Project Plex – Replacing my Media Center PC

Twas the night before Christmas, in the year 2014, Project Plex finally begun.

For years I have been using a Windows 7 box with Media Center as my main Media PC. It had 6 TB of storage, mainly ISO's (DVD and Blu-ray), and I had it connected to my Samsung 55" TV. This Christmas it was finally time for an upgrade. Since all other family members had smart-phones, iPads, and PCs I decided on using the Plex Media Server which has a rich set of client applications.

Media Server

As Plex Media Server I decided on using my trustworthy HP MicroServer, 16 GB of RAM, one 480 GB SSD for OS and Program Files volume, and 4 x 4 TB of SATA drives configured in a fault tolerant storage pool (parity).

 MicroServer
The HP MicroServer with 1 SSD + 4 x 4 TB SATA disks.

image
The Storage Pool, 10.9 TB Available.

Main Client

As I mentioned, Plex has clients for most hardware, but as my main Media PC, connected to my TV, I selected the Intel NUC device. I actually wrote a piece about that machine almost a year ago, on how to install it with Windows 8.1.

NUC
The Intel NUC PC (Next to my Apple TV).

Converting Media

Since Plex prefer MKV over ISO files, my next task is to convert my ISO's into MKV files (containers). Will add more info on that as I go along.

Happy holidays to all of you!

/ Johan

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Johan Arwidmark

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Admin
Admin
7 years ago

Thanks all for sharing your tips and setups!

/ Johan

snoop
snoop
7 years ago

I too have a HP Microserver, what amazing beasts they are.Mine lives in the attic and has a remote access card also, just in case. I've done things differently though.SSD for OS, 6TB storage.Win2012 Server. I run a free product called Serviio, its a DLNA server, all my TV's are wired in and are DLNA clients, Serviio also does a pretty good job of trans-coding on the fly for different devices. There are pleny of free dlna clients for iOS and android devices also. So Serviio will serve up movies, my photos, camera videos and TV recordings.I attached a USB… Read more »

skylier36
skylier36
7 years ago

I tried Plex, it was good but found iTunes to be less resource intensive on my server.
I'm using iHomeSever (turns iTunes into a Windows service) with AppleTV as the endpoints.
Converted all my MKV to M4V to reduce storage requirements.

Proliant ML110 G6
Windows 8.1
combo of Drobo and internal drives running with Drive Bender

Happy New Year
Skylier

ramseygr
ramseygr
7 years ago

Congrats! I have been running plex server (on my main desktop pc) and small pc on my tv for a year or so…. and just decided to take it to the next level. I'm testing a Roku 3 and a Tablo (for local channels and DVR) so that I can 'cut the cable'. Using the Roku as the single interface for Tablo, Hulu Plus (as well as amazon prime and netflix) makes a good user-friendly experience for the family.

(Btw-Merry Christmas!)

Admin
Admin
7 years ago

Thanks for the heads up, luckily my Intel NUC is my main media PC, so no conversion is needed. I have both the NUC and the Apple TC hooked up to the TV.

I may have to get a more powerful server to do the live transcoding for the iPads etc.

/ Johan

Martony
Martony
7 years ago

I turned my Proliant Microserver into a Plex Media Server too, but I installed Xpenology on it.
My TV is connected to my Apple TV and I use PlexConnect to stream videos but it has a major drawback: Apple TV only supports MP4, if you want to stream MKV your Plex Media Server has to transcode the stream on the fly. My Proliant can't handle the CPU load so I have to convert all my MKV to MP4…


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