Both Plex and VLC have announced that they’re working on a media player app for the newly announced Apple TV. This is exciting news since I’ve always wanted to use my Apple TV to access my NAS and play media files. If Apple approves these apps (and why wouldn’t it), the cumbersome jailbreak days have finally come to an end.
On other news, now that I have a new NAS, I started experimenting with my home theater setup. Right now I’m using my 4 year old non-retina 2,2 Ghz Intel i7 MacBook Pro as a media server component for Plex. The server is running in a closed clamshell mode with the help of Caffeine. This accesses the media share on the NAS and serves up content to the various clients in the household.
I plugged the net into my LG TV, installed the Plex app on top of it, subscribed to the service (because for some reason that app requires subscription) and there you go! The TV interface is so much inferior to the outstanding quality of the Plex Home Theater app that I even tried running both the server and front end component on the same 4 year old machine. Well, it wasn’t a good decision framerate wise. 🙂
But since then I’ve come to actually like the app for the TV, it’s basic, but once you figure out how the spatial system works, it’s a nice little thing. On the positive side, Plex plays everything, every subtitle, looks awesome and it is the media center solution. I didn’t even bother trying to use the NAS built in whatever station and accessing it from the TV. I’ve seen the LG TV OS and it’s horrendeous, don’t want to use it for playback, ever.
Also tried running the Plex server on the NAS, but even the Intel Atom version failed to play a 1080p video, so it’s a no go. You need a dedicated media player box unfortunately. But with this comes additional benefits: setup is super easy, you log in with your Plex credentials, then whatever device is in front of you, you get to continue watching the media item. It remembers position, watched list, everything. So cool.
And it is coming to the Apple TV as well. I’m sure it will have a glorious interface, and I’m also sure it will require the Plex subscription.