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What apps do you recommend for streaming FREE movies and TV shows?

I have been having problems downloading some apps and having them work.

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On 10/19/2021 at 2:20 PM, Job said:

App suggestions

What apps do you recommend for streaming FREE movies and TV shows?

I have been having problems downloading some apps and having them work.

What have you tried, with what, and running which OS on what? 

Simple (windows or linux with a PC), would be something like Plex Media Server.  For free, you can stream content -- movies/music, and watch live TV on your local network.  Punch a hole in your firewall, you can do it remotely too.  Maybe instead of exposing the server directly with a firewall hole, setup a VPN appliance with WireGuard or OpenVPN.  Plex Pass ($5/ month) allows you to record live TV.  Works with Roku.  I think firestick too.  Watch in a web browser on something else.  Got phone apps too.

Does it work with a mygica A681/A682 USB stick?  Dunno.  I'll find out next week. 

Others say at least a few of these products work with TVheadend (Linux/FreeBSD/Android).  That's free.  Has a ncurses setup that will will you through the install and pretty good documentation.  That works with a Raspberry Pi too, but you probably want at least a 3B+ or 4 for that setup for the processor speed.

You might also be able to get it working with a MythTV / XBMC / Kodi type setup too.  That is a bit more complex, but there is a lot of documentation out there, IF you can get the tuner recognized.

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Yep, A681B USB works with Plex media server on Ubuntu at the time of this.  That will get you started.  I slammed Ubuntu 18.04 on an old laptop (version probably doesn't matter) and downloaded the linux driver from the mygica.com page.  You can do it on windows if you install virtual box, virtual-box addons, and create a linux virtual machine too.   It's a back port of an older version of v4l (video for linux).  A new version of v4l might work better, or perhaps there's something they changed that is required.  Dunno.   Doesn't look like this is an active dev project anymore so I'll leave that to you.  Maybe these are just a reseller product now and dev is done with it.  You have to edit a header file to get the driver to compile.

Create a file called 'config-mycompat.h' in media_build/v4l directory that contains:


Before you try to compile it, update some stuff:

  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get upgrade
  • sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-source libproc-processtable-perl
  • Now cd into the directory where you extracted it (media_build_u20.04.1_ker5.4.0_lib_20210309 at the time of this)
  • make release
  • make
  • sudo make install

Download plex media server from plex.tv  .  Create and account, go to the downloads page.  Skip buying plex pass for now.  It's optional.  Do that if you want to record live TV later and get some more features.

Then just install the plex .deb file (plexmediaserver_1.24.4.5081-e362dc1ee_amd64.deb, or whatever is current). 

  • sudo dpkg -i plexmediaserver_1.24.4.5081-e362dc1ee_amd64.deb
  • point a web browser to http://your_machine_IP_address:32400/web
  • It's going to take a while for this page to come up because your box is configuring the plex server.  Wait for it.  Eventually, go to the settings in the top right (wrench symbol), the select live-tv on the left panel.  The tuner shows up as a generic USB, but it will let you scan for channels and walk you through that.
  • If you got the little rabbit ear dipole antenna with it, well, that works but a better antenna.....is better.....

Now this thing does get a bit hot.  Heat means it's drawing current.  Big current draw on a USB port isn't ideal.  On a battery powered laptop, I'd guess the battery isn't going to last long, and I've never been a fan of sourcing a lot of power from computer or laptop USB port.  That's just hard on the computer power supply.  A powered USB hub is better for this, or for a SDR (software defined radio).   You end up protecting both things.  The device doesn't suffer from voltage brown out and works better (and increased current load from voltage drop shortens the lifespan).

Hope it helps someone.

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