Recently I found a need to add the ability for my Roku XD box to be able to access my home movies and other media on my NAS, also looking for an all in one solution to stream to Asus Transformer TF101, iPod Touch, Sony Bravia TV and iPhone. A good co-worker recommended Plex Media Server which does all the above and more.
Plex Media Server is the solution for local and online media. According to the site:
” Plex Media Server seamlessly connects your Plex clients with all of your local and online media. The combination of centralized library management, streaming of online content, and powerful transcoding functionality provides an unrivaled level of flexibility and ease of use.
Plex Media Server runs on your Mac, PC, or compatible NAS device and serves your media to all of your Plex clients including Plex-enabled mobile devices and 2011 LG Smart TVs.”
Plex uses apps (iOS and Android) to connect mobile devices, channel for Roku and DNLA settings to connect to PS3, xBox and TV’s. There are also forums where users have submitted working DNLA configurations for other devices.
Things look good and sound good to me, so first need to download Plex Media Server from http://wiki.plexapp.com/index.php/Downloads and install Windows or Fedora. At the time of this posting Plex Media Server 0.9.6.4 was available. !!!Update!!!! Plex Media Server 0.9.6.5 has been released. Download it from here.
For my use it will be on a Windows 7 Professional.
Once the file has been downloaded just double-click and accept the defaults for Windows installation. For Fedora add the repo and use yum to install the package.
Create the file /etc/yum.repos.d/plex.repo and insert the following contents.
[PlexRepo] name=PlexRepo baseurl=http://plexapp.com/rpmrepo/release/$basearch/ enabled=1 gpgcheck=1
Import the Plex GPG key:
$ rpm --import http://plexapp.com/plex_pub_key.pub
Then install it with this command:
$ yum install plexmediaserver
After the installation the Plex Media server will be running. Next we need to define a folder on the NAS that is attached to the Windows 7 system. The steps are the same for adding to the Linux system as well. Open the Media Manager interface with Mozilla FireFox, Google Chrome or Opera, Internet Explorer is not supported.
To open the Plex interface click on the plex icon in the toolbar and it will open your default browser and you will be introduced to the Plex interface. If you are using Linux open a browser and goto http://localhost:32400/manage/index.html
Now we can add movies or home movies. Click on the link and a box will appear. Click Add and browse to the location on your NAS or hard drive to the location of the movies. Once done click Add Section and Plex will scan the drive and add what it finds.
At this point you can add photos, music, TV shows and other movies. Now you have content ready for you to attach devices you have.
Attaching Roku XD
Adding access to the Roku to Plex Media server is as easy as using the Add Channel feature on the Roku and add Plex. When you start the Plex channel on your Roku, it will try to discover your Plex Media Server(s) automatically. Unfortunately, discovery may not work, depending on your network. You can add the server manually by going to Preferences -> Plex Media Servers -> Add Server Manually. On that screen, enter the IP address of the Plex Media Server. Verify that the server is running and you have the right IP address by opening a browser and going to http://[ip_address]:32400/. If it’s working, it’ll show some XML. If you get an error message from your browser (e.g. server not responding), then either your Plex Media Server isn’t running, or you have the wrong IP address. Once it’s working, enter that IP address into your Roku.
To attach the Asus Transformer to Plex Media Server you just have to purchase the app from Google Play and install it. Just as the Roku open the app and it will attempt to find your Plex server and if not add it the same way.
As for the Sony Bravia TV I am still working on creating a DNLA profile for the TV to discover the server. Newer Sony Bravia TV’s (2010 – 2012) have profiles that work, but since mine is a 2009 it is taking sometime to get a working profile. With the help of the Plex forums I don’t expect this to be a big hurdle.
I hope this will help you to look at another way to deliver your content to your connected home.