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Plex App on Samsung TV

I have a Samsung Smart TV (D series). On this TV you can install the Plex app from the Samsung App store. Out of the box the App was not able to find and connect to my Plex Media server (PMS) on my OSX Mavericks machine. In this post I describe how to open up the firewall in order to make this setup work.

Samsung Plex app and Plex Media server

Preparation

  • Make sure the PMS runs on port 32400, none other will work.

  • Make sure the PMS and the SAMSUNG TV are on the same subnet where only the x differs like in this example: 192.168.0.xxx

  • Make sure “Require authentication on local networks” is unchecked on the PMS > Settings > myPlex > Advanced settings

  • Make sure you are using fixed IP addresses that don’t change. You can do so in your router DHCP settings. Find the MAC address and assign it a IP that it should use.

  • Make sure no firewall software is blocking access to your PMS

OSX firewall ON

I prefer to leave the Application Firewall (ALF) on. Normal procedure to open up ports for a specific app would be to add the application to the Firewall.

1. Click the Firewall tab in the Security pane.
2. Click the Advanced button.
3. Click the + symbol.
4. Find the program that you'd like to add as an exception.
5. Click the Add button.
6. Repeat the above steps for each program you'd like to add to the exceptions list.
7. Set whether to Allow incoming connections or Block incoming connections for the programs in your list by clicking the up or down arrows to the far right of the program name, then selecting the appropriate option.
8. Click OK.
9. Close the Security pane saving your selections.

For some reason this was not sufficient and I could not connect to my PMS server

Firewall rules

OSX contains a number of firewalls (ALF, ipfw and pf) MacSec_Firewalls

PMS blocked ?

For some reason I could not connect and I disabled the ALF firewall. But still I could not connect. I executed the following steps and suddenly I could connect (with the ALF firewall turned on).

A couple of days later I found out that even without the rule active (Note: Adding the firewall rule as described does not make the rule stick, you have to add that to a ipfw.conf file) I can connect to the PMS from my SAMSUNG TV and my SAMSUNG BD-D6500. I can not explain this. In any case it was interesting to investigate some firewall stuff. So use this info as is.

Add rule to let Samsung TV communicate with PMS

I used info from this outdated page www.ibiblio.org

  1. PMS is default connecting on port 32400

  2. Look up the IP of your Samsung TV and change the below line accordingly:

1
sudo ipfw add allow tcp from 192.168.1.0/24 to any dst-port 32400 in

Result

After adding this firewall rule and entering the IP address of my PMS server the SAMSUNG app connected succesfully and I was able to play my media.

References

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