Plex client on media streamers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 10-31-2013, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for a list of media players that currently support a Plex client. This information is a bit hard (and tedious) to acquire by scanning the individual threads for the various media players. Obviously all HTPC's can support a Plex client but I'm looking for the simple stand-alone boxes (like a WD Live or Mede8er). Almost all of these support DLNA, I'm wondering about which support Plex.

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post #2 of 32 Old 10-31-2013, 08:56 AM
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Basically for dedicated media players it's Roku and GoogleTV for the Plex client.

http://www.plexapp.com/connected/index.php

Note: Plex Server also includes a DLNA server so it can also serve virtually all DLNA devices. Unfortunately, IMHO, it currently does not have a large library of common "profiles" so it does not always send the highest quality the device will accept and/or will do unnecessary transcoding.
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post #3 of 32 Old 10-31-2013, 09:40 AM
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Popcornhour has a Plex client as well. And as it plays everything only thing that will transcode is flv files. You can even use Plex frontend but access media over samba
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post #4 of 32 Old 10-31-2013, 11:07 AM
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I have set up numerous Plex clients for family/friends.

I now exclusively use the Raspberry Pi(make sure you get the 512MB model) for doing so. It's around $50 and the Class 10 SD 8GB(get the Transcend) card is around $8.99 on Amazon.

The Plex client (RasPlex or PleXBMC) simply installs onto the SD card(There is a dedicated installer so you do not have to do anything manually). You pop the SD card into the Pi and fire it up. After 4-5 mins of initial setting up it's good to go. You can use the iOS Plex App to control Rasplex as well... Super awesome cover art and really responsive once it all caches onto the SD card.

If you don't need any additional wires/cables for the Raspberry Pi (you probably have the wires you need laying around the house) you're all in for about $60.

If you need a fancy setup then you can go a more expensive route... This works and is able to stream large .MKV 1080p movies without trouble. (make sure you use wired ethernet)

good luck

P.S. The 512MB Model B Pi is powerful enough for h.264 files without issue. The files do NOT have to be transcoded for the Pi. The Pi at this time also can NOT decode HD audio.. It does 5.1 DTS perfectly fine though.
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post #5 of 32 Old 10-31-2013, 03:23 PM
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Another option is Plex for Samsung Blu-Ray players: http://plexforsamsung.pbworks.com/w/page/40757181/Home or http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/forum/89-samsung-smart-hub/

I have been using it for 2+ years and have found it to be the best balance of media streaming apps (Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc.), file compatibility (Xvid, h264, etc) and overall experience. I have 4 of them running (2 BD-D5700's and 2 BD-D5300) you can get them both for fairly inexpensive on eBay.
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post #6 of 32 Old 10-31-2013, 05:24 PM
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The plex client is also available on the new samsung smart media player stb.
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post #7 of 32 Old 11-18-2013, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NavySeal View Post

I have set up numerous Plex clients for family/friends.

I now exclusively use the Raspberry Pi(make sure you get the 512MB model) for doing so. It's around $50 and the Class 10 SD 8GB(get the Transcend) card is around $8.99 on Amazon.

The Plex client (RasPlex or PleXBMC) simply installs onto the SD card(There is a dedicated installer so you do not have to do anything manually). You pop the SD card into the Pi and fire it up. After 4-5 mins of initial setting up it's good to go. You can use the iOS Plex App to control Rasplex as well... Super awesome cover art and really responsive once it all caches onto the SD card.

If you don't need any additional wires/cables for the Raspberry Pi (you probably have the wires you need laying around the house) you're all in for about $60.

