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Home Theater on your Asustor NAS

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Home Theater on your Asustor NAS

Postby MikeG.6.5 » Fri Dec 25, 2015 6:42 am

EDIT: I think I better explain a few things about my use of Plex, just so everyone knows where I'm coming from here. I started Plex soon after I bought my first Asustor NAS in April of 2014. This was an AS-202T. I ran that NAS as my main Plex Server for almost a year. It's got the smallest CPU of all of the NASes Asustor makes. My library has grown from roughly 700 movies and about 7200 episodes to now well over 1700 movies and almost 14,000 TV episodes. I shared my media with 20 of my coworkers in Alaska for the last 7 months I was there... I had 5 streaming at one time on the 202T. It was pretty close to the max that unit could do.

Once I decided I wanted to do more with my NAS I found out the 202T was a bit too light and I upgraded it to a 7004T in March of 2015. This machine has 4x6TB HDD in Raid 5 and an external Raid 5 5bay enclosure holding 5x3TB HDD's as well, for a total of 28TB. I'm using just over half of this, and it's all in media to stream via Plex (OK, I have some photos, too.....) This device has had 7 streaming at the same time and never missed a beat. It's rock solid and probably the best device I could have bought for using Plex on for under $5K

That's about me and my experience with Plex. And why I consider myself pretty knowledgeable on the topic.


There have been a lot of discussions about Asustor and the HT functionality with those models that have HDMI out.

As has been discussed elsewhere, XBMC is dead. The project has been effectively done away with, and is now rolled up into the Kodi project. (XBMC became Kodi.) So the support from Asustor for a dead project is, well, likely not going to happen.

Kodi has some hardware requirements that preclude it from working with some of the lower end NASes Asustor has. Specifically the requirements for the Intel drivers for the GPU used in the chipsets. Until Intel releases those drivers getting Kodi working on the 20x, 30x models aren't likely to happen either.

So, how does someone get a HT experience with their NAS? As I've already discussed elsewhere, there is a way to do it. But you have to think about the NAS as one cog, and not the whole engine. Without the cog it won't work, and there are other cogs needed, too. So I'm going to line up the cogs to make sure everyone knows what the options are.

What you need:

Of course, you need your NAS. And some HDDs in it. You can set up the HDDs in any raid configuration you want to have them in, it's not really as important to setting it up as just having everything working. To get a way to actually stream your media, though, you also need an app. XBMC or Kodi as has already been discussed is not an option for some of the models. So the app I'm going to talk to everyone about is Plex. We're going to discuss the finer aspects of setting up Plex a bit later. For now, though, install it from App Central and get ready to work on the other parts you need to have.

The next thing you need to have is a Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV or something similar to hook up to the TV. This is going to be the client to the NASes Server. Any of these work, but personally I'm going to recommend the Roku. The app is bullet proof, and costs a measly $5 unless you get a Plex Pass. (Don't do that until you find out if you like Plex or not. And then wait to see if you want the features a Pass can give you.)

Now that you have a server app, and a client app device, you need to do a few things on the server side to make sure everything works well. Notice for now, we haven't even gone into the server yet. We aren't going to do that for a while, so don't get ahead of yourself..... Just sit back and wait and you're going to like everything as it happens...

Setting up the Network:

Plex likes to have the router set up right to make sure everything works well. Your NAS is also going to like these following steps in the long run, so it's going to make a difference on how well it works, too. We're going to set up a static IP for the NAs, so it's always going to be at the same IP, regardless of any other device you have on your network. Since every router does this differently, you are going to need to read up on the specifics of you router, in it's manual, and make sure you read up on how to do it, log into your router and read up some more BEFORE you do this. (Most of the time the IP you set is going to be something like 192.168.1.xxx. It's the xxx that denotes the NAS specifically, but you need the whole thing. For any examples we're going to use 192.168.1.5.)

After you set the IP on the router, you are going to need to reboot the NAS to make sure it's available at the IP you set. You can't do anything else until you make sure the NAS is working on the new IP.

