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Plex Discussion Thread - Page 22

post #631 of 801
It's been years, but I use to run both XBMC and Plex Media Server. At that time, there was no Windows Plex Front end, so I used XBMC and Boxee. Plex allowed me to stream to my Android mobile phone.

There is even an XBMC library extension that be installed to use Plex Media Server.

The only issue I can see, and it's not really an issue of either software, but of the machine. Depending on the media file format, it's possible the file may need to be transcoded before going to the Roku box. So, you if you watching something on your HTPC on XBMC and streaming something to the Roku, you could run into buffering because your machine may not have enough RAM and CPU horsepower, per se, to handle the work load.

I haven't tried MB. I would suggest trying both. Plex is a excellent software, especially if you want to consume your home media outside the home.
post #632 of 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

Will there be conflicts if I run both Plex and XBMC at the same time on the HTPC? I am asking for troubles? I really hate to removed XBMC from the HTPC because I've been running it for years and spent quite a bit of time to get things set up properly and look the way I like.
Plex has two components:
1) Plex Media Server. This is the server back-end that will handle the storage of your movie / TV show metadata all in a single database. You would install this on a PC that you will leave on 24/7.
2) Plex Home Theater. This is the client front-end. It is open source and based heavily on XBMC. The Plex devs remove some features from XBMC and include some features of their own and a single common UI. Rather than have "add ons" like XBMC, Plex has a similar concept they call "Channels".

If you have a computer that you plan to use for both #1 and #2, you would install both pieces of software (separate installs). You could also install XBMC and it should not interfere with Plex Home Theater. Alternatively, you could choose to not install Plex Home Theater at all, and only install Plex Media Server. Then, on your PC, you could use the PleXBMC add-on for XBMC that will tie into Plex Media Server's metadata database.

I personally haven't settled on a favorite for my clients yet. On my main server I have both Plex Home Theater and XBMC installed. On my living room client (an Acer Revo 1600 Atom/ION nettop) I have OpenELEC w/XBMC and the PleXBMC add-on.

So the really big reason for using Plex, IMO, is Plex Media Server. It will manage all of your metadata in a single place as well as allow for streaming to a lot of low-power clients (like iOS devices) thanks to its built-in ability to transcode high bitrate content on-the-fly. It attempts to make smart decisions about what your client devices are capable of and will stream the content as-is if your client is powerful enough (like a modern PC). In the case of Roku, I'm not certain if it always does some level of transcoding or if there are some formats where it streams it as-is.

I don't think you mentioned whether or not you already had a Roku. If not, you may be interested in knowing that you may get similar results from streaming to an iOS device and then pushing it via AirPlay to an Apple TV. They've also recently added ChromeCast support, but I believe that the ATV (and maybe Roku) may offer a little better quality (this info comes directly from the main dev for Plex).

Another thing to be aware of: The Plex software is free, except for the mobile apps (e.g., for iOS or Android) where those cost $5 (if memory serves). However, they also have something they call PlexPass which costs money to become a member and gives you access to pre-release software and I think something else I don't make use of. I believe that the ChromeCast support currently requires a pre-release version of Plex Media Server, so you'd need to pay to be a member to get that, but I believe you could join for a month to get it.
post #633 of 801
Thanks for the feedbacks guys.

I went ahead and install Plex Media Server on my HTPC, which is currently running XBMC.

I then added the Plex channel on my Roku XS. I launched Plex on my Roku, it seems to find my HTPC as the PMS, but it doesn't show any of my movies on the Roku. Yes, I did added a movies library on PMS to test it out.

I am pretty much clueless as to what's going on. Roku found the server, but it's not showing any of the content on that server.
post #634 of 801

Are you able to browse and play the media from the WebGUI or PHT?

post #635 of 801
Yes, I am able to play and browse with the Web/Plex from my other PC.

Also, it seems that the IP Address on my HTPC/PMS server changes. It seems this might causes issues?

How do you make the IP address static on your PMS machine?



EDIT: Never mind, I restarted my PMS machine, and reset my Roku. Everything is working now. I am able to stream all my music videos and movies.
Edited by smokarz - 12/15/13 at 10:38am
post #636 of 801
I have a music videos library and would like some help on setting it up properly.



1) If I choose 'Musi'c as library type, it won't find any of my music videos. I think it's probably scanning for MP3 files? If I choose 'Movies', then it tried to download metatdata if the name of the music video is similar to a movie title. So which content type do I choose for my music videos?



