Guide: Setting Up Plex Media Server

by Damian on February 6, 2012 · 78 comments

in Guides

I am always searching for new and exciting software to help manage my growing media library at home. Recently I came across one such platform called Plex. The goal of Plex is to create a complete solution for all your online and local media needs. For the purpose of this guide I will take a look at Plex Media Server, which acts as a central media management database for distributing all your content to your various playback devices.

Downloads:

All downloads for Plex can be found here. I will be specifically installing Plex Media Server (PMS) on my Windows Home Server, which can be found here (make sure you download Plex Media Server and not Plex Media Center).

Requirements:

As per the Plex website, here are the requirements (once again, specifically for Windows):

Windows minimum requirements
• 
Windows XP SP3, Vista, or Windows 7
• Flash and Silverlight video requires Windows Vista or Windows 7
• Direct X 9.0c compatible graphics card
• An Intel Core 2 Duo processor or equivalent
• At least 2GB of RAM, 4GB recommended

For optimal performance and compatibility with Plex Media Manager, we recommend Google Chrome, Safari, FireFox, or IE9 with Google Chrome Frame.

N.B. Windows Vista or above is required for Flash and Silverlight video.

In order to play Flash and Silverlight video, you will need to install the plug-ins on your computer before running the Plex Media Server. Install the Flash version from here and make sure you select the “Other Browser” version.

Install the Silverlight plug-in from here.
Installation:
No surprises here. Once the installer is downloaded simply double click to begin the installation process. One thing I noticed that wasn’t mentioned in the System Requirements, when I installed Bonjour x86 was required.
The usual array of screens will appear during the installation process. Once done the completion screen should appear noting the installation was a success. If the “Run Plex Media Server on exit” option is checked once you click the “Finish” button PMS should begin to run.
Setting Up and Managing Your Media Library:
With PMS now installed, you should see a little Plex icon in your toolbar.
Right click on the icon should bring up a list of options and select “Media Manager”. This will launch the Plex Media Manager in your default web browser via port 32400.
At this point you can go ahead and start adding your media library, but first let’s take a look at the various settings available via the “Preferences” link at the upper right hand corner of the screen.
The first option is “General”. Here you can choose a custom name for your PMS which is what will appear on any device that connects to PMS.
Next up is “Library” which allows you to set specific options such as how often PMS should update its library.
Under the “Agents” option you can see what “agents” or services PMS will use to gather information for your media library.
The “Languages” section allows you to choose a default language (I believe English is the default) for your audio and subtitle tracks.
If you are 3G user, the “Transcoding” section will give you the option to allow PMS to offer higher bitrates when transcoding over 3G.
There is a feature called “myPlex” which allows you to tie in PMS with all your Plex clients. You can sign up for a myPlex account here.
Under the “Advanced” tab are two options for disabling capability checking and enabling DTS downmix.
With the preferences set it is time to add our media library. Back on the Plex Media Manager screen simply click the specific media you are looking to add under the “Add Media To Your Library” section. A popup box should appear where you can point PMS to your media location.
Once you add your media get ready to be patient, especially if you have a large library, as it will take a while initially for PMS to gather all information from the various agents. Back on the home screen to the left under the Library sections you should see all media that you added. At the bottom of the screen should hopefully see nice posters of the most recent media added.
From here you can now view and manage your various media libraries by clicking on the desire section under Library Sections. Let’s take a quick look at some of the sections.
When you first enter the “Movies” section you should see a poster for each one of your movies (hopefully the posters are for the right movies!)
Clicking on a movie will take you into the details Plex has gathered (metadata, poster, and backdrop).  If the movie Plex gathered is incorrect, simply click on the “Fix incorrect match” option at the bottom of the screen and you can manually direct Plex to the correct movie. You can also change the artwork shown as well as edit the metadata.
TV shows functions the same way as movies, with the first level showing a poster for each TV show.
Clicking on a TV show will bring up full details of the TV Show as well as individual posters for each season.
Drill down into a season and you should see each episode with thumbnail and metadata.
For Music Plex goes out and grabs artwork for each artist (as opposed to showing CD covers)
Drilling down into an artist you should see a brief biography of the artist and the associated albums (with CD coverart).

Plex On The Internet:

As I mentioned when going through the PMS settings, you have the ability to sign up for a myPlex account. You can log into your myPlex from any internet browser, and there are several things you can accomplish.

Once logged in to your myPlex account under the “Servers” tab you should see a list of all servers you have attached to your user name, as well as any servers share with you (more on this momentarily).

