Plex

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Sundayjumper
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Plex

Post by Sundayjumper »

I know I'm late to the party here, but I tried out Plex this week and I'm hugely impressed with it.

Up to now I'd been using an old Mac Mini with iTunes on it to feed video to an old Apple TV, then into the telly. The Mac Mini is now a Plex server and feeds straight to the Plex app on the (Android) TV. Works brilliantly and kicks the hell out of iTunes.

Minor(ish) headache with TV shows though, Plex seems to need series & episode ID in the filename rather than reading it from the metadata. I've ended up deleting a load of stuff that I'm probably never going to watch again, and re-downloaded new stuff.
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Marv
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Re: Plex

Post by Marv »

Someone who I know allows me access to their Plex server, which means I don't have to bother with Netflix, Disney +, Amazon subs etc. It's teh awesomez.
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Simon
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Re: Plex

Post by Simon »

I've a Plex Pass. Got it years ago on a black friday sale for £60 ish. Best purchase ever. It's my staple home media server since I shut down my old Windows Home Server.
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NGRhodes
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Re: Plex

Post by NGRhodes »

I've had Plex since not long after it came out and a pass for 6 years, I paid for it monthly for a year and then got a lifetime offer for about £50.
They do seem to keep added a lot on un-needed junk, but its by far the most painless (compared to alternatives like Emby/Jellyfin) for ease of configuration, quality of meta matches and transcoding ability - its the only one I can reliably stream to my phone remotely.

I still keep a copy of my favourite DVDs around, even though I have Amazon, Netflix and Disney Plus and Spotify - things like Mr Bean series are cropped 16:9 on Netflix also I have a number of albums with rare tracks remix/edits that are not on Spotify are good reasons for keeping Plex.
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Sundayjumper
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Re: Plex

Post by Sundayjumper »

A week in and Plex is still brilliant, but the urge to overcomplicate things is creeping in :?

The Mac Mini runs great but only has a 500GB internal drive, so I started looking at external drives, which led me to NAS options, which led to more expensive NAS options that will run Plex server and other stuff too, which led me to looking at actual servers on ebay. Stuff that's no longer enterprise-level seems very cheap compared to a NAS ? Would be able to handle way more than a domestic setup would ever ask of it ?

e.g. Dell R720:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/194715812252

or R710:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/334289843678


(I only picked on Dell because my laptop is a Dell and I have no imagination; there are probably other options too)
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Jobbo
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Re: Plex

Post by Jobbo »

I upgraded my 2012 Mac Mini last week with a 1TB SSD from Crucial. Cost about £75. 2TB is about £150. It's easy to do, if you have a pentalobe screwdriver set (cheap, useful for dismantling any Apple product).
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Beany
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Re: Plex

Post by Beany »

Sundayjumper wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:32 am A week in and Plex is still brilliant, but the urge to overcomplicate things is creeping in :?

The Mac Mini runs great but only has a 500GB internal drive, so I started looking at external drives, which led me to NAS options, which led to more expensive NAS options that will run Plex server and other stuff too, which led me to looking at actual servers on ebay. Stuff that's no longer enterprise-level seems very cheap compared to a NAS ? Would be able to handle way more than a domestic setup would ever ask of it ?

e.g. Dell R720:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/194715812252

or R710:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/334289843678


(I only picked on Dell because my laptop is a Dell and I have no imagination; there are probably other options too)
They're way, WAY louder, will pull an order of magnitude more power, and often require specific disks or not only will they be way louder, they'll run thier fans at 100% which is louder than a vacuum cleaner at full chat.

Don't do it :lol:
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Beany
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Re: Plex

Post by Beany »

Look at a used Ryzen system (motherboard, CPU, ram only) and get a chassis with space for lots of disks, throw a PSU in there, also since Noctua fans in there for airflow, install VMWare ESXI or Proxmox on it and follow whatever guides you need to do get Plex set up in that - it'll have enough grunt to do everything you need and won't be overbearingly loud.

Or just get a decent external USB drive and use that on the Mac mini.
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Re: Plex

Post by simon_g »

Beany wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 1:20 pm
Sundayjumper wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:32 am A week in and Plex is still brilliant, but the urge to overcomplicate things is creeping in :?

