VideoHelp Forum
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 25 of 25
Thread
  1. Member fritzi93's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: U.S.
    Search Comp PM
    Like the thread title says...

    Maybe it's not news to some of you, but it is to me. Got a notification today that my trial had expired. To get Plex to work again I'd have to pay a one-time fee of $4.99. That was something of a surprise.

    Don't get me wrong, I think it would be worth it. I'm just annoyed since I don't recall reading anywhere that the Plex channel on Roku was anything but free. Apparently, it's only new users that are affected, and of course the Plex Media Server is free. After going to the trouble of setting up and editing my database, I can't help but feel I'm being held for ransom.

    Fortunately, there's an alternative: RARflix, a modified Plex/Roku channel.

    http://www.rarflix.com/

    It found my server straight away. Works and looks just like the Plex Roku channel. Plex channel uninstalled.
    Last edited by fritzi93; 20th Apr 2014 at 16:15.
    Pull! Bang! Darn!
    Quote Quote  
  2. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
    Search Comp PM
    Plex is not that good anyway.

    What are you streaming from/to?
    I prefer Serviio for streaming from Windows or Mac to a WDTV or Blu-ray player.
    Quote Quote  
  3. Member fritzi93's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: U.S.
    Search Comp PM
    I'm streaming from this computer (in details) to three Rokus. It seems a common complaint is that Plex Media Server is resource-hungry, but that's not a problem on this computer

    I'll take your word for it that there are better media streamers, but any alternative will have to work with Roku.

    The Plex channel works well once everything is set up. My one minor gripe is that it's difficult sometimes to correct errors in the database. Like duplicate artist entries for music or wrong movie and poster for a movie when there's another (or several) with similar name. The former can result from a freeDB error in punctuation or a letter capitalized where it shouldn't be. Such errors are not uncommon, apparently. The latter comes from Plex Media Server selecting the wrong entry in the imdb database.

    Again, editing/correcting errors is not very straightforward in Plex Media Server. I spent a fair bit of time fixing things. Nevertheless, I would still recommend Plex for Roku users unless someone can suggest an alternative that works well on Roku specifically.

    [EDIT] I did try another media streaming channel on Roku, though for the life of me I can't remember the name now. It was in the Roku channel store. Not as good as Plex.

    I read that there was a beta Roku channel called NokNok that could work with Serviio, but it appears to have been abandoned.
    Last edited by fritzi93; 21st Apr 2014 at 10:46.
    Pull! Bang! Darn!
    Quote Quote  
  4. Yes, I'm also using Plex with a Roku 3 and find it pretty darn good, with the sometime (but rare) problem fritzi93 mentioned of the wrong poster for a video. I did try the RARflix mentioned in the first post but Plex is still working for me so the nearly identical RARFlix will have to wait until everyone is forced to pay to use Plex.

    Plex also works fairly well on my son's (and my) Playstation 3.
    Quote Quote  
  5. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
    Search Comp PM
    Why wouldn't Serviio work with Roku?
    Serviio is a standard DLNA.
    Quote Quote  
  6. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2002
    Location: canada
    Search Comp PM
    I tried serviio,ps3 media server and ums media server are better and free.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
    Quote Quote  
  7. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Why wouldn't Serviio work with Roku?.
    There's no Roku Channel (called an App elsewhere) for it. Maybe there will be in the future.

    Originally Posted by johns0 View Post
    I tried serviio,ps3 media server and ums media server are better and free.
    On a Roku box? Please note the thread title. This isn't a general media server thread. I mentioned the Playstation 3 working with Plex only as an aside. Plex is still free for me. Based on what fritzi93 said, it's only recent converts that have had the problem.
    Quote Quote  
  8. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2002
    Location: canada
    Search Comp PM
    I was replying to lordsmurf on serviio as a standard dlna server so it pertains.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
    Quote Quote  
  9. Member fritzi93's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: U.S.
    Search Comp PM
    The thing is, Roku is not DLNA compliant. People have been asking about it for years now, and the answer is always: no plans to make it so.

    It's a pretty good internet streamer, that's it. Private channels like the Plex channel are...hmm, I guess you could call them workarounds. Or a bridge.