Through the “Server Sharing” you can share all or parts of your content with someone else (or vice versa). This would be great for sharing content with friends or family, although I did not test out so I cannot comment on how well this worked (in particular video).
Another interesting feature is called “Plex It!”. It gives you the ability to add videos (i.e. online content)  to your queue so that you can watch later from one of your Plex clients (or even via a link in your myPlex webpage). This can me done by either adding the “Plex It!” button to your web browser bookmark bar (so if you see a video you want to add yo your queue simply clicking the button will add) or by forwarding any video link you get in your email to a designated myPlex email address.
Lastly, from your myPlex page you can access your PMS site to view and manage your media.

One thing worth pointing out, with myPlex you cannot actually play back your media. In order to play back, you will require a client which will be discussed below.

Plex Clients:

Now that your Plex library is set up with PMS, the final step is to have a client which will connect to PMS for viewing. Currently the choices are as follows:

  • Plex on your Desktop (i.e. HTPC)
  • Plex for mobile devices (iOS and Android)
  • Plex for connected devices (2011 and 2012 LG Smart TVs, Google TV, and Roku)

I don’t own any “connected” devices and didn’t get a chance to test out Plex on my HTPC (possibly a future writeup), but I did test out Plex on my mobile devices (i.e. iPad, Asus Transformer Tablet, and Kindle Fire). Plex mobile app currently costs $4.99 (iOS link hereAndroid/Google link here, and Android/Amazon link here).  Let’s take a quick look at Plex for Android.

With the App installed, the first step will be connecting to your PMS, as well signing in to your myPlex account is applicable.  You can also adjust some of the settings such as the video quality PMS should use for both when you are in network and when you are remotely connected.

Once you are connected to your PMS you will now be taken to the Plex homepage where you can access all your media broken into three categories (My Library, Channels, and Recently Added).

Here are a few screenshots from the My Library categories:
Sort/Categories for Movies (similar for the other library items as well)
Movies thumbnail page
Movie detail page
TV Show thumbnail page
TV Show episode page
Music thumbnail page
Music detail page
One of the other categories mentioned was “Channels”. In the words of Plex “Channels supplement the content available from your media server by accessing a wide variety of online sources and other applications.” Here is a screenshot of some of the channels available.
Previously  we discussed a feature called “Plex It!”. Well, I decided that I had a craving to watch “Thong Song” on my tablet. From my PC I was able to “Plex It!” the music video from You Tube, and sure enough when I logged in to my Plex App the Thong Song was waiting for me to listen to in all its glory :D

Playback:

I was only able to test out playback on my home network (all my mobile devices are wi fi only and typically the places where I travel with them don’t have free wi fi to test out). In order to play back content on mobile devices, PMS will transcode the content (typically just videos) into a format that your mobile device will support. Because of this, there are several things that will occur. First, transcoding is a CPU intensive process, how well playback works may depend on the PC being used by PMS as well as if any other CPU intensive processes are running on the PC at the same time.  Secondly, since transcoding is occurring there will be varying results in the picture quality (in combination with the video settings chosen, wireless connection, etc…). I would typically encounter some pixelation but on a small screen such as a mobile device it is more the acceptable. At times some A/V sync issues would occur but I could usually get cleared up pretty easily. I would be very interested to see how well video playback looks on a big screen TV where pixelation and degradation would be more pronounced. Music and photo playback had no issues (typical content being 320kbps mp3s and 2-3MB photos).

Additional Information:

There were a couple of additional items worth mentioning:

  • When you install PMS, all cached data will be stored on the same drive as where PMS is installed. For most people this hopefully shouldn’t be an issue assuming you have sufficient free space on your install drive. However, as a Windows Home Server user I am only allocated 20GB worth of free space on my C: drive. After installing PMS and adding media I noticed that my WHS started moving at a snails pace and eventually crashed on me. When I booted back up nearly all of the free space on my C: drive had been eaten up. After digging around I noticed that the straw that broke the camels back was PMS, where the cached folder was taking up nearly 4GB worth of space. After digging around it appears there is an option to point PMS to a separate drive for caching. I was able to get it to work but not 100% (I pointed it to one of my shared network folders and could see the cache had moved, but encountered some issues with images showing properly). Here is the thread for anyone who is interested.
  • I keep running into some stability issues with PMS, so I have had to shut off for the time being. All of a sudden while using one if the media players in my house it would become unresponsive. I would head over to my WHS and would see Plex errors appearing (Transcoding.exe crashing, etc…). Don’t know what was causing the errors since at the time Plex wasn’t even being used, but ultimately I need my WHS as close to 100% stable as possible which meant shutting off PMS. At some point I may revisit.