2) Is it possible to have a poster image for each of my music video file? I like to see a pic of the artist or something, instead of a black icon.



Thanks
post #637 of 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

How do you make the IP address static on your PMS machine?

Best way will be to use DHCP reservation in your router configuration. (point browser to 192.168.X.1 where X is typically 1 for linksys, asus, and others while I've found Belkin to use 2)

If your router doesn't support DHCP reservations it should at least support static leasing of an IP (depends on your model)

Can't help on the music video part
post #638 of 801
Is anyone else having trouble with Plex pulling in full metadata for your video libraries??

I've never used plex as a primary frontend, so I never really cared. I only used it for a quick remote view in android/web/windows apps outside my lan. I never bothered to see that Plex has never pulled movie descriptions, actor information, etc. The only thing I have is mediainfo (codec, res, audio, etc) as well as a Poster and Title. I know that it's adding some genres since selecting one of the many genres pares down my list

When I click any movie or tv show there is no information available. I can edit all the fields one by one (I'd finish in 2015), but surely this comes automatically???

I added the XBMC nfo importer, and all the appropriate info is in my nfo files stored within each movie title folder, etc. I finally found out that you need to "edit" your collection and Show Advanced Settings to toggle your scraper preference (freebase, TMDB, XBMC, personal, etc).

I've toggled it to XBMC NFO for both movies and tv shows, and selected "Force Refresh" for the library . . . . 20 minutes later still not a single description or actor name added to the media manager view of any title I checked in the web interface
post #639 of 801
No- My plex is set to scrape on it's own and while it takes a long time- it seems to do a decent job. The small things I see are it doesn't like the mediabrowser specific stuff (like the advanced disc art, the nested box sets, the multiple movies inside folders etc) but otherwise seems to do a fine job.

Just a heads up- I beta tested the MCM plugin that replaces the plex scraper with MCM scraper and that seemed to work well. If you don't track down the issue you could consider two things.

1.) Run MB3 server and let it scrape in "MB3/PLEX/XBMC COMPATIBLE" mode - and set it to store inside your folders. It can import from existing XBMC stuff there now, but it can also fill in and store all the stuff you might be missing. This is a good solution and can run side by side with PLEX and XBMC - it won't mess anything up. It's pretty cool that you can have a universally compliant media library now. The old MB2 was totally different. The normal "MB2/MB3 mode" is much like the old- but the new mode should work with PLEX and XBMC and MB3 which is very nice. You don't even need to run MB3 clients. Just let the server scrape- basically filling and and feeding off what your XBMC has already done. (or MCM has done) This is how I do it (run them all) so it's hard for me to tell you honestly if I have problems with PLEX or not because MCM or MB3 might be filling in. My experience has been the PLEX scraper is pretty good though.

or,

2.) Run the MCM plugin for PLEX for scraping. http://download.mediacentermaster.com/MCMPlex_1.01__setup.exe

Those might help you if you can't figure out how to get PLEX to play nice on it's own.

Not really a solution for your problem to fix PLEX, but just two suggestions you could do if you can't seem to fix PLEX.
post #640 of 801
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I've toggled it to XBMC NFO for both movies and tv shows, and selected "Force Refresh" for the library . . . . 20 minutes later still not a single description or actor name added to the media manager view of any title I checked in the web interface

Does your setup look like this?



Is there an NFO file in each movie folder? That's how mine is set up, and it works perfectly. "Force refresh" should do the trick.

By the way, you shouldn't need to setup a static IP for Plex, assuming you have a modern router that supports uPnP and NAT-PMP auto-configuration.
post #641 of 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Does your setup look like this?



Is there an NFO file in each movie folder? That's how mine is set up, and it works perfectly. "Force refresh" should do the trick.

By the way, you shouldn't need to setup a static IP for Plex, assuming you have a modern router that supports uPnP and NAT-PMP auto-configuration.

