Post
Really? I am currently running both and my experience has been the polar opposite. Emby finds metadata without problem where I have to manually tweak Plex. Also the Plex developers dont seem to give two chits about adding features and just rake in the membership fees but Emby is tripping over themselves to add any and every feature they can. Emby even works hard to support other 3rd party platforms (Kodi for example) where plex flat out doesnt care. Plex is definitely leading with all the platforms they support but Emby is poised to catch up fast!
I don't do anything fancy with my naming structure, just the season name as the folder and episode names with ***e01. Plex gets all of it, Emby not so much. As far as Kodi, they both have plugins that do the job.
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post #8 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 06:15 AM
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I don't do anything fancy with my naming structure, just the season name as the folder and episode names with ***e01. Plex gets all of it, Emby not so much. As far as Kodi, they both have plugins that do the job.
I've never had any problem whatsoever with Emby gathering correct metadata. Infact, I used to use MCM, but have now switched over to Emby entirely for all metadata management. It's got far more options and better matching features than Plex, so I'd agree with the pearsco on that one.
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post #9 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 08:41 AM
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Emby works better on my WMC machine. It will also display videos where no metadata is available.

BUT

We use Plex because the interface is much better, and it does auto frame rate switching. It is also a better experience on streaming devices.
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post #10 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I can't say I've had any issues with Plex not finding the correct metadata. There are options on the Plex Server setting for where and how to look for the data. Maybe that is why some are having more trouble than others.

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post #11 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 09:18 AM
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I have lots of videos that it won't display at all in the list because there's no metadata. For example, how about instructional videos, or my copy of Jane Fonda's workout?
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post #12 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I have lots of videos that it won't display at all in the list because there's no metadata. For example, how about instructional videos, or my copy of Jane Fonda's workout?
I just manually enter in the data to those types of videos. Neither Emby nor Plex are going to pick up on the metadata for my daugher's Nutcracker performances.

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post #13 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 10:37 AM
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The good thing about Emby though is that it'll at least display a little thumbnail and the file name. Plex simply won't show it at all.
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post #14 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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The good thing about Emby though is that it'll at least display a little thumbnail and the file name. Plex simply won't show it at all.
I don't recall ever having that problem. It'll just show a still image or pull in the wrong data from a different movie. I have adjusted the Agents settings in my Plex Server so I'm not sure what the default was compared to what I have now. The only thing that I recall between Plex and Emby for not showing data was when I had VIDEO_TS and .ISO files. Emby shows these and Plex skips them.

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post #15 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 11:14 AM
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As far as Kodi, they both have plugins that do the job.
As far as kodi, the Emby plugin is miles beyond plexbmc
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post #16 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 11:36 AM
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I use both, and they both have their good and not-so-good points. Emby is on a very rapid development cycle, and is in the best position for the future, but it was Emby Classic (that requires WMC) that is still be best client with lots of plugins and themes. Emby Theater, just released as a beta, is the one with most potential though. Early days at the moment though, with it's worth a punt to have a look. Emby on Roku is good, but the new Plex UI is very nice indeed. Plex server is very limited - feature wise - compared to Emby Server though, but Plex server is lower on transcoding resources, but Emby transcoding is better quality (generally). Plex has also been around a lot longer than Emby, so that's why Plex is showing more downloads (I think Plex was a fork of XBMC at one point)

Personally, I've been using Emby since early Media Browser days, and that's where I'll stay. Both require premium membership to get all the features though.
Yes it is and Kodi is what was once XBMC and XBMC was forked from running on the XBox format to PC. Emby now has Kodi add on but I haven't tried it yet..

I stopped using Plex probably about when the PlexPass was started. I never liked the interface and I like the WMC Emby Classic much better although I haven't used Plex in some time so I cannot report on it.

My Emby has been a solid performer and keeps getting better. I have a grand-fathered Premier Subscription that I got in 2013 for dirt cheap when it was still called MB3. I have contributed a little bit more since because I like the product so much.

