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Homey Plex application - main discussion thread

MikeOneMikeOne Member
edited May 2016 in Developers

Started this thread to keep feedback, bugs and feature requests for the Plex app centralized.

The app code can be found here: https://github.com/MikeOne/nl.kikkert.plex

and here in the App Store: https://apps.athom.com/app/nl.kikkert.plex

Please feel free to comment :-)

EDIT: The App has now been officially published in the App Store!

# Step-By-Step Installation:

1) Install the Plex App on your Homey.
2) Configure your Plex Media Server to allow remote access
3) Goto Plex.tv -> Settings -> Server (advanced view) -> Network and make sure the 'Secure Connections' dropdown is set to 'Preferred' and NOT required.
4) Open een browser window en log into plex.tv
5) Go to the Homey page - Settings - Plex (left column)
6) Click the 'Start Pin Process' button, remember the PIN and go to plex.tv/pin to enter it.
7) Go back to the Homey settings page. You should see your available PMS server, click select button next to it.
8) The Homey Plex app will now analyze your media and cache all relevant media keys for speech recognition (this might take a minute)
9) Now go to the 'Devices' page on the Homey and add a device in a Zone. Select Plex, your needed Driver and pick your device.
10) Homey Plex should now be ready to receive voice commands!
11) Enjoy watching.
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Comments

  • +1 Looking forward to trying it!

  • Feature request:
    - "Plex Home" integration: Login to multiple accounts in PHT with or without pincodes

  • p0ntsp0nts Member
    edited September 2015

    BasPost said:
    Feature request:
    - "Plex Home" integration: Login to multiple accounts in PHT with or without pincodes

    This is the Plex Remote control app for the Homey device. There is still a lot to do but this version is functional on a virtual Homey. It uses the Plex.tv PIN procedure to get the Plex server and player details.

    At least 1 step in the right direction :D

  • BTW, I noticed that the public Virtual Homey (vhomey01) has not yet been updated. This means the plex app as found on github will not (yet) run on that VHomey. Hopefully it will be updated soon with the latest version.

  • p0nts said:

    BasPost said:
    Feature request:
    - "Plex Home" integration: Login to multiple accounts in PHT with or without pincodes

    This is the Plex Remote control app for the Homey device. There is still a lot to do but this version is functional on a virtual Homey. It uses the Plex.tv PIN procedure to get the Plex server and player details.

    At least 1 step in the right direction :D

    Duh! This has nothing to do with my request. I don't think you get the point, what you are highlighting is the procedure to pair the PLEX Homey app with PMS automatically.
    After that, if you have multiple accounts connected to you're paired server, like friends or "PLEX Home" users, which is a PLEX PASS feature, you can select which user logins in PHT, with protected pincode or without pin, like child accounts.
    Please check plex.tv for more info about PLEX Home

  • MikeOneMikeOne Member
    edited September 2015

    @BasPost - There is some light at the end of the tunnel. I've done some experimenting and might have found a way to actually switch accounts (don't yet get your hopes up too much :-)).

    The question would be, how would you like to able to to switch accounts? Could it be by voice i.e.:
    Hey Homey - switch plex account to Bas -> Okay Bas, what is your PIN? -> 1234 -> user switched to Bas.

    I mean, that wouldn't be extremely secure because technically your kids could overhear that? Or will that suffice? Any better suggestions? (This is all assuming that this will end up working with the HTTP API i.e., run a refresh of the media after switching and ACTUALLY GETTING the correct (or allowed) media for that user..)

  • I like this feature Bas requested too. I guess in the future if Homey would recognize users by voice this wouldn't be a problem. It would be a rather good two way authentication.

    Could you push something to the homey app? If so maybe you could send a security code to the user for authentication.

  • On another topic. Do you support the latest SSL security Plex put it a while ago?

  • JVCS909 said:
    I like this feature Bas requested too. I guess in the future if Homey would recognize users by voice this wouldn't be a problem. It would be a rather good two way authentication.

    Could you push something to the homey app? If so maybe you could send a security code to the user for authentication.

    I'm thinking the same, Athom is busy with user recognition, so maybe Homey users can store their PLEX login items (with pincodes if used) in the "PLEX for Homey" app, so the app can use this information when controlling PHT?

  • Okay @BasPost - seeing that (as far as I know) voice/user recognition is not around the corner (I might be wrong?) - should I put your request on hold until it is supported?

    @JVCS909 - Tobe honest, my local server doesn't seem to want to run with the supposedly newly installed SSL cert so I haven't been able to test this. I am however communicating with plex.tv over HTTPS (for the PIN auth) so I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't work really?

  • BasPostBasPost Member
    edited September 2015

    @MikeOne
    Question 1:
    does the Plex for Homey App works the same as Apple tvOS? Like:
    - "Hey Homey"
    - "Show me all batman movies"
    - "Just the one with Micheal Keaton"

    No need for an Apple TV 4...