AFTER you make sure you can get to the NAS on the IP you set up, then you need to read up on Port Forwarding on your router. Asustor's EZRouter function works for some people and doesn't work for others. It relies on uPnP protocols and as each router manufacturer interprets those protocols differently or implements things differently, we aren't going to rely on them to get the functionality we want. We are going to open a port all the time. As I suggested with static IP's, read up on it, log into the router, read some more than make a change on the router to the ports.

But wait! I haven't told you which port you are forwarding, yet, have I.... Plex uses 32400 internally, and this is the port I'm going to tell you to use for now. We'll talk about changing to another port later. So the port Forwarding Rules you set on your router are going to be something like this: Inbound (outside, external, etc.) traffic coming in on port 32400 goes to device 192.168.1.5 on port 32400 inside the network (internal, local, etc.). There are other ports you could forward while you are doing it. Ports for like the ADM (8000 and 8001 by default) SABnzb+ (if you use it, 8088 by default) PlexPy (We haven't talked about this yet, but we will, 8181). Don't do them right now, but just so you know, this is where you are going to set those up, too.

This gets the important set up stuff working. The only reason Plex might have problems with remote access now is if you are in a double NAT situation or have another issue going on. We're going to test this now by going to a website that checks your router to see if the port is open. http://canyouseeme.org This site gives you your outside IP address, and lets you plug in a port number, then tests it to see if it's open to the world. If it says success on port 32400 we're in good shape, if not, there are a few other things to try, so PM me if you have problems.

This is probably long enough as a starter, so I'm going to add more in replies. Please wait to reply to this thread until I give you an "All Done!" so everyone can read it all unbroken by comments.

EDIT: I realized after re-reading this I didn't tell you how to install PMS, though... The simplest way is to install it from the apps listed in App Central. After you get it running, then any updates will be downloaded from Plex's own download pages and then manually updated in App Central. Pretty easy to do, actually!
Last edited by MikeG.6.5 on Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:37 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Home Theater on your Asustor NAS

Postby MikeG.6.5 » Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:09 am

What we've done so far:

In the first post we installed the Plex Media Server app on your NAS, we talked about a client device and the app you need to attach to your TV, we got a static IP and set up Port Forwarding to your NAS for Plex's default port of 32400. As a refresher, I mentioned we are going to use a static IP for all examples of 192.168.1.5. If I give you an example here with that IP, you need to plug in the actual IP you set up as the NAS's static IP. A link here won't work unless you used .5, so you are going to need to copy/paste and edit links to make them work for you.

Things we're going to do in this post:

Well, for starters, we're going to log into Plex's Web App. And we're going to do this right here. http://192.168.1.5:32400/web should take you to the sign in page. If you haven't installed Plex before and haven't signed up for a free account, this page gives you a link to sign up for one. It's going to take you to https://plex.tv and there is a Sign up link in the upper right corner. Click that and follow the directions to get signed up for a FREE Plex account. Don't worry about a Pass account yet...

After you made the account, go back to http://192.168.1.5:32400/web and you should see something that shows you that there are no libraries. I had thought I would be fancy and put up screen shots, but just not going to mess with that for right now.... I'll ditz with it later.

This is cool, as we haven't set any libraries up yet. In fact this is working exactly as we want it to work.

Setting up your first library:

If you are like me, you probably have a lot of movies and TV shows on your NAs already. We're going to set up a Movie library and navigate to a folder that has just one movie in it. (For now.) I don't care where the library is, but it needs to be local to the NAS, either on one of the internal drives, or on an external drive plugged in to the USB or eSATA port of the NAS. You may need to move a few files around. as I said we want just ONE movie in the library, so if you have 2, 20 or 2000 movies, move the file to a different folder and use that folder as the library. I'll wait until you get back....

Still waiting....

Ok, back already? Good, let's move on... So, we are going to set up a library, now... (If you have one already the screen looks a bit different...) You remember that we're setting up a movie library, right? (Plex has different categories of libraries and you can't mix them together. So no movies and TV shows mixed together....) But WAIT a minute... We have to talk about something else before we get too far ahead... Naming Conventions. This is really important, because Plex uses the name and agents that go out to TheMovieDB and TheTVDB and other places to find information on what the movie actually is. These are agents, but XBMC or Kodi calls them scrapers. They do the same thing...

