Plex Media Server setup without Internet Access

server-freebsd

#1

I have a plex server that I have been running at my cottage. Unfortunately there is no internet access at the cottage, so I bring up video files on a HDD and move them onto the server.

Everything was working great for a long time, but recently (the last few updates of the Plex Server), most of my video files fail to play.
I am currently running 1.1.3.2700 on a freeNAS server.

I looked through the logs and it seems that the plex server no longer keeps the codes on the server but rather goes to plex.tv to download the codecs it needs on the fly. This works great when you have an internet connection (at home it works great) but in my case it has turned my plex server at the cottage useless now.

Is it possible to somehow install all of the codecs locally so that I don't need to have an internet connection?

Thanks for any help.


#2

An internet connection is typically required the first time you play an item with particular properties (as well as a few other cases - see Internet and Network Requirements). e.g. The first time you play a file with H.264 video encoding or AC3 audio encoding.

When you play the file the first time, the necessary components will be downloaded. After that, they're stored on the server and that type of content can then be played without an internet connection.

It is not possible to pre-install everything needed, sorry.


#3

Thanks for your response.

I tried connecting it to the internet via a 3G rocket hub and it downloaded the codec and played the file I needed.
I disconnected it and it everything worked for a few hours.

In the morning the files stopped working again. Are the files cached permanently or only while the power is on? If the power goes out and the server reboots are the codecs gone?

Thanks


#4

The downloaded components are stored on disk. Turning off, rebooting, etc. the server shouldn't affect things. The Plex Media Server logs ought to show what happens with the problematic playback.


#5

@“Chris C” said:
An internet connection is typically required the first time you play an item with particular properties (as well as a few other cases - see Internet and Network Requirements). e.g. The first time you play a file with H.264 video encoding or AC3 audio encoding.

When you play the file the first time, the necessary components will be downloaded. After that, they’re stored on the server and that type of content can then be played without an internet connection.

It is not possible to pre-install everything needed, sorry.

I don’t get it. I had this problem now, no Internet-route from my Plex server, finally found out that it tries to download codecs on the first play.

Why cant you just bundle the codecs with the installer?


#6

@Bassebuuus said:

Why cant you just bundle the codecs with the installer?

Because Plex wants to know what you watch …
https://www.plex.tv/about/privacy-legal/


#7

@marcelhehle said:

@Bassebuuus said:

Why cant you just bundle the codecs with the installer?

Because Plex wants to know what you watch …
https://www.plex.tv/about/privacy-legal/

Yeah, that’s the whole reason as why my plex server only is allowed to reach the content-scrapers :slight_smile:


#8

@marcelhehle said:

@Bassebuuus said:

Why cant you just bundle the codecs with the installer?

Because Plex wants to know what you watch …
https://www.plex.tv/about/privacy-legal/

For the record, that’s very much not true. We don’t know what specific personal content you watch (and we don’t want to know). Different codecs have different licensing, so for some of them, we only deliver the appropriate codec when it’s actually needed the first time. (And after that, your server has it available locally.)


#9

@“Chris C” said:

@marcelhehle said:

@Bassebuuus said:

Why cant you just bundle the codecs with the installer?

Because Plex wants to know what you watch …
https://www.plex.tv/about/privacy-legal/

For the record, that’s very much not true. We don’t know what specific personal content you watch (and we don’t want to know). Different codecs have different licensing, so for some of them, we only deliver the appropriate codec when it’s actually needed the first time. (And after that, your server has it available locally.)

Bah, my comment dissapeared.
Long story short, It was quite easy to just manually download the codecs and move them into the /Codec folder.
Only gotcha was that it needed a subdir made up of the version & architecture.

If you could just stop forcing cloud/online/account + telemetry so hard, none of this would be a problem. But now one has to block all outgoing traffic from Plex in the FW in order to try to keep some privacy and problems like these (cant download codecs automatically) arises.

I bet next time the codecs get updated they are expected to be in a new subdir with the new version number and by then I will probably have forgotten about all this and have to start over with troubleshooting of why plex cant play my media.


#10

@Bassebuuus said:
I bet next time the codecs get updated they are expected to be in a new subdir with the new version number and by then I will probably have forgotten about all this and have to start over with troubleshooting of why plex cant play my media.

When you update Plex Media Server to a version that needs new codecs, Plex Media Server checks what codecs you had before and it would automatically download those codecs when it is launched on the new version