Future of Blu-Ray vs Streaming?

Flybye

Limp Gawd
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I stopped collecting BRs and stopped using my entertainment PC a while back because of how convenient all the streaming and saving of movies on the DVR was. I’ve gotten pretty annoyed with my new TV service deciding to only keep recordings for 90 days. Lately I’ve also gotten annoyed at certain movies not even being available. So going back to having a media PC is back on my mind.

You guys think it’s worth collecting media again or is externally recording movies on a media PC and backing up on a NAS the better option?
 

Aurelius

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Blu-ray doesn't have much of a future at this point.

Yeah, a well-done disc will have great quality, but as we've seen with a few streaming services (Disney+ as an example), you don't need physical media to get a quality picture.

And then there's the very nature of owning physical copies. Sure, owning a tangible version of a movie makes sense when you're a twentysomething with a small collection and all the free time to watch movies... but you'll regret it later when you're settling down in a house and have to move and find room for your 100-disc collection. And as someone who's trying to be eco-conscious, the thought of wasting plastic on a two-hour video is a bit much.

This isn't to downplay issues of DRM or whether or not you really 'own' a digital movie, but the balance definitely leans toward streaming and downloads for me.
 

LukeTbk

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And as someone who's trying to be eco-conscious, the thought of wasting plastic on a two-hour video is a bit much.
I think it change with server becoming much more efficient, but at least at first It did depend how often you watched a movie :

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For a single view streaming tended to have an advantage over a dvd you made a car drive specially for it, but for a disney movie kids watch 10 times during their life, not has obvious, specially in the OP scenario of having an desktop to make your home plex server.

You guys think it’s worth collecting media again or is externally recording movies on a media PC and backing up on a NAS the better option?
The advantage of a NAS type solution with the nice interfaces available on all device with the next episode of a series that play, versus what are usually terrible interface of bluray players (with unskippable message and so on), make the media PC really hard to beat, I usually do not take time to get the bluray of the movies instead of simply firing them on plex, once they are ripped I could get rid of them, it is like said above a lot of space. It became nice if you like the objects and their presentation, i.e. really up to you.

Or if you want 4K 100 gig bluray, streaming do not get close to that and the hard drive cost to keep 2 version of them on disk could become relevant.
 

staknhalo

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Or if you want 4K 100 gig bluray, streaming do not get close to that and the hard drive cost to keep 2 version of them on disk could become relevant.

Tonemapping is already here with limited device compatibility support ATM, but Plex devs on forums have said much more broadly supported/compatible implementations is in the works (to work with Synology Nas and such for example - which don't all work well OOB with current method).

No reason to keep sep 1080p/2160p versions anymore/soon enough.
 

TheSlySyl

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I take 100% blu-ray rips and then re-encode them with x265 for 4k HDR and AAC 7.1 surround (I don't have a good enough audio system to deal with lossless.). The end result size is about 6-10GB per hour for movies and slightly less than that for TV (about 3-4gigs per 45 minute episode). Looks way, way better than streaming and you can fit a surprising amount on 10TB+ drives.
 

staknhalo

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I take 100% blu-ray rips and then re-encode them with x265 for 4k HDR and AAC 7.1 surround (I don't have a good enough audio system to deal with lossless.). The end result size is about 6-10GB per hour for movies and slightly less than that for TV (about 3-4gigs per 45 minute episode). Looks way, way better than streaming and you can fit a surprising amount on 10TB+ drives.

I encode my DVDs to h.264 @ whatever their native bitrate reports, Blu-rays h.264 @ up to 15mbps and just got a 5950x so I can start encoding some of these 4k Blu-rays in cold storage to h.265 @ up to 45mbps (I'll use Staxrip to keep HDR/HDR10+, will keep orig rips of Dolby Vision titles and look into how to encode Dolby Vision - software/parameters - after I'm done recouping a lot of this HDD space. I should only be at about 12TB of 1080p movies/shows ATM, the rest is all taken up by UHD rips waiting to be encoded).

I encode cause I don't have to worry about forced subs this way - it's burned into the video stream; and I live in a condo, I'm not installing a fucking rack and dealing with 400,000 HDDs. I like having a small 4-bay Synology instead. Also it cuts the black bars out of titles that don't have/go fullscreen 16:9. I always hated that, on phones and computers (windowed) when watching a video file.

