Plex on a Mini getting content from a network share?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by iMerlin, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. iMerlin macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    I just got my Mac Mini on Friday and have it all setup as my HTPC. Im loving everything so far except the overscan but thats not even noticeable while Im in Plex or Hulu.

    However, Im having a problem with Plex and I think its more of a network problem. All of my movies are stored on an external drive tied to my iMac. I can access the movies and folders from the Mini no problems.
    So I go into Plex and attempt to add the folder as a source... it sees the folder and adds the content no sweat.
    Now for the issue... if I reboot the Mini or even log off, I lose that source. So Ill have to go back into plex and add the same source yet again. So after messing with this all weekend my source list now looks like...

    Bluray Movies
    Bluray Movies (2)
    Bluray Movies (3)
    and so on...

    I also tried mounting it as an SMB share in Plex and that seemed to work at first, but then had the same issue.

    Funny thing is, the movies all stay in the movie section of Plex so at first glance it looks like Plex still sees the Movie folder, but when I try to play one of the movies, it gives me an error and wont play.

    Now that Ive added the same source so many times, I have multiple copies of the same movie listed even though some of them give me an error when trying to play them.

    So, is there...
    1. A way to automount the iMac shared drive on the Mini so it doesnt forget about it?
    2. A way to automatically have the iMac connect to the Mini?

    Should I be approaching this differently? Do I HAVE to dump these to another external and plug it right into the Mini? I suppose I can do that, but my workflow now is so streamlined, Id hate to change it up!

    I also have some issues with iTunes but Ill save that for later. :D

    Thanks to all!
  2. wysinawyg macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2009
    Afraid can't help with the rest but why not just turn off overscan? There is an advanced tab or something under the Displays bit of Sytem Preferences.
  3. iMerlin thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    Id rather have it full screen and missing a little bit of the bottom than overscan off and have the black bars on the sides. Know what I mean?

    I usually access everything right from Rowmotes menus anyway, so I dont have the dock visible anyway. Im getting used to the Overscan I guess.

    Thanks for the advice though.
  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    No need to re-add the source, everything is correct in the plex database, but OS X is just having problems finding the file.

    Set up the folder under login items, (system prefrences -> accounts). it will then automatically connect on boot.

    Sometimes a wake from sleep will also cause it to not be found, all you have to do is navigate to that folder in finder, and it will be found again. (actually you don't even have to go all the way to the folder, just the drive the folder is on.)
    I've added my media locations into the side bar of finder so i can get them quickly.

    I use remote buddy to control my mini, since i can browse files with that, i have a folder (with a * at the front of the name so it's on top) in my home directory with shortcuts to the different drives my stuff is on.
  5. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    FWIW I have never solved this issue with my Plex setup. It's one of the primary things that keeps the setup from being family friendly.
  6. iMerlin thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    Excellent info waw! Thanks. Ill give this a try tonight. And good tip about the sidebar.

    Im currently using Rowmote which has been pretty slick.

    Ill check out Remote Buddy also. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Brent, did you ever try the suggestions waw posted? I absolutely love the Plex interface, but if I cant get this going we might have to try Front Row.
  7. Doug183 macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2009
    The Overscan issue is a problem with the TV aspect ratio you have chosen for the HDMI port on the TV - not on the mac but the TV. You want to find in the TV aspect ratio settings something called Native, Pixel or 1:1. Most people seem to pick 16:9 but somehow that is not correct. Obviously 4x3, stretch, and zoom are not correct. After you set this on the TV, turn off overscan on the Mac and enjoy the improvement - especially when using the Finder and other non-tv items.

  8. iMerlin thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    Hmmm, good suggestion Doug but Im not sure my TV even has that capability. Ive been in my TV's menu 100+ times and have never seen any of those options. Although, I should mention Im running every component through my Denon AVR. And I know for sure Ive never seen aspect ratio settings in those menus. Maybe Ill run the Mini directly into the TV and see if I can mess with the ratio like that.

    Thanks for the tip Doug!
  9. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    I had the same problem. My Mini is connected to a Samsung plasma--the picture size setting to correct this problem for my specific model (I believe it's consistent across all Samsungs as it's the same on 2 other LCDs I have) is Just Scan. Thought I'd share in case by chance you are also using a Samsung.
  10. iMerlin thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    I am but it's a DLP. I'll have to look. Thanks for sharing.
  11. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I did for the most part, but the thing where it would lose the drive on wake from sleep was still a deal breaker. My wife isn't going to do any Finder navigating. The family will expect it to function like our TiVo and just work. Anything less is a deal breaker.