If you need a fancy setup then you can go a more expensive route... This works and is able to stream large .MKV 1080p movies without trouble. (make sure you use wired ethernet)

good luck

P.S. The 512MB Model B Pi is powerful enough for h.264 files without issue. The files do NOT have to be transcoded for the Pi. The Pi at this time also can NOT decode HD audio.. It does 5.1 DTS perfectly fine though.
Hey Navy, let me ask a few newbie questions:

Where can I buy online the this rasperry pi model?
is this kit ok? http://www.amazon.com/CanaKit-Raspberry-Basic-Clear-Supply/dp/B00DG9D6IK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1384834691&sr=1-1&keywords=raspberry+pi+512
then I have to choose between rasplex or plexbmc (btw with witch one do you prefer?)

connect a usb keyboard and mouse and install it.

then, to use it, do I still need a keyboard or can I use something else, such as a remote?

thanks in advance for the newbie questions...
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post #8 of 32 Old 11-19-2013, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torcator View Post

Hey Navy, let me ask a few newbie questions:

Where can I buy online the this rasperry pi model?
is this kit ok? http://www.amazon.com/CanaKit-Raspberry-Basic-Clear-Supply/dp/B00DG9D6IK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1384834691&sr=1-1&keywords=raspberry+pi+512
then I have to choose between rasplex or plexbmc (btw with witch one do you prefer?)

connect a usb keyboard and mouse and install it.

then, to use it, do I still need a keyboard or can I use something else, such as a remote?

thanks in advance for the newbie questions...
Happy to help...

Yes that is the correct Pi model.
You need a SD card to install the Rasplex or PlexBMC to. You only need the 8GB version. This one is highly recommended and it's only $9 ( http://www.amazon.com/Transcend-Class-Flash-Memory-TS16GSDHC10E/dp/B003VNKNEQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1384888470&sr=1-1&keywords=transcend+class+10 )
Since you are first starting out...I would choose Rasplex to start off. It's EXTREMELY SIMPLE and it looks great. You can also use an iOS device if you have one to control it via the iOS Plex software (I think it costs $3.99...its worth it trust me). If you have a TV that has CEC (most modern ones do) you can just use your TV remote to control the Pi as well. THE iOS Plex APP is AWESOME though. It's VERY VERY user friendly and great graphics for the poster art, etc. They also have one for Android I believe.

You do not need a keyboard OR mouse connected to the Pi at all!!!!!!!!!! You CAN use one if you want but I've never done it. To install Rasplex these are the basic easy steps:
1) Download the Windows Installer from the Raxplex website.
2) Run the installer on your Windows PC
3) Insert the SD card into an SD card reader on your PC
4) Tell the Rasplex installer where your SD reader is when asked
5) The Rasplex software will copy
6) Plug the Pi into your TV/receiver with a HDMI cable
7) Plug your network cable from your router to the Pi
8) Plug your SD card into the Pi
9) Plug the power supply into the Pi

The Pi will power up and it will start to install all the needed Rasplex files automatically. You do not need to do ANYTHING during this process. When it's completed it will reboot and you'll get the main Rasplex menu screen. Initial install takes about 5-10 minutes.. Just be patient. Also when you first start browsing your Plex library on your PC it will take a while for the files to cache onto the SD card in the Pi.. Once everything caches it will run a lot smoother since the poster art will be on your SD card and cached.

I'm not kidding when I tell you ANY novice can do this with Rasplex. Just make sure you have Plex Server (free) running on your PC. Rasplex will either automatically find your Plex server on your PC or you might have to input the IP address into the Rasplex menu once it's all installed.

The great thing about the Pi is that you can do many many things with it. You can either purchase a few SD cards and install different programs/apps, etc. or you can simply overwrite the previous software and start fresh. If you use the Installers it's really so simple a 14 year old could figure it out in 10 mins.

You may have a few questions when you first start using it but everything is extremely user friendly and it wont take you long to figure out. Don't worry about needing a keyboard/mouse hooked up.. You DO NOT need to use either AT ALL.
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post #9 of 32 Old 11-19-2013, 01:37 PM
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How does the Plex Client on the Raspberry Pi perform? I have been less than impressed by the Plex client running on the Roku 3.
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post #10 of 32 Old 11-19-2013, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nirvana_av View Post

How does the Plex Client on the Raspberry Pi perform? I have been less than impressed by the Plex client running on the Roku 3.

