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post #1 of 11 Old 11-22-2019, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Alternatives to Plex Media Server?

Running it on a PC laptop.

Lately, some files aren't streaming to Apple TV 4th gen. Says server connection too slow.

Works somewhat to my iPad but that takes awhile to cue up. These are 1080p rips of Bojack Horseman with a 5.1 soundtrack. Shouldn't even be that difficult./

Shudder to think how it would handle 4K rips, which I don't have in my library.

I see complaints on the Plex forums which aren't really addressed.

Anyone have experiences with other server software which performs better? Not interested in subscription software of any kind. They can GTFO with that BS. One-time payments would be fine.
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-22-2019, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Running it on a PC laptop.

Lately, some files aren't streaming to Apple TV 4th gen. Says server connection too slow.

Works somewhat to my iPad but that takes awhile to cue up. These are 1080p rips of Bojack Horseman with a 5.1 soundtrack. Shouldn't even be that difficult./

Shudder to think how it would handle 4K rips, which I don't have in my library.

I see complaints on the Plex forums which aren't really addressed.

Anyone have experiences with other server software which performs better? Not interested in subscription software of any kind. They can GTFO with that BS. One-time payments would be fine.
https://emby.media/index.html

Emby has been around for years (formerly Media Browser). Its like Plex, free unless you want hardware transcoding. Check it out.

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post #3 of 11 Old 11-22-2019, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Hardware transcoding is using the GPU?
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-22-2019, 05:06 PM
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Hardware transcoding is using the GPU?


Yes. Although there’s a decent chance that transcoding might be a problem with your setup. Either doing it when it doesn’t need to, or needing to but not able to handle it

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post #5 of 11 Old 11-22-2019, 05:18 PM
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Yea I don't see this being a software problem solved by another server. Sounds like the hardware on which you installed your plex server is too weak to handle streams and/or your wifi is too slow to handle the streams. You should play back content and then load the plex server in your PC web browser and see if it is transcoding or direct streaming. If it's transcoding, then your issue is going to be that your server can't transcode fast enough (most likely).

You can try emby, but it has all the same limitations. You cannot magically transcode a format for no CPU or GPU resources. If you're using a laptop for your server, its most likely unable to keep up as it won't have a good GPU to help transcode via hardware and laptop CPUs are generally weaker than desktop counterparts - as they're made to focus on low power and long battery use not high powered computations.

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post #6 of 11 Old 11-22-2019, 05:39 PM
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See if the media is “Direct Play” on your ATV. If it’s transcoding... agreed. Check your GPU and if it’s supported or being used to transcode. Another option is to transcode to a format ATV Plex is OK with. I used the enhanced player on my ATV4K Plex App and all my transcodes Direct Play.

If it’s Direct Play, check the transport. WiFi anomalies, media bit rate, try wired Ethernet as a test, removing WIFI from the issue.

If it ends up being Plex, it’s possible but there are valuables to test first.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-22-2019, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Yea I don't see this being a software problem solved by another server. Sounds like the hardware on which you installed your plex server is too weak to handle streams and/or your wifi is too slow to handle the streams. You should play back content and then load the plex server in your PC web browser and see if it is transcoding or direct streaming. If it's transcoding, then your issue is going to be that your server can't transcode fast enough (most likely).

You can try emby, but it has all the same limitations. You cannot magically transcode a format for no CPU or GPU resources. If you're using a laptop for your server, its most likely unable to keep up as it won't have a good GPU to help transcode via hardware and laptop CPUs are generally weaker than desktop counterparts - as they're made to focus on low power and long battery use not high powered computations.
My setup hasn't changed much. I have a faster PC.

I will try some of the older files which previously didn't have problems.

The thing is, it's random. I will play one episode and it will go 20 out of 30 minutes before it stalls. The next episode might be 8 minutes.

Yeah I guess I could pre transcode them. Does Plex server convert or will I have to use something like Handbrake? If I have to manually convert hundreds of files, it kills the value proposition of Plex.
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-22-2019, 06:12 PM
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PlayOn works pretty well for me running on a Windows PC.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-22-2019, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
My setup hasn't changed much. I have a faster PC.

I will try some of the older files which previously didn't have problems.

The thing is, it's random. I will play one episode and it will go 20 out of 30 minutes before it stalls. The next episode might be 8 minutes.

Yeah I guess I could pre transcode them. Does Plex server convert or will I have to use something like Handbrake? If I have to manually convert hundreds of files, it kills the value proposition of Plex.
It depends on what your files are and your server. I'm not sure what the limit is, but my server has transcoded successfully 9 streams at once no problem. I have an nvidia GTX 1660 and it runs a ton of hardware based transcodes realtime. So, "what is the value of plex server?" The value is high if you have the hardware to handle it.

Again, run one of the affected videos and see if its being transcoded or direct played. That's the first step. If you report back then there are more things we can try so we can root case the problem and form there suggest some actual solutions. Without that bit of data, it's all mysterious so no way to help.

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post #10 of 11 Old 11-22-2019, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Where do I look for that, whether Direct Play or transcoding?
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post #11 of 11 Old 11-22-2019, 11:34 PM
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Where do I look for that, whether Direct Play or transcoding?


Within the Plex Server web UI, go to Activity. The Dashboard will display your current connections, the device and time playing. It will show what is Direct Play or if audio and/or video are transcoding.
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