Infuse vs Plex

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by zooby, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. zooby macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    #1
    I have heard about both and have preferred Beamer as it is simple. I just drag a file and it plays on my ATV4. Is there something as simple in Infuse or Plex? I don't need something too complicated, but Beamer is not working for me while I am testing Mojave so I figured it was time to switch.
     
  2. priitv8 macrumors 68030

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    Jan 13, 2011
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    Estonia
    #2
    Beamer is macOS application.
    Infuse and Plex have both iOS and tvOS clients. So that alone is a major difference.
    Beamer just sends AirPlay stream to appleTV.
    Infuse and Plex clients are full-featured media players.
    Infuse converts any media not natively supported by Apple on the client machine.
    Plex uses the muscle of the server to do this.
    One Plex server can serve several clients and transcode media on the fly.
    Infuse is a client-only app, whereas Plex requires a server being set up as well.
    But in the big picture, you would not run them on your mac (except for Plex server), but on your iPhone or appleTV and browse your media via that client.
     
  3. Michelasso macrumors 6502

    Michelasso

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    #3
    Infuse (Pro) hands down. It direct plays at most anything you throw at it. With the exception being YouTubes's videos coded in VP9 (instead of x264 or x265). They may or may not play. VP9.2 content (YouTube in HDR) usually doesn't. Infuse doesn't convert anything, it has its own libraries/codecs (like the ones of Hi-Res audio).

    Plex is limited by the tvOS media player/codecs. Hi-Res audio is always converted by the server to AC3/EAC3 (DD/DD+), also with some ugly results when i tested it last time (and it was a DD track). x265/HEVC content is a lottery. Still, unlike Infuse it can play VP9 content (transcoded) if the server HW is up to it. But it has far too many issues. Especially if you use subtitles. It's a bit faster streaming, though. Skipping on Infuse usually gets a couple of seconds delay.

    Personally I have bought the ATV4K for Infuse (and never regretted it), because I was getting sick of Plex in my Android TV trying to transcode at most everything, even if Android TV codecs support many more video formats than tvOS.
     
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    Aug 5, 2001
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    #4
    The Plex client for the AppleTV is in a really sorry state. The server part is working fine, but I HIGLY recommend using Infuse as the client for the server, as it works SO much better.
     
  5. Tritto, Jun 19, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018

    Tritto macrumors member

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    Jan 29, 2014
    #5
    Get Infuse. I set up a basic network drive (cheap Synology NAS) to hold my video files and use Infuse to view them via my ATV4. Rarely a file it doesn't play and dead easy to use.
     
  6. TiggrToo macrumors demi-goddess

    TiggrToo

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    #6
    Not got an Apple TV myself, and so am I in no way disagreeing with you here, just wondering what you mean it's "in a really sorry state"?

    Is it the lack of updates, functionality etc.?
     
  7. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #7
    There are somewhat regular updates but the few things they include are so minor that it is laughable. There are LOADS of bugs, some ruining playback completely, lacking functionality compared to other clients, and the community being completely ignored by the Plex team.

    Most people that are serious about their library have switched to Infuse now, because the Plex team doesn't care about the client at all and the client hasn't seen much meaningful updates since its release almost 3 years ago.
     
  8. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #8
    I havent had any issues with plex on apple tv 4k .. all my 4k remuxes play perfectly with no transcoding.
     
  9. PilotC150 macrumors member

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    Apr 24, 2015
    #9
    What sorts of bugs are you running into? I use this on a nearly daily basis without any issues. And to say it doesn't get any attention by the Plex team is completely wrong considering it is usually one of the first clients to get new features, like when they added News and DVR/Live TV.
     
  10. Longkeg macrumors regular

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    Jul 18, 2014
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    S. Florida
    #10
    The only reason I keep Plex in my bag of tricks is that it easily lets you stream your library over the internet. Very handy when you’re away from home. I understand that Infuse can be modified to do this as well but with Plex it’s just one click to enable the feature. However, when on my home network it’s Infuse (Pro) all the way!
     
  11. archer75 macrumors 68000

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    Jan 26, 2005
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    Oregon
    #11
    I use plex for everything on the ATV except for bluray movie rips. For getting the HD audio from those I then use Infuse.
     