It doesn't do HD audio. That's the biggest negative I've seen. Who knows if support will be offered in the future.

I am able to flawlessly stream 1080p with DD 5.1 sound(MKV's) without issue (including big files). Once you get it setup you just put the movie/TV shows/etc in the proper directory on your PC running Plex Server and it's all automated. With the iOS app it's so sweet and nice to look at. Subs, etc. work fine as well.

I set it up for a few non-techie friends and I have literally gotten maybe 2-3 calls in 4+ months for small questions that they could have found answers to on their own.

Keep in mind this is all using a wired network, haven't used the wireless at all since I am mainly streaming.


The project only has a few people working on it (Rasplex) so it doesn't get updated super often but lately they have been pushing out updates.
Another update is due soon using the latest Plex Home Theater code.

XBMC with the Plexbmc add-on is another way to go.. but it's more technical. I personally haven't had any issues with Raxplex and it's a lot more "noob" friendly... it's so quick and easy to setup you can flash and try different apps and then settle on the one you like best.

I also use the Plex client on an older Samsung TV which is fairly decent...but much prefer the Raspberry Pi.. Hard to go wrong for what is essentially a $60 buy in for everything you need assuming you already have an HDMI cable laying around somewhere in the house.
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post #11 of 32 Old 11-19-2013, 03:08 PM
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How does it do with Plex "channels"? Does it offer full shows? Does it stitch show segments together as well as the MacOS Plex Client?
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post #12 of 32 Old 11-19-2013, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nirvana_av View Post

How does it do with Plex "channels"? Does it offer full shows? Does it stitch show segments together as well as the MacOS Plex Client?

Guilty as charged. Haven't experimented with Plex channels.

This may help: http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/forum/126-rasplex/
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post #13 of 32 Old 02-27-2014, 11:15 AM
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Guys I just got the Pi after reading this thread. I don't think my TV can output AC3 or DD 5.1 so I gotta run through the receiver.

Problem is, I don't see any IR sensors on this thing. I need to be able to control it with my Harmony remote!

Am I missing something?
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post #14 of 32 Old 02-27-2014, 01:22 PM
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you have the buy your own IR receiver for the PI something like this usb one

http://flirc.tv/
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post #15 of 32 Old 04-01-2014, 08:27 AM
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Am I correct that there is no (or no reliable) way to get *free* Hulu via Plex? (Or via xbmc or roku or any other streaming software/hardware approach other than PlayOn?) Note I'm not talking about HuluPlus -- but now that I mention it, is there even a reliable Plex channel for that?
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post #16 of 32 Old 04-04-2014, 09:11 AM
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Hey NavySeal,

I'm looking into setting up a Plex system at home and the Raspberry Pi option is pretty compelling. I'm basically trying to get the Plex client on my TVs. It might work natively with my LG tv, but my older Sony Bravia may need an adaptor of some kind. I was considering the Amazon Fire TV or the Google Chromecast as options, but they have drawabacks. The Fire TV is more expensive and the Chromecast is WiFi only, which is obviously a media bottleneck.

 

The only reason I might go with the Fire TV over a Rasplex solution is that I know it has content apps like HBO Go and Amazon Instant Video. If Rasplex can do Watch ESPN and HBO Go, then it sounds like the ideal solution for me. But I haven't been able to track down that information.

 

On a setup note, have you ever connected a Raspberry Pi using powerline adapters? I can't run cat5 downstairs from my router.

 

Thanks!

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post #17 of 32 Old 04-05-2014, 12:46 AM
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Interesting. I've seen the Raspberry Pi 512mb edition one sale for $30 dollars. I should of bought it! I'm thinking of giving this a try since I need an inexpensive streaming for the bedroom, and I mainly use Plex to stream to my kids iPads.

