It has been a long time since I muck around with the Buffalo Linkstation Quad Pro. I am obviously very very outdated in terms of latest cool stuff available for the linkstation as It appears that there is now a gentleman called GaryT (don’t know his last name) who managed to integrate Plex into the v1.69 firmware. Well done Gary! This is back in Jan 2015. Gosh…that shows how slow I am these days. Gary website is here: http://www.tomatosoft.hu/gadgets/
So I HAVE to try this. I downloaded the firmware version called 1.69-3.59 “Chris”. I didn’t check why it was named “Chris” but hey…nowadays people have to name firmware based on some cool name right?…like lollipop, Spartan, etc. Go to this webpage http://www.tomatosoft.hu/gadgets/buffalo-plex-firmware-chris-released/ and download the firmware. A PC and Mac version are both available. I use the PC one.
Installation is a breeze I must say. Just unzip the archive and run the LSUpdater.exe file and it will find the linkstation on the network. Just let it do its stuff. Be patient. The linkstation will blink orange in the process. After a while, LSUpdater declared the linkstation has been updated.
So a quick check afterwards seem to suggest that everything is working fine. All my files are still there…which is good. Web interface works well too. Network USB Navigator works too! I am worried about this one because v1.65 firmware which I tried earlier broke it. There is now an additional “Bittorrent” menu at the “Extensions” section. I have not played much with this at the moment but I will. The “MediaServer” section has also been updated and now there is a “Plex Server” installed. All good things to have.
I am unable to SSH into the box but a quick check at the network settings suggest that SSH has been disabled.
Click the setting and enable SSH. Putty into the linkstation via port 2222 and now SSH works. Why port 2222? See this page here: http://www.tomatosoft.hu/gadgets/firmwarefaq/. I am able to login to the NAS using my original password which is convenient.
I also noticed there is now some shortcuts to the left hand side of the web interface which is handy. Good thinking batman!
I guess the highlight of this firmware is the inclusion of Plex as part of the package.
Setting up Plex is easy. Click the “Modify Settings” button and select “Enable”. Then press the “Restart Plex Server” to start Plex if it hasn’t already. Then click “Open Media Manager” to direct the web browser to the Plex interface. This is what comes up on my screen.
From there on, click the “+” icon and add a library to the Plex server.
Select the type of media and then add a folder to the library.
The folder will be added, somewhat like this:
I added 2 of the lightroom podcasts I downloaded to the Plex library as a quick test. Press the “Add Library” button and that’s all there is to it. Plex library will now look like this:
It is important to note that with the limited CPU capability of the linkstation, the NAS will NOT be able to transcode any of the media files. The Plex client devices will need to be able to transcode the media on the fly. To demonstrate this, say we wanted to playback a video stored on the Plex library via a windows PC on the same network…first go to the plex settings tab on the linkstation.
Sign in to your plex account. Obviously the linkstation will need access to the internet for this to work. Note that you do not need any Plexpass subscription for this.
Then on a windows PC, browse to https://plex.tv/, login to the plex account, add a server and Plex will detected that a Plex server has been installed on the linkstation.
The Plex client on the Windows PC will then be able to see the library files on the linkstation and we can now playback the video like the screenshot below.
I am going to test the Plex server on the linkstation a bit more but preliminary testing seem to suggest the implementation works well.
Again kudos to GaryT for doing such a fine job.
I hope this post is helpful in any way. Happy NAS’ing for now.