    Question 2:
    Regarding authentication, Is it possible to ask the app for switching users though? And then go to the user selection screen. Then I can manually log in my account with my pincode by remote.
    Would it then be possible to ask Homey for series or movies to play?
    This would be a helpful work around. I always leave PHT logged in the children's account.

    Question 3:
    How is the progress going? Any new development?

  • BasPost said:
    @MikeOne
    Question 1:
    does the Plex for Homey App works the same as Apple tvOS? Like:
    - "Hey Homey"
    - "Show me all batman movies"
    - "Just the one with Micheal Keaton"

    No need for an Apple TV 4...

    Question 2:
    Regarding authentication, Is it possible to ask the app for switching users though? And then go to the user selection screen. Then I can manually log in my account with my pincode by remote.
    Would it then be possible to ask Homey for series or movies to play?
    This would be a helpful work around. I always leave PHT logged in the children's account.

    Question 3:
    How is the progress going? Any new development?

    Hi Bas,

    I'm afraid it doesn't exactly going to work like that. There is no way for me to 'remote control' the Plex HT screens in the way you are describing. Basically, I cannot use visual clues to show information on your television (there is simply no API in plex to do this). I can send commands to control the selection on the screen (MoveUp, MoveDown, Select etc etc) - but this doesn't give me any feedback as to where i am in the Player interface so this doesn't seem very helpful. So the bottom line is that I have to do everything by speech (which makes it very challenging as you can maybe imagine).

    So to answer your questions:

    1) "Show me all batman movies" - is not an option. There is nothing to show as I cannot control the Plex player in that way.
    What it can already do though is:

    "YOU:Watch transformers" ->

    "HOMEY: I found 3 matches for transformers, 'transformers' ,'transformers dark of the moon', 'transformers revenge of the fallen', which one would you like to watch?" ->

    "YOU: Dark of the moon"->

    "HOMEY: Enjoy watching transformers dark of the moon".

    And your player start playing.

    2) Again the same issue, I can (probably) change the logged in user - but only using the voice interface (which means the PIN also has to be done by voice). I cannot direct the screen to the correct section or anything.

    3) The Homey API is somewhat in flux at the moment (for the virtual homeys) en the focus for Athom is to get the real Homeys perfect and ready to be shipped (as the focus should be). This means that the VHomeys are up and down all the time and sometimes not on the correct software version. This makes it hard for me to continue. So the current status is that the Plex App is fully functional. Login to Plex.tv using PIN works (on the settings screen of the Homey), caching the media lib and adding Speech triggers for all found media works, playing/pausing/stopping/skipping etc of media on your selected player works (all by speech commands).
    There are over 300 lines of logical code in the application dedicated to the speech workflow that has as a main goal to get to one single playable item purely based on speech.

    In other words, the application is in principle fully functional.

    Next steps:

    • Make the settings page more solid (some bugs due to internal homey bugs still)
    • Make the setup screen much prettier to look at and much more 'monkey proof'.
    • Add functionality to 'resume' an episode or movie
    • Add all translations for at least English and dutch to the application (currently the homey 'say' and 'ask' strings are all hardcoded in english).
    • Make a production ready version - get my hands on a real Homey and test,test,test,test (different setups to test on also needed).

    • Start adding additional features (like yours) - invite the community to do Pull Requests for additional features.

    If you (or others) are interested in how the application speech workflow (to get to a playable selection) works, let me know and I'll write it out here. It would be good to get some feedback on that anyway as the workflow is based on how I use Plex, which might not be exactly the same as how others use it).

  • @MikeOne, Thank you for your outstanding reply! Much appreciated! I think it is best to all wait for the real Homey's to be delivered. Lot of bugs will be reported and handled then I guess.
    I volunteer to help and test your app after launch.

  • Hi Mike, i really would like to use your app but i read yesterday that:

    With regards to your questions, for now, only real PHT clients will work. These are devices that are registered within Plex as "provides='player'". Other clients (like plex-connect or the plex client on a samsung TV) are unlikely to (ever) work unfortunately, as they usually do not have an interface that allows them to be controlled remotely.

    >
    >

    This is kind of a deal breaker for me because Samsung is my main Plex player. What would it take to get it up and running? Could you get in touch with Orca (Plex for Samsung developer)?

    As for your question, i for one would like to know how the speech flow is working. Maybe some sort of documentation would be nice in stead of just typing it here.

    Last if you need help in translation or anything, give a shout. Not a programmer here but translation or testing should be no problem.

  • JVCS909 said:
    Hi Mike, i really would like to use your app but i read yesterday that:

    With regards to your questions, for now, only real PHT clients will work. These are devices that are registered within Plex as "provides='player'". Other clients (like plex-connect or the plex client on a samsung TV) are unlikely to (ever) work unfortunately, as they usually do not have an interface that allows them to be controlled remotely.

