Happy New Year! … and Plex Problems

Another New Year! Time to change the smoke alarm batteries so that’s on the todo list for today.

Lately we’ve been having a bit of grief with our Plex - we ditched the PS4 and bought a Google TV trying to alleviate the issues, and for a while it was flawless. It’s definitely nicer for Netflix, Prime, etc, but Plex has started complaining about a direct connection being unavailable - that’s literally the error message “Direct Connection Unavailable” and I suspect it’s playing by relaying to Plex’s servers, effectively defeating the entire point of Plex… might as well watch something on Netflix or if it’s unavailable just actually pop the DVD in!

But why is it doing that? My network is deliberately structured so that the docker container hosting the Plex server and the devices playing it are on the same VLAN, so they should be in the same broadcast domain (I don’t actually know how Plex negotiates though).

Last night while trying to watch Bluey (which we download from ABC to avoid their horrible player app) I got upset at it stopping part way through (it’s a 7 minute show! You can’t buffer a 7 minute show?!) and resovled to fix it or throw the thing in the bin. After learning that apparently the GoogleTV/AndroidTV APK for Plex’s client hides the goddamn manual server settings from you, I did however manage to find that you can enable logging and take a peek:

curl -s | tail

This didn’t help a lot other than confirming that yes, the GoogleTV was definitely fetching the video data from the relay server on the internet. Dammit!

I dug around trying to guess an API endpoint that might allow me to upload configuration changes, but there doesn’t seem to be one (incidentally you can apparently control playback like play/pause/fast-forward/rewind, which others have done with some success)

After fiddling around with the GoogleTV application settings and finding nothing else, I checked out the settings for the server. It took me a few minutes to spot it, but somewhere over the last couple of docker container updates, the manual announce URL for the plex server is wrong! It has a quote in front of it:


After fixing this, inspecting the logs shows that it’s no longer fetching from the relay!

Finally, having to roll up my sleeves and do some ZFS stuff at work made me think about the zeefus pool in my home server. Checking it out we’re at about 76% capacity. Oh no! How did that happen, I wanted to get at least three years out of the drives when I built it and… oh… in June it will have been three years, and we haven’t exactly been careful with space on it.

We started jettisoning some things we don’t need, like Steam backups of games we’ll never play again to buy us some time. I started pricing out drives - given that we’ll probably want to do roughly 8TB per drive, and I’ll want better redundancy than we currently have, it’s going to be an expensive operation so obviously I’ll put that off as long as I can.

Horsham, VIC, Australia fwaggle



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Horsham, VIC, Australia

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