Question about potential transition from Plex to just Infuse


I am hoping to hear some thoughts / guidance from folks her on my current situation. For years I have run a Plex Server, most recently off of a Shield TV. I recently went 4K on one of my TV’s which led me to Infuse as a primary player (Plex does not transcode HDR and 4K transcode was ineffective on Shield TV). Fast forward a couple of months and my NAS (an old WD MyBook Live) appears to be failing. So as a temporary solution I copied the drive contents to an external USB 3.) drive which is now directly connected to the Shield TV hosting my Plex server.

Everything is working great, except I am wondering if I am making my set up more complex than it needs to be. Do I really need the Plex server? and the Shield TV for that matter? I am not sure what advantage I get from using the Plex server and I never actually even wake up the shield tv except to reboot the Plex server if needed.

I have an old mac Mini (late 2009, C2D, 4GB RAM) that I was considering turning into a file server which would directly feed into Infuse without Plex. The Mini is limited to USB 2.0, would a system of those specs work to stream 4k HDR to Infuse if using an external drive (I had considering upgrading the internal to a small capacity SSD to run OS at max speed)? I am not concerned about Transcoding at this time. Or should I just stick with the Shield TV set-up or just sell it all and invest in a more robust NAS? I currently use a 2013 iMac for ripping / files conversion as needed.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

A few other points, my video library is ~2TB and growing. I use Apple TV 4Ks for viewing. My home network is a mesh set-up but the main media viewing is all connected via Ethernet (this is how the Mac Mini / Shield TV / NAS / Players are linked up).

Infuse is not very good at collecting metadata. I have set it to English, but I got a lot of foreign movies (mostly Danish). The primary reason for using PMS (for me), is that it’s a lot easier managing your collection.

I’m the same as @wiesel. However I have an separate server for my PMS. I read so many peeps had probs with Plex Media Server running on the Shield i said screw it and used some older hardware I had.

I actually hadn’t thought of that. Maybe I should consider dropping both the Mac mini and shield and do a cheap pc build that can handle transcoding / file serving better.

You actually don’t want to transcode if you don’t have to, as it can tax the CPU. Direct play is best, direct stream would suffice as well. Always direct play if possible.

I actually started with a local server but have since moved to a VPS as my PMS with GSuite for Business as my storage (unlimited). I share that server with my parents and my gf. Most files direct play except when my gf watches since she doesn’t have a sound system and the server needs to transcode the audio, but that doesn’t stress the CPU at all.

My Setup:
Files stored on NAS (Synology)
Mac Mini (2014 edition) running PMS (I use Mini for PMS in case I need to transcode as my NAS is not powerfull enough to transcode)
AppleTV, iPad or iPhone running Infuse

Infuse on all devices get Media from PMS on Mini using new Plex Integration. PMS is connected to NAS via WLAN.

Using Infuse, everything is direct played (no transcoding) even 4K runs without drops.

Could use Infuse without Plex via SMB, but Plex offers better MetaData management.

And in case of offline viewing needed, I wait for Plex transcoding support for Infuse :slight_smile: