Fix Plex scaling and HDR issues with new Windows Plex player app

If you just want to jump to the solution and skip the background/details on what the issue is, click here.

Plex has recently released a new Windows application for playing videos from a Plex server.If you visit their blog on the subject, they’ll tell you this new application basically emulates the GUI of the browser version but includes full pass-through of HDR, multi-channel audio, and many audio and video codecs for which the web browser requires server side transcoding. It also includes the ability to sync videos, which before required the use of the Windows Store Plex app (blech.)

They’ll also tell you they are soon ending support for the venerable Plex Media Player, which has been my HTPC player of choice for a few years due to its fantastic GUI, ability to quickly show information on the video being streamed, and full codec and pass-through support made it basically the best of all worlds. No – it did not support syncing to the local PC, only streaming. But I only used syncing of videos on my tablet or cell phone anyway.

The problem with the new application is if you’re using it on a 4K display, especially one with HDR, it has some serious flaws “out of the box”, so to speak. Namely, many people enable scaling on their 4K monitors so the text doesn’t look like this. Great – until you run the new Plex app which doesn’t support Windows scaling (a known issue that they are working toward resolution.)

Another issue is when you decide to play videos full screen (sarcasm) I mean, who would want to use the entire 4K of your 4K TV/monitor to play 4K videos, right? (/sarcasm) then you’d get a quick blink of the screen…and HDR would be disabled.

What. the. f*?!

Solution: As mentioned above, Plex is aware of the scaling problems and has posted a user-enabled temporary solution, which DOES ACTUALLY WORK.

Windows 10 Instructions

  1. Right click on (ed. Windows*) start menu, select System
  2. Type environment into the Find a setting search box on the left of the Settings window
  3. Select Edit environment variables for your account
  4. Click New… in the User variables for {userName} section to open the Edit User Variable dialog
  5. Enter PLEX_SCALE_FACTOR for Variable name
  6. Enter one of these values for the “Variable value”:
    • Values are bucketed; eg 1.1 and 1.24 are both clamped to 1.25
    • Any value below 1.0 is clamped to 1.0
    • Any value above 2 is clamped to 2.25
  7. Press OK to close the Edit User Variable dialog
  8. Press OK once more to close the Environment Variables dialog

*I added the comment that in step 1 you are to right click on the Windows start menu after I right clicked all over the map in the Plex app to no avail since I initially assumed this would require a manual change in the Plex player application settings.

After I did this – for my 4K 50″ TV I set the “Variable value” in step 6 to 2.0 – and closed then reopened the new Plex for Windows application voilà!. I could see and read the text and icons clearly from the 10′ range, not to mention using my remote keyboard/mouse was much faster since I didn’t have to scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, I’m almost halfway across the screen with my mouse pointer, scroll, scroll, etc just to get around the gigantic and mostly unused Plex window.

But the bonus – and probably more important – was when I watched an HDR video in full screen, the screen didn’t do it’s little blink reset and lose HDR. I opened the Windows settings for Display where you can enable HDR, and alt-tabbed back and forth between it and Plex and the HDR remained enabled in the Windows Settings. My TV showed HDR enabled while playing the video.

I’m sure this will all break again sometime in the next week, but for tonight, life is good.


Change root folder for Radarr, Sonarr, or Lidarr and remove old path (including get rid of missing path errors)

Changing the root path for your movies, TV shows and/or music isn’t difficult or time consuming, if you know where to look.

Frequently the applications will throw an error after you move your media and delete the old path saying something similar to “missing root folder”. If all your movies and TV shows are found, that error only affects anal retentiveness. But it drove me nuts, so I had to figure out how to fix it.

Radarr add the new path:
1. Select the “Movies” page
2. Select the “Movie Editor” tab near the top of the Movies page listing
3. Click the “Select All” button near the top (currently blue colored but that could change in later versions.)
4. Change the “Root Folder” selection at the bottom to “Add a different path”
5. Click the (currently blue colored) folder near the right of the selection box, and chose /mnt/unionfs/whateverYourMovieFolderIs
6. Scroll down after the list of movie folders is shown and click “Ok”
7. You’ll be returned to the path selection screen – click the (currently green colored) check box to set your new path
8. Confirm the new path is now in the “Root Folder” box and click the (currently blue colored) “Save” button – and WAIT FOR COMPLETION.
– You should see a pop-up box after some time that says “Done Saving”.

Radarr to remove the old path (AFTER you’ve mass changed the movies to the new one!)
1. Go to “Add Movies” page
2. Start typing in a new movie (you’re not actually going to add it, just choose one you don’t have like Ishtar or Gigli)
3. In the “Path” Section, press the drop-down arrow to choose another path.
-The new one you’ve mass changed everything to AND the old one should show up as options.
4. Press the red “x” at the right of the old one.
5. Click the “Close” button.
6. Stop/restart the Radarr docker container.
7. Et voila

For “old” Sonarr it’s the same steps except obviously its the TV pages instead of Movie pages

Sonarr V3/beta (that is the default in 8.x) and/or Lidarr add the new path:
1. Select Series -> Mass Editor for Sonarr (v3/beta) OR Artist -> Mass Editor for Lidarr
2. Click the white box at the top left to select ALL series (Sonarr) or artists (Lidarr)
3. Change the “Root Folder” selection at the bottom to “Add a new path”
4. Select the folder for your TV shows or Music (i.e. /mnt/unionfs/YourTelevisionFolder or /mnt/unionfs/YourMusicFolder)
– When you see the list of folders choose “OK”
5. You’ll be asked if you want to move the series/artist folders to the new location. CHOOSE THE RED “Yes, Move the Files” button.

Sonarr v3/beta and/or Lidarr remove the old path (AFTER you’ve mass changed to the new one!)
1. Go to Series -> Import for Sonarr OR Artist -> Import for Lidarr
2. Click the black “x” at the end of the home path you want to remove (Again – AFTER you’ve mass moved everything!)
3. Stop/restart the Sonarr or Lidarr docker container.

Chromecast announces what is playing to and allows control from ALL ANDROID devices on your LAN

The solution for this is fairly simple. Thanks to the How-To Geek site and their simple instructions.

Summarized the resolution is:

  1. Open the Google Home app. Google Home
  2. Click the three vertical dots in the corner of the device you want to change the settings for – NOT the app itself.
  3. Click on “Settings”
  4. Near the bottom of the screen when you first open, there is a sliding button that controls “Let others control your casted media” – Turn this off.


Note the description for this fantastic little feature, that is enabled by default. Thankfully, when my 14 year old daughter got the media control bar popping up on her phone, the only damage was she kept pausing it because she couldn’t figure out what or why it was happening. I kept trying to figure out why my stream seemed to be buffering and pausing. Also thankfully it was an innocuous stream of The Arrow and not something more…uncultured.

Let me state this again. This feature is enabled by default. WTF, Google?

Why would you think my default preference would be for everyone on my network to suddenly see what I am watching, and control it without me knowing or giving them permission?