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8599

 

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http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8597

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post #18 of 32 Old 04-05-2014, 12:48 AM
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Found it at Micro Center for $30 in-store pick up or $36 shipped. http://www.microcenter.com/product/414588/Raspberry_Pi_Model_B#

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8599

 

Home Theater Set Up:

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8597

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post #19 of 32 Old 04-08-2014, 05:34 PM
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Downside to Samsung BluRay player is that it is susceptible to Cinavia, while android devices or htpc's are not.
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post #20 of 32 Old 04-08-2014, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlflannery View Post

Am I correct that there is no (or no reliable) way to get *free* Hulu via Plex? (Or via xbmc or roku or any other streaming software/hardware approach other than PlayOn?) Note I'm not talking about HuluPlus -- but now that I mention it, is there even a reliable Plex channel for that?

Xbmc supports "free" hulu.
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post #21 of 32 Old 04-17-2014, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apw2607 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlflannery View Post

Am I correct that there is no (or no reliable) way to get *free* Hulu via Plex? (Or via xbmc or roku or any other streaming software/hardware approach other than PlayOn?) Note I'm not talking about HuluPlus -- but now that I mention it, is there even a reliable Plex channel for that?

Xbmc supports "free" hulu.

Hulu on XBMC is really hit and miss now. Slowly but surely all the premium sites are dropping off XBMC.

I would highly recommend a FireTV which is an excellent media player. It has a Plex client which is really nice but the Plex team has to fix an audio bug which doesn't direct play ac3 audio.

Philip
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post #22 of 32 Old 04-17-2014, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

Hulu on XBMC is really hit and miss now. Slowly but surely all the premium sites are dropping off XBMC.

I would highly recommend a FireTV which is an excellent media player. It has a Plex client which is really nice but the Plex team has to fix an audio bug which doesn't direct play ac3 audio.

Philip
Thanks. This agrees with the impressions I've received from reading various forums. Apparently the FTV is also a good xbmc platform. I've used PlayOn up to last month and it is (or at least was) a great portal to true free Hulu. Since it's a subscription product they can expend the effort it takes to keep up with the Hulu site changes. I really wonder why Hulu works so hard to keep its free hulu from being seen on anything but a PC monitor.
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post #23 of 32 Old 04-17-2014, 07:17 PM
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My samsung smart tv has a plex app and it works great along with my roku boxes. Any more TVs I buy will at least be like my samsung smart tv that supports amazon, netflix, pled, hulu, etc. wirelessly very nice!
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post #24 of 32 Old 04-17-2014, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlflannery View Post

Thanks. This agrees with the impressions I've received from reading various forums. Apparently the FTV is also a good xbmc platform. I've used PlayOn up to last month and it is (or at least was) a great portal to true free Hulu. Since it's a subscription product they can expend the effort it takes to keep up with the Hulu site changes. I really wonder why Hulu works so hard to keep its free hulu from being seen on anything but a PC monitor.

Licensing issues probably. They don't have permission from the content owners to do otherwise. It's all a matter of money. I've noticed that many Lifetime movies are only available on free Hulu and not Hulu Plus. Interestingly, many of these same movies have recently become available on Amazon's Instant Video service. I assume Amazon paid more for them than what Hulu could or would pay.

Philip
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post #25 of 32 Old 04-17-2014, 08:56 PM
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Don't rule out the Apple TV. You won't be running Plex on the Apple TV itself but, like a Chromecast, you can Cast/AirPlay to the ATV using the Plex app on an iPhone, and the ATV will take over at that point (you won't be using up any CPU resources on your mobile device). You can stream high bitrate h.264 video to the ATV without it requiring any significant CPU usage by your Plex Media Server.

