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Which one do you prefer-Plex or MB3?

  • Plex

    Votes: 59 33.5%
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    Votes: 87 49.4%
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Discussion Starter #1
I think Plex & MB3 are both great and also offer a lot of promise. Since MB3 has been around for a while now I was wondering what everyone thought about it compared to Plex, pros and cons.


I currently use Win 7 WMC (which I think is great) because its 1 UI for everything that is very easy to navigate and use-WAF. Live TV & DVR via an OTA antenna in WMC works awesome too. Just wondering if Plex or MB3 stand alone or combined with WMC or XBMC is finally at the point now where it can replace WMC (or is it better suited working with WMC or XBMC)? In my eyes here are some of the main things it needs to do well:
  • The best all in 1 solution for a HTPC-live & recorded TV, DVDs, other media, other streaming options (netflix)
  • Ease of use/WAF in home on the network-1 user interface, works well, glitch free, smooth playback
  • Ease of use/WAF when outside of the home (in the cloud, cell phone)- works well, glitch free, smooth playback
  • Inexpensive way to easily access your media on a 2nd or 3rd TV (bedroom)-chromecast, roku
 

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We are still growing so you really need to reevaluate this every month



We are seeing new contributors step up on a daily basis, and it's really a great thing. Look at the last server release for example. We had a new developer step up and build DLNA Play To support. Before you know it we're going to have a full DLNA profile system, DLNA server, etc.


And who knows what new person will step up tomorrow and bring some new capability. So that's why you're seeing such rapid feature development from us. People are emailing me all the time asking how they can help. So if you haven't joined us yet, now's time to get on-board and you can help shape our direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukemb  /t/1524370/2014-plex-versus-mb3-media-browser-3-which-one-is-the-best#post_24531620


We are still growing so you really need to reevaluate this every month



We are seeing new contributors step up on a daily basis, and it's really a great thing. Look at the last server release for example. We had a new developer step up and build DLNA Play To support. Before you know it we're going to have a full DLNA profile system, DLNA server, etc.


And who knows what new person will step up tomorrow and bring some new capability. So that's why you're seeing such rapid feature development from us. People are emailing me all the time asking how they can help. So if you haven't joined us yet, now's time to get on-board and you can help shape our direction.

Yep, I totally get that, and appreciate the work you and everyone else has put in! Maybe this thread will continue to stick, so it will serve to be an ongoing "reevaluation"...



What is your opinion on how MB3 fits my needs in its current state versus where you see it growing to in the near future?
 

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Given your desire for live tv, I think we're a great option. You can use Media Browser Classic which is paired with WMC. You can then access live tv via our Roku app in other rooms, and it's coming soon to the rest of our apps. If you don't want to use WMC on the Htpc, you can always use your XBMB3C plugin for Xbmc, which now has a small army of contributors and is seeing a lot of great work to pair it with all of the popular Xbmc skins. But my personal opinion is that if WAF is essential, you still can't beat WMC for live tv.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukemb  /t/1524370/2014-plex-versus-mb3-media-browser-3-which-one-is-the-best#post_24532056


Given your desire for live tv, I think we're a great option. You can use Media Browser Classic which is paired with WMC. You can then access live tv via our Roku app in other rooms, and it's coming soon to the rest of our apps. If you don't want to use WMC on the Htpc, you can always use your XBMB3C plugin for Xbmc, which now has a small army of contributors and is seeing a lot of great work to pair it with all of the popular Xbmc skins. But my personal opinion is that if WAF is essential, you still can't beat WMC for live tv.

Makes sense, thanks. So I currently have my main HTPC with WMC for live, TV, DVR, netflix, plus my MB strip (I assume this is MB Classic) for my movies and such. If I add MB Server on to this HTPC, that will give me the ability to get live and recorded TV (WTV files) from a Roku box or Chromecast on another TV in the house plus access to all my media from anywhere, right? Do I also need to Download MB3 on my main HTPC, or just keep using what I have (MB), and will that effect my current libraries? Will the playback on my home network be smooth and does it matter if its wireless or hardwired via ethernet?
 

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You are sort of asking for the holy grail of HTPC software (Live TV, DVR, optical media, stored media, & Netflix), which IMO is pretty tough to accomplish with everything working perfectly smoothly. Your best shot is probably WMC combined with Media Browser Classic. You could use a Roku to add a second TV, but I'm guessing some files will require transcoding on the fly. This is CPU intensive and seeking is difficult. Another possibility is using an XBOX 360 as a WMC extender. That works great for live TV and DVR and decent for personal media assuming your videos are compatible and don't have a super high bit rate. Unfortunately though, the Xbox 360 requires a Xbox Live gold subscription ($60 a year) to access Netflix. The Xbox 360 also cannot play blu-ray discs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by freetvEE  /t/1524370/2014-plex-versus-mb3-media-browser-3-which-one-is-the-best#post_24532024


Yep, I totally get that, and appreciate the work you and everyone else has put in! Maybe this thread will continue to stick, so it will serve to be an ongoing "reevaluation"...



