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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

plex.tv 

Because I love Plex so much, I decided to make a list of a few of the great things about this media server application and HTPC front end: 

-All of your media instantly available to you anywhere in the world on your phone, tablet, and web browser
-Very easy to setup (no messing with VPN's, IP addresses, etc., Plex does all the hard work for you)
-Central management of media through your web browser, with all changes pushed immediately to clients
-Excellent metadata scanner with support for movies, TV shows, and music
-Enormous number of devices supported (PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows phone, Roku, Android TV, Apple TV, Xbox, Playstation, and others as well as any device that supports DLNA)
-Any files your device does not support will be automatically transcoded
-Progress synced across all devices, so you can start playing something on your phone, and then pick up where you left off on your TV
-Plug-in support (Youtube, Daily Show, TED talks, etc.)
-Easily share your media library with friends and family over the internet
-DVR functionality (currently in beta)
-Mostly free, although a paid subscription gets you access to more features

Web app:
 

Plex Media Player (HTPC front end):
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>lockdown571</strong> <a href="/forum/post/21534020"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Fyi, I noticed a lot of the stickied HTPC guides recommend XBMC. I used XBMC for a while, but now I've switched to Plex and will never look back. XBMC is capable of amazing things, but the end user has to do a lot of the setup. With Plex, so much work is already done for you. You can manage your media from any computer on the network, stream to mobile devices (with transcoding), instantly push web videos from your browser, and more. Also, the default skin is very attractive without being too flashy.<br><br>
Additionally, if you want to add live TV, I recommend configuring Windows Media Center and then using an Xbox 360 as an extender. Then, use a Harmony Remote to switch between them seamlessly.<br><br>
I mention all this because I've been trying for a couple years now to create the most functional and reliable HTPC setup that will also satisfy videophiles, and I think mentioning Plex in the stickies might benefit some people.</div>
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You do realize that Plex was ripped directly from XBMC code, right?<br><br>
And what exactly makes it better for "videophiles"?<br><br>
I think its fine for Apple users. But to say its the most "functional and reliable" just isn't really accurate unless you provide proof and examples.<br><br>
And how does configuring WMC, a Harmony remote control and a XBOX constitute "work already done for you?"<br><br>
Does it have HD Audio bitstreaming yet? I don't think so. That's important to many at AVS.<br><br>
Not trying to be an ass. Just saying that you might not have used the other options in the correct manner.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sheesh. I guess I just didn't want to go into every little detail, just trying to present plex as a viable alternative.<br><br>
Yes I realize Plex was ripped directly from XBMC code. I'm not really sure how that affects that average end user that just wants to get their HTPC up and running. The reason why I prefer Plex over XBMC is because it has a lot of amazing features that work straight out of the box (such as streaming to mobile devices like a mentioned). The end user hardly has to do anything at all.<br><br>
As far as the videophile comment, I had a enormous headache trying to get 24p to display properly within WMC. Plex (and XBMC obviously) have a "sync playblack to display" function that simplifies that. Additionally, getting WMC to play VC-1 files from a blu-ray is very frustrating. Assuming you have a modern video card, you just enable DXVA support in Plex or XBMC and any mkv with VC-1 plays perfectly.<br><br>
Plex obviously doesn't have a live TV or DVR function. WMC happens to be an amazing DVR. I've tried various methods to switch between WMC and Plex using a remote control, but they were never very reliable for me, and even when it did work I didn't find it that elegant. The setup I describes gives you the best of both words. I fantastic DVR and a fantastic media playback device (Plex). Obviously, not all the work is done for you. The point is that setting up Plex, setting up WMC as a DVR, and using a Harmony remote are all very straightforward.<br><br>
The HD audio comment is valid. That's something I forgotten to mention, and to me, is the one major compromise in this setup. For a while I tried using Blu-ray iso's, media center, and TMT just so I could get HD audio, but TMT (and PowerDVD) were horribly unreliable at mounting and dismounting blu-rays within media center.<br><br>
Correct manner? That's actually the entire point of my post. My goal was to create a system that required the least amount of configuration and had the fewest opportunities to fail.<br><br>
Look, I've wasted hours and hours with WMC and XBMC. They're amazing pieces of software, but they aren't perfect for everyone. I also realize a lot of people are sore about Plex just ripping XBMC's code. Understandable, but the average Joe just doesn't care. I'm just trying to save people some frustration. It's hard to waste too much time with Plex. If it works for you great. If not, just uninstall it. I just don't understand how your antagonistic tone is really productive for this forum.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>assassin</strong> <a href="/forum/post/21534065"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
You do realize that Plex was ripped directly from XBMC code, right?<br><br>
And what exactly makes it better for "videophiles"?<br><br>
I think its fine for Apple users. But to say its the most "functional and reliable" just isn't really accurate unless you provide proof and examples.<br><br>
And how does configuring WMC, a Harmony remote control and a XBOX constitute "work already done for you?"<br><br>
Does it have HD Audio bitstreaming yet? I don't think so. That's important to many at AVS.<br><br>
Not trying to be an ass. Just saying that you might not have used the other options in the correct manner.</div>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>lockdown571</strong> <a href="/forum/post/21534168"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I just don't understand how your antagonistic tone is really productive for this forum.</div>
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Because you come in here and list a bunch of ridiculous reasons that Plex is better than our "sticky" suggestions and I question it I am the bad guy?<br><br>
Don't think so.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>assassin</strong> <a href="/forum/post/21534178"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Because you come in here and list a bunch of ridiculous reasons that Plex is better than our "sticky" suggestions and I question it I am the bad guy?<br><br>
Don't think so.</div>
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What?! Ridiculous reasons? I feel like I've outlined my reasons fairly clearly! Look, assassin, I realize you've put a lot of energy and hard work into the guides on this forum, and I think that's fantastic. I think avsforum is the absolute best website on the internet for obtaining information on home theaters. So when I visited this page today and noticed that the word "Plex" was not mentioned a single time in any sticky, I thought that was a little strange. Whether you like it or not, Plex is a great solution for a lot of people. And since avsforum is suppose to be an amazing source of information, why shouldn't it be mentioned?
 

