Introduction: Raspberry Pi PLEX TV

Picture of Raspberry Pi PLEX TV

Hi! In this Instructable I will show you how I made my own Raspberry Pi-powered TV using PLEX.

In fact, I am using two of them: one Pi2 for the player and onw Pi3 as my server, running Apache, HomeKit, Plex, etc.

So, the things you will need: a computer to download all the software, HDMI cables, keyboards, a mouse, speakers, and some obvious things like a monitor.

Step 1: The Server

Picture of The Server

I recommend connecting both computer via Ethernet, so your latency will be unnoticeable.

Let's start with the server, because that is the harder part.

The first step is obviously to update your pi to the latest version:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Then, we need to install the HTTPS transport package

sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https -y --force-yes

After that we need to retrieve the key that will ensure that our downloads are safe

wget -O - https://dev2day.de/pms/dev2day-pms.gpg.key" | sudo apt-key add -

Now we need to add the repository to our list

echo "deb  https://dev2day.de/pms/ jessie main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pms.list

After that just a quick check that our Plex Media Server will be the latest version

sudo apt-get update

And then the last step is to actually install the package

sudo apt-get install -t jessie plexmediaserver-installer -y

Now, restart your Pi

sudo reboot

After restarting, you can get your IP address by typing

hostname -I

You can fix it in your router settings. It isn't absolutely necessary, but useful if you will use a different computer to setup your Plex libraries. If you use the same Pi, just use 127.0.0.1, which is localhost.

Test your connection to the Plex server by visiting the url in a browser: 192.168.x.y:32400/web

If you see Plex and it is asking your login credentials, then everything is fine. Don't hesitate to ask in the comments if something goes wrong.

Step 2: Library

You probably want to store your data on a pendrive, in which case it will show up separately in Plex so you will find it easily. If your using Raspbian, you don't even need to mount it manually.

If you're using exFAT, fuse-exfat will be helpful.

sudo apt-get install exfat-utils -y

In case it is NTFS, install this helper tool

sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g -y

After it shows up correctly, you can start adding your Plex libraries, which you can do by accessing 192.168.x.y:32400/web or http://127.0.0.1:32400/web if you're on the same Pi.

Check out this guide for more information: https://www.htpcguides.com/properly-mount-usb-sto...

Step 3: The Player

Picture of The Player

Since I am running many other servers on the Pi, I needed a dedicated Pi as the player. Go to http://rasplex.com and click on the button. After that, choose the appropriate OS and follow the installation instructions. After having it installed on the SD card, boot your Pi and soon you should see RasPlex starting. If you don't immediately see your libraries showing up, you might have to manually enter the IP address in system settings.

Controlling it is very easy, just use the arrow buttons to navigate. But what if you want to control your player with a webpage? You can use this webpage: https://github.com/RasPlex/Simple-RasPlex-Remote. Just host it on a simple webserver, let me know in the comments if you need help with that.

Step 4: Conclusion

Picture of Conclusion

I hope I have could help you with this small Instructable. If you need help with any step, please ask in the comment section, I am more than happy to help you.

If you have any additional suggestions, like other remotes, ways to improve the setup, please write them down in the comments.

Comments

jdpurce61DIY (author)2017-11-06

Installed Plex Server only on Stretch version of Raspbian. Here are the changes needed:

Under "Add repository to our list" the line should be:

"echo "deb https://dev2day.de/pms/ stretch main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pms.list

Under "...actually install the package" the line should be:

sudo apt-get install -t stretch plexmediaserver-installer -y

For my Library I use a local NAS that I mount using autofs in lieu of adding a line to /etc/fstab because I found that newer debian/Ubuntu releases to 14.04LTS changed NFS such that when my NAS sleeps, the NAS mount gets hung requiring server reboot. That problem fixed with autofs and on Ubuntu it has been rock solid. Expecting same result with Raspbian.

For my Players I use Roku at home and Plex client on iPad for remote.

So far my Pi has been able to keep up with an HD movie streaming at 8+Mbps whereas my tired old Pentium2 Linux PC just couldn't.

Good luck!

--John

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