    >
    >

    This is kind of a deal breaker for me because Samsung is my main Plex player. What would it take to get it up and running? Could you get in touch with Orca (Plex for Samsung developer)?

    As for your question, i for one would like to know how the speech flow is working. Maybe some sort of documentation would be nice in stead of just typing it here.

    Last if you need help in translation or anything, give a shout. Not a programmer here but translation or testing should be no problem.

    I truly understand what you are saying here, my main player is also my samsung TV :-(
    I have found some threads online about this (someone was writing a generic remote control app and ran into the same issue). It seems the issue here is not specifically that the Samsung Plex App doesn't want to allow remote control, the problem seems to be Samsung not allowing incoming connections into any of their Smart Hub apps.

    see this thread: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/165626/remote-control-samsung-plex-app-from-iphone - the final comment from the Orca developer gives the hint.

    I'm not excluding the possibility to have this working though sometime in the future. I really want this to work myself as well. Please note though that we have just made the first steps into Homey development and my focus for now is purely to get a (fairly limited - I agree) initial scenario to work correctly on the Homey. We just have to hope that Homey gains a lot of momentum and support of the coming months/years so we can leverage its success to get more done from the device and app developers (making them 'Homey enabled'). Also, don't underestimate the hackers community to find a way around these (current) limitations. I'm only a single app developer (just to be clear, I'm building this in my spare time for fun - I'm not employed by Athom or anything) - other developers much smarter than me might come in, look at my code and think; "Okay, I can do this better and make it work on device X". I would really welcome that input from the community.

    Documentation wise; sure, I will need to find some time to get this officially documented eventually. However, seeing I don;'t even have a real Homey to test this on, I'd rather focus my time on developing for now. I can however give a short overview on the speech logic currently used to find a media item. I'll post that soon in this thread.

    With regards to helping out with the translations - super! Once the code base has settled, I'll make a document with the translation strings I need and post it on GitHub for anyone to contribute.

    @BasPost - thanks! I will take you up on that. Do you have access to a virtual homey?

  • @MikeOne, sorry Mike, no virtual Homey for me, I have asked a couple of times for it, but I'm not a backer and Emile has taken the virtual Homey offline.

  • @BasPost - yes I noticed. I hope I can get a real Homey soon so I can continue working on the app :-)

    @JVCS909 - I suddenly had an epiphany regarding the Samsung Plex client. I have now directly contacted the main developer and hope to start a dialog with him to explore options (and to see if my epiphany is worth investigating :-)).

  • I really like to take credit for your epiphany, you see. Sometimes you just have to push the expert programmers to think creatively. :-)

    Off course i'm joking, i hope it works and i'm also curious what your idea is, but i will wait patiently.

    Anyway great news!

  • kimrorkimror Member
    edited October 2015

    You might already know this @mikeone. If not, you're welcome. :)

    Plex Media Player: https://blog.plex.tv/2015/10/20/introducing-the-plex-media-player/

    Don't know if this is for the better or worse in terms of supporting Homey, but.. :)

  • ..... ah crap...

    I'll investigate once I have some more time and an actual Homey to work on..

    ...Sigh... I at least hope this new player has a better API...

  • BasPostBasPost Member
    edited October 2015

    I just wanted mention the same, but @kimror beat me to it... :-)

    MikeOne said:
    ..... ah crap...

    I'll investigate once I have some more time and an actual Homey to work on..

    ...Sigh... I at least hope this new player has a better API...

    It is open software though, so maybe...

  • kimrorkimror Member
    edited October 2015

    Yeah, but in the post it says that PHT was/is open source as well? So I don't know if that helps? PHT might have been "released" as that from now, maybe?

  • At least it is just the player bit. The server logic is much more difficult. So as long as the new player has some sort of remote control abilities I should be fine :-)

  • Keeping my fingers crossed for you, and looking forward to trying it once the Homey has arrived. :-)

  • Thanks @kimror

  • kimrorkimror Member
    edited October 2015

    Found this:

    Plex Media Player is composed of two main components or layers. The "host" layer is the layer that interacts with your OS, plays video and music, and also loads the interface via a Chromium process. The "client" layer is our HTML5-based web-client, that's responsible for communication with plex.tv as well as your media server and renders the UI you see on screen.

    https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/212179868-Is-Plex-Media-Player-open-source-

    Looks like "we" have to rely on a good API?

  • Oh, I forgot the important part (even though you could read it in the article).

    We are making the host layer of this application open source. The web-client layer will be downloaded from our servers during the build phase as a binary.

  • kimror said:
    Oh, I forgot the important part (even though you could read it in the article).

    We are making the host layer of this application open source. The web-client layer will be downloaded from our servers during the build phase as a binary.

    Is this an advantage for you?

  • I would guess the opposite.

  • MarkSwiftMarkSwift Backer - Early Bird
    edited December 2015

    Will this be added to the appstore? I'm really surprised it's not there already and create by Athom, given they showed this functionality in their initial promo video!

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