Yes, but thanks for the picture. I didn't realize you could add UNC paths to Plex (noob). I kept trying to do this, but I think it was causing some uproar with the nfo scraper since none of my XBMC video library paths are V:/ but instead //Server/Flexraid/Directory1 etc. Since I was on the server and trying to use the webgui for plex, I didn't see an obvious way to use the UNC path instead. After seeing your config, I tried the obvious . . . typing in the path smile.gif Everything is pulled in now


Also, my router allows dhcp reservation, and I do this for both the Server/HTPC and the OE HTPC. I'll probably do it for the server as well when I separate it from the HTPC, just because I like to bookmark my web control apps in a browser and they usually require http://ip.address.of.machine/something/extra

Are you saying that a router supporting upnp and nat-pmp auto-configuration will keep my server and htpcs on 192.168.1.whatever without changing the last three numbers?
post #642 of 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

... I then added the Plex channel on my Roku XS. I launched Plex on my Roku, it seems to find my HTPC as the PMS, but it doesn't show any of my movies on the Roku. Yes, I did added a movies library on PMS to test it out. ...

If you're not seeing your libraries when you launch the Plex channel on the Roku, the Roku didn't really see the PMS. I had the issue from time to time. It's quirky, and really a false positive discovery.

One thing with Plex, and it makes things really easy, make sure to sign into Plex for ALL your clients. It really makes setting up the server the connecting the front ends significantly easier, especially compared to when the PMS first came out.

Beyond that, there could a few things to try. You could to the IP reservation with your router. If your router doesn't have it or does not work, just set an IP for the machine the PMS sits to an IP address outside of your DHCP range. You may need to narrow the range your router can assign addresses from. For example, you can have a DHCP range from 2 to 100; you can never use 1 since it's the gateway address and a lot of bad things happen if a client gets assigned that IP. Then you can give PMS machine an IP address of say 121.

From there, you can manually assign the PMS server address in the Roku under settings.

Depending on your router settings, you may need to open the port the PMS. It's possible some traffic is being blocked. The default port for the PMS is 32400. Since may router will block just about everything, I have to open this and set an IP for the PMS machine.
post #643 of 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by srauly View Post

... In the case of Roku, I'm not certain if it always does some level of transcoding or if there are some formats where it streams it as-is.

... Another thing to be aware of: The Plex software is free, except for the mobile apps (e.g., for iOS or Android) where those cost $5 (if memory serves). However, they also have something they call PlexPass which costs money to become a member and gives you access to pre-release software and I think something else I don't make use of. I believe that the ChromeCast support currently requires a pre-release version of Plex Media Server, so you'd need to pay to be a member to get that, but I believe you could join for a month to get it.

The PMS only transcodes what the front end player cannot. Roku can play some media files natively, but this varies which Roku box you have. It's like any other streaming box in that regard, which is one reason the PMS is nice because all but a few media types can be handled.

The PMS is free and many front ends. If you're going to watch media away from home, five dollars isn't a bad price if you use it enough. I don't know if just a few times a year would be enough for me. I use it all the time. Also, PlexPass members get mobile front that is no extra cost. Since I'm PlexPass member, I forget what is exclusive PlexPass. Since I use Plex all the time all year round, I went life time. There are some nice features. Synce feature is really nice. You can sync media to your device so if you don't have internet access, such as on a plane or middle of nowhere. You can also sync to the cloud, where you can store media to popular cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Box, etc. This is nice if you don't have a good upload speeds at home or data transfer limits. The Plex Web is an interesting too. This lets you watch media through a web browser. And there is the new Plex Chromecast extension. Works pretty nice. Plays media well. The interface is a little rough, compared to Netflix's Chromecast implementation. And there is the Home Theater front end. Plux, the PMS allows one to use DNLA players. It works well, but this can be hampered by the DNLA player of the device. I find my TV's DNLA player is really nick picky about audio, so half my movies don't have sound, LOL.

The only really knock on Plex, in a manner of speaking, it's not completely open like XBMC. But unless you're a developer, this will not be an issue for you. The Plex community is smaller than XBMC, so you're not going to get as many add-ons or skins. I think the later is a personal preference issue. The only thing the XBMC has over Plex is the DVR implementation. Unfortunately, which the cable companies being allowed to, and some have done so, to encrypt all channels, this feature became limited for use since the app I know that is approved to use encrypted channels is Windows Media Player.
post #644 of 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovekeiiy View Post

The PMS only transcodes what the front end player cannot. Roku can play some media files natively, but this varies which Roku box you have. .

From my understanding, even if your Roku can play an H264 native MKV file, in order for PMS to stream the file to ROKU it must process the signal as an HLS stream. I don't know if I'd call this transcoding, but I believe it does require some processing power.
post #645 of 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post

From my understanding, even if your Roku can play an H264 native MKV file, in order for PMS to stream the file to ROKU it must process the signal as an HLS stream. I don't know if I'd call this transcoding, but I believe it does require some processing power.

