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Plex?

kragan

Member
⭐️ Premium ⭐️
Its been a couple years since I looked at Plex, but I think I'll download the latest version and take another look. Earlier when I looked at it I wasn't thrilled with re encoding VIDEO_TS to another format and my work around for the HD audio was to try a Dune player with a 3rd party app (but the interface wasn't great).

Here are a few things I'm curious about around the Plex solution:
Are either of the Plex Home Theater on PC or the NVidia Shield players controllable through something like Crestron?
Any issues with cinavia and these two players?
Is there a good solution for Director/Theatrical versions of films or do you have to make two files for the Plex server to catalog?

Thanks,
Ken
 

Haywood

Well-known member
Its been a couple years since I looked at Plex, but I think I'll download the latest version and take another look. Earlier when I looked at it I wasn't thrilled with re encoding VIDEO_TS to another format and my work around for the HD audio was to try a Dune player with a 3rd party app (but the interface wasn't great).

Here are a few things I'm curious about around the Plex solution:
Are either of the Plex Home Theater on PC or the NVidia Shield players controllable through something like Crestron?
Any issues with cinavia and these two players?
Is there a good solution for Director/Theatrical versions of films or do you have to make two files for the Plex server to catalog?

Thanks,
Ken

If you use a Shield or PHT, HD audio just works. Plex can also transcode to lossy for devices that do not support lossless. My understanding is that Plex can now transcode Video_TS to H264 on the fly, but I would personally rather convert it once and not put the load on the box. Cinavia is a non-issue if you rip the discs with something like MakeMKV. Director and Theatrical cuts are treated like separate movies.

If you want the power and flexibility of PHT, but don't want to deal with Windows, it also runs on OpenElec. Intel NUCs are very popular for this application. The advantage with this solution is that there are basically zero issues with codec support. I have also heard that support for it is outstanding and very responsive.

Plex and NVidia are partnered on the Shield and are cooperating on bug fixes and features, but it is a relatively new solution and they are still getting a few kinks out. The perk is that it is also a great streamer with full UHD HDR support. The Netflix client is full HDR. Vudu should have an HDR client out for it shortly if it doesn't already. It is also unique in that it is not just a Plex client. It can also run as a pretty capable Plex Server with hardware transcoding capabilities.
 

djb_rh

Well-known member
⭐️ Premium ⭐️
Haywood, can you post a link to the forced subs spreadsheet?


--Donnie
 

djb_rh

Well-known member
⭐️ Premium ⭐️
Haywood, I'd also love to know your thoughts on sharing content. I used a fairly potent NAS box for my Plex server at home so I'd have good RAID and enough CPU to transcode if I wanted to, but was going to get it up and running well before deciding how to handle my vacation house.

I figured worst case I could do another NAS box and setup replication between the two under NAS. I'd do the initial replication on my local network and then take the vacation house server up there (the connection up there is pretty mediocre).

But how well does the sync between Plex friends work? If it's good then I could maybe just use a Shield as the remote server? Issue there would be enough storage, but I think that's solvable.


--Donnie
 

Haywood

Well-known member
Haywood, I'd also love to know your thoughts on sharing content. I used a fairly potent NAS box for my Plex server at home so I'd have good RAID and enough CPU to transcode if I wanted to, but was going to get it up and running well before deciding how to handle my vacation house.

I figured worst case I could do another NAS box and setup replication between the two under NAS. I'd do the initial replication on my local network and then take the vacation house server up there (the connection up there is pretty mediocre).

But how well does the sync between Plex friends work? If it's good then I could maybe just use a Shield as the remote server? Issue there would be enough storage, but I think that's solvable.


--Donnie

My Plex server is a QNAP TS-853 Pro 8-Bay NAS with a quad-core 2.0Ghz Celeron and 8GB DDR3. I'm running eight 4TB HGST NAS drives in RAID 6 for a total of about 21.5TB of usable storage. I can handle a limited amount of transcoding, but not enough to transcode from 1:1 Blu-Ray rips. That's why I use the Optimizer to create more streaming friendly versions.

