Question Trying to set up a wired home network

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I like the way you explain things! Excellent!

"But instead you can do smart thing with how you design your network. If you know for example a NAS unit in the basement is what will get hit with this traffic."

This is exactly what I'm working towards (in baby steps)!!! So ... 2 wires from the cave to the 2nd floor switch ... maybe a 3rd in case I ever run into problems with either of the 2 I'll be using ... I wouldn't even have to crimp connectors on the end of this 3rd 'backup' wire ... just having the wire in place with a few extra feet on each end would be like 'emergency money in the bank' should anything come up.

Thinking of the 'Wife Factor' in all of this I received some very good news indeed. She is going to go visit her mother (assuming the covid restrictions lift by then) for a week to 10 days when I start her planned mini renovations. That'll save me endless discussions about 'why are you running wires here, there and everywhere' and let me get on with things with no distractions. If she comes back to the installed crown mouldings and a bunch of other stuff she wants me to do ... as long as there's no wires visable all will be good. I'm sure she'll be skype calling in the evenings for updates but ... a little tape on both front and back cameras on my phone for a few days ... and a 'sorry, I can't seem to get the video working on this lousy phone' will take care of that. lol
You're welcome!

Yep, and to be honest you can run a few more if you want just for kicks because even if you have runs to the upstairs switch, you can always use a cat5 coupler and connect them directly downstairs. This might come in handy for whatever reason.

LOL!! Your wife sounds like my wife!!! hahahaha!!! I can't do anything without her micromanaging the process and it's easier to just do it when she's not there and she only nit picks the final result. :D Like my recent UPS installation--why do you need UPSes? Ummm...we have power outages? Like long ones? And I don't want to bug you about resetting all my gear when I'm out in the field since you'll get frustrated? "Oh okay." LOL!
 
Since you'll be running some cables of a known length and may have access to a larger opening than just the wire, I would strongly consider getting pre-terminated cable (already has the ends on them). If you haven't terminated cable before, you will need to practice, practice, practice, and keep a loop of spare cable in the box (or somewhere accessible) in case your crimp goes bad and you have to redo it.

And now that I'm thinking about it, you may even consider putting in some pvc conduit to just make everything easier. You can run a long pvc pipe up the wall from your outlet and then feeding the cable up through that will be much quicker and easier.
 

robert600

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Since you'll be running some cables of a known length and may have access to a larger opening than just the wire, I would strongly consider getting pre-terminated cable (already has the ends on them). If you haven't terminated cable before, you will need to practice, practice, practice, and keep a loop of spare cable in the box (or somewhere accessible) in case your crimp goes bad and you have to redo it.
I'm pretty intent on making my own cables ... I've been given the wire and connectors and I like learning new skills ... I have been practicing in the cave with terminating ... and I'm getting the hang of it. For sure, I messed up a few in the beginning but that's much rarer now. When you mess up ... you only lose 3 inches or so of wire ... so having an extra foot or 2 of wire at each should be plenty?

And now that I'm thinking about it, you may even consider putting in some pvc conduit to just make everything easier. You can run a long pvc pipe up the wall from your outlet and then feeding the cable up through that will be much quicker and easier.
Good thinking about the pvc conduit! The feed(s) coming up from the cave is going to the trickiest by far. I've come up with my own crazy idea for this that I want to try but I'll have a suitable length of pvc pipe on hand so Ican quickly switch methods if my way doesn't 'pan out'.

On a somewhat unrelated topic. I've been messing about with PLEX down in the cave. I attached my PLEX media server laptop and another Laptop with PLEX media player to the available LAN ports of my primary router. I also attached my UHD blue ray player (it has the android based PLEX app in it) to a free LAN port of the 2ndary router.
Using PLEX and media files in the PLEX media server Laptop I played a 'hefty' (19.4 Gb) 4k movie with the UHD Player and simultaneously played a fair sized (9 Gb) 1080p movie with the media player laptop. Both ran flawlessly! I'm new to PLEX and server type stuff so this just 'blew me away'. While they were playing, I checked the CPU usage of the media server laptop ... 22% ... amazing! I think it helped that I used a so called 'secret' registry setting telling the media server to do no encoding ... just pass the movie files 'as is'.
 

gggplaya

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If you want to set up a plex server, you should use a desktop which you can keep on 24/7. Many desktop bios's allow you to set the option for power recovery to "always on" so it boots back up automatically after a power outage.
 

robert600

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If you want to set up a plex server, you should use a desktop which you can keep on 24/7. Many desktop bios's allow you to set the option for power recovery to "always on" so it boots back up automatically after a power outage.
I've never heard of that ... interesting. What kind of specs would a desktop need to be an effective plex server. Not thinking about the storage ... I mean cpu ... ram etc.
 

gggplaya

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There are several routes you can take.