Final Thoughts:

I must say I am very impressed in what Plex has to offer. In my head the ultimate home setup revolves around having a central server/database that feeds to various devices, and Plex sure seems to fit the bill. This is where I think home media is heading, where all content is stored in a central location (whether it be cloud, server, etc…) and distributed to various devices.

For those who are using Plex I would be interested to hear your feedback. In particular for those using Plex on their HTPCs  how do you find file support/playback, is PMS required for an HTPC, etc… For Connected Devices how well does the Plex App work and especially how is picture quality for video playback?

UPDATE – thanks to GusGus for pointing out, and unRAID plugin for Plex is in the works. For more details see here.





Article by

Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found Mediasmartserver.net, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for Mediasmartserver.net you can find me over at my blog at http://www.adigitalhomeblog.com or follow me on twitter


{ 75 comments }

Moodsman February 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Plex has become my choice for Media Center, the main reason being that it there is a plugin for Roku, so I can stream to Roku devices in the house without much hassle.
When the Plex player is installed on a Windows HTPC, it asks if you want to add it as a menu item in WMC, and it is pretty seamless.
If you have iTunes installed on the Plex server system, it links very nicely to your iTunes catalog, sorted, categorized and with a pretty nice display.
As of now, I only use WMC as a PVR, to watch recorded TV shows. I am looking for a decent PVR software (I miss SageTV!) to replace that piece also. For everything else I use Plex.

Cubanblood February 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I have not tried Plex on a Windows machine but i do have it on a Mac Mini and it is impressive.

Baturbo February 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm

After several years running Windows Media Centre I got over the maintenance and constant fiddling. I wanted to remove it and replace it with a PVR for FTA recording and a media streamer. I am running WHS 2011 and have several devices (Mobiles, PCs, Streamers, Game Consoles, PVRs and SmartTVs) that need to access the data. After trying several different Media Server software solutions (Mezzmo, Twonky, Serviio, Tversity and PS3 Media Server) I stumbled onto Plex.

The main TV is a Samsung so I installed the app and gave it ago. Even though the Samsung app does not yet support Music, MyPlex, customer skins or Photos it is still by far the best HTPC replacement for content management I have found. Metadata is presented beautifully. The quality of the picture is perfect. I am running it over a wired connection but still very impressive. The iPad app is also very good. Better than any other solution I could find to stream HD content constantly. I still kept Serviio to stream Home Videos and other connect until the app gets updated. One minor annoyance is the poor backlight levels which is believed to be a Samsung issue. http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/topic/33208-poor-black-levels/

I would recommend Plex to anyone.

Jaremy February 6, 2012 at 7:25 pm

One of my big concerns about plex is format support. I recall it lacks ISO with menus for DVD and Blu-ray, no HD audio formats, etc. Has that become any better?

Damian February 7, 2012 at 8:32 am

Is this specifically for the desktop version I assume?

vidkun May 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

I know this guide is a bit old, but I was reading in hopes that Damian had found some secret sauce that would let me use Plex again. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

I agree with Damian, that a centralized server and a client architecture is the ultimate setup. If only we could get such a server for XBMC, we’d be set!

However, I have a tried Plex and PMS a number of times, but have never been able to stick with it. The main reason is that which Jaremy points out. It absolutely sucks if your whole collection is Blu-Ray ISO rips and you want to bitstream the HD audio on those. As of today, Plex still has absolutely no support for either of those options. Hell, it’s not even in a beta build for those of us that like to play with unstable code.

Once Plex figures out how to get those two items worked in, I think it will be one of the top contenders for the HTPC setup. Everything they need to do it is in the pre-Frodo code for XBMC already. Just needs to be merged and cleaned up.

And Jaremy, I’m running a nightly build of XBMC Frodo and it is handling both BD ISOs and HD audio like a champ. I suggest checking it out. And if you use a MySQL setup to share libraries between multiple clients, it’s almost the right fit.

-Vidkun

Damian May 30, 2012 at 3:57 pm

The only thing I can think of is that PLEX is much more focused on the mobile/connected device side such as TVs, Roku, and iOS/Android, so features that are important for HTPC use (in particular HD Audio bitstreaming, BD ISOs, etc…) get possibly pushed to the side. Plex definitely has the right idea, just not quite there IMO

Cuberob February 7, 2012 at 2:56 am

I’ve been running PLEX on my WHS2011 for a while now. No transcoding.exe errors or anything for me!
Some minor instabilities with transcoding once in a while though (streams not starting, having to restart the plex media server), but other than that I really love it!
This is just a little example why: I was out snowboarding for a week in france and had internet there. So i grabbed my transformer, hooked it up to the tv there over hdmi, and started the plex app. I was streaming my movies/series there in no time! Awesome :).

