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Plex Media Server

Discussion in 'Servers and Enterprise Solutions' started by martynbez, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. HungryHippos

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 25, 2004

    Posts: 6,424

    Location: Fareham

    If you don't need to transcode (on a local network you should never need to) then I am totally happy with my Synology NAS. I have the DS1815+ which is the slightly older/larger version of the + models. I'd assume the newer ones can only improve on what I have. I put an extra 4GB stick of RAM into it though to make it 6GB.

    I am able to run Radarr, Sonarr, Sabnzbd, and Hydra on this using Docker containers. Extraction of files is totally fine I don't notice it running slowly.

    Plays 4K HDR files no problem via my Nvidia Shield TV running the Plex client.

    Only downside is that the Plex Android app is reasonably broken at the moment and has an annoying buy they don't seem to be willing or able to to fix where fairly often the first time I open a file it simply closes and I have to open it again.
     
  2. Avalon

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2002

    Posts: 3,724

    Perfect example, you have a low end (in PC terms) Atom C2538 with a CPU mark of just over 2K and mechanical disks, but thankfully Synology paid to enable hardware acceleration for transcoding. In Plex server terms it's pretty low end, *BUT* you have a decent client that can direct play pretty much whatever you throw at it and hopefully hardware transcoding will save you, even if it can't. Also your assertion that you don't notice it is exactly that, you don't noticing it, that's not to say it isn't happening. I used to run some remote Xeon 1230v3's (9K+ of CPU mark), 32GB and either 2x2TB SAS or 2x250GB 850 Evo's, IOWait was still sustaining values higher than it should on the SSD RAID0 set-up, it's a lot better on NVMe RAID, ether way, it's a thing. Ofcourse if your download is prohibitively slow you'll never notice.
     
  3. HungryHippos

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 25, 2004

    Posts: 6,424

    Location: Fareham

    Compared to download times, unpacking speeds are small for me. 48GB downloaded in 3 hours 20 mins, unpacked in 4 mins 50 seconds. I don't think I've ever sat there and willed it to unpack something faster. Most things are well under 48GB (looks like it roughly unpacks 10GB a minute).
     
  4. Avalon

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2002

    Posts: 3,724

    Thats a straight unpack, wait till it needs to repair ;)
     
  5. HungryHippos

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 25, 2004

    Posts: 6,424

    Location: Fareham

    Quite rare for a repair to be required, but does happen.

    Found one that downloaded 43.5GB in 3 hours. Unpacked in 6 minutes 45 seconds. Repaired (verified in 3 minutes 7 seconds) + (repaired in 2 minutes 38 seconds).

    Slightly longer certainly but not excessively so. The whole point of a NAS for me is the always on and background processing it's doing, it doesn't need fast extract speeds as it's doing it often when I don't even notice it's doing it.
     
  6. BigBoy

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 5,298

    Location: Bath

    This is probably one of the best most informative posts I've read in ages regarding Plex! Wish it had been about 4/5 years ago when I first started home serving media.

    I run a socket 1155 xeon E3 1220v2 CPU (duel core i5 with 4 threads and more L3 cache) with 16Gb RAM, 12TB storage with Windows 10 on a 128GB SSD, also used for scrape and transcode. As well as Plex it runs Sonarr, Radarr, Lidarr, Jackett, SabNZBd, Deluge native on win10 with docker running Ombi, Heimdall, Pihole, Tautulli, OpenVPN Server, Portainer and Watchtower.

    This idles around 100w and pushes Plex to 4 clients one local (i.e. our Chromecast on the livingroom TV via Plex Mobile app) and 3 remote locations with multiple actual devices at each end point (family members). External is limited to 720p 4Mb per stream but internally its unlimited on the cat6 internal network (Chromecast has a network injector so not on wifi). The server has never skipped a beat, solid now as the day it was set up and I still fiddle with docker on a weekly basis to get the best from the server.

    It does so much more than a NAS could for very little overheads, the parts I picked up second hand from the Members Market so in total other than the hard drives its cost me around £80 to build. Running costs are about £2 per day for electrical costs.

    Android app work just fine for me, there was a spell when it was broken but looks to be fine now (until the next time they break it!)
     
