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Setting up Plex to work with a Panasonic Viera HDTV and Kodi Comparisons

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Like many people I know, I have a television in my bedroom. In order to watch programs from my Media Server, I have an Android TV attached to it. After playing around with some of the options on the TV, I noticed that I had another option to stream content from my Media Server. Smart televisions from Panasonic and other manufacturers have the ability to stream media from servers that use the DLNA protocol. I was intrigued to see how this protocol worked. Since I needed some DLNA server software, it gave me an opportunity to try out Plex. Little did I know it at the time, but was I in for an interesting ride.

Plex and the Panasonic Viera HDTV

The first thing I needed to do was install the Plex Server software on my Media Server. This was accomplished quite easily on my Linux Mint 18.2 by using the provided deb file. It installed and configured itself without any noticeable hitches. Since at this point I was just experimenting, I added only one of my media hard drives to the server's …

Manjaro Linux: Arch Linux for Everyone?

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One of the things that interests many Linux users is the sheer diversity of distributions (distros) of Linux available. While some users will settle on a distro and that will become the version they use for a long time. Others will do what is called distro-hopping. They will move from distro to distro until they find one that either "clicks" with them or one that meets all of their needs. As a long time Linux user myself, I have always been interested in different Linux distros. For a long time, I have used Ubuntu/ Debian based distros such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Sometimes I would step out of my comfort zone and try other distros of Linux such as the Gentoo based Sabayon Linux, link, or loose my mind completely and try out Slackware, link. Needless to say, those forays were not successful. While I enjoyed the experience, I either found them too unstable for use as a daily driver, or they just took too much work to manage properly. I always ended up going back to an Ubuntu…

Rebuilding My Home Media Server

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In a previous post, link, I talked about my home media server. Since that post, the server described decided to take a permanent vacation. Since its departure was sudden and surprising, it will be sorely missed. The journey required to replace it was both fun and frustrating. It also gave me an opportunity to teach my wife a little bit about how computers are made. Since every journey begins with a step, let us take the first one together.

The server was running perfectly as I was applying a security patch. Upon reboot however, the system decided that it did not want to post. After some troubleshooting, and removing one stick of RAM, the system was able to boot. While this was a step in the right direction, it was not a solution. Withing five minutes, the system would freeze and require a hard reset. After the hard reset, the system would not post. So some more in depth testing was needed.
In order to this testing, I needed another system that used DDR3 for RAM and used the LGA-1155 c…

Fixing an Over Heating Android TV Box

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I must apologize for the lack of content lately. In the last month I had problems with my Android TV in the bedroom overheating and then my home server decided to go on a permanent vacation. The server was an easy fix, but the Android TV took some time. Today, I would like to talk about my Android TV fix. While the solution I came up with was not as elegant as it could be, it was fun to do and a learning experience for me.

In my previous post link, I talked about my Home Media Center setup. In my bedroom, I stated that I was using a Memobox Q-Box Android TV that I had purchased from Aliexpress, link. This little piece of hardware is pretty good for the price that you pay. The only problem I was having with it was heat. The box would get very hot during use. Hot enough, that the quad-core processor would slow its speed to try and cool itself off. This is called "thermal throttling". Thermal throttling is normal with modern processors. Both desktop and mobile processors use t…

My Home Media Center Setup

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When I talk about Kodi, I often get asked about what hardware I am running it on. So I thought I would take a moment to share with you my Home Media Center. Unlike most people today, I do not stream most of my content from the internet. Most of my content is streamed locally. How I have my computers set up is designed to allow my wife and I to watch content all over the house. If something I am using is still available for purchase, I will add the needed links to their section.

Server



The server is the heart of any home network. My server is housed in a custom case from Moneual that is designed to look like a DVD player. This allows it to blend in with the other components in my entertainment center. When this case was released in 2010, the Moneual 312 was lauded for its look, internal storage options, and its small size. At the time, most cases for HTPC's were a standard ATX computer cases turned sideways. They were large, bulky, ugly, and they did not have near the internal stora…

X3: Renuion and Linux - A match made in Heaven.... I Mean Space

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Do you like being a space pirate pillaging your way across the universe? Maybe you are more the entrepreneurial type who wants to establish economic dominance instead. Or do you just want to be a space cowboy smuggling contraband from one world to another. If so, X3: Reunion is the game for you. Released in 2005 by Egosoft, X3: Reunion is an open-world space simulation that allows you to play the game your way.

When you start a new game in X3: Reunion, you are presented with several choices. One of which is to play the game's campaign, and the other choices allow you to play the game outside of the campaign. Whichever choice you make, the ultimate journey you embark upon is entirely up to you. For first time players, I suggest at least starting the main campaign. This will allow you to get comfortable with the game world and controls before you strike out on your own. This is because the main campaign of X3: Reunion feels like one long tutorial. The story slowly unfolds as you co…

My Journey Through Linux: A Tale of Learning and Fun

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I am a tinkerer. Especially when it comes to computers. No more so than in my early days of computer usage. At the time, I would spend hours typing in Basic programs from magazines into an Atari 800 and later an Apple IIe. Only to end up troubleshooting syntax errors because of my poor typing skills. Little did my 8 year-old brain realize that I was learning not only how to troubleshot computer problems properly, but gaining a passion that has followed me ever since. When I built my first computer in 1996, a Pentium 200 with 16mb of RAM running Windows 95, this need to tinker came back with a vengeance. Soon afterwards, I heard about this operating system called Linux. At the time, I did not give it much thought because I was content creating custom boot menus to maximize the performance I getting on the games I was playing. However, Linux remained in the back of my mind, and in 1999 when on a trip to New York City, I purchased a retail copy of SuSE Linux 6.1. Little did I know that t…