Which TV has the best Plex client?


#1

I'm after a new TV which I will use 90% of the time for Plex. Ideally I don't want anything plugged into it. Which is the best Plex client or are they all similar? Am thinking Sony, LG or Samsung?

Is the Sony app the best because it's from a 'proper' app store?


#2

Is your server local or on the internet?

If local, I have an LG OLED 4K and I have found that the best way (visual experience) to play content from my local Plex server is using the built in DLNA client. I have an AV library in Plex with test AV files such as a 90Mb/s 4K IMAX Infintiy Wars trailer. The only thing that could play it without buffering/stuttering was the DLNA client. The TV’s Plex App, Chromecast Ultra and Nvidia Shield all stuttered or requrired a transcode.

If the server is remote the TV with the most features will be the best Plex client. Most of the clients are the same but not all TVs support HDR, HDR+,HLG,Dolby Vision. The LGs do support all of them except HDR+ btw. Sony will have them at some point in the near future with a firmware but with a restricted version of Dolby Vision. Samsung are not supporting Dolby Vision I believe, they want to go to HDR+


#3

I love the Roku TV interface, but I think that’s cheating here.


#4

@AmazingRando24 said:
I love the Roku TV interface, but I think that’s cheating here.

There are several makes of TV that have Roku built in. The TCL line is probably the best known, like:

I have a TCL TV (without Roku built in) and I am well pleased with it.

Having said that I recommend against a so called “smart” TV of any sort. It is MUCH better and more reliable to have the “smarts” outside the TV. But your requirement of “I don’t want anything plugged into it” precludes a “dumb” TV with “smart” devices attached.


#5

You know, I have to agree with @Elijah_Baley here. There’s a good argument in keeping your tech separate from your TV. Looking at Smart TVs past, (if you’ve ever had one) development for them ceases fairly quickly after they’re out of production run, necessitating the purchase of a peripheral anyway to keep up with the times.

In the case of the Roku, I believe all of their first generation devices are still in service today.


#6

@AmazingRando24 said:
You know, I have to agree with @Elijah_Baley here. There’s a good argument in keeping your tech separate from your TV. Looking at Smart TVs past, (if you’ve ever had one) development for them ceases fairly quickly after they’re out of production run, necessitating the purchase of a peripheral anyway to keep up with the times.

In the case of the Roku, I believe all of their first generation devices are still in service today.

I have an N1000. (The first Roku streamer introduced in 2008) It does still work but it is not supported by many of the better apps including the new Plex app.

That is actually a good argument against “smart” TVs. A TV bought in 2008 could well still be going strong, I have one that is used every day, but if it had “smarts” built in based on the N1000 it would be outdated and unable to run many of the best apps but a Roku attached to the TV is easy to replace and MUCH cheaper than a whole TV.

Having said that there is a reason to get a “smart” TV. That reason is if the “smart” TV is cheaper that a dumb TV with the same other features. When the built in “smart” features fail or become outdated you can just plug in a new external device to override the lost internal features.

I still do not recommend “smart” TVs because, along with other reasons, placing additional electronics inside a TV decreases overall reliability by increasing heat overall and increasing drain on the power supply.


#7

You could probably get good mileage from a sony android tv, but using the koi app from the app store along with plexkodiconnect. I’m having horrid trouble with the plex app for android; subtitles are a real problem at the moment. You might also want to wait for next year’s tvs that have eARC, that can pass through HD audio, which ARC cannot do.


#8

+1 for roku/tcl

The only negative is for audio…

You can’t get atmos or any lossless audio formats. Audio will be transcoded to applicable dolby digital and sent through ARC.

Unless you need a new TV this year, I would recommend waiting for next year when HDMI 2.1 devices start coming out with support for E-ARC that allow for lossless surround passthrough back to receiver.

I have switched to an nvidia shield pro for plex 4k/hdr/atmos support.


#9

I’m very interested in this discussion. I have a Vizio TV and Xbox One and both Plex clients are an exercise in frustration. The Vizio app always shows subtitles despite CC being turned off everywhere, and the Xbox One app won’t stream 1080p content reliably despite the server being an an ultra fast and powerful PC. From searching these forums, it appears that these are known issues in the Vizio and Xbox One apps yet these apps don’t get much attention.

So I’m considering buying an LG 4K TV with Roku built in. It’s unclear to me how this would work. Is there a Plex app on the LG TV or does the Roku app stream from Plex? Is Roku a reliable option for streaming full HD content?


#10

Roku is like an operating system, like a simpler version of android.

Roku apps are called channels, there are lots of official channels and even some unofficial channels (beta and such).

there are some paid roku channels, like games and screen savers and themes etc, but pretty much all the standard streaming apps you just add the applicable channel and login with whatever your login is for that service.

There are also channels which have ‘free tv’ and movies, but are mostly full of ads etc.

So to answer the question, for roku there is a plex channel (and a plexpass beta channel), you log in with the 4 digit code and then you have access to any servers/content your account has access to.

As far as full hd, it is not necessarily roku or plex that determines what can be played, it is the TV and whatever audio/video codecs it can directly back.

My tcl roku tv can play back 4k hdr from my plex server. It can direct play x264/x265 content, but will only direct play lossy dolby digital and DTS.

Lossless audio as explained previously will require e-arc which is forthcoming with HDMI 2.1 supported tvs and receivers.

Roku and/or plex directly on the TV is convenient for simple uses and users, but if you want the full audio experience (without hdmi 2.1/e-arc) with atmos and other lossless audio, you will need a 4k plex client that goes into your 4k atmos receiver.

The nvidia shield is not perfect, but it does work and will get you 4k hdr and atmos/etc audio, if you have the appropriate receiver and tv.


#11

OK, thanks for the explanation regarding Roku. That makes sense. I’m not too concerned about the audio; I just want HD content and right now I can’t get it through Xbox One. Direct Play, Direct Stream, on/off makes no difference.

I’ve never heard of TCL but I’ll check it out.

I’m also wondering if .ts files are part of the problem I’m experiencing. I record OTA HD shows with an HDHomerun and it records as .ts uncompressed files.

In any event, I’m still ready for a new TV so like the OP I’m interested in recommendations.


#12

I have an hdhomerun too (quad), and most devices do not support direct play of ts files, therefore the server will have to transcode on the fly, or you will need to manually transcode them to something direct playable with whatever transcoding program you prefer to use.

I don’t recall any problems with HD on my xbox one, perhaps you should start or review existing threads in the xbox one forum section.

if you have transcoding issues, then you should either bite the bullet and either convert your media to a direct playable format, and/or buy or build a server with hardware transcoding support.


#13

OK. Is there a certain format I should transcode to? And are there any programs that will automatically transcode when a new recording appears in a certain folder? I think may MCEBuddy does this.

At this point I will start my own thread so as not to hijack this one.