omv + plex = sad loading

    • OMV 2.x

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    • omv + plex = sad loading

      Hi. I'll try to be quick to the point, but this seems like the best place in these forums to put this. I built a small miniITX box quite awhile ago that I really enjoyed the form factor for. It cost me all of about 200$ in its entirety and it served the purpose of providing my mother with a computer to browse the internet...before she decided to get into a lot of other online activities and multitasking. It became too slow for her so now I have it again to repurpose. I am a techie by profession, I typically manage businesses datacenters full of hardware, hypervisors, and operating systems.

      I discovered OMV on my search for an easy to use backup/nas/plex solution, and all the nice things I have to say can be summed up with a WOW!! I'm quite impressed with the easy to use interface, the super easy install, and the out of the box capabilities. I ran into an issue with the installer because I Had too many drives in, after doing research and scratching my head a bunch, I was able to resolve it by only having the ONE drive added that I needed to install on, and then the installer completes just fine. Before I fixed this issue - it would error on the grubloader portion of the install, every time.

      I just rebuilt my OMV box, because my raptor drive failed - which may have caused some pain. Currently it's a tiny miniITX case, amd-e350, 4gb of ram, and it has 3 drives in it currently with a 200watt psu or so (came with case, not sure specifics). It has a mirrored 2TB raid for my data, and it has a now-750gb spinning disk drive for my OS (which I'll later rebuild with a drive that is less useful). This OMV+Plex+maybemumble/webserver is really all I wanted out of the box, but I can't get past the Plex part. /Sadness.

      I was quite surprised when I went to rebuild the OMV Os that I could just remount the entire raid without having to rebuild. /Happiness.

      Main issue: OMV+Plex is rather sluggish. I was attempting to watch a movie and I logged in after the second "Loading" message within 20 minutes to see the tiny CPU maxed out completely when I viewed from the web browser. I only have 2 shared folders + plex installed and the thing can't seem to get out of its own way, let alone present me with a movie over Plex. Plex plays the movie for about 10-15mins and then decides to "load" or "buffer" the next part of the movie. Becomes very unwatchable as you can imagine.

      I am watching this from OMV->Roku3. The movie rendering should happen on the OMV box as far as I understand.. /Confusion.

      Here's what I was thinking:
      1) Either optimizing plex (have not looked into it yet in terms of processing) , or
      2) optimizing the machine. (overclock or OS)

      I feel like because of how lightweight the OS already is, I am not sure I can do anything else from an OS perspective. The machine probably doesn't have any fancy bios which means I'll have to play with voltage and potentially create a paperweight out of it)
      The e-350 is known to be decent for the APU (joint cpu/gpu), so I'm not sure why I'm having issues. I had the same stuttering issues on windows when I tried using this same hardware previously for what it's worth.

      Anyone have any magical suggestions? Anyone familiar with overclocking that processor? I'm not sure if it's worth it and the case is already pretty hot with 3 spinning drives. I'd really like this to work because it's a really simple nas solution - but I'd also like it to run plex... But I seem to be stuck. /opentosuggestions.

      Thanks for reading.
      Cheers,
      PB
    • Maybe you should avoid transcoding for that platform. That's very cpu intensive. I can't remember on how to avoid transcoding but i think it mainly depends if the client is able to play the content natively.

      I don't think you can optimize plex, is a closed source program. What about the plex forums do other users report problems with the same platform? The gpu is not used for encoding i think so your limited to CPU only.
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    • Lol! I was just looking up how to force the GPU part of the chip to transcode.. Not sure plex has that capabilities. I wonder if I can force the Roku to do the transcoding instead...that probably has more power. I already figured the answer would be: "use the processor as a paperweight" but, figured i'd inquire anyways.

      Appreciate the feedback. I'll ditch the proc/mobo for something that can actually compute
    • I had the same issue that you are experiencing. I have an Atom 330 based OMV build which streams content to a Chromecast. The Atom is simply not strong enough to transcode. An AMD E-350 will be on the same situation, and although it's an APU, Plex does not use the GPU part for transcoding. It uses pure raw CPU power. I had the same Plex server running on a Core2Duo E6550. It is a relatively old CPU but it does the trick quite well.

      So, my recommendation would be: get a better CPU that can handle transcoding (as said, a Core2Duo can do the trick), get a Plex client that does not require transcoding (Raspberry PI, for example), or transcode all your video library to a format supported by your Roku (that way, the E-350 won't need to transcode. The Roku will directly play your videos).
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