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Thread: Plex / Infuse / Kodi

  1. #1

    Plex / Infuse / Kodi

    I recently started using Plex to handle and watch or listen to my personal media. I'm pretty happy with it so far. It's a much better system, for a number of reasons, than using iTunes.

    My question is, has anyone else here used any of the alternative media server systems such as (but not limited to) the ones mentioned in the thread title? And if so, do you have any thoughts on them or any comparisons you might be able to make between different them? What some are better or worse at, what some allow you to do that others don't?

    Before I get too invested in using Plex, I want to try to figure out if it's the best suited to my uses. I currently host all my media on an external hard drive connected to a Mac Mini. And I watch on various iOS devices or Apple TVs throughout the house. But I want to be using something that works across platforms - on Android devices and Rokus and Chromecast-able and so on. I stream from outside the network sometimes, but not very often. And I may eventually get a decent NAS drive to host and serve my media, so it would be an advantage if the platform could run on those. That last part isn't a deal breaker as I'm fine with continuing to host and serve my media from the Mini, it stays on 24/7 regardless.

    Any thoughts anyone might have would be appreciated.
    Nearly all success in electoral politics boils down to convincing people that you recognize that they are not the problem, that someone or something else is.

  2. #2
    Plex is the most user friendly version of what you're trying to do and streams quite easily to a Chromecast or Fire Stick, unfortunatly, what you see is what you a get and it's generally not free. Kodi is significantly more configurable but you have to have third party scripts/apps to do many things like streaming to a chromecast (I use the Android app called Yatse that lets me cast) and requires a dedicated HTPC running to to be able to cast around to different devices, Plex is just a background process on your file server.

    I actually use both. I much prefer the interface of Kodi and I use Kodi on my main TV, people are always blown away by it. Once it's set up it's fairly user friendly, you can get a cheap IR remote for it or use an app on a phone/tablet to control it. I use plex on pretty much everything else, I just find it's easier to cast around to my chromecast, fire stick, tablets, phones with plex than Kodi.

    http://lifehacker.com/home-theater-s...lex-1746501974

  3. #3
    INGSOC GURPS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meddauna View Post
    I actually use both. I much prefer the interface of Kodi and I use Kodi on my main TV, people are always blown away by it.


    what do you use for a Media PC

    I have been looking for a replacement for my WDTV since the HD died last yr.
    Right now I use a laptop and VLC
    Weíre tempted to suggest a conspiracy here ó but itís just liberals agreeing yet again that conservatives have hidden, evil motives, because modern liberals simply canít conceive of any other reason to disagree with the liberal consensus.

  4. #4
    Kernel panic: Aiee....... TWL's Avatar
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    It's a bit pricey, but I've been using a QNAP TS-453 Pro NAS the past 6 months. I run the PLEX server on it and use the PLEX app on my HDTV and/or TiVO's. I've used a variety of different media devices and configurations over the past 10+ years. This is the best I've used so far.
    Anyone who tells you that the negative is not just as important as the positive has obviously never jump-started their car.

  5. #5
    INGSOC GURPS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWL View Post
    It's a bit pricey, but I've been using a QNAP TS-453 Pro NAS the past 6 months.

    I cameclose to buying an 8 drive model 2 yrs ago, and filling it with 4 tb hard drives
    Weíre tempted to suggest a conspiracy here ó but itís just liberals agreeing yet again that conservatives have hidden, evil motives, because modern liberals simply canít conceive of any other reason to disagree with the liberal consensus.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by GURPS View Post
    what do you use for a Media PC

    I have been looking for a replacement for my WDTV since the HD died last yr.
    Right now I use a laptop and VLC
    I still use my WDTV as my primary media player, but if you follow their forums you'll find the last few firmware updates left the unit pretty screwed up and they've pretty much stopped supporting it. The WDTV is great in that it handles so many different media formats. All my stuff is in ISO format on a 5tb USB drive.
    "It must be inordinately taxing to be such a boob."
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  7. #7
    Darwin was right GopherM's Avatar
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    I've been using Kodi for just a couple of month and really love it. You do have to load addons and repositories but once you get it up and running it is really great. When you select a TV show or movie to watch you will be presented with multiple options (channels) to choose from and some may play an episode of a TV series one time but not the next episode. It is no problem though, you just back out and pick another option. There are a lot of videos on YouTube that will coach you through the setup. This is definitely one of the better links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P83wCoIKsX8

    Give it a try. It's free and if you don't like it you haven't lost anything but some time.
    Some days it hardly seems worth the effort to gnaw through the restraints!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by GURPS View Post
    what do you use for a Media PC

    I have been looking for a replacement for my WDTV since the HD died last yr.
    Right now I use a laptop and VLC
    I have my gaming PC next to the TV that I use as my file server/plex server/kodi/gaming machine connected to the receiver with an HDMI cable.

  9. #9
    INGSOC GURPS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GWguy View Post
    I still use my WDTV as my primary media player, but if you follow their forums you'll find the last few firmware updates left the unit pretty screwed up and they've pretty much stopped supporting it. The WDTV is great in that it handles so many different media formats. All my stuff is in ISO format on a 5tb USB drive.

    I started running into MKV Files that the WDTV could not play, locally or streaming from my file server ... but it was a good device while the hard drive lasted
    Weíre tempted to suggest a conspiracy here ó but itís just liberals agreeing yet again that conservatives have hidden, evil motives, because modern liberals simply canít conceive of any other reason to disagree with the liberal consensus.

  10. #10
    The media server currently used in our house is serviio. My server is a non-standard linux installation, so my parameters for acceptance are probably bit different that most. If plex offered more generic linux support, I might check it out.

    Regarding the WDTV live and MKV, any decent media streaming server should have profiles for common devices and change its behavior accordingly. For example, for non-supported media:
    1) If possible, trick the client into playing it
    2) Failing that, remux the file into a supported container/format
    3) Failing 1-2, transcode the file to an appropriate format for the client.

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