Transcode - Audio or Video codec mismatch between player and file
Transmux - container only mismatch (like mkv to mp4 change of an h264/ac3 video)
Transrate - changing bitrate to fit bandwidth constraints

transmux does require some processing power, but I don't think as much as the others (I really don't think much at all, I'm pretty sure this is what a bunch of PVR softwares do without heavy hardware requirements)
post #646 of 801
^essentially, it is breaking up the stream into packets. I suppose that would classify as transmuxing. There may also be the ability to change bitrate, which is common for ROKU channels.
post #647 of 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post

^essentially, it is breaking up the stream into packets. I suppose that would classify as transmuxing. There may also be the ability to change bitrate, which is common for ROKU channels.


The option to control bitrate is AFAIK in every Plex client and app, as well as direct play/direct stream/force transcode options.

post #648 of 801
Hi all:

So I dloaded and set up the PLEX server and thought it did a relative good job pulling data and what not. Then, I was tickled to see it (and I suppose my cpu and nas) ripping off 3 simultaneous streams to my cpu, iphone, and ipad with nary an issue.

But now things have taken a downward turn. I'm getting stops and and pauses- sometimes within 20 feet line of sight from my router, sometimes in my bedroom (through a single wall, at about 20 feet).

I realize the easy- and perhaps most sensible- first suspect is my router/network, but one thing I'll prolly never understand is just how this seems to happen so easily (the issues). I mean whether I choose the 20 or 1 MBps options, should there not be SO much headroom on my network that this should never really be an issue. ???

For me, besides my ipad and- at most- 2 iphones, nothing is soaking up bandwidth, so should I have such problems with a router like the N900? I mean, let's say I have just 10% of its purported 450 Mbps throughput, this should be much more than I'm EVER using, correct? I guess with my router I've read that the 2.4 band sees reduced rates- especially at distance- but I'd still think this should be a non issue when I select something like the 1 or 4MBps option...right?

CPU: Haswell 4770k with 32 GIGs RAM
NAS: Synology connected to CPU via CAT 6
Router: Netgear N900/4500: http://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/wifi-routers/WNDR4500.aspx


Otherwise, running multi streams is really something to behold, lol.

Is there something obvious I should be adjusting/considering?

thanks

James
Edited by mastermaybe - 12/17/13 at 10:50am
post #649 of 801
mastermaybe - I'd suspect disk i/o given your hardware. Are you writing anything to the synology while accessing simultaneous streams? Asynchronous R/W can really dampen your transfer rate, and the synology's config may be further complicating i/o. How many disks are there in the NAS and how many contain the files being accessed by Plex?
post #650 of 801
mastermaybe,

Interesting that you brought up the issue. I too just recently set up PMS on my HTPC the last couple of days. Yesterday, I was streaming music videos on my Roku XS box in the living room and for the first 30 minutes or so, it streamed perfectly in HD resolution. The HTPC is downstairs right underneath our living room. So it's probably no more tha 5ft through the floor.

However, after 30 it can no longer stream smoothly. I keep getting the message 'Retrieving, please wait" on my Roku box every 10 seconds or so. I got frustrated and just shut down.

I also have a dual band D-Link N750 so it should not be a bottle neck in the network.

I wonder if there are things that need to be setup/configure in the PMS or Router to optimize streaming with Plex.
post #651 of 801

mastermaybe - are you running the PMS on the Synology box? If so, that's probably the bottleneck. The CPU is not powerful enough to stream so many concurrent sessions. It doesn't matter which quality you choose on the client end, the transcoding always works the processor similarly. I/O overload on a synology box while streaming 3-4 files at once sounds very unlikely. I've had users streaming 4-5 1080p streams from the same disk in my array without problems. If you're using somekind of raid it would be even more unlikely the bottleneck.

 

If you're running the PMS on your main PC the problem is however def. not the CPU.

post #652 of 801
^ thanks hemmi while I have PMS on my NAS I am talking about running it off my cpu. Matter of fact, I think I should just delete PMS off my nas anyway- I cannot get a solid single 1080 stream off it and it seems pointless/redundant anyway.

