Question Plex TV and media server connectivity - my media setup is all suddenly going wrong!

James Blonde

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Mar 19, 2014
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I think this is a networking issue, but there are so many things going on, I'm not sure if networking is the right place for it, but here goes! First, the set up

I've got a:
  • Samsung UE40ES6900U 40" HD TV bought in 2012
  • Old Windows 10 desktop PC acting as media server, connected via wifi
  • EE home router (everything connected to this)
  • EE TV box - HDMI to TV
  • Manhattan T3-R freeview recorder HDMI to TV
  • (Amazon Fire stick - unused - I don't have enough power sockets to power it!)
  • 2 x TP Link RE650 wireless extenders
2 things to note:
  • The Plex app on the TV stopped connecting to Plex - I understand Plex no longer support this TV
  • EE will stop supporting their freeview TV box in March 2021.
Firstly Plex - I noticed the TV app was no longer connecting to my Plex account, but for some reason it kept working for a while, right up to last week where something happened on my network, both wireless extenders seemed to reset at the same time, the TV would no longer connect to my media server or my main PC plex servers - both of which were working normally, and could see each other. Took me a while, but figured one of the wireless extenders was no longer connecting (so switched it off) and that the media server could connect straight to the router without it so have left it switched off. (I live in a listed building - the walls are thick, I can't run cables, and connectivity is rubbish. Tried Powerline, but it seemed to cause problems).

I then found out that the reason Plex was no longer connecting to my account was because they were no longer supporting my TV model. Looking up the Plex issue, found out I could hard code the Plex server IP addresses into the TV app, as long as I trusted the TV IP in my Plex servers. This worked for a few days, however suddenly stopped working. Turns out that the DHCP allocated IP addresses on the TV and both media servers had refreshed. Reconfigured everything again. This worked for a few days, then one of the servers dropped out - again, looks like DHCP had refreshed the IP address on that server.

It's been a loooooooong time since I forgot anything I ever knew about networking (which wasn't much) but decided to try to make one of the media servers have a static IP address. so set a static IP of 192.168.1.200, subnet prefix of 24, and both the gateway and DNS the same as that in ipconfig /all. I did nothing to the V6 address, While that seems to have worked, Plex been quite glitchy connecting to this server, with the server dropping out mid programme on everything we've watched since. Sometimes it'll reconnect straight away, other times I might need to restart the TV. But it's not sustainable.

The EE TV freeview recorder has the Plex app installed, and that still worked, however EE are discontinuing their service in March.

We bought a Manhattan T3-R box at Christmas to replace the EE box, but it doesn't seem to support apps - Plex for example - and has also failed to properly record maybe 40% of the TV shows we've set to record since we installed it. That may be down to a poor aerial reception (I think the aerial booster might have been knocked) though watching TV seems fine.


I want to still use Plex, but I don't really want to replace my TV. It's still a perfectly decent TV and I grudge the idea of having to replace a TV because it can't support apps - A TV shouldn't become obsolete like that - I'd be happier if it stopped working or blew up! Also, if I do have to replace my TV, I'm pretty sure the obsolescence cycles will become shorter and shorter.

So, questions:

  1. am I having problems because I screwed up setting the static IP address on the media server? Should I have done something on the router too?
  2. with DHCP, I thought once something was allocated an IP address it tended to keep the same one. Is that the case? do I really need to be setting static IP addresses for my media servers and TV, or is something else going on here?
  3. if I do need static IP addresses, any downsides on an internal network? Anything else I need to do?
  4. I've been getting "Incoming connection blocked" errors on Avast on my main PC over the last couple of days - Threat name: SMB:BruteForce . Could this be related?
  5. Honestly, do I just need to get a new TV?
  6. Is there a Freeview PVR box I could replace the Manhattan box with that supports apps / I can install Plex on?
  7. In fact, do any TVs have built in PVR, or ability to use an external hard drive as a PVR?
  8. If I can find / release a power socket, does the Fire TV stick give me options? Though I loathe needing another remote control.
  9. Are my wireless extenders likely to be screwing me up as well? My main PC is connecting to the remaining one via ethernet rather than wifi
Really feels like any knowledge I once had about all this stuff is obsolete or half gone! It's not a nice feeling! :(

Anyone able to help or got any ideas / thoughts?
 

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