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post #26 of 32 Old 05-15-2014, 02:01 PM
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Just to chime back in with an update (if anybody is interested), I set up a couple of Raspberry Pis as XBMC (Openelec) clients for my 2 TVs. I decided to go with this option over the Amazon Fire TV and Roku because I wanted Live TV and PVR functionality in addition to serving local media. The setup was tedious (for me), but I'm happy with the result so far. XBMC has a Plex plugin (PleXBMC) that is pretty nice. The Plex integration isn't necessary, but it is nice, since I'm already using it for my mobile devices and the scrapers/setup are all pretty much plug-and-play. I've only just set up the network and gotten the major features working, so now I'll be tweaking and evaluating the menu/add-on setup. XBMC is super customizable, if you're willing to take the time with it, so I'm pretty sure it's the one suite that is going to give me everything I want, except for DRM restricted apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video. But my Blu-Ray player and TV both do those anyway. I wish I had one hardware interface to manage absolutely everything, but I'm not sure it's possible for what I was willing to spend on the project. Here is the hardware/software I ended up choosing so far:

 

- Windows 7 PC media backend (existing)

- Plex Media Server

- HDHomerun Dual ATSC tuner

- Mediaportal TV server (PVR and live TV backend)

- 2 Raspberry Pis (running Openelec, which is a platform-specific version of XBMC)

 

One of the many nice little things about this setup is that my TVs communicate (basic) commands to the RPis over the HDMI connection via CEC by default, meaning I can use the regular TV remote. I also have the XBMC remote app on my phone for more complex interactions, which means I never need to plug a keyboard into the Pis.

 

I'm still trying to iron out some of the wrinkles with live TV buffering, EPG updates, media mapping, scrapers, etc. But I've messed around with it enough to prove that it will work. I just need to do the nitty-gritty of customizing the settings and layout.

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post #27 of 32 Old 05-16-2014, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kphammond9 View Post

Just to chime back in with an update (if anybody is interested), I set up a couple of Raspberry Pis as XBMC (Openelec) clients for my 2 TVs. I decided to go with this option over the Amazon Fire TV and Roku because I wanted Live TV and PVR functionality in addition to serving local media. The setup was tedious (for me), but I'm happy with the result so far. XBMC has a Plex plugin (PleXBMC) that is pretty nice. The Plex integration isn't necessary, but it is nice, since I'm already using it for my mobile devices and the scrapers/setup are all pretty much plug-and-play. I've only just set up the network and gotten the major features working, so now I'll be tweaking and evaluating the menu/add-on setup. XBMC is super customizable, if you're willing to take the time with it, so I'm pretty sure it's the one suite that is going to give me everything I want, except for DRM restricted apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video. But my Blu-Ray player and TV both do those anyway. I wish I had one hardware interface to manage absolutely everything, but I'm not sure it's possible for what I was willing to spend on the project. Here is the hardware/software I ended up choosing so far:

- Windows 7 PC media backend (existing)
- Plex Media Server
- HDHomerun Dual ATSC tuner
- Mediaportal TV server (PVR and live TV backend)
- 2 Raspberry Pis (running Openelec, which is a platform-specific version of XBMC)

One of the many nice little things about this setup is that my TVs communicate (basic) commands to the RPis over the HDMI connection via CEC by default, meaning I can use the regular TV remote. I also have the XBMC remote app on my phone for more complex interactions, which means I never need to plug a keyboard into the Pis.

I'm still trying to iron out some of the wrinkles with live TV buffering, EPG updates, media mapping, scrapers, etc. But I've messed around with it enough to prove that it will work. I just need to do the nitty-gritty of customizing the settings and layout.

I've been thinking of giving this a try as well. A co-worker said that he was able to add Netflix and Hulu, and he doesn't have to pay for it. I'm not sure how he did it.

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8599

 

Home Theater Set Up:

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8597

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post #28 of 32 Old 05-19-2014, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post


I've been thinking of giving this a try as well. A co-worker said that he was able to add Netflix and Hulu, and he doesn't have to pay for it. I'm not sure how he did it.