So what should we name the movie? Well, we want to make sure we have a good name that can be found. So perhaps the easiest wayt to do that is to use programs designed to do it. FileBot can search for a movie or TV show and give your media the name as most agents will find them. FileBot is a donation app. Meaning if you like it a lot you should probably send the guy a bit of coin. So far this needs to be installed on a PC or MAC, as no one has made a version to sun on Asustor's NASes yet. You can get the app here: http://www.filebot.net/

WOW, all of this and so far we haven't even made a library yet... What the heck... Trust me, it's coming... :) Install FileBot and run it against the movie you moved to it's own folder. (Load) and then click on the Match button in the middle. It gives you a choice and since this is a movie we are going to choose TheMovieDB. The app searches for the movie and when it finds something that looks like a match it shows up on the right side of the app. If you got something close, click the rename button.

Now we have a movie named right, in it's own folder and we can try to get it into a library. If you want you can go to Plex's site to get the skinny there. The link is: https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/200264746
Or you can follow along. Let's do this....

But since I'm making this up as I go along on my PC (The screens are virtually the same and where they are different I'll tell you.) So the first step is clicking on the big Plus sing on the left. (It also says to "Add Library") It shows you screen that wants to know the library type. Well, we said movie, right? So Movies it is....

The first thing it shows you is the screen where you name the Movies Library. You can keep this as Movies or you can change it to something more descriptive if you want. Say "Flying kites in the Stiff Breezes of the PNW" Or something like that... (You mean you DON'T have movies showing you how to fly a kite? SHAME ON YOU!) :) JK Plex has a pretty good tutorial for doing this already, but I'm going to give you the way I do it here.

Let's just leave the library name as Movies for now, shall we? Click the orange (or yellow) Next button and then it wants a folder.... So here we get to browse tot he folder location. be default Plex has fivured out what type of OS you are on, and since we're running this on a NAS it's going to show you the shares ont eh left side. When you click on, it gives you the folders under that share on the right side. Just keep clicking until you get to where your movie is, but don't select it, and click Add Library. (Or Next if that's what the button says....)

Now, if you have your movie named right, it should show you a picture of the poster for the movie after a little bit in the Recently Added section. (You may go into the library a time or two, though....) If it's there, go grab a beer, sit back and enjoy the movie. We're going to cover other things in a little bit. It it's NOT there, well, PM me and we'll figure it out....

More coming so wait for it!
Last edited by MikeG.6.5 on Fri Dec 25, 2015 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Home Theater on your Asustor NAS

Postby MikeG.6.5 » Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:45 am

We have talked about setting up your router, installing Plex, and by now you should have a movie in your very first Plex library.

Get more into your library:

We're going to talk about folders for a bit, here, and putting your media into separate folders for each movie. But before that I have 28 other folders first... #, A-Z and @. Each movie goes into a folder with the same name, and that goes into the folder that is alpha sorted into one of those 28 folders. So the movie "9 (2009).mp4" has this path: /volume1/movies/#/9 (2009)/9 (2009).mp4. And then every extra item like posters, fan art, trailers or things like that that I happen to get go into the SAME folder...

I want to move or delete the movie, I delete the folder itself and EVERYTHING associated to the movie is moved or deleted. If I have a problem with one movie, doing this I can find the movie in just a few clicks. If I have 20000 files all lumped into a single folder I could spend a little while looking for it, and then only if I think I have it spelled right, right? You don't have to do this, but, honestly, why wouldn't you? Plex can still see all of the movies when you do this, so it just makes a bit easier on you, the admin to plan a bit in case of.... (In case of what, you ask? Anything that could force you to have to find one particular movie amongst 20000 files....)

So you can either keep the first library we made and start moving folders containing movies into the first folder, or we can just edit the existing library and point to where the rest of our properly named movies are. Either choice is right. Editing a library can be done by hovering the mouse over the library and clicking the pencil icon, or going into the library and clicking the gear looking thingy. Your choice.... As Plex can be set up to add movies and shows when the NAS changes something on the HDD or it can configured to automatically scan for new movies every few hours, minutes, etc....