The Mac Mini runs great but only has a 500GB internal drive, so I started looking at external drives, which led me to NAS options, which led to more expensive NAS options that will run Plex server and other stuff too, which led me to looking at actual servers on ebay. Stuff that's no longer enterprise-level seems very cheap compared to a NAS ? Would be able to handle way more than a domestic setup would ever ask of it ?

e.g. Dell R720:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/194715812252

or R710:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/334289843678


(I only picked on Dell because my laptop is a Dell and I have no imagination; there are probably other options too)
They're way, WAY louder, will pull an order of magnitude more power, and often require specific disks or not only will they be way louder, they'll run thier fans at 100% which is louder than a vacuum cleaner at full chat.

Don't do it :lol:
This. They're cheap because businesses want support and warranties, and they're too bulky and loud for home.

I run mine on a Synology NAS but it was fine on various lower powered home servers over the years. Not a lot needs transcoding these days (the only thing that needs computing power), and if I download something in a weird format I'd rather convert it before it goes in the library.
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Sundayjumper
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Re: Plex

Post by Sundayjumper »

Fair point on the noise. I asked The Internet after posting on here and it said pretty much the same thing. People have done it, because of course they have, but it's not very slick for a domestic system.

Mac Mini (mine's a late 2014 1.4 GHz) seems to be limited to 2TB internal. I've got over 1TB of "stuff" here already if I include photos so I think we're heading back down the NAS route because 2TB will run out pretty quickly. Synology seems to be the one to go for as far as I can tell. Every review says they have the best interface.

And as for transcoding, not an issue when watching stuff here but I'm envisaging this being somewhere to host home videos (e.g. car events I've done) to share with parents without exposing them to all the c**p on YouTube :shock: Their internet is a bit flaky so being able to downscale when necessary would be a good thing.
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Re: Plex

Post by Jobbo »

I’ve had a 2-bay Synology for about 7 years and it’s still going strong with a 2TB and a 3TB drive in it, same stuff duplicated across both for resilience with the Mac Mini running Time Machine on the larger drive.

It’s great purely for storage but it’s never going to impress you compared to using a Mac Mini interface.
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Beany
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Re: Plex

Post by Beany »

A Synology would be and excellent choice. I use them at home and work and they're generally solid, and the interface is genuinely pretty slick and well done.
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Simon
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Re: Plex

Post by Simon »

I custom built a mini UnRaid box with 14TB of storage, then virtualised a Windows 10 install and passed through the onboard CPU GFx to the Win10 box. It runs Plex and can use that passed through GFx so that it can use it for transcoding if needed (rarely, as I do 95% of watching on the UHD set in the lounge).

That Win10 box also runs my backup software, <ahem> torrent software, and other media tools.
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DeskJockey
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Re: Plex

Post by DeskJockey »

Another vote for Synology. On my second NAS from them, no issues, easy to use, no faff. Gave up running a home "server" many years ago when I found that I spent more time doing admin than using it.
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Sundayjumper
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Re: Plex

Post by Sundayjumper »

OK. Sorted. Synology DS218+ on the way. I have a single 2TB 3.5” drive here that will go in to get me started.
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Re: Plex

Post by DeskJockey »

Good choice. I started with a 107+ (single drive) that is still running some 14ish years later, and then upgraded to a 212+ (also still running). Only annoyance is that the 212+ isn't supported on DSM 7, but given that came out a year or two ago, I probably can't complain about eight years of OS support. They're still patching DSM 6, but I haven't got the newest features.
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Beany
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Re: Plex

Post by Beany »

I've got a DS214+ which is running DSM7 , the only thing I don't have are the X86 specific things like Docker - my cpu is ARM based.

Otherwise, it's a nice zero touch system once it's set up.
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Sundayjumper
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Re: Plex

Post by Sundayjumper »

New toy has arrived 8-) This should keep me busy today.

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Beany
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Re: Plex

Post by Beany »

Nice. If it didn't have DSM7 on it, whap that on, it's a fairly major update on the backend and increases UI responsiveness a lot.
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KiwiDave
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Re: Plex

Post by KiwiDave »

One of mine will run DSM7 the other won't - I'm sorely tempted to buy a new box and swap the drives over.
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