  12. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #12
    I can't play the majority of my media without getting the "Your connection to the server is not fast enough to stream this video. Check your Network." despite being on a wired connection. I can't switch subtitles or audio tracks without restarting playback. Half the time I can't resume playback of my media but have to restart. It takes up to a minute to forward/rewind (And sometimes doesn't work at all). Sometimes the library view doesn't show images for media until you reload the view. The GUI always have to reload entire views instead of single views on a page. Watch later repeatedly exits, and doesn't update properly. Sometimes playback fails to start (Rarely, but it does happen). And of course, it doesn't play a fraction of the codecs my library contains.

    And that's just the things I can think of straight away. We switched to Infuse as soon as it came out, and won't be looking back as mentioned above, as it fixes all the playback issues I mentioned.

    I love the Server side, and the Internet streaming part works wonderfully, short of the errors mentioned above. But the ATV client is a piece of junk.

    I am glad it works for some at least. Looking at the Plex forums, I am definitely not the only one having a hard time, so I am not just ranting for fun and Internet giggles.

    And sure, it gets new features, but they are always half-baked and bug riddled and non-functional for a LOT of people, and doesn't receive proper updates after - And if you don't believe me, check the forums. IMHO it is simply a scam to get more people to sign up for Plex Pass. Instead of fixing what they already put out, they want to include everything and the kitchen sink, on everything with a screen, and then forget about it. People can see their fridge can get Live TV by Plex, and buy Plex Pass, and then realize it doesn't work as advertised.
     
  13. archer75 macrumors 68000

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    Jan 26, 2005
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    Oregon
    #13
    Wow, I have none of those issues at all. Much of this sounds like network issues. Or a weak computer hosting the server.

    Just added a tuner and am using the plex dvr and so far it's working fantastic.
     
  14. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

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    Boston, MA
    #14
    I prefer Infuse. So far, I hasn't given me any issues with any files.

    I used Plex for a while, but decided that I would rather run a simple NAS without the need for a powerful server for transcoding.

    Also, I don't think Beamer supports 4k or HDR, so that isn't a good option.
     
  15. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #15

    Like I said, all those issues disappear with the Infuse client and I don't get the problems with Plex Web either. My server has no problems otherwise, as it is more than powerful enough for streaming multiple HD streams and transcoding, at the same time. Network is wired, and only an issue with Plex. In addition, the Plex Apple TV forum with filled with people having similar issues, so it is not just me.
     
  16. archer75 macrumors 68000

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    Oregon
    #16
    Just curious, we have the same ATV, the same software, same plex version. One of us having an issue and the other is not. Curious indeed.
     
  17. thisismyusername, Jun 19, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018

    thisismyusername macrumors 6502

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    Nov 1, 2015
    #17
    I'm surprised folks here are having issues with Plex. I've been using it for a few years now with iOS, web, Roku, and (most recently) AppleTV clients and never ran into any issues, including with my Apple TV 4K. Multiple streams at once, transcoding, forced subtitles, live TV, DVR, etc, all work without any issues including over the internet when I'm traveling.
     
  18. Michelasso macrumors 6502

    Michelasso

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    Treviso, Italy
    #18
    I know for sure that 4K HDR HEVC mkv videos with Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD MA audio didn't direct play for quite some time. I mean, it's even in the server and client changelogs. Hi-Res audio still can't direct play. Simply because it isn't supported by tvOS. As I wrote it gets transcoded to AC3/EAC3. If I play a 60fps 4K HEVC video (I have plenty of demos) that won't direct play either, not a single one of the couple of dozen I tested.

    Personally I spent so much time watching the spinning gear (eventually ending up with "Transcode error") that I decided to give up even testing. I must also say that the number of threads in the Plex support forums about HEVC not working drastically reduced in the last few months. But once everything was supposed to be fine and good, I tried to watch a movie (4K HDR, etc) and skipping back and forth the audio went crazy. Out of sync of various seconds. I tried and retried again for testing, same thing. So having Infuse I gave up for good.
     
  19. HDFan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #19
    I'd say just the opposite, Plex hands down. The Plex interface is superior, depending upon the platform. Has many more displays options. It runs on a ton of platforms. I run Plex servers on my Mac and Western Digital NAS. Clients I use include my iMac, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad. You can access the server remotely.

    There are also auxiliary programs that work with Plex. PlexPY, for example, gives you library usage statistics.

