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How is Plex on your Co-Star? Can't decide between this and Chromecast

Discussion in 'Vizio Co-Star' started by gofopo, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. gofopo

    gofopo New Member

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    Hello, I've been wanting to jump into GTV for a long time now but kept holding off for a Google-made/"Nexus" device. When the Chromecast got released I impulse bought it but am now having second thoughts. I plan to drop my cable subscription so I'm not interested in cable integration. The things I want to do are rent movies through Google Play, Netflix, and Plex. I've been using Plex via my TV with DLNA and wired ethernet. I don't think it needs to do any transcoding to play MKVs since the TV will play them natively if you just rename them to AVI, and the TV provides options for DTS and Dolby audio output over optical. So basically the quality is superb, no artifacting, etc.

    I know Plex hasn't added support for the Chromecast yet, but I'm just concerned that between any transcoding that is necessary and the wireless connection, there will be some drop in quality compared to what I'm used to now. Speedtest shows 20 Mbps on my tablet over WiFi so that sounds sufficient, but I've just never trusted WiFi for high quality HD streaming. So I am wondering if a wired Co-Star would provide a better experience. Can anyone detail for me what it is like for you with Plex? Do you see video artifacts, how are AC3 and DTS handled, etc. I don't really mind if the Co-Star does pass-through or decodes itself, just as long as I don't have to use Pro Logic on my receiver to fake surround. Please comment on other things as well like app stability, freezing, start-up time, etc. If any those are bad the SO will probably reject it right away.

    I'm hoping to decide in the next day or two whether to return the Chromecast and pick up a Co-Star now, or to keep the Chromecast and just wait and see how well it works for Plex and maybe what sort of GTV devices come out next year.

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. deadringer28

    deadringer28 Active Member

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    I have to CoStars and I use Plex on both. There are some issues with it but the client was recently merged to work like the Android app and a lot of people are very happy with it. You can also use the Chrome browser to access Plex Web from your GTV. I remind myself that I am saving over $60 per month by using this and I can live with the quirks.

    I do not have a CC yet because so far it doesn't do anything extra to justify it. If I had an HDMI TV that needed TV connectivity I'd likely get one. I think there is a lot of life left in GTV and the CC is so new that the sky is the limit.

    My advice to you would be to go to Walmart and pick up a costar. They have a 90 day back guarantee. You really have nothing to lose.

    Read the tips section of this forum and once piece of advice I have is to unplug the device at the start of each day. I have found that I have less errors in general when the box starts with a fresh boot.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  3. sleepraider

    sleepraider New Member

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    I dont have a costar, I have a hisense pulse, and I ordered a chromecast, that has not yet come. I need to confess that the only reason right now to get the chromecast is because I want an easier way to mirror my screen for sports broadcasts. That's the only feature that my hisense pulse doesnt have.

    Anyways, Plex is probably the app most used by me on my pulse and I love it. I see zero quirks with it, and between it and a few other apps I have on my computer, I do virtually nothing and my media comes directly to me. Plex handles it well, it looks great, streams well ( I have ethernet, 10Mbs) and overall performs better than I could have expected. I'm very, very impressed with Plex. I'm a total cord cutter (dont even have an antenna), as well.
     
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  4. gofopo

    gofopo New Member

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    Thanks...the advice about unplugging it once a day is not very encouraging. If the box is that unstable I'd probably rather wait for new hardware. However I'm very glad to hear the Plex app is a good experience. I think I'm more concerned then about the Co-Star software and hardware. I hear various things ranging from "it's fine" to "it's buggy/unstable/slow," which makes me unsure if it's worth a purchase vs. waiting for new hardware. Playback quality vs. the Chromecast and my TV with DLNA is the biggest question...wondering what it's like on a wired Co-Star vs. wireless Chromecast with good bandwidth. Can you describe what the video/audio quality with Plex on the Co-Star is like in terms of: support for direct mode, transcoding quality, AC3/DTS passthrough or decode support, etc.

    Thanks again.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  5. mdvalenz

    mdvalenz New Member

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    Plex would be perfect for me if it could decode ac3 and dts. I'm hoping the upgrade to Jelly Bean will fix this. Transcoding is horrible for me since the computer that does the transcode isn't that great. Only direct play works well.
     
  6. gofopo

    gofopo New Member

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    Yeah, I thought it supported DTS as of the last update but I guess not.

    I went ahead and bought a Co-Star at a Best Buy last night so I could return it easily if needed, so I will try to evaluate it and the CC as much as possible over the next two weeks. I tried Plex last night, set the quality to high, looked pretty good, DTS audio was transcoded okay I think, however to my surprise the FF/rew did not work right at all. I would hold down the FF button to 20:00 in the movie, and when I let it go the movie would just go to 10:00 instead. At one point it was even rewinding when I was hitting FF. Are there known FF/rew issues in the latest version of the Plex app? Also, I am using the 99 cent Plex for Google TV app...but I read somewhere it has been merged with the $4.99 Android app? Which should I be using?

    Tonight I will try Netflix and Google Play Movies between the two devices. When I tried a movie from Google Play on the CC it did not come through in surround sound, so I want to see if that works correctly on the Co-Star.
     
  7. deadringer28

    deadringer28 Active Member

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    I unplug mine at the start of the day just to be on the safe side but most people do not have to do this. In fact I have not done it for a few days now and things have been somewhat stable. If you turn it off at night anyway then unplugging it doesn't not take that much longer to boot and clears memory.

    Good choice to buy it from somewhere that has a good return policy. Walmart is even better.

    I cant answer the Plex questions about FFWD because I don;t have a need for that feature but I can answer that the 99 cent one is the one to use. They did merge the apps and the latest version of the GTV Plex is exactly the same as the Android. They left the pricing because they do not have a way to manage or folks that previously bought the GTV version.
     
  8. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    No GTV device should need to be unplugged once a day. If it does, then that box is defective or needs a software update. All ya really need to do is perform a Ctl + Alt + Delete from time to time. This is common to all small client devices as they do not dump cache similar to computers. Other times during heavy surfing on News sites just closing Chrome (Not Force Closing) will free up cache memory for the short term.

    Advising anyone to buy an internet access device that requires they unplug the unit daily isn't the best advice to give.

    Just saying...

    Carl
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013

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