1x05: Never Gonna Give You Up

In this episode of Bad Voltage, Bryan Lunduke returns to the fold after his holiday in Europedreadful illness, and these things happen:

  • Bitcoin. The team discuss Bitcoin (and crypto-currencies in general), whether it’s a good idea, and whether it might be successful
  • Review: Jono reviews the Roku 2, mass-market tv streaming device. Is it any good?
  • Open-source phone platforms: Jolla, Ubuntu, and Firefox OS. What is success? Will these platforms get anywhere? Are Android and iOS ripe for unseating?
  • Interview: Jeff Atwood talks about Discourse, the modern forum system, and why it’s an improvement over the horror that is web forums currently. You can ask follow-up questions which Jeff has agreed to answer at Ask Your Questions: Jeff Atwood, founder of Discourse
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The app that Jeremy alluded for the Roku is Plex: http://www.plexapp.com/

I use it to watch local videos on my Roku, and it’s pretty great.

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Don’t you need to be running plexmediaserver to point the Plex app at it?

Yeah you need a server computer to do it, but I’ve found usually when people are complaining about lack of local media management it’s because they have a ton of files sitting on a box somewhere.

I have a Roku3 and it does have a USB port though. To be honest though I’ve never used it, heh.

I have a server computer, which is quite happily serving up files to my two xbmc machines (one of which is a Raspberry Pi; the other is an Acer Aspire Revo). I suppose I could run plexmediaserver on it, I’m just not sure what the Roku gives me over XBMC. There’s the “just plug it in and it works” thing, but not if I have to set up my server differently anyway, and I don’t use streaming services other than iPlayer :slight_smile:

PMS ideally runs on your storage system where you have all your media. They have 32-bit and 64-bit builds for OS X and various Linux distros (and Windows as well, bleh), as well as builds for selected NAS boxes.

The fun bit is that you can say “here’s the directory with all my movies in it” (or TV shows, or music), and it’ll go off and collect the metadata for those files. Then, when you connect to it using Plex Home Theatre on Windows or Mac, or using the Plex client for iOS, Android, Roku, Chromecast, LG TV, Samsung TV, etc etc, it’ll present you with the posters, fan art, plot details, who was in it etc and it’ll transcode it (when needed) correctly for the device you’re playing it on. It will “direct play” to devices that correctly support the media you’re playing, so for example playing an MKV with DTS audio to a Mac running PHT will play directly, but it’ll transcode to an Android tablet. It’ll also announce itself as a DNLA media source, if you want it to.

Using their myPlex service, you can even connect to multiple PMSes over disparate networks and stream stuff from there to your device.

It’s slightly more involved than XBMC to get set up, but once you’ve done it, it’s totally worth it.

That is indeed the app I was referring to. Cheers.


@neuro basically nails it but the reason I prefer plex is it’s centralized, which means if you stop watching on one client you can resume on the others. If I fix album art in one place it fixes it on all my clients, not to mention keeping tack of which episodes I’ve watched, etc.

I wouldn’t call it more involved than XBMC to set up; the plexserver web UI is so much more usable than XBMC I won’t even go there. :smile:


XBMC does all that; fan art, plots, posters, metadata, etc. And I don’t need to transcode, because I’m running XBMC on a proper computer. And there are remote apps to control my XBMC machines for both my iOS and my Ubuntu phones. And I don’t have to set anything up on my server: it’s just a file server :smile:

Maybe I’m missing something about why using Plex Media Server and a Roku box is so good, if you primarily watch local stuff rather than streamed-from-netflix stuff?

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