1612747218152.png
 
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TheSlySyl

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I have it all inside my one (admittedly, quite large) computer case. I got a motherboard that has 8 SATA ports and a case that can easily handle 10+ HDDs cause Plex was a large part of my build.
 

staknhalo

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I have all my Plex media data on the NAS + redundantly backed up on separate drives in my computer (latter where the image is from). 6 drives for media across the two is enough for me. I'll just upgrade drives/capacities as time passes.
 

TheSlySyl

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I just use Handbrake. I use a set of 4k x265 10-bit* settings I got off reddit, it's not too far from the default though.

CPU encode at "slow"
My 3900X crunches through them pretty fast, but I usually wait till night time to queue things up because it does use 100% of all 24 threads.

*if the original is 10-bit. If its not, then I encode 8-bit

I usually encode to an NVME, I don't think that makes much of a difference but it does make moving the file afterwards easier
 
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staknhalo

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I just use Handbrake. I use a set of 4k x265 10-bit* settings I got off reddit, it's not too far from the default though.

CPU encode at "slow"
My 3900X crunches through them pretty fast, but I usually wait till night time to queue things up because it does use 100% of all 24 threads.

*if the original is 10-bit. If its not, then I encode 8-bit

I usually encode to an NVME, I don't think that makes much of a difference but it does make moving the file afterwards easier

Handbrake doesn't do HDR. When encoding a 10bit file, handbrake first discards all 10bit information (which includes HDR) and converts down to 8bit as part of its encoding pipeline. It then expands back to 10-bit when writing the file, but all the actual 10bit information in the original source is lost as it was discarded by Handbrake earlier. You're just viewing 8bit file with better gradients in a Handbrake made 10bit file. Your TV or media player might see the file is ('fake') 10bit, and display an HDR badge because it thinks if it's 10bit it must be HDR, but it's not. You'll need to use another program (like Staxrip which I mentioned) to keep HDR in your encodes. If you don't believe me, here they are talking about the issue on the Handbrake github. Until this issue is marked closed and the fix (full 10bit encoding pipeline through the whole process without any 8bit down-conversion done) implemented, Handbrake will never do HDR.

https://github.com/HandBrake/HandBrake/issues/2729

https://github.com/HandBrake/HandBrake/issues/1307

You can see the contributors (devs) confirming what I told you in these posts, the #1307 issue is the one that will mean HDR is doable when it's closed/implemented (so the one you'd want to keep track of).

I only use Handbrake for Blu-rays/DVDs ATM because of this.
 

TheSlySyl

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Well that's disappointing if true.

Are you sure though? Cause it seems like that's relating to a much older version of handbrake. My rips look absolutely fantastic and full HDR when I direct play them.

I turned off "badges" on the tv as one of the very first things I did when I got it.
 

staknhalo

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handbrake. My rips look absolutely fantastic and full HDR when I direct play them.

The #1307 issue is still marked 'open', that means it's not in any version of Handbrake, old or new, no matter how long ago the issue was first noticed/added to github tracker. Only when it's marked closed, will the version released after it's marked closed (for example, might not be the very next release, but usually is - whether nightly or stable build). You can also see all the repeat/similar issues since/recent that have been merged with that issue (meaning it's all related to no true 10bit pipeline throughout in Handbrake).

They might look good to you, but it is literally and physically impossible they have any HDR metadata in them for the reasons described.

Just saw this was added yesterday to the bottom of the issue if you look:

A few improvements landed on master branch (and are available in the nightly builds):

  • 10 bit pipeline if there is no 8bit only filter enabled and the selected encoder is 10bit;
  • HDR10 static metadata passthrough;
  • Colorspace filter (using the FFmpeg tonemap filter, which is not the best, and does not implement BT.2390 yet).

So, none of your existing encodes are true 10bit/HDR, but it looks like you might be able to use the latest nightly from yesterday on to achieve it. It would mean re-encoding everything you've done from the original sources though.
 

TheSlySyl

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Well fuck.

I've been on nightly builds for ages. I knew that I needed that for 10-bit going in.
I Only started re-encoding for HDR last summer when I got my 3900X and a true HDR TV.

I'm gonna do some more research and see if changing the encoding actually does anything for my files, I usually delete the original files after encoding them for space reasons...
 
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Yes I believe 4k UHD disc are worth collecting. I get annoyed there isn't more titles available. In the same way consoles have numbed down expectations the push to all things streaming is failing the end users too. Look no further than the availability of optical drives or cases to put them in or for that matter CPUs and GPUs that support UHD playback let alone uncompressed multi channel audio. Streaming is a sticky mess at best. Then there is source material, UHD disks are the bomb and no matter how you transcode it for streaming involves compromise.

