PLEX alternative?

I have a small PC on my home network with a 2T hard drive that I would like to use to store movies and media to view via my Rokus.  I signed up for Plex, and then found out that it will not work with the 32 bit XP operating system on the network PC.  Can anyone suggest an alternative to Plex for a networked PC with XP on it (not interested in upgrading operating system)?

I highly doubt you will find anything that will run latest versions of a product on 32-bit XP.  You can check out xbmc though.

Edit: now called Kodi.

What are the specs of your computer? I’m sure it will run Windows 7.

It may, but it is a very small HP box, probably about 10 years old, and as noted previously, I don’t want to spend the $$ to upgrade it to Win7 or 8.

It may, but it is a very small HP box, probably about 10 years old, and as noted previously, I don't want to spend the $$ to upgrade it to Win7 or 8.

If its that old you might not even be able to do that … or go to Win x64 if you can even do it.

given how PLEX will try to transcode video on the fly a 10 year old CPU won’t be able to handle anything but direct-stream videos … (which is not generally the default)

You could run Linux on it, Plex Media Server will run on it and many Linux flavours are free.

Toss Ubuntu on it, that will run. Geesh, v8 used to run from a CD as fast as XP did from a hard drive. They are up to what, v14 now? 

It’s lean so runs fine on some older hardware. 

I run a PLEX server on Linux but I used the OMV NAS distro as I wanted it to double as a file server too… (I had to use OMV because of my weird DELL hardware)

I need to find out what this Plex stuff is all about. Never heard of it before Tablo and see it mentioned all over the place here.

Is there a thread that outlines WHAT it is, the history of it, what it does, doesn’t and so on?  I’m guessing it’s apparently a media server of some sort, but know nothing else about it. I’ve always just tossed content on my Windows-based machines but with Microsoft @#$%@$# windows so badly with the advent of 8 and later and their tiles and metro garbage, I’m about done with them.

Plex is a indead media server that IMO plays very nice with the Roku. It has really been refined over the last few years. I use it mainly to stream rips of my BluRays to my TV but it has many other features.

I ripped all my extensive DVD and BlueRays and put it on my PLEX server along with all my music … One thing I love about the PLEX server is I can access it remotely which is nice when you are stuck in a doctors office with a bored 2 year old.

Plex Media Server (PMS) houses your media.  Media can be music or video.  It also can host channels, which are dynamic streams of video or music.  There are plugins in addition to merely channels that can be use to enhance meta data etc.  For example, there is a plugin that will grab subtitles for you for media that doesn’t have subtitles (of course, it assumes a bit with regards to the media you have… something that doesn’t start/end like a pure rip, or something with commercials isn’t going to work with that).  Other things it can do is associate online trailers with your media, and recently it was made so that you can play trailers for other movies you have (or don’t have if you are a Plex Pass member) in front of a movie (for example)… if you get into that whole home theater experience.  Plex Media Server is a DLNA source for those that know what that is.

On the front end side there front end app/clients for Windows, iPhone/iPad, Android devices, Roku, etc.  These are generally how you play your media.  But the web app is pretty good, if that’s all you have.  In some ways it is like Tablo in that you seemingly get to your PMS content/channels  through Plex’s website, but it actually goes to your PMS.  You can optionally control and share your media with others.

I started out with XBMC (now Kodi) and switched over to Plex, because it fit my needs better, there are things that Kodi can do that Plex can do and (IMHO) there are things that Plex does really well that XBMC struggles at (like being relatively stable).

If you are a cord cutter and especially if you are a “legal” cord cutter (you don’t steal copyrighted media, but have your own purchased physical media) then Plex is definitely a must have.  However, Plex (and moreso Kodi) do have ways of watching “illegal” media… and even plugins to extract and save such to your PMS automatically.  But I mainly use it to manage all of my DVD and CD media… I rip, PMS fills in all the blanks (mostly… you can override things, including graphics, etc.).

I contribute to both and when I feed it something where existing meta agents can’t find info… and recommend that everyone else do the same (helps us all).  I contribute posters and graphics as well… sometimes very much of my own creation where I think the meta data for such is awful, etc…

PMS, ideally should run on a medium to high end Core2 Duo (which isn’t saying much).  Mine runs on a Sandy Bridge Celeron just fine.  The horsepower is so that PMS can transcode for the end device properly.  The end device might have special requirements, or because of networking, it might require something “less” than the original media… thus it transcodes.

Quite hard to describe everything Plex can do.  I’ve only had ours for a litttle over a year.  And it took a while to rip everything… 675 DVD movies, 46 TV Shows (most of which we have all episodes and seasons… so there’s a lot, a whole lot)… Tablo wise I have 82 movies moved from Tablo to Plex using SurLaTablo and 5 TV shows (including multiple season and one is NFL Football for 2014).  Music wise, 278 Albums, but I’m not nearly done on that front… sigh…

You can get a feel here, Plex Media Server

  Plex Media Server is a DLNA source for those that know what that is.

You can get a feel here, Plex Media Server

If I recall correctly, it’s a standard for home media and my Blu Ray and other devices can use any compliant system or device. Any complaint device can use and share the resources.