What is your opinion on how MB3 fits my needs in its current state versus where you see it growing to in the near future?

I don't think that it is where it needs to be to be used as a full time DVR. It basically just treats recordings as long-named files, though if you select them you can see the metadata. There's no organization by show or real presentation in a way that you are used to using a DVR.


MB3 is a great program that I really enjoy, but I don't think that it's at the point where you'd use it as a DVR replacement.
 

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I put MB3 on my system about a month ago. I chose to use their stand alone client MBT. It's only an alpha release so I expected it to be clunky. Much to my surprise it's pretty easy to use. It's missing some functionality but I'm willing to wait for the developers


I can't write a line of code and you could fill a library with what I don't know about home theater systems but right now I'm happy and more importantly so is my wife with my choice to go the way I did for our HTPC.


I have my system capable of live/recorded tv through WMC, recorded movies, tv shows and streaming sites through MB3. The downside is the streaming sites are through a browser so a keyboard is necessary. I was able to set them up with their program launcher plugin for MBT. There is also a Kylo browser plugin which works with a remote but I didn't care for all of the popup advertising. There is probably a way to get around that but I haven't figured it out yet and not worth the effort for me. Optical disk playback is still through my dvd player.(my choice)


As I said earlier I'm just a dumb user. The best part of my mediabrowser experience has been the forum. Everyone is incredibly helpful. Not once did I get an attitude or ignored when I asked even the dumbest of questions. That's a rarity. I don't know if mediabrowser is the best. I'm not qualified or experienced enough to be a judge of other software packages. I know I won't look further for an HTPC solution. When I get in over my head or can't figure something out I get as much help as I need from the folks on the forum. For me that's worth more than anything else.


I just wish I had a skill set that I could use to pitch and help the development team.


BillW
 

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Discussion Starter #9

Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571  /t/1524370/2014-plex-versus-mb3-media-browser-3-which-one-is-the-best#post_24532585


You are sort of asking for the holy grail of HTPC software (Live TV, DVR, optical media, stored media, & Netflix), which IMO is pretty tough to accomplish with everything working perfectly smoothly. Your best shot is probably WMC combined with Media Browser Classic. You could use a Roku to add a second TV, but I'm guessing some files will require transcoding on the fly. This is CPU intensive and seeking is difficult. Another possibility is using an XBOX 360 as a WMC extender. That works great for live TV and DVR and decent for personal media assuming your videos are compatible and don't have a super high bit rate. Unfortunately though, the Xbox 360 requires a Xbox Live gold subscription ($60 a year) to access Netflix. The Xbox 360 also cannot play blu-ray discs.

You are correct, I am looking for the Holy Grail, which I know is a bit of a pie in the sky... I dont need it to be perfect on the secondary bedroom TV, just so it works. As long as we can find and play the WTV files on the Roku or Chromecast it using the MB app. Does anyone know if MB in Roku or Chromecast play WTV files seamlessly???


Mainly thinking about using WMC on the main HTPC to watch most live TV and DVR TV shows, but wanted to have access to watch those recorded files somehow in another secondary TV room...
 

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Other candidate that may satisfy your requirements is JRiver. No Roku app though, but JRiver does support DLNA.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick  /t/1524370/2014-plex-versus-mb3-media-browser-3-which-one-is-the-best#post_24535835


Plex main advantage is "it just works"


Often underrated IMO.

The problem with Plex is lack of live TV and DVR functionality. No Netflix either.
 

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True. I use MB3 on the HTPC for the advanced functionality and eye candy it provides. I use PLEX on the Ipad because it works great- and I can share my plex server with my brother and my parents on their ROKU's. PLEX is the easiest way to share your media with family and friends. They also currently are the best ipad application. The player is good, the pictures and sound are good. The transcoding is good. And the set up is very simple- No port forwarding or working with I.P addresses to get it set up. Just enter you email. And three digit code. How easy it that ?


As a long time MB3 supporter- (who voted MB3) I just felt I should note some of this. There is lots of stuff each does well. For me I like PLEX the best for media sharing, and the ipad app. I also like it for ease of set up. It might not be as slick as MB3 or have all the crazy advanced features but it works. Sometimes the fact it works is enough.
 

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Mfusick,


I recently started experimenting with MB3 but still run Plex since MB3 doesn't have everything I want yet.


How do you keep everything between Plex and MB3 synched (what's watched, what's on deck, etc)? Or do you not care?


Also, I ended up moving a bunch of special features into the individual movie folders since MB3 handles that. Before, I had them in a different collection for Plex since it doesn't really handle special features. But now when I go into Plex, I have all those special features showing up as movies. I guess this is expected, but wondering if you had this problem to and found a reasonable solution.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfunke  /t/1524370/2014-plex-versus-mb3-media-browser-3-which-one-is-the-best#post_24537404


Mfusick,


I recently started experimenting with MB3 but still run Plex since MB3 doesn't have everything I want yet.