Nothing beats a dedicate quality AV receiver, a quality 4k UHD blu-ray player with a 4k Blu-Ray Disc for movies. Besides Too many hoops to jump through getting a media server to work it will never perform nearly as well with audio or video no matter how hard you try or how successful you are at doing it Even with the best software and hardware available today or IMHO near future a media PC is inferior to a dedicated Home Theater set up and I might add if streaming is your bag or side venue then all modern AV receivers do that well too and has better audio support as well. I have Roku Ultimate and NVIDIA Shield 2 connected to my HT and anything from my PCs files can be cast or streamed through multiple avenues to my HT setup.

I liken it to nothing replaces a dedicated gaming PC not even a console and nothing replaces a dedicated HT not even a media PC.

Bottom Line You can't get blood from a turnip
 

Flybye

Limp Gawd
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... I get annoyed there isn't more titles available..
This is EXACTLY what I am worried about. I own a few obscure audio CDs that don’t even exist in the streaming world. A few years ago it happened to me with a movie I wanted to watch. I had to mail it to me from Netflix to watch it because it couldn’t be streamed anywhere. At some point people will come across some oddball movie they missed that they want to watch again but can’t because it doesn’t exist online.

You are 100% right about physical media and a media PC. I never had a problem with DVDs, but some blu-rays were picky as hell about the hardware. They would work in the PS4 but not in the PC.

Thank you everyone! I need to look into Plex and figure out what direction to take.
 

flegg

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Since when is Disney+ touted as a high quality?
Amazon 4k Firestick plays shows like the expanse pretty decently if your internet is fast.
HTPC with eARC (or cloned hdmi 2.1 out) to high quality AVR can produce what a quality 4k UHD blu-ray player can
 

defaultluser

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I can tell the difference between 1080p and 4k when PC gaming in my C7, but I can't tell the difference between 1080p and 4k local video. Thanks to Chroma sub-sampling, you're unlikely to be able to see that much color detail anyway...and if half the movies I'm interested in (animation and effects-heavy movies,most of which are 2k native anyway)) are just adding HDR as a post effect, I just don't see the need

Real Outdoor HDR also tends to wear on my eyes way more quickly than watching SDR, so I just can't see the benefit of buying and ripping those (would never watch them); going to keep ripping regular Blurays to add to my library, have a lifetime BlueRay copy from DVD fab
 
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LukeTbk

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I can tell the difference between 1080p and 4k when PC gaming in my C7, but I can't tell the difference between 1080p and 4k local video
I feel that is probably "common", for 4K to be visibly different than 1080p at equal bitrate during blind test experiment it start to not look worst around 50mbits and better around 80 mbits, I imagine a lot of content is not high quality of compression enough to make use of the added resolution.

While gaming is pretty much uncompressed 20 gbits type of signal.
 

Verge

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I feel that is probably "common", for 4K to be visibly different than 1080p at equal bitrate during blind test experiment it start to not look worst around 50mbits and better around 80 mbits, I imagine a lot of content is not high quality of compression enough to make use of the added resolution.

While gaming is pretty much uncompressed 20 gbits type of signal.
Most of the movie content is 2k DI, so it's very difficult to tell the difference. With native 4k movies, i can tell instantly.
 

PCMusicGuy

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I'll be sticking to physical formats. I have yet to see any streaming quality that matches up to a well encoded 1080p bluray. I also don't believe any streaming service offers lossless Atmos or DTS:X.
 

vegeta535

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This is EXACTLY what I am worried about. I own a few obscure audio CDs that don’t even exist in the streaming world. A few years ago it happened to me with a movie I wanted to watch. I had to mail it to me from Netflix to watch it because it couldn’t be streamed anywhere. At some point people will come across some oddball movie they missed that they want to watch again but can’t because it doesn’t exist online.

You are 100% right about physical media and a media PC. I never had a problem with DVDs, but some blu-rays were picky as hell about the hardware. They would work in the PS4 but not in the PC.

Thank you everyone! I need to look into Plex and figure out what direction to take.
I think physical is going to die off soon. I don't see anything new on the horizon for physical media tech. The kids these days don't care for quality. Then want quantity and easy of use. Old ducks like me are dying breed that like to actually own my stuff. Not a stupid license that can be revoked at anytime or removed from a steaming site cause the studio wants to make their own service.
 

