Developer Posts Fix for PlexConnect Client for Apple TV

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    After the latest update to Apple TV disabled the functionality of the popular PlexConnect plugin, which allows Plex to run on non-jailbroken devices, developer Paul Kehrer has posted a detailed tutorial on his personal blog providing instructions on how to fix the issue.

    The instructions, although somewhat technical, are fairly easy to follow. Users will require a copy of Apple Configurator (which is currently only available on OS X at the moment) and a micro-USB cable in order to connect their Apple TV to their Mac.

    The fix is only intended to be temporary, and it may be disabled in future Apple TV updates. Yesterday, Plex Chief Technology Officer Elan Feingold told MacRumors that the company was "saddened to hear that PlexConnect stopped working" and that "we can only hope that in the future Apple decides to release an SDK for the ATV", citing that interest in the project was "high".

    Article Link: Developer Posts Fix for PlexConnect Client for Apple TV
  2. tmanto02 macrumors 65816


    Jun 5, 2011
    I was such a keen Jailbreaker until I realised how good the Plex for iPad app was. Now I just airplay. Seamless!
  3. phrk macrumors member

    Mar 26, 2012
    I bet Apple isn't allowed to release a SDK due to contracts with the big players in movie/music business. Otherwise I don't see a reason why they wouldn't do so.
  4. Bbafett macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2012

    Maybe someone can help me understand what Plex does that Apple TV doesn't do? I don't quite understand the point of it.
  5. bbeagle macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    It looks like Plex is basically the same thing, with the only benefit that you can play different types of content, not just what can be put into iTunes. And you need to pay $3.99/month for certain features that you get free on the Apple TV (like PlexSync).

    If you have Apple devices, have all your stuff in the right format, Apple TV is a no-brainer. If you DON'T have Apple devices, then this Plex thing might be good.

    I think many non-Apple people have the misconception that you must BUY anything you put into iTunes. It's not the case at all. You can drag and drop any file into iTunes, add cover art, add descriptions, sort it, create playlists, etc. for any media that is in the right format (or you convert to the right format). This is the case with any device - it's got to be in the right format(s).

    Anything that I don't know about Plex?
  6. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Plex plays any video format, not just MPEG-4.

    Also means you don't have to use iTunes.
  7. prowlmedia Suspended

    Jan 26, 2010
    Plex is a spin off of XBMC. But you can store your entire library of Rips etc in one place and access them from anywhere. Unlike XBMC It's one database - not one per device - which is much handier - start on iPhone. Stop it and continue on aTV ( if plexConnect works or there is a plex Jailbreak app, but not as good at the moment )

    It's all free. It's hard to actually work out what The $3.99 a month $75 lifetime thing is. I bought the lifetime to help the developer out - It does allow access to the beta Plex HT which is based on the latest XBMC 12 ( the release plex is on the older verisons ) and the beta Plex Server.

    It's a server > client app...So you can play anything you want on the iPhone/iPad for example - You could have a 10gb MKV movie and it will transcode on the fly appropriate to whatever playback device.

    I have all my media on a Synology server which transcodes and streams an MP4 file to my iPhone, no problem at all.

    I imagine if Apple ever open up the aTV plex will be an easy transfer. Not sure why they have not done a jailbreak version. Perhaps not to rile Apple as their Appstore iOS verisons for iPhone/pad are very popular and work great. And well plex can make money form that. If there was a jailbreak version it would be pirated massively.
  8. rmwebs macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2007
    Everything. It makes the AppleTV look like the dumbest home entertainment system ever made.

    It streams content from a server (basically another computer) in any format and transcodes it on the fly. You've also got 'channels' (aka 'apps') that let you watch other media online.

    One such example - no UK TV network broadcasts NASA TV - with Plex I can watch both NASA TV and their live ISS stream in full HD, in addition to any movies or tv shows I have on my HP MicroServer.

    In comparison, for UK users the AppleTV may as well be the worlds most expensive Blockbuster rental card as its only really any good for airplay or buying/renting from iTunes.


    Very misleading post.

    Plex cant be compared at all to AppleTV.