If you have plex pass, then you can use hardware transcoding, where it'll use your GPU or iGPU(Intel only) to transcode video. This is very power efficient, but at the expense of image quality due to macroblocking. At higher bitrates you won't notice the macroblocking, but at lower bitrates (like when watching outside your home) you'll notice the macroblocking. Intel looks the worst and Nvidia looks the best, especially if you get a Turing based Nvidia card. The cheapest is the 1650 "Super", you need to make sure it's the "super" version. However, due to the mining craze the $160 1650 super is now selling for like $400, it's crazy. By default Nvidia GPU's can only transcode 2 streams at a time, but there is a driver hack to unlock that.

Without Plexpass, you only have CPU transcoding. For this, you'll need a roughly 2000 passmark score for every stream of 1080p video. Fear not, as many older cpu's have plenty of power for several streams. Just google the passmark score of your processor you're interested in. I'm using a Ryzen 2700 with the motherboard set to ECO mode and Low Current idle. My total system power is about 35watts at idle, and jumps to about 100 watts when doing several transcodes. My 2700 can do about 5-6 1080p transcodes without issue.

For 4k video, it's still best to direct play the actual video, you can still transcode the container and the audio, but you should still direct play the actual video. You don't need much processing power to transcode the container or audio. The good news is that 4k has a fairly standard video codec and will most of the time direct play files. I rip my own 4k Blu Rays, so they always direct play because I don't transcode them down in size. It's a direct rip.

1080p video can be an issue depending on where you got them. There are several standards used in 1080p video and some clients don't support them. When a client doesn't support the video or audio standard, Plex will either Transcode the full video or just the container, as well as the audio as necessary.

Plex will transcode the video if the subtitles are image based subtitles. For the hearing impaired, it could be an issue with 4k videos. For text based subtitles, transcoding is not necessary.
 

robert600

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If you have plex pass, then you can use hardware transcoding, where it'll use your GPU or iGPU(Intel only) to transcode video. This is very power efficient, but at the expense of image quality due to macroblocking. At higher bitrates you won't notice the macroblocking, but at lower bitrates (like when watching outside your home) you'll notice the macroblocking. Intel looks the worst and Nvidia looks the best, especially if you get a Turing based Nvidia card. The cheapest is the 1650 "Super", you need to make sure it's the "super" version. However, due to the mining craze the $160 1650 super is now selling for like $400, it's crazy. By default Nvidia GPU's can only transcode 2 streams at a time, but there is a driver hack to unlock that.

Without Plexpass, you only have CPU transcoding. For this, you'll need a roughly 2000 passmark score for every stream of 1080p video. Fear not, as many older cpu's have plenty of power for several streams. Just google the passmark score of your processor you're interested in. I'm using a Ryzen 2700 with the motherboard set to ECO mode and Low Current idle. My total system power is about 35watts at idle, and jumps to about 100 watts when doing several transcodes. My 2700 can do about 5-6 1080p transcodes without issue.
Lots of interesting stuff mentioned here but ... I don't understand why you'd want the plex server to do any transcoding. Like I mentioned ... I've gone to the trouble (via a registry entry) of ensuring the server NOT transcode anything. Just send the files 'as is' please. My devices with the plex player in them ... are quite capable of doing the transcoding. Maybe there's something about this I'm not understanding.

For 4k video, it's still best to direct play the actual video, you can still transcode the container and the audio, but you should still direct play the actual video. You don't need much processing power to transcode the container or audio. The good news is that 4k has a fairly standard video codec and will most of the time direct play files. I rip my own 4k Blu Rays, so they always direct play because I don't transcode them down in size. It's a direct rip.

1080p video can be an issue depending on where you got them. There are several standards used in 1080p video and some clients don't support them. When a client doesn't support the video or audio standard, Plex will either Transcode the full video or just the container, as well as the audio as necessary.
Yes, I've just started 4k ripping. I do squeeze them down in size but plex seems happy enough with the resulting files. Viewing them (180 inch), I see no quality difference from the original disk. My rather extensive collection of 1080p rips all appear to play fine. This in fact is why I'm thinking of switching to a Plex based system. Plugging and unplugging external HDs all the time gets annoying.

