Anyone using PLEX and an Apple TV 4th Gen?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by AaronE, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. AaronE, Feb 2, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017

    AaronE macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2006
    North Carolina
    Just wondering how everyone else's experience with PLEX on the 4th Gen Apple TV has been. It has completely revolutionized how I experience my media. Right now I'm running a couple of Mediasonic ProBoxes connected to my gaming PC.

    My movie collection is comprised of MKVs made from my Bluray collection using MakeMKV.

    My ideal plan is to purchase an i7 Mac Mini or one of those Intel NUCs. I believe this would be better than running a loud tower all day. I'd also like to invest in a more permanent storage solution. Since I don't have any sort of redundancy data loss could be a huge issue.
  2. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    I've got a couple of Synology NAS (1815+ and 916+) both running Plex server (sharing the same media files that are on the 916+ and backed up using CrashPlan): I set it up like that so the transcoding could be shared across them but to be honest either one of them could probably handle it all without any issue at all.
    I love the plex client on the Apple TV - it has never skipped a beat and works perfectly all the time
  3. benjitek macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2012
    Plex is probably my most used app, especially combining tvOS use with macOS, iOS, and Windows 10. After that would be Infuse, primarily because it finds subtitles for foreign media at times when Plex doesn't, and the newest version will directly play VIDEO_TS DVD archives. Between the 2, all bases are covered... :cool:
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    We use the combo extensively, but we do also experience a good number of bugs in Plex for the Apple TV 4. Some have been fixed, but we are still seeing a couple of annoying things.

    I am currently awaiting feedback for Plex in the cloud, combined with external hosting. I may shift to that instead of running a 2011 Mac Mini 24/7.
  5. Matthew Essex macrumors member

    Matthew Essex

    Apr 11, 2014
    I use Plex on the Apple TV combined with a VPS that is running Ubuntu, this has amazon cloud drive mounted.
    Although a little buggy sometimes and can be a pain sorting out issues with a remote server it has definitely been easier than the pain of ever growing data storage at home.
    This setup has also been able to stream full Blu-ray Disc rips in MKV format with very little buffering here in the UK.
    I would say I'm a very happy Plex user.
  6. Rankrotten macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2006
    Just changed my Plex front end to an Apple TV 4 and it's mostly great apart from the lack of 24p and resolution switching which my old Mac Mini core 2 duo was capable of doing.
  7. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011

    Plex has 3 streaming modes.
    1. DirectPlay(will not do this as AppleTV does not support MKV natively)

    2. Transcode(video transcode will rape the cpu, at least until they finish rolling out gpu accelerated transcode engine, it's in a preview release and working great, get an INTEL gpu with QuickSync. My i5 2xxx MacMini works great. If you can get a 7xxx KabyLake h.265/HEVC should get supported)

    3. DirectStream(Plex breaks the file up on the fly, directstreams the x264 video directly to the AppleTV to save on CPU, and only transcodes the audio e.g. if it's in DTS/DTSHD into DD/AC3 which AppleTV needs)

    If I was buying today... it would however be a ShieldTV or RokuPremiere+ would be far better as both support 4K, HDR, and DTS passthrough... but it all depends on what's in your library. They also have AmazonPrime...
  8. Hoosier317 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2016
    This is why I've moved to the Infuse 5 Pro app with my ATV4. DirectPlay + HD audio for the win.
  9. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

    Sep 16, 2010
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    I am using it and so far i like it. I have run into an issue where i get the errror telling me it can not stream a movie. i pause the movie and after that it will be ok for a while.
  10. Cordorb macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    A faster Plex server will help if you jump forward alot.

    Only tried WD NAS servers and they were too slow - seems to be ok for just file storage and use a different server.

    Mac-Mini 2012 and a Windows 10 Plex server are what I use now.
  11. ZeRoLiMiT macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2010
    Southern California
    I have a server running Plex with a NAS System on the side. I have multiple users (80) and works perfect. 80% of my users use AppleTV4 and in my home I have 3 Apple TV 4 with no issues
  12. slagathor001 macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2011
    So whats the deal with watching an AVI file or MKV on the apple TV through Plex?
  13. marklemac macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2003
    Southampton, UK.
    No deal really, point plex to your folders with your content and voila > Apple TV see's it. Nice and simple.
  14. amro macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2008
    Plex on AppleTV is good, not great. You don't get all the Dolby audio though and it makes a difference if you have a home theater capable of playing them. I'm really hoping that AT5 (if it exists) will support 24p, all Dolby audio formats and 4K. If so, then all my media services would be on Apple TV. Otherwise, I may have to go to the nVidia Shield. The Shield is close to that, but it doesn't have the Channels app. And i'm sort of leaning to the Channels app over Plex TV/DVR for local channels. ATV5 + a Xeon based NAS would be everything I need for a while.
  15. HDFan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2007
    Deleted as hit post prematurely.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 4, 2017 ---
    There are a number of places you can run Plex. On your computer, on a NAS, or even on a router (NetGear Nighthawk X10) with attached or NAS storage. If transcoding has to occur, results differ depending upon the device running the Plex Server. The client makes a big difference as well. The Apple TV Plex app has a great interface, but due to limitations in codec support it has limitations. Using a different client, such as the DNLA support on a Oppo Blu-Ray player totally eliminate transcoding issues (you can direct stream without transcoding from Plex Blu-Rays with DTS-MA and Dolby TrueHD soundtracks and multiple subtitle tracks with no problem) but you just get a file interface, rather than the Plex Gui.

    That's a disaster just waiting to happen. You need 3 backups on 3 different media types in at least 2 locations, one remote.

    I have tried to use Infuse with it's support for the higher resolution audio codecs but had too many problems.

