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Plex - Media Player / Center

6429 Views 25 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  stationg
Don't know if this has been mentioned before but in my quest to find a better 1080p stream player I stumbled upon something called Plex.

It works on OS X (I've confirmed this) and iOS.

It seems to be based on XBMC (much of the same functions) and is by far the best HTPC interface I've seen (not that I've seen many though).

It streams 1080p videos from my Popcorn Hour wirelessly (wireless-N) without a hitch. Before this mplayer was my choice for doing this but the newer versions are having issues with it.

It's a little heavy duty as a simple media player but the extra weight is more than worth it - at in my opinion.
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I have been running Plex since version 8. I have it on a Mac Mini in my home theater and it works great. I use the Aeon Skin which is very nice. I also run it on a JB Apple TV2 now in the bedroom since yesterday and it runs quite well. It runs as a front end and streams from either my Mini which runs PMS or the iMac which also runs PMS.

I have tried XBMC and Boxee but always come back to Plex. I do wish Plex ran on the 1st generation Apple TV but I believe it was a choice for the dev's not to get it running on it.

It runs great with media from my NAS (Acer Easystore) running WHS.
Love Plex as a media player. I'm also reading my drives through an Extreme N router. Sometimes I connect my MBP to my LCD TV. I recently helped a family member hookup XBMC on his laptop-TV he's happy with it but I prefer PLEX for the Media Manager.

I also use the PLEX app on my iPod. The app works as advertised.

Cheers MacHeads
Sounds interesting.

So it will run on the new Apple TV but no the hard drive based ATv? Odd.

I intend to try Boxee hack on my ATv at the cabin. From what I have seen, though, I minght prefer the Plex if it would work...
The ATV version is an unsupported hack and not that awesome. If you have an iOS device though the AirPlay on the apple tv makes this kind of unnecessary.
I am interested in possibly running Plex on a Mac Mini in my family room. I was running Boxee on my JB ATV1 which is great for .avi files but when I try to play .mp4 files it chugs.

My idea was to use Front Row but I understand that is gone in Lion so I thought I would install Plex on a mac mini and have it source files from my Windows Home Server 2011.

My question (in addition to "does this make sense") is will the Apple remote control Plex so I can have it operate as a ten foot interface?
it does

I prefer to use the Remote app on my ipod/iphone though, but you can use the silver remote np

just remember though, Plex limits you to bitrates of 7k
I use Plex on a Mini and an Acer WHS box. I run the server and client on the mini. The WHS serves up 4 shares (Movies, Music Concerts, Kids Movies and TV Shows). It has been running quite well after tweaking things to my liking. On my iMac I can update the mini by going to the mini IP address and the plex homepage it serves. I find sometimes the automatic updating does not occur after adding files to my WHS.

I have not updated to myPlex yet as I have no need for it. I also use the Logitech Harmony One with it and it works very well. I have used the Apple remote in the past so you should have no problems Hugh.
just remember though, Plex limits you to bitrates of 7k
I'm sorry but you lost me with that.

I have some .mp4 files (created with Hauppauge PVR) with bitrates of 10 mbps. Are you saying that I won't be able to play them through Plex on the Mac Mini?
I might be smooshing 2 issues together, but I know for sure that streaming something like that to the ATV's causes issues (maybe just on mkv tho?)

I know I've definitely run into at home, but not with a mac mini
QuickSilver / tikker, thanks for the feedback.

Your positive comments will get me to try out Plex on my kids iMac. If I'm satisfied then I will consider getting the imac mini.
it's quick and easy to install

fairly intuitive to get going, and it looks beautiful in action

as long as none of the niggling little issues are showstoppers, you'll likely be very satisfied
Just thought I would update.

I've been running Plex now for about eight months. I've had my issues but overall its been great.

I have the server software running on my Windows Home Server. Clients include iPad, mac mini (yes I bought it), Windows PC's, WDTV Live and PS3.

I don't use the PS3 since the interface is terrible but the rest are excellent.

Works great with .wtv files also so my OTA recordings are dumped into a Recordings library so every device in the house has access to OTA.
Hugh does this mean you are using Plex instead of the Media sharing capabilities of WHS, or are you using both?
Just Plex
I find using the WHS machine as my NAS works very well for me with my gear. The Plex Media Server runs on my mac mini with the client installed as well. This machine is connected to my plasma. My iMac is where I download the latest versions of both PMS and the client to test. I make SMB connections from my machines to the WHS machine and it seems to work fine. I do find with Mountain Lion on my iMac the SMB is hit or miss but since it is a test bed for new releases its not a big deal to me. Sickbeard, Couch Potato and Headphones run all from my iMac. My iPad, iPhone and Apple TV all serve up media from the mac mini with runs Snow Leopard which handles SMB much better. So in my case my little Acer WHS machine is only a repository for my rips.

How is the mac Mini with Plex? Does it easily stream HD to your iPad? I currently run Plex on Windows, but I am thinking of dumping windows and going to a mac Mini to record TV. I also have jb's Apple TV's and PLEX runs well on them, same as my Samsung TV.
one question from a curious person here. how are the repositories on plex?

any way to get decent live sprots ones one plex like xbmc?
Plex uses plug-ins that fall under your Channels section. If I remember there are no live sports plug ins. I think this is due to a subscription based model from the providers. There was some chatter in the dev forum about building a plug in for it but I do not think it got beyond a beta stage.
How is the mac Mini with Plex?
Frankly, I am disappointed. When it works, its excellent. The problem I am having (as are other Plex users) occurs when the Mac Mini goes to sleep.

Theoretically when you press the remote button, the Mac Mini should wake up and Plex should be available to you. Unfortunately, it often does not work and the only way to get it working again is to reboot the mac mini.

I have investigated on the Plex forums and the belief is that this is a bug in the code leftover from XBMC days. I found an automated script on the plex forums that was designed to fix the problem, however, while reducing the problem, it has not fixed it.

The other workaround is to prevent your Mac Mini from ever going to sleep which is not something I want to do. All of my computers either shut down or have aggressive sleep plans.
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