Question HTPC vs alternatives


Active Member
Morning all,

I have run various HTPC's for the past 12 years roughly and currently I have a modest setup now which runs as a Plex media server. Spec is a an i5 processor, 4gb DDR3, RAM with 4TB of disk space and running Windows 7. It is sat on a home network (100mb/s speeds) with me using Plex apps on 4 smart TVs (all LG so running latest LG OS) to view content.

Recently when trying to watch 4K content from Plex via the app on my LG OLED55B7 it was struggling, on research it seems that the LG Plex apps will need 4k content to be transcoded and the spec of my HTPC simply won't be capable of that unless I upgrade to a CPU spec around the 17,000 score on passmark. Whilst looking into options I came across some further info that I wasn't aware of as I have done little research in the last 5 years!
1) HTPC's seem to be dying off somewhat
2) Alternative solutions such as NVidia Shields etc seem to offer much better solutions as able to stream 4k content (think there is a particular format that means they can dont need to transcode?)

My initial thoughts were that if I wanted to run 4k content that I dont invest in upgrading the HTPC but look at a setup with an NVidia Shield, or equivalent, connected directly to the OLED TV running Plex Server. Then having a local network NAS for storage of the content. In theory it would mean the 4k content would run fine on the OLED (only 4k tv in house) but would still allow the others to connect to the Plex Server and storage to run content via the Plex apps on the TVs?

Is this a viable option? any other options including alternatives to the Nvidia Shield as well?


Distinguished Member
1 - The ethernet built into LG is not very good and struggles with uncompressed 4K video (e.g BD rips), its not the actual video player at fault. the only solution is to get a USB ethernet adapter that sort of works with LG webos. When you plug it in it either works or it doesnt, the network screen in webos will be blank.

Try this first if you want to spend the least amount of money.

2 -Yes HTPC's are fading away, many TV's and set top boxes that are very capable have replaced them.

3 - Yes Nvidia Shield is somewhat unique in that it can also run Plex server and Plex client.

Be sure to read the limitations section here of Plex server on Shield, you may need an sdcard as well to boost internal storage as Plex saves a lot of artwork data.


Well-known Member
I use a hp microserver which is less powerful than your pc as my Plex/media server it works fine locally when streaming to PS3 and a shield (nonpro) with full fat Blu-ray, it does struggle with full 4k rips though.
You could and should look into getting some extra ram uping it to 8GB if possible then run Plex server on that to a shield or equivalent.

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