PLEX

How can I rip my CDs and put them on a media server?

Episode 1488

Walt from Irvine, CA
Synology NAS

Walt has a few hundred CDs and he'd like to rip them, put them on a music server, and then donate them. Leo recommends ripping in a lossless version called FLAC. FLAC is a great because if one needs to re-burn to a CD, they can. If using iTunes, he should use Apple's own lossless codec. Using a Mac that stays on all the time would work, but Leo recommends using a Network Attached Storage device and have that run as the music server. It can also do double duty backing up the network. Leo recommends the Synology brand.

How can I rip all my DVDs and play them on a network?

Episode 1483

James from Las Vegas, NV
Synology DiskStation

James has 300 DVDs that he'd like to put on a media server and watch using Amazon Alexa to launch them. Rich says that the first thing James would need to do is "rip" them to a hard drive. He can use a combination of HandBrake and VLC Media Client to get them into digital files. Then he can put them on a network attached storage device.

How can I rip a DVD?

Episode 1462

Dan from New Jersey
DVD

Dan wants to rip some old DVDs so he can stream them on the Apple TV using Plex, but he's having trouble with Handbrake. Leo says that he can rip it and then keep it on his computer, or use a network attached storage device running the Plex server. Leo says that Handbrake should have an Apple TV profile. He also needs to be sure he's using VLC to break the DRM.

Can I stream from multiple locations with the HDHomeRun?

Episode 1413

Dem from The Netherlands
NVIDIA Shield

Dem has cable and he's been having a lot of digital artifacting and distortion. Could that be due to living too close to a cell tower? Leo says maybe, but then again, it could just be a software issue. He should try rebooting his box, check his connections, all of the things he can do himself. If he's still having that issue, then he can look to his cable company.

How can I play my DVD disk images on the Apple TV?

Episode 1378

Matt from Seattle, WA
Apple TV

Matt has backed up all his family home movie DVDs on his network, but they're not playable because they were backed up as disc images or VOB files. What can he do? Leo says what Matt needs to do is create an ISO for them. There's software that does it. Leo recommends getting media server software like KODI. Then he can use the AppleTV that can see it and play it.

How can I make a low energy streaming network with Raspberry Pi?

Episode 1307

Bob from San Jose, CA
Raspberry Pi

Bob has been ripping DVDs for his personal use and putting them on a Plex server so he can stream them from his network. But since his network uses older PCs, it's taking up a lot of energy. Can he use a Raspberry Pi to use less energy?

Leo says he can, and he can even use a NUC server. Plex has a Raspberry Pi plugin called RasPlex, and that's where Bob can go. There's also one for XBMC as well. The Raspberry Pi 3 is very fast and powerful, but also low powered.

How can I listen to my music on any device without the Internet?

Jesse from Kentucky

Episode 1199

Jesse is an audiophile who loves high resolution music. He wants to be able to listen to his music on any device without having to rely on an internet connection to do it. He was thinking about using Plex, but isn't sure how it works. Leo says that Plex doesn't pull music from the internet. It relies on local storage and then can route it to any device on the network. He could then send it to Roku to play. He should be able to stream 192 kb audio just fine over Wi-Fi.

What are my alternatives to Windows Media Center?

Episode 1195

Jerry from Mission Viejo, CA
HD HomeRun PRIME

Jerry is upset that Microsoft has discontinued Windows Media Center. Leo says that's because Microsoft wants to drive users to the XBox One, where they will be offering options similar to Windows Media Center.

Leo says the HDHomeRun PRIME is a cable top box that uses a cable card to do many of the same functions as Windows Media Center for $150. He'll be able to take his cable card out of his computer and into the HDHomeRun PRIME.