    AppleTV is a locked system that lets you play paid content from iTunes, or content you've had to manually convert to iTunes compatible on another computer.

    Plex transcodes content from any other computer, as well as provides access to a LOT more online content than the AppleTV provides.

    I've got Plex and I pay nothing - no subscription fees at all.

    From my Plex server we have an AppleTV in the main room, a RaspberryPi with a Plex client in 2 other rooms, plus we've got 4 iPhones and 4 iPads - regularly we can have several of these all transcoding plex content at once - you can even pick up where you left off on one device, and use the other.

    You also don't have to mess around adding descriptions, cover art etc as it does all that for you. I ripped the entire Prison Break DVD boxset last week and it automatically went online ,grabbed all the cast lists, descriptions, heck it even plays the soundtrack whilst I'm browsing episodes.
  9. E.Lizardo macrumors 68000

    May 28, 2008
    Thanks for the great explanation!
    I have Plex on my Mac but haven't tried it out yet(I have an ATV and Roku).
    One question:Can I stream over the internet?It would be fun to watch a movie "together"with my friends in Florida.
  10. bbeagle macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    Like Bbafett, I don't understand why you're saying 'it makes AppleTV look like the dumbest home entertainment system ever made'. Apple TV also streams content from a server.

    Not at all. Any content, converted to mp4 can be streamed on the Apple TV.

    You don't have to mess with adding descriptions, cover art, etc. on the Apple TV either. I don't understand why Plex is better.

    I can go out and rip the entire Prison Break DVD boxset, drag all the episodes into iTunes, and use a free tool to create all the descriptions, cast lists, art work, etc. It's exactly the same thing. I do this type of thing all the time. I've got a huge library in my iTunes on my server. And this content can be viewed from any of my Apple TVs.

    A couple of things I saw you mention that might be different:

    1) It seems like you mentioned that it can 'grab content from other sources'. Does this mean, that I could use Plex by entering a URL of a video stream and then see that on my Apple TV? And save that URL as a 'bookmark' or 'app'?

    2) Plex can dynamically access content from multiple servers? Apple TV is one at a time, but it can be changed, just not as quick as accessing content from multiple servers sounds in Plex.

    I'm VERY happy with my Apple TV, and my workflow. I don't see a lot that is offered that is that much different through Plex right now. I'm trying to understand the differences.
  11. nosaj72 macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2002
    I can confirm I got my PlexConnect working again this morning. I'm glad I do have to rebuild my iTunes video collection. I have a lot of shows that would have to be tagged.

    Plex has several advantages of iTunes, even if you are just talking about serving up local video files. The biggest one is the Plex ios and web clients. I can watch my collection on my iphone/ipad from anywhere. If my remote connection is not fast enough to stream the video file, plex will down convert it to a lower bit rate file on the fly. I can also get it to sync a lower bitrate file to the ipad for offline viewing (lower res to save on memory). I can also do the sync from anywhere on the internet. So the biggest advantage is that Plex lets me have one library for my idevices and my apple tv.

    Plex lets me keep my files in as many different directories as I want. TV Shows go on this hard drive, Movies on these two, etc.
  12. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I'm getting the urge to drop my ATV since I don't buy media from Apple anyway. It was a gift, but the problem with it is that it's tied too closely to Apple's ecosystem. Until now PlexConnect has saved my day

    I think I'll get a ROKU -- it will stream Amazon, Netflix, and Plex which are all I care about.
  13. Idgit macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2004
    Yes. Create a MyPlex account and then you can log into it and watch your movies from any web browser using Plex/Web.

    You can also share your content with other MyPlex accounts so they can stream videos from your server and watch them on their Plex clients.
  14. faizoff macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2012
    I think people are kinda blurring the lines between what Plex offers vs what Apple TV offers.

    Plex is not really a competitor against Apple TV the device. Plex is another app that offers more choices of viewing YOUR media content. I think of it like supplement coverage.

