Saturday, March 28, 2020

Setting up Plex for Live TV & DVR recording on a Nvidia Shield TV Pro with an EXTERNAL USB DRIVE

Tips for setting up Plex for Live TV & DVR recording on a Nvidia Shield TV Pro with an EXTERNAL USB DRIVE.

These are random things I leaned when I set up Plex for Live TV & DVR on my Nvidia Shield TV Pro. Hopefully these will help others to set this up. 
These may not be perfect, as I am writing them up after doing everything... but I still think it will be a big help if you are doing this for the first time! 

Note the difference between the following locations where you will find different important settings:
  1. the Nvidia Shield settings: Go to the top right of the main shield screen on the TV and click on the gear icon.
  2. the Plex app settings on the Shield: Go to your username at the top left of the Plex menu on the Shield, select that and then Settings.
  3. the Plex Web app settings: Go to your compute and use the browser to reach the settings in the Plex Media server: http://server.local.ip.address:32400/web  (Use your actual Shield's IP address, not the text in this sample) 


1) You have to turn on "Plex Media Server" inside the Plex app on the Shield to enable the "Live TV and DVR" features. Go to your username at the top left of the Plex menu on the shield, select that and then Settings. Scroll down to "Plex Media Server" and turn it on. 
Note: About multiple Plex Servers on the Network. I already had a Plex server on my NAS for my personal video library. I wasn't sure what would happen when I added the Plex server, but it works fine. Actually both the Plex web app and the app on the Shield gracefully handle both servers. 
2) Use a PC to format the USB drive as NTFS (Supposedly exFAT is fine too, but I didn't try that.) My WD Elements 2TB drive came formatted this way. 

3) Use the Shield's "Removable storage" setting. When you plug the USB drive into the Shield, the Shield will see the drive and the Notification will prompt you to set it up. BUT, it will already show up as "Removable storage" in the Storage menu. (Settings/Device Preferences/Storage). Plex recommends (here: that you use the drive as "removable storage", so do NOT set the drive up as "Device storage". Ignore the Shield's suggestions to format the drive to add it as "Device storage". 

4) Only one directory on the USB drive works: "NVIDIA_SHIELD". 
In the Shield menu, find: Settings/Device Preferences/Storage
You can turn ON the switch for "Transfer files over the local network"
You can then set up directories for your libraries as you wish by using a computer to connect to the hard drive as described here:
NOTE!: There is only ONE place the Shield will allow Plex to write to the external USB drive! This is the folder called: "NVIDIA_SHIELD". You MUST put your directories and libraries there, or the libraries will not work! (This took me write a while to figure out. And no, changing the permissions doesn't let you place the files elsewhere.)
If you want a particular directory structure on the drive, set it up before creating libraries on Plex or doing anything else. Note that Plex DOES strongly recommend a particular directory structure: 

5) You need to set the Storage location for the Plex Media server to the external drive. Go to your username at the top left of the Plex menu on the Shield, select that and then Settings. Scroll down to "Plex Media Server" and use the Storage location setting. Set it to use your external drive. 

6) Make your libraries on Plex and name them correctly the first time.
This stuff must be done from the Web app from a computer, NOT on your Shield! Use this, with the actual IP address of your shield: http://server.local.ip.address:32400/web 

Basic (and inadequate) to set up Live TV and the DVR directions are here: 

Directions to set up libraries are here:

Changing library names IS possible, but it is a pain. And you want to place the libraries in the proper directories as suggested in item 4 above.  
Personally, I suggest naming the libraries something that makes it clear they are DVR recordings and not other movies or videos. I used "TV Shows DVR" and "Movies DVR".  
If you change stuff like library names, it helps to restart the Plex app on the Shield to get it to pick up the changes. You can do this by stopping and the opening the app in the settings on the Shield here: Settings/Apps/Plex 
Use "Force Stop" to stop Plex and the Open to restart it. Wait a minute and the changes should show up. 
Finally, Good Luck! The Live TV and DVR stuff on the Nvidia Shield appears to work great. But it did take a bit of digging around for me to find these details, so hopefully this will help others.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Counterfeit Superfeet Insoles - Are the inexpensive counterfeits the same as the genuine insoles?

Answer: NO.

I've been wearing Superfeet Green insoles in my shoes for many years. And I have also been rather annoyed at the high price! The darn things are about $50 a pair.
So I started to look around, and I found I could buy them on eBay for about $15 a pair!
What a savings!?

Well, the cheap ones are not the same, and when I emailed pictures to Superfeet support, they told me they were counterfeit! When I asked about the differences, they said:
You can see by looking at the pattern of the fabric. Ours goes toe to heel and the counterfeit one goes side to side. Also, if you feel the shape of the foam on the counterfeit insole, you’ll notice it is narrower and there is no shape in the arch area. Ours is a normal width and has a distinct shape and feel to it. If you compare two side by side, you’ll be able to easily see the difference. At a glance, I can see how they may look similar.
I looked closer, and sure enough they are correct. Here are the differences and problems I see with the counterfeit insoles:
  • much less arch support
  • less rounded heel
  • thinner foam
  • foam is too long and wide in the toe area
  • green pattern on top goes side to side instead of from toe to heel
In my opinion, the counterfeit insoles are not good. They lack the arch support of the genuine items and the heel cup is not as rounded. I'll be careful to buy the genuine ones in the future.

Some pictures follow.

On this picture of the green tops, you can see the counterfeit is actually a bit longer, and the lines in the green patter go from side to side, unlike the genuine one which has the pattern going toe to heel. It is hard to see in the picture, but the heel cup on the counterfeit insole has a bit of  flat bottom, unlike the well rounded genuine insole.

 The bottom hard plastic is slightly different on the counterfeit but is very similar to the genuine article. The foam part is definitely longer and a bit wider in the toe area.

The side view is very similar, but the counterfeit's foam is definitely thinner.

The arch support on the counterfeit is definitely lacking! You can also see how the foam is thinner.

The boxes were actually very similar. It would be very hard to tell them apart! I will just leave these photos here without comment.