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Plex server requirements for a home theater setup

Go to solution Solved by DrMacintosh,
9 minutes ago, The Karnivore said:

Ahhh ok so that most likely explains why my generic mid range samsung TV cant play a lot of the files?

Yep. 

 

10 minutes ago, The Karnivore said:

So the shield 4k you think would be the best option? 

Yes, the Apple TV being second best. 

Hi all,

 

This may not be the right section for this, sorry if not!, but im moving house and setting up a theater room for the first time.

I have the sound system, projector and screen sorted but now im working on what i'll need to be able to stream 4k content.

The projector supports atmos, hdmi earc, 4k hdr10+ 120hz as does the amp im using, so what would be reccommend to use as the media streamer?

My current plex server is running off an old PC with an i7-4820K at 4.4ghz and 32gb of ddr3 ram. It does it well enough but wont play very large 4k files, 100gb 4k Endgame etc.

What would be the best options for being able to stream the higher end 4k content? I know it wont play it native and will most likely scale it down to around 40mbs? 

Nvidia shield TV pro looks like a good start? but i assume the issue is more with the server itself not being powerful enough.

 

*Edit - or any other suggestions on hosting 4k content to watch in the theater? I'm not set on plex its just what im using currently

 

Thanks 🙂

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If you have a Plex Pass subscription, you should be able to take advantage of hardware video encoding (either Quick Sync on the Intel iGPU, or adding a card like a Quadro P400).

 

If you don't want to pay for a Plex Pass, you'd have to switch to another platform like Jellyfin. Otherwise you're stuck encoding on the CPU.

 

If your 4k files are in a format the Shield can play natively, they shouldn't need to be transcoded at all. At that point it's just a file transfer.

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18 minutes ago, The Karnivore said:

Nvidia shield TV pro looks like a good start? but i assume the issue is more with the server itself not being powerful enough.

The power of the server is almost irrelevant. What you need are good clients. The Nvidia Shield and the Apple TV 4K are the best streaming boxes available for Plex because they support basically every audio/video format. If the client supports the video format, there is no need to transcode and the client can instead do a direct video stream of the source content. 

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2 minutes ago, DrMacintosh said:

The power of the server is almost irrelevant. What you need are good clients. The Nvidia Shield and the Apple TV 4K are the best streaming boxes available for Plex because they support basically every audio/video format. If the client supports the video format, there is no need to transcode and the client can instead do a direct video stream of the source content. 

Ahhh ok so that most likely explains why my generic mid range samsung TV cant play a lot of the files? because it doesnt support half the codecs? 
So the shield 4k you think would be the best option? 

Thanks for the help!

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Like someone else said you're going to want to use a good client device that can handle the file format natively. Personally I've had great luck with the two Apple TV 4K units I have (one is an original 2017 model and the other is the current model), and I can simultaneously stream two separate 4K files from the 2012 Mac mini I'm using as my Plex server. The Mac mini doesn't have to do any transcoding at all since the Apple TVs can handle the files, and that's a good thing since that old Mac mini struggles to transcode 1080p files on the fly. 

 

I don't have any experience with the Shield, but I've heard good things about it over the years, so I don't see why it would be a bad option. 

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9 minutes ago, The Karnivore said:

Ahhh ok so that most likely explains why my generic mid range samsung TV cant play a lot of the files?

Yep. 

 

10 minutes ago, The Karnivore said:

So the shield 4k you think would be the best option? 

Yes, the Apple TV being second best. 

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4 minutes ago, DrMacintosh said:

Yep. 

 

Yes, the Apple TV being second best. 

Awesome! thank you (ever everyone else) for the help 🙂

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12 hours ago, The Karnivore said:

Awesome! thank you (ever everyone else) for the help 🙂

FYI if you're planning on doing Direct Streaming (Eg: getting your local playback device to handle the majority of the load, rather than having your server transcode), a used XBox One S (identical in performance to the One X in this situation) is one the the best Plex clients. However there's a caveat - apparently the Plex App itself on all platforms just doesn't utilize all local hardware playback capabilities.

 

The Kodi App + official Plex Add-on is apparently the best way to view Plex content. I'm going to test this out myself, as I use the official Plex App all the time on one XBO S.

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-nOzJkgEmo_wrU3zyUy21qW8vJ-Vo1j_z6GLhQBiTOQ/edit#gid=0

 

Someone from the Plex community put this spreadsheet together. It compares the 2019 Shield TV Pro vs the PS4 Pro vs the XBO X (the S has the same capabilities within this context).

 

Now it doesn't list the AppleTV 4K so that player could be better than the shield.

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