I DO have media that is well-used and I would like to rip or otherwise transfer my LEGALLY BOUGHT media to digital for many reasons. If there were a way to get VHS movies to digital I’d be all over that! Our VCR is dying, we have two actually but the one that we used most of the time eats tapes, the other is older but plays excellent for VHS. Yeah, OLD SKOOL but some of those you just can’t get on modern media and we’d like to save the movies and shows we have on VHS to some other format, just haven’t found a great way to “rip” or convert those yet. It would save a lot of SPACE as then we could dump the VCRs completely - get rid of a ton of tapes and move to mostly digital finally. My wife would LOVE that ability!!

With the Blu Ray that can take content from any decent media server and present it to the TV, this may be my answer. In fact it surprised me when I unboxed it and plugged it in and it found my home network, besides all the devices like the TV and so on, it shows my notebook computer and desktop on the screen as viable media sources. Cool. 

Well, I do have a spare computer now so maybe Plex could be a good use for that older system that WAS running Windows XP SP2, has plenty of storage but is rather limited on RAM and processing power and needs to get that #$% windows OFF the drive. (It’s 6 or 7 years old if I recall)

I went all out with Plex and have a dedicated stripped down desktop with a Intel i7 chip running nothing but Windows 8.1 and Plex. I Rip my BluRays on a Desktop with a Intel i5 chip. I am an admitted movie junkie and buy 3-4 BluRays a week.

One plugin I use on Plex is DVDP2Plex. It pulls the metadata for movies from my DVD Profiler Database which I use to catalog all my BluRays.

@jcox Do you run Ubuntu? I was looking at putting that on my Plex Machine but one concern I have is that I rip my BluRays on another machine and I transfer them to a HDD Enclosure plugged into my Plex machine. They are both currently running Windows 8.1. and it easy to see the drives and transfer the files in Windows Explorer.

If I have Ubuntu on my Plex Machine will I still be able to see the drives plugged into the Ubuntu machine from my Windows machine in Windows Explorer?

My PMS runs on a Lenovo Q190 running opensSUSE 12.3 currently.  It’s a low power (well, not as low as things can go today) with enough horsepower for transcodes.   I have 3 x 1TB USB drives hanging off of it.  Two of which are NTFS filesystems.  So… at least in my case, though I do not dual boot, I did setup some areas so that they can be moved easily to Windows machines (mainly for media belonging to my daughter for when she leaves home).

I have had Plex running on an Ubuntu based machine in the past and using SMB shares any Windows machine could copy media on to local drive.

I now run Plexe on my Qnap NAS.  Far more efficient for us and uses an appliance approach removing another PC/Server out of the mix.  We have somewhere around 2.7TB of video and music on the NAS now, all front ended by Plex.  Clients are on my Samsung Smart TV and our Roku.  Also can connect via DLNA from the PS3 and Windows machines running a media player.  However, be aware that some platforms can’t play all media types so your “server” may need to transcode on the fly or direct stream instead of playing locally on the device.  This is an issue on the PS3 for example.

We’ve had Plex in our mix for about 5 years now after abandoning XBMC over stability issues.

NAS is there even if the PC dies is the nice thing. 
NO PS1, 2 or 3 here. That’s my son’s deal there.   :smiley:

I love my Plex server. Combined with Roku, it’s fantastic.

I had around 600 DVDs, a couple hundred BluRays, and a 2 year old Grandson. Needless to say, the movie I wanted to watch was never in the box it should be, and when you finally tracked it down, it was covered in peanut butter or some other unidentifiable, but undeniably sticky substance.

I have around 1000 movies, roughly the same in TV episodes, plus all our home-moves, photos, and 3 or 4 hundred audio CDs all available to all of my TVs (Roku or Smart TVs), Tablets (android or iOS), Xbox, Playstation, smartphones and PCs. I don’t have to worry what format works best for what device, Plex does all that in the background. I run about 12TB of storage, on an old AMD X4 840  based box that also runs my ‘personal cloud’, backups and everything else. 

The Grandson can watch as many episodes of Shaun the Sheep as he likes…with no danger of the DVDs getting messed up, mixed up, or coated in sticky stuff. My BluRay player is gathering dust in a closet somewhere. Streaming 1080P Game of Thrones to the 60" TV in the Family room is
seamless, simple, and most importantly, works through the Roku just like
Netflix or Hulu…so the Wife can make it work. People at work are blown away when I stream home videos from my server to my phone, without any fuss or hassle…it just works.

The hardest part was learning how to rip DVDs and BluRays consistently (especially subtitles) for storage on the server. As I own the DVD’s I ripped, I will take my chances with the Copy Police :wink:

Now if I could just get the Shaun the Sheep theme song out of my head…

He’s Shaun the Sheep…he’s Shaun the Sheep…

@sjp I have been using Handbrake for a few years to encode my movies. If you download Handbrake Nightly Build it supports subtitles and forced subtitles on BluRay but forced subtitles can still be a challenge occasionally. I only include forced subtitles in my encodes and always burn them in.

I am also using SlySoft’s new CloneBD to encode BluRays that have no forced subtitles. It has a target file size feature which Handbrake did away with but subtitle support is still lacking and it still has a few bugs to be worked out. Overall it works pretty well and is faster than Handbrake on my setup and as I mentioned I don’t need a lot of subtitle support and SlySoft has promised Forced Subtitle support in the future so CloneBD may be all I need in the future.

+1 for SlySoft (lifetimer)