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  1. Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    New Zealand
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    As posted in an earlier thread, I am having issues with kodi a Minix X8 android box. Specifically, it is unable to cope with MP4 files where the audio is encoded as MP3 rather than AAC. I have encoded 10 years caps (around 3,500 films and a lesser number of TV episodes) this way, and my WD TV coped with them just fine, but no matter what I do I can't make the Minix play them.

    So I have ordered a Raspberry Pi3 to replace it, with a nice little case and wireless media keyboard etc.

    The primary use will be for source material will come from a Plex media server, running on a NAS with a relatively lowly Atom processor (and currently 20TB of storage). So I would like to avoid transcoding as far as possible. My top priority is to have this work well.

    Nice to have, if it can be accomplished without making the use case above worse, is to connect to a couple of other DLNA clients (DVD recorder, Hauppauge Broadway, router) and play off local storage (USB) from time to time.

    The Pi will be here in a couple of days. I think I have narrowed my choices to:

    1. Rasplex; or
    2. Kodi with the Plexkodiconnect addon.

    I'm interested in anyone who has tried either or both of these of these on a Pi3. Specifically, for the use case above, which is likely to give me the "nicest" experience streaming from a lowly-specced Plex Server?
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  2. I don't use the Pi but found this. You might find it of use:
    http://mymediaexperience.com/raspberry-pi-xbmc-with-raspbmc/
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  3. Why use a DLNA server? Just use a network share and browse them from the RPi. Or run one of the XBMC based front ends on the RPi. I'm using Openelec.
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  4. Member
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    May 2004
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    New Zealand
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Why use a DLNA server? Just use a network share and browse them from the RPi. Or run one of the XBMC based front ends on the RPi. I'm using Openelec.
    Because:

    1. Plex media server already does a great job of organising my media, scraping metadata and art, and letting stuff be sorted by genre or actor etc.
    2. The living room TV already runs a Plex client, connects to the server well, and I would like to replicate something similar in other rooms.
    3. I want to maintain a relatively GF friendly and consistent user interface across TVs
    4. Plex will transcode if I want to stream over my 10" tablet or phone.
    5. It's much easier to find an item in Plex than scrolling through items in a network share, when there are literally thousands of films and TV episodes
    6. Plex lets users browse by recently added etc, or stop a film in one room and pick it up where they left off in another one. Network shares don't do that.
    7. Plex is aesthetically pleasing for the GF and guests.

    I have ruled out PlexBMC, and narrowed my choices for the Pi to (1) Rasplex or (2) Kodi/Plexkodiconnect running on OpenElec or OSMC. I'm looking for views and experiences of the relative merits of the two options.
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  5. Member hydra3333's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    Australia
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    Just a thought, a side issue really as you've chosen your poison ...

    Maybe something similar to this. Fun to build it yourself on your Pi, and cheap.

    A chromecast server based on a centrally positioned Raspberry Pi and relying on a native Chrome browser on any phone or tablet to cast a video from your Pi server on your home network to any of the Chromecast devices you've plugged into one or more of your TVs in your home.

    One central Pi, Chromecast devices feeding from it.

    The article is a tad dated but the principle is the same and it works.
    http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2287174&r=45958985#r45958985
    https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=100160

    Works a treat.

    You'd need to pre-convert your videos to a fairly standard format beforehand (easy, ffmpeg can do it).
    For exmaple, my files are standardised mpeg4/mp3 created for playback on old WDTVlive and newer Chromecast devices attached to the TVs.

    Depends on what you want. No fancy Plex interface though unless you roll your own.
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  6. Member
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    Originally Posted by hydra3333 View Post
    A chromecast server based on a centrally positioned Raspberry Pi and relying on a native Chrome browser on any phone or tablet to cast a video from your Pi server on your home network to any of the Chromecast devices you've plugged into one or more of your TVs in your home.

    One central Pi, Chromecast devices feeding from it.
    Interesting thought, but given that I already have a networked NAS running Plex, in a RAID configuration, and with 20TB of usable storage ....... it's not really clear to me what the benefit if building a Pi-based server would be?

