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post #31 of 46 (permalink) Old 2015-02-04, 03:36 PM
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I got TVersity Pro for $15 (includes 1 yr of upgrades.) A couple of months later it was on for $10 over Black Friday. If I want to renew I'll wait for Black Friday next year. I guess I'm just cheap. I certainly don't need a Plex Pass.

I've tried a number of media servers over the last 10 years or so. Plex, TVersity and Serviio are the only ones that get them even close to working right. If Plex does transcoding, then there is not a lot of difference between the three. I'm not interested in watching video on a phone or tablet so I haven't tested the apps.
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post #32 of 46 (permalink) Old 2015-02-04, 04:16 PM
 
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Quote:
If Plex does transcoding,
Not if, it does. As noted by a number of us, it has always transcoded.
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post #33 of 46 (permalink) Old 2015-02-04, 11:02 PM
 
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you don't need a plex pass at all.....


tversity and serviio are pretty primitive compared to plex


a closer comparison would probably be xbmc
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post #34 of 46 (permalink) Old 2015-02-05, 08:52 AM
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XMBC, in the long run, is MUCH more powerful (at least on the PC end.. not sure about the android end, etc).
There is more you can do with it, with extra plugins, etc.. put in stuff for live TV recording/streaming out of it, etc.

Plex though.. I like for a few reasons... biggest being..
SIMPLE, Easy to use, and set up in no time.
As long as your media is organized/named pretty good.. you are literally talking 20 mins to set up the server?
Way very easy to have it look at multiple sources for a media section type (which is what the OP is planning on doing)
I love plex's external access as well. Connect from any browser and manage or watch stuff. Even the mobile apps will connect while somewhere else.
(yes, will use up your UPLOAD usage on your home connection to do this)

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post #35 of 46 (permalink) Old 2015-02-05, 09:13 AM
 
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Plex is great for sharing. I've got about 20 people connected with my server, and a lot of them share their libraries too, with each other as well. Good thing I have unlimited Internet!
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post #36 of 46 (permalink) Old 2015-02-09, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! What a response. I really appreciate all of the feedback.

@Wetware Not sure how many files total, but they are all 2TB HDD's. My collection is actually pretty well-organized and is very easy to navigate when browsing for files without a fancy media interface. If I want to watch an episode of Game of Thrones, I'd browse my "TV G to R" HDD. If I want to watch The Big Lebowski, I'd browse my "Film A to K" HDD. In both cases, that's only 3 or 4 taps of a remote control button and would only take 20-seconds to navigate to. Unfortunately, adding a new drive to this setup while maintaining an organizational pattern is difficult.

From the sounds of it, Plex looks like the first piece software I'll be looking at exploring. Thank you all for the solutions. I do have some concerns that haven't been addressed in what I've read about it.

Does Plex transcode all files when they are accessed from a networked media device? eg. My Western Digital TV can play a 720p MKV file attached to WDTV by USB without trouble. If I access that same file located on my home server through Plex on my WDTV, will it automatically be transcoded?

In the past, I've been disappointed by transcoded media experiences, but that was TVersity and a lot of years ago.

My documentary collection and *.VOB files were historically a headache when using any kind of media cataloguing software. In general my collection is properly tagged, but I'm sure there are thousands of files that will pose a problem to any kind of cataloguing. I really need some advice on tagging and folder name conventions, but that's for a different thread...

@ExDilbert Excellent suggestions, much appreciated. I'd love to use big internal drives, but financially, it's a distant priority behind other stuff in life right now. I'd need 30TB worth of drives just to get to get me started.

Ideally, I would use internal PCI-E to USB cards for all of my drives, but based on my need for 15 open USB slots right now, and more in the future, I'm not having a lot of luck finding suitable cards. The ones I've found so far are 2 or 3 external ports only. I recall once having an 8-port PCI-E hub, but that was for USB 2.0.

@dgm That's the first I've heard of "Everything", I'll have to check it out.

@Danno10000 A Mac Mini would probably be what I'd want most, but I'm concerned that I'll break the bank having to buy Mac compliant hubs (which appear to have only 2 or 4 slots). That said, the hubs I'm currently using seem to work fine with my Macbook Pro. Have you experienced any problems with digital media devices like WDTV reading media stored on USB attached drives connected to your Mac Mini?
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post #37 of 46 (permalink) Old 2015-02-09, 04:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Does Plex transcode all files when they are accessed from a networked media device?
Plex has several options around when transcoding should take place but the short answer is that, provided the media player is capable of playing the file, Plex won't transcode.