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I don't see that at all. The guy is just mentioning another software route to take. If he's prepared to give advice and opinion based on his experiences. Isn't that the entire point of a "forum"?<br><br>
By all means disagree with the guy but don't jump on him for trying to post something he thinks is potentially beneficial to other people.<br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>assassin</strong> <a href="/forum/post/21534178"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Because you come in here and list a bunch of ridiculous reasons that Plex is better than our "sticky" suggestions and I question it I am the bad guy?<br><br>
Don't think so.</div>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>assassin</strong> <a href="/forum/post/21534065"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
You do realize that Plex was ripped directly from XBMC code, right?<br><br>
And what exactly makes it better for "videophiles"?<br><br>
I think its fine for Apple users. But to say its the most "functional and reliable" just isn't really accurate unless you provide proof and examples.<br><br>
And how does configuring WMC, a Harmony remote control and a XBOX constitute "work already done for you?"<br><br>
Does it have HD Audio bitstreaming yet? I don't think so. That's important to many at AVS.<br><br>
Not trying to be an ass. Just saying that you might not have used the other options in the correct manner.</div>
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And here we all get to see in no uncertain terms how it is that assassin's demeanor on these forums can be a huge turnoff.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)"><br><br>
First, XBMC and Plex have deviated in some significant ways wrt the user experience (front-end and back-end, iOS integration, etc). To make a flippant comment about it being 'ripped from XBMC code' shows ignorance rather than insight.<br><br><br>
As for your second comment -- ALL HE SAID IS THAT IT WOULD 'SATISFY VIDEOPHILES'-- not that it was 'better for videophiles.' It has auto-refresh-rate switching, hardware acceleration, and all the other things folks generally like. Sure, it can't use Reclock or madVR, but it has what most folks want.<br><br>
WRT its reliability -- I can't speak to the Windows end of things except as a server rather than a player. I use it on my Windows machine to serve my downstairs macs, and have never had it shut down or crash in my months of using it. As a player, I can only speak to the mac end, and compare it to WMC/ Mediabrowser wrt playback -- all I can say is that it crashes much more rarely than the WMC on my Win7 HTPC. Granted, it's apples and oranges to compare how reliable it is in OS X vs how WMC is in Win7.<br><br>
As for ease of setup when alternating w/ WMC -- meh. I tend to agree w/ you. It's a wash.<br><br>
As for HD audio 'bitstreaming' -- no. It can't bitstream TrueHD and DTS-MA soundtracks, but, as you can see in my thread <a href="http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1387397" target="_blank">here,</a> at least with an HDMI-equipped Mac Mini in OS X, it can:<br><br>
a) transmit uncompressed PCM soundtracks made w/ MakeMKV<br>
b) transmit <b>lossless decoded</b> DTS-MA and TrueHD soundtracks as long as the files are created with Clown_BD/ AnyDVD HD using the LPCM option in Clown_BD<br><br>
I haven't tried these files with Plex on my Windows machine, but I'm sure they'd transmit as well.<br><br>
Now, given what I showed above, the appropriate question in response to YOUR question would be how it is in ANY way pertinent as to whether it's bitstreamed or transmitted in LPCM format? But w/e<br><br>
Try not jumping down people's throats so much just because they may not agree with you.<br><br><br>
To the OP -- try transmitting the LPCM stream from any uncompressed PCM BR's you've ripped (the first 2 POTC movies were released in LPCM, as were Full Metal Jacket and a number of others), or use Clown_BD to re-rip the DTS-MA/TrueHD tracks decoded to LPCM, and see how it does with the lossless soundtrack.
 

