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The best streaming device for Plex


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#1 sQuba

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:14 AM

Hey guys,

I really love plex on my mac and as I now installed the plex media server on an extra computer that is running 24/7 I'm searching for a nice streaming device such as the ATV or the roku players. Unfortunately it seems like the beautiful GUI on mac wasn't used by these streamers. Anyway, I'm searching for the device that plex runs best on and hope you can help me finding it. 1080p and 720p videos should run nicely and steriosound would be nice. ;)

As you can see I'm not an english native (sorry) and also live in germany so that ordering a roku could be a problem. Does anybody have any experiences in this case?

Thank you for your help.

#2 Prits

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:19 AM

I've tried Roku XS, ATV2, Samsung TV and a HTPC running the plex client.

Roku XS and ATV2 do NOT have native video playback support of most file formats, hence transcoding is required on the machine running plex server. Subtitles and multiple audio tracks are supported. Personally I do not like a transcoding solution as a high end dedicated machine (like mac mini) is required to perform the transcoding. If I were to choose between roku and atv2, I would go with the atv2 plex client.

Both the Samsung Smart TV and HTPC have native video playback support of all file formats I tested. If a client has native video playback, a high end dedicated server is not required to run the plex server. The plex server works perfectly on my NAS connected to my Samsung TV running the plex client. The Plex client on the Samsung Smart TV however currently does not support multiple audio tracks and subtitles with a grid view. If the plex client on the Samsung TV had these 3 features, it would be the best plex client ever.


Has anyone tried the SONY Google TV? Does that have native video playback support of all file formats? or does that require transcoding too?

Cheers,
PM




If you have a high end dedicated machine running plex server, the best client is

Hey guys,

I really love plex on my mac and as I now installed the plex media server on an extra computer that is running 24/7 I'm searching for a nice streaming device such as the ATV or the roku players. Unfortunately it seems like the beautiful GUI on mac wasn't used by these streamers. Anyway, I'm searching for the device that plex runs best on and hope you can help me finding it. 1080p and 720p videos should run nicely and steriosound would be nice. ;)

As you can see I'm not an english native (sorry) and also live in germany so that ordering a roku could be a problem. Does anybody have any experiences in this case?

Thank you for your help.



#3 Kim T

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:26 AM

...Subtitles and multiple audio tracks are supported.......

No - if you have subtitles from DVD's (VOBSUB) they are not suppotted. I usually rip my DVD's into ISO or by using MakeMKV - but the subtitles are not supported bu the streaming devices (Roku, ATV2, IOS....)

#4 Prits

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:08 PM

@Kim, subtitles work fine for me on my ATV2 and ROKU for mkvs. It also works on all my ios devices ipad2/4s.

I've configured my plex server to always auto download and use subtitles. It works perfectly on the above mentioned devices.

I do not use iso's

#5 sQuba

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:00 PM

Thank you for your help, but I think I'll await the keynote to see if an ATV3 could be an option.

#6 Penskyc

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 01:48 PM

I would absolutely go with the roku, plex is supported natively, meaning you don't need to jailbreak or anything like that, up until 6 months ago, I was using an apple tv for myself and and 3 friends who live remotely and connect to my server, was always having problems with one of the boxes restarting mid video, Plex for roku is much smoother, faster, easier to navigate and just quicker to get to what you want, not as much menus. I find the apple tv plex to be more tedious and just takes you longer to get where you need to go. I will never recommend an apple tv again and will only recommend the roku, especially since one can be had for 50 dollars, and the amount of other content it has blows atv out of the water

#7 tcviper

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:01 PM

Yeah except when your in Europe there is no Roku, at least not in the Netherlands.
In here I see 2 real options for the moment: Mac Mini or AppleTV2 for now, specially as the Google TV client is still not 100% working correct.

Hopefully with the DLNA progress going faster, this soon will work on a lot more devices.

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#8 Doctor Cortex

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:34 PM

If your planning on playback of mkv container videos then steer clear of the roku boxes however accessible they are in your region. Playback of mkv is horrendous and caused me to sell my Roku 2 XS after a week.

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#9 bahnstormer

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:02 PM

My experience includes:

Samsung STB-E7900: clunky to get to, but usable, but it's only on an old SD LCD, so not comparing video quality.

Roku2XS: waste of time - nice use of Plex interface, but either really ropey transcoded video quality or unstable direct play of the very few titles it would play and no Dolby support!

