Author Topic: run plex server for mates  (Read 381 times)

run plex server for mates
on: August 07, 2022, 11:47:06 AM
thinking about running a plex server (if plex is best) at home or work and letting people I know connect to watch films etc...

any tips ideas?  I've googled but it's a mine field

  • Offline neXus

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Re: run plex server for mates
Reply #1 on: August 08, 2022, 07:48:19 AM
It is pretty straight forward mate.
For what your asking..


- You need a good network
- You need a machine to run it
- You will need a good internet to stream to outside
- Some port management on router required.


The Machine:
Plex will do transencoding so its mainly CPU so the better the machine with the CPU for that will help. This will allow it to stream to different devices with the app and play pretty much all the files.


Media Location:
If you got a good network then most files will stream fine without buffering but soon as you got other people using it and 4k movies etc then that can cause buffering transferring over so having a direct drive or a drive on the machine itself will help with better quality video.
Outside it will all about what your upstream is really of course.


Plex:
Getting the plex server and setting it up is pretty easy. It is a little different PC, Mac, Linux setup but its straight forward and making a free account is easy. With that out the way then it is just a matter of setting up Libraries.


You would look to have a movie type library and your main movies.
A library can have multiple folder locations so you just make what you want to show in your main server nav and then point those libraries to where they need to be.


External Access etc:
In the settings there is a network part and sharing and it tells you about the port it will use etc so you just need to open that up for the router and you can access via the IP address and login BUT if you go to plex and login on its site if you got access to the server you click it and you can use the browser.
In the server it does tests and lets you know when it is all good with a green circle etc.


Plex players:
Different for devices so you get the apple tv one and login. If the server is on the same network it will pick it up and just work.
If you have been given access to someone else's you can navigate to their media server and view that content - all pretty easy.


Happy to answer questions. I have setup several for my brother in law in NZ as he does rich clients cinema / homes with all the bells and whistles and their networks etc and I have helped with some good Plex server setups there.
So far as a side note the mac mini M1 just sings using Plex, its a great media streaming server.

Re: run plex server for mates
Reply #2 on: August 08, 2022, 19:13:38 PM
I was thinking I could run it from my synology nas... but doubt it has the cpu power for that?  (Celeron J4025 2core 2ghz, 2.9boost 6 gig ram)

could stream from home pc (ryzen 7 1800x, 8core 16 threads, 3.6gig stock 4gig boost 16gig ram, 1080ti - does encoding offload to gpu?)

speed test home 192mbps down 37up


or even better, from server at work inside a vm (dual xeon e5-2620 (6cores 12 threads each, 2gig stock 2.5gig boost, 128meg ram, gt730, windows server 2019 but could run anything invide vm?)

spped test work 47mbps down 18up


will upload at work be enough?  don't really want to tie up my pc at home... I have a spare pc I could run but seams daft to run an extra pc 24/7 for the odd film?


plus, I've got 130tb of cctv storage at work... can easily swap some of that for films/tv


if work server is enough to run it... can I just dump films into a folder and plex will sort itself out?  have VPN setup so I'll probably just d/l at home as normal and let it copy to server over the net at needed


also for wathcing it... think most people have smart TVs.... is that good enough?


one guy at work his gf keeps renting films to watch.... £16 a time!!!!!!! :-o

  • Offline neXus

  • Posts: 8,698
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Re: run plex server for mates
Reply #3 on: August 09, 2022, 01:56:51 AM
I was thinking I could run it from my synology nas... but doubt it has the cpu power for that?  (Celeron J4025 2core 2ghz, 2.9boost 6 gig ram)

could stream from home pc (ryzen 7 1800x, 8core 16 threads, 3.6gig stock 4gig boost 16gig ram, 1080ti - does encoding offload to gpu?)

speed test home 192mbps down 37up


or even better, from server at work inside a vm (dual xeon e5-2620 (6cores 12 threads each, 2gig stock 2.5gig boost, 128meg ram, gt730, windows server 2019 but could run anything invide vm?)