I hope the beer was good, and you are semi-sober by now. Cause now we're going to add TV Shows... And naming on these is, well, persnickety....

TV Shows and Plex:

Plex likes to have the names in particular ways. And for TV shows this is more important than it is for movies. If the names aren't just as Plex wants, you might get them matched or you might go bald.... So, I already sent you out to grab FileBot, but you know what I don't use FileBot for TV shows... I use TVRename. This app also runs on a PC, and has the unique distinction of renaming, by batches of shows at a time, all of the shows, and episodes you have in your library. And it does it all according to TheTVDB's guidelines of:

/Showname/Season #/Showname - S##E## -EpisodeName.ext

I'm going to give some examples of shows that Plex has a VERY hard time of matching... The Flash and the Flash (2014). Doctor Who and Doctor Who (2005) and there are more. Obviously there are 2 different shows with the same name, the only difference is the year the show started... And the NAME has to include the years for these shows to be match correctly.... Otherwise you have to manually match the mismatched stuff, and that's a pain in the beer cycle... :)

So download TVRename from here: and start putting in your TV Shows and get them named right and never look back.

You can add shows in TVRename on the first tab, in the Add Show button. Type in the name, and have the thing search for the show you want. Make sure you have the right one selected, and then browse to the folder and click done. then you want to scan the folder by r-licking the name and it shows the TV shows it found that match the show, and tells you if it's going to rename them, or if the names are good.

I can't stress this enough!!! If the naming is wrong the matching isn't going to work at all, and you are going to have headaches trying to figure this all out. This is one of the biggest support things I deal with on the Plex Forums, (That and Port Forwarding) so do it or don't ask me for help. You been warned.

You add a TV show the same way we just added a movie, only you select TV Shows first. And then you still have to point the library to the folder the shows are in... And remember that the shows can't have movies in them... Unless they are specials and are identified by TVRename as one.

Now go for it... Take a deep breath, and click your way to adding your TV shows. Matching them up is going to take a while, so wait it out, take a nap, walk the dog, try doing something other than stare at the screen. (running to the store to buy Mountain Dew works, too...) :)

Now I need to take a break.... I been at this for about 2.5 hours and I need to go to the store and get some more MD... :) Back in a while!
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Re: Home Theater on your Asustor NAS

Postby MikeG.6.5 » Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:32 am

OK, we got the stuff set up for the router, got a movie or movies, and then some TV shows... I'm going to let you do your own music and photos. You get the idea now...

Now we're going to set up a client.... You have that Roku already, right? Well, one of the "channels" or apps is Plex. This one is likely to cost you $5, be prepared... If you signed up for a Plex Pass it's free, but remember, I told you to not do that yet, right? :)

Roku - BULLET proof client that just WORKS!

You get the app installed already? It's not hard, just look for it in Roku's app store. It's there. When you get it installed you sign in with it, just like you did with the PMS (Plex Media Server) Web App. When you do this, you have the same llibraries you have from the Web App, and you can watch the same shows.

Grab a beer or three, and watch another movie. You deserve it...

Buffering? Why is the movie stuttering?

AH! Was wondering when we were going to get to this... Your watching your movie and it stops every few seconds/minutes to load the thing, right? Yeah, not enjoyable at all is it. We need to figure out what's going on here if we're going to use this for a Home Theater or the other half of this household is going to put portions of my unmentionables into my next meal.... Right??? I feel ya, man... And in order to fix this, we need to figure out a few things.

First thing we need to figure out is the file the media is contained in... This is the file extension. As in if it's an MP4, MKV, AVI, MOV, FLV, etc. and the list goes on for a long while.... Well, a lot of people seem to like the MKV extension. It's GREAT for storing all of the files for a media item in one single file. The problem is, it SUCKS for streaming. All of those other files in the container get in the way of streaming it to any other device. So we have to figure out what type of container we can use. Well, the best streaming container available now is the MP4 file container. Yeah, I know. it's older tech, and you can't put all of the lanuages and subtitles and stuff like that into it, but you know what, it works. And that's what we're trying to set up here... A Home Theater system that WORKS.

