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Streaming videos externally?

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I have no problem using windows in-built homegroup/share to stream videos within our home network (PCs/laptops/tablets/TV/etc). Is there a way to stream externally too?

My video folder weighs in @ 2.4TB hence want to avoid expensive cloud storage plans. Is there a more cost effective solution? At the moment I just upload select files to onedrive/dropbox and then share with the intended recipient... i'd prefer a zero-hassle solution where they always have access.
 
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Plex is very popular and works well.
 

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Yeah, Plex can handle that. I think you need to pay a $5 monthly fee, or $120 for a lifetime pass, to stream over the internet, though.
 
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Plex is very popular and works well.
Yeah, Plex can handle that. I think you need to pay a $5 monthly fee, or $120 for a lifetime pass, to stream over the internet, though.

Excellent... $120 lifetime pass, i like!

On the external stream side of things, can these videos be shared as a link or does the user require plex installation on their machines/devices too?

Any security concerns for the host streaming machine? I use my PC for everything - work/banking/day trading/gaming/etc.

Sorry for being a pest, one last question - is there a quick "turn off" option in plex if I want to terminate access temporarily? (eg. when trading online I prefer having full bandwidth dedicated to the trading workload)?

thanks in advance
 
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Yeah, Plex can handle that. I think you need to pay a $5 monthly fee, or $120 for a lifetime pass, to stream over the internet, though.

Its free over the internet with just one account. If you want to add people then it costs
There is a 30 day free trial for a Plex Pass

To download the android app its $5 one time fee.

Excellent... $120 lifetime pass, i like!

On the external stream side of things, can these videos be shared as a link or does the user require plex installation on their machines/devices too?

Any security concerns for the host streaming machine? I use my PC for everything - work/banking/day trading/gaming/etc.

Sorry for being a pest, one last question - is there a quick "turn off" option in plex if I want to terminate access temporarily? (eg. when trading online I prefer having full bandwidth dedicated to the trading workload)?

thanks in advance

Yes you can turn it off but you dont need to. Security is great with Plex and it uses very little system

To view the videos you need a PC log in on a browser or the Roku, Amazon, Google, smart TV, NAS devices or android app is ($5) one time fee

Also if you add accounts and have Plex pass you can monitor bandwidth amounts, accounts, and who can watch when. And Use the dedicated video decoder and encoder hardware support

Its fairly easy to get a synology and set it up as a dedicated Plex server. That way its never taxing your PC and also adds a layer of security. Or build a FreeNAS/UnRAID system, both support Plex
 
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Its free over the internet with just one account. If you want to add people then it costs
There is a 30 day free trial for a Plex Pass

To download the android app its $5 one time fee.

Yes you can turn it off but you dont need to. Security is great with Plex and it uses very little system

To view the videos you need a PC log in on a browser or the Roku, Amazon, Google, smart TV, NAS devices or android app is ($5) one time fee

Also if you add accounts and have Plex pass you can monitor bandwidth amounts, accounts, and who can watch when. And Use the dedicated video decoder and encoder hardware support

Its fairly easy to get a synology and set it up as a dedicated Plex server. That way its never taxing your PC and also adds a layer of security. Or build a FreeNAS/UnRAID system, both support Plex

This is great info... downloaded plex and really impressed with the simple-to-use + interactive user interface.

based on the "Its free over the internet with just one account" .....in other words, I can download plex on both my personal machine (the host) and then another machine at a different location (second user) by using the same account details for free? If correct, thats all I need... just giving my brother and his kids access to a whole bunch of videos from my PC and i'm not worried about sharing the username and password.

If it is free... i'm :roll:
 
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This is great info... downloaded plex and really impressed with the simple-to-use + interactive user interface.

based on the "Its free over the internet with just one account" .....in other words, I can download plex on both my personal machine (the host) and then another machine at a different location (second user) by using the same account details for free? If correct, thats all I need... just giving my brother and his kids access to a whole bunch of videos from my PC and i'm not worried about sharing the username and password.

If it is free... i'm :roll:

Yes that's it. The hardest part is getting the path to the folder you are goin to share. You have to type it in just right Like /media/movies
 
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Yes that's it. The hardest part is getting the path to the folder you are goin to share. You have to type it in just right Like /media/movies

Any advice how to link up the folder? I got plex on both machines now.
 
