Help with setting up new system

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
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Kelly_A
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Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:29 pm

Help with setting up new system

Post by Kelly_A »

Dropping dish when my contract expires in a few weeks. Going with either a Flex 4k or Scribe 4k. No native app for my 2017 Samsung TVs, so planning to run Plex Server on a late 2014 Mac Mini,1.4ghz dual core i5. I do use the Mini for work occasionally, it won’t be just a server. I’d like to add a dedicated 1TB drive for recording, but I’m unsure if I’d better off going with the Scribe for simplicity, adding an external USB drive to the Flex or adding an external drive to the Mini. If an external drive would be better, is there much benefit for using a SSD rather than a HD?

Any recommendations or tips appreciated.
Thanks,

Ken.F
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Re: Help with setting up new system

Post by Ken.F »

If you are running the Plex server software on the Mac Mini you should attach your HDD to it. Plex won't be able to write to the storage of a Scribe or a HDD attached to a Flex.
There is no benefit in using a SSD. Regular hard drives are fast enough for DVR duty, and will last a lot longer too.

Kelly_A
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Re: Help with setting up new system

Post by Kelly_A »

That’s what I needed to know, thanks for your response.

jasonl
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Re: Help with setting up new system

Post by jasonl »

That system is going to make a lousy Plex server. First, macOS is limited to a single hardware transcode at a time. Second, Intel GPU transcoding before the 5th or 6th generation of Core CPUs is known to provide lower quality results, and that system uses a 4th gen CPU. Third, the CPU in there is extremely slow and probably can't do software transcoding at anything higher than 480p. You can pick up a several year old used PC (say like a Dell Optiplex 5040) with a 6th gen i5 on eBay for $200 or less and it will run circles around that Mac.

sjm817
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Re: Help with setting up new system

Post by sjm817 »

Here is my take on this.
One option is to get a streaming stick that is compatible with HDHR. Amazon or Android variants are a plenty. Lots of options.

On plex option....most of the time there is no need to transcode. I dont know exactly what the Samsung Plex client capabilities are but most often, the MPEG2/AC3 OTA recording can be Direct Played, meaning the stream is sent through in unaltered native format. Transcoding is more for PC/mobile device and remote use if you will need that.

Kelly_A
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Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:29 pm

Re: Help with setting up new system

Post by Kelly_A »

I’ll just be using plex to watch recorded ota content on my Samsung TVs. Both are connected via Ethernet to my local network, as is the mini. All my streaming apps are native on the Samsungs and figured I’d just stay with that for simplicity and to save money. After reading replies, I’ve tried to learn a bit about transcoding. I’ve learned that direct stream/direct play don’t need transcoding, but I’m unclear as to whether transcoding is needed to enable closed captioning while direct playing.

Thanks to everyone for the help

Kelly

sjm817
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Re: Help with setting up new system

Post by sjm817 »

Kelly, your Samsung TV is a..... TV :) TVs are very capable of playing MPEG2 and AC3 since they have OTA tuners and need to decode those exact formats. I cant imagine you will have any issue unless...

Plex can be a really buggy app when it comes to anything OTA. There is no reason for a transcode in this application but it is Plex. Id say go for it

jasonl
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Re: Help with setting up new system

Post by jasonl »

TVs are capable of playing MPEG2 from their built-in tuners. This does not necessarily mean they can play MPEG2 via an app, or play it well. The app system may go through an entirely different decoding path that doesn't do MPEG2, or does MPEG2 but poorly (lower quality, goes out of sync, etc.). Neither of my smart TVs can play 1080i MPEG2 worth a damn, though they do 720p OK.

sjm817
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Re: Help with setting up new system

Post by sjm817 »

That may be true. I have never had that. Every TV i have used Plex with would direct Play just fine. The TVs I have had in recent years based on Roku and Android TV, the TV tuner function is an app, just a factory installed one. I guess dont assume transcoding will be required or wont. Its one of those things where you need to try and see how it works and go from there.

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