After we get that figured out, we need to see if we can figure out what codec the file contains. The codec is the way the media is encrypted or compressed in the container. There are a slew of them as well.... XVid, DivX, H264, H265 and a bunch more.... Well, the problems with most of them is similar to what we faced with the containers. They offer great compression, but they can't be streamed to a large multitude of clients, as not every client can support the whole gambit of options there are.... So, we have to pick one. And that choice, for now, is pretty simple. Almost every client app Plex makes for all of the different devices that they support will take H264 (or X264). Easy choice, right? Since we aren't just wanting to run a single Roku are we? (That's coming, trust me...)

So, how do you get your MKV XVid (or H264, since remember, the container sucks for streaming, too...) into the right file format and codec? well, you have some options. The first one is to move the file from the NAS to your PC and running Handbrake on it, and then it moving it back to the NAS. This is going to take a wile, all three steps, moving, converting and then moving again. But that's OK, right, you don't have more than a coupe of hundred movies to do this with, right? Should take more than a couple of weeks, right?

What do you mean you have over 500 movies. And 750 TV episodes? (We gotta do those, too...) Wow, you are SCREWED! Well, not really... Cuz I got this for you too... I have a set of scripts on my FTP site that is already tested and working on the 64-bit NASes to do the conversion automatically. It won't take much to make it work for 32-bit and if someone needs it, you do the same as the 64-bit guys are going to do. Send me a PM and tell me which version you need.

You point the script to the folder (via the ini) that holds the media, and when you look at it again in a few minutes, hours, etc. the original media is gone (it deletes it) and you have a new file in MP4, H264, with AAC and AC3 5.1 (if there was something there to make a 5.1 with originally) And if it had the right language of subtitles in srt format those are right there with the file. You can edit the ini so it doesn't delete your original rip (you did rip those movies from DVD or BR right?) as well as change the default language, any languages of srt formatted subtitles you want to hang on to, and a few other things.

After you converted the first one, then you need to try running it with your Roku again to see if it's any better. (I'm going to bet on it, if I bet any kind of money, but for now, we can just do a bit of MD on account...)

You are still with me, right? Haven't lost you yet? Good! Stay tuned for some more on this rather long dissertation of how to make your NAS do a Home Theater for you.
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Re: Home Theater on your Asustor NAS

Postby MikeG.6.5 » Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:59 am

OK, we got the Media converted to something your NAS can support streaming (Or what's called Direct Playing in Plex terminology...) We have the Roku working like a champ, right? And now you want to try getting all of those media files playing on your tablet, PC or or a dedicated app for your TV, DVD player and whatever other client apps you can find.

Well, that's going to mean you have to find out which models you own have the apps to run Plex on... There are a bunch of them... Really, many more than I want to list.

Vizio, Android Tablets, iPads, PC, MAC, Sony Bravia, and the list goes on. Look at Plex's website to see what you have that they support.

Now you just have to figure out if you want to try installing Plex on... We're not going to revisit this, so this is the one time blurb you are going to get. Do the legwork yourself, and thank me later.

Sharing with others? I can really do that?

Yes, Virginia you sure can share out your media, with anyone that you want to share it with. If you look at the top of the Web App, you are going to see an icon that looks like a screwdriver crossed by a wrench. This is where the settings for your server can be accessed. (There's also a settings under the server name, too....)

One of the choices in this is for Users... And guess what it does? (First right guess owes me a beer. Ok, maybe not, since I gave you a hint....) When you select this it tells you that you haven't got a Plex Pass. Well, we don't need one to share, we only need one if we want to set up a Plex Home. (Read about that on Plex's web site.) On the left side is a place to select Home or Friends. We're going to assume that you have some friends you want to add. (Yeah, it might be a pretty big assumption that you have friends at all, right) :)

Hit invite friends on the left and we're off to the races... You add the friends by putting in their email address in the line provided. You hit next, and it takes you to where you select what libraries you are going to share with this friend. There is another more advanced section called restrictions. Well it's not restricting anything, but including it... There isn't a black listing for this section but a white listing.... There are some feature requests for making this both types of lists.... We'll get to that sometime, too...

