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Any better options than Plex?

Discussion in 'Sony's NSZ-GS8 / NSZ-GS7' started by guido1869, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. guido1869

    guido1869 New Member

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    I just got started with Google TV and need a little help.

    I have a lot of .avi and .mp4 videos on my Windows 7 pc and want to stream them to my Google TV box. Plex often has trouble connecting to the server even though I can connect through my android phone app. When it does connect the audio and video are out of sync. I would also like to play mp3s and view pics but that isn't as important. Both the pc and google tv box are connected through the same wireless router.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    ViMu will play video files from various sources including DLNA/UPnP servers and File Shares (SMB). It doesn't try to organize things for you like Plex which you may find to be a good thing depending how you like to navigate your media.
     
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  3. guido1869

    guido1869 New Member

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    Thanks. Just installed the ViMu Lite app and I'll check it out. What is the difference between the full and lite apps?
     
  4. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    I imagine they explain somewhere... the lite wasn't available when I bought it, so I have no idea.
     
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  5. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    ViMu is really nice. When using Plex as a DLNA server ViMu actually provides quite a bit of metadata information unlike many other DLNA clients.

    Philip
     
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  6. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    ViMu also seems to navigate some of the DLNA servers (Plex, PlayOn) faster than the Apps or Web Interfaces meant for that purpose.
     
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  7. mrspock

    mrspock Active Member

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    +1 for ViMu, worth every penny.
     
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  8. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    Also have a look at Serenity. It is a Plex client for GTV with the option of using an external player. Pretty nice actually.

    philip
     
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  9. tinsnow

    tinsnow Member

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    try wild media server. it plays all my dts and mkv files with no problem. it should be installed in pc similar to plex.

    use vimu to find the server and play the files.
     
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  10. jamiep87

    jamiep87 New Member

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    I use Serviio on my media server and then either BubblePNP, mediahouse or even Plex on my GTV to play them. Works pretty well for me.
     
  11. jfrisbee

    jfrisbee New Member

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    Try Mizuu (http://mizuu.tv).
    I just recently installed it on my Sony NSZ-GS7 and it works great! Much better than Plex or ViMu (imho). It's for movies & TV shows only, but fully catalogs/indexes them and provides a beautiful interface!
    You can have your movies stored on your network, locally, or by USB. I have a 2TB external hard drive connected directly through my GS7 USB port and it works flawlessly. You can edit the movie info, cover art, backgrounds, etc. all directly through your GS7. No need to have a media server running on your computer (although there is an option to use a server if you want one).
    The developer has a blog that he updates and is quick to respond to any questions & suggestions.
     
  12. mrspock

    mrspock Active Member

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    The description in the Play Store mentions that it's currently experimental for Google TV. So how well is it really optimized for Google TV?
     
  13. jfrisbee

    jfrisbee New Member

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    The description may say that it is "experimental" but in my opinion the app works flawlessly on a Google TV. I have had no problem running the app through my GS7. I have only run it using the external USB drive locally, so I can't say whether it runs smoothly through a network. The interface is great, simple and clean, but uses high resolution cover art and backgrounds to make it attractive. Again, I highly recommend it and think it works much better than Plex for the simple reason that you don't need to run it through a media server. I also prefer it over ViMu because I think the interface is much more attractive, although I still use the ViMu player to actually play the movies.

    Go for it!
     
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  14. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    Mizuu is very nice but so is Plex for Android on GTV. Mizuu loads metadata very slowly and doesn't seem to save it anywhere. It's similar to Boxee in that regard. You need to use an external player which is fine if you have ViMu for example. I don't think it has watched folders like Plex although I could be wrong.

    Very nice app indeed though I don't think its goals are the same as those of Plex.

    Philip
     
  15. jfrisbee

    jfrisbee New Member

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    I didn't have the same problem with Mizuu loading the metadata. I have my GS7 connected via ethernet (not wireless), so that probably helps with the speed of the metadata download. I have over 500 movies/TV shows on my external hard drive and it only took about 15 minutes for Mizuu to download and compile all that info. I don't know how fast it's supposed to go, but 15 minutes to get all that info seemed pretty fast to me. After it was downloaded, the interface worked beautifully. I'm not sure where it stores all that data, but I'm sure it's somewhere on my GS7 internal storage.

    I agree it's different than Plex (doesn't have "channels", uses a separate player, doesn't catalog music or home movies), but for my needs, it's perfect. I just wanted something simple with an attractive interface that provided metadata and catalogs all my movies & TV shows. For me it excels in places where I thought Plex had problems. I found that Plex often lagged, mostly because it needed to be connected to a network and media server, slowing everything down. Mizuu cuts out the "middleman", so to speak. It's just a direct connection to my movie collection, and plays them without any hiccups.