I use Roku 3's and iPads so nothing is ever transcoded. Same should be true with your WD devices. (i used to use WDTV hub and it did not transcode for that either)

Quote:
Unfortunately, adding a new drive to this setup while maintaining an organizational pattern is difficult.
I can imagine. A back end database would end make things a lot easier.

Quote:
I really need some advice on tagging and folder name conventions, but that's for a different thread...
That's pretty standard nowadays across many programs, just need to Google and you'll find explanations on how to best name your files. The great thing now is there are lots of programs/scripts which can read and rename your entire library. (just make sure you test it before having it run through all your drives!)

My movies, tv shows are perfect now though my music files still need some work.
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post #38 of 46 (permalink) Old 2015-02-09, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Does Plex transcode all files when they are accessed from a networked media device?
Media servers typically decide whether or not to transcode based on the client device. If the device needs it, it's done automatically. Popular devices will be recognized and it should be possible to set up special profiles for others.

It should be fairly easy to find USB cards with 4 external ports. I see quite a few on eBay. If the motherboard or card supports internal USB3, another option is to use an internal to external USB adapter. These plug into an internal USB port and convert it to external ports in a back or front PC slot. They work with standard internal USB3 ports on cards or motherboards.
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post #39 of 46 (permalink) Old 2015-02-09, 09:52 PM
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As wetware said.. using a media manger like Plex or others.. will help when adding drives.. making the folder structure LESS necessary.. don't have to keep re moving between drives as things full up, etc.

One of my favorite things with it, is that it keeps track of watched/unwatched. Great for TV series, etc.
Very easy to remember which one you need to continue watching on

As for the naming conventions, etc.. I think it really comes down to which scrapper the media manger uses? What it looks at to get its information.
GENERALLY I have found:
Movies - Movie name (year).XXX
TV - Series name SXXEXX.XXX
(season/episode)

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post #40 of 46 (permalink) Old 2015-02-10, 01:06 PM
 
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The year is only really necessary when there are remakes of movies (i.e., Planet of the Apes).

Plex is really great at transcoding if required, and you can skip around a video file being played back flawlessly if need be. Before with other servers, it would take a long time to buffer to the point you'd want to go to, and often times, the video and audio would end up out of sync, but not with Plex!
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post #41 of 46 (permalink) Old 2015-02-10, 03:12 PM
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I found it helped overall.. say sometimes with a title which is a single word.. and then there is a movie which contains that word.. could try and match both.

MOST of the time, the one I have had the date on them anyways.
Would only be a pain if you were re-naming your whole collection

(which I had to do with my ANIME stuff.. the scrapper for Plex has all the info just fine.. BUT its in seasonal format, not absolute like most anime is normally numbered
)

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post #42 of 46 (permalink) Old 2015-02-11, 11:51 PM
 
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@Danno10000 A Mac Mini would probably be what I'd want most, but I'm concerned that I'll break the bank having to buy Mac compliant hubs (which appear to have only 2 or 4 slots). That said, the hubs I'm currently using seem to work fine with my Macbook Pro. Have you experienced any problems with digital media devices like WDTV reading media stored on USB attached drives connected to your Mac Mini?

I use Plex on my Mac Mini using standard WD drives and it works flawlessly. Actually, I have a 10-port USB Hub connected to the Mac with all my drives connected to it. I have two 4 TB drives and one 2 TB drive to read from. I replicate this with another 10 TB of drives for backup. No issues. On a side note I have found that some USB Hubs didn't work that well, but my current USB Hub is perfect.
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post #43 of 46 (permalink) Old 2015-02-12, 10:45 AM
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Can you give us a clue on which USB hub? Is there a forum on USB3 hubs?
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post #44 of 46 (permalink) Old 2015-02-13, 12:00 AM
 
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The 10 port USB 3.0 Hub I have that works great on Mac Mini is made by Orico, model P10-U3. CC has it on sale right now at $35. It appears to have a great power supply that ensures all USB devices stay connected. It is one of many I tried, but only this one has never had a single device drop.
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post #45 of 46 (permalink) Old 2015-02-13, 01:07 AM
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Anker names some good ones too.
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