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Youtube videos are helpful
 
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I love you guys looool

I can't believe how amazing PLEX is.... can't believe this sort of "going international" service is possible (yep i'm out-dated).. and the fact that its completely free with amazing UI - i'm blown away!

The silly part being, I should of made this inquiry years ago. I was about to pull the trigger on a stupid $100 1/2TB cloud storage subscription but thought i'd post up in this forum to find the most affordable solution.

SOLUTION: FREE

THANK YOU!!! (i mean it)
 

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This is an excellent thread!

I dabbled with Plex server several years ago, and it worked pretty decent, but I quit using it.........Not really sure why. LOL

Since using it in the past, I have "cut the cord" and only use streaming services. I have a lot of favorite movies and shows that I'd like to be able to watch from time to time and I had totally
forgot about Plex!!!

Well, now I'm going to dabble in that puppy again.

Thanks @Jetster for adding in the video on Plex library setup!!!!!
 
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An alternative to Plex is Jellyfin (100% free).
I did use Plex for a while but it started having issues after an update so I decided to try Jellyfin and it works well for me.
It is Very similar to Plex (and Emby) so if you feel comfortable with Plex (or Emby) you shouldn't have any issues using Jellyfin.
Jellyfin: The Free Software Media System
 

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An alternative to Plex is Jellyfin (100% free).
I did use Plex for a while but it started having issues after an update so I decided to try Jellyfin and it works well for me.
It is Very similar to Plex (and Emby) so if you feel comfortable with Plex (or Emby) you shouldn't have any issues using Jellyfin.
Jellyfin: The Free Software Media System

Hell, I might just give that a shot! Looks to be a pretty decent streamer!
 
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Plex/Jellyfin/Emby all have their pros and cons. Plex is more of the "commercial" solution that's been around longest, and is designed to be basically plug and play (unlike its parent Kodi which is for more tech minded people who dont mind tinkering when an update breaks something), it has a pretty interface and apps for every platform. Its flaw is that because they are 'commercial', they don't pay much attention to suggestions and bug reports from their users. They tend to be more interested in incorporating new useless features that make them more money. (Don't get me wrong, not totally bashing it, just venting frustration because I've used it for years).

Emby I honestly forget where it came from, whether it was a fork or a raw design, but it has also in the past couple years become a closed source commercial venture.

Jellyfin forked from Emby when they closed the source. It is totally free, I have not played with it yet but it is nowhere near as smooth of an experience as Plex. It is more akin to Kodi from what I've read about it, requiring special initial setup considerations, and requiring constant attention due to changes breaking things. It also nowhere near as refined a UI as the others, and only supports a few platforms when it comes to apps. It's not something to use to share your content with non-tech family members (the main reason I dropped Kodi - which I've used since 2006 when it was XBMC running on an original Xbox - for Plex years back. It was just easier for me to roll out being the family tech support guy lol).

For something that "just works", and new shared users can be configured on their new devices by your average 12 year old, stick with Plex. There also seems to be confusion as to what the free tier entails.. You DO NOT need to pay to share your libraries with friends/family. You also do not have to pay to access it remotely yourself. Due to some of the (admittedly controversial) partnerships that Plex has made, you get all of their "ad-driven" streaming services included free. What DOES require the Plex Pass is utilizing hardware transcoding (uses your GPU or Intel QSV to handle conversions between formats and resolutions, so it does not tax your CPU), advanced Dashboard functions such as stats and the ability to "kick" users, and "Home users", which is effectively linking accounts together to "share" the benefits of one Plex Pass (like the ability to download paid apps for free).
 
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An alternative to Plex is Jellyfin (100% free).

2 streaming servers for the price ($0) of 1... i'll take it :) Looks just as great as PLEX.

At the moment... i'm still on the WOW-train with Plex which is running flawlessly - can't fault it one bit (for a simple user). Definitely will keep Jellyfin bookmarked for future reference or maybe a second private video server if plex doesn't allow 2 accounts running simultaneously (might come handy with private videos).

I do have one question though... my Sony Bravia TV is currently streaming videos via the Win homegroup (no complaints though)... but doesn't support plex unless I opt for a third party device (Roku/Minix/etc). My old Minix Neo U1 (unofficial android device) does to plex but the unofficial'ness falls victim to 'video playing' but not 'showing'. So 2 questions:

1. Would Jellyfin work with either the smart TV apps or Minix Neo U1? or similar should expect a similar fate?

2. Can i run Jellyfin + Plex at the same time... accessing the same set of library folders?

What DOES require the Plex Pass is utilizing hardware transcoding (uses your GPU or Intel QSV to handle conversions between formats and resolutions, so it does not tax your CPU), advanced Dashboard functions such as stats and the ability to "kick" users, and "Home users", which is effectively linking accounts together to "share" the benefits of one Plex Pass (like the ability to download paid apps for free).