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I think a big plus for plex is the media server it offers. I can watch shows anywhere in the world also I can share my library with friends and my friends can share theirs with me.<br><br>
I would argue that plex is easier to setup and go. It is more 'simplified' imo not saying that is better or worse but just has less of a learning curve. Of course with xbmc you can use plexbmc I believe if the media server part interests you. Regardless both are great, and until you try both I don't think it is fair to really critique one over the other.<br><br>
Sidenote: I wish there was a way for plex/xbmc to teamup with MLB.TV, NBA league pass,Hulu,Netflix etc etc to incorporate those into the clients.<br><br>
(I know there are user made plugins for xbmc and plex but if there was full support these clients would be perfect for me)
 

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I've never used anything other than MediaPortal. Heard XBMC is great but after the hassle of trying to figure out and set everything up correctly in MP I decided to just stick with it lol. Maybe I'll try plex out but I already have my 500+ titles categorized the way I want in MP : /
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>NewOrlnsDukie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/21534323"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
And here we all get to see in no uncertain terms how it is that assassin's demeanor on these forums can be a huge turnoff.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)"></div>
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<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)"> Well isn't that the pot calling the kettle.<br><br>
I don't see what's wrong with my "demeanor". Someone comes in a forum and posts no less than 8 opinions.<br><br>
I counter with my opinion with specific examples of why I disagree with these opinions.<br><br>
With the exception of streaming to additional devices I don't see where they are dramatically different. And, as someone pointed out, you can use plexbmc with xmbc if you want to. Is the setup any easier on plex? Maybe ---- maybe not. Again, a matter of opinion.<br><br>
So are those of us who use the stickies "doing it all wrong" as the OP suggests?<br><br>
I don't think so at all. But hey its a public forum. If you want to shout the praises of Plex or anything else feel free to do so. Just don't get all bent out of shape if someone disagrees.
 