Here’s just hoping they can make a dedicated whs2011 plugin, current installation/setup is not ideal..

Damian February 7, 2012 at 8:35 am

I am all for a WHS plugin :D I think the transcoding.exe error is more specific to my hardware

Alex Kuretz February 7, 2012 at 11:08 am

I have an LG Smart TV and installed Plex on my desktop to try it out with the built-in MediaLink app. It works really well, gathers up the metadata for the files I drop into the library, indexes fairly quickly, and I’ve not had any performance issues. I’m really pleased with the experience and plan to try it out on my WHS with my HTPC.

Gus April 16, 2012 at 1:01 am

Hi Alex

I’ve been trying to get Plex working with my LG LD490, but still can’t figure it out. Works fine with the Nero MediaServer software that came with it.

Could you please elaborate on how you’ve set yours up?

Thank you in advance.

Gus

Alex Kuretz April 16, 2012 at 8:21 am

My TV has the MediaLink software built in, which is a Plex client application. A quick search on your model doesn’t list MediaLink as a feature that your TV supports.

Gustavo February 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Can you use Plex with unRaid server?

Damian February 10, 2012 at 8:37 am

I have never used unRaid. There is a Linux version of Plex, don’t know if that is somehow compatible

Ferro February 10, 2012 at 8:34 am

I recently tried Plex, which on paper is great and the interface is really nice. Ipad app is definitely a plus. The big disappointment is that it dos not handle dvd and bluray ISOs.

Damian February 10, 2012 at 8:38 am

Yeah, unfortunately the rule of thumb is if you are looking to stream remotely with this type of App then DVD and Bluray ISOs are not a good option. I don’t think any of these types of apps can do either (same goes for Air Video, Remote Potato, etc…)

Adam February 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Plex on WHS 1 on MSS.

Great review. I didn’t know about this product and am checking it out. Because of the warning about the C drive, I installed on D:\program files\…

The problem I’m having is typical of non-server products even though I installed the server version of the product. When I log out of the MSS, the service stops. When I login, the service starts. When I right click on the icon, my only choice is to start the media server when I login. There’s nothing about running the program as a service without login.

Running the program and disconnecting the RDP session is uncool.

How did you get around this, or was it even an issue?

Adam February 13, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Nevermind. I think the feature doesn’t exist.

http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/topic/23711-running-pms-as-a-service-in-whs/page__st__80__p__239697__hl__whs__fromsearch__1#entry239697

My 470 doesn’t seem to have the horsepower to stream anything.

Matty K February 19, 2012 at 9:53 am

I just log in to the server via remote, then exit out of the remote session. Security issues notwithstanding, this has been an acceptable workaround to access my Plex data from the interwebs. Works like a charm.

the fuj. April 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Depends on what you are trying to stream to. I used the 470 to stream to a desktop client that did not need to convert on the fly and my CPU usage was in the single digit range. It was when I streamed to my tablet when the 470 choked.

I just upgraded to the 6850e this morning and can stream to the tablet no issue now.

Ryan February 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Not so sure about the lack of iso support that everyone is discussing. I just ran a DVD iso via my android app, and I know the files are supported on the windows desktop app as well. I have been using Plex ever since they rolled out with the desktop media center, and will never go back. I have a central server with my media, then I have 2 android phones, apple tv, iPad, and a living room HTPC setup with Plex. I love how user friendly the software is, and my wife (who hated the old setup) loves Plex. My only complaint regarding Plex is that it can’t run as a service, YET. Once this happens, I will love the total hands off approach to my server.

Ferro February 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Ryan, this a copy and paste from their wiki:

“Note: ISO, IMG, VIDEO_TS, and other “disc image” formats are not currently compatible with streaming over the network. They’ll typically only work in a desktop Plex client on the same machine as the Plex Media Server.”

Moodsman February 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm

“Streaming” works funny on Plex.

Basically what happens is that it greatly depends on your client system if you can stream Plex items or not.

I use VIDEO_TS as my primary storage method, and they are stored on a WHS v1 server. The Plex server runs on my primary desktop. The VIDEO_TS play fine on my Win7 HTPC, but they will not play on my Roku system.

Basically the Plex server acts as an indexer, and then gets out of the way, if the player can play the file natively without transcoding.