Domingo

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I'm on the streaming bandwagon. It's just way too convenient and with most movies, quality frankly doesn't matter. My biggest gripe with streaming is actually the sound. Whatever the hell compression most services are using seems to make the dialogue super quiet and everything else super loud. I have to crank the volume to hear a conversation and then a dog barking or car starting suddenly makes my walls shake. That doesn't happen with any non-streaming platforms on my TV/AVR.
 

staknhalo

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I'm on the streaming bandwagon. It's just way too convenient and with most movies, quality frankly doesn't matter. My biggest gripe with streaming is actually the sound. Whatever the hell compression most services are using seems to make the dialogue super quiet and everything else super loud. I have to crank the volume to hear a conversation and then a dog barking or car starting suddenly makes my walls shake. That doesn't happen with any non-streaming platforms on my TV/AVR.

I know it's not the optimal solution at all but that's what DRC is for if it's really a problem
 

Neapolitan6th

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I mainly enjoy physical media over streaming as it gives me an excuse to build a big NAS and justify it to my wife.
 

staknhalo

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I mainly enjoy physical media over streaming as it gives me an excuse to build a big NAS and justify it to my wife.
I gotta say, with how complicated Dolby Vision is having to mux in multiple video streams, can encode some but make sure not all + there's multiple versions of Dolby Vision + the fact you basically need 2x copies of each title when it's Dolby vision (DVp7 from BR for things that support that - best quality DV - also HDR10 fallback with that file for devices that no DV - and DVp8 for basically streaming devices with Dolby Vision - no HDR10 fallback in these made files) + some devices that should play *this* version of Dolby Vision don't but then play *this other* version of Dolby VIsion just fine (meaning when trying to do it on your own instead of just only ever using Netflix - HW compatibility itself so something outside of my hands is a freaking mess as well and all over the place) - I dunno if I'm gonna rip + archive discs next video gen with how complicated that might be at this rate.

Edit: To add, not that it will be hard - my hobby (or one of them) is just becoming more a pain in the ass than a hobby - and not in the 'I like a challenge' way - that would be fine - cause someone will figure it out if I couldn't and then I just follow instructions - I just find this starting to feel like more annoying than payoff apparently with everything involved with Dolby Vision. Hope next gen isn't as fragmented with how this gen is - and then like I said the problem is also Dolby Vision is so fragmented itself

Double edit: "So why not just do HDR10 and not Dolby Vision" - yeah OK, I'm NOT gonna have the better HDR format *scoffs* :p and I'm not even gonna dignify going back to just buying and then using physical discs as just physical discs like I'm a caveman <3 :p :p
 
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cjcox

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In many ways, I think "ripping" is the key. Purchasing "something" that you might have an actual physical or digital copy where the "protection" is based on likely temporal technology (rendering it essentially useless one day, etc...)...

Gamerz will understand.

So, IMHO, give the artists their due, buy it. Then for longevity sake, you'll want to rip (decrypt) it. Be that disk or digital copy (noting that you might not have fortune decrypting the latter). While decrypting isn't "legal" in the USA (fed crime), IMHO, it's better than just "taking" off the shelf (looting). YMMV (do we have a moral conscience anymore?)

With that said, artists (?) might want everything to become "streaming", so that you can't play ("own") anything without paying (pay per play). Then it becomes slightly more difficult (but not impossible) to collect and play media without paying every time. But will keep a lot of people "stuck" in the pay per play system. It's weird, right now, I see a combo. People that steal copyright material whenever they can, combined with paying hundreds of dollars per month to "stream" (sort of weird really, it's like, I want to pay a lot, but I don't want to pay anything to the artists if I can).

Back alley person: "You got some Bieber?"

Dealer: "Maybe, what you got?"

Back alley person: "Got an eighth of bitcoin."

Dealer: "That'll get you the last 30 seconds of a non top 500 song."

Back alley person: "What's the best I can get?"

Dealer: "Two Nickelbacks, maybe a Creed."

Back alley person: "I'll pass."

Dealer: "You'll be back.... you'll be back."
 

staknhalo

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I'll just go Netflix/whatever + Redbox for occasional *whatever is after 4K* disc rentals (seeing as they carry 4K now while Netflix DVD doesn't) - I buy my discs now and rip for Plex - I don't use the physical discs aside to act as original source and 2nd backup (all my rips/encodes are stored redundantly on my NAS and also main rig to act as the actual files for Plex + backup #1 in main rig). I figure it's like me buying the disc but I get the streaming experience. That's why I joked (but really am serious) I won't be continuing to buy discs if I'm not doing Plex - I can't go back to just the user experience of up + down from the couch how many times if I want to watch a TV series?

