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Old 07-21-2016, 04:47 PM   #1
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Plex

Looks like I made a mistake and posted the subject under another thread, but would like to see it as separate....

.................................................. ............

Would like to discuss the subject of PLEX, and wondering if anyone here is using it. (part of the cable cutting project)

Anyone?
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An open source project that may well be the ideal replacement for Cable and OTA TV... as well as Music Libraries. IMHO an interface better than any commercial product currently available.
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Old 07-21-2016, 04:51 PM   #2
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I have it downloaded and paid something a while back, but when I put it on my roku, I didn't see that it had more than other platforms, except that it worked on my computer and roku does not.

I've enjoyed following this cord cutter site Cord Cutters News - All the news cord cutters need about cord cutting! Covering, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Netflix, Hulu, & More! and this facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/CordCuttingTechSupport/
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:48 PM   #3
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I was hoping to find more Plex fans here, but will take a minute to try and outline why I think it's so great...
First of all, it's a free open sourced program that has grown over the last three years to be a very sophisticated, multi faceted program that far exceeds the capabilities of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. There is a minimally priced upgrade that allows watching from remote locations, but the free program would be enough for all but total media geeks.

Plex offers a limited but growing number of "channels" which can in part sub for OTA TV, but its' strength is in the operation and information that it automatically downloads from the Plex source.

Basically, the original concept is that you load pictures... video clips from your own camera, and your entire music library, and movies from whatever sources available... CD's, DVD's, and computer files, etc. That means you source and control what is on your own "PLEX". Here's and example of what I now have on my PLEX.... On a 3TB hard drive.
3500 pieces of music MP3, and WMA and others I'm not familiar with. Play lists and other music controls
35000 photos (all formats) by folders, with the ability to set up as slide shows or to manipulate the individual pictures.
900 movies and 100 full series of TV serial programs, with a total of 4000 videos.

Now... What PLEX does... Think IMDB... When you sign on to the Plex website, it searches your files, and automatically provides from the PLEX website whatever information has been crowd sourced to the PLEX database.

That means that each movie and piece of music comes up with its own Photo
Album cover, date, length, list of stars or artist, and a synopsis of the plot as well as detailing episodes for TV series.

The data base, which takes a long time (in my case many hours) to download to my computer, is update and changed as items are added or deleted.

Now... the best part. Once loaded on to one computer, you can access this through any networked computer on your media player.. ie. Roku or GameBoy or (I think) Apple. With the "Plex Pass" the only nominal charge, you can access the account on tablets or Phones, anywhere.

The part I like the most is the ability to quickly locate your data... (faster than Amazon or Netflix)... either by sliding the album covers, or by going to an alpha file. There is also a search capability.

We can use Plex from our media players in different rooms, on our TVs, or on any networked computer.

I believe that if you have a DVD player, you can download movies and copy them to your computer hard drive. A three TB drive should be enough for most normal people.

I hope this is a reasonable description of what PLEX is, and how it works... With a little patience, I think this offer a way to build a library that should last and be available without using a myriad of players and a physical library of other media taking up space.

Open to corrections and additions...
Best of all... it's FREE.
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:18 PM   #4
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I use both Kodi (formerly XBMC), and Plex.

I find that streaming locally within my network is best with Kodi, but Plex is amazing for remote viewing. Plus I can invite friends onto Plex so they can see my media as well.

Plex is also much simpler to set up and maintain compared to Kodi.
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Old 07-22-2016, 12:05 PM   #5
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I can't comment on PLEX, but I want to thank you for sharing those links.

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Old 07-22-2016, 12:32 PM   #6
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We use PLEX to stream OTA programming without commercials (CBS) and to access our personal music files. I'm not as impressed as imoldernu, but it has worked well for the limited uses we've put it to.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:00 PM   #7
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I use PlayOn. It's reasonably cheap for a lifetime license and I can watch shows through the Roku with PlayOn running on the laptop in my office. Primary downsides
- max resolution is 720p
- your computer has to be on. (duh)
- Works with IE, but not yet with the newer Edge browser


You can also buy an add-on to use your computer as a dvr and watch anything later. Because we have most of the accounts already directly through Roku apps, we really only use PlayOn to fill in the gaps. If you don't have a Hulu account, for example, you can use the Hulu app on roku, but you can on PlayOn, for example.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
...

