Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Apple TV and Home Theater

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Jun 19, 2012, 09:15 PM   #1
hipnetic
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Plex thread

Thought I'd start up a thread dedicated to Plex, so that we can all share tips and tricks, as well as to serve to let others know about it. I'm a long-time fan of XBMC, but I just recently started playing with Plex and I think I'm in love with it. Here's some of what I can do with it:

- I have a central desktop computer running Windows 7 with Windows Media Center running combined with a SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime cablecard tuner (3 tuners) and a Comcast cable subscription. I use this to record TV shows which get stored as .wtv files. I have some XBox 360's in the house which can play these files natively but can also let me watch live TV and set new TV recordings.

- In addition to my TV shows, this central computer has a large number of Blu-ray .MKV movie rips.

- I have Plex server installed on that desktop PC, along with Plex clients installed on an Acer Revo 1600 (nettop PC with Intel/NVidia ION CPU/GPU), as well as Plex client apps installed on my MacBook Air, iPhone 4S, and iPad 3.

- The Plex server app handles getting all of the metadata for all of my movies and TV shows and stores that info on the single desktop PC. My client apps can pull up all of that metadata info on-the-fly. For fully-capable clients (e.g., the Acer Revo 1600 nettop or MacBook Air), I can select a movie to play and it will stream it bit-for-bit. Note: If I try to do this wirelessly, this can present some buffering problems with my Blu-ray movie rips, because those are very high-bitrate files, but for TV shows it's fine, and it should be fine if I'm hard-wired via ethernet 100mbps or faster. If I'm using the iOS client app on my iPhone or iPad, the Plex server app running on the central computer will transcode on-the-fly my TV shows and movies and send them at a lower bitrate wirelessly. It does an excellent job at this and the end result can be very watchable HD-quality (not Blu-ray quality, mind you).

- Especially impressive is that I can stream Blu-ray .mkv rips to my iPhone, then AirPlay them to my AppleTV and the quality is still very watchable (and I'm picky). Mind you, if I'm going to watch something in my living room which has a 1080p front projector, I wouldn't do it this way (I'll use my Revo 1600 which is connected via ethernet to play them without any transcoding), but the quality is good enough that I would be happy doing this on my 52" LCD bedroom TV.

- Did I mention that it will play my .wtv files? Mind you, I have Comcast and most of the non-premium channels are not copy protected (otherwise, they'd pose a problem). Using a very lightweight script named WTV-MetaRenamer, it will rename my .wtv files in a way that Plex can then go and grab the metadata for the TV shows online. I can then watch these TV shows on any of my devices which are running a Plex client app.

- Plex also includes support for streaming over cell networks. It will transcode your shows to an even lower bitrate (but, again, if you have the bandwidth you can get very good quality) to your iPhone when you're out and about. And the desktop server Plex app will take care of opening up the necessary ports, etc. so that it's drop-dead simple to get this up and running.

The software isn't perfect; there are some bugs. For example, I have some Blu-ray .mkv rips with subtitles embedded in the .mkv file which don't display when I play these movies on my iPhone or Revo 1600, though they work fine on my MacBook Air.

Overall, though, I'm super-impressed.
hipnetic is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 19, 2012, 09:21 PM   #2
GGJstudios
macrumors Westmere
 
Join Date: May 2008
Don't forget that you can use your iPhone as a remote control for the Plex client on your computer, to select and play content, or delete files, if desired.

You may find additional useful information in some of the many existing threads on Plex. Here are a few:
Plex Help
Plex, XMBC or iTunes?
someone please do plex w/ apple tv 2 review?
Set Top boxes, Plex, XMBC, etc.
XMBC vs Plex or Both?
There is also plenty of help available on the Plex Help site and on the Plex Forums.

Last edited by GGJstudios; Jun 19, 2012 at 10:27 PM.
GGJstudios is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 20, 2012, 01:15 AM   #3
jmcgeejr
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Quote:
Originally Posted by hipnetic View Post
Thought I'd start up a thread dedicated to Plex, so that we can all share tips and tricks, as well as to serve to let others know about it. I'm a long-time fan of XBMC, but I just recently started playing with Plex and I think I'm in love with it. Here's some of what I can do with it:

- I have a central desktop computer running Windows 7 with Windows Media Center running combined with a SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime cablecard tuner (3 tuners) and a Comcast cable subscription. I use this to record TV shows which get stored as .wtv files. I have some XBox 360's in the house which can play these files natively but can also let me watch live TV and set new TV recordings.

- In addition to my TV shows, this central computer has a large number of Blu-ray .MKV movie rips.

