Geek Freely: movies

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    The whole point in this post is to run your own VPN service, and allow you to connect remote devices to your home network.

    To start off yo…

    Showing posts with label movies.

    Showing posts with label movies.

    So I finally decided to build a dedicated Plex Media Server, my desktop wasn’t cutting it.

    I used the following Plex link to educate myself about the system requirements.

    The Hardware

    Basically it stated that for every HD movie I wish to trans-code and stream I needed a passmark of about 2000.


    to determine your CPU passmark, and investigate what you need.

    I decided that at maximum I would have 3 simultaneous streams going on, of my home movies of course. All these streams being HD – factor in your network upload speeds when determining what you can handle.

    So, ballpark I needed a processor capable of about 6000 on the passmark scale – and I also made room for overhead.

    I went with the following processor which gave me a passmark around 7300.:

    Start with the processor then let this dictate the rest, I like to keep my systems small so I was looking for a mini-ITX that was LGA 1150 compatible. Please remember and check the CPU maker site to confirm motherboard (MB) compatability.

    The MB I chose in the end was:

    Mini-ITX means smaller case. I went with the following for simplicity.

    So I have my processor, my MB, my case. I added 4GB of RAM and a 120GB SSD. The solid state disk was a little large, since I won’t keep my movies locally. This is the RAM and HD:

    The Software

    So to keep things slick I decided to install Plex on Ubuntu, I figure any future services I want to run will no doubt work on Linux, that and I know Ubuntu. Check the official Plex site for more details on setting this up

    I installed Ubuntu Server, because I don’t really see a need for a GUI front-end, Plex is configured via the web. After installing Ubuntu Server, installing Plex is simple enough:

    Download the .deb package from . if you are putting it on a USB for installing on the Ubuntu Server, you may want to install usbmount to automount inserted USB sticks.

    sudo apt-get install usbmount

    Once you have the .deb package on your server, go ahead and install with the following command, relative to your .deb filename of course:

    sudo dpkg -i plexmediaserver_0.

    To setup the server, open a browser window, and go to, replacing for the IP of the server if you are configuring this remotely.

    Setting Up NAS Shares

    The next thing you are going to want to do before getting involved with the configuration is map all your samba shares.

    You will need cifs-utils:

    sudo apt-get install cifs-utils

    I used the following link to work out my samba situation:

    Make a .smbcredential file in your home directory so you can map your fstab correctly. In this file put username and equals sign and the access username for the share (and domain if loging into a domain) on the first line, put password and equals sign and the password for that user account on the second line of the file. The file should look like:



    # OR:

    # username=MyUsername@MyDomain

    # password=MyPassword

    # OR: (for cifs on Windows Serve 2003)

    # username=MyDomain/MyUsername

    # password=MyPassword

    Edit fstab to map your mounts (sudo nano /etc/fstab). Entries in your fstab should look similar to the following:

    //master/install_files /path/to/mnt cifs iocharset=utf8,credentials=/path/to/.smbcredentials,uid=1000 0 0



    # e.g.








    Once completed exit nano and save the changes to fstab. Make sure that the shares mount correctly:

    sudo mount -a

    If successful, reboot and make sure that mounts and Plex start automagically.

    Now configure your Plex shares! Enjoy.

    So I put a video in a directory on my webserver for my brother to check out, and I wanted to test if he could download it, so I entered the link to check it.  To my surprise it started to stream it in my Firefox browser, it may even do it in IE, but I hate IE/ActiveX so I don’t use it.  To accomplish this streaming joy all you need to do is get VLC.

    When installing make sure you check Mozilla plugin (if you are a Firefox user, ActiveX for IE users I assume) and then enter the link on your webserver (fll pathname) to the file.  After a short time buffering your media should be streaming to your browser.  The streaming quality is all dependent on upload speed from your server, and download speed at your location – but in a pinch, you can watch your videos from anywhere.

    Obviously we are talking about home movies here, as it would be highly illegal to do this with copyright material – even is you own it.  Not only is it illegal, but your ISP may frown on your webserver and upload usage.

    Check your ISP limitations before you go doing this sort of thing, you don’t want letters through the door, or obscene bills!

    Update:  I guess you could probably do this to your iPhone too if you have the video in the correct format for it…

    Just came across Ember Media Manager, this looks like your solution for Movie organization problems.

    So far I have just had a quick look at this product, but it looks like you just select the folder that contains your movies, and then you can search each file and scrape the media information from online.  This basically accomplishes what XBMC does, but will give you an offline solution, a ‘backup’ incase you ever need to blow away your XBMC video database.

    Will have to look into this more, but this seems like a great solution for movie management.

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