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Plex - update
Old 01-04-2014, 09:44 AM   #1
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Plex - update

Finally... after a struggle (for me anyway), I have Plex working on all of my computers, and can now access the data from any computer to another computer, and through both my Roku and Sony Media Players, to the TV's. As an added bonus, my tablets act as a remote control to the media players.

This allows me to access the 3 Terrabyte hard drive on my computer, where my music, movies and tv media is stored. All of this is free, and I can use it anywhere on my network. Sounds like no big deal, but it is all done wirelessly, and becomes just like using your TV remote control.

There is an option to move the media into the cloud. This requires a monthly charge of $4.99, for Plex Pass... This would allow you to access your media selections from anywhere. Not worth it for me, as we don't go away to watch TV.

So here's what you get, that makes it worthwhile (for free). Plex operates in the background for an extended period of time... in my case several days... filtering all of the 2.5T of media on my hard drive through many sorts, to obtain information from its' databases for music and video... Even though your media may not have a full identification (as in an MP3 download) the sort develops a complete description... Artist, Genre, Decade, Album, Photo etc, and in the case of video media, a very generous full description of the video, Name, Actors, Year, VCR cover pic, and a good synopsis of the movie, a long with awards and special details. In the case of TV series, it gives the Series number (date) and the episode number, and a synopsis.
You can also add streaming media channels to make it a one stop shop.

One of the reasons I was frustrated with the program in the very beginning, was that the descriptions given weren't clear to me, and when I followed the instructions, nothing seemed to be happening as far as providing a screen menu. Now I understand that the filtering process, (especially with 2+Terrabytes of info that takes a long while) I understand. If you had 500 MP3. and 50 movies, the time to sort would be much, much less. As it was, I had given up, and only when I decided to give it one more chance did I find that it all worked.

Free speaks loudly to me. While Plex is still a work in progress, the number of member developers is so great that the glitch fixes and improvements come very fast. Even since my first download, there have been great strides in presentation.

Someone will build a better mousetrap, but until then, this works for me. I expect that others are using Plex, but didn't notice any reference in the Roku, Chromecast or Streaming media discussions. Would be interested in your experience in using it.
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:02 PM   #2
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I use Plex to transfer video from my computer to ROKU. Most of them are from Youtube and a few other sites. That's about the extent of it although I downloaded a dozen or so new channels that I will check out later. Sounds like you have a pretty good system set up between all your devices. I would cut my cable service if not for the high speed net. As for cable tv, someone on another thread stated "cable fees are still cheaper than a divorce lawyer"!! BTW, thanks for your interesting posts on technology as I learn quite a bit from them. You are far more advanced than the average bear. So thanks for that....please continue.
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:20 PM   #3
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I have not tried Plex; but, now I am very interested in trying to set up XBMC which is completely open source.

Of course, I have wanted to set up MythTV, Open Source DVR for a very long time but have never gotten around to that either.

More projects for me after my eventual ER. Heck, maybe I'll even contribute to one of them.

I am not trying to dissuade anyone from Plex, just contributing some other options to consider. Both XBMC and Myth are likely harder to set up but are completely open and customizable if folks are in to that kind of thing.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
I expect that others are using Plex, but didn't notice any reference in the Roku, Chromecast or Streaming media discussions. Would be interested in your experience in using it.

I installed the Plex channel on my Roku. I didn't really get a chance to try it out - the content is in a format that isn't supported - but it is an option if you have a Roku.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolChange View Post
I have not tried Plex; but, now I am very interested in trying to set up XBMC which is completely open source.

Of course, I have wanted to set up MythTV, Open Source DVR for a very long time but have never gotten around to that either.
I haven't tried Plex or XBMC, but have been running MythTV since 2010. It works. When you're ready, try Mythbuntu - it is an integrated install. Make sure your hardware is supported and the rest is pretty easy, though it does require some very basic Linux knowledge. You can get that just by googling your issues.
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:28 PM   #6
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I finally got Plex working on my computer and with my Roku. It's a bit perplexing since there is no clear cut user manual for it as far as I can see.

It is certainly a nice way to show one's digital photos to friends and much better than on a little iPad screen.
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