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Which driver - Chowmain Kodi or Plex?


jfh

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I thought I understood this, but don't think I do.  I want to add either the Kodi full or Plex driver and trying to figure out best option for my system.

I realize Kodi takes a little more work to set up, but that doesn't matter to me.  Have read that Kodi is more customizable, but won't use it outside the C4/Chowmain interface so not sure that matters.

 

My media is on a Synology NAS server which can run Plex server.  I can dedicate a PC/rPi to run Kodi if needed.

I will rarely, if ever, want to stream anything to a phone or tablet or remotely, just access media through C4.

 

Every TV is fed by an HDMI matrix which has a Fire TV, Roku, Dune HD, Apple TV, TiVo and some Blu Ray changers.

One TV is a 2015 Sony XBR which has both Plex and Kodi clients.

 

given the above, would you go with Plex or Kodi and why?   It looks like the Kodi driver can do more (I really like the idea of non-disruptive notifications on screen), but really not clear what I can do with Kodi I can't do with Plex.

 

Thanks.

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26 minutes ago, funnyfarm299 said:

Plex is incredible. The transcoding and sync features are great when I'm out of the house, and there's far less work getting Plex running on various devices.

@alanchow, is there a way to do notifications on Plex?

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

yes and no.  Plex home theater does however no other client does.  As such our latest plex full driver does not support it.

thanks for pointing out this topic.  The whole plex vs Kodi/xbmc debate is actually quite big and everyone has their own preferences.  In fact if you google plex vs xbmc you will see that there are constant debates about it.

this topic warrants a proper response and I should probably dedicate a page on my website to it as I am sure more and more people will ask the question.

Without knowing what content you are most interested in @jfh and without knowing more information about your house (if you have a dedicated home Theater, how many people are living there, etc) it is hard to give a recommendation based on the limited information.  For now though given what hardware you currently have the easiest is to utilise out plex full driver as you already have everything you need.

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Look forward to any other info you can provide to help Alan.  I guess part of my problem is understanding what one does that the other can't.  I've read a lot of the comparison stuff on the web, but it seems more along the lines of "Kodi is client based, harder to set up, but has more flexibility in how the interface looks" and "Plex runs on a server, is easier to set up and has an official support organization behind it".     But does any of that really matter if I would set up one or two Kodi clients both pointing to the same NFS that a Plex server would use?

My house is fairly simple, primarily because there isn't a lot of separate video watching.  Generally there are only two of us here, sometimes four and for the most part we watch the same thing at the same time.  

We do have a dedicated home theater and we would watch using Kodi/Plex generally in only one room simultaneously, maybe two - Theater (would be the most used), Living Room (second most used), with Master suite and guest room seeing only occasional use.  

Primary content would be movies, TV shows, Netflix and a photo library.  At some point I would like to see DVR function, but I'm so used to TiVo I'd probably never use another DVR setup as long as TiVo is viable for me.

I guess part of my hesitation is I don't want to limit potential function  - it seems your Kodi driver can do more things than the Plex driver, but maybe that's just my perception.  And I want to limit the comparison between the function that the Chowmain drivers provide - if there is something Kodi can do that the Chowmain Kodi driver doesn't support and/zer isn't likely to, I don't care because my  Kodi IR Plex universe is going to be entirely C4 driven by using one of the Chowmain options.

 

If the thought is Plex is a better fit - what do I lose by not using Kodi?

If the thought is Plex because I already have, what I need, what would I need to run Kodi (I think just a single Koki client hooked up to my HDMI matrix, since the MBR TV is a Sony XBR that can be its own client)?  That's a trivial investment to me.

I don't want to implement the Plex driver only to say in six months "I should have bought a Kodi player and gone that route".  On the other hand, I don't want to add hardware to run Kodi just to get access to features I'll never use.

 

 

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Ok, my video NAS is a Synology DS1813+.  Looking at the Plex site, that seems it doesn't have the horsepower to transcode HD content.  

 

Would that be enough to tip the scale to the Kodi side?  (I *think* I would rather buy a Kodi client than a Pkex server if I gave to get another box)

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That would only trip the scale if you need to transcode.  At this stage I would install plex app on the roku and Sony TV.  Install the server on the NAS and do some tests.  You won't need a dealer to do any of this so this will give you some good insight.  Whilst you are at it also install Kodi on your Sony TV and try that as well.

Once you have done this you will get a better understanding yourself as to what your preferences are on the two players prior to integration.

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Forgot to mention your roku may be able to direct stream the content without transcoding.  Transcoding is usually used to devices that don't support a certain codec and needs to convert it to a compatible codec.

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3 minutes ago, alanchow said:

That would only trip the scale if you need to transcode.  At this stage I would install plex app on the roku and Sony TV.  Install the server on the NAS and do some tests.  You won't need a dealer to do any of this so this will give you some good insight.  Whilst you are at it also install Kodi on your Sony TV and try that as well.

Once you have done this you will get a better understanding yourself as to what your preferences are on the two players prior to integration.

Sounds like a good plan.