Yeah, I'm not sure about that... One complaint I have with both XBMC and Plex is the plugins and channels tend to be a little flaky. It's understandable, since most of them are community-produced and maintained, but it means that you can't always count on them working. The Netflix plugins I have tried require a password, and I believe the Hulu ones should, too. If your co-worker is getting "free" access to these, I would guess that it's somewhat shady. I don't think it's free "out of the box."

 

I'm considering trying out "PlayOn," which is a media server kind of like Plex, but it is a paid service (fairly cheap) and seems focused on aggregating content from the web into channels. Kind of like what you get with a Roku or Amazon Fire TV, but at a lower price point. The upside is that the plugins are maintained and should be more reliable. Also, the PC server transcodes all the flash plugin and other DRM stuff so you can watch Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu, etc on any networked device. Not sure what the downsides are, other than the fact that it's not free, is PC only, and requires a 24/7 PC to act as a server. But I'm already running Plex and MediaPortal all the time, so that's not too much of an issue for me.

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post #29 of 32 Old 10-29-2014, 12:04 PM
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I have been following this closely and ended up trying a combination of some of the ideas posted. I have a gateway intel i5 machine as the dedicated backend server with storage and bunch of other media server goodies including NPVR for live TV and recordings, Plex and PlayON

For the front end client, I got myself an intel NUC kit with an SSD and 4 GB of ram. Installed Openelec (Kodi Gotham). I bought a PlayOn lifetime license years ago when I used to think PlayStation 3 was the be all and end all of all in one media solutions. So that came in handy to use as a Upnp server for Netflix and Hulu to stream to the Openelec machine.

Now keep in mind, its not perfect and is not doing Netflix in HD but it does handle Hulu, Amazon, and loads of other paid apps pretty well. The interface is also not as pleasing to look at as some other dedicated Netflix devices.

For personal media, I use Plex and Plexbmc on the Intel NUC. Works pretty well, I get the unofficials apps streaming and local media meta data as well.

All in all, I spent $300, approximately $100 on PlayOn and the rest on the NUC and the FLIRC, which is a tiny USB device that allows any remote control to control your xbmc device.

All in all it works great, but as they say, you always look for bigger and better. I wish I had better paid apps integration with XBMC and it did gaming as well. But even without those, I think I have a fairly close to perfect set up going on right now based on what is achievable.
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post #30 of 32 Old 10-29-2014, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by NavySeal View Post
I have set up numerous Plex clients for family/friends.

I now exclusively use the Raspberry Pi(make sure you get the 512MB model) for doing so. It's around $50 and the Class 10 SD 8GB(get the Transcend) card is around $8.99 on Amazon.

The Plex client (RasPlex or PleXBMC) simply installs onto the SD card(There is a dedicated installer so you do not have to do anything manually). You pop the SD card into the Pi and fire it up. After 4-5 mins of initial setting up it's good to go. You can use the iOS Plex App to control Rasplex as well... Super awesome cover art and really responsive once it all caches onto the SD card.

If you don't need any additional wires/cables for the Raspberry Pi (you probably have the wires you need laying around the house) you're all in for about $60.

If you need a fancy setup then you can go a more expensive route... This works and is able to stream large .MKV 1080p movies without trouble. (make sure you use wired ethernet)

good luck

P.S. The 512MB Model B Pi is powerful enough for h.264 files without issue. The files do NOT have to be transcoded for the Pi. The Pi at this time also can NOT decode HD audio.. It does 5.1 DTS perfectly fine though.
Might want to add though, that the RaspPi will have issues with BD Rips that have sustained bitrates (more than a few seconds) that are greater than 30Mbps. Most Blu-Rays don't get that high but I have a handful like Fight Club, Gladiator and all of the Transformers movies that I ran through Handbrake and re-encoded at Level 4.0 instead of 4.1. That way it limits the bitrate to 25Mbps and won't stop or stutter on my RaspPi.
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