- I have Plex server installed on that desktop PC, along with Plex clients installed on an Acer Revo 1600 (nettop PC with Intel/NVidia ION CPU/GPU), as well as Plex client apps installed on my MacBook Air, iPhone 4S, and iPad 3.

- The Plex server app handles getting all of the metadata for all of my movies and TV shows and stores that info on the single desktop PC. My client apps can pull up all of that metadata info on-the-fly. For fully-capable clients (e.g., the Acer Revo 1600 nettop or MacBook Air), I can select a movie to play and it will stream it bit-for-bit. Note: If I try to do this wirelessly, this can present some buffering problems with my Blu-ray movie rips, because those are very high-bitrate files, but for TV shows it's fine, and it should be fine if I'm hard-wired via ethernet 100mbps or faster. If I'm using the iOS client app on my iPhone or iPad, the Plex server app running on the central computer will transcode on-the-fly my TV shows and movies and send them at a lower bitrate wirelessly. It does an excellent job at this and the end result can be very watchable HD-quality (not Blu-ray quality, mind you).

- Especially impressive is that I can stream Blu-ray .mkv rips to my iPhone, then AirPlay them to my AppleTV and the quality is still very watchable (and I'm picky). Mind you, if I'm going to watch something in my living room which has a 1080p front projector, I wouldn't do it this way (I'll use my Revo 1600 which is connected via ethernet to play them without any transcoding), but the quality is good enough that I would be happy doing this on my 52" LCD bedroom TV.

- Did I mention that it will play my .wtv files? Mind you, I have Comcast and most of the non-premium channels are not copy protected (otherwise, they'd pose a problem). Using a very lightweight script named WTV-MetaRenamer, it will rename my .wtv files in a way that Plex can then go and grab the metadata for the TV shows online. I can then watch these TV shows on any of my devices which are running a Plex client app.

- Plex also includes support for streaming over cell networks. It will transcode your shows to an even lower bitrate (but, again, if you have the bandwidth you can get very good quality) to your iPhone when you're out and about. And the desktop server Plex app will take care of opening up the necessary ports, etc. so that it's drop-dead simple to get this up and running.

The software isn't perfect; there are some bugs. For example, I have some Blu-ray .mkv rips with subtitles embedded in the .mkv file which don't display when I play these movies on my iPhone or Revo 1600, though they work fine on my MacBook Air.

Overall, though, I'm super-impressed.
I use the open subtitle add on for plex, and if I find a file with a hard coded subtitle in it I just use subler to strip it out. fyi. Love plex, it has it's little quirks but all in all it's an amazing product.
jmcgeejr is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 20, 2012, 06:00 AM   #4
hipnetic
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
Don't forget that you can use your iPhone as a remote control for the Plex client on your computer, to select and play content, or delete files, if desired.
Yes, thanks for reminding me. I forgot to mention that feature, but it's worth talking about further. IMO, this is how I envision watching movies in my living room (which has an Acer Revo 1600 nettop connected to my A/V receiver and front projector). While people are watching other things on the TV, I can use my iPhone or iPad to search for the movie I want to watch, select it, and have it start playing on the Revo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
You may find additional useful information in some of the many existing threads on Plex. Here are a few:
Thanks, I'll take a look at those. I don't want to start up a new thread if it isn't needed, but I thought there would be value in having an 'official' Plex thread for people to discuss what they love/hate about it. But if one of those threads is already serving that purpose better, I may just bump that thread.

Also, I am familiar with the Plex forums and am participating there to get some questions answered and offer up suggestions for others, but wanted to make sure that Apple TV users here who may have never heard of Plex would hear about it and try it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcgeejr View Post
I use the open subtitle add on for plex, and if I find a file with a hard coded subtitle in it I just use subler to strip it out.
Thanks, I had read a couple of posts from people alluding to something like that and was planning on asking about it in the Plex forums. I will definitely look into this. Where do you configure this? On the Plex server side or via one of the clients?
hipnetic is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 20, 2012, 11:13 AM   #5
roidy
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Nottingham, UK
Quote:
Originally Posted by hipnetic View Post
I have Plex server installed on that desktop PC, along with Plex clients installed on an Acer Revo 1600 (nettop PC with Intel/NVidia ION CPU/GPU), as well as Plex client apps installed on my MacBook Air, iPhone 4S, and iPad 3.
Which OS are you using to running the Plex client on the Revo?
roidy is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 20, 2012, 11:40 AM   #6
jmcgeejr
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Quote:
Originally Posted by hipnetic View Post
Yes, thanks for reminding me. I forgot to mention that feature, but it's worth talking about further. IMO, this is how I envision watching movies in my living room (which has an Acer Revo 1600 nettop connected to my A/V receiver and front projector). While people are watching other things on the TV, I can use my iPhone or iPad to search for the movie I want to watch, select it, and have it start playing on the Revo.

