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2616 posts

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  # 1708207 23-Jan-2017 17:51
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Skillie:

 

I am very happy with Plex Media Server (https://www.plex.tv/) - easy to setup - many cool features - supports various file formats, devices, platforms etc.

 

Why do you say it is "too slow"?

 

 

Plex's transcoder isn't a "turd". Video transcoding is fairly processor intensive, and you need a relatively decent system to do it in real time, especially if you are serving up HD content and/or multiple streams at once. I'm running Plex on lowly powered 2.13Ghz dual-core atom NAS, and it works fine. Provided the client can direct play the files without transcoding, it works very well.

 

Coming back onto the OPs question, I recommend against using a Blu-Ray player as a client. They typically aren't that good - with clunky interfaces, limited codec support (forcing your low-spec server to try and transcode) and a generally crappy user experience.

 

My downstairs TV (Samsung, 2015 model I think) has a plex app, and is easy to use. Lovely experience.

 

Upstairs, it's not so great. I have a dumb TV. I have just ditched the client I was trying (android box) as I never got it to work right, and it was becoming a PITA. The elderly WDTV Live I was using worked well, but the user interface was awful after having the proper Plex one downstairs. I have ordered a Raspberry Pi 3 with a wireless to replace it, and it will either run Rasplex or PlexKodiConnect. I am trying it because its inexpensive, and gets good reviews viz., capability and usability. I will have it in a week or so, and happy to post a follow up once I have it working.

 

Personally, I like Plex. Having the episode synopsis, and posters makes for a nice and GF-friendly user interface. And being able to filter by actor, genre, rating etc is pretty nice. Emby also gets good reviews (I haven't tried it), as does Kodi (which I haven't tried either, but you apparently need to faff around with MySQL to get a good multi-room experience, and storing the metadata centrally also apparently requires some fiddling). But none of these gets around your central problem - you either need good clients and/or a good server. If your client won't play the material natively, and your server has insufficient horsepower to transcode for the client, then you won't have a good experience.

 

Any of Plex, Emby or Kodi should work well with a bit of tinkering, provided you have hardware that is up to the job.

 

 


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  # 1708215 23-Jan-2017 18:12
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boland:

 

I don't like Kodi BTW, as my experience is that you  need a mouse. I've got a Kodi box with remote keyboard+mouse, and a remote, but I need the keyboard most of the times.

 

 

If you are basically playing local content from a NAS share than have a look at MrMC https://mrmc.tv/( a kodi fork) for the Apple TV 4, its been tailored to be run without a keyboard or mouse


 
 
 
 


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  # 1708221 23-Jan-2017 18:26
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All good points, though not sure about the MySQL thingy. I haven't tried Plex, but use Emby and have tried Kodi. There's a plug in for Kodi that lets Kodi use the central Emby server database instead of its own, so there's no duplication and can be used by as many Kodi examples as you want. Its (imaginatively) called Emby for Kodi. I imagine PlexKodiConnect will do the same thing.

 

Like you say you need the hardware though. My media is mostly converted to MKV which direct plays on most devices and Pi3's seem to be pretty fast for most stuff anyway.





rb99


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  # 1708229 23-Jan-2017 18:49
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plex is really easy to setup and manage, i use plex with sonarr and nzb all combined to update each other and they work great, i am currently running plex as a vm and it works flawlessly with multiple hd streams at home and over the web, i have just setup a new plex on a standalone server and migrated the database over and that couldn't be any easier, mainly because the transcoder uses a lot of cpu and i have it maxed out for hd streams, i have a lg TV with he plex app and its excellent, and chrome casts for the dumb tvs and they all work really well with the plex app for android

 

my plex servers currently use my nas as storage and the vm does all the work with a 10gb link between the vm and the nas, even on a 1gb link it still works really well

 

 

 

dont give up on plex just yet! 




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  # 1708281 23-Jan-2017 20:17
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rb99:

 

Seeing as I am detecting some blatant bias (inset smiley face here if I can get it to work) regarding Plex on this thread, I feel a desperate desire to plug Emby a bit as its feeling neglected. They also have a new Emby for Roku app in beta which might (or maybe not) be interesting. The Emby app for FireTV isn't bad and side loading Kodi on it can be quite pretty. Don't find the server slow (obviously mileage varies) though I just use our main 2 year old Win 10 PC as a server with gigabit ethernet and I wouldn't know Linux (or BASH) from my elbow.

 

 

I have tried Emby as well. I really liked the fact it had a profile for all Sony Bluray Players. It was working, but picture quality was horrible. A 1080p stream was transcoded to about 380kbps, and very pixelated. I've changed as many settings as I could, but didn't work.




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  # 1708284 23-Jan-2017 20:20
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JimmyH:

 

Skillie:

 

I am very happy with Plex Media Server (https://www.plex.tv/) - easy to setup - many cool features - supports various file formats, devices, platforms etc.