Once the movie is playing on the HTPC, Plex gets out of the way, and the HTPC talks directly to the WHS where I have the movie stored. I can turn off the Plex server, and the movie will continue to play undisturbed, but naturally I can’t get back to the main movies index if the PLEX is turned off.

The same movie that plays on my HTPC will not play on the Roku. Plex does not know how to transcode VIDEO_TS, and the Roku doesn’t either. But movies that have been converted by another way to M4V play fine on both.

So if your computer can play a file from a local drive, it should work from a Plex server.

Philip McDunnough February 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Great writeup. I have used Plex for some time and am getting ready to move it to a WHS HP EX490 once I upgrade its processor to an E5200 in a week or so (basically making it an EX495).

Anyway, thank you for this article.

Philip

robin c February 28, 2012 at 11:11 am

Having just gone through the install, created my media libraries and logged out of the WHS I sat wondering when the indexing would finish.

Wish I’d read all the comments now and done some more research.

How on earth can this be called “Plex media server” when a local user has to be logged on the whole time or else it stops working. That’s an application not a server. I’m somewhat disappointed. When I searched their forums and site I found that their stated intention is to not have a proper server/service/daemon and they’ve no intention of developing one.

Matt April 2, 2012 at 12:25 am

Have to disagree with this as I have it installed just fine as a service running on linux and it acts exactly like a service process not a client application. Make sure you downloaded the Plex server not the client for your WHS.

Robin C April 2, 2012 at 1:54 am

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the comment, yes it’s the server software that’s installed not the client side. But, as per the plex website, it doesn’t install as a service and I think that’s something of a failing, possibly this is due to the lack of windows development which is fair enough to be honest. I’m now looking at a few other options.

Nino April 6, 2012 at 5:07 pm

With regards to running Plex as a service, has anyone tried running it as a scheduled task at startup, with the run as service, don’t require user to be logged in etc?

Sounds like this could be just what I am looking for.

Denis April 29, 2012 at 10:09 am

I do not understand.. I have installed PMS, i can see the sign in the tray next to watch and when i just leading up on it the cursor it disappears. I can’t install the program properly. Help. Sorry my English

Bionic Hugo May 2, 2012 at 8:44 am

There is only limited use of the cursor on the plex manager… use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move in between menus, and use the “enter” key to enter any menus… the use the “backspace” key to exit a menu. For some reason, access into and selection of menus is tied to the keyboard instead of the cursor in the Plex manager, as far as I can tell.

Denis May 2, 2012 at 10:32 am

Thanks. I know about it. Probably i don’t so well explain my issue, but the program in general doesn’t want to be launched. Only small sign appears in the tray and at once vanish. PMS is allowed to work through firewall, and i have Win 7 by the way.

Bionic Hugo May 2, 2012 at 8:41 am

I have successfully used Plex on a Roku streaming device only for youtube videos. “Plex it” won’t recognize most other videos… and occasionally when it does, it will load them on to the queue, but then won’t play them back. For some reason, the Plex Media Servers just won’t recognize most videos off of Blinkx or Dailymotion et al, so far only youtube. Have not tried google or yahoo videos yet. Any thoughts?

big tuna May 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm

All videos loaded on to the queue of the Plex app of our Roku player do not play back, instead they just say the Roku Plex doesn’t recognize the video. We cannot get ANY videos to play back.

big tuna May 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Ok… as an addendum, I should add that we are getting a lot of videos to queue up now. Almost all Dailymotion vids are accessible… we didn’t realize the preferences are best left on automatic instead of Direct Play/Direct Stream/Transcode. Dailymotion, Youtube, and most video sources can be queued up, and then later played by streaming on the Roku player…. but NOT Blinkx. We cannot queue them up, and we cannot play them back no matter what. Don’t see why because there is no copyright infringement… if we can watch them on the computer monitor, why can’t we watch them on the roku streaming device? The Blinkx app on the Roku player sucks and we never use it. We only use Dailymotion and Youtube etc. Sony has Youtube, as do most other streaming devices, and Netgear I think has Dailymotion as an app. I don’t want to buy another frickin streaming device just for the video search app… If anybody has any idea how to queue up Blinkx and play it on a Roku with the Plex software, let us know… or, does anybody want to buy a couple of Roku players?

big tuna June 30, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Well, now the DailyMotion videos queue up ok, but they no longer play on the Plex app of the Roku. Just one day, they quit playing, and we are getting the error message that the video may have “changed formats”. I am guessing DailyMotion doesn’t want people adding their videos to a queue and then watching them later on a Roku streaming device. I have even bought a Sony streaming device, which actually has Dailymotion as an app, but it doesn’t work either. It only streams Youtube videos.

