Brian recently bought a MacBook Air. He wants to know if he can repurpose his old Mac as a server to run Plex. Leo says that Brian's old dual-core iMac isn't super fast, but you can run Plex on an Atom processor, so it'll work on that iMac, but it may struggle with 4K. In that case, getting a dedicated NAS, like Synology, would be a better option. You'd also have a lot more storage space. It'll also sit and a closet out of the way. You'll also have to fit drives into it. So that'll be an extra cost.
Richard is trying to use PLEX and he can't understand how to make it work. Leo says he can watch his own movies using a PLEX Server. That will serve up any media he has on the network.
Joey is having issues with his Plex media server (Plex is a sponsor of TWiT). He can see his media files on the Synology NAS, but he can't access the files at all. Leo says you may have to turn on a sharing file system like SMB. Stop and restart your file server software to be sure it's properly running. Ports may also need to be opened in your router. Check your firewall log to see if those ports are being blocked.
Mike B. is calling to talk about the plan by TiVo to put in ads. Mike says that TiVo is obviously needing to in order to keep TiVo going. The good news is that if users have a TiVo Roamio or older, they won't get them. Only the Bolts or latest TiVos will. Leo says that it may just be easier to go with PLEX or the Silicon Dust HD Home Run.
Mike bought a used 2012 Mac Mini that he wants to turn into a media server. Will he be able to manage it locally, or does he have to do window sharing? Leo says that a Mac is kinda expensive for a media server, but it will do the job great with Apple's macOS Server software, which is $20 from the app store. He can also use PLEX for free. If he wants to access from the internet, he'll need to set up port forwarding. But if it's just from the network, it'll work as is. But there's a heat issue, so Leo says that he can use external hard drives to bring the heat down.
Nate has cut the cord, and he has a killer media server with the HD Home Run. But he wants to find a way to broadcast the stream to all his TVs in his house at the same time. Leo says it's called MultiCast, or Party Mode. PLEX may be able to do it. They've been working on it for quite some time. Here's info from the PLEX Forums - There's an open BETA that started last year. So it's likely ready to go. Search for MULTIPLEX. Then it's a question if your router and network can support it.
Mike has a first generation Apple TV and he wants to put all his movies on it, but Apple quit supporting it. What can he do? Leo says that if he can launch the Apple Store, he should be OK. But if it isn't recognizing the device, then Apple may have broken connectivity. He should try and do a restore from scratch.
Kevin wants to know if he can turn his Xbox into a DVR. Leo says that he'd need to get a TV connection and a program that could do it, and the Xbox Store only allows for recording video game moments. Plex is in the Microsoft store and may work. But Leo isn't sure what the recording capability is. Microsoft was going to do it back in 2015, but cancelled the feature.
Ben likes to stream videos using Plex and sometimes it'll disconnect after only a few hours watching specific shows. What's going on? Leo says that there''s probably a naming issue and if the naming isn't consistent, then Plex can get confused. He should make sure the transcoding is consistent as well with the same format.
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.