Setup recommendation for in car Plex Media Server

  • Hi guys


    currently I have a raspberry pi4 configured as a plex media server for the kids in the car.

    Unfortunately, the performance is too low and no movie plays.


    Alternative was Kodi (Streaming via NFS), but on it the movies also do not run on the tablets (android, hardware Rockchip rk3368).

    Playback via my laptop works fine. So I guess the tablets and the rpi are just too weak for transcoding and I need a stronger hardware for the server.


    To be honest, I don't want to convert the movies. Only in worst case scenario.


    Can you recommend me a setup?

    - as small as possible

    - e.g. also with only one SSD, no HDD necessary

    - Transcoding to tablets with FullHD resolution


    thanks

  • xventura23

    Changed the title of the thread from “Setup recommondation for in car Plex Media Server” to “Setup recommendation for in car Plex Media Server”.
  • pi as a plex server at home wont be able to transcode to the tablets via the internet not enough cpu power. if it was running in the car and sharing to the tablets via dnla as a local device it would not need to transcode the files. the tablets if they have Rockchip rk3368 cpu should be able to hardware decode most common video codex in the gpu so in theory they should play most video files you are likely to encounter. you could potentially run omv or some other os on a pi acting as a nfs, smb or ftp share to serve video files to the tablets via a wifi network in the car. then use your choice of apps to play it back kodi or vlc for instance

  • pi as a plex server at home wont be able to transcode to the tablets via the internet not enough cpu power. if it was running in the car and sharing to the tablets via dnla as a local device it would not need to transcode the files. the tablets if they have Rockchip rk3368 cpu should be able to hardware decode most common video codex in the gpu so in theory they should play most video files you are likely to encounter. you could potentially run omv or some other os on a pi acting as a nfs, smb or ftp share to serve video files to the tablets via a wifi network in the car. then use your choice of apps to play it back kodi or vlc for instance

    This is exactly it. Nix Plex completely, set up an nfs or smb share, point Kodi at said share ans scan it to bring in metadata if you want.

    Air Conditioners are a lot like PC's... They work great until you open Windows.


  • Thank you for the support.

    Yes, that was then also my idea as an alternative.


    I installed Kodi on the tablets and set up an NFS share on the Rpi.

    Unfortunately, Kodi gets stuck on the tablets and the movies cannot be played.


    I installed Kodi on the laptop and the movies from the NFS share on the Rpi can be played here without any problems.


    Do I have a wrong setting in Kodi? What could it be?


    ---


    Edit


    With VLC the movies can be played, I can hear the sound but the picture remains "grey"... ?

  • I've had trouble with Kodi and NFS shares in the past... They are zero prob on my Linux laptop, but problematic on my Shield TV boxes which run Kodi. I just set up an SMB share and Point my TV boxes at that and they work perfectly.

    Air Conditioners are a lot like PC's... They work great until you open Windows.


  • Update:

    Also via SMB Share the movies can not be played.


    I did a quick test and formatted a movie from x265 to x264.

    With Kodi, the movie can then be played both via NFS and via SMB.

    But even here it still has a few jerks and does not run 100% smoothly. It feels a bit better with SMB.


    With VLC it still does not work at all.


    --


    Next test:

    I will copy a movie to an SD card and play it directly on the tablet. If it works it's obviously the network and then I'll have to check further there for the problem. I have so far concentrated too much on the performance of the RPi and tablet and ignored the network.

  • I'll try also with SMB shares.

    I chose NFS because I read that it was the faster technology.

    I've done a lot of speed tests on both, and while it is slightly faster... It's hardly worth getting yourself into a tissy over. Most smaller files (under 1gig), I found were within 1-2 seconds of each other in transfer times. The only real "difference" I saw, was transferring a a file that was about 3gigs. NFS was about 9sec faster than SMB.

    Air Conditioners are a lot like PC's... They work great until you open Windows.


  • seems a bit odd my phone can hardware decode x265 files has a snapdragon 765g cpu and that will play 40gb + sized 4k blue ray rips happily if they are stored on the internal storage in kodi vlc & mx player if i try to play the same files over wifi they get a bit choppy but that is to be expected.


    have you any information about the tablets you are trying to use? as the rk3368 should be able to hardware decode x264 & x265 in the gpu so from usb / sd card you should be absolutely fine

  • seems a bit odd my phone can hardware decode x265 files has a snapdragon 765g cpu and that will play 40gb + sized 4k blue ray rips happily if they are stored on the internal storage in kodi vlc & mx player if i try to play the same files over wifi they get a bit choppy but that is to be expected.

