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My Digital Environment "Improvement"

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16 Jun 2020 00:26 - 16 Jun 2020 15:30 #311152 by RobertB
For a while I was running a Plex server on a Raspberry Pi 3 and a USB 2.0 external hard drive, just to see it work, and it did okay. But it tended to stumble over Blu-Ray, since it's attempting to transcode without enough horsepower.

Western Digital has a device called a My Cloud Home, which has Plex and a hardware transcoder built into it. So dumbass me gets one, with a minimum of research. When it's working, it works great. God save you if you move it from one router to another - you will not get your Plex server back. And you will spend an hour with Google before somehow you magically get a new one to finally work. My new Plex server is now called "My Cloud Home POS Server 2".

In the course of beating my head on My Cloud Home, I decided to set up my older PC as a Windows Plex server. because I was getting heartily sick of messing with My Cloud Home (yeah, yeah, put linux on that old box, I deal with it at work, fuck that). That was my older PC because you would turn it on, and it might start then, might start in five minutes, or might start in two hours. I stuck a spare hard drive in it to hold the Plex files, and fired it up. Would not start. As in, no bios for you. The fans turn and that's it. Since I had it apart, I noticed a two-digit failure code, saying, "4F". Which turns out that it could be anything. But what I did find out, to this old geezer's amazement, was that these days there's a primary bios and a backup bios. I switch the jumper over to make it use the secondary, and voila', it starts up. I wouldn't put anything valuable on that box, but I'll call it a minor win.
Last edit: 16 Jun 2020 15:30 by RobertB.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, sornars, Erik Twice, Nodens

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16 Jun 2020 10:14 #311155 by Gary Sax
I find networking among the most frustrating things to troubleshoot on computers, I feel for you.

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16 Jun 2020 11:00 #311158 by jeb
I run Plex from my iMac and it's great (when I convince it to work). For folks that don't have a setup like this, I highly recommend it. I get DVDs from the local library (just recently re-opened for curbside pickup), rip them with Handbrake into M4Vs, and store them on a 1TB WD drive that Plex maintains as a Library. I must have close to 100 movies on there now, along with some shows (Amazing Stories!) and others. With the server running, I can stream to the Roku on the TV.

Figuring out how to set up Handbrake to beat DVD encryption is a pain in the ass. The rest goes okay, except Plex really wants me to sign up for something and shows me all this stuff they offer when all I want is a conduit to my local stored library.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, RobertB

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16 Jun 2020 11:22 - 16 Jun 2020 11:42 #311162 by RobertB
If you monkey with it a little more, you can watch movies from home on your iPad or phone.

If you monkey with it even more, you can give people an email to let other folks watch movies on your Plex. I have a couple of coworkers who are cinephiles, who let me access their Plex collection. They both have hundreds of movies and TV shows (one with 1026 movies, the other with 1058, I just looked).

I have another coworker who swears by Kodi. However, he isn't interested in sharing libraries, nor is he interested in watching his collection over his phone.

The My Cloud Home: Like Gary Sax says above, networking can be a PITA. My Cloud Home is trying to live up to it's name; its more of an actual cloud like OneDrive or Google Drive than it is a NAS. Which is good, in that you don't have to mess with networking - you plug it into a router that can see the outside world (needs a hard wire connection, or something that fakes it) and you're there. And which is bad, because Western Digital is handling all the authentication and IP address headaches between My Cloud Home and your devices. Not bad because they get to look at everything (Facebook, Google, and Amazon are doing that already), but that if WD packed it in tomorrow, you'd be gefuckered. My wife likes it, though.
Last edit: 16 Jun 2020 11:42 by RobertB.

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16 Jun 2020 12:00 #311164 by Disgustipater
My Plex server was originally on a Raspberry Pi but I kept running into issues so I just put it on my main machine, as it is on all the time anyway. An external 2TB drive holds all the media, and we watch it on our various TVs through the Plex apps on them, as well as on the iPad. We have a bunch of movies and TV shows and we also give access to friends and co-workers.

Been working out great.

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16 Jun 2020 12:11 #311167 by RobertB
I think my Raspberry Pi is going to turn into a mame machine.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Erik Twice

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17 Jun 2020 16:08 #311192 by RobertB
I set up the Raspberry Pi to be a Retropie box. It works. My USB controllers suck, and I don't have a good controller on a USB cable that isn't a flight control stick. So, it works. Every time I do something like this with old video games, I find out that, 1) I'm old and slow, and 2) those $10 USB controllers I have suck.

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