    Plex streams the content that resides on YOUR computer LIKE a server. There is a subtle difference in it's implementation. Think of it like Home sharing on the go. With plex media server (free program) installed on your computer you can access the media on your iphone or ipad or computer from anywhere through the plex app. itunes cant home share to different locations. I recently bought the plex app for my iphone/ipad and now while in the office can listen to my entire library of songs or watch home videos or any movie on my phone at work and I can be any distance away.

    The advantage that plex would offer in this case is that most formats wont need any type of conversion. If your camera saves in .avi or your ripping program only saves in .mkv, Plex can play/stream/broadcast in those native formats without a need to convert.

    This may or may not be a big deal to some, really depends.

    I touched on this above, its an additional option that Plex offers that allows your content to be available not just in your house but outside of it.

    Plex has these "Channels" which are usually content available from respective websites and just put in an app format that allows for easy navigation with an Apple TV or Roku remote.

    I sometimes use this when I want to play episodes from Hulu foreg. Since there is no official free Hulu app on Roku I just go to the Hulu channel inside of Plex and navigate to the latest episode of the show I want to watch just like I would on their website. Rather than watch the episode on my monitor I use this option to watch it on my TV.

    As I said I think most people view Plex as a replacement for itunes. I don't see it as replacing it just adding to it. I use both of them for different things.
  15. rmwebs macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2007
    There's the cavet - it has to be MP4. Yet there is no logical reason why - its not a limitation on the AppleTV. Plex removes that limitation by transcoding ANY media format. iTunes streaming cant do that.

    Of course you do. If you rip a DVD iTunes doesnt always pick up the details automatically - plex does.

    Thats good - however you shouldnt need that free tool. You shouldnt need iTunes running on a Mac or PC for a home entertainment system.

    Dont forget either, Plex can stream to non-Apple devices, in most cases iTunes can not. And again, it cant transcode.

    Yes. I've only ever used existing apps myself but as far as I'm aware it is possible. You might have to wrap it in a small app though, but these can be as simple as a text file with a few lines pointing to the source. To be honest I'm not 100% on this.

    Yes, it can - it keeps the connection open between them. On the mobile apps I think it even combines the content into one sorted list.

    In a nutshell:

    - A massive amount of streaming options with transcoding
    - No messing around converting files
    - Can run the server on a $30 Raspberry Pi with an external drive attaches (so don't have to leave the mac on all the time)
    - Can stream content to outside your home network
    - Can control what 'apps' are installed
    - Can create your own apps with ease
    - Fully opensource = very easy to personalise
    - Very fast (noticeably faster than the AppleTV UI)
    - Ties in with a bunch of movie and tv show databases to ensure all the details about shows are accurate
    - Can have profiles for each user, and add shows to your own favorites areas
    - Plex Server has a web interface too, so you can watch on any device.

    One thing I do recommend - download the Mac version of the server, import a couple of movies and stream it on your iPhone - you'll quickly see how good it is :)
  16. bbeagle macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    Thank you. That's a good explanation, something that Apple TV doesn't offer by itself.

    If I have iTunes Match, I can listen to my music collection on-the-go, no matter what device I'm using and no matter how far away from my home I am. But I can't watch my movie collection on my iTunes server unless I'm inside my house (or within distance of my wifi signal). I guess this is a good feature that Plex offers.

    So, is your music/videos stored on a Plex server somewhere, or still on your home server? How would you access your content outside your house?
  17. faizoff macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2012
    The media resides on your computer in whatever format or hard drive or folder structure you use. You install a program thats called the Plex media server, point the folders you have your media on and Plex usually does the rest. You create a plex account(free) and sign in. Whenever you're signed in and the media server program is running, it makes that content available anywhere. You install the app ($2 on sale) on your phone/tablet and sign into your plex account and boom your content is there just like you're browsing your computer at home.

    The somewhat downside of this is that your computer needs to be always on. So if you have a cheap and cost effective media server (eg Rasberry Pi) and put all the content there, then thats even better.
  18. bbeagle macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    Okay, I'll try it. Thanks for giving me so much information on the differences.

    Some of the things, like individual profiles, the different 'apps', it sounds interesting. I'll try this when I get home.
  19. E.Lizardo macrumors 68000

    May 28, 2008
    Awesome.Thanks so much!

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