Basically, the original concept is that you load pictures... video clips from your own camera, and your entire music library, and movies from whatever sources available... CD's, DVD's, and computer files, etc. That means you source and control what is on your own "PLEX". ....

Now... What PLEX does... Think IMDB... When you sign on to the Plex website, it searches your files, and automatically provides from the PLEX website whatever information has been crowd sourced to the PLEX database.

That means that each movie and piece of music comes up with its own Photo
Album cover, date, length, list of stars or artist
, and a synopsis of the plot as well as detailing episodes for TV series. ....
You've talked about PLEX before, and it seemed that most features you talked about were just extensions that required a cable or other subscription service for access (or were illegal?), so I was not very interested in that.

However, I am interested in this crowd sourced data for CDs. I rip my CDs to a hard drive, and the program I use accesses and automatically downloads the basic info (album title, track names, some artists info) from a database, and populates the track with this data. That's good, but I was disappointed that it rarely includes composer, and does not have fields for the individual musicians /instruments for each and every track.

I'd love to be able to search my digitized collection and request every track that has (for example) "Klaus Voormann" on "Bass", or any other combination. Or just be able to browse the musicians and instruments on each track. I used to see some of this as I read the album covers as I listened, but searching would be great. My player program (Rhythmbox) was updated so I can now right-click and do a Wikipedia search on the track, better, but not great, not searchable like a database.

Does the PLEX database include this added detailed information? Or does anyone know of an alternative?


-ERD50
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Old 07-22-2016, 02:00 PM   #9
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You often post threads that you recycle from another blog or meeting at the community center but I have never seen a cut and past advertisement quite like this. Are you starting a new revenue stream=social media advertising?
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Old 07-22-2016, 02:29 PM   #10
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You often post threads that you recycle from another blog or meeting at the community center but I have never seen a cut and past advertisement quite like this. Are you starting a new revenue stream=social media advertising?

Good grief. Plex is available for free, so probably not a very lucrative revenue generator. Some of us like playing with technology. It's OK if you don't, but no need to derail a thread because you don't care for the topic.
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Old 07-22-2016, 02:30 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jjquantz View Post
We use PLEX to stream OTA programming without commercials (CBS) and to access our personal music files. I'm not as impressed as imoldernu, but it has worked well for the limited uses we've put it to.

How are you capturing the OTA signal and saving it to the Plex server?
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Old 07-22-2016, 03:54 PM   #12
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Sorry, I wasn't real clear there. CBS and some other OTA networks have "channels" available through PLEX where one can access their programs. At least some of these networks make the programming available commercial free after 24 or 48 hours. So we just wait until the weekend to stream the 2 CBS shows that we want to watch. It's better than OTA, just takes 20 minutes to watch Big Bang Theory instead of 30 minutes with 10 minutes of commercials.

Fox, on the other hand, inserts commercials into the stream that they provide PLEX. IIRC, it's fewer than when broadcast OTA, but I haven't looked in on a Fox program in many months. I've got a few other channels (NBC, the Golf Channel, PBS) connected to/through PLEX but haven't looked at them since I set it up so I don't remember anything about commercials and program availability, although I think I remember the Golf Channel had limited programming available through this technology.

Sorry I can't be more help. One the one hand, I find this technology intriguing, but on the other hand, over the course of a year DW and I probably only average about an hour of TV per week (excepting Cubs baseball) so it's not a high priority item to figure things out.

Edit: OK, so I got curious. Fired up PLEX and quickly streamed a bit of the The Simpsons and SNL. No commercials. But episodes are only available for a few weeks after the show date.
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Old 07-22-2016, 05:26 PM   #13
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Since this thread has cord cutters on board, have a question. I've used antennarecommendations.com and it offers a pretty broad spectrum of channels for our address. What I don't get is that we're on a lake, in a bowl probably 60 ft or more below the ridge between us and the antenna farm south of town 20 miles or so. Yet it shows good reception; can this be correct? I'm obviously assuming line of sight but apparently doesn't work that way?
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Old 07-22-2016, 05:31 PM   #14
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Thanks jjquantz, that makes more sense. Nice to know that they have content available from major broadcasters.
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Old 07-22-2016, 06:08 PM   #15
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Just me, jealous, but I hate all this streaming stuff. Where I live I can't get broadband. Xfinity wants 14k to run cable, no ATT.

