Plex (on sale) vs KODI for a HTPC + Nvidia shield

Discussion in 'HTPC' started by super kermit, Nov 25, 2020.

  1. super kermit

    super kermit Member

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    I have used KODI to play my local files (and it is all I need) BUT

    PLEX is on sale

    25% off Plex Lifetime Pass.
    Use code: SURVIVETHESEASON

    Is it worth buying PLEX for the GUI and simplicity?
     
  2. combatant3219

    combatant3219 Member

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    I've been using PLEX for years at no cost, though depending on what devices you use there may be a one off fee for the app (I think about $5). You really don't need to buy the plex pass as it only offers you extra features which I've not found to be worthwhile paying for, this may be different for you ofcourse.

    GIve it a try for free and see if you like it, then look into the pass if you see value in the features. I've found plex be pretty fuss free and the kids and wife find it easier to to use which is a big plus.
     
  3. power

    power Member

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    the only reason i can think of for using plex pass is the ability to have multiple users. apart from that the free version is very full featured.
     
  4. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    And that ability is mostly useless as you can just invite friends.

    I think the only current reason to have managed users is so they can enjoy plex pass benefits for free (for example skip intro), as well as being able to use the mobile app without paying (but you can also just use Chrome, Kodi on mobile, as well as sailing the high seas)

    Plex pass does have other small benefits but nothing you can't live without.

    I still purchased Plex Pass Lifetime previously as moving forward it seems they like to make new features plex pass only.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
  5. mesaoz

    mesaoz Member

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    I use kodi on my shield and have plugins and skins installed to get it feeling right for my setup, would recommend staying there personally.

    If you want to watch while away from home you might benefit from switching to plex
     
  6. power

    power Member

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    use the mobile app without paying? what exactly do you mean I can use the mobile app without paying.
     
  7. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    The mobile app either requires Plex Pass, a $5 fee for that mobile device or... sailing the high seas.

    Otherwise its limited to 1 minute of play time.
     
  8. power

    power Member

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    I have the mobile app on two tablets and there is no play time limits, streaming from my Plex server.
     
  9. flain

    flain Member

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    I would only consider plex if you have things like android or smart TVs around the house, or you want to watch stuff on your ipad or something. If you are looking at Plex - you should probably also take a look at emby. I have lifetime licenses for both of them, emby is mostly what i use these days. The admin experience is just better (but i am the admin..).

    Also you can run both on the same server without issue/conflicts.
     
  10. mesaoz

    mesaoz Member

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    Inside or outside of your local network? My memory of plex is that as soon as you try to access externally it shits on you.
     
  11. power

    power Member

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    i predominantly use at home, i pushed it out remotely once just to see what it was like.

    as for emby flain eh, I dunno I used to use Media Browser and unless it changed radically when shifting to emby it can't compete.
     
  12. flain

    flain Member

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    Well it's been 6 years since media browser so maybe you should check it out again :). Seriously though - Plex and Emby are basically the same thing but with slightly different flavours. Each release they basically copy each other on whatever are the popular new features.

    From an admin perspective you have a ton more granularity in emby if you are doing stuff like giving out logins to people to access your library of stuff. If you just want to use it within your own house they're both basically the same for that use case.
     
  13. kbekus

    kbekus Member

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    +1 on what flain said, Emby is a pretty solid competitor to Plex these days, and the free version is fantastic as a multi user setup.

    OP - keep to Kodi if you're playing stuff on a LAN... the interface is awesome and Kodi plays *everything*..

    alternatively, run up Emby somewhere and give that a rip... it's not quite as full featured as Plex but for free it's great.
     
  14. power

    power Member

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    so more seats you prefer Emby's admin functions.
     
  15. flain

    flain Member

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    Yes i do, and also from a user perspective Emby and Plex I would consider on par. Jellyfin is the cheap/free alternative in that space. These are multi-device solutions (like for example if you want to watch something on one tv then go to your bedroom and continue watching and have it just resume). For a single device Kodi is good, if you only want to use one TV - again Kodi is good. Kodi is playing in a different space in my opinion.

    You can do some of the the same things with Kodi but you need to mess around with databases on network shares and it's just not clean / easy for your average guy that just wants things to work out of the box.

    If you took me back 6 years - i didn't like plex or emby or anything like that because i hate transcoding and streaming type solutions, i really want the local playback device to be playing/using it's own CPU/decoder hardware. These days though on emby i just mark the user as "direct play only" so no transcoding ever happens. If something wont direct play i prefer to fix why (often just change subtitle format, or audio format).
     
  16. power

    power Member

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    maybe you need a Plex update, there is a resume feature (I use it often) and you can direct play OR transcode depending on network quality.
     
  17. flain

    flain Member

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    I think you missed the bit where i said i use both :) BTW i have Plex setup to auto update..

    Another part of the story - since i'm so keen on getting DirectPlay working everywhere I've spent time on both plex and emby forums asking why some things wont direct play. The first reply to my post is usually "because your TVs player can't do it", to which often i say "well how come plex can direct play the same file?" or "how come emby can direct play the same file?".. there is still a gap there between the two which is why i have to have both.
     
  18. power

    power Member

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    I will say some of the plex players on some devices are god awful, like the console ones (PS4 and XB1) - they suck balls, the Android one is great as is the Windows and web (through Chrome) one.
     
  19. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    You probably paid for it a long time ago and don't remember. It wouldn't make sense for you to have unlimited access and everyone else has to pay. Or maybe they gave it to you for free as some kind of promotion a long time ago.

    Transcoding has always been user choice based on the capabilities of the device they were using, or if you want to save bandwidth.

    For example, a device that is only powerful enough for 720p, can play 1080p via transcoding.

    Most streaming devices are terrible overall because Plex relies on the actual device having support for codecs, rather then having the codec itself. This is because of some sort of licensing issue with codecs such as DTS.

    I don't really know how Kodi gets around this problem, but they do.

    There is always a reason. The only time I've ever seen Plex transcode when it shouldn't was when codec support was added in a device update and Plex had not yet updated the information to show it could play that codec.


    I've used Plex for a long time and never had a transcode when it shouldn't have happened.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
  20. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    Jellyfin is what Plex used to be, and should be.

    PlexPass is a waste of $ here in Aus, the extra services are all region locked rubbish,
     

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