I couldn't even pirate if I wanted to cause like I said part of my own annoyances now are with how fragmented Dolby Vision itself (within the Dolby Vision spec/ecosystem) is from a SW + HW point - piracy unfortunately doesn't solve that issue at all.

I'll just juggle streaming services like everyone does now if I decide to give up Plex. I guess that's what it was for me - I never did this for the better quality mainly - that was secondary or just a perk. I mainly did/do this for the better user experience aspect of it all (it being like my own personal netflix but also my own curated personal netflix).
 

UnknownSouljer

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Makes me wonder if and when and whom will be the first major studio to sell NFT's of movies. I think the big values there are forever ownership and "the idea" being that owners get the highest resolution with best audio, commentaries, etc, and the big benefit to the studios will be 100% digital distribution - meaning it has all the benefits of digital distribution - no need to pay a third party for shelf space, transportation fees, etc.
I think there are a lot of people that want highest quality video and sound through a digital distribution format and might be willing to pay $30-$50 for it.

As for the direct question posed by the OP: clearly the market is going all in on streaming. The only people who care for other formats are places that literally don't have good internet access as an option and those that want to max out their home theaters (which lets be honest, at this point is less than a fraction of a percent of overall movie watchers/buyers). Hopefully Elon Musk solves the internet access terrestrial problem with StarLink.
 
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Xpdite69

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It sounds like Plex is the major player for media servers but what about Kodi? I found plex some what combersome to set up and just use Kodi and a NAS and it I don't have to pay for Plex. Never really understood what it is that you are paying for as they have the Free version.
 

Susquehannock

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Only a few select favorite movies stored so a couple HDDs are fine. My local library has a pretty good selection which are free at the drive through for three weeks and selection can be broadened to entire state if desired. Paid for with my taxes so not shy about using it.

Being [H] it can be easy to forget that over one quarter of Americans have no broadband access, which is classified as what, 25mbps or higher by the FCC? And well over 40-million households have no internet access at all. DVD and BD are not going away any time soon.
 

TheSlySyl

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It sounds like Plex is the major player for media servers but what about Kodi? I found plex some what combersome to set up and just use Kodi and a NAS and it I don't have to pay for Plex. Never really understood what it is that you are paying for as they have the Free version.
Plex is on absolutely everything (but Switch). Is way simpler for the media that I like with automatic tagging and such, and I really like PlexAmp, it's became my music player of choice since they killed off Google Play Music.

It's also super, super easy to share Plex libraries, you just need to know someone's email.

I paid for a lifetime plex pass probably 3+ years ago and have never regretted it. I've tried Kodi but it didn't offer anything that Plex couldn't do simpler.
 

ng4ever

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Plex is on absolutely everything (but Switch). Is way simpler for the media that I like with automatic tagging and such, and I really like PlexAmp, it's became my music player of choice since they killed off Google Play Music.

It's also super, super easy to share Plex libraries, you just need to know someone's email.

I paid for a lifetime plex pass probably 3+ years ago and have never regretted it. I've tried Kodi but it didn't offer anything that Plex couldn't do simpler.

Plex is ok. I still prefer just seeing a directory of all my files, no pretty movie or tv show posters. Air Video HD works great but sadly iOS only :(

Plus it is easier that you don't have to wait for new movies or tv shows to load like in plex. They just show up in Air Video HD.
 

TheSlySyl

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Plex is ok. I still prefer just seeing a directory of all my files, no pretty movie or tv show posters. Air Video HD works great but sadly iOS only :(

Plus it is easier that you don't have to wait for new movies or tv shows to load like in plex. They just show up in Air Video HD.
I don't use a directory of my files, my individual libraries are too big to be stored on a single hard drive at this point so I like how PLEX merges directories into single libraries. Also the tagging, movie posters, synopsis, etc. is one of my favorite things about PLEX. It does all that for me, and when your library is as big as mine is, having that happen automatically is a gigantic benefit. Especially for my more obscure stuff.

I have no idea what you mean by "wait for movies or tv shows to load" PLEX usually plays whatever I throw at it in less than 5 seconds. It's just as fast as if i I was launching the file with VLC on a computer or whateve. I heavily prefer the plex navigation anyway, because that search bar is how I usually find what I want to watch - Yet again, many thousands upon thousands of files.

I have a fair amount of users with access to my Plex library, some of which are far from the most computer skilled. So ease of use is massive for them, moreso than myself.

I also have absolutely no experience with anything involving IOS, and likely never will, so I have no idea what Air Video HD is like.
 
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