New versions of Sling TV Android app blocking unofficial devices

It appears that newer builds of the Sling TV app are blocking unofficial devices such as Android TV boxes. Interestingly enough, sideloading the apk to the Amazon Fire TV also has stopped working. The Fire TV is advertised as coming soon on Sling's website, but I guess they want us to wait for an official Amazon App Store download.

This is only affecting new downloads. Older builds do seem to still work on these platforms and there hasn't yet been a forced update.

You can download build here. This build is confirmed working, and you can watch it launch on a Fire TV stick as of this morning below:

Auto-deleting finished torrents from Deluge

If you followed my guide for setting up your server, then you are using Deluge for your torrent client. We wired everything up so your downloads get automatically imported and organized in your storage location, but one question that came up often was why two copies ultimately were left on your computer. The answer is that although your file was renamed and stashed away, Deluge hung on to an original copy so that it could continue seeding it. As long as you occasionally checked in and deleted all the old torrents you would be fine, but this was the one thing that held the process back from being completely automated. This post will walk you through how to set up a plugin in Deluge that will handle this maintenance for you.

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Raspberry Pi 2 - Available now for $35

The Raspberry Pi has always been a popular choice for people wanting to run Kodi or Plex, mostly because you can pick one up for $35. After all is said and done, $50 would get you a little media box that could handle most of the media you would try to throw at it.

I've never been a big fan since the severely underpowered CPU lead to sluggish menus and delayed interactions. Thankfully the hardware accelerated video decoding meant that media playback was smooth, but some of the allure was lost when you got back to the menu and it was struggling to keep up with you.

Announced today is the Raspberry Pi 2, which ups the CPU to a quad core 900MHz Cortex-A7 and increases the RAM to 1GB. This should do wonders for running media software and I am excited to give it a try. Despite the board being available starting today, I figure this will be like the original launch when it takes weeks to get your hands on one due to the demand. I will pick one up and share my thoughts as soon as I can though.


Getting your OpenELEC + Plex system to auto-update

So the post about how to run Plex Home Theater on a Chromebox proved to be very popular. The Chromebox has the perfect balance of power and affordability that makes it a stand out product. One question that popped up often is how does one update this system as newer builds come out. Since the Plex version is a modified form of OpenELEC, the built-in updating mechanism doesn't work. At the time, my answer was that it needed to be done manually. Luckily, that is no longer the case.

I have whipped up a quick python script that checks for updates and applies them automatically. This guide will explain how to install the script and schedule it to run on a regular basis.

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How to get OTA on your Xbox One

The Xbox One is more than just a video game system. From the get-go, the Xbox One was touted as a home entertainment device, meant to take over your living room and become the new primary device connected to your HDMI 1 input. One of the features to forward this goal is the HDMI input on the Xbox that you are supposed to plug your cable box into. The problem is, cord cutters don't have cable boxes. Here are the ways you can get OTA TV integrated into your Xbox One...

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Turning a Chromebox into a full-fledged Plex Home Theater client

Anyone who has a Plex server will tell you that there are countless ways to access it. Plex has apps out for just about any device or OS you can think of. When it comes to watching Plex on a HDTV, most people plug in a Roku or Chromecast and call it a day. While this obviously works, the interface is a little slow and clunky and you wind up with a functional solution without much wow factor.

One way people solve this is by building a HTPC so that they are in control of the power and performance. The issue is that even the most frugal shopper will still spend over $200 for anything worth while. That is no longer the case...

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The Ultimate Server Tutorial has been updated

I wrote the Ultimate Server Tutorial back in October. Since then, the software involved has updated, names have changed, life has moved on in general. Moving into the new year, I decided to work through the guide again and have updated it with all the latest information. As always, throw a comment on an article if you find that something is wrong or outdated. Some of you have done so already and I appreciate it. 

For those of you new to the site, you can use the handy quick links in the upper right of the page to see the posts in the series. Happy cord cutting!

Over the air: Choosing the correct antenna

Many cord cutters ditch their cable or dish package and replace it with online services such as Netflix or Hulu, or they build their own XBMC or Plex server. These options provide an endless source of content, but there is one itch that they just can't scratch: live content. It might not be a big deal to watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead a day after it airs, but when it comes to news or sports, you really want to watch it as it happens.

This post will show you how to determine what channels are being broadcast over-the-air in your location and how to pick the proper antenna to receive them.

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Aereo files for bankruptcy

Today, Aereo officially filed for Chapter 11. Aereo was ahead of their time as a way to get broadcast television on your devices without needing an antenna locally. Instead, you used a little micro antenna that they had in their data centers. After a long legal battle, they were forced to stop operation some time ago.

You can read a letter to their consumers on