Data & stats from Plex Mediaserver

A while ago I wrote about having so much bandwidth from hyperoptic gigabit broadband, means I can now share my media collection with friends.

Its great but its interesting looking at the data my friends are generating through their use of my sever. But it’s not all super smooth, mainly due to my poor single core AMD Sempron 2800 processor doing transcoding on the fly. The biggest problem is the Xbox Plex client, which we discovered doesn’t support x.264 at all, meaning transcoding the whole thing is the only way to view anything. My poor CPU maxes out at 100% during the whole thing. This seems to be a massive bug bear for many people out there… I dread to think what happens with H.265 encoded media.

I installed PlexPy a while ago and decided it was time to have a look.

plexpy Screenshot from 2016-04-042

The Chromecast isn’t anywhere as bad but still triggers transcoding, but to be fair I’ve not really played with the settings but I think theres a way to force the chromecast to play directly (Directstream). Some Smart TVs seem quite happy to take the direct stream putting absolutely no strain on my CPU.

plexpy Screenshot from 2016-04-041

Because of the strain on my CPU, I’m considering changing my CPU to something better. I mean even a quad core or six core processor would be ideal.

Although part of me is thinking maybe I should block all client which require transcoding, or maybe just block the Xbox Plex client. This doesn’t seem to be a problem with the Sony Playstation, from first tests. But I also wonder about DTS, MKV and h.265?

plexpy Screenshot from 2016-04-045

I mean its not like its heavily used anyway. Sure my one friend will like that (smile). The Chromecast is far and away the biggest client and we tried the Xbox 360 once just to see if it was any better (which it wasn’t)

plexpy Screenshot from 2016-04-044

The other stats generated are quite interesting to look at…
For example when most of my friends watch my media by hour of the day and which day.

plexpy Screenshot from 2016-04-043

Theres much more interesting stats but of course privacy of my friends is the up most importance. Maybe I should craft a EULA (End User Licence Agreement)?

Its really interesting to think about the ethics of data when you are the provider.

Hyperoptic hyperfast broadband

Its coming at long last, hyperoptic have turned on hyperfast broadband at our exchange in New Islington and I have a order for next Thursday to hook me up with 1gigbit hyperfast broadband. Yes Hyperfast is the correct term…

Hyperfast broadband might be used to describe speeds of 500Mb or higher, while gigabit broadband refers to services capable of achieving connections of 1Gb (1000Mb or 1 gigabit) or higher. While no national providers currently offer services of these speeds, some smaller local providers are already offering extremely fast full fibre optic broadband with the capacity to reach speeds of up to 1Gb.

You might remember me talking about them in the past, a whole 18months ago! So why has there been such a delay? Well to be clear it wasn’t due to the lack of interest on the part of Islington Wharf. We got 25% sign up across the complex really quickly. Hyperoptic put in the infrastructure within the building pretty quickly. But it wasn’t to be because when the test switch on was tried, nothing worked. They traced it back to a fault in the connection. Something had  happened in connection with the new tram station and the work on the tramline.

When they built the tunnel for the tram line to Ashton  from Piccadilly Station, it went underneath great ancoasts street which is a part of the inner ring road in Manchester. The work crushed or damaged some of the fibre conduits. When it was identified this was a serious problem, hyperoptic had to seek permission from the local council to close part of the ring road to allow work to fix the crushed fibre conduit. You can imagine this isn’t a trivial asking and getting the council to do anything in regards to road works is always going to be a very slow process.

From Hyperoptic,

…Establishing a clear fibre route from the exchange to Islington Wharf is taking longer than anticipated due to a blockage. We’re waiting on permission from the Council’s Highways Authority to start the clearance work as it requires road closures.

While waiting for things to be fixed, Hyperoptic wired up Milliners Wharf, which is about 5mins walk away up the canal (I actually over look it from my flat). Luckily they are on a different exchange and there is no canal blocking things. So they got hyperoptic ahead of islington wharf, even though we had sign up much earlier. Chris decided to go for the 100meg option, oppose to the 1gig version. Of course I went for the 1gig version.

So after 18months things got sorted and this Thursday I have the hyperoptic engineer coming to hook up my flat up. I’m looking forward to running my own speed test and downloading all those Linux ISO. I’m also looking forward to utilising the 2.5Tb of spideroak storage. I’m was considering the unlimited option they had a while ago.

I have been reading their terms, conditions and fair use policy again to make sure I won’t be cut off. It all looks fine still, but running a tor node might be out of the question maybe…

Islington Wharf, a 1gig fibre internet wonderland

Fibre optique

Yes you heard me right…

You may have a nice view, a large balcony, heck a swimming pool on top of the building. But have you got 1gig bit fiber to your flat?

No? Thats a real shame for you. Maybe you should give a hyperoptic a call now…

I just got conformation that Islington Wharf will be getting hyperoptic’s 1gig fibre connection to each and every flat. Yes thats 1GIG per flat!

This is perfect timing as I’m just about to order myself the Almond plus router. I’m just hoping I can move with UKFSN or Andrews and Arnold’s too.

What will I do with this much bandwidth? Well self hosting is a consideration along with being able to access all my media anywhere and everywhere with Plex. I’m also wondering if a more distributed model is viable, cutting out the 5 stacks?

Hyperoptic 1gigabit fiber to the flat

Supernova

Fiber to my flat… thats what I’ve been dreaming and thinking about recently. And I’m not the only one. Hyperoptic got in touch a while ago and said if we can get over 25% of the flat to commit to the upgrade, they would put in fiber.

Being a skeptical person I decided to check out their track record and terms and cons. I also asked on Twitter which resulted in some amazing speed tests from @cvrabie.

Speed test from a happy customer

And recently the FT did a piece as part of their “how to spend it” section. As a follow on from the news about many luxury flats being stuck in the dark ages when it comes to broadband internet.

To be honest I think we should drop the term broadband when your talking speeds faster than 99% of the UK. The only time I have ever experience such speed was in Stockholm when visiting sarah’s friends and hooking up my laptop to his 10 megabit connection complete with class A public IPs!

Now I get close to that at home right now but certainly not simultaneously.

Hyperoptic reminds me of Google Fiber, but its in the UK and they are interested in Manchester and Islington Wharf.

50 pounds a month is nothing for this class of connection. Even if there is a 2 year contract, I’m still in. I pay right now about £30 for a totally unlimited connection to the internet from UKFSN. Why so much, partly look at their response to a bill a while ago. The connection is pure and fast. I happily hand over £30 a month for no blockages, no stupid conditions, no stupidity.

People scoff when I tell them how much I pay, but to me the internet is very important. I happily pay for a very good connection because without it, I would loose so much more.

As we try and convince the rest of the residents to sign up, I ask myself why would you not? I know I live in the future but seriously?

Why would you not?