Nice.. I wasn't aware the pass opens up GPU based encoding. I got a 1080 TI running in my build paired up with a i7-7700K. Can i expect faster transcoding via the GPU?

GPU VS CPU transcoding: besides gaming performance taxation...pros and cons? I use my PC regularly and besides gaming, my 1080 TI mostly sits idle.
 
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@ wheresmycar ,
1. I have no idea because I use Jellyfin via FireTV 4k Sticks on 2 older Samsung (not Smart) TV's
2. I don't see any reason why you couldn't run both servers at once using the same folders as the libraries But I have never tried it.
 
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2 streaming servers for the price ($0) of 1... i'll take it :) Looks just as great as PLEX.

At the moment... i'm still on the WOW-train with Plex which is running flawlessly - can't fault it one bit (for a simple user). Definitely will keep Jellyfin bookmarked for future reference or maybe a second private video server if plex doesn't allow 2 accounts running simultaneously (might come handy with private videos).

I do have one question though... my Sony Bravia TV is currently streaming videos via the Win homegroup (no complaints though)... but doesn't support plex unless I opt for a third party device (Roku/Minix/etc). My old Minix Neo U1 (unofficial android device) does to plex but the unofficial'ness falls victim to 'video playing' but not 'showing'. So 2 questions:

1. Would Jellyfin work with either the smart TV apps or Minix Neo U1? or similar should expect a similar fate?

2. Can i run Jellyfin + Plex at the same time... accessing the same set of library folders?

Can't answer 1, but 2 is a conditional yes - as long as they don't both try to do hardware transcoding. Not even positive it is supported by Jellyfin, but they both can't use it at the same time AFAIU. But the server processes themselves are separate so it would be just like any other multi-access situation on a shared drive.


Nice.. I wasn't aware the pass opens up GPU based encoding. I got a 1080 TI running in my build paired up with a i7-7700K. Can i expect faster transcoding via the GPU?

GPU VS CPU transcoding: besides gaming performance taxation...pros and cons? I use my PC regularly and besides gaming, my 1080 TI mostly sits idle.

The horsepower required for transcoding depends on a lot of factors, including source resolution/bitrate and target resolution/bitrate. It is a lot easier to shave a 1080p/12Mbps source down to 1080p/8Mbps than it is to squeeze a 40Mbps remux down to 720p/2Mbps (or god forbid 480p).
The main area where you'd see the advantage of the hardware transcoding is if you have h.265/HEVC content and any of the client devices are incompatible (or if it needs to be transcoded for a slow cell phone connection for example). HEVC transcoding is murder on a CPU. Your i7 has a passmark score of 9726, and the rule of thumb is 1 transcode per 2000 passmark. So roughly 5 simultaneous standard h.264 transcodes. If the source is h.265/HEVC though, you'll be able to transcode one, MAYBE two at a time with the CPU maxed out, huffing and puffing with your fans ramped up to jet engine speed. Using the 1080Ti (and a hacked driver since Nvidia has a 2 session limit), it is actually capable of up to 22 simultaneous h.265/HEVC transcodes. That's how much more efficient hardware transcoding is over CPU.

I can't speak for how the transcoding and gaming would get along together, but I do believe access to the GPU is first come first serve (same reason you couldn't have Plex and Jellyfin both use HW decoding).
 
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Great info!!

I've only got one user added to my plex server... the rest is all me. The x2 hardware transcode limit going the GPU route sounds like a plan. For gaming I'm not fussed...i'm a greedy savage hehe. I tend to exit all CPU (or GPU) resource hoggers prior to gaming hence no one's getting access to plex as i refuse to hit anything below 90fps.

Thanks for opening up my eyes to the various factors which determine transcoding performance. I finally have something on my plate which makes more meaningful use of "multi-threaded performance"... ties in nicely with my up-n-coming Ryzen 5000-series upgrade (or maybe Rocket lake). Definitely will keep the HW trans option on the table (i guess it depends on how often CPU-transcoding becomes a bother whilst I'm working on my system).

thanks a bunch!
 
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