This checks to see if the email address is really valid. (Not sure how, but there must be some magic involved.) And the Plex.tv sends your friend an invite email. They sign up for a free account just like you did, and then take the invitation and low and behold they can view your movies and TV shows from any client that purchase from the app stores, on their own computers or their own TV's.

Remote Access? You mean I can watch my media anywhere I have internet connection?

I'm sorry, I'm laughing pretty hard right now... I blew MD out my nose, in fact....

Yeah, you can watch your media at your mother's house, the bar, on the bus or in the bathtub at the hotel. Remember all that nonsense we did at the beginning with the router setting the IP and the port forwarding? Yeah, well, this is why we did it. Without doing those things you could have issues with Remote Access, so rather than talk you through all of this now, I kind of lied to you, telling you that it had to be done then. Sorry... If you don't forgive me, keep the beer you owe me... :)

There are a few other considerations when you start sharing remotely, though... The first one is what your upload speed is on your internet connection. You may have something super fast, or it might be something slow or something in between. You're going to have to figure out just how fast the connection is. Your friends you are sharing with may want the bestest viewing they can get. but you might not have enough speed to give that to them. We just found out today that Plex is planning to put in a server side speed control for each stream. So when this gets put in, you can limit how much of your upload they are using. But it brings another problem you may have to face.

Why can I watch the movie fine here, but my friend says it's buffering at his house?

Remember we talked about containers, codecs and things like that, right? what we haven't talked about, but plays along with that stuff is bitrates. That's how much data has to come from your NAS to the client app. For full BR rips that can be 20Mbps or even as high as 32Mbps. So to send to your friend, you are going to have to have the media converted again, to smaller bitrates to fit your internet connection so your friend can stream it at his house. He can select a lower speed on his client, but if your NAS can't transcode the existing media to the speeds he needs, well, it's going to choke out your NAS...

Yeah, well, there's an answer for that, too... (I got a lot of answers, don't I?) PMS has a feature called Optimize Media. On the slower NASes this is still going to take some time, just so you know that right up front. On my 7004T it takes 5-25 minutes to convert a 20Mbps 1080p movie to 4Mbps 720p version. I don't know how long it takes on the 202T, but I bet it's going to take a few hours for each movie at least. The advantage is, the media gets stored on your NAS for when someone requests it at that speed. So it doesn't have to be transcoded live. The bad news is it takes up some additional space on your NAS and reduces what you can put on it... HDD's are cheap, though.... For $125 you can add a 3TB external to put all of those optimized versions on, and that problem is fixed, though....

I shared out the library, and my friends are using it, but how do I know what they are watching?

With Plex as it is now, the only way you can figure it out is to actually catch them watching something as they are doing it. But, you know what, I gots me ways to do these things too... :) If you take a look on Plex's forums, down quite a ways in the page you can see a section for 3rd party developers. One of the entries there is for an app called PlexPy. This is an application that requires Python 2.7 to run. What it does is provide you with historical information, graphs, lets you see who, what, when, where and how your users are watching your media. It installs pretty easily, and I have it in a folder on my NASes called /volume1/misc/PlexPy. (All of my scripts go into this /misc folder. PlexPy is just one of them.) It's got an install wizard for the first run, and will automatically update when the guys push out a new version.

I can NOT say enough about this app. If you are seriously looking into Plex you are going to want to get this app running, too.

I've given you the basics of what it takes to get Plex running on your NAS. And how to get things shared with your friends and some of the pitfalls Plex can have, especially with the smaller NASes. If you have questions, please post them in the Plex sub-forum here and I will try to get to them there. Please, do NOT post questions here. I'm hoping that Shawn or another mod will lock and pin this thread for future reference.

All Done!

Edit: Ok, not QUITE all done... Few things I thought I should add to this, so another one is coming... Wait for it! :)
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Re: Home Theater on your Asustor NAS

Postby MikeG.6.5 » Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:16 am

What's left to do, then: Well, we need to discuss setting up the alternate ports, yet.... And things like what a Pass gets you, and a few other things, so let's dig into those and see what there is to see.