Everybody is so frickin worried about their copyrights that they won’t let you watch the videos that are in their frickin search engines.

Wayne Lucas June 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I have loaded Plex on my computer which is linked to my lg smart tv (55lw6500) via my network. Question do I need to get Plex onto my T.V Cheers Wayne (If i do need to load it onto my tv does someone have a link address as I am not over the top savvy with all this but would like to use Plex Thanks

Alex Kuretz June 1, 2012 at 4:31 pm

If you have the MediaLink app built into your TV that is all you need.

Wayne Lucas June 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Thanks Alex I do have a media link on my tv and have tried and tried to get it to load up my movies is there instruction to do this part of the setup? Cheers Wayne

Alex Kuretz June 3, 2012 at 11:33 am

I suggest you post in the forums with any error message you are getting. As I recall, once Plex was set up and running with media in the library my TV just saw it on the network.

Krazyone June 19, 2012 at 11:23 am

Anyone who wants to stream blueray iso or dvd iso should look at getting makemkv. Currently a free tool and will rip the DVD’s / BR to full quality MKV files. I have been streaming for a month now and it has been flawless thus far. Ripping a DVD (5GB file) from the iso takes 1 min 10 seconds. So not much time will be required to convert the stuff if you want to watch it. Not like waiting 30 minutes to the DVD to actually rip.

GusGus748s June 26, 2012 at 9:01 am

Krazyone,

MakeMKV is an awesome ripping tool, and it is easy to use. However, I’ve had a few issues with BD rips. I ripped the new Mission Impossible movie and John Carter, and at certain scenes it would stutter / lag for a few seconds and then it would play fine again.

I re-ripped the movies with ClownBD + AnyDVD HD, and I didn’t have any issues. I only use MakeMKV for DVD movies since I don’t have any issues with them, but after testing and unsuccessfully being able to play BD movies ripped by MKV, I’m continuing to use ClownBD. I am sure that others do not have issues with it. It could also be my set up, but who knows.

Damian June 27, 2012 at 3:18 am

MakeMKV does seem to create issues with various movies. This is the reason why for mkv I prefer to stick with my Clown_BD + MKVMerge method which I have found to be nearly foolproof

Peter June 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Might be of interest to others : Plex consumes a lot of disk and it is using the profile folder for its cache. To change this you need to add a key in the registry. E.g.
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Plex, Inc.\Plex Media Server]
“LocalAppDataPath”=”D:\\Program Files\\Plex\\Plex Data”

I’m running an EX470 and sys drive has only 20 GB allocated and Plex did eat it up..
I’ve also written a BAT-script to check the status on Plex (memory usage and if it is responding) and will restart it if appropriate. You can get a copy of it here: http://goo.gl/ttNMX (update it with your path to Plex/download pslist and pskill as described in the BAT-script)

pmcdunnough June 30, 2012 at 2:47 pm

@Peter

Does installing the Plex data on D:\ have any negative consequences for WHS? What about the actual server? Does it have to run from c:\?

philip

Peter June 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm

@philip

I can’t see why it should have any negative consequences. I’ve been running Plex for some time now with this setup and the native services in whs as well as the Plex application have been running fine. I’m not an whs expert though…

pmcdunnough July 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I installed Plex in D:\ and it worked fine. It didn’t install anything in C:\ which meant the space wasn’t used up. Now I don’t have DE turned on so perhaps that would be an issue. I really just wanted to see if it would work with a Roku, given the low CPU power. I was able to stream 720p and SD files just fine. This would imply that all should work fine on a Synology NAS like the DS412+ or the DS1512+. I don’t know about 1280p though. Also, my 720p files were all h.264 profile 4 or under.

Philip

pmcdunnough July 5, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Forgot, this was on an Acer H340 with WHS v1.

Philip

Tamika July 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I have a tvix 6500 with over 100 DVD movies on it. I want to convert those movies to h.264 using a program called winx DVD ripper and put them onto my synology ds412+ and stream those movies to my Samsung tv and google tv boxes which all has the plex app. Will this setup work? Also, can I download the plex server to my synology or do I have to download it on my computer running windows ?

Damian August 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I don’t believe you can install Plex Server on a Synology

Tamika August 20, 2012 at 10:31 am

Check this link: synology w/ plex server

http://www.synology.com/support/news.php?lang=enu&news_id=340

Tamika August 20, 2012 at 10:35 am

I think my set up will work. Please give some advice on my set up. Yes? No? Possible issues.

