Would this even be possible with Plex on the new ATV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Molson1020, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. Molson1020 macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2009
    I love Plex, and I cannot wait to have a native app on the Apple TV. The one thing I hate, however, is always having my laptop powered up to stream the content somewhere. Do you think Plex would make it possible to simply plug in a HDD to the upcoming Apple TV and just stream content directly off of it?
  2. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    If you plugin a HDD to an Apple TV, then you're not streaming content, you are using local storage. ;)
    The ol' Apple TV 1 had local storage for "caching" media.
    The Apple TV 2 & 3 does have a (micro)USB port, but that is only used for troubleshooting and installing beta software, profiles, etc.

    I'm pretty sure that's the way Apple will keep using the USB interface. So, I assume no local storage to be hooked up to the Apple TV 4, thus Plex will still probably need the Plex Media server to run on a different CPU.
  3. Jimmy James macrumors 68040

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008
    My Samsung smart tv does this perfectly. For all of the hate smart tv's get they sure excel at this task. The interface may be ugly but it's utterly functional.
  4. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    If you like Plex, why not add another media device instead? While a bit more expensive, items such as the Nvidia Shield TV natively handles Plex (and Kodi/XBMC), provides a heck of a lot more service and is a superior player in ever sense. The drawback of course is iTunes movie/tv purchase/rentals are not available. But! They offer other well known services for streaming.

    The new ATV promises more but its a bit late as those features should have been in place at least a year ago. Meanwhile, my Mac Mini with Kodi and a couple of other devices serve me quite well for media players. ATV only gets installed on friends systems and some clients by request and wont be seen in my home.
  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    It entirely depends on how open the AppleTV4 will be. Looking at the first 3, then no, it won't be possible.
  6. frosty001 macrumors member


    May 14, 2011
    It would be great if the ATV 4 w/Plex could use 'wake on LAN' to power-up and access content that way.
  7. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    I have two Samsung Smart TV's and they do not support what the Op is asking for. They run the Plex client and support it very well. However, you cannot run the Plex server on the Samsung TV and access USB drive media. You can see and play media on the drive using the samsung functionality but it is limited in terms of file formats supported and as you said not a great interface.

    In order to properly support external HDD on the new apple tv with Plex you would not only need Apple to make the USB accessible but also a Plex server capability with the horse power to support transcoding.. I fully expect a native plex clinet but think it is unlikely the server software would be supported.
  8. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    If Plex Server is a possibility with the AppleTV, I would be ready to let go of my Mac Mini, as thats all I currently use it for!!
  9. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    I doubt, could be wrong, but I doubt the server will run on the Apple TV. I think it will have a client that looks for the server on your network.
  10. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    You have to understand the point of Plex. The idea behind Plex is to run a server that is as format-agnostic as possible, allowing the widest possibility of clients to utilize it. The problem it is designed to solve is that music, movies, and tv shows come in a variety of formats and resolutions and encoding, and each device you want to watch those things on typically only support a small handful of formats, encodings, and resolutions; thus there is a need for software than can micromanage all those details for you seamlessly. The strength of Plex is in the server, and what it does.

    Plex Server allows nearly any type of client to stream from it. Any resolution, any encoding preferences, anything. It does this by transcoding on-the-fly to each specific client's preferred way of receiving video. This allows you to load the best possible quality file onto the server, and not worry about the client device's requirements. Watch on iPhone, the Plex Server transcodes into h.264 video AAC audio and at the iPhone's resolution. Watch on the TV that doesn't support h.264 or AAC, then Plex Server transcodes into something the TV does support. That's the beauty of Plex. It's not merely a media player. And trying to merge the server function and the client function into one device sort of defeats the whole purpose.

    If you want merely a native media player on AppleTV, Plex is not the right tool.

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