    It is true that Plex bug fixes are random, depending upon what the developers seem to think is important. Only help you get is from the forums. But almost all of the of the issues that are important to me have gone away, other than that annoying "your connection is not fast enough", even though the developer HUD on my apple TV shows 80 Mbps.

    Not my experience. I've had lots of Apple TV client updates, the latest one being rather nice.

    I've tried to use Infuse Pro on my AppleTV many times since it came out and had too many problems. Tried it just now and again the "unable to connect" error, even though the Plex DNLA server it connects to is running and delivering several other streams with no problem. The primary media I stream are MakeMkv full video rips of Blu-Rays with the DTS-MA soundtrack, so maybe my experience is unusual.

    It is true that Plex is more complex, as it has a lot of options. It also requires horsepower on the server, particularly if you are running multiple 1080p or higher streams. Infuse is much simpler, if you can get it to work.
     
  20. RamGuy macrumors 6502a

    RamGuy

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    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    Norway
    #20
    I don't have any issues with the Plex-app myself, but the problem is that it uses tvOS native media-player so in order to get 4K HDR content playing without being transcoded into 1080P non-HDR it needs to have the exact correct metadata tags on the server which it doesn't in 99% of the cases. So not only do you loose some quality, but transcoding 4K HDR in software on your Plex-server is crazy demanding so in most cases you won't have enough CPU-power so you will end up with choppy playback or your Plex Server crashing completely.

    By using Infuse Pro and connecting it to your Plex-Server it uses its own video player that is capable of playing back pretty much every video format and codec so there is no enforced transcoding, everything is using Direct Stream / Direct Play from your server so there is no resource hog on the server itself and you get the 4K HDR playback.
     
  21. archer75 macrumors 68000

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    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #21
    I do not mess with tags or metadata. Rip with makemkv and it plays without transcoding the video. 4k HDR works fine. Since I rip the HD audio it does transcode the audio.

    Also, transcoding 4k on my system doesn't use that much power. I could transcode several at a time. I'm using a Intel 5820 which is a few generations old now.
     
  22. yellowbunny macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #22
    I bought my apple tv 4 just for infuse. Its connected to an old time capsule and plays everything perfectly. Much prefer this set up to Plex which I used to use with computer as server.
     
  23. Michelasso macrumors 6502

    Michelasso

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    Feb 20, 2012
    Location:
    Treviso, Italy
    #23
    The (main) Plex interface on ATV might be superior. But after update v5.7 Infuse improved its interface quite a bit. Personally I find Infuse now very intuitive, I can easily go straight from the main screen to what I want to play.

    About the media player interface instead I courteously disagree. I can't change in Plex for ATV the subtitles (quite important for many non English people watching content in English) or the audio track while watching, "on the fly". I have to go back to the video's main screen with the options. In Infuse I can even download the subtitles while playing. The subs and audio selection works on the Android TV media player, though.

    I agree that Plex has better metadata management and the ability to add plug-ins. Infuse instead doesn't require a second (and quite powerful for 4K content) server in the middle. Just a network shared resource. Multiple iOS/tvOS devices can play videos at the same time up to local network saturation.

    About audio support Infuse supports Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD MA (decoded losslessly to PCM). Plex is stuck at DD+ (transcoded and often not with exciting results).

    PS: don't get me wrong, but why do you use a DLNA resource with Infuse? Infuse is made to work with network shares (preferably SMB 3.0). Actually, if you really want to use your Plex metadata, now Infuse supports the Plex protocol as well (although with still few glitches).
     
  24. mrex macrumors 68030

    mrex

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    Jul 16, 2014
    Location:
    europe
    #24
    problem with plex is that plex relies always on the server side. all my media is on a nas and the nas cannot transcode movies while watching them - it is not powerful enough to do that, like majority nases arent.

    i use vlc. it is fast, free and working fine.
     
  25. PilotC150, Jun 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018

    PilotC150 macrumors member

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    #25
    Well that's the thing. If you want to use a NAS and that works for your situation, then Plex is overkill. For you. That doesn't make Plex a bad product, it's just not the right product for you.

    I want to be able to transcode for streaming to many different types of devices. I do have a server I can run it on. Plex works for me.

    Not every product will work for everybody. That doesn't make them bad, it just means you're not in the target market.
     

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