My household has four people and quite a few streaming devices, including two Roku 3 boxes, a Roku TV, an Android TV, a Samsung Smart TV, an Android tablet, an Amazon Fire tablet, an iPad, a PS3, a Windows laptop, an iPhone and two Android phones (there may also be a partridge in a pear tree).

I also share my Plex server with my parents, my sister's family, my wife's brother and my best friend. My parents and sister are heavy users. All they have in their house in New Hampshire are Roku 3 boxes. None of the people using my server have a server of their own. They have their own Plex accounts and I share my server with those accounts. That means they all get their own queue and so forth. This mainly works, because I am on FiOS and have a 75Mbps upload speed.

Plex has a feature called Sync. You can download content to your mobile devices anyplace where you have internet access. I believe that you can use sync to store stuff locally on a Shield as well, but you might want to verify that. You could theoretically use both your NAS and the Shield as servers. You could load up a drive with content from your NAS, plug it into the Shield when you get to the other end and use that. You could also have your Shield use the Sync feature to pull down local copies of other media from your server, thus avoiding the need to subject your viewing to variable connection speeds.

I recommend checking out the Plex forums to verify this, but I am pretty sure it would work.
 

stamatopo

Well-known member
⭐️ Premium ⭐️
An alternative to plex is a zappiti 8 bay Nas.
The NAS has an inbuilt blu Ray drive that will automatically rip the largest m2ts file from the disc and attach cover art. The process is extremely simple and requires minimal intervention.
Downside is that you only rip the movie, not the Blu Ray menu and TV show automated ripping doesn't work well.
Zappiti recently introduced remote server monitoring, so you can monitor the health of your drives from any web page which is a great feature.
The players, running on andriod support 4k/atmos and aren't too expensive. I find the gui is far slicker than plex but not as polished as Kaleidescape.
 
Last edited:

charris

Member
I am trying now with iso BD movies on a NAS and use nvidia shield as a media player with Kodi. It works ok but the user experience is frustrating and I am quite technical. This is not a solution for most people but one of the few ones that can do full BD iso, 3d audio and 4k streaming.

Plex in general and the infuse app on atv are much more user friendly but they cannot do iso/BD files so you have to use mkv.
 

Haywood

Well-known member
I am trying now with iso BD movies on a NAS and use nvidia shield as a media player with Kodi. It works ok but the user experience is frustrating and I am quite technical. This is not a solution for most people but one of the few ones that can do full BD iso, 3d audio and 4k streaming.

Plex in general and the infuse app on atv are much more user friendly but they cannot do iso/BD files so you have to use mkv.

I agree. I've played around with KODI quit a bit lately because of the codec support. It is a pain to set up, less intuitive to use and you have to set up every individual client. I'm personally willing to take a couple minor hits on the codec support side, but I'm running a respectable $15,000 living room rig, not a $150,000 dedicated theater.
 

djb_rh

Well-known member
⭐️ Premium ⭐️
FWIW, my home Plex server is an 8 bay iXsystems FreeNAS Mini XL, which has an 8 core 2.4Ghz processor and 4x4TB drives (was the best price/TB with full RAID protection and all I need for a while, but four more slots will let me expand pretty significantly still if/when I need to).

My home internet connection is a 20Mbs up/down link that is burstable to 50Mbs (and it'll get that for quite a while sometimes), so it's decent relatively to most in terms of upload speed. Problem is my vacation house is in the mountains and the absolute fastest thing I can get is a 3Mbs DSL connection that's probably 1Mbs upload. And I often see a LOT less than max (like dialup speeds) during peak times, so streaming to that site from another server isn't a good idea. I really need a local copy there *somehow*.

But I think the NVidia Shields are cheap enough that buying one for there and just trying it as a local server for there that sync's to here is fine. We don't add a ton of movies and the vacation house has a lot of time where nobody is there, so adding a movie here and having it hammer the download connection there for a day to get it isn't a huge deal.