Maybe I'm a Fanboi but I like Emby and I went with it over Plex and just stuck with it. It is a very solid product and ebr (Eric) and Luke (Luke) over on their forums are very responsive to issues. I'm using the beta product and it gets updated on a very regular schedule. Last week I think there may have been about 10 updates. The stable server is much less often, of course; about every month or two. The development is very active. One feature worth looking into is the PlayOn Plugin which, with a PlayOn account, brings Netflix, Amazon Video, HBOGo, etc, etc into Emby and Emby Classic in WMC.


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post #17 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 01:11 PM
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Yes it is and Kodi is what was once XBMC and XBMC was forked from running on the XBox format to PC
It may seem this way to you, but if you look into what Kodi is today you will not find any large chunks of code from the old xbox media player project.

If you went into any detail looking at Plex Media Center or Plex Home Theater which followed, you would see that it was indeed a direct fork of XBMC with necessary gui and other stuff on top with XBMC untouched as the playback engine

Plex Media Player - the newest Plex desktop app - is no longer a Kodi/XBMC fork. This was a pretty recent transition
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post #18 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Plex Media Player - the newest Plex desktop app - is no longer a Kodi/XBMC fork. This was a pretty recent transition
Which unfortunately looks like a mistake.

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post #19 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 01:31 PM
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Which unfortunately looks like a mistake.
For me it is.
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post #20 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post
It may seem this way to you, but if you look into what Kodi is today you will not find any large chunks of code from the old xbox media player project.

If you went into any detail looking at Plex Media Center or Plex Home Theater which followed, you would see that it was indeed a direct fork of XBMC with necessary gui and other stuff on top with XBMC untouched as the playback engine

Plex Media Player - the newest Plex desktop app - is no longer a Kodi/XBMC fork. This was a pretty recent transition
Can't disagree with any of that. Emby is no longer MB 2.6.x either. It is a long way from that with completely new coding at the root of it all.

BTW, the latest stable release of Emby went to be a 64-bit process for enhanced speed at the loss of automatic iso mounting for clients such as Roku. It still works in WMC/EMC (Classic) though which is the only place I need it to work as that is the only place with a 3D TV Connected to it.
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post #21 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 01:59 PM
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I prefer Plex. They seem to take the 'slower but more stable rollout of features' approach, while Emby seems to take the 'throw 15 bowls of spaghetti at the wall' approach. Just my observations. Plus, Plex is on more (and all of my) devices.
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post #22 of 62 Old 01-26-2016, 11:08 AM
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Almost all of my movies are in VIDEO_TS format, and I don't feel like fiddling with converting them for Plex to pick them up.
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post #23 of 62 Old 01-26-2016, 11:47 AM
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I'm a Plex/Kodi user but last week I did play with Emby for a short while. I added the Emby Plugin for Freenas and downloaded the app to my phone. It was late but the concept is very similar to the way Plex is set up with regards to files and scraping data. I may play with it when I have more time but from my perspective (as of now) it's an "either or" option.
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post #24 of 62 Old 01-27-2016, 11:43 PM
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No playback client will ever match Kodi, which at this point has decades of expertise and experience behind it as well as a huge dev community.

It was the reason Plex exists and for them to abandon it is a mistake. Emby has their own client as well, but the best thing they did was work seamlessly with Kodi (via their plugin) so you get the best of both worlds.