    I forgot to add, the Plex channel (and RARflix) has one sovereign advantage: a techno-phobe like my wife isn't put off by it. If she can figure out how to use the Roku (which is dead simple), she can use Plex, and she does.
    Pull! Bang! Darn!
    Quote Quote  
  10. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by johns0 View Post
    I was replying to lordsmurf on serviio as a standard dlna server so it pertains.
    lordsmurf's comment, well intentioned or not, was pointless since Serviio doesn't work on Roku and this is a Roku thread. manono correctly called you out because you aren't paying attention to lordsmurf's attempt (perhaps accidental) to hijack this thread.

    Anyway, I have an old version of Plex maybe 2 years old. It still works for free on Roku. I used it last night. I have the impression that my version is so old that they can't stop it from working for free but if I upgraded I would quickly be in the same situation as fritzi93. I stopped upgrading Plex quite some time ago because the upgrades were a bit of a hassle and I wasn't noticing any benefit from spending the time to do it. If I had to guess, I'd say that I did my last Plex upgrade well over a year ago.
    Quote Quote  
  11. Member fritzi93's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: U.S.
    Search Comp PM
    You know, that might be it. I could have sworn that I first installed Plex well over a month ago. But I did update Plex Media Server some weeks ago, hoping that the editing process would be improved. No improvements to that as far as I could tell, and none to how it operates.
    Pull! Bang! Darn!
    Quote Quote  
  12. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2000
    Location: Canada
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by fritzi93 View Post
    The thing is, Roku is not DLNA compliant. People have been asking about it for years now, and the answer is always: no plans to make it so.

    It's a pretty good internet streamer, that's it. Private channels like the Plex channel are...hmm, I guess you could call them workarounds. Or a bridge.

    I forgot to add, the Plex channel (and RARflix) has one sovereign advantage: a techno-phobe like my wife isn't put off by it. If she can figure out how to use the Roku (which is dead simple), she can use Plex, and she does.
    Funny...I thought the Roku Media Player update says it is now DLNA compliant. Has been for some time now. Check again...
    Quote Quote  
  13. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by oldfart13 View Post

    Funny...I thought the Roku Media Player update says it is now DLNA compliant. Has been for some time now. Check again...
    DLNA is useless for me so I can't comment on this as I simply don't know, but Roku is a bit notorious for not pushing all possible updates to older hardware. It's possible that the DLNA stuff only works on the Roku 3 and nothing else. I can't prove it, but it seem reasonable to me to conclude that Roku does this as a way to get you to abandon older hardware and buy newer models when the older ones would still be functional.
    Quote Quote  
  14. Solution -

    Plex stopped working on my Roku 2 after about a month of use. I received a notification on the device stating I needed to purchase the app.
    So, my initial reaction was I would take it back (to the retail store) and trade it in for a WD live TV instead; being I don't really use the TV services plex has. I only purchased it for streaming media from my PC to a tv for the little one.

    -So why should I pay more for a service I initially expected to come free with the $80 device?

    Anyhow, on to the solution/s.

    I installed the Media streamer app in the store (for free) and it allows me to access my Plex Server and my other PC's. So this saves you the time of having to install Servio or UMS and then configure the server and- blah blah blah.

    This WILL work - However, it's not as easy to navigate as the Plex app.

    The funny thing is - when I uninstalled my Plex APP - I decided to reinstall the app again and see if that would change things.

    It did!

    After I uninstalled Plex from the Roku and then reinstalled the app stopped trying to force the fee upon us and worked fine.
    I don't know why it did. Maybe it's not suppose to and maybe it won't for you, but it works for me.
    Quote Quote  
  15. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2009
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    So just to be clear, if I want to stream my homemade video from my Vista desktop PC to my Roku device, what else must I do after installing Rarflix on my Roku? Do I still use the (free) PLEX server that resides on my desktop and then I'm done?
    Thanks,
    Dan
    Quote Quote  
  16. Member fritzi93's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: U.S.
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by bromberg View Post
    Do I still use the (free) PLEX server that resides on my desktop and then I'm done?
    Yes, you still need the Plex server on your PC. The RARFlix channel on Roku behaves exactly the same as the Plex channel.
    Pull! Bang! Darn!
    Quote Quote  
  17. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2009
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    Fritzi93:
    Thanks for your confirmation.
    Now that I have the PLEX media server running on my Vista PC and the RARFlix app running on my Roku3, I was able to point the server to the folder containing my homemade videos. However, when I go to my TV and click on a video I want to watch it runs just fine for 5 seconds and then issues a warning message to check that my PLEX server is running. Since I can restart the video and watch it for 5 seconds again I assume my server is indeed running, so why does the video keep ending before it should?
    Thanks,
    Dan
    Quote Quote  
  18. Member fritzi93's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: U.S.
    Search Comp PM
    Do you get that with other videos too, or just your home-made ones?
    Pull! Bang! Darn!
    Quote Quote  
  19. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2009
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    Fritzi93,