 

Why do you say it is "too slow"?

 

 

Coming back onto the OPs question, I recommend against using a Blu-Ray player as a client. They typically aren't that good - with clunky interfaces, limited codec support (forcing your low-spec server to try and transcode) and a generally crappy user experience. 

 

 

I agree the interface is not optimal, but due to budget constraints I've bought this set including speakers about 3 years ago. It still plays about 95% of the files. 

 

For now, the main issue is DD+. I've "fixed" it for now with a bash script, which converts to AC3...
The only solution for this problem is to replace the Bluray player with a new surround system, plus a new player, and maybe a new server. Too much for such a small problem.


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  # 1708419 24-Jan-2017 08:15
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http://www.futeko.com/products/MP068.php





The little things make the biggest difference.


543 posts

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  # 1708430 24-Jan-2017 08:52
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Since you haven't specified any sort of budget... I'm going to kill '2 birds with 1 stone'.

 

Import yourself a nVidia shield and replace your ubuntu server and use it as a set top box.  The shield can do hardware accelerated transcoding as a plex server and can decode everything.  This will be my plan, just waiting for the trump crusade to bring the exchange rates more in our favour before pulling the pin!


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  # 1708499 24-Jan-2017 10:13
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Not sure if you've tried already, but might be worth pre-transcoding a 1080p file using handbrake or something like that, it'll drop the kbps quite a bit and you can try different formats. Might help with Emby, or any media player come to that.

 

 

 

Or you could try another server called Mezzmo, that was pretty good at DLNA stuff as far as I remember, though think it also transcodes if it thinks it has too.

 

 

 

Or RPi should work fine, though no idea about sound and the posh stuff like 5.1 DTS etc (I've never got beyond stereo). RPi should work with Emby/Plex though you might be back to Kodi for that. HDMI-CEC should work though. At least if it doesn't work you haven't spent much.

 

 

 

Or like you say Roku or FireTV - costs a bit more plus importing them (Trade Me maybe), both have Emby / Plex apps I think. If the BR player is causing the problems with Emby being pixelated and with Plex being slow it should fix that up. you could also try, unless you did already, the Emby forum, sending them logs and stuff (they're usually pretty good).





rb99




229 posts

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  # 1708610 24-Jan-2017 12:33
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tanivula:

 

Since you haven't specified any sort of budget... I'm going to kill '2 birds with 1 stone'.

 

Import yourself a nVidia shield and replace your ubuntu server and use it as a set top box.  The shield can do hardware accelerated transcoding as a plex server and can decode everything.  This will be my plan, just waiting for the trump crusade to bring the exchange rates more in our favour before pulling the pin!

 


Yeah I've seen the Shield, it was on my wishlist too. Probably that's my quick solution :)




229 posts

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  # 1708614 24-Jan-2017 12:38
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rb99:

 

Not sure if you've tried already, but might be worth pre-transcoding a 1080p file using handbrake or something like that, it'll drop the kbps quite a bit and you can try different formats. Might help with Emby, or any media player come to that.

 

 

 

Or you could try another server called Mezzmo, that was pretty good at DLNA stuff as far as I remember, though think it also transcodes if it thinks it has too.

 

 

 

Or RPi should work fine, though no idea about sound and the posh stuff like 5.1 DTS etc (I've never got beyond stereo). RPi should work with Emby/Plex though you might be back to Kodi for that. HDMI-CEC should work though. At least if it doesn't work you haven't spent much.

 

 

 

Or like you say Roku or FireTV - costs a bit more plus importing them (Trade Me maybe), both have Emby / Plex apps I think. If the BR player is causing the problems with Emby being pixelated and with Plex being slow it should fix that up. you could also try, unless you did already, the Emby forum, sending them logs and stuff (they're usually pretty good).

 

 

Thanks!!
yes, I'm using ffmpeg now to transcode audio to AAC (and copy video stream). Still testing this out, but I could extend that script to transcode other codecs too that are not supported by my BR player.

 

I've given up on letting my server transcode it on the fly, need more hardware for that.

 

RPi or Roku or FireTV or Nvidia Shield or ... is another option, but for now I'm sorted :)


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  # 1710659 27-Jan-2017 12:59
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I've been using Plex and a RasPi 2 for ages. It will play almost anything without transcoding, but I find menu navigation etc very slow (especially with anything but the most basic skin).

 

Kodi on RasPi had happily bitstreamed any audio format I've thrown at (DTS-ES etc).

 

I've just started to try the Plex App on Xbox One as a replacement and find it far faster and more responsive. Downside is that the Xbox does the audio decoding and then send multichannel PCM to my AMP. I would prefer it sent the bitstream so my amp could decode itself, but that's not a deal breaker for me.

 

Someone with more knowledge than me might be able to chime in if Plex needs to transcode when streaming the Plex app on Xbox One. I've only tested a few files so far (all x264 MKV) and I don't think any transcoding is happening.


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