How do you keep everything between Plex and MB3 synched (what's watched, what's on deck, etc)? Or do you not care?


Also, I ended up moving a bunch of special features into the individual movie folders since MB3 handles that. Before, I had them in a different collection for Plex since it doesn't really handle special features. But now when I go into Plex, I have all those special features showing up as movies. I guess this is expected, but wondering if you had this problem to and found a reasonable solution.

A few tips to keep Plex and Media browser in sync (although I'm not sure about 'on deck' items)


1. In Media Browser Server under metadata, make sure you have the Plex compatible image saving convention selected

2. Use the XBMC NFO importer for Plex Media Server: https://forums.plex.tv/index.php/topic/38402-metadata-agents-for-exported-xbmc-library/

3. Install the trakt.tv plugins for both Media Browser Server and Plex Media Server (will keep watched status in sync)

4. Use .plexignore to have Plex ignore the trailers, backdrops, and specials folders that MB3 uses: https://plexapp.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201375253-Excluding-Content-with-plexignore


This is what I do and it works very well. You may want to have Plex Media Server update every 12 hours or so instead of automatically detecting changes. To manage your metadata just use Media Browser Server. Any changes you make will be reflected in Plex once the Plex library is updated (either manually or by schedule).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571  /t/1524370/2014-plex-versus-mb3-media-browser-3-which-one-is-the-best#post_24537445


A few tips to keep Plex and Media browser in sync (although I'm not sure about 'on deck' items)


1. In Media Browser Server under metadata, make sure you have the Plex compatible image saving convention selected

2. Use the XBMC NFO importer for Plex Media Server: https://forums.plex.tv/index.php/topic/38402-metadata-agents-for-exported-xbmc-library/

3. Install the trakt.tv plugins for both Media Browser Server and Plex Media Server (will keep watched status in sync)

4. Use .plexignore to have Plex ignore the trailers, backdrops, and specials folders that MB3 uses: https://plexapp.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201375253-Excluding-Content-with-plexignore


This is what I do and it works very well. You may want to have Plex Media Server update every 12 hours or so instead of automatically detecting changes. To manage your metadata just use Media Browser Server. Any changes you make will be reflected in Plex once the Plex library is updated (either manually or by schedule).

Thanks! Hadn't heard of the NFO importer or Plexignore. I'll check them out this weekend. Unfortunately, I've tried to get Trakt working and it fails every time in Plex. Works just fine in MB3 though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick  /t/1524370/2014-plex-versus-mb3-media-browser-3-which-one-is-the-best#post_24535835


Plex main advantage is "it just works"


Often underrated IMO.

Yea, agreed.


Though as Luke said it is hard to evaluate right now as MB3/server is in a developing state.


But kudos to Plex either way.


Also I'd like to add MB3/server is very much usable and works great as a daily driver. Don't want any misconception there
.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfunke  /t/1524370/2014-plex-versus-mb3-media-browser-3-which-one-is-the-best#post_24540307


Thanks! Hadn't heard of the NFO importer or Plexignore. I'll check them out this weekend. Unfortunately, I've tried to get Trakt working and it fails every time in Plex. Works just fine in MB3 though.

Have you tried it recently? A lot of changes have been made. If it still doesn't work, I recommend posting here: https://forums.plex.tv/index.php/topic/102818-rel-trakt/ . When I posted an issue the developer fixed it very quickly.
 

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I use MB3 myself and really am liking it (now that someone made a workaround for WMC entry points a few months back but that's a whole other thing
), but I have to wonder with all the comments about Plex being easier and how it 'just works'...


A friend of mine is impressed by how my setup works, and wants to implement something similar for their household.


Personally, I would prefer to not have to deal with supporting it or setting up Dynamic DNS mapping and all that fun stuff I had to do for my own server. Is Plex really that much simpler to set up (and maintain) for someone not technically inclined? My understanding is that Plex would avoid most of the networking stuff since you log on via their central server, correct? And is streaming to a web browser now included without the subscription? Most of the (admittedly older) documentation I've been looking into said that was only with a "Plex Pass" but it seems from the Plex site that maybe that has changed?
 

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Web Browser is included. PHT is free, Android, iOS, ROKU is a one time cost, typically about 5 bucks or I believe now you get free with PLEX Pass subscription. But no, you do not need PLEX Pass subscription to get the most relevant features. Eventually all the features became available, it's just that PLEX Pass subs get it sooner rather than later. Very easy to setup, just log in with PLEX user id and password in the corresponding app or channel and the rest should be mostly automatic.
 
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Single log-in without having to deal with dynamic DNS mapping and that business is one of the biggest advantages of Plex over MB3. Assuming you don't have some funky router that doesn't support the automatic port mapping that Plex does, it is extremely easy to setup. As oman said, you don't need plexpass for web streaming. Here's more information on plexpass if you are interested: https://plexapp.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/categories/200139156-Plex-Pass .
 
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