Damian August 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

You can get the PlexApp for Synolgy here:

http://www.plexapp.com/linux/linux-pms-download.php

I don’t have a Synology so I can’t comment on how easy it is to set up, but I would expect setup should be similar to this guide, and functionality should be the same.

As far as your setup, Winx DVD Ripper will compress your DVDs, so just make sure you want that. Otherwise, I would just use MakeMKV to throw your DVDs into a lossless mkv, and then use Plex to transcode/playback on your Samsung/Google TV

Gus August 20, 2012 at 10:52 am

Tamikia,

The best advise I can give you is to test it out. Set up Plex in your Synology NAS, and see if your device are able to recognize the Plex Server application and play your content.

If you devices do not support the file format Plex will transcode on the fly. So, you should be able to play your files without converting your files.

Asemayee September 8, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I have set up Plex Server on Synology 1512+ and it is quite simple. (working with Roku)

I would advise though that you download the latest version of the software from the Plex site and upload it manually, as the automatic version from the Synology web interface seems to be an older version. The Plex website offers a specific version when you choose Linux and then Synology.

For photos, if you have a lot of them, it seems to take forever, i suggestyou leave the Synology to complete this task.

i have an older version of DSM (4.0-2219) running and apparently the new version, 4.0-2228, is much faster at creating thumbnails for photos. Still, as i am almost through the photo part, i have not upgraded DSM. DSM is part of Synology btw for those who do not know Synology.

I have it working with both my Roku boxes. I just found and installed the Plex channel and then it was straight forward. I tried running some videos over wireless and seemed to be fine.

Photos/music was also fine.

Only issue is that Plex seems not to find certain MP4 files in TV Shows, but finds these in Home Videos. I am not sure why, as i have not delved too deeply into how Plex works yet. Worse case scenario, you can have these films under Home Videos, or alternatively try and use MKV or other files for all TV Shows.

btw, I had some issues as i could not drill down into Volume1 (logical drive). You just have to click on the sideways arrow to expand the list. Quite simple but it threw me and i did not see it.

Urban September 10, 2012 at 2:44 am

I have a Mac Mini Server running under OS X Mountain Lion.
I have installed PMS and a desktop client.
It looks like PMS can manage all my movies and TV shows from a NAS (Buffalo). They all show up in library.
All mediafiles are in ISO format (DVD and no BD) except music.
Playing music works perfect but movies are a mess. Nothing works.
PMS thinks my TV shows are all an old sort of Spiderman.

Pity but Plex is unusable for me.
I also have XBMC (Eden version) and it works almost perfect.
It would be nice to have Plex working because the idea with a server and client is so good.

Ivor September 12, 2012 at 3:50 am

I have dowloaded my home movies onto plex but when I try to watch on the lg tv They all have a “no entry” sign and I am not able to play them any suggestions please

sergio September 23, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I’ve been able to watch movies in 720P with no problem,(forget about 1080P) now out of the blue this 720P will start doing the exact same problem as the 1080P (buffering issues) I dont know why is that now….I havent changed a single thing in my pc.
I’ve try setting up in my mac mini and the same issue, I have a wireless router and have enabled the feature for streaming videos at 300mbts in a separate N network and still the same issue….
I starting to think it might be my pc’s processor Phenom Triple core 2.1 Ghz 4 GB of ram….
Somebody can throw me rope here….???
Thanks

Damian October 12, 2012 at 4:29 am

Hmmm… really hard to say. Could be an issue with your processor, could be something on your PC is eating up your RAM or using u p some of your processor. Any way you can try viewing over a wired connection to rule out an issue with your wifi setup?

david October 7, 2012 at 7:05 am

hi i have just started to use plex with my ruko box but i cant get it to load any medid it just keeps saying no movies where do you get the files on your pc to load on to the ruko box please can anyone help many thanks dave

Damian October 12, 2012 at 4:27 am

Still having issues getting your library to load?

amon shi October 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm

FYI. Re: Win7 Plex MS & Roku 2

I noticed I had issues when trying to add files with extra long file names. It would act as if there was no media added or incorrect media types, but once the name was shortened and re-added it loaded/streamed just great.

Hope that helps someone.

Thais November 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I have Plex Media Server installed on my PC and PS3, but every time I select a song to play, this is interrupted (cuted in the middle). Is there any configuration to make it stop to happen? Thank you.

Oivind December 4, 2012 at 6:12 am

Plex media server vs. PS3.