    Though I am still baffled, here's a summary of what's going on:

    - all of my AVI files play just fine on my (Vista) desktop (so I know they're not corrupt) using VLC media player

    - most of those AVI files play just fine on my Plex media server (loaded on my Vista desktop)/RARflix app (loaded on my Roku3)

    - only a few of the AVI files play for 5 seconds before PLEX stops it and issues a bogus message telling me to check if my server is still running (which it is)

    - I recently added an MP4 file to the PLEX folder where all my other homemade videos reside but it's not showing up for me to select on my TV


    Thanks very much for your analysis.
    Dan
    Quote Quote  
  20. Originally Posted by bromberg View Post
    - I recently added an MP4 file to the PLEX folder where all my other homemade videos reside but it's not showing up for me to select on my TV
    I'm using the original Plex successfully. Have you tried it yet?

    You know, don't you, that Plex has very specific naming conventions? If in a Movie folder it has to be something like 'Movie Name (2014)'. If in a TV Show folder it's 'Name Of TV Show-S01E03'.
    Quote Quote  
  21. Member fritzi93's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: U.S.
    Search Comp PM
    Bromberg, I wonder if you're getting enough throughput. You can install the Speedtest private Roku channel (free) to check:

    https://www.rokuchannels.tv/speedtest/

    If memory serves, you need about 3 Mb/s sustained for 720p, and twice that for 1080p content. And perhaps more for your videos via Plex/RARflix depending on the bitrate of your vids and whether you have the server's transcoding enabled.

    Personally, I had obscure compatibility trouble with my Comcast gateway (modem/router) and Netgear router. The Netgear has more thoughput, but would inexplicably slow down or stop altogether. So I had to regularly reboot the gateway. Finally I started using just the gateway network for our Rokus and it's been fine since. Strangely, the Netgear network still works fine for my HTPC and netbooks.
    Last edited by fritzi93; 1st Dec 2014 at 07:48.
    Pull! Bang! Darn!
    Quote Quote  
  22. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2009
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    mannono:
    I did read something about the naming convention you referred to but didn't see a category for "homemade" movies (like I did for a "movie" or a "tv" show). So if you know of such a convention (for "homemade" movies) then please let me know (though I doubt that will resolve my issue since some of my homemade movies play just fine (using the same extension !?!)).
    Dan
    Quote Quote  
  23. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2009
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    fritz93:
    I don't see it as a throughput issue since it is always the same few videos which do not play whereas other homemade videos (using the same extension) play just fine!?! Also, I can watch Netflix content with absolutely no hesitation, jitter, buffering,...etc... issues at all.
    I plan to install the real PLEX app on my Roku3 (instead of the RARflix app which I am currently using) to see if that resolves my issue.
    Thanks and keep those ideas coming!
    Dan
    Quote Quote  
  24. Originally Posted by bromberg View Post
    mannono:
    I did read something about the naming convention you referred to but didn't see a category for "homemade" movies (like I did for a "movie" or a "tv" show).
    It doesn't matter. Just name it as I suggested, something like 'My Movie (2014)'. It'll check the database, find nothing, and then use as a picture a frame from the video. I do it all the time when testing videos, or wanting to watch something not from a TV show or movie. I'm assuming your problem is from not naming it correctly. I tested earlier today an MPG (Sample (2014).mpg) and for some reason Plex didn't find it. I stuck it into the MKV container (Sample (2014).mkv) and all was good. Maybe I did something wrong, not sure.

    I don't believe it finds VOBs either. As I suggested, remux into MKV and it may fix some of your problems.
    Quote Quote  
  25. Member fritzi93's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: U.S.
    Search Comp PM
    That's interesting. Every video on my server is either MKV (BD rip) or H.264 transport stream (HD-PVR capture). Never a problem. I have some assorted AVIs and MPGs I never got around to putting on the server.

    I'd be surprised if installing the official Plex makes any difference, but it's worth a try. After all, RARflix is just a lightly modified version of Plex.
    Pull! Bang! Darn!
    Quote Quote