ATv 2 + xbmc or plex

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by h00ligan, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. h00ligan macrumors 68030

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    #1
    I am using an old appletv with crystal hd to stream mkv, but now I need solutions in a couple other rooms.

    Do the new atvs when jail broken provide playback for mkv? Usually 720.

    Cheers!
     
  2. h00ligan thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #2
    Nobody knows if a hacked atv is capable of playing 720 mkv natively (xbmc) without any issues?

    I don't want to transcode it on the fly.

    Cheers for any info.
     
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

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    May 27, 2008
    #3
    for software that is not apple, you're probably better off checking their forums.

    XBMC iOS forum

    and on that you'll find a post titled XBMC for iOS current issues at a glance

    from which i quote
     
  4. h00ligan thread starter macrumors 68030

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  5. sammyman macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    So which one is better? Plex or XMBC right now for the atv 2? Is plex a better fit at the moment? The user interface isn't amazing, but if it works better, then it'll do!
     
  6. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

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    #6
    Plex requires a computer to have the media center software running. XBMC doesn't.
     
  7. wrz0170 macrumors regular

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    Apr 29, 2008
    #7
    I have XBMC on my ATV2 now and I have to say it's not without problems. Nice interface but a pain to set up, at least in my experience so far. I have a NAS with my iTunes library, ATV2 and XBMC and I cannot for the life of me to get the three to play nice together. The only thing that will play so far is music. Pictures and videos will not.

    I installed Plex on my MBP and I hooked it up in a way as if I had a mac mini. So far I liked what I saw. Set up was a breeze. 3 or 4 questions as to where my files are and Plex did the rest. The interface is beautiful. There are still some unkowns for me that I have to solve yet but at this point, I may be looking at a mini in my future if some of those unknowns are solved. FWIW
     
  8. Ccrew macrumors 68020

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #8

    Works flawlessly with me with a ATV2 and a Netgear ReadyNas. Had to tinker with directory and file structures to match what XBMC was looking for, but once that was done it was all automagic. I'll agree it's not always intuitive, but it works well once you dive into their Wiki to understand what it's looking for.
     
  9. waw74 macrumors 68030

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    May 27, 2008
    #9
    Plex -
    • Requires a computer (currently windows or os x) to be running their media server, the server will transcode your files, meaning pretty much anything will play. But if you have transcodes going, the server computer will have to be pretty beefy, especially if you're doing some hi-res video files.
    • also because it's all coming from a central server, you can watch something on one device, stop, and pick up on another. They have an app for iOS and Android ($5 each), and the media center on OS X currently (free). (iOS and android are transcoded by the server, OS X plays on the computer watching the media)
    • supposed to have an app built into new LG TVs coming out this summer.
    • has plugins for different web content (hulu, netflix, south park, etc...), will transcode and serve most of these also.

    XBMC -
    • files are played locally on the :apple:TV, so you're limited on the types of files you can play reliably.
    • everything is handled inside the :apple:TV so no need for a second computer running, except to serve file sharing for the actual media files.

    I don't have an :apple:TV, but do use plex as my home media center.
     
  10. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a

    milbournosphere

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    #10
    I have Plex and it streams 720p mkvs just fine. It transcodes 1080p mkvs down to 720p as well, so there's no need for conversion.
     
  11. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

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    #11


    • I wasn't aware that the computer running the media server did the actual conversion of files. That explains why 720p videos don't play that well on Plex on my ATV2. I have an Atom 1.6GHz server hosting my movie library. XBMC plays them fine.
     
  12. HarryPot macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 5, 2009
    #12
    Hi. I also fount XBMC to be a pain to set up, and the community at XBMC forums isn't very friendly. But, after many days of trying and trying, I found a perfect set up. It has worked perfectly for the last week and a half at least. This is what I found:

    1. I found that having my Airdisk formatted to FAT32 was a problem, Airport Extreme seems to have problems with this format. So I used Mac OS Extended (not journaled), and it has worked flawlessly so far. Before it would randomly disconnect and I would be unable to connect to it from either my Mac or Apple TV.

    2. Use SMB to connect from your Apple TV to your NAS. Select add source and then select Windows SMB. After clicking you will see many fields you need to complete. Just introduce your Airport Extreme (router) IP and the name of the disk in the first two fields, leave the rest empty.

    If you have an Airport Extreme, just make sure sharing files is enabled and that guests are available to read and write on the disk.

    3. 720p and 1080p movies in .m4v format suffer from a buffering issue. So far I've found that 720p mkv files play without a single buffering thru all the movie/tv show. This seems to be a XBMC bug.

    This is what I made, and it has worked almost perfectly for a week. I hope it helps.


    So far I've found that XBMC has problems with HD movies in the .m4v and .avi format. Not when using mkv movies.
     
  13. wrz0170 macrumors regular

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    Apr 29, 2008
    #13
    LOL You saw that too, eh? The community there seems to be a bit prickly. Not the first I heard about it though.

    I have tried almost every variation and folder paths of SMB to get it to work. From browsing to manually entering the IP address of my NAS. Pictures and iTune movies and shows will not budge.

    Not sure if some are related to the above. I have a mix of Handbreak ripped DVDs and content from iTunes from SD to HD. They just freeze in the buffer.

    Thanks! Gives me some hope. I will probably just keep plugging away. There is got to be a right combo somewhere.
     
  14. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    Winnipeg, MB
    #14
    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but you can't play iTunes movie purchases with XBMC because of the DRM. You have to play those with the native Home Sharing option. And to use Home Sharing, you have to have a computer serve the library; it can't read it straight off the NAS.
     
  15. waw74 macrumors 68030

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    May 27, 2008
    #15
    Correct, the only way to play iTunes purchased video is with an Apple option (native :apple:TV, front row, iTunes).
    and to play a video from your library on the :apple:TV2, you must have an actively running copy of iTunes.
     
  16. wrz0170 macrumors regular

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    Apr 29, 2008
    #16
    Hmm, so for me to have all my media on my NAS, including iTunes purchased video, I would have to have something like the Mac Mini solution running Plex?

    Would there be a need for :apple:TV2 with a Mini solution?

    Thanks!
     
  17. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #17
    If Plex can do Netflix (full Netflix, not just TiVo-like queuing) then if you get a Mini, the ATV2 wouldn't really be necessary. I know you can do Netflix on the Mini in a web browser, but whether it would be menu-based, or just the standard browser interface is what I'm not sure of.
     
  18. wrz0170 macrumors regular

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    Apr 29, 2008
    #18
    I don't know the answer to that, yet. I am sure there will be trade offs somewhere. There always is....
     
  19. jiminfrance macrumors newbie

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    Jul 22, 2004
    #19
    Or Playback?

    Hello
    An Apple friend of mine told me he uses Playback, which cuts through all of the PC messiness of XBMC. For a few dollars more than free, it accesses straight out of the box and collects all of your stuff from your Mac and any HD you have connected to the Mac, including .vlc movies.
     

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