I installed plex the other night, smooth operation and no problem location my library of media files. Now, I’ve used PS3 mediaserver for some time, with no streaming issues what so ever, but I liked the design of Plex, and thought I give it a try. Well, this is my problem.
My PS3 finds the server without problems, but when I try to access the folders, it keeps telling me that I have no access or the media might be deleted from the media server. Also, it gives me a DHLN 501 server error message. Now, I’ve scanned various forums without find any solution to the problem, only other people with the same problem. There so no problem with the connection, since my PS3 media server works without a glitch.
Any thoughts, anyone, please. I’d love to have the beautiful design of Plex on my PS3.

thank you

Gus December 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Plex + PS3 = not compatible.

Gus December 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm

You an access your files from a PC if you set up shares and access to “everyone.”

I used to stream to my PS3, but I ended up buying a dedicated media player. I use a Dune D1 and PCH-A210.

Roku works with Plex. So, you might want to try that out if you own one.

Oivind December 5, 2012 at 2:49 am

Hi – I’m using plex via my PC. All the mediafolders are shared with all rights. I see the server on my PS3 – and the folders, but with no content with the error message DLNA error 501 /2006 and the message no access or the media might be deleted.
As I said, I’ve scanned forums both on PLEX and others, and I see others that have the same problem but no definit solution – just suggestions. And I’ve followed them with no luck…

Roku is not available in my part of the world to my knowledge. And when I have a PS3, I want to use it for it’s full capacatity.

Gus December 5, 2012 at 4:37 am

Unfortunately, the PS3 isn’t a complete media player. The best solution I can give you is to encode your movies to M4V format by using Handbrake. That’s what I used to do before. That was the only time I could see any movies being shared from my W7 PC. This format works for XBOX as well.

Or you can try a Media Server such as PS3 Media server, serviio, mezzo to trancode your file on the fly.

Other than that the PS3 is an excellent blu-ray player, but not a media player.

Gus December 5, 2012 at 4:37 am

I meant mezzmo media server.

cuberob December 5, 2012 at 4:50 am

I’ve been using plex to stream to my ps3 without any issues! Since one of there updates about 4 months ago they started supporting DLNA (specifically for PS3 and Xbox360). As long as your Server is up for the task of transcoding the movie (live..!) then it really works like a charm, best DLNA streamer out there in my opinion, they’ve done a great job also sending meta data over dlna!

(my server runs a i5 quad core processor to do the live transcoding, i can imagine that if your setup is slower it will struggle (a lot) when live transcoding 1080p files..)

Gus December 5, 2012 at 5:03 am

Wow, i5 quad core server to transcode!

Chris January 9, 2013 at 3:42 am

installed PMS on my home PC but had horrible buffering/transcoding issues going drict through ethernet cable to my LG BD player. EXACT same files worked perfectly from mezzmo, with the transcoding disabled. there should be a disable option for plex. i know it’s supposed to recognize when it’s not needed but it obviously doesn’t work. very disappointing as i really like the layout.

justinraged January 10, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I know Gus, those are some pretty high requirements to get transcoding on the fly working right? I can’t justify stepping up to the higher ranking Core i or AMD processors right now.

At one point in time I was able to get PS3MediaServer on Ubuntu 10.04(dual AMD Opterons @ 2GHz) to transcode .mkv files on the fly to my PS3. Didn’t like the FF/RW results w/ MKV files though and started backing up using .m4v files. Plex was recommended to me and it looks like it has a lot of great features(Video Channels & Good web interface). It really has problems transcoding…even from Core2Duo 3GHz w/ 8GB RAM(Win7 64bit & Linux 64bit) to both PS3 & WD Live TV+(which supports mkv).

Another problem I see when trying to view Apple Trailers or other shows through Video Channels on the PS3. I get “folder could not be accessed” or “network error”. Some channels do work though. On the WD device, it just keeps spinning. Maybe it’s a transcoding issue or maybe it’s a DLNA issue. Gonna bust open Wireshark and look @ plex logs to see if I can figure it out.

I really wanted to see if I could use this with my Nexus 7 tablet, but don’t want to spend $5 for the app…just for it to not do everything I want.

Gus January 11, 2013 at 1:05 am

I wish I had some $$$ to build another server with supermicro mobo, i5 or i7 CPU. My current unraid server with dual core can transcode on the fly to my iPads and iPhones, but only one at a time. If I try to do two, I get buffering. However, this might be due to a wireless issue since my current modem/router only support G connectivity.

I use AirVideo for transcoding, which doesn’t have a jukebox. I can see all my files.

Damon May 15, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Lol. You listen to Matchbox 20! Shame on you!

Damian May 16, 2013 at 3:05 am

Hey now, that is also my wife’s music collection in there, probably a lot of stuff that I don’t listen to is included lol

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