PopcornHour A110: no Java/Flash support, so only browses the raw folders, but fantastic direct play video support and quality - plays everything and well, but the interface looks awful.

PopcornHour A400: capable of running Plex, but the only Plex client is built by a part-time developer (rip77) and although he's done a decent job of it, it isn't a patch on the Android / Roku interface (sorry Rip77 - you've done well and it's showing promise, but still a way off).

I'm sticking with the inferior NMJ browser on my PCH A400 for now, the video playback is more important than the funky Plex interface, no matter how good it is... no idea why Plex are deveopling apps for Roku players with their awful hardware and poor video playback when even the 6 year old PopcornHours utterly pwn them.

I hear the Medi8er and Dune players are very good, not sure if they have plex clients though....

#10 Sh4KrA

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:25 AM

PopcornHour A110: no Java/Flash support, so only browses the raw folders, but fantastic direct play video support and quality - plays everything and well, but the interface looks awful.

PopcornHour A400: capable of running Plex, but the only Plex client is built by a part-time developer (rip77) and although he's done a decent job of it, it isn't a patch on the Android / Roku interface (sorry Rip77 - you've done well and it's showing promise, but still a way off).


Hey Bahnstormer, thank you for this feedback.

I you have a little time to answer, I got some questions for you:

- I understand that you use an PH A400, without the Plex client. Correct me if I am wrong, compared to PH A100, you benefit from the improved interface but have no material difference as regards playback?

- Speaking of the interface, do you have any experience with PS3? Is the PC H400 really different?

- Are you able to read MKV with external subtitles?

Thank you in advance for your answers.

Cheers,

------------
DS412+ with Plex Media Server
PopCorn Hour A300 / Surface Pro 2


#11 rip77

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:44 PM

PopcornHour A400: capable of running Plex, but the only Plex client is built by a part-time developer (rip77) and although he's done a decent job of it, it isn't a patch on the Android / Roku interface (sorry Rip77 - you've done well and it's showing promise, but still a way off).


I'm with bahnstormer, popcorn have the best playback support that i have come across yet and that's why i keep pushing to build a plex client for it as the PLEX server is just awesome.

that is still a ways to go with the client but i have just got tv shows working and getting it ready for the popcorn app store for an easier installs.

Preview - main menu, cover wall and movie details
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw2Do5dWq0U
tv shows details
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wzym-L6n9qM

#12 gverre

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:52 AM

Hey all. First of all, sorry for my really bad English. But, I'll try :-)

Just to let u know others possible cheap playback options I use in my plex setup.

First, I run my plex server on a 5 years old Windows 7 computer. On my LG TV, I got Plex compatible client, doing a great job with the magic remote ( kind of a WII remote) but I can't control it remotely. Then, I got a PS3 connected on another TV which I use Plex DLNA service to use. I have the plex aPP for Ipod and Ipad which run great but can't be control remotely. And the finally , I have the apps for android phone and tablet which can be controlled remotely.

So, the reason why i'im explaining this is because I was yet amazed by the interoperability of all this ( my son beginning a movie in the livingrrom and end iton an IPAD, me doing the same with my ITunes Podcast....etc...) and then, I realised that the fact the Android apps could be controlled remotely was awesome. I now use cheap android tablet, plugged everywhere i want playback (I use three, one on TV, one on home theater and one on a radio with outside speaker) and you got a great centralized setup.

This way, i now use my android phone, connected on my plex server, and start playing a song in the livingroom, another outside, starting a movie in the family room and then, start listening music on the phone itself.... :-) All this for one 5$ android apps and three 100$ android tablet, and my android phone.

This is really great. The problems... can't deal with playlist... cant' queue stuff...

Android do a pretty decent playback job... for the price.

Do you know if there's other streaming device with plex client which can be controlled remotely?

#13 MediaMan

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:56 PM


Hey Bahnstormer, thank you for this feedback.

I you have a little time to answer, I got some questions for you:

- I understand that you use an PH A400, without the Plex client. Correct me if I am wrong, compared to PH A100, you benefit from the improved interface but have no material difference as regards playback?

- Speaking of the interface, do you have any experience with PS3? Is the PC H400 really different?

- Are you able to read MKV with external subtitles?

Thank you in advance for your answers.

Cheers,

 

I've been looking for a better connected device too.  Roku just sucks.  My library is full of high rez MKV/DTS True HD movies, but its outright impossible to play them on the Roku because I use my ReadyNAS RNDP600e to serve plex, and it just doesn't have the juice for transcoding.  But I really don't want to play transcoded video anyway, there's a reason I store True HD movies, its because I want that trueHD quality coming through my entertainment center.

 

PopcornHour H400 seems nice, with its broad codec support, but at its price point, I really don't see the purpose!  You can snag a brand new mac mini for just a bit more, or an ebay used one for about the same price.

 

I agree, Plex Devs might want to focus more attention on devices that have better codec support, but also have the proper price point of around $100-$150

 

I'm wondering right now about the android options, but I'm not convinced the codec support would be any better.



#14 OzAy

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 02:16 PM

Hello "MediaMan",

 

I have a question for you. I'm using ReadyNAS for store my media. I loaded plex plug-in to NAS server. I added a section and located a directory for my media (music, film, tv shows). I have a LG smart Tv with plex. When I browse from plex section page, I saw only file name. I can play all kinds files. I want to see file name with own cover or picture and info. I want to change or update from plex/web page. When I select update/refresh button, it never change.

 

How can I refresh metadata (cover, poster etc.) ?

 

 

 

sorry my language,



#15 jonathantate@gmail.com

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:50 PM


 

 




Has anyone tried the SONY Google TV? Does that have native video playback support of all file formats? or does that require transcoding too?

Cheers,
PM

 

 

I have a Sony Google TV and I run plex on it as well as IOS, android, windows 8 (both metro and pc apps), and xbox 360. The Google TV is one of the better clients of all that I've tried, it natively plays just about everything, including DTS (but I believe you have to have the bluray version to play DTS). The only two problems I've had with previous versions of the client are that it would randomly crash when running in the background, and sometimes the framerate would go slower for a few seconds during a long movie. So far I haven't had either of those problems with the Kepler version, but I just got it installed yesterday so I haven't used it that much yet. The windows 8 metro and xbox 360 are just about useless for me as they constantly stutter and rebuffer. 



#16 timtlm

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 01:57 PM

I believe the best client solution for under $100 is going to be the raspberry pi.  The official PHT client software is still in alpha, and a little buggy.  However, it can run xbmc very well with openelec or rasbmc distros.  You can install the PlexBMC plugin on one of those builds, and it is a very usable plex client.  The menu navigation is a little on the slow side, and the playback is perfect in 1080p.  Once the PHT client (rasplex) gets further along, it should be even better.


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#17 jtjacka

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:31 AM

I've been looking for a better connected device too.  Roku just sucks.  My library is full of high rez MKV/DTS True HD movies, but its outright impossible to play them on the Roku because I use my ReadyNAS RNDP600e to serve plex, and it just doesn't have the juice for transcoding.  But I really don't want to play transcoded video anyway, there's a reason I store True HD movies, its because I want that trueHD quality coming through my entertainment center.

 

PopcornHour H400 seems nice, with its broad codec support, but at its price point, I really don't see the purpose!  You can snag a brand new mac mini for just a bit more, or an ebay used one for about the same price.

 

I agree, Plex Devs might want to focus more attention on devices that have better codec support, but also have the proper price point of around $100-$150

 

I'm wondering right now about the android options, but I'm not convinced the codec support would be any better.

 

100% agree with everything you said here.  100-150 is definitely the perfect price point for a premium Plex client device. I like the idea of the Roku a lot but complete lack of handling HD audio is a huge downside.   



#18 Problemss

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:44 AM

Have any of you looked at the ouya? I am not sure how Kepler would work without the touchscreen but I am intrigued. I am looking for a good client around $100. I was debating between a roku 3 and Samsung smart hub, but am now adding this device to the list, but curious to see what your thoughts are.

#19 RobertSmith

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 01:09 PM

I believe aTV Flash for ATV2 is the best solution. No problem with large mkv's (720p/1080p), DTS and subtitles (no transcoding, CPU consumption is zero).


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#20 saltedlolly

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 09:14 AM

If you want the nice Plex/HT GUI then your best choice for a cheap solution is to get a Raspberry Pi and install Rasplex. The interface is a little slow, but is improving all the time thanks to the hard work of the team. Video playback is spot on though, in my experience. I use it on the TV in our bedroom, and have an old MacMini in the living room running Plex/HT. Works perfectly. 

Roku's also work well but I find the interface of the Plex App on Roku rather ugly and difficult to navigate, especially with large libraries.






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