    I also found it tough to get any answers to my questions from the Plex customer service or Plex community. I was always directed back to "the user forums" where I couldn't find the answers I needed. Maybe that's because Plex is more com"plex" than Mizuu (no pun intended). I realize Plex is a good product, but it's just more than I need.

    UPDATE/CORRECTION: I tried connecting my external hard drive to my network last night, and realized that in order for Mizuu to recognize it, I do need to have a media server (specifically Samba) loaded on my computer. Personally, I don't want to have to go through a media server, so I didn't attempt connecting it that way. I just wanted to correct myself in case anyone noticed the discrepancy of my review.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  16. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    @jfrisbee

    I have a similar sized library to yours. As i scroll through a wall of posters the wall does not get populated immediately. That is why I thought it was fetching the metadata again. I use a NAS and no local playback. Perhaps that accounts for the lag but Plex, ViMu and anything else I have tried has never lagged in the way. The only similar type of behaviour I have noticed was when I had a Boxee Box.

    I too am fine with just the two categories. It really is a nice app though playback is only as good as your local player.

    Philip
     
  17. jfrisbee

    jfrisbee New Member

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    Philip - I too have had the occasional lag when scrolling through the wall of posters. Typically though, the poster is loaded within 1-2 seconds at most. For me, that's not a big deal, as long as the poster shows up quickly.

    One other aspect I like about Mizuu better than ViMu is that when I start Mizuu, I have the option of either starting on an attractive "menu" page with movie backdrops or starting directly in the movies page. ViMu didn't seem to have this option. Maybe I just didnt' have it set up correctly, but it's start up page was pretty boring, more like a file explorer. I had to select my hard drive (which isn't clearly labeled), then the movie folder, before I saw any movie posters. I found that Mizuu eliminates that need to "hunt" for your list of movies. It's actually simple enough that my wife doesn't have to ask me to help her find a movie.

    Something about Plex that bothered me was that it often took a while or just didn't connect to the Plex Media Server, even though I had my computer running with the media server running too. I found myself fiddling around with the connection, or the settings almost all the time. Sometimes it took me a half-hour just to be able to start watching a movie. It would have been faster to find the actual DVD and just play that. I consider myself to be technically capable when it comes to these things, but just having things be simple and work is what made the decision to switch for me...

    Sorry, don't mean to trash talk Plex or ViMu. I still like those apps, just found something that fits my needs better...
     
  18. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    @jfrisbee

    I do agree that the initial ViMu page is somewhat boring and confusing. It would be nice to be able to set a default. It is slightly less confusing if you use ViMu as a Plex DLNA client.

    Mizuu is very wife friendly. The only real issue I have is that the layout of TV episodes is odd and I occasionally find myself selecting an older episode. It seems to requires use of the mouse to be sure that you get the right one and that is less wife friendly!

    I have never had that discovery issue with the Plex Media Server though it has been reported quite frequently. I have always used static ip's for both the client and Media Server so that may be why. Also, the latest Plex Pass Plex for Android client has a setting for preferred Media Server so it just goes to that. The Plex for Android ( only available to Plex Pass people at this point) is much better than the Plex for GTV client. It is just as wife friendly as the Roku client.

    We are still quite fortunate to Mizuu, Plex and ViMu on the GTV. Serenity, another Plex client, also shows a lot of promise.

    philip
     
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  19. MichellBak

    MichellBak New Member

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    Hi guys!

    Dev of Mizuu here. Was just checking the link referrals to the website, and found this, so I thought I'd jump in and say hi.

    First of all, thanks a lot for mentioning my app. As some of you have pointed out, it isn't really made for Google TV per se, but most of the functionality is there, albeit the user experience isn't quite there at the moment. It can get rather messy if you've got overscan on your TV, and parts of the UI haven't been designed with remote control in mind. This is primarily due to the fact that less than 10% of the users are on Android 3.2 or less, and that only a portion of these are Google TV devices. Naturally, I do want to improve on it eventually, but since the majority of the users are using touch devices, that will remain my primary focus.

    I noticed a few questions in the topic regarding speed and meta data. Mizuu stores all movie / Tv show information locally - that includes artwork. If you're experiencing slow loading of images, it's usually caused by poor I/O performance on your device. Generally, these TV devices are much slower than tablets. A tip might be to disable "Use high quality images" in General settings. That way image thumbnails won't be loaded in full size, and as thus won't look as good, but it'll be faster on slower devices.

    Let me know if you need help with anything. You can contact me here, on the website or by e-mail.
     
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  20. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    Samba isn't technically a media server, it's actually a Linux driver for providing Microsoft compatible file sharing (aka SMB). In other words, if you share some folders on your PC, you should be able to access them from an App that supports SMB/Samba. That's currently what I do with ViMu. It's very quick that way compared to going thru a uPnP/DLNA server and remembers which files I've watched, and lets me resume if I only watched part of it.
     

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