If you like me always pondered why such an amazing service and application as “Plex” was not standard by default on an Apple TV, well keep on wondering, but in the mean time follow these steps to install the functionality. It really is what we have all been after for so long without having to jailbreak an Apple product.
What you will need:
Media Server running Plex media Centre (mine is Windows 7 as an operating system), Process also details OSX and Linux.
All of your legal media stored on your Media Server
Apple TV 2 or 3
Wifi or ethernet connected LAN.
Once agin the information to achieve this great service is very well documented. I will simply point you too the best and easiest to follow instruction.
Go to the following link and have a quick read: https://blog.plex.tv/2013/06/04/introducing-plexconnect-an-appletv-client-which-thinks-different/
Now go to an even better link to get your goodies: PlexConnect GitHub From here you will be able to gather everything you will need to roll out PlexConnect your Apple TV and Media Server.
Follow the installation guide step by step (This one is for windows specifically): Installation Guide and downloads
The only real thought that had to be given was when developing the permission and trusted certificates for the windows machine to use. This involved downloading the Python version recommended. I pulled down 2.7.8. Remember PlexConnect is only running when the PlexConnect.py application is running. So when you have completed all steps you will need to ensure that this service is running by simply clicking on it.
Following this I had to generate the certificates for windows to use. The link that I am providing here shows exactly what needs to be typed: Windows Certificate Generation
Now setup the DNS (to point towards your static address IP Media Server address) It is important that you have set this up to be static through your modem etc and therefore allows your Apple TV to always point back to the correct location of your media server and your media files.
Now sweet up the certificates and profile on your Apple TV following this link: Certificates for Apple TV
Handy tip: Make sure that your PlexConnect.py service is running here or the apple tv will not be capable of setting up the profile.
You are almost there now. With all of the above complete. Go o the Trailers icon on you Apple TV and guess what, your Plex library will be displayed and ready for you to watch and enjoy.
Just a cruise ship playing the seven nation army
Well I finally got my hands on one of the new breed of MacBook Airs on offer from Apple.The new Haswell processor kicking in with a simple i5 with 4GB Ram with a slightly up revved solid state drive to 256 GB will do me for now. Please don’t forget that this is my first entry into the world of Mac. I have always been a PC boy and feel very comfortable in that ecosystem. Also purchased was a USB Optical drive and some ethernet adaptors and HDMI output leads. Also just added Microsoft Office for Mac as well, just to cover off on my need to have something familiar with me as I go forward.
First thing that I loved was the weight and speed of the unit. Boot time is fantastic and being solid state the lack of noise and heat was very very noticeable to me.
Once in I did the obligatory install of Office, set up my email, downloaded my favourite web browsers. Not that there is anything wrong with Safari, its just that I am far more comfortable with Chrome etc etc.Spent the next 6 hours learning how to drive around and use the OSX environment, which is quite different that that of the good old windows environment.
Now I bought some of my work files over which primarily consist of Office documents, presentations and project and Visio files. This is where the I experienced a little bit of regret with regards to the the supportability of microsoft project and visio vsd files. There seems to be no support at all. If someone out there knows of something please let me know.
T combat this I used the BootCamp capability that the Mac offers allowing me to install as a partition and then allow me to boot into either OSX orWindows as I wish. The process took me a little while to get correct as I had to make an iso image of windows 7 and then add the apple support software to this to make and install disk on a thumb drive. For some reason I was unable to do this by simply adding a install disk and downloading the support files as Bootcamp first suggested.
I simply allocated 60GB to the partition and installed windows 7 Ultimate and Office 2013, Chrome, an antivirus package and microsoft project and Visio. This simple install only consumes about 20GB of space but does allow me to access, manipulate and complete all of my files as required. I was very impressed that I could see both sets of documents and files on the Mac and Windows side and was capable of simple cutting and pasting or copying data from one to the other very easily.
Now that I have my work needs covered I made the decision to stay in the Mac world as much as possible, and I did this by ensuring that I boot into OSX and not windows. All of my mail and clients are represented on the OSX side and not the windows side and all of my shortcuts and useful links are only associated with the OSX platform and have not been replicated on the windows side.
Screen and Battery life are outstanding with the benchmark of 12 hours use being surpassed by me not wanting to put it down and learning more and more as I went along. As I have previously posted I started to move away from the apple products with my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 purchase. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe that the Samsung device is superior to the Iphone 5, but in the world of laptops this Macbook Air outstrips the Samsung Ultrabook equivalent just for now.
Heres looking forward to more competition in the technology arena, because out of the backend of these advances comes great products at reasonable prices for us the consumer to use.
Well I finally did it. I weighed up the options and decided to step away from my beloved IPhone and give the Android ecosystem a go. Well that’s not the full story, I have always had an android tablet but it had consistently played second favourite to my IPad.