Hope you all enjoy.
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:56 PM   #16
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Since this thread has cord cutters on board, have a question. I've used antennarecommendations.com and it offers a pretty broad spectrum of channels for our address. What I don't get is that we're on a lake, in a bowl probably 60 ft or more below the ridge between us and the antenna farm south of town 20 miles or so. Yet it shows good reception; can this be correct? I'm obviously assuming line of sight but apparently doesn't work that way?
The ones I've used ask for the height the antenna will be at, and they want as exact an address as you can give. So elevation should be taken into account.

I forget the sites, it's been so long... mmmm, antennaweb.org? TVfool.com was another?

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Old 07-23-2016, 09:50 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
You've talked about PLEX before, and it seemed that most features you talked about were just extensions that required a cable or other subscription service for access (or were illegal?), so I was not very interested in that.

However, I am interested in this crowd sourced data for CDs. I rip my CDs to a hard drive, and the program I use accesses and automatically downloads the basic info (album title, track names, some artists info) from a database, and populates the track with this data. That's good, but I was disappointed that it rarely includes composer, and does not have fields for the individual musicians /instruments for each and every track.

I'd love to be able to search my digitized collection and request every track that has (for example) "Klaus Voormann" on "Bass", or any other combination. Or just be able to browse the musicians and instruments on each track. I used to see some of this as I read the album covers as I listened, but searching would be great. My player program (Rhythmbox) was updated so I can now right-click and do a Wikipedia search on the track, better, but not great, not searchable like a database.

Does the PLEX database include this added detailed information? Or does anyone know of an alternative?


-ERD50
First... Plex DOES require cable/broadband and all of the data comes from your computer.
As far as details on music, other than Artist and Album, no.. (at least not yet), but the song titles do show.

The amount of information that PLEX shows on Movies and TV shows is excellent, and growing, and the search function has improved by quantum leaps over just a year ago.

Am pretty sure that smart TV's can use the program w/o a media player like Roku, but am not positive.

I did a check last night, and found that I could stream 2 movies at once thru two different computers.

The part I really like is the smoothness of placing the files on the program. Just load a folder, and it sorts sub-folders and all of the detail. My thousands of pictures sort down to easy management, almost better than my computer.
.................................................. ..................................

As to "advertising"...
Yeah... I'm well aware. I can assure everyone, that I don't do this for compensation or to push product, and what was written was NOT cut and pasted, , but what I wrote. It's a free program, that I've used and like, and wanted to share with friends here on ER, as I think it's so versatile, and can replace multiple streaming programs. I suppose too wordy again.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:49 PM   #18
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I use both Kodi (formerly XBMC), and Plex.

I find that streaming locally within my network is best with Kodi, but Plex is amazing for remote viewing. Plus I can invite friends onto Plex so they can see my media as well.

Plex is also much simpler to set up and maintain compared to Kodi.
Same here. I've used both Plex and Kodi. They both work great and IMHO, one of them should be at the core of every cable-cutters set up.

I agree that Kodi can be complex to configure initially, compared to Plex. But it is far more customizable than Plex and the available add-ons are seemingly limitless. The support for live OTA TV and DVR-like functionality is better with Kodi as well.

Plex is a commercial product so to get the more advanced features you have to pay. I think it's $5/mo. Interestingly, it was originally a spin-off of Kodi and initially used much of Kodi's open-source code. Plex is simpler to set up and seems to just work better out of the box.

Plex seems to be centered around media that you already own... organizing it, and pushing it to all your devices. Kodi can do that as well although the pushing part requires some initial configuration effort. For me, I just wanted a full-featured, complete home-theater solution for our main TV that I could customize exactly the way I wanted it. So Kodi was the choice, primarily due to the excellent live TV and DVR support. Plus, it's open source, so you get all the features for free.
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Old 07-23-2016, 02:16 PM   #19
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Here's an easy to read comparison of Kodi and Plex that might help for anyone considering either program as part of the cable cutting process.
Plex vs Kodi - The Ultimate Comparison Guide for Beginners

BTW... there are more than 150 "channels" available for Plex, though some are of the "wild west" type.
List here:
http://cordcutting.com/plex-channels/
Only the ones shown as "published " are supported, though others can be added by the user. Total supported is expected to rise.
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