Plex will transcode the video if the subtitles are image based subtitles. For the hearing impaired, it could be an issue with 4k videos. For text based subtitles, transcoding is not necessary.
Subtitles is my one major disappointment with Plex. When I access the server with my laptop ... all is good ... I can pick subtitles or not ... as I choose ... perfect.
Same file though ... accessed by the UHD blue ray player (what I use 90% of the time) and ... although I can see the list of subtitles ... picking one doesn't result in them being displayed. I think it must be a bug in the android plex app written for that player. I can find no settings or whatever in the app to overcome this. This is actually a semi big deal to me.
 

robert600

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I tried Plex recently. Doesn't work for me.

The vast majority of my library is straight ISO copies of the DVD, to retain the full functionality.

Plex does not catalog those, at all.
That is interesting ... I have some ISOs as well. I was wondering if they would play or not? Sounds like NO ... they won't. Have you found a Plexlike server system that will do this? I'm guessing KODI probably would but I tried KODI years and years ago ... it was a non-stop hassle ... maybe it's better now?
 

gggplaya

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Lots of interesting stuff mentioned here but ... I don't understand why you'd want the plex server to do any transcoding. Like I mentioned ... I've gone to the trouble (via a registry entry) of ensuring the server NOT transcode anything. Just send the files 'as is' please. My devices with the plex player in them ... are quite capable of doing the transcoding. Maybe there's something about this I'm not understanding.
It really all depends on the client device. Roku, for example, can't take in DTS audio because it doesn't have a license for it. So it must transcode the audio or pass it through directly. They aren't allowed to decode it in the box itself.

Plex has apps for everything, some clients can only play movies formatted a certain way and can't support every possible codec. Plex has to transcode for the client player. If you do your own ripping and encoding and you haven't run into an issue, you'll be fine without transcoding. But if you get movies from various sources, you may run into some videos that won't play at all since you've locked out transcoding.

Yes, I've just started 4k ripping. I do squeeze them down in size but plex seems happy enough with the resulting files. Viewing them (180 inch), I see no quality difference from the original disk. My rather extensive collection of 1080p rips all appear to play fine. This in fact is why I'm thinking of switching to a Plex based system. Plugging and unplugging external HDs all the time gets annoying.

Subtitles is my one major disappointment with Plex. When I access the server with my laptop ... all is good ... I can pick subtitles or not ... as I choose ... perfect.
Same file though ... accessed by the UHD blue ray player (what I use 90% of the time) and ... although I can see the list of subtitles ... picking one doesn't result in them being displayed. I think it must be a bug in the android plex app written for that player. I can find no settings or whatever in the app to overcome this. This is actually a semi big deal to me.
I haven' run into that issue with Plex, but perhaps the subtitles you chose are not text based, but actually image based. Since you turned off transcoding, then it's not able to transcode and burns those over the image?

When you right click and open the subtitle file with notepad, does it show up as text?
 

USAFRet

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That is interesting ... I have some ISOs as well. I was wondering if they would play or not? Sounds like NO ... they won't. Have you found a Plexlike server system that will do this? I'm guessing KODI probably would but I tried KODI years and years ago ... it was a non-stop hassle ... maybe it's better now?
Plex doesn't even see them.

"Plex does not support the use of ISO, IMG, Video_TS, BDMV, or other “disk image” formats. If you wish to use those with Plex, you should convert them to a compatible format."

https://forums.plex.tv/t/how-to-play-dvd-folders-and-isos/99613
 

robert600

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It really all depends on the client device. Roku, for example, can't take in DTS audio because it doesn't have a license for it. So it must transcode the audio or pass it through directly. They aren't allowed to decode it in the box itself.

Plex has apps for everything, some clients can only play movies formatted a certain way and can't support every possible codec. Plex has to transcode for the client player. If you do your own ripping and encoding and you haven't run into an issue, you'll be fine without transcoding. But if you get movies from various sources, you may run into some videos that won't play at all since you've locked out transcoding.



I haven' run into that issue with Plex, but perhaps the subtitles you chose are not text based, but actually image based. Since you turned off transcoding, then it's not able to transcode and burns those over the image?

When you right click and open the subtitle file with notepad, does it show up as text?
Ahhh ok. I get it now about the trancoding ... maybe I'll remove that registry file.

