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View Full Version : Plex is King!




GimmeSlack12
Apr 11, 2010, 01:01 PM
I had tried Plex a few times back in the day, and it appeared great but since my Mini HTPC was a G4 I couldn't really use it. Fast forward to the other day and a friend of mine shows me his HTPC running Plex and I couldn't believe how I had forgotten to revisit the software since now running my HTPC on my Intel iMac. WOW!

Plex is Front Row on Steroids times 100. A few people on here have stated how much they love it too but I never really listened. I think Caveman has been pretty vocal about this in the past.



chocolate632
Apr 11, 2010, 06:04 PM
I just started using plex a few months ago. Love it! Although I have to launch frontrow to play DVDs since all plex does it open DVD player..

mohanman
Apr 14, 2010, 05:33 PM
I had tried Plex a few times back in the day, and it appeared great but since my Mini HTPC was a G4 I couldn't really use it. Fast forward to the other day and a friend of mine shows me his HTPC running Plex and I couldn't believe how I had forgotten to revisit the software since now running my HTPC on my Intel iMac. WOW!

Plex is Front Row on Steroids times 100. A few people on here have stated how much they love it too but I never really listened. I think Caveman has been pretty vocal about this in the past.

Bah-humbug!! The new boxee beta is far more stable and easier to use.
Mo!

reebzor
Apr 15, 2010, 08:55 AM
Bah-humbug!! The new boxee beta is far more stable and easier to use.
Mo!

I switched from boxee to plex about a year and a half ago. It was the best decision I ever made. Anyway, Plex9 aka Alexandria is going to blow any XBMC port out of the water.

lamerica80
Apr 15, 2010, 09:00 AM
Whats the big deal with plex/frontrow? When i want to watch a movie, i go in to the movie folder and double click on the movie.

tommylotto
Apr 15, 2010, 09:47 AM
I think it is cool too, BUT it will not play content from iTunes store and it does not seem to recognize chapter markers embedded in handbrake encodes.

sammich
Apr 15, 2010, 09:52 AM
Whats the big deal with plex/frontrow? When i want to watch a movie, i go in to the movie folder and double click on the movie.

I had that idea/mentality not that long ago but the idea of Plex is as a Frontrow replacement. Think of the times you've used frontrow but you using Plex instead. That is a huge leap.

If want to watch a tv show/movie in front of my computer, sure open it in VLC. But if it's connected to a TV and you're all the way on the couch, the Apple Remote and Plex are indeed King.

Tilpots
Apr 15, 2010, 10:25 AM
Bah-humbug!! The new boxee beta is far more stable and easier to use.
Mo!

How's Hulu working out for ya?

gtfomp
Apr 15, 2010, 12:26 PM
Well, YMMV, but here's my recent experience with Plex:

So I tried to use Plex 0.8.5 (latest as of today), but had issues scraping my daughter's shows/DVD's -- Dora, Backyardigans, etc -- these are from DVD's that comprise several TV shows, usually. I followed the naming conventions for scaping, etc., but what it seemed to boil down to is the databases available just do not have the data for these DVD's -- I think the best I found was to use the Amazon database, but then they really did not have very many hits for me. Overall the process was pretty frustrating.

The main purpose of my Mac Mini (selling point to wife) is that we would no longer have to deal with the tears that resulted in scratched DVD's, but Plex just didn't seem to be able to set this up properly. I'm better off using Front Row and adding the "Preview.jpg" into the movie directories -- it is much easier/more robust. Wanted the concept of the Apple TV, but I wanted to keep the ease of DVD menus, so went with the mini (and to be able to cut cable tv, go to other websites for content, etc).

Plex did seem to work fine for most of the "grown-up" movies, but even then, when I tried to play a few, and it failed and could not play them (?!) ("The Big Lebowski", I think?) -- these are VOB files/directories ripped with MTR 4.0, and they play just fine otherwise (e.g., with DVD Player).

So, I'm waiting for the next release of Plex to try this again.

If anyone has any tips for getting these kids shows scraped, I would appreciate it -- I didn't seem to find much help on this topic in searching....

GSMiller
Apr 15, 2010, 01:00 PM
I tried Plex (because Snow Leopard broke my remote) but went back to FrontRow because I could not get Plex to play any of my video files. Candelair (http://www.iospirit.com/labs/candelair/) fixed my remote :)

tropic10
Apr 15, 2010, 01:42 PM
I switched to XBMC on Arch Linux last summer on my Nvidia Mac Mini and haven't looked back. VDPAU hardware acceleration, smoothvideo, and automatic refresh rate switching are very nice. I never really used the Plex video streaming plugins so I didn't miss them.

seepel
Apr 15, 2010, 02:32 PM
Well, YMMV, but here's my recent experience with Plex:

So I tried to use Plex 0.8.5 (latest as of today), but had issues scraping my daughter's shows/DVD's -- Dora, Backyardigans, etc -- these are from DVD's that comprise several TV shows, usually. I followed the naming conventions for scaping, etc., but what it seemed to boil down to is the databases available just do not have the data for these DVD's -- I think the best I found was to use the Amazon database, but then they really did not have very many hits for me. Overall the process was pretty frustrating.

I found both Dora The Explorer and Backyardigans on thetvdb.com You tried this database? Sometimes you have to be specific with the titles. For example It's under The Backyardigans. So if you just had Backyardigans it might not find it.

gtfomp
Apr 15, 2010, 02:55 PM
Thanks for the response, but OH YEAH, I've got the *exact* titles.

I tried all of the databases -- it found some, but not all -- maybe 30-40%.