spped test work 47mbps down 18up


will upload at work be enough?  don't really want to tie up my pc at home... I have a spare pc I could run but seams daft to run an extra pc 24/7 for the odd film?


plus, I've got 130tb of cctv storage at work... can easily swap some of that for films/tv


if work server is enough to run it... can I just dump films into a folder and plex will sort itself out?  have VPN setup so I'll probably just d/l at home as normal and let it copy to server over the net at needed


also for wathcing it... think most people have smart TVs.... is that good enough?


one guy at work his gf keeps renting films to watch.... £16 a time!!!!!!! :-o


- While they do support NAS's I have found that their chips just dont quite cut the mustard in terms of the transcoding. They always lag a bit and you have more faffing about with settings and having it run or crash.
- There is no GPU work, its all CPU and it will run as a service on Windows / run in the background so you do not want to use it on a machine being used for anything other than network/server type stuff.
- There are people running it through a VM but you just need to make sure you provision enough memory and CPU to that VM for it.
- I would have it on something always running so you do not have to keep booting up the plex server all the time, just a hassle, why have one vs network folder and VLC if your doing that.

Watching wise - The Apps do not do much, the work is done by the server so if your TV is modern smart it will be able to have the Plex app. Plex app is like everywhere, IOS, Playstation, Xbox, Apple Tv, Roku... heaps.


Re: run plex server for mates
Reply #4 on: August 09, 2022, 08:37:49 AM

- There is no GPU work, its all CPU and it will run as a service on Windows / run in the background so you do not want to use it on a machine being used for anything other than network/server type stuff.


This isn't entirely true, you can offload to the GPU however you need to have a Plex Pass subscription (Which is relatively pricey @ £4/month / £95 lifetime, unless you got in on it early like I did.

For CPU transcoding ideally you want something with Quick Sync (Intel), which you may have already experienced with your CCTV, for AMD really you need the GPU.

However, most of my internal streaming doesn't transcode so that content can be ignored in any calculations, I don't have 4K content yet and running this on an E3-1260L in a Gen 8 micro server with no GPU, I generally only have 1 person at a time streaming and don't appear to have issues, not sure if I'd get much more out of it. Using X264 over X265 would help, but 99% of mine is 265.

I couple of links with more info:
https://support.plex.tv/articles/201774043-what-kind-of-cpu-do-i-need-for-my-server/
https://support.plex.tv/articles/115002178853-using-hardware-accelerated-streaming/

However, you might also want to checkout Jellyfin, I've not used it, but I believe no subscription supports AMD AMF (Similar to Quick Sync), not quite as polished as Plex but I hear a lot of good things..

Re: run plex server for mates
Reply #5 on: August 09, 2022, 17:44:29 PM
hmmm... no quicksync, is it worth giving cpu encoding a try or am I wasting my time?

server as a dell r730, I've havn't looked into it, but gpu options are limited - thats why I put a gt730 in it... looks like a 730 is touch and go for transcoding

also.... can I just dump films/episodes into a folder and plex will sort it all out?  - I don't mine putting in the time to set it up but don;t want to have to mess with it all time time


guess I chould just bite the bullet, run it and see what it's like?

Re: run plex server for mates
Reply #6 on: August 09, 2022, 20:16:49 PM
Just run it and give it a go, it’ll take you no more than 15 minutes to install and index all your stuff, it’s really pretty simple to get up and running just chuck it in a folder. If on your local network then won’t likely need to transcode, just the remote sessions.

Re: run plex server for mates
Reply #7 on: August 09, 2022, 21:12:45 PM
I'll give it a go!

Not really bothered about using it personally, I do stuff watch it then delete it

I'll try watching it from home myself first

I was thinking I could re-encode storage so no need to transcode on the fly... But Google says it's a bit touch and go, depends a lot on what the viewer's plsyer can play

Setup a new VM earlier. I'll install Plex later :-)

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