    For now I stuck the Mini on my gaming TV and I've got an AppleTV on the main family display.
  12. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

    Mar 14, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Would it be possible to write an AppleScript that runs at a certain time frame, every minute or so, that checks to see if the movie share is mounted?

    If it detects the share as already mounted it does nothing and quits. If the share is not then it will automatically mount it. So worst case scenario, the Mini wakes from sleep and your family has to wait a minute or two for the share to show back up.

  13. ae3265 macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2009
    Gah, over-engineering it.

    Share the movies via NFS, automount them on the machine you want to watch them.

    The nice thing about using NFS is that if you are watching a video, and for some reason need to reboot the NFS server, you can pause in plex, reboot, and once it comes up play right from where you left off.

    I used to use AFP shares and Bonjour Mounter, which is a decent solution, but it wouldn't tolerate the reboot very well. I use that for other things where I want to enforce user/password authentication.
  14. iMerlin thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    I was thinking about putting an ATV in my Living Room because of that very reason. So does your wife like the ATV?? I showed my wife the Mini this weekend and wouldnt you know it, I was having some issues playing the content. She had to say something like, "I bet I would like it if it were working!" DOH!!!!

    I tested out the Login Items and it worked like a charm!!! Havent tested the wake from sleep though. Not sure if Im even going to sleep the Mini. I can leave the sucker on or just shut it down when I know Im not going to use it.
    I also added Plex as a login item so upon reboot it mounts all the drives, then fires up Plex.
    Not sure a script is needed for the wake from sleep issue, but Im sure its doable.

    Ok, you lost me ae! LOL
    I know what NFS is. But how do I share a folder on my iMac as NFS instead of AFP?? I dont see that as an option. Ive seen these options though... [​IMG]

    Do I simply deselect AFP??

    GOOD FIND waw! And thanks for the suggestions on the Login Items! Works perfectly.
  15. slyreptile macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2009
    Just to expand on this. My Samsung LCD uses Just Scan also. The only way I've found to tell the TV to use Just Scan is to use the P. Size button on the remote. I have not seen it as an option in the menu.
  16. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Yeah she absolutely loves it. She's grabbing TV shows she missed from iTunes, and I'm grabbing some TV series from Netflix and throwing them on the ATV for her.

    Of course I have 450 movies encoded for the Mini, 200 or which are HD. So the ATV is useless in that regard.

    I ended up canceling DirecTV since we can get all the locals OTA to our Series 3 TiVo and now we can get the "cable" content from iTunes.
  17. iMerlin thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    Good info! The only gap Im discovering is sports. How do you go about getting HD sports? I can't go a summer without mh baseball!
  18. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    Well, if you could try route---watch on TV via Mac Mini or on iPhone with purchase of their app. One downside though is local games appear to be blacked out but available on demand after completion.
  19. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Yeah I can't help you there. I've got 2 four year olds at home now so I don't get the sports time I used to. For now I get enough football OTA and that's that. I always found baseball to be about as interesting on the radio as TV so you could try that. :D
  20. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    Look into ESPN360 for sports other than baseball. Even if your provider isn't supported, just get a username and password from a friend. Works great!
  21. iMerlin thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    Hey sounds like we are in the same boat!! I have 2 two year olds! What's it like Brent? Being out of the terrible 2s?! :D

    I DVR every game and usually watch it, in its entirety, in about an hour. Realtime if Buehrle is pitching! :eek:

    I hate that blacks out the games for local. Thats ridiculous and the sole reason they dont currently get my money.

    I will check that out, thanks for the rec Tilpots!
  22. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    I agree but thought I'd mention it in case you're a fan of a team(s) other than your local. I'm a former upstate NYer living in Florida so it would be a more viable option for me. Any way to get WGN over the air or via EyeTV?
  23. iMerlin thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    Oh, good point about WGN! I would at least get to watch some of the games via OTA. WGN and FOX.

    So do I NEED an EyeTV for my Mini or what? Ive almost pulled the trigger on that purchase 2 or 3 times. For some reason I keep clicking cancel.
  24. iMerlin thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    So Ive been playing more with Plex but still having network drive issues. So I ripped everything out of Plex and started over. This time I created the video source as an SMB share and set up the folder itself on the iMac as an SMB. Plex saw it and populated all my movies which was good, but it took so long I havent had a chance to test it out yet.
    However, I never found an option for NFS. Not sure if this would prove to be more reliable or not.

    One thing I noticed though, regardless of how I get the movies into plex, Plex on my Mini DOES NOT like MKV files. Whereas Plex on my iMac doesnt have any issues at all. Is that a RAM thing? If so I can put a couple bigger sticks in the Mini. If its a network thing, I was thinking about just hanging a large external drive right off the Mini and not worrying about all this crap!

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