It's a pain...what I need to do is to figure out how to add my own data to these databases, if that is possible...

Tilpots
Apr 15, 2010, 03:02 PM
Thanks for the response, but OH YEAH, I've got the *exact* titles.

I tried all of the databases -- it found some, but not all -- maybe 30-40%.

It's a pain...what I need to do is to figure out how to add my own data to these databases, if that is possible...

Try the Plex forums. I've found them very helpful. They might not have the answer for you, but it's certainly worth a shot.

crashnburn
Apr 15, 2010, 03:39 PM
I switched to XBMC on Arch Linux last summer on my Nvidia Mac Mini and haven't looked back. VDPAU hardware acceleration, smoothvideo, and automatic refresh rate switching are very nice. I never really used the Plex video streaming plugins so I didn't miss them.

I switched from boxee to plex about a year and a half ago. It was the best decision I ever made. Anyway, Plex9 aka Alexandria is going to blow any XBMC port out of the water.

Interesting. To always find contrasting views :)

GSX
Apr 15, 2010, 04:36 PM
I switched from boxee to plex about a year and a half ago. It was the best decision I ever made. Anyway, Plex9 aka Alexandria is going to blow any XBMC port out of the water.

I agree Plex is very nice. Although for me it is not perfect.

For my DVDs I use full rips so I can maintain all the menus, subtitles, bonuses, etc. that are on the DVDs. For movies Plex works great, but not so much for TV shows.

TV shows in Plex are supposed to be broken down into individual episode format. I can't do that with my full DVD rips. Because of this none of my TV shows will scrape in the TV Show section of Plex. I can watch the shows through the Videos section, but it's not as cool since they are not scraped. I here Plex 9 will solve this problem and allow full DVD rips for TV shows. Hopefully 9 will come out soon.

tropic10
Apr 15, 2010, 09:43 PM
Interesting. To always find contrasting views :)

I used Plex for almost a year from 08 to 09. But I kept running into problems with jitter and XBMC's smoothvideo and automatic refresh rate switching solved those for me. Hardware acceleration also really appealed to me.

I like XBMC's focus on playing local media well. I also like the open source community that has developed around it.

reebzor
Apr 16, 2010, 08:43 AM
If anyone has any tips for getting these kids shows scraped, I would appreciate it -- I didn't seem to find much help on this topic in searching....

Use thetvd.com for scraping tvshows

Look the shows up on thetvdb and make sure they're named accordingly especially the name of the show (name of the folder)

SilentPanda
Apr 16, 2010, 08:47 AM
Thanks for the response, but OH YEAH, I've got the *exact* titles.

I tried all of the databases -- it found some, but not all -- maybe 30-40%.

It's a pain...what I need to do is to figure out how to add my own data to these databases, if that is possible...

I primarily use themoviedb and thetvdb. Whenever they don't have the data I need (which has been rare) I always add it to the database. The way I see it, I could either add it to Plex or add it to the online database. If I add it to the online database it's not only there for me should I lose my info locally, but for everybody else too.

gtfomp
Apr 16, 2010, 11:11 AM
Thanks for the tips -- I meant to look into adding to the databases, but never got around to it as I needed an interim solution with Front Row whilst I play around with the fancy stuff...

Primejimbo
Apr 18, 2010, 07:11 PM
Sorry for sounding like an idiot, but what is Plex? I found it on line, but are the TV shows free? How does it work? Are the shows current? Does it work with Apple TV or better with a Mac Mini?
Also what is Boxee?

Thanks

tbayrgs
Apr 18, 2010, 07:49 PM
Sorry for sounding like an idiot, but what is Plex? I found it on line, but are the TV shows free? How does it work? Are the shows current? Does it work with Apple TV or better with a Mac Mini?
Also what is Boxee?

Thanks

Plex is a media center software used to organize all of your media (music, TV, Movies, streaming) and make it accessible in one centralized location. Plex does actually provide any media (i.e. iTune store) but rather displays what you already have. I have it installed on my Mac Mini in my family room. Configured with my Harmony remote, I have simple access to all of my digital media without needing to dig through file folders, iTunes, etc or touch a mouse and keyboard. It can't be used with :apple:TV, only Macs.

Plus, it just such a cool way to present your media.

Boxee is another media center software program that can be installed on :apple:TVs that have been hacked.

gumbyx84
Apr 18, 2010, 10:51 PM
I agree Plex is very nice. Although for me it is not perfect.

For my DVDs I use full rips so I can maintain all the menus, subtitles, bonuses, etc. that are on the DVDs. For movies Plex works great, but not so much for TV shows.

TV shows in Plex are supposed to be broken down into individual episode format. I can't do that with my full DVD rips. Because of this none of my TV shows will scrape in the TV Show section of Plex. I can watch the shows through the Videos section, but it's not as cool since they are not scraped. I here Plex 9 will solve this problem and allow full DVD rips for TV shows. Hopefully 9 will come out soon.

If you are ripping the DVDs in full, how would the scraper be able to understand what episodes are in said DVD rip? If you rip the individual episodes from the DVDs (which is quite easy IMO), there will be no problem/

Back on Topic: I love Plex. Its a great step above XBMC that is build to make the most of your Mac. I haven't had any major issues testing it on my MBP and would (and have) recommended to anyone with a mac.

Sadly, you can only run it on a Mac mini, which is expensive. I am still using my hacked XBox because I can't afford to buy a Mac mini for a HTPC. Even if I did, its more price effective to build a box on your own. If I can build hackintosh HTPC for the price I can build a "normal" HTPC, you can believe I will do it and Plex will be my first install.