Random Research: Using docker to keep your server clean when testing

Docker is amazing. Containers make setting up a media server almost like building with LEGOs. You just pull down the image you want (likely from the great linuxserver.io), make sure you wire up the ports and volumes appropriately, and Bob's your uncle.

Sometimes what you want to do isn't packaged up in a nice Docker container for you. Docker is still helpful in these situations.

I don't know about you, but when I'm experimenting with something, I am always weary about installing stuff because I don't want a bunch of trash hanging around on my server when I'm done. There's always chroot'ing or lxc, but I've found that generating a customized docker image and spinning up a new container when you need it is easy and makes cleanup a cinch.

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Random Research: What is "random research"?

I'm going to try something new.

As you may have noticed, this site gets updated very infrequently. Every now and then I feel productive and start working on some new guide only to leave it in a perpetual draft stage never to be seen (until someone cracks my password).

The problem is my work flow. When I decide that I want to write up a new guide, I'll start doing research and playing around. I will get everything working the way I want it and then go back and start writing the guide. At this stage, I'm retracing my steps and trying to remember what I did. I basically have to redo it to get screen shots and recall the exact commands I used. If I actually make it this far, then I have to proof read everything and polish it up.

The problem is that I don't have enough of an attention span for all of that.

So I'm going to try something new. While I'm doing my research, I'll be loosely documenting it. The topics will probably focus around HTPCs, but there may be some stray thoughts along the way. The quality of the posts will range from unpolished guides to organized chaos sprinkled with bash commands.

Hopefully the contents of these posts will get revised and posted as an actual guide somewhere around the line. If they do, I'll do my best to edit the post and throw a link to the organized post. At the very least, there will be more content that hopefully someone somewhere finds useful.

Also, call me out if I slack on this. If I post two of these things and then six months goes by, give me shit in the comments.

Plex now supports Amazon Cloud Drive for Cloud Sync

Plex has added support for Amazon Cloud Drive for Cloud Sync. For those not familiar with Cloud Sync, it allows you to sync your content to cloud providers and stream it from there. It is handy if you don't have much upload bandwidth but still want to watch HD content away from home.

The reason Amazon is a big deal is because they have a reasonably priced unlimited option.

Isn't that No limit beautiful?

Isn't that No limit beautiful?

The many ways to watch your NFL Game Pass

Last month, I showed you how to sign up for the international version of the NFL Game Pass. At the end of it, you were able to launch and watch games from the browser. That is great and all, but what if you want other ways to watch it? What if you want to watch on your TV? Just in time for the start of the regular season, here are the many different ways you can enjoy your Game Pass.

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The NFL GamePass has launched in the US. Here's why you'll still want the international version (and how to get it).

For some time now there have been rumblings that the much be-loved NFL GamePass service would be coming to the US. This was great news because up until this point, the only way to get unfettered access to the games of your choice has been to buy an expensive dish or cable package. Well today the wait is over: GamePass is available in the US, with a 7-day trial, and for only $99. There is one big issue though: regular season games can't be watched live

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Recording full HD from a cable box using a Mac

This post explains how you can use the FireWire interface available on many cable boxes to record full HD channels using a Mac.

NoteThis post isn't for cord cutters. In fact, considering it requires you to have cable, it's quite the opposite. From searching around the internet, I can see that this may help some people, so I figured I'd do a quite little write-up about it.

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And we're back!


Sorry about the lack of updates. The last post was well over a month ago. I've been tied up with other projects and unfortunately this site got neglected a bit.

I'm back now though and will make an effort to keep up with cord cutting news and post more guides.

Updated Plex for Roku released

One of the biggest complaints about using Plex on Roku is how bad the interface is. In the past, they stuck with the Roku design guidelines and it lead to an interface of a bunch of bubbles. That is all over now as Plex has released a new channel (currently in preview form for PlexPass members). This new interface follows along with the design they've been using on game consoles and new Smart TVs.

If you are a PlexPass member, you can grab the new channel at the following URL: https://owner.roku.com/add/PlexPass

Source: https://blog.plex.tv/2015/02/24/brand-new-...

Getting around geo restrictions using Smart DNS

As more and more people cut the cord, TV networks are starting to get wise and put full shows up on their website. They realize that by not offering a legal way to view the shows online, people are turning to piracy and the networks lose all ways to monetize the content. By offering an easy way to watch the shows on their websites, they are able to keep people coming to them for the content.

Don't let them putting content up on the internet fool you into thinking it is part of the "world wide web." Most of this content is hidden behind geo restrictions, meaning you can only access content from the countries that the websites deem appropriate.

This post explains how to see content from all over the world.

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Sling TV Technical Details

Leading up to the Sling launch, there was lots of question about how the quality on Sling would be. In a reddit AMA before the beta started, Roger Lynch confirmed that Sling would offer 1080p video and 5.1 surround sound. Now that Sling has launched, many have been a little disappointed by the quality of the service. While it's certainly not bad quality, it doesn't seem to be up to the standard they were pitching either. Being curious, and knowing just enough about computers to be dangerous, I decided to see if I could figure out the technical specs of their streams...

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