RasPlex allows you to bring the popular Plex media Centre software to the Raspberry Pi and Harry Guinness will show you how to use Raspberry pi as a capable media center with RasPlex in the easiest possible way. This also brings the possibility of not using USB sticks to add movies to your media center as they will be streamed directly from your computer.
Further, the Pi will only be running as client app with RasPlex therefore the server is installed on another computer. For newbies, XBMC is the media center software used in Rasbmc and this started out with Plex. XBMC is a single application while Plex has both the client and the server. XBMC’s functionality can be divided into two separate applications and hence the Plex client app can be really lightweight. Thus, all the processor intensive work will be done by the server app on a more powerful computer whose work will be to send an optimized version to your living room or mobile device. It means that you will not be limited to a single client.
To start with Raspberry Pi Model B or B+, Micro SD Card of 2GB or larger, you will need HDMI cable, Micro USB cable, Keyboard, Remote control, USB Wi-Fi adaptor and another computer to store media and act as the server
Sort out your media files into a structure that Plex can understand as it automatically scans the media files and uses an online database to match each one to a specific movie or TV episode. To start with basics, build two folders: one for movies and one for TV shows. Further, there are a couple of standard naming conventions that Plex can handle including space, period, underscore or hyphen separated works.
Setting up Plex Server
Plex is easier to install and is available on many platforms. The server app can be installed on a NAS device. Since you are going to use as a server on computer, the website should automatically detect your operating system. Server uses a local web app for the front-end. To access the web app, choose Media Manager and add media to the server. Plex will scan the folder, download all the metadata and share it through the server.
After setting up the server, connect Micro SD card to your computer and download the correct RasPlex installer for operating system. Select the most recent version of RasPlex available and then click Download and later click Write SD Card. This will install RasPlex on the SD Card.
Overclocking the Pi
Overclocking helps you to get more power out of a computer by making the CPU cycle faster and it’s possible on a Raspberry Pi. RasPlex is designed in a way to be run on an overclocked Raspberry Pi. With the Micro SD card in your computer, navigate to it using Windows Explorer and match the recommend values you want. Later eject the card and insert it in the Raspberry Pi.
Setting up RasPlex
Now connect the Raspberry Pi and USB wireless dongle to a TV using the HDMI cable. Then connect the Raspberry Pi to the power to boot it up and RasPlex will take you through a setup process. You can use keyboard to navigate and select your Wi-Fi network to enter password. RasPlex will automatically connect to the Plex Server and begin caching all the media information.
Controlling Your RasPlex Media Centre
Either set up a remote control or use your smartphone to control your RasPlex media center. The Plex app is available for iOS, Android and even Windows Phone and is both a Plex client and a remote control. Once you’re connected, a movie or TV show in the Plex app can be selected on mobile and it will play on Raspberry Pi.
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