    When you say "decode", I think you're talking about "transcoding". Transcoding means "converting" video file formats on the fly. Phones don't transcode very well.

    If the video file is in a format the phone understands natively, there's no need to transcode. In that case, when using a video file format that's native to the phone, the server is simply spooling the video file to the device. (No conversion required.)

    If the user is experiencing problems with spooling video files, either something is wrong with the wireless connection between devices or there's a source of radio interference in the car. Perhaps a place to start testing is indoors, before moving the devices to a car.

  • Yes, I also found it a bit strange that the movies via USB or SD card can not be played properly! So I downloaded the app CPU-Z and looked at the specs.



    Is a China tablet for the car. Seems to be rooted and the information is not quite clear to me.... is it now a RK3066 or a RK3368?


    Currently, I'm still testing everything at home. Nothing is installed in the car yet.

    RPi is connected to the router via LAN and the tablets/clients via Wifi.

  • These are the tablets:

    13,3 zoll Android 9,0 Auto Kopfstütze Monitor 1920*1080 4K 1080P Touchscreen WIFI/Bluetooth/USB/SD/HDMI/FM/Mirroring/Miracast

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000395595420.html


    Features:

    1.13.3 inch 1920*1080 HD IPS touch screen

    2.Android 9.0 system

    3.64-bits Android os, 2G RAM, processing powerful and smoothly

    4.H2.5D Glass

    5.16GB ROM storage, storage extension: max 128G storage USB and TF card

    6.Built-in WLMA wireless Internet access, supports android APK

    7.Supports Miracast and Airplay

    8.200 car logo and 20 brand car UI for choice

    9.Universal design suitable for all cars

    10.Smoothly play 4K / 1080P video

    11.Built-in Speaker

    12.FM transmitter, Bluetooth stereo

    13.AV input: supports link to car host or digital TV

    14.HDMI input: supports HDMI input


    Specifications:

    1. System: 64-bits Android 9.0

    2. CPU: 64-bits Android OS, Octa-core cortex-a53, main frequency 1.6GHz

    3. ROM: 16GB RAM:2GB

    4. Display: 13.3 inch full HD IPS display (1920*1080),

    5. Capacitive touch screen, supports 5-point touch

    6. 1080P multiple format video decoding, including 1080P H265 hardware decoding

    7.Support Miracast and Airplay, it can mirror the phone or Pad screen onto the screen of rear seat entertainment system

    8. Miracast Function: Support 2 screen have the same screen wireless

    9. Storage extension: support 128GB large capacity USB, TF card

    10. Internet: built-in WLMA wireless Internet access

    11. Support Internet android applications such as QQ. WeChat. Browser. Games and other applications

    12. Video decoding performance: 1080P, 30FPS, Data rate: 30Mbps

    13. Support audio format: MP3, AMR, WMA, CDA, WAV, MIDI, RA

    14. Support video format: 1080 p, mp4, RMVB, rm, FLV, Avi, MPG, mpeg, MKV, asf, WMV, Mpe, 3 gp, dat, vob, ts, tp, m4v13.

    15.Support image format: JPEG,BMP,PNG,TIFF,JIF

    16. Headphone jack: standard 3.5mm interface

    17. Support FM transmitter

    18. Support blue-tooth stereo

    19. Audio and video input: can connect to the car host or digital TV

    20. HDMI input: support HDMI audio and video input

    21. Working voltage: DC 12V

    22. Working temperature: -20℃~60℃

  • seems a bit odd my phone can hardware decode x265 files has a snapdragon 765g cpu and that will play 40gb + sized 4k blue ray rips happily if they are stored on the internal storage in kodi vlc & mx player if i try to play the same files over wifi they get a bit choppy but that is to be expected.


    have you any information about the tablets you are trying to use? as the rk3368 should be able to hardware decode x264 & x265 in the gpu so from usb / sd card you should be absolutely fine

    i do mean decode so the device playing the file is decoding the file natively but is using the gpu to do it eg hardware accelerating as opposed to using the cpu to decode the file.


    the 3066 is only a dual core and supports h264 decode in gpu


    the 3366 is an octo and supports h264+ x265 (hevc) what size were the video files you were trying to play in gb and what format? did you have hardware acceleration options turned on in the video players?

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