Thanks, I'll take a look at those. I don't want to start up a new thread if it isn't needed, but I thought there would be value in having an 'official' Plex thread for people to discuss what they love/hate about it. But if one of those threads is already serving that purpose better, I may just bump that thread.

Also, I am familiar with the Plex forums and am participating there to get some questions answered and offer up suggestions for others, but wanted to make sure that Apple TV users here who may have never heard of Plex would hear about it and try it out.

Thanks, I had read a couple of posts from people alluding to something like that and was planning on asking about it in the Plex forums. I will definitely look into this. Where do you configure this? On the Plex server side or via one of the clients?
The open subtitles add on is on the server side under media manager and then metadata agent
jmcgeejr is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 20, 2012, 01:06 PM   #7
hipnetic
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by roidy View Post
Which OS are you using to running the Plex client on the Revo?
Windows 7.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcgeejr View Post
The open subtitles add on is on the server side under media manager and then metadata agent
Thanks. After posting my reply I took a look there and saw the add-on/plug-in settings window but haven't had a chance to play around with it yet.

Unfortunately, I'm having another problem: Two of my high-bitrate Blu-ray .MKV rips (Avatar and Iron Man) don't seem to want to play on my iPhone. I could have sworn that I was able to successfully play these files previously, but I can't get them to work on either my iPad 3 (still on the previous version of the Plex client) or my iPhone 4S (using the latest version). I get the "Loading..." message at the top and sometimes different results. Mostly it just spins and spins, but after retrying numerous times, I once was able to get it to start playing the Avatar audio, but the screen was all gray. These files play fine via Plex running on my MacBook Air. Both of these files have subtitle info embedded in the .MKV file, so I'm wondering if that's causing problems. The other random .MKV files I've tried play fine. I haven't tried playing these recently on my Acer Revo 1600 running Win 7, but I'm fairly certain that I got them to play the other day (albeit with no working subtitles). Again, on my MacBook Air, I can play these files with working subtitles.

I'll try using that plug-in to fetch external subtitle files and see if that does anything for me.
hipnetic is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 20, 2012, 01:11 PM   #8
roidy
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Nottingham, UK
Thanks, I didn't know weather or not you had turned the Revo into a hackintosh and was running Plex under OSX.

How stable is the latest Windows build of Plex, last time I tried it a few months ago it wasn't very stable.
roidy is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 20, 2012, 01:52 PM   #9
hipnetic
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by roidy View Post
Thanks, I didn't know weather or not you had turned the Revo into a hackintosh and was running Plex under OSX.

How stable is the latest Windows build of Plex, last time I tried it a few months ago it wasn't very stable.
I honestly haven't used it much. Since installing it on the Revo we wanted to watch Avatar, but since I couldnt get subtitles working with it, we played that through XBMC. I can report back once I've had more time to play with it.
hipnetic is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 20, 2012, 01:59 PM   #10
jmcgeejr
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Quote:
Originally Posted by hipnetic View Post
I honestly haven't used it much. Since installing it on the Revo we wanted to watch Avatar, but since I couldnt get subtitles working with it, we played that through XBMC. I can report back once I've had more time to play with it.
So far the latest ver of windows plex has been quite stable for me, I haven't had any issues with it running on my shuttle xs35gt. There are some bugs with pms and subtitles when they are hardcoded into the files just as your are stating, the best way to fix this is to use subler and removing the subtitles from the file.
jmcgeejr is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 20, 2012, 04:40 PM   #11
hipnetic
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcgeejr View Post
The open subtitles add on is on the server side under media manager and then metadata agent
Actually, I'm not seeing this option. On the Server app, if I go into Preferences/Agents, and then select Freebase I see an 'Opensubtitles.org' option that was unchecked, so I checked it, and I then tried refreshing the metadata for Avatar, but I didn't see any new subtitle files appear anywhere. I guess I'll have to do some more searching to see how this is all supposed to work.
hipnetic is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 21, 2012, 07:52 AM   #12
robertpolson
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
As much as I like Plex, I returned back to iTunes.

1. Plex does not support Airplay resume. It often crashes or does not work.

2. Plex iOS app does not support resume after the app has been restarted.

These two features are crucial when it comes to TV shows and documentaries.

Nowadays I use iVi for automatic conversion to m4v and everything works well. The only thing I can't figure out is how to automatically add new m4v files to iTunes form my NAS without actually copying the m4v file to my Macbook Air iTunes library.
robertpolson is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 21, 2012, 08:09 AM   #13
sim667
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
I absolutely love plex, I have the server running on my mac pro, and clients on my appletv's, iphone and ipad.

What im particularly keen on is the myplex queue, and server sharing.