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I don't think the OP was saying who ever does the stickies is wrong. I read it as more an omission. I believe he was more pointing that as an alternative to XBMC, it would more than satisfy most users in performance and ease of setup.<br><br>
As to anyone's demeanor, it just boils down to word choices. I think we may have a few cases of over reaction.<br><br>
And Assassin is correct that Plex is a derivative of XBMC. So was Boxee. Although, that was years ago and I tend to agree they have grown enough to be consider their own. There's a nothing wrong with sharing a past.<br><br>
On a personal note, I do prefer Plex over XBMC and Boxee on Windows. I use nothing but Windows 7. I have Plex, XBMC, and Boxee setup. I use Boxee to watch video podcasts. The UI is really nice. XBMC is ok. I just don't like how they did the plugins. I haven't used the latest XBMC, but I found XBMC's player could be finicky at times; some movies would stop and I couldn't get past certain points, so I would have to use Boxee. I think it was that file because it was only on a few movies.<br><br>
Plex, I really like how they have the server and font end clients. I haven't kept up XBMC, but I believe they were going that route as well. With plex, I can stream my media to my Rokus, other PCs, and Android phone. Granted, some of these clients are done by community members and don't have all the bells and whistles of some of the other fronts such as the PC. The MyPlex thing really makes streaming outside the network a lot easier; although I found it a touch easier before it, but I understood networking and port forwarding, and IP addresses. The server, you just set your library up in one place, and all your clients have the setup, even new ones you may add. \\<br><br>
As for live TV, I think that may more depend on your tuner. I know Plex has has a plugin to be able to watch TV using the HDHomerun. It's earlier and definitely rough. The WMC integration, it's just a short cut to Plex, like WMC Netflix and Hulu integration people have made. So, you're actually just using WMC's TV functions. I know there is some work in XBMC to live tv, and possibly PVR. But what Plex does with WMC, is maintain the 10' UI. It's actually pretty nice.<br><br>
End of the day, neither is better than the other. Each has thier pros and cons. And really, it's just more a matter of time before the other has the features of the other. XBMC has the better Android remote controller, but not able to stream. Plex can stream, but the remote isn't working, yet. Not that I know from experience (may setup cannot do it), but apparently XBMC can do HD audio (or easier) and Plex can't.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>lockdown571</strong> <a href="/forum/post/21534199"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Whether you like it or not, Plex is a great solution for a lot of people. And since avsforum is suppose to be an amazing source of information, why shouldn't it be mentioned?</div>
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<br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>lovekeiiy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/21534539"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
End of the day, neither is better than the other. Each has thier pros and cons. And really, it's just more a matter of time before the other has the features of the other. XBMC has the better Android remote controller, but not able to stream. Plex can stream, but the remote isn't working, yet. Not that I know from experience (may setup cannot do it), but apparently XBMC can do HD audio (or easier) and Plex can't.</div>
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Agree with these points.<br><br>
I never said that there isn't room for Plex on AVS. Of course there is. But just like the XBMC vs WMC vs Media Browser vs MediaPortal vs MyMovies vs J.River debate which occurs on AVS at least weekly there are a ton of choices. One is not necessarily better than the other.<br><br>
I am really neutral on the whole thing. I like what works and what works for anyone to get into HTPC.<br><br>
Just be careful touting any 1 thing as better than the other or the end all solution for HTPC. There simply isn't one. Plex is just another imperfect option just like the rest.<br><br>
That's all I was trying to say. No one is right or wrong here including those that use the Stickies (XBMC, WMC, Media Browser, MPC-HC, Madvr, etc). Just pick one that meets most of the needs for what you want or need your HTPC to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Assassin, I never meant to suggest that people who aren't using plex are "doing it all wrong." My issue is, as lovekeii read, the omission of Plex from the stickies. I'm not saying Plex is categorically better than XBMC or WMC; it's just a better solution for a number of people.<br><br>
Another major reason I use an Xbox 360 is for Netflix, ESPN 360, etc. AFAIK, the only way to obtain hi definition ESPN 360 is through an Xbox 360.<br><br>
Unfortunately, there are two major compromises with using an Xbox 360 though. First, you need an Xbox live gold membership to access the streaming services (although, you can get 4 gold memberships for $100 a year, which isn't that bad). The other problem is that the Xbox 360 app framework currently doesn't support 1080p, only 720p. Netflix's streaming quality isn't great to begin with, though, so I don't think the lack of 1080p is a big problem. Also, from my experience, the Netflix plugins for XBMC and Plex work very poorly compared to Netflix on an Xbox 360.<br><br>
Also, thank you everyone for your insight. I didn't know lossless audio was possible through Plex. I'm definitely going to check that out.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>chad473</strong> <a href="/forum/post/21535499"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
there's no app restriction on 1080p. Zune Marketplace videos have been available in 1080p for awhile now.</div>
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You're right, the Zune Marketplace does support it. My understanding is it only applies to the latest app framework released in December. Source (from a Vudu engineer): <a href="http://forum.vudu.com/showthread.php?t=75111" target="_blank">http://forum.vudu.com/showthread.php?t=75111</a>
 