James
post #653 of 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

mastermaybe,

Interesting that you brought up the issue. I too just recently set up PMS on my HTPC the last couple of days. Yesterday, I was streaming music videos on my Roku XS box in the living room and for the first 30 minutes or so, it streamed perfectly in HD resolution. The HTPC is downstairs right underneath our living room. So it's probably no more tha 5ft through the floor.

However, after 30 it can no longer stream smoothly. I keep getting the message 'Retrieving, please wait" on my Roku box every 10 seconds or so. I got frustrated and just shut down.

I also have a dual band D-Link N750 so it should not be a bottle neck in the network.

I wonder if there are things that need to be setup/configure in the PMS or Router to optimize streaming with Plex.

Right. One thing that drives a C+ CPU guy like me are the seemingly endless number of settings and avenues where things can go wrong...just off the top of my head for example:

1. the client...hardware/software
2. the server- hardware/software
3. client settings
4. server settings
5. network traffic
6. router hardware
7. router software/.settings
8. nas/HDDs
9. CPU/network settings

I don't really need or care to go on. I can tell you though that I get a strong sense that it's a settings/config as well, as I feel that I finally have a CPU, router, etc that should be able to accomplish this task...or not??? tongue.gif

James
post #654 of 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

mastermaybe - I'd suspect disk i/o given your hardware. Are you writing anything to the synology while accessing simultaneous streams? Asynchronous R/W can really dampen your transfer rate, and the synology's config may be further complicating i/o. How many disks are there in the NAS and how many contain the files being accessed by Plex?

thanks- no, never (have I been writing to the NAS). I have ~350 films on (3) 4 TB drives in a RAID 5 and that's it.

My new- more "thoughtful" thought- is this: the times I was ripping off 3 streams (one CAT6 and 2 over WIFI, anyway) was right in my living room, 20 feet or so, line of sight. Now, even though I'd think tuning those down to 1-4MBps each should STILL be navigable- even in another room 20 feet away- perhaps that's just not the case. And is that's so, that really SUCKS in 2014 with a $130 router, IMHO.

Perhaps when I'm NAS free and have the drives locally dialed up in my CPU this problem will take care of itself.

James
post #655 of 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

^ thanks hemmi while I have PMS on my NAS I am talking about running it off my cpu. Matter of fact, I think I should just delete PMS off my nas anyway- I cannot get a solid single 1080 stream off it and it seems pointless/redundant anyway.

I'd agree
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

thanks- no, never (have I been writing to the NAS). I have ~350 films on (3) 4 TB drives in a RAID 5 and that's it.

My new- more "thoughtful" thought- is this: the times I was ripping off 3 streams (one CAT6 and 2 over WIFI, anyway) was right in my living room, 20 feet or so, line of sight. Now, even though I'd think tuning those down to 1-4MBps each should STILL be navigable- even in another room 20 feet away- perhaps that's just not the case. And is that's so, that really SUCKS in 2014 with a $130 router, IMHO.

Perhaps when I'm NAS free and have the drives locally dialed up in my CPU this problem will take care of itself.

FWIW, I assumed you may have disk i/o limits since I looked at your setup and auto-thought that you would have been running PMS from the 4770k instead of the NAS

I'd try switching to the computer first, but it is true that your NAS throughput will take a significant hit during asynchronous r/w to the same drive (without a cache drive)
post #656 of 801
I'm happy. biggrin.gif

Got a new toy in the mail:tongue.gif





Anxious to try this....
post #657 of 801
On another note, perhaps this had something to do with my/our issues:

2AE79843-6E93-4663-8066-DE41E2E05545_zpsghh0hvmr.png

7616EA61-016B-4247-B167-275810B7FCF8_zpsjb7bycq5.png

Ill update and see....

Thanks
James
post #658 of 801

That's quite a lot of fixes, but none that should have caused your issues. I would try to replicate the issue by streaming something from your PC with some media stored on that machine, not from the Synology. It's just a matter of trial and error now.

post #659 of 801
Is that the server or client update?

I should be running them since I installed Plex two days ago.



Sent from my LG-E970 using Tapatalk 2
post #660 of 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I'd agree
FWIW, I assumed you may have disk i/o limits since I looked at your setup and auto-thought that you would have been running PMS from the 4770k instead of the NAS

I'd try switching to the computer first, but it is true that your NAS throughput will take a significant hit during asynchronous r/w to the same drive (without a cache drive)

I'm using the computer to x-code. The CPU is connected via CAT ^ to my NAS until I transfer the content over to my new drives in my desktop in the next 24 hours.

James
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