    I run a PR4100 and there is no problem running multiple 1080p streams. There is a problem with subtitles, though. Unclear where the problem is as when you get the subtitle buffering the cpu is throttled, running at 10-20%.

    Not sure I understand this statement. The Apple TV supports Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Plus 7.1. It is unclear to me what happens to Blu-Ray HD audio when transcoded to DDP 7.1. It looks as if DDP 7.1 supports up to 1.7 Mbps.
  16. amro macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2008
    I meant formats like TrueHD and DTS. When playing an MKV on my NUC or AppleTV, my receiver displays the audio format. On the NUC, I get the properly encoded audio. On AppleTV, the audio is displayed as PCM.
  17. iDento macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2011
    iCloud Servers
    Yup, actually I got Plex on Apple TV 4, Playstation 4, iPhone, Mac, iPad and it's great, I'm a happy Plex Pass subscriber too.
  18. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Yup, I have it and it is one of my most used apps on the apple tv, right behind Netflix. Have a synology on the back end for my media, with a Mac Mini running the server. I haven't loaded up the synology with the server version yet, yet.

    No complaints at all!
  19. AndyR macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2005
    Auckland, New Zealand
    We use it every single day. Have Plex running on an i3 Intel NUC but will all my media on a Synology DS216j NAS. The whole setup never misses a beat and its so user friendly that my kids and wife love it too.
    I never both transcoding footage for it either as the NUC handles it fine 90% of the time. I kinda wish I had a more powerful NUC, something like the i5 or i7 but for the times it does struggle to transcode its only 30seconds or so of buffering and its all good.
  20. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    I run PLEX on a Mac Mini i7 Quad with an external hard drive (two drive Raid 0 - backup to another external drive). I use it generally every day. Some from local and some from remote. The remote connections are pretty much the same as the local with my FIOS 150/150 Internet. I have ALL clients setup to play "Original" so pretty much all DirectPlay and no transcoding. However, I do have some files (very little) that require transcoding but 95% is MPEG4 so no transcoding needed. Most clients are Apple TV 4 but 1 is on XBOX One. I have also tested with the Fire TV Client.
  21. lsutigerfan1976, Jul 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017

    lsutigerfan1976 macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    I think Plex is ok. But it baffles me on how they don’t update their app. Seems like all they are concerned with is selling that stupid plex pass. So I am sticking with infuse.

    I have a lot of movie collections and I like how that app groups them together, with one single movie poster for the group. Simple stuff like this should have been done a long time ago with plex.

    Infuse is pretty good at updating and adding features to it. Perhaps plex should to hire whoever is in charge of infuse to let them update the plex app.
  22. Anuba macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2005
    I've been using Plex for many years and had high hopes for the ATV version. Alas, it ended up my least favorite version. The ATV version's UI is butt ugly and bears almost zero resemblance to Plex on other platforms. It looks like some alpha version with a makeshift UI created to get development started before the UI designer is brought in.

    It sucks that MKV and AVI only show an empty frame while seeking – I remux to MP4 whenever I can, but when the soundtrack is 5.1 ac3 I just give up and leave the mkv version as-is.

    Wake on network is glitchy with Plex for ATV – my Plex server is a Mac Mini set to autosleep after 3 hrs of inactivity. Waking via Plex works flawlessly with the iOS version but ATV often struggles, so I have to open Plex on my iPhone or iPad in order for the Mac to become visible to Plex for ATV.

    So I often find myself bypassing Plex for ATV, opting instead to use the iOS version w/ AirPlay (or casting to Plex on my Sony Android TV.
  23. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    I run PLEX Server on a Mac Mini and it works great. I have an i7 Quad with SSD disk and my content is on a thunderbolt drive. But I never put it to sleep so no issue with the wake on LAN.

    I have multiple local ATV 4 connected with maybe 2 conneced at the same time. I also have up to 4 remote connections. Mostly ATV with 1 being XBOX and sometimes 1 Fire TV. All are setup for maximum bit rate to reduce transcoding. All are MP4.

    I have only really used with ATV but I have no problem with the UI. I also have mutiple profiles so each knows the shows they have watched.
  24. SoldOnApple macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2011
    I use Plex. But I've found that the Apple TV with Plex simply cannot play the majority of my HD movies, especially remuxes. The computer serving it is powerful enough for it and the Apple TV is powerful enough for it, but I think the crux of it is that the Plex team didn't want to have to pay for licenses for the Apple TV app, like dolby audio or whatever. Infuse team did pay for those licenses though and all of my blu ray rips and remuxes play like a dream on the Apple TV over gigabit lan. Infuse does all of the decoding on the Apple TV itself and the processor in it is more than capable of doing it. Plex tends to do the decoding on the server and then stream the video to the device when the player can't directly play the file, and with the AT4 out of all my Plex devices it cannot play most of my files. I would gladly play $50 a year extra for the Plex iOS/tvOS apps to have all the right licenses to decode all content locally, if only it were an option.

    Also with Plex on ATV4 there's a very weird issue where when I play a video the screen goes black with the white loading symbol and it stays stuck like that. The video is ready to play but it stays stuck like that and the only way to get it to play is to press the play button twice. I think Plex like CBMC before it is probably way past it's prime and I doubt they will ever fix all these annoying issues before a better solution comes along, like Infuse with iCloud library sharing.
  25. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I just started using Plex, and I'm still working some kinks out.

    My server is a 2012 Quad-core Mac Mini with 8GB RAM. For some reason, sometimes certain files will stutter quite a lot during playback. It's odd because the remuxing process is using less than 10% CPU at that time, so it's more than able to keep up. Likewise, it's connected by Ethernet, so that can't be the bottleneck. I'm still trying to figure that one out...

    I think I might give Infuse a shot. I'm not that happy with Plex so far. Also, not relying on a server sounds appealing.

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