Accessing Plex remotely:

We talked about how to set up Remote streaming, and the port forwarding and stuff, but I think I need to talk a bit about what happens when you forward ports and a good idea to make this a bit more secure.

Whenever you open up ports on your router, you are basically poking a hole in the firewall that is your router. This can potentially cause you some security problems, especially if you always use default ports the apps have set up. Other people, some of them not good people, are going to run this software, too. So that means they are going to know what ports are likely to be opened on your server. If they know the address the server is sitting on they could get into it. So they could write a script or app to look for the default ports and then find a way to get into your network and cause you all sorts of problems.

What can you do to stop them? Well, there are a lot of ports you could open. Basically anything higher than 1000 and lower than 65000 can work for you. So for Plex, this is a two step process. The first is to go into Settings -> Server -> Remote Access and put a check mark into the box that reads "Manually specify port" and putting in some random number here. (OK, not totally random, but something YOU can remember.) The go back to your router and specify that port for the Port Forwarding to your PMS port of 32400 internal. It really doesn't matter what port you use, as long as it's the manually specified port outside to the NAS's IP and 32400 inside. Do the same thing for PlexPy's required 8181.

Then accessing the Plex Web App from outside your network is going to be https://YourAsustorDDNSIDHere.myasustor.com:port/web and accessing PlexPy from the outside is going to be https://YourAsustorDDNSIDHere.myasustor.com:port/home. You can do this for any web app you have running on your NAS. I gave some of the ports needed in the first post of this lengthy how to.... There are a lot more...

Other security steps you can do is use the built in SSL certificates Plex has enabled with your account, and use https instead of http. If you go back into Settings -> Server -> Network you are going to see a setting here for Secure Connections. Most of the apps Plex has now support SSL connections. And Plex has set up a certificate for everyone that runs a server through their system with one of the big names. If you don't want to use the certificate they provide you, you can always put your own in this area of Plex's settings.

Last point on security is, NEVER, Ever under ANY circumstances SHARE YOUR Plex Credentials! Not the User ID, Not the password, and if you get a Pass and set up a Plex Home, not the pin. Giving this information out to anyone, even members of your own family opens you up to someone deleting parts or all of you media and libraries.

What is Plex Pass and what does it give you?

Plex Pass is sort of a unique thing. You pay either a monthly, yearly or once for Lifetime, and it gives you a few benefits. But it's not like most software you are used to. Paying for it doesn't really give you a higher support structure like it does for some programs.

You get some rather nice additional features with a Plex Pass. Syncing media to some mobile clients, access to Plex Home, where the friends you invite to the Home get access to your Pass features, Some clients are only available with a Pass. (These are the apps considered to be preview apps.) A Media Optimize feature that converts your media to MP4, H264 with AAC audio automatically. It's not the best quality for this conversion, but we're hoping we can get it better. And you get access to a few Pass only areas of the forums. One of which is the Feature Request and Bugs forum.

The Feature Requests is where you put the ideas of what you want Plex to work on next. Before you go hog wild and ask for things though, use the search. It's likely already asked for, and others are already voting for it. You vote for a feature by putting a "Like" on the first post of the request. All of the +1's in the world don't count. Just the "Like"s a post gets. To give you an idea of what has been asked for with this and we have gotten... PS3/4 client apps, and it looks like we're getting server side bandwidth limits.

Plex's Web App already will point you to how to get a pass and what the pricing scheme is. I'm not going to link it again... :)

How do I get more help if I need it?

Plex has it's own forums, and I've mentioned those already on this long tutorial. You can find it here: https://forums.plex.tv/
They even have an Asustor NAS section. And the odds are pretty good that if you post your problem on that forum you are going to get me replying to the question. If your problem is Asustor specific you can post to that forum or to Asustor's Plex sub-forum here: viewforum.php?f=67 Both are just as likely to get me as anyone else.

Use the search function before you post. If you are having problems the odds are pretty great someone else is or has had the same problem, and the answer is already there. If it's not there, though, ask away. And even if it is, you can always ask it, but be prepared to have someone close it, or ask you to add your problem to an existing post... If there are bugs, this happens a lot where they try to consolidate the bug reports in one place rather than 40 threads.