To enter into this environment I wanted something that I thought would be a game changer, and I found it with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. This hardware and size of interface intrigued me and after examining the device for approximately 30 minutes, I took the plunge. That was 2 months ago and guess what I have no regrets.
The device is fantastic and the android environment really did not leave me feeling as though I was missing out on goodies. This was an issue a few years back when I would always compare my IOS environment to the developing Android equivalent.
The note 2 4G version came pre installed with 2 years of Navigon GPS use and updates, and believe it has been well worth it. I even played around having Google maps and Navigon running at the same time. Google maps is very helpful, but Navigon is a dedicated application that is up to date and functions extremely well.
There is so much that I am learning with this device but after many years of existing within the apple environment the biggest and best difference that I found was my ability to have flexibility in loading video and music. Yes people NO MORE ITUNES. I have fallen back in love with the simple drag and drop, and there it is ready to play for me. I know it sounds silly but it was a breath of fresh air.
anyway I shall do some more playing around and update posts when I can. I am sure there is a lot more that I ma going to say about the power and usefulness of this device and its ecosystem, but all in good time. stand by for more updates to follow.
Part 1 dealt with the hardware selection and the very basics of the OS and software installed to get things going.
Remember the initial goal:
With a family and therefore numerous listening and viewing tastes I wanted to set up a Home Media Server that would act as a single reference point for all. I wanted to be able to serve data to a number of clients ranging from Android devices, IOS devices, networked PC’s, Home Theatre Systems and Televisions. Obviously this unit would need to be able to push and use data required by such software as ITunes, XBMC, Windows Media Player, and Air Video Server just to name a few.
I also wanted a device that would minimise my power consumption, as I intended to leave this unit on and running 24/7. This is of course possible from my current home PC’s, but with their power usage ranging from 230W up, I needed something better. Currently this HP unit usage runs between 35 and 40W offering an excellent solution.
Finally I was after a unit that would minimise my time spent gathering aired television content. Automation is the key!!!!!
Current software I am running at time of Post for Automation
Sick Beard alpha build 497 Link: Sickbeard
SABnzbd 0.7.4 Link: SABNZBD
CouchPotato (Latest as of 10 Nov 2012) Link: CouchPotato
XBMC 11.0 Eden Link: XBMC
Subscriptions needing to be Setup prior to following next Paragraph
astraweb subscription (I just go a Pay by Download subscription of 180GB to initially test it out approx $25) link: news.astraweb.com
NZBMatrix VIP Account (approx $11) link: nzbmatrix.com
Current ISP Newsgroup allocation (if you have or need one)
How to Manage your Media
All in all its pretty easy to manage you TV and movie files, but I will suggest that you do undertake this activity prior to setting up the automation detailed within the following steps.
Ensure that you use a standard and known naming convention and that files are placed in their appropriate folders. Things can get messed up really easily, so take a little time and do some house keeping before you get into it. I utilise the naming conventions promoted and detailed on the XBMC website (within their WIKI). If you stick to this all will be good.
Automation Software Setup (This is where the really good information is)
To save us all a heap of time I have added a link to a Tekforums guide. The individual has done a brilliant job at detailing the steps involved to integrate Sickbeard, SABnzbd, CouchPotato and XBMC and deserves full credit for his work. I have no intention of rewriting this work and can state that for the current software versions that I am running, his write up still hold as being correct and usable.
Now that you have done that
Ensure that all software you want to start when windows starts is placed within the Startup folder.
Bounce the server a few times to ensure that you are comfortable with this occurring and that everything performs as a solid start. Don’t be in too much of a rush, because if you end up with a set up like mine. you will have ITunes, Sickbeard, SABnzbd and CouchPotato all start in order with ITunes minimising to the tray with the other software staying present within your internet browser. Just for completeness I am running Google Chrome here.
As a side note
For my configuration I have XBMC installed and set up on Home Theatre PC’s throughout the house, not on the HP Micro Server itself. I am not using the HP device for this function. What it is doing is simply serving the media to the clients which have XBMC installed onto them. The client XBMC simply looks back to the server as the repository for this data, thereby I keep a single library that the automation tool can go off and collect the media then reconfigure, post process and deposit in a known location waiting for the XBMC clients to pick it up and display.
So if the Home Theatre PC’c are on they will get the signal from Sickbeard and update. If they are off they get updated as XBMC starts. This only takes the units a mater of seconds to complete depending on how much data you have added since the last update.
After testing I can confirm that this unit can handle the needs of a busy family. I have had this unit serving across my network playing HD video content onto 2 PC’s and one home entertainment system TV, whilst streaming ITunes music content as well as family holiday pictures via 2 separate Apple TV’s throughout the house. The whole set up did not skip a beat and the network consisted of both wired and wireless devices.
All in all it was a very successful project made easy with the work done and previously posted by the individuals mentioned above. In total it took me about 3 hours to set this system up, and I have reasonable but still general level of computing skill and before doing this little to no knowledge of the inner workings of Newsgroups. Enjoy and let the machines do the work.