  7. Avalon

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2002

    Posts: 3,724

    I've never got on with off the shelf NAS devices, Synology in particular annoy me, the previous lifecycles policy made very little sense when the products they dropped support for often had near identical hardware to the stuff they were supporting, it just tended to roll down from the upper tiers and they simply refused to certify anything out of mainstream support or offer a paid option for extended OS support. Paying to be locked into an artificially short 3rd parties support cycle and bespoke hardware in the event of failure and paying a significant premium for the 'privilege' sucks, and that's before you look at the almost non existent upgrade options.

    Realistically 4 years ago my advice would probably have been along the lines of what you built, I rated the Gen8 Microserver as decent value and it's CPU support list included the e3 1220v2. I still run an x99 based 2630L test server locally with very similar TDP and not drastically different CPU mark etc. (2630L is 8c/16t, 65w TDP, 8K CPU mark vs 1220v2 with 2c/2t, 69w TDP and 6.68K CPU mark), it's due a 980GTX soon to play with modified linux drivers and evaluate NVenc quality as well as passthrough to docker vs bare metal. OS wise I favour UnRAID or Ubuntu with docker, but the best OS choice anyone can make is an OS they feel comfortable with. My main build is an R1700/32GB/50TB+ a few SSD's for VM's/docker use running UnRAID, for a 65w TDP chip it's ideal as a VM/docker host.

    Your power numbers seem a little off, 100w comes out at 2.4Kw/day, allowing for load call it 3Kw/day, my unit price is just over 13p/Kw so even allowing for load you're likely talking about under 40p/day including VAT or £12/month. Most of the builds I deal with now are VPS/dedi boxes based in EU data centres with CDN for smooth streaming and cloud storage for media, the advantage is you have everything coming in/going out at gigabit speeds or better, that alone is worth a few euro/month.

    If you're interested in Plex, running a dedicated local server or exploring hosted options with either local or unlimited cloud storage, you may want to have a look at www.plexguide.com or r/plex on reddit, the former is quite friendly, the latter can be a little more mixed, but the interesting Plex stuff normally ends up on reddit first.
     
  8. BigBoy

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 5,298

    Location: Bath

    Yeah your right numbers are off, got distracted whilst writing the post :o not interested in cloud or off site server at the moment it's more for local media serving rather than external.

    Will take a look at the links though. Thanks.
     
  9. seanyc5

    Hitman

    Joined: Nov 30, 2011

    Posts: 588

    Sorry to Hijack, tell me to start my own thread if this is not a generic one haha.

    Just installed Plex server on main PC, have installed the android app on android box downstairs - it picks it up and displays the few films I put in there to test.

    I tried to play a film and it hit me with a subscribe or one time fee of 3.30 so I just paid it even though I thought it was free.
    However when I try to play a film it says cannot find server.

    All looks ok in the settings, android box is shown under devices on server etc. All is set to direct play, I even tried lowering it. All hard wired Ethernet.

    So I tried it on my Samsung ks8000 TV even though the PC is connected to it, and that works just fine through the same network.

    Any ideas?? It is really annoying me haha.

    Thanks,
    Sean
     
  10. BigBoy

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 5,298

    Location: Bath

    Force stop the app on Android, then once you have restarted it, in the top left corner hit menu button then select sever you want to connect to.




    Edit...

    Just looked over my android app and it appears they have removed the select server option, it will default to the server unless it is off line then it will reset to local on device content or synced content.
     
  11. seanyc5

    Hitman

    Joined: Nov 30, 2011

    Posts: 588

    Will give that a bash, not sure how to force stop on the box though - just got a cheap usb mouse connected as a remote. Ill figure it out, did I need to pay the 3.30 or was that for something else?

    Thanks,
    Sean

    ** Did not work, will restart both server and client see if that helps :( **
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018 at 7:36 PM
  12. BigBoy

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 5,298

    Location: Bath

    The server is free, the player (android part) is paid for unless you have a Plex Pass subscription.

    Goto settings, then apps, find the app, then hit force stop, should be the same on any android device
     
  13. seanyc5

    Hitman

    Joined: Nov 30, 2011

    Posts: 588

    Restarted server and app - logged out and logged back in. Came up server needs to be certain version and could not connect.

    I think it may be because the android box is on 5.1 android? maybe the plex app is too old for the latest server on my PC?