If that doesn't work out and I need a NAS for there then I have some servers sitting that would work for that instead and I could still use the Shield as a client somewhere else as I still need several. So trying it won't *really* cost anything.

And I get what you're saying about Optimizer and I plan to use that, but that's still a CPU consideration on the NAS since it's gotta "recode" versus transcoding. But one time versus many, I get it.

One of the big Pros for my family of Plex over K is that they can sync movies easily to their own iOS devices for travel. Before we had to do a lot of contortions for them to get them movies for planes and long car trips.


--Donnie
 

Haywood

Well-known member
FWIW, my home Plex server is an 8 bay iXsystems FreeNAS Mini XL, which has an 8 core 2.4Ghz processor and 4x4TB drives (was the best price/TB with full RAID protection and all I need for a while, but four more slots will let me expand pretty significantly still if/when I need to).

My home internet connection is a 20Mbs up/down link that is burstable to 50Mbs (and it'll get that for quite a while sometimes), so it's decent relatively to most in terms of upload speed. Problem is my vacation house is in the mountains and the absolute fastest thing I can get is a 3Mbs DSL connection that's probably 1Mbs upload. And I often see a LOT less than max (like dialup speeds) during peak times, so streaming to that site from another server isn't a good idea. I really need a local copy there *somehow*.

But I think the NVidia Shields are cheap enough that buying one for there and just trying it as a local server for there that sync's to here is fine. We don't add a ton of movies and the vacation house has a lot of time where nobody is there, so adding a movie here and having it hammer the download connection there for a day to get it isn't a huge deal.

If that doesn't work out and I need a NAS for there then I have some servers sitting that would work for that instead and I could still use the Shield as a client somewhere else as I still need several. So trying it won't *really* cost anything.

And I get what you're saying about Optimizer and I plan to use that, but that's still a CPU consideration on the NAS since it's gotta "recode" versus transcoding. But one time versus many, I get it.

One of the big Pros for my family of Plex over K is that they can sync movies easily to their own iOS devices for travel. Before we had to do a lot of contortions for them to get them movies for planes and long car trips.


--Donnie

All you need for a server is a Shield and a big external hard drive or two.
 

Haywood

Well-known member
An alternative to plex is a zappiti 8 bay Nas.
The NAS has an inbuilt blu Ray drive that will automatically rip the largest m2ts file from the disc and attach cover art. The process is extremely simple and requires minimal intervention.
Downside is that you only rip the movie, not the Blu Ray menu and TV show automated ripping doesn't work well.
Zappiti recently introduced remote server monitoring, so you can monitor the health of your drives from any web page which is a great feature.
The players, running on andriod support 4k/atmos and aren't too expensive. I find the gui is far slicker than plex but not as polished as Kaleidescape.

That is really cool! I was checking it out on their website and it looks great. It is also reasonably priced. I wonder if their ripper is available separately.
 

djb_rh

Well-known member
⭐️ Premium ⭐️
Got my Shield, have yet to try it, though. Next week sometime as I'm heading out of town.

But that brings up another thing...downloading to an iOS device with Plex. Sure, Plex is a lot more difficult to get content on outside of bootlegging (which is braindead easy), but once you have content that one major thing about being able to share it easily is SOOOO worth it.

Ripped two seasons of a show to my Plex server. Then when I decided I wanted to take it all with me for my trip, it was so easy to select the entire show and "Sync." Blam, it started downloading it all. The only catch I found, and maybe this can be overcome with a setting I don't know about, is that when the iPad goes to sleep, it stops sync'ing. My workaround was just to play a movie in the Plex app and it sync's in the background of that just fine.

Anyone know an easier way around that?


--Donnie
 

o0OBillO0o

Well-known member
I came from a Plex Server. First, there is nothing like the Strato and Plex doesn’t compare.

However, if your really into spending time dealing with licensing/encrypition keys, firmware, ripping, managing a NAS, and of course being frugal, Plex (and Kodi) is the illegal way of doing movie servers. If you arms are up in the air or saying “For (duck) Sake!”, then you haven’t used the Strato.

It’s a fact that there are no alternatives.
 
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