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Alan. What do you personally run? I've found that running plex as my backend library host has been better for me. But I switched from xbmc and I really liked the xbmc interface and plugins and config so primarily I use the plexbmc plugin to bring my plex library into xbmc and disable the xbmc library entirely. For this reason I use the xbmc driver instead of the kodi driver in c4. But probably doesn't make sense to have the 'full' driver as I'm not launching videos through the movies or TV apps because that would be xbmc library stuff. However I should mention that it is possible to launch any individual piece of media through this setup while using the video addons portion of the kodi driver. Of course this is not ideal but wouldn't expect my unique situation. To be better supported.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

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Forgot to mention that the other major driving force in this config was that there wasn't a decent supported plex client to run on linux and both if the machines I was using xbmc for we're linux.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

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9 hours ago, malelan said:

Alan. What do you personally run? I've found that running plex as my backend library host has been better for me. But I switched from xbmc and I really liked the xbmc interface and plugins and config so primarily I use the plexbmc plugin to bring my plex library into xbmc and disable the xbmc library entirely. For this reason I use the xbmc driver instead of the kodi driver in c4. But probably doesn't make sense to have the 'full' driver as I'm not launching videos through the movies or TV apps because that would be xbmc library stuff. However I should mention that it is possible to launch any individual piece of media through this setup while using the video addons portion of the kodi driver. Of course this is not ideal but wouldn't expect my unique situation. To be better supported.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

I personally run Kodi.  I do like the idea of Plex (i even paid for a lifetime plex pass subscription recently) about how you can use it to continue watching content on another client somewhere else but for me we've been using Kodi for so long in our household it would be hard to get my wife to accept something else (we've been using it since XBMP days).

Our Kodi Lite driver is actually suitable for people in your circumstance where you don't really want to view all of your meta data on Control4's user interface but you want two way feedback from Kodi.  You will still get automatic room on upon Airplay/UPnP and automatic room off upon screen saver (i use these two functions daily) plus you will get two way feedback for player state and also things like aspect ratio (which is good if your cinema has the ability to adjust screen masking and projection modes to suit the movies aspect ratio).

I use Kodi Full myself and on top of the features i listed above for Kodi Lite i also utlise the Video Addons mini driver quite a bit especially for catch up TV services we have here (my daughter loves watching peppa pig).  One of the functions i utilise quite alot which i did not expect to use is the recently viewed (movies or tv episode) function on my SR-250 remote. True i can use the touchscreen on my wall to do this but i find that i usually jump on my couch and quickly use the list navigator to quickly continue playing whatever i was watching previously.

Unfortunately the whole Plex vs Kodi debate is pretty lengthy and i would like to give it the attention it deserves so i won't provide a proper answer until i can sit down and really give it a few hours to write up a document that provides a good comparision on both players and the pro's and con's of each.

At the end of the day though it is an extremely close match and i think that it boils down to personal preferences.

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I personally run Kodi.  I do like the idea of Plex (i even paid for a lifetime plex pass subscription recently) about how you can use it to continue watching content on another client somewhere else but for me we've been using Kodi for so long in our household it would be hard to get my wife to accept something else (we've been using it since XBMP days).

Our Kodi Lite driver is actually suitable for people in your circumstance where you don't really want to view all of your meta data on Control4's user interface but you want two way feedback from Kodi.  You will still get automatic room on upon Airplay/UPnP and automatic room off upon screen saver (i use these two functions daily) plus you will get two way feedback for player state and also things like aspect ratio (which is good if your cinema has the ability to adjust screen masking and projection modes to suit the movies aspect ratio).

I use Kodi Full myself and on top of the features i listed above for Kodi Lite i also utlise the Video Addons mini driver quite a bit especially for catch up TV services we have here (my daughter loves watching peppa pig).  One of the functions i utilise quite alot which i did not expect to use is the recently viewed (movies or tv episode) function on my SR-250 remote. True i can use the touchscreen on my wall to do this but i find that i usually jump on my couch and quickly use the list navigator to quickly continue playing whatever i was watching previously.

Unfortunately the whole Plex vs Kodi debate is pretty lengthy and i would like to give it the attention it deserves so i won't provide a proper answer until i can sit down and really give it a few hours to write up a document that provides a good comparision on both players and the pro's and con's of each.

At the end of the day though it is an extremely close match and i think that it boils down to personal preferences.

Interesting to hear. The remote sync stuff made plex database management a ni brainer for me. Since I travel alot and always sync stuff to the tablet.

What are the chances of getting plexmbc movies and TV show support on kodi full ? :)

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25 minutes ago, malelan said:

Interesting to hear. The remote sync stuff made plex database management a ni brainer for me. Since I travel alot and always sync stuff to the tablet.

What are the chances of getting plexmbc movies and TV show support on kodi full ? :)

I integrated everything in the Kodi API already (literally everything).  Some addons utilise scripts to enable additional features which are not native to addons and as such they will not work with 3rd party control (these scripts usually render the UI and other objects programatically).   If it doesn't work currently it will never work.

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45 minutes ago, malelan said:

It actually works fine through video addons. Was just thinking it might be nicer to have an icon access the menu directly like the movies and TV shows icons do.

We have decided to only integrate certain official Kodi addons as mini drivers.  This is because official Kodi addons are more likely to be maintained and will most likely not break with future releases (eg like YouTube and VEVO addons).  For all other addons (non script based) the Video Add-On mini driver will work just fine for that.

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We have decided to only integrate certain official Kodi addons as mini drivers.  This is because official Kodi addons are more likely to be maintained and will most likely not break with future releases (eg like YouTube and VEVO addons).  For all other addons (non script based) the Video Add-On mini driver will work just fine for that.

Totally makes sense

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I need to spend more time trying to get XBMC setup. It's not been a very enjoyable experience thus far, but I just need to take the time to understand it better I think. Simple things like trying to get the library to update automatically, download my cover art, change the skin, etc... have been beyond frustrating. I'm almost tempted to just pay an XBMC expert to teach me.

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56 minutes ago, ILoveC4 said:

I need to spend more time trying to get XBMC setup. It's not been a very enjoyable experience thus far, but I just need to take the time to understand it better I think. Simple things like trying to get the library to update automatically, download my cover art, change the skin, etc... have been beyond frustrating. I'm almost tempted to just pay an XBMC expert to teach me.

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Type KODI into youtube you will have hours of fun !!!

 

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