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Plex Satellite Server

unixcommandounixcommando Posts: 4Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

Hello,

My family owns a summer home where internet speeds are not very good. They're well enough for email, or simple browsing, but streaming is out of the question. How do I know this? I setup my Plex server for remote access and put a Roku with the Plex app in the summer house and when I tried to view a movie I'm treated to repeated buffering and occasional messages that the network is too slow for streaming. I've looked at everything Google can provide about improving streaming to my Roku and have exhausted everything, I even tried the hidden Roku menu to reduce bit stream which didn't have any effect at all as far as I could tell.

I'd really like to have Plex available there and was wondering if anybody had come up with a way to have a second Plex server in a remote location that can retrieve content from my primary server. One of the ways I've thought this could be done was to setup NFS server on my primary Plex server and NFS client with cachefs on my remote, once the file access begins the whole movie should be copied to the cachefs file system.

Has anyone done anything like this? Or is there a better way? I'm assuming I can have more than one Plex server under my Plex pass and at more than one location.

Thanks
-Bob

Best Answer

Answers

  • OttoKernerOttoKerner Posts: 25,732Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    edited July 16

    IMHO if you don't have enough bandwidth for video streaming, you cannot stream video. Period.
    Plex cannot magically give you more capacity. Even downloading the videos over the day at lower speed won't be practical, because you'd have to decide what to watch 24h or more in advance.

    You'll be probably better off with a mobile hard disk full of media.

    Or you research directional antennas for 3G/LTE if the terrain permits it.

    Help others too - by reporting back with your results!
    Have you checked the Documentation before posting a question in the forums?
    Use the SEARCH function before starting a new thread!
    No PMs unless requested, please! Do not use 'verbose' logging
  • unixcommandounixcommando Posts: 4Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Speed is 12M to 16M which should be sufficient when your bitrate is 2.6M, but it just isn't working well. You get frequent delays for buffering. It seems to be more of a latency problem than a bandwith problem, it's as if the connection just stops for a few seconds, then starts and you get a couple of minutes before the next delay. I used to do network analysis and in the past I could cure problems like this with bigger buffers, the Roku device has a tiny buffer, I'm thinking about using a Rasberry Pi with a WD !T disk at the summer place using cachefs and NFS. I do know the problems you're discussing about NFS which is what the cachefs is for, years ago I had to do NFS between Massachusetts and France which was dreadful, cachefs was the solution, since it would make a local copy of the file on the cachfs file server it could correct many sins, which is what I'm thinking I could use here.

    I could use a Raspberry Pi for this but I'd have to engineer it to use a remote which I just don't have time to do right now, and wouldn't before Summer is over, putting a Plex server in the summer house with a way to sync files with the main one at home seems like my best choice.

    -Bob

  • OttoKernerOttoKerner Posts: 25,732Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    edited July 16

    The secret with high latency connections is to ensure Direct Play on Plex.
    Transcoding chops up your media into many small chunks which are all transmitted individually,
    whereas a Direct Played file only uses one connection.

    Try your luck with generating suitable optimized versions of your videos and pick these versions for playback.

    If you use an Android or a Windows device, you could use the 'Mobile Sync' feature of Plex which downloads a transcoded copy directly onto the device.

    Help others too - by reporting back with your results!
    Have you checked the Documentation before posting a question in the forums?
    Use the SEARCH function before starting a new thread!
    No PMs unless requested, please! Do not use 'verbose' logging
  • JuiceWSAJuiceWSA Posts: 6,769Members ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 17

    What is the 'Remote Quality' setting in the Roku Plex App?
    Can the file be Direct Played on the Roku?
    What is the bit rate of the File(s) you're trying to play?

    If the Remote Quality setting on the Roku Plex App is set lower than the Bit Rate of the file you're trying play = instant transcode.
    If the Remote Quality setting on the Roku Plex App is set higher than the Bit Rate of the file you're trying to play = Direct Play can be possible, if the file can be Direct Played on the Roku.

    Note: Plex will ignore Bit Rates - Resolution will override.
    For instance, if a file is 1080p and the bit rate is 3Mbps, setting the Remote Quality in the Plex app to 720p 4Mbps will cause an instant transcode. In this case you will need to raise the Remote Quality setting in the Plex app to 1080p 8Mbps in order to achieve Direct Play. Yes, it's stupid as all get out, but that's the way Plex has decided to make it work.

    If you have a 12Mbps internet connection at the summer home you should, in theory, be able to Direct Play files from the home server - providing they will Direct Play on the Roku, fit into the upload pipe available at the home server, fit into the download pipe available at the summer home, and meet the stupid criteria of The Plex App's Remote Quality Setting.

    Sounds complicated, doesn't it?
    It's not really that complicated once you figure out how to deal with the shortcomings of Plex's Childish Remote Quality options and figure out what you're sending from home and trying to receive remotely.

    Example:
    I have a LOT of 1080p files that have bit rates under 4Mbps. If my Remote Users don't heed my instructions and change their Plex App's Remote Quality Setting from the DEFAULT 720p 4Mbps to 1080p 8Mbps, every single one of them will transcode needlessly. IF my Remote Users won't heed my instructions - I will replace them with Remote Users that will (my remote users are family members and know me all too well - they comply). lol

    As Otto suggests you may need to create Remote Versions. Selecting those are as easy as hitting the 'Lower Play Button' in the Roku app - The Upper Play Button will play the highest quality version you have. The Lower Button will either 'Play Version' and/or 'Play From Beginning', if you have left an item partially viewed.

    I guess the next logical step is to discover what you're trying to play, then discover if it will Direct Play on your Roku.

    In the event you have to 'tailor' some remote content for yourself - there's a handy Handbrake Guide in my signature if Plex's Built In File Destroyer doesn't exactly do a great job (I've never tried it myself, but I have seen what happens if I let Plex Transcode my stuff).

    Tony

    FileBot For Easy Plex File Naming: http://www.filebot.net/

    Automated Plex Naming With Filebot: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/191687/plex-naming-schemes-for-filebot

    Plex Friendly Handbrake Guide - DVDs/BluRays: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1335697/#Comment_1335697

    Plex Clients: AFTVs, Androids, PMP, Rokus (running RARflix: http://mkvxstream.blogspot.com/2014/09/roku-plex-setup-guide.html ) Link May Work - May Not

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