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I've recently taken a look at Plex since they now have a Windows client. It does have a number of things to recommend it. The media manager is pretty good, the UI is nice enough and it supports a lot of plug ins. Plus, the iOS support is a nice feature if you live in that world.<br><br>
However, there is a real lack of support for BD and DVD .iso formats.<br><br>
I am also quite leary of the transcoding it does. I'm never really sure if it's playing the video directly or doing some transcoding. Perhaps I just don't know enough about it.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>assassin</strong> <a href="/forum/post/21534501"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)"> Well isn't that the pot calling the kettle.<br><br><b>I don't see what's wrong with my "demeanor".</b><br><br><span>Of course you don't. Some of us understand that posts like yours above read as argumentative when the OP wasn't trying to start an argument or post something controversial, and apparently others don't...</span><br><br>
Someone comes in a forum and posts no less than 8 opinions.<br><br>
I counter with my opinion with specific examples of why I disagree with these opinions.<br><br><span>The condescension was positively DRIPPING from your post.</span><br><br>
With the exception of streaming to additional devices I don't see where they are dramatically different. And, as someone pointed out, you can use plexbmc with xmbc if you want to. Is the setup any easier on plex? Maybe ---- maybe not. Again, a matter of opinion.<br><br><b>So are those of us who use the stickies "doing it all wrong" as the OP suggests?</b><br><br><span>And here we see again your ability to 'find' stuff that just isn't there. Maybe it's a reading comprehension issue?</span><br><br>
I don't think so at all. But hey its a public forum. <b>If you want to shout the praises of Plex or anything else feel free to do so. Just don't get all bent out of shape if someone disagrees.</b><br><br><span>Yeah, definitely a reading comprehension problem.</span><br></div>
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All the dude was asking is why there isn't more discussion re Plex on this forum. It's ok. Really.<br><br><br>
And, AGAIN, to those who spoke above on Plex and HD audio soundtracks, Plex DOES indeed play HD audio soundtracks -- they just need to be ripped in a specific fashion, just as needs to be done w/ many other applications. Hell, I'm currently in my theater watching and listening to Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds Live at Radio City using Plex, and am getting full 96kHz/24 bit TrueHD Audio (decoded to LPCM) as you can see below:<br><br><img alt="" src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7001/6749966285_a0cba54490_b.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><br>
The BD .iso and BDMV folder format, OTOH, are not supported at this time. And, given the Plex founders' general opinions on BR's, I personally think they likely won't do so ever. Plex is focusing on the App and iOS market, with built-in clients in TV's and other, less robust audio environs. It is disappointing to me personally, but every developer has his/her own priorities.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>NewOrlnsDukie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/21535815"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
All the dude was asking is why there isn't more discussion re Plex on this forum. It's ok. Really.</div>
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Great comments.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>assassin</strong> <a href="/forum/post/21535902"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Great comments.</div>
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Mature as always...
 
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