    I'm asking about the best client software options, given that I already have a working Plex server, and have purchased a Pi to replace an aging WD TV live a client on the TV that doesn't already integrate nicely with my Plex server.

    I somehow suspect I'm not going to get an actual response to my fairly precise original question - whether Rasplex or Kodi+Plexkodiconnect on a Raspberry would make the best client for a lowly powered Plex server?
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  7. There are only a few posts here that mention Rasplex and Plexkodiconnect. One mentions a security issue and the other just mentions the name in passing. So I suspect nobody here uses either.
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  8. I have been using a Raspberry Pi Model B running OpenELEC and networked to a Synology NAS very successfully for over four years now. The Synology is running a DLNA media server, and I have folders on the Pi for both the DLNA material and also for direct access to the network share. The latter is because the Kodi/OpenELEC is not always picking up the detailed movie info over DLNA, and being too lazy to go in and tie up the loose ends I just browse to my desired file on the network share if it doesn't show up in the Kodi movie library.

    The quality has been good, although I have run into problems with very large HD video files pausing and buffering (like 10+ GB for a 90 minute animated movie). The Pi, at least the Model B, uses the USB chip to also drive the Ethernet port, and I believe it can't work much above 100 Mbit/sec even though I have Gigabit Ethernet wiring and switches installed throughout the home. Transcoding the biggest HD files to a slightly more reasonable size with HandBrake fixes that problem completely and I don't notice any loss of quality. Perhaps they've upgraded that hardware in the newer models; I haven't checked. I use a wireless Logitech keyboard with built-in mouse pad as my remote control; it works just fine.

    My sound comes through an LG home theater/Blu-ray package unit; surround works perfectly (if the video file supports it, naturally). The LG also has the capability to access my DLNA server on the Synology, but I prefer the Kodi interface...not to mention the plethora of available plug-ins. I had the system working well to where I could use NextPVR to capture OTA broadcasts with my Hauppauge tuner card on my PC, then play it on the Pi with the NextPVR plugin. It's not working now due to the last major Kodi upgrade; I could probably get it working again with a little effort but I haven't taken the time. (I wasn't using it much; I watch very little broadcast TV.)

    All in all I've been very happy with the whole combination and I would encourage you to try it out. The Pi hardware is cheap (and you've already ordered it!), and OpenELEC is open source and well supported. Do contribute to the development team, though!
    Last edited by ehbowen; 23rd Feb 2017 at 02:19. Reason: Spelling
    --------Eric H. Bowen; USN Battleship Veteran (USS Missouri, BB-63, 1985-88)
    16" Armor Piercing - When you care enough to send the very, VERY best!
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  9. Member
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    So, I thought I might update on where I had got to.

    After getting sick of tinkering to no avail, I decommissioned the Minix and installed the Raspberry Pi, in a case and with a mini wireless keyboard.

    While I eventually plan to run Kodi, I put Rasplex on a 16GB microSD to try it out. I'm very happy with how it is performing. Once I set it to force transcode, it plays all my files (even the huge number that I had encoded a bit weirdly and the Minix choked on) smoothly and well. The UI is great, and all of the clipart and film/series/episode metadata is working well. Plus, it has passed the GAF 9Girlfriend Acceptance Test).

    Many thanks to everyone here for their thoughts and comments.
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  10. I should have mentioned: There are a couple of optional codecs available for the Pi (MPEG-2 and VC-1). License keys are processor-specific by serial number and have to be ordered from the Pi store online. The price is reasonable (less than $3 each at current exchange rates) and I purchased both keys.
    --------Eric H. Bowen; USN Battleship Veteran (USS Missouri, BB-63, 1985-88)
    16" Armor Piercing - When you care enough to send the very, VERY best!
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  11. Note that the RPi can play MPEG2 and VC-1 with software decoding. The licenses are for hardware decoding. I have no problem playing 480i or 576i mpeg2 with software decoding but it stutters with 1080i.
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