Id really like to see the plex team get enough backing to get this up and running with hardware etc tailored for it.

I'd like to the see the tv channels working a bit better too.....tvcatchup would be great in my bedroom
__________________
Mac Pro, Macbook Pro, G4 Powerbook, iPad 4, iPhone 5, 2X TV, Nikon D800, ACSP Trained - Photography and Mac tech
Music and UK festival Blog
sim667 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 27, 2012, 02:08 AM   #14
JonLa
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Just messing around with Plex and an old Windows laptop as I was thinking about getting a 16GB ipad for use around the house, and obviously it'd be nice to stream our video library to it.

Seems to work fine on the iPhone but the OSX Client makes my Macbook Air 2010 (my main machine - low storage - hence the need for a server) max out the CPU, get hot, fans a-going, battery a-draining. It's very nice bit of software but unusable in most situations where I'd want to stream from the Plex server. Any suggestions?

I was hoping it would work as a UPNP server so something like VLC could see it in the same way that my PS3 can.

(thought I'd resurrect your thread - apologies!)
JonLa is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 27, 2012, 04:58 PM   #15
sim667
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
I don't find it particularly Max's out my 2008 Mac Pro? Weird?

You could check out dlna servers? There's one called tvmobli, there's a free app for ipad called media:connect

Tvmobli is just a simple server with a web based interface, so should be not too bad on the processor too, plus they've started implementing dlna into a lot of TV's etc, it stands for the digital network living alliance, which is apparently going to be the new standard protocol for home streaming.
__________________
Mac Pro, Macbook Pro, G4 Powerbook, iPad 4, iPhone 5, 2X TV, Nikon D800, ACSP Trained - Photography and Mac tech
Music and UK festival Blog
sim667 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 2012, 07:59 AM   #16
alias99
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Been having issues with plex and airplay through my iPad

If i load a video on the ipad it works fine but when I try and airplay it to my ATV3 it says "An error occurred loading this content"

Anyone else have this problem or any suggestions?
alias99 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 2012, 08:44 AM   #17
sim667
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by alias99 View Post
Been having issues with plex and airplay through my iPad

If i load a video on the ipad it works fine but when I try and airplay it to my ATV3 it says "An error occurred loading this content"

Anyone else have this problem or any suggestions?
I get that intermittently on a atv i bought second hand and has never quite worked right. A restart of the atv normally sorts it i.

It might be worth enabling adaptive playback support on plex on the ipad, so if your wifi speeds fluctuates its got a fighting chance of initiating the playback before buffering at a highly quality?
__________________
Mac Pro, Macbook Pro, G4 Powerbook, iPad 4, iPhone 5, 2X TV, Nikon D800, ACSP Trained - Photography and Mac tech
Music and UK festival Blog
sim667 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 2012, 08:50 AM   #18
alias99
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by sim667 View Post
I get that intermittently on a atv i bought second hand and has never quite worked right. A restart of the atv normally sorts it i.

It might be worth enabling adaptive playback support on plex on the ipad, so if your wifi speeds fluctuates its got a fighting chance of initiating the playback before buffering at a highly quality?
Thanks for the suggestions.

Tried a restart and adaptive playback but neither solved the problem. Videos still wont play.
alias99 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 2012, 09:14 AM   #19
sim667
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by alias99 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions.

Tried a restart and adaptive playback but neither solved the problem. Videos still wont play.
Weird.

Tried asking on the plex forum?

Does airplay work for other applications?
__________________
Mac Pro, Macbook Pro, G4 Powerbook, iPad 4, iPhone 5, 2X TV, Nikon D800, ACSP Trained - Photography and Mac tech
Music and UK festival Blog
sim667 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:11 AM   #20
Mr-Kerrse
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: United Kingdom
I stopped using Plex ages ago as seemed pointless with ATV Flash installed on my atv2, but i have started to use it again on my LG tv as it is almost perfect for dlna connection.

I do have some issues though as for some reason it can't see films with 3d in the title so i have use my atv still for them. I also can't get it to resume from where you left off when watching films like atv flash media player does.
Mr-Kerrse is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Apple TV and Home Theater

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Plex me msugarpants Apple TV and Home Theater 12 Jan 30, 2014 03:05 PM
Remote for Plex Client (not server) - Plex iOS app KylePowers Apple TV and Home Theater 2 Jul 31, 2013 12:39 PM
Another plex/xbmc dual core thread! famous600 Mac mini 9 Jun 18, 2013 02:50 AM
Plex B-G PowerPC Macs 11 Aug 21, 2012 03:32 AM
Plex DJTaurus Apple TV and Home Theater 11 Aug 16, 2012 03:33 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:56 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC