Plex as a replacement for Windows Media Center?


#1

I'm new to Plex and all that it can do. But i'm a long time Windows Media Center user (still rocking WMC on Windows 8.1 and recording OTA content). If I wanted to replace my WMC computer, could Plex do EVERYTHING that WMC does? Can it be a TV tuner and DVR using a Hauppage tuner card? Can I extend the content (both Live and recorded) to other TV's in the house as long as they have access to a Plex app (today I use XBOX 360 Extenders on all my TV's). But if my TV's/XBOX will run the Plex app, can they access both Live and DVR content from the computer running Plex (the same one I have the OTA antenna attached to)? Please advise on everything/anything I would be giving up but also things I would be gaining. Thanks!


#2

Tread carefully - this path is loaded with land mines…

To Date, Plex DVR doesn’t make the WMC/MCEBuddy wheel any more round - for me that’s an adventure that simply doesn’t need to be embarked upon at this point. Why would I take something that’s been working day in and day out without issues for over a decade and replace it with something that has nothing but issues? Well… I wouldn’t… and neither would you.

  1. Plex DVR is still an experiment - with many dead and dying casualties stacking up like cord wood. When you leap into Plex DVR, you’re jumping at the chance to become a beta-tester. Just say, No.

  2. See #1.

WMC can still be installed on Win10 - and until that avenue is completely and utterly destroyed - there’s no need for wheel improvements. It’s round. It rolls. Nuff said.

B)


#3

Being a former windows media center user that has made the jump I can assure you that for me it was an expensive and research intensive path.

First of all Live TV and DVR Functionality requires a Plex Pass
https://www.plex.tv/plex-pass/

If I wanted to replace my WMC computer, could Plex do EVERYTHING that WMC does?

Yes. just a few of my favorite features. Metadata agents take a lot of the work out of managing your media as long as you follow the plex media naming convention you can tune your metadata agents up to automatically download title art ratings actors etc. it also uses this data to index your movie by sorted categories you can search such as actor, genre etc. this data can also be used to make suggestions of similar movies. Also Remote Access. when properly setup a smartphone, laptop, tablet or tv connected media player can access all your media from anywhere you have internet access. and more.

Can it be a TV tuner and DVR using a Hauppage tuner card?

Yes Plex will work with specific Hauppauge TV tuners.

Plex Support article with info on supported Hauppauge TV tuners below.
https://support.plex.tv/articles/225877427-supported-dvr-tuners-and-antennas/

i had a janky $50 usb tv tuner when i was using WMC and i only had 1 TV and a laptop so please excuse but i don’t have much experience with the multi tv capabilities of WMC live tv.

i currently have an HDHomerun Extend and it has 2 tuners built in so i can only watch/record live tv on up to 2 devices at a time.

Can I extend the content (both Live and recorded) to other TV’s in the house as long as they have access to a Plex app (today I use XBOX 360 Extenders on all my TV’s). But if my TV’s/XBOX will run the Plex app, can they access both Live and DVR content from the computer running Plex (the same one I have the OTA antenna attached to)?

Yes Plex does allow you to watch live content through the app. unfortunately it is not currently and possibly never will be supported on Xbox 360. it is also not supported on any Smart TV.

Yes Plex will allow you to watch recorded content on your remote players. This will work in Xbox 360 Plex app and Xbox 360 Media Player app. Plex app runs very poorly on Xbox 360 but the Xbox 360 media player app can also access Plex Server files and works much better. So if you have extenders on all the TVs you access WMC with you shouldn’t have to buy new equipment right out of the gate.

Plex Support article with info on devices capable of playing live tv below.
https://support.plex.tv/articles/115007689648-watching-live-tv/

With your description of your current WMC Server you can easily try plex out and just delete it if you don’t like it.

Although I somewhat agree with JuiceWSA I can say for certain that being able to remotely play your media from anywhere is pretty great.


#4

JuiceWSA already alluded this, but just to be clear: if you’re using commercial skip in WMC, beware that, for some bizarre reason, Plex DVR insists on completely deleting the commercials instead of just marking where they are. This is very bad for 2 reasons: 1) if it guesses wrong, you’re out of luck, that part of the show is gone, 2) it’s re-encoding the show without commercials - this is a) cpu intensive, and b) almost always results in some loss of quality.

This is what’s holding me back from moving to Plex from my WMC setup.