why (or why not) Plex?

OK, I confess to being more than a little confused.  My video content resides on a NAS.  I can configure XBMC to mount the Movie sharepoint and it can then play these movies.  These movies are .m4v files and they have been imported into my (networked, of course) Mac's iTunes library.  So... I could use iTunes on the ATV2g to watch these movies, also.


I also have a 1st gen ATV so i could (and have!) used Nito to play movies.  Boxee could be used, also.  and now on ATV2g i can use the Plex client to play video (using my networked Mac as the Plex Media Server).


I've spent some time poring through the various forums and I still don't quite understand the pros and cons of each of these.  On the (1st gen) ATV, I found that XBMC was helpful for downloading and using subtitle files (tho not infrequently they were so far out of sync w the film dialogue that they could not be used even after adjustment).  


Is there any upside for using the atv2g as a Plex client?  if the files reside on NAS and my Mac is serving them, I can't quite see how that would be an improvement in streaming performance (and would probably be a step backward?).  and what about audio: do all of these media player options support 5.1 channels of sound (via AC3 passthrough)? 



Am I overcomplicating matters here?  I think that I'm drowning a bit in the sea of choices.   And notice I haven't even mentioned the applications and music options  :O


Thanks for any input.

You are making it very complicated. The Plex client on the ATV2/iDevice plays m4v files. So the Plex Media Server on your Mac transcodes the files into that format. With a fast enough Mac you don't notice a difference, at least for 720p.

XBMC on the ATV1/2G has the codecs built in. There is no transcoding taking place on the Mac or the NAS.

Both are nice. Plex is more Mac like and has better metadata.

Can't say about sound. Have been using stereo my whole life.





thanks.  i had not thought about the transcoding issues.  when i first got ATVFlash many of my files were in Video_TS folders.  most of these have now been converted to m4v w Handbrake.