New MBA with Plex or MBP nTB?

x2thaz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 1, 2012
28
0
I currently have a MB 2010 sort of on its last leg and wanted to replace it and was thinking of the new Macbook air or the MBP nTB 13in. I do light web browsing, emails, office products, download movies and stream content from my laptop via PLEX onto my roku ( main reason i use my laptop).

Can the new MBA handle decoding and streaming to plex? or should I go with the faster processor and stick with the MBP nTB?

here is a thought, maybe I am doing my whole home theater setup all wrong.
Maybe i need to get a NAS and have it setup with plex or stick with a fire stick.

Any ideas or suggestions

Thanks
 

gigatoaster

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2018
384
344
Singapore
Hello there

For only a home theater need, I would use something different than a MBA.
It could be a NAS with Nvidia Shield or Apple TV 4K or a Chromecast.

Depending on your budget & if you have 4K UHD HDR movies or not.
 

Banglazed

macrumors demi-god
Apr 17, 2017
3,055
2,874
Cupertino, CA
Although Plex can decode and stream to your device, it is better if you can convert all your media files to mp4 and AAC audio. This container type of file promote direct play. This way, it require no CPU usage. It would be better if you have a higher storage for your media and your MBA should be connected to the internet via wired internet so ensure connection is reliable than WiFi.

Depend how many people you shared your library, as long as your media is stored in the right direct play format, it can handle as many as long as it doesn't require any transcoding (the format is 100% compatible with the device you are playing from).

https://support.plex.tv/articles/200250387-streaming-media-direct-play-and-direct-stream/
https://support.plex.tv/articles/201566396-how-are-direct-play-direct-stream-and-transcoding-different/

Direct Play format: https://support.plex.tv/articles/203810286-what-media-formats-are-supported/

I used to use my old laptop as a Plex server but now I rarely use it since I ran out of storage lol
 
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x2thaz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 1, 2012
28
0
Thanks for the advice guys.
I should have explained my setup and what I want out of it, so let me do that.

I have a 4TB ext HD which all of my media is saved and keeps growing all the time. I would like to watch it whenever I want usually on the same network with my 4k TV, I have Firestick and Roku 3 (main use). When I want to watch stuff on plex via roku I have to transfer files from the ext HD and put them onto my Macbook (plex server) which allows me to watch my media through roku from the laptop. This setup really sucks because my laptop has to be on and I have to sift through my ext hd to find what I want to watch and transfer it. I know there has to be an easier way, such as Nvidia shield or NAS.

Originally I was leaning towards QNAP TS-251+ but I have read some things about getting hacked that got me a bit worried.

So now I am about to buy a Nvidia Shield 16GB and just hook my ext powered HD to it and pray its what I am looking for. I read some articles about the HD always being on, but theres an app you can download to turn off the HD so it doesn't spin all the time and thats good. I'm I missing something here? this sound like what Im looking for right?

Sounds like its the Nvidia shield all the way or does someone have a better suggestion.

Thanks again

EDIT: Just found out my media on plex is being played via direct play for video, audio is transcoded.
 
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Plutonius

macrumors 604
Feb 22, 2003
7,846
5,938
New Hampshire, USA
Hello there

For only a home theater need, I would use something different than a MBA.
It could be a NAS with Nvidia Shield or Apple TV 4K or a Chromecast.

Depending on your budget & if you have 4K UHD HDR movies or not.
I believe he's talking about a running Plex server. Can you run a Plex server on an Apple TV or Chromecast ?

A Mac Mini (external media drive) or even a cheaper Windows machine might be a better choice to use as a Plex server.
 
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