I’m Going To Build My Own Netflix With Pi and Plex

Subject: General Tech | November 28, 2016 - 01:44 PM |
Tagged: Raspberry Pi 3, plex, pandora, Netflix

***This is your own personal Netflix seeing as how you are no longer able to access Netflix on "unofficial" devices.  Check the comments for great info.**

Over at Linux.com you can find instructions on making a very inexpensive headless Plex Media Server.  You will need a working PC to start up the installation by formatting an SD card and setting it up with NOOBS.  A little configuration work on the Pi, linking it to your locally stored video libraries and online content such as CNN and Netflix and you have a media centre ready for use, for well under $100.  Maybe you could consider making one as a gift for someone deserving.  The full instructions and parts list can be found here.

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"No, you don’t have to buy an expensive, bulky PC. All you need is a Raspberry Pi 3, a hard drive, an SD card and a mobile charger. It should all cost less than $100."

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Source: Linux.com

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November 28, 2016 | 01:53 PM - Posted by Josh Anderson (not verified)

I don't often comment but I wanted to point out that the story is a bit misleading. Plex will access online channels such as CNN or PBS but it CANNOT "link" to Netflix. Netflix shut down their API some time ago and only pre-approved boxes (ie, ROKU) have access. This has been a point of frustration for me for quite some time as I'd rather build my own linux-based media box but Netflix won't allow it. I assume licensing restriction and certification fees are to blame...

November 28, 2016 | 02:19 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

They did?  I could have sworn there were still workarounds to that, I will have to look into that.

November 28, 2016 | 03:35 PM - Posted by Eric Collyer (not verified)

FYI, there's a typo in the title. Netfilx should be Netflix.

November 28, 2016 | 07:46 PM - Posted by Jailer (not verified)

Yup, Plex closed it all down a while ago. It's still a great way to enjoy your media but if you want Netflix you're not going to be rolling your own.

That article is a bit misleading in a few areas. If you want to access your media remotely you don't need a plexpass. Also a Pi works ok as a media server as long as no transcoding is needed. As soon as you need to transcode something it's going to tank. You're better off setting up a decent cheap PC/laptop and running your server from that and using the Pi as a Plex client. But again, no Netflix without a supported device.

November 28, 2016 | 07:55 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Now I am mad at them, that was what made this interesting ... well that and how cheap and easy it is to pull off.

November 28, 2016 | 09:35 PM - Posted by willmore

I had a conversation recently that bears on this. For media playback, the Rpi3 is not an ideal choice. It doesn't support H.265. Only goes up to 1080p. The pi overheats even in the open. Put it in a box and it's worse. Only has fast ethernet and that's over a single link shared with a four port hub. Has wifi (really bad wifi).

In place of it, I would recommend the ODROID C2. It has twice the memory. Comes with a huge heatsink. Has full bandwidth GigE. Supports H.265 at 4K. No wifi. But it's got plenty of USB ports that you can put a cheap wifi stick in--assuming you want wireless instead of faster and more reliable ethernet.

November 29, 2016 | 12:59 PM - Posted by willmore

And, on an OS level, the Rpi3 runs an unoptimized two generation old 32bit userland and a 32bit kernel based off of Debian. The C2 runs an optimized 64bit userland and a 64bit kernel based off of Ubuntu.

November 30, 2016 | 12:37 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

And something free of the D, as in a big NO to the D for any system that will be a free system without that big D. D is a big blob that wrecks the mantra of doing the one thing well and leaving the rest alone! D wants it all so they put a fork in that system of a D madness and named it of all things Devuan, for a system wide D dependency free start-up and all other things that is free of the D. [Bongos in the Background, and Bongs all around]

"system-d free Linux distro Devuan releases second beta

Greybeard-built Debian fork bringing init freedom on track for early 2017 release."


December 16, 2016 | 12:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Here's a link to a video showing how to assemble an inexpensive desktop computer using the Raspberry Pi 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqj9U-jeVkc
The video shows how to assemble a full fledged desktop computer for under $75.00 using the Raspberry Pi 3, including:
-The parts needed
-How to format an SD Card and install the operating system
-How to connect the hardware
-The first time startup
-How to update and upgrade the file systems
-How to set the localization specifications
-A tour of the desktop including the Libre Office word processor, Claws mail, Chromium web browser and the available integrated development environments

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