    Tried a ps4 in the house and that worked straight away no problem too.

    Im giving up for tonight but welcome anymore suggestions, is Emby paid for on android side do you know?

    Thanks again,
    Sean
     
  14. BigBoy

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 5,298

    Location: Bath

    Never used Emby so no idea about that.

    It does sound like android version is your draw back. What settop box is it? Possible to flash a newer firmware like Lineage?
     
  15. Avalon

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2002

    Posts: 3,724

    My understanding is Plex for Android is 5.0+, unfortunately ‘Android box’ is generally a euphemism for ‘poorly designed hardware with falsified certifications and poor design that has been abandoned’ and often they don’t make the best choice for a Plex client or anything else. In your case, you say you are running Lollipop (from 2014?), since then we’ve had four major version releases including Oreo which is 9.xx if memory serves, it’s quite out of date in android terms, but it should still run Plex. However the bigger question is should you?

    The first rule of Plex is your clients capabilities and connectivity should dictate your server and media choices. Choose poor clients, feed them unsuitable media that they can’t direct play via an inappropriate connection (Wi-fi for example) and you will generally make things more difficult than they need to be, you can offset this by over specification on the server side to handle the transcodes, but with better planning the whole thing could be a lot easier. I’d suggest looking into updating your box OS to something more modern, but that will depend on the availability of compatible ROM’s.


    Emby is (some would say was) a more open version of Plex, it had a different model than Plex in terms of feature access and certainly lacked in device support, however they developed reasonably quickly and were generally perceived as the ‘good guys’ following Plex’ move to a commercial product and some highly sketchy attempts to moneterise it’s user base and make use of our data/limit our ability to use our own servers/push ‘features’ (eg unless you change your Plex settings, if the Plex authentication server is down, you can’t play the media on your server that’s on the same network all of 3 feet away). Emby has many areas that feel a little rough around the edges, but it has a lot of features that are great, IPTV support is way better than Plex, hardware accelerated transcoding etc. Either way it’s not relevant to your issue, but is another option you may like to look at.
     
  16. seanyc5

    Hitman

    Joined: Nov 30, 2011

    Posts: 588

    Minix Neo XBH Plus is the box. I updated it around 6months ago, I think that 5.1 was the latest I could find.

    Its only to play x264 2.0 audio in a .mkv 1080p so I assume it should be able to direct play as long as the right audio track is selected.

    Didn't realize Lineage did boxes thought it was just phones.

    Thanks,
    Sean
     
  17. Avalon

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2002

    Posts: 3,724

    Not the worst of choices, they at least updated it with an official 5.1.1 ROM and the hardware should be capable of what you want.
     
  18. Street

    Soldato

    Joined: Jan 17, 2005

    Posts: 6,852

    Location: Liverpool

    This has been a really useful thread. I've been using Plex for years after switching over from MediaPortal however I didn't even know things like Sonarr etc existed. I've recently got a new server on the cheap to replace my ageing box so thought I'd make use of some of the other features. I was running an old AMD 240e with 8GB RAM that was about 10 years old, but have acquired an i7-2600, 24GB RAM and moved my array from RAID5 to RAID10 so have a bit more grunt.
     
  19. Avalon

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2002

    Posts: 3,724

    You've got about 8 years of catching up to do :D Automation is much more efficient than doing things manually, when you get your head round SONARR/RADARR/LIDARR, Ombi and Tatulli, combine them with SAB/NZBGet and Deluge/rTorrent with VPN built into the docker and when you get fed up of doing it all on your home connection with local storage you can move to a VPS/Cloud solution with unlimited storage and massively faster connectivity. If you do it right your only need to interact with your server should be to add anything to the monitor list that isn't automatically imported from the sources you set it to pull lists from.
     
  20. jrwagh333

    Mobster

    Joined: Aug 20, 2008

    Posts: 3,468

    Looking to add a Plex server to my home.

    I don't really have any spare parts laying around and want to use my current PC (maybe upgrade if needed) to be my main PC as well as the Plex server.

    My question really is - Can i set CPU priority on Plex? I use Ubuntu.
    The only game I play on PC is CSGO and that is relatively low core count. So I was wondering if I could maybe limit Plex to just a few cores?