Portable Plex for vacation


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I am going on vacation in a few weeks and would like to take a portion of my Plex library with me.

 

(Remote access is not a good option, because Internet speed is slow and unreliable where we are going.)

 

Anyone else have this requirement?  What are you doing?

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Plex had a nice feature where you can sync a number of moves to a tablet or phone to watch remotely. Wondered if I set up that on nuc. Unfortunately nuc is running lightweight Linux and the local storage option is not showing up available. 

 

I noticed there is a Plex Home Theater project, and wondering if that client, or another one, would offer that feature.

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The WD Passport is interesting, but won't work for what I need. I also need a player device.

 

I bought one of these this morning:  https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883286252

 

I already have a Windows 10 Media Center image, so I will install that and then also install an Emby server on the same box.  I have a 256GB USB drive that I can throw on for additional storage, of I may upgrade the SSD to a 512GB that I already have.

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If I have my laptop with me on my trip, I just take either a large USB flash drive or a small WD Passport external drive loaded with video files (played with VLC Player).

HDMI cable from laptop to hotel TV, IR dongle and remote so I can control everything without getting up.

 

I also have an old WDTV device I will take if I don't plan to take the laptop with me.  Works great to play files directly from the connected USB drive or device.  Plays most video file types without issue.

 

If you really want a portable Plex, I would look at the Nvidia Shield TV.  It can run Plex Media Server as well as being a Plex Client.

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Why portable plex? Isn't the whole point to use the client app so you don't have to take your collection with you. If you don't have WiFi or Internet why not just use a USB with android box and use VLC, MXPlayer or even KODI or even a raspberry pi?

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, HellDiverUK said:

I use a 200GB SD card in my phone, and I just sync to that.   I then take a Chromecast with me and plug it in to the HDMI in the hotel room's TV, hook up the Chromecast to the phone's hotspot, job jobbed.

 

 

Interesting. Trying to understand in more detail.

 

Does your phone run Plex.

 

Is Chromecast just mirroring the phone's screen? Or does Chromecast see the phone as the Plex server?

 

Are you using phone data plan gigs to stream the movie? 

 

Is movie streaming limited to hotel WiFi speed?

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7 minutes ago, bjp999 said:

 

Interesting. Trying to understand in more detail.

 

Does your phone run Plex.

 

Is Chromecast just mirroring the phone's screen? Or does Chromecast see the phone as the Plex server?

 

Are you using phone data plan gigs to stream the movie? 

 

Is movie streaming limited to hotel WiFi speed?

Since the phone is the hotspot, the data plan and hotel wifi are out of the picture.

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I guess it is possible that with the phone as the hotspot, that a request from the Chromecast to the phone itself would be satisfied locally and not traverse the internet, and thus not incur data charges. There might also be a way to completely inhibit cellular traffic making this into a portable wireless router.

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Option #1 - If your phone's supported microSD size is ok for you, you could install the android Plex client, sync what you want to take with you, and output via Miracast to a TV or your phone might support a type of cable from your phone to the TV:

https://www.howtogeek.com/201822/how-to-connect-your-android-phone-to-your-tv/

 

Option #2 - If you want more storage, you could buy a cheap android box+external HD, install the android Plex client, sync what you want to take with you, and output via HDMI.

 

Warning...Plex syncing is a little fiddly.  Sometimes the options take a little digging to get to.  You might consider Kodi (might check compatibility with your phone/android box depending on which method you choose) instead of Plex for a portable option.  I have Plex Pass, so the remote/syncing works for me...unsure how well it works if you don't have Plex Pass.

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Syncing doesn't work unless you have a Plex Pass.

I sync all the time with 6 Devices in my house. Of course from the 6 devices we have 4 different users accounts and honestly the only problem I really ever have is sometimes the sync doesn't start and I just either shutdown the app or click the sync button again. ;-)

 

I will admit however with Apple. I don't like the fact that when the lock screen kicks in whatever your syncing can and will eventually time out. So if I'm syncing a lot I disable the lock screen or make sure a sync is running and watch something via plex either on/off my device to insure the sync continues in the background. 

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Yes, the Plex app with synced content and the hotspot running allows the phone to stream to the Chromecast.  There's no interaction with the internet other than the usual Plex login check.  It works the way bjp999 describes.

 

The Plex app also allows playing of local files, so you can also manually transfer movies etc to a folder on the SD card on your phone (assuming you have Android), and play from there, though you start to run in to CODEC issues there, unless you let Plex do a conversion before you manually transfer.

 

I'm using the normal Android Plex app on my Moto Z Play.

 

Edit: Also, you can do similar with Emby if that floats your boat rather than Plex, though Emby needs a subscription to do anything at all useful.

Edited by HellDiverUK
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7 hours ago, kizer said:

I will admit however with Apple. I don't like the fact that when the lock screen kicks in whatever your syncing can and will eventually time out. So if I'm syncing a lot I disable the lock screen or make sure a sync is running and watch something via plex either on/off my device to insure the sync continues in the background. 

 

If I am syncing a lot of files on my iPad, I plug in the charging cable and it will prevent the lock screen and allow it to sync everything.

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I face this situation as well... mostly for plane rides. I use Plex to sync movies to my iPAD. But I guess memory may be a limit. I also try to run local Netflix via local wifi... but I guess it depends on your destination. There are some choices w/ Netflix, perhaps some shows not available in your country.

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I guess I do it the hard way.  I sold the 32GB iPad and bought a 128GB model.  Prior to leaving I Handbrake anything the iPad can't handle and sync it to the iPad.  AirDrop would probably allow me to use my phone for storage too.  Still experimenting with video players - I used to use the Apple one but the new Apple TV iPad app stinks, so I'm back to VLC and trying Infuse.  Also, the Comcast app allows downloading.

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2 hours ago, tdallen said:

I guess I do it the hard way.  I sold the 32GB iPad and bought a 128GB model.  Prior to leaving I Handbrake anything the iPad can't handle and sync it to the iPad.  AirDrop would probably allow me to use my phone for storage too.  Still experimenting with video players - I used to use the Apple one but the new Apple TV iPad app stinks, so I'm back to VLC and trying Infuse.  Also, the Comcast app allows downloading.

 

That sounds like way too much work.  Using Plex, you just pick what movies and TV shows you want to sync and it just magically works.  Doesn't matter the file type/codec, Plex will transcode to format that will play on iPad.  For TV shows you can choose the number of episodes to sync and choose just unwatched episodes.  Then as you watch episodes from any Plex client, the next time you sync the iPad it will update and remove any watched episodes and add new ones.

 

I use a very low video quality (I only have the 32GB iPad) so I can store a ton of movies/TV.  On the small screen I can hardly tell the difference in video quality and the smaller file size allow me to load more than enough videos for my trips.

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