Subtitles ... I think Plex is passing them because ... they work fine on a laptop and ... the UHD player has them listed ... just selecting one does nothing. I'm quite sure this was the case even before I added that registry entry. As to right clicking the subtitle file ... the file is actually packaged in a mkv container so ... geting to the actual individual subtitle files is not straightforward. There's probably a way to do it but I'm not sure how?
 

robert600

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Plex doesn't even see them.

"Plex does not support the use of ISO, IMG, Video_TS, BDMV, or other “disk image” formats. If you wish to use those with Plex, you should convert them to a compatible format."

https://forums.plex.tv/t/how-to-play-dvd-folders-and-isos/99613
Ok ... thanks for pointing that out. I didn't realise about that lack of support. Not the end of the world in my case, almost everything is mkv (Iwas hoping to play blue ray folders though). Seems like an unnecessary restriction. Maybe KODI would be better in this regard. I don't think there's a Kodi App availabe for my UHD player though so my choices are limited.
 

gggplaya

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e ... they work fine on a laptop and ... the UHD player has them listed ... just selecting one does nothing. I'm quite sure this was the case even before I added that registry entry. As to right clicking the subtitle file ... the file is actually packaged
If you ripped them directly from blu-ray, then it's most likely *.sup (PGS encoded) image based subtitle. Which is probably where your problem is.

If you download a text based subtitle file and select the subtitle file on your plex server to be the default. You might have better luck. But no guaruntees on anything, the plex app on your blu-ray player probably isn't the latest and greatest version.
 

robert600

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If you ripped them directly from blu-ray, then it's most likely *.sup (PGS encoded) image based subtitle.
Yes ... I think you've nailed it! Using Medio info on the mkvcontainer tells me this about the subtitle portion:
"Text
ID : 3
Format : VobSub
Muxing mode : zlib
Codec ID : S_VOBSUB
Codec ID/Info : Picture based subtitle format used on DVDs
Duration : 1 h 30 min
Bit rate : 10.2 kb/s
Count of elements : 1936
Stream size : 6.56 MiB (0%)
Language : English
Default : No
Forced : No"

I have some ripping to do tomorrow ... I'll look into whatever options there are for subtitles ... To be honest ... I never have paid too much attention to the subtitle part of the rip. Just picked the ones to be included and let it rip them with the default settings. All my attention has been focused on the video and audio of the resulting rip. Maybe the type of subtitle is something I can control?
If you download a text based subtitle file and select the subtitle file on your plex server to be the default. You might have better luck. But no guaruntees on anything, the plex app on your blu-ray player probably isn't the latest and greatest version.
I'll download a test based one and see. I'm feeling like it's the player app but easy enough to check. One thing for sure, if I have the same file on an external drive (this is the way I've been doing it for years), plug it into the UHD player's usb port ... the player's default media player has no problem at all with the subtitles.
 

robert600

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the plex app on your blu-ray player probably isn't the latest and greatest version.
Good news on the subtitles problem. Turns out that in the 'preferences' of the UHD player's app ... there's an "Internal Subtitles' tab ...the default value is "Use TV API" ... changing that to either of the other 2 options (Transcode Before, Transcode After) results the subtitles being displayed! Not entirely sure what those settings do but ... it's working.

Plex doesn't even see them.

"Plex does not support the use of ISO, IMG, Video_TS, BDMV, or other “disk image” formats. If you wish to use those with Plex, you should convert them to a compatible format."

https://forums.plex.tv/t/how-to-play-dvd-folders-and-isos/99613
Mucking about with things ... I've discovered a very easy fix to the blu ray folder problem. I simply went into the 'stream folder' of the blu ray structure ... changed the name of the .m2ts file that's in there (from the default 000001.m2ts to (in this case to SinCity.m2ts. Then, simply copied this file only to the hard drive that the plex media server uses for it's library. Rescanned the library and there was Sin City ... fantastic.
The ISOs are a little more complicated in that I have to 'extracted files' first and since I'm using HDs not SSDs ... this takes 10 mins or so.
As an aside ... I'd forgotten how good a movie 'Sin City' is. I watched it last night (after doing the above) via plex through the uhd player. Subtitles are working now and the picture quality on the 4k projector was fantastic (the UHD player has a vey nice 4K upscaler) and the sound from the receiver was amazing. I think I'm going to commit to PLEX. Tonight I'll be watching 'Sin City ... A Dame to Kill For' lol.
 

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