If you do find yourself needing more help, give as much info as you can. Model of NAS, Version of Plex (And there are a lot of versions, so latest means NOTHING, give the version number!) client that sees the problem and it's version number, log files pertaining to the problem (Don't post the entire log, just the relevant portions.... And make sure you scrub out the user tokens and outside IP's.) Turn on Debug Logging. You need to do that for PlexPy, anyway, so it's a good thing to leave on.

And last but not least, You can send me a PM either here or on Plex's forums. My user ID there is MikeG6.5 (Almost exactly the same as here.) I get notified as soon as someone sends me a PM on either forum, so I can usually respond pretty quickly. If we can't fix things with PM's and emails, then I can try looking at things with TeamViewer. I'll give each Asustor user one free session. After that, I ask you donate for my time via PayPal.

Plex finds my new movies and shows as I'm downloading them, but I can't watch them. what gives?

Do NOT EVER point Plex to the download folders you use for torrenting or usenet. The OS reports that the files are changing, and If Plex is setup to do a library update on changes, it's going to add your media in before the download is complete. so because it's not complete, but Plex doesn't know this, it's going to think the media is real and ready to go... and it's not!

So basically you are breaking it by doing something you shouldn't be doing. Move the media by hand, or develop your own scripts or set up FileBot or TVRename to do the moving for you. Even the download scripts that run with SABnzb+ could be causing problems, so don't assume anything is working 100%. You may need to do some editing to the scripts to make things work within your environment.

I can't be troubled setting all of this up. Would you do it?

Yes, I will do it for you. If you really don't want to mess with setting up Plex and all of the things that pertain to it. No free sessions via Teamviewer are going to work, here though. My rates are pretty much the norm. $100/hour, minimum of 2 hours in advance via PayPal. I won't make any connection to your machines until payment is cleared.

My time is valuable, and I already volunteer enough on the forums. (here and Plex's ) I'll get everything set up so I can access your Plex via my devices, then drop myself as a friend. Then you get to hook up and watch via your device and we're good from there.

You'll watch me do the whole thing, and you can see everything I do. TeamViewer, a headset with microphone are the only additional requirements on your end. Well, of course a PC and your NAS, and you'll need the passwords to your router and NAS.

Just to be clear here... I'm not advertising my services to do this. These instructions are pretty easy to follow. Others here have followed them through PM's and the like already. So you can do this yourself, or have me do it. If I do it, you are going to have to pay me for my time.

I'm still having buffering issues. what else can I do?

This one could be hard to resolve.... Is the buffering local or remote? And are you using media converted to the specs I've already given? If you are using MP4 with H264 and AAC audio, and you are still buffering locally, you may not have enough NAS to do the job. The smaller models just haven't get the horsepower. The small NASes can do the job, but it's Goldilocks.... Everything needs to be JUST RIGHT to make it all work correctly. If you haven't followed everything to the letter and something is not Just Right, then things are going to give you a headache.

I don't promise to get it fixed, as you may have found a real bug, but I already offered you a free TeamViewer session. ONE free one... So maybe you want to use it for something like this....

Final Notes:

All of these steps may seem daunting. They really aren't. I have a computing background but knew almost nothing about Linux before I started working with my first NAS less than 2 years ago. I set this up and have pretty much perfected it by learning all I could about what makes Plex work. Now I have a bit of an extreme Plex system. But a year ago I was still where many of you are going to be. Trying to make things work. I've learned a lot.

I've shared a lot of what I've learned on these and Plex's forums. I've been asked by someone on the Plex forums to help him write up a tutorial of How to Setup Plex 101. This is a rough draft of my input to that document, so to speak...

I hope you all find it easy to follow and informative. I hope those who were afraid to look at Plex, for whatever reason, are more open to it now. Plex can work for you, if you are willing to put the efforts into learning it and what it can (and can't) do.

Thanks for reading all of this. And Good Luck to all and have a Happy Holidays!
MikeG.6.5
 
Posts: 910
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 1:56 am

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