Emby is open source stack all the way, Plex on the other hand is a closed platform.
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post #25 of 62 Old 01-28-2016, 07:29 AM
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My problem with Kodi has always been media organization. On Emby, I say, "Hey, this is where my kids movies are, put them in a place called 'Kids'" and there it is. I've never been able to separate my kids movies easily in Kodi, even after trying numerous skins and smart folders, blah blah blah. I was able to get JRiver to do it after a whole mess of flaming hoops, but I haven't used JRiver since v19 I think.
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post #26 of 62 Old 01-28-2016, 07:31 AM
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My problem with Kodi has always been media organization. On Emby, I say, "Hey, this is where my kids movies are, put them in a place called 'Kids'" and there it is. I've never been able to separate my kids movies easily in Kodi, even after trying numerous skins and smart folders, blah blah blah.
Emby threatened pulling that ability for a while. You have to tell it to go to legacy organization for now, but I recall them saying that it would not be supported forever. Has this changed?
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post #27 of 62 Old 01-28-2016, 07:36 AM
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I haven't heard anything about them pulling that feature, but I also don't follow their development forums too much. I also don't think I've ever changed anything to make it "legacy" but I couldn't tell you for sure what theme I'm using. One of the free ones. It seems like all software developers are forcing us more into a Netflix style layout. I have somewhere around 600-800 movies on my HTPC and when my kids are over, they know exactly how to get to their movies. It would be a shame if all the rest of my movies were tossed in there as well.
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post #28 of 62 Old 01-28-2016, 07:38 AM
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I'm running both right now after having had plex for several years. I have been patiently waiting for the Emby alpha/beta release of the new theater client. Emby's server options are so much more advanced and clean looking. I like the many more options for transcoding bitrates on Emby and the throttling I can force on clients via the server.

Having testing a lot of Emby now I will probably switch to Emby full time this summer when the new Theater windows client is more fully featured. I think it is better already than the plex media player client which is in "plex pass" preview. Playback on emby works for me fine, whereas the PMP I get stuttering w/directplay for no good reason (that bug that happens when you are about 10 mins into a video). I know I am comparing two test builds, but what Emby has to offer for future possibility is so much more, and its better right now for me.

Right now I pay for both.

I think everyone will have a diff opinion though.

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post #29 of 62 Old 01-28-2016, 07:42 AM
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I haven't heard anything about them pulling that feature, but I also don't follow their development forums too much. I also don't think I've ever changed anything to make it "legacy" but I couldn't tell you for sure what theme I'm using. One of the free ones. It seems like all software developers are forcing us more into a Netflix style layout. I have somewhere around 600-800 movies on my HTPC and when my kids are over, they know exactly how to get to their movies. It would be a shame if all the rest of my movies were tossed in there as well.
I'll take some screenshots later and show you the issue with Emby. I am running the Chocolate skin in Emby, but it's an Emby thing that combines the folders, not the theme.

And just so you know, Kodi can be configured to separate them out. That's how mine is set up. In fact, Kodi offers one additional feature, you can hide folders managed to the device (like MB2 was). So if you use the same login for all your TVs, you can have certain folders hidden on different TVs. So in my movie room I have all folders available, but in the game room I don't have some folders available so that kids can't get to them.

I really miss the layout of MB2, and the way it managed folders.
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post #30 of 62 Old 01-28-2016, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm running both right now after having had plex for several years. I have been patiently waiting for the Emby alpha/beta release of the new theater client. Emby's server options are so much more advanced and clean looking. I like the many more options for transcoding bitrates on Emby and the throttling I can force on clients via the server.

Having testing a lot of Emby now I will probably switch to Emby full time this summer when the new Theater windows client is more fully featured. I think it is better already than the plex media player client which is in "plex pass" preview. Playback on emby works for me fine, whereas the PMP I get stuttering w/directplay for no good reason (that bug that happens when you are about 10 mins into a video). I know I am comparing two test builds, but what Emby has to offer for future possibility is so much more, and its better right now for me.

Right now I pay for both.

I think everyone will have a diff opinion though.
I miss the transcoding options that can be enforced on the server for clients. Plex is dumb in this aspect. First of all any user installing Plex on their device and streaming from your server will be streaming from the default remote bitrate which I think is 4 Mbps. That seems to be too high for either my server, my internet, my family members' internet, or some combination of all. It seems like 2 Mbps is the sweet spot when it comes to remote Plex clients. In Emby I can just set it on the server and be done with it.

I don't have high hopes for the Emby Theater client. They already scrapped it once. Without the Theater client you are stuck with WMC. There isn't a very good option for Emby on Win 10. At least the Plex HT client works in Win 10 even though it is EOL. I also didn't like how Emby scrapped their Android app and replaced it with one based on the web client. They also don't have offline sync playback which I've already mentioned.

I just see Emby having a nice WMC client and better Kodi integration. Anything standalone isn't quite up to par. If you ditch WMC then you are left with Kodi and the Emby addon.

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