Plex vs Boxee vs Front Row

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by emegmac, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. emegmac macrumors regular

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    May 19, 2007
    #1
    What are the pros and cons of using each. I see some people praising plex like it is the best thing since sliced bread. I currently use Front Row but am getting tired of having to convert .mkv rips with handbrake to make them seen in Front Row. Plex can play them correct? Is video quality different thru any of them. I only use 480p and 720p, 1080p is not worth the size for little or no quality diference
    Boxee and Plex look like the ame thin to me.
    Can Front Row launch one of them?
    Can boxee or plex match FR in looks. I love playing music and itunes movie from FR
     
  2. mrklaw macrumors 65816

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    Jan 29, 2008
    #2
    boxee and plex are both based on xbmc. Boxee has more focus on 'social' which really means hulu, iplayer etc, and being able to see what your friends have watched (assuming they are boxee users too). Your actual media is a little hidden away, the main menu is for the social/internet stuff.

    plex is the opposite. your media is front and centre on the main menu. You can get plugins eg for iplayer too. If you've ever used XBMC on the xbox you'll know what to expect (except plex can play 1080p stuff). plex will also tie in nicely with your itunes and iphoto libraries so you can play/show those easily.

    Both scrape movie and TV data from the internet. for me, one big advantage of plex is that you tell it a folder is full of movies or TV. Boxee tries to work it out for you, and that doesn't always work as well due to the way it searches.

    The most recent release of plex can play itunes DRM music and use itunes visualisations, so it should look as good as front row. It also scans your itunes library so you can browse it just like you do with itunes/front row. IMO plex has a better front end than front row especially for movies and TV.

    front row has the advantage in that it'll play itunes DRM videos which plex can't do yet. But you can launch front row from within plex, so its no big deal
     
  3. illtype macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2008
  4. mrklaw macrumors 65816

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    Jan 29, 2008
    #4
    its under the applications menu, but that might be disabled by default - you can enable it in the config menu.
     
  5. emegmac thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 19, 2007
    #5
    Is the quality of playback any different? can all do 5.1? What about subtitles?
     
  6. mrklaw macrumors 65816

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    Jan 29, 2008
    #6
    don't know but shouldn't be because they are both based on xbmc. Yes 5.1 via optical output (optical cable in headphone socket). Yes you can switch softsubs on or off.
     
  7. emegmac thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 19, 2007
    #7
    I have tries using xbmc and kinda find the interface difficult. Where do you turn subs on/off.
     
  8. bmb012 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 25, 2006
    #8
    Plex transcodes 6 channel AAC to 5.1 DTS. So if you have a mac plugged into a surround receiver via optical, it's really the only option...

    That being said, can't say I really care for the interface, and I have no idea if it does that on an Apple TV, but I much rather straight up open files with it from finder than use it's interface, so that can't be a good sign...
     
  9. illtype macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2008
    #9
    plex is the way to go. I freaking love this program. The forums are very helpful. The different skins are amazing
     
  10. emegmac thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 19, 2007
    #10
    I have tried to use it. I really want to like it but still like the view of FR so much better, "it just works" . What do your skins look like. How do you apply them and so forth. Plex is more like a windows program than a mac. It is not really user friendly. I want everyone in the house to pick up the remote and just use it. FR they can but all my .mks won't play without handbrake and loss of quality.
     
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #11
    Try asking FR to open a Blu-ray rip or a file with DTS, then you'll see why it doesn't "just work".

    There is a learning curve, but it works perfectly well with the Apple remote. Just like any new software, you have to learn how to use it.
     
  12. emegmac thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 19, 2007
    #12
     
  13. blackfx35 macrumors member

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #13
    Does anyone have pictures of what the Plex interface looks like? This would be very helpful. Thanks.
     
  14. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #14
    There are several skins. Mine's the default boring one...
     

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  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #15
    The key seems to be putting Plex in Library mode. Once done, its scraper will dl the video info. That's about all it does at the moment, and it won't play your DRM'd videos. Trade-offs for everything.
     
  16. emegmac thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 19, 2007
    #16
    Can plex be controlled by a harmony remote? If so how?
     
  17. mrklaw macrumors 65816

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    Jan 29, 2008
    #17
    yes it can, check the plex forum/wiki (www.plexapp.com)

    i use a sony PS3 bluetooth remote with remote buddy to convert button presses to keyboard commands which controls plex.
     

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