How I made Plex work for me

As I’ve written before, I run a Plex Media Server at my home, and have run many different configurations of set ups for almost 4 years. We originally ran the client off of our XBox 360 until the App was obsoleted, and now we enjoy it on desktops, mobiles, and on our Samsung TV, delivering high-quality content to our family.

Our current Plex Media Server is run on a 4-core/4GB laptop with an external USB-attached 6TB hard drive complete with a library of 1708 Movies and 111 TV Shows. It’s not an expensive set up and has paid itself off time and time again.

For the longest time i’ve used plex.tv to access my Plex Media Server remotely, and painfully have had to endure poor quality streaming because I wasn’t really aware about how Plex works behind the scenes. After some time I’ve learned the “why” and the “repairs” to be able to take my remote Plex Viewing up a notch.

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Smaller mkv with ffmpeg

When you run a Plex Media Server you know that family and friends ask for specific content to be placed on it so they can watch it. It comes down that a “popular” series just finished up all 9 of their episodes and the wanted it to exist on our Plex. I was able to find the asked content, but was a bit surprised when the video content was a spectacular 1080p but the audio content defaulted to Brazilian Portuguese.

Lucky for me there was an English audio stream as well, but I felt it annoying that if I wanted to start watching this and have to swap to the secondary audio track every time. With the power of ffmpeg[static] and a couple smart command-line parameters I was able to re-make my videos with English as the default language and cut out all the unnecessary data.

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