Serenity for Android

David Carver edited this page Apr 22, 2014 · 10 revisions

Serenity for Google TV Welcome to the Serenity for Android/Google TV wiki!

Serenity for Android is a Plex Media Server client. It is an alternative Google TV or Android tablet application for browsing and playing content served by a plex media server. This is very much still in development and currently only Direct Play of video content is supported. Transcoding is not supported. This is an open source project so the source code is freely available and can be forked and modified. Contributions are always welcome from the community.

This is optimized for home use with a large screen TV or a tablet. It may run on phones but is not optimized for the smaller screens.

Get it on Google Play

Also Available for the Amazon Fire TV, Kindle Fire, and Android devices from the Amazon App Store. 6a0148c71fb71b970c0153901475c3970b-pi

You can follow the activity on our Google+ page as well, join the discussion, help shape the future of Serenity.

More information about Serenity can be found in the FLOSS Weekly interview:


Note: The free version here is signed with a different certificate than the one in the google play store. If you want to install the version from the play store, uninstall the sideloaded version first. The apps are the same, just signed with different keys, and you get automatic updates from the play store. Play store versions help fund future development.

Table of Contents
Donations: ---- Donations to the project are appreciated. This is a project developed as a hobby. While this is open and free software, it does take time to develop. A portion of the money after all PayPal fees will go to support the CHA Animal Shelter of Columbus, OH. Donations to this project is not tax deductible. You may also donate directly to the CHA Animal Shelter through their website.

Compatibility: -----
  • Google TV 2.x or higher
  • Android 3.2 or higher for tablets
  • Test with the following devices: Logitech Revue, LG, Vizio Costar, and Sony GTV devices. Others should work as well.
  • Nexus 7 running Android 4.2.1
  • Android Internet TV devices running Ice Cream Sandwich or higher.
  • Tested with Plex Media Server,, Reports that should work, other versions we need help from the community to debug.

Note that some users are reporting issues when trying to install after downloading using the Google TV internal chrome web browser. Try downloading from a PC and using FTP or a usb stick to put the apk on the device. Then use an app like ES File Explorer to install the APK.

Features ---

The app provides access to your Plex Media Server data that is served locally. It is optimized for a 10ft viewing experience but works well on 7inch or larger android tablet screens.

  • Optimized for 720p or larger video resolutions.
  • Movie Browsing - Browse your existing content.
  • TV Show/Series Browsing - Browse your TV/Show and Series.
  • Category and Secondary Category filters for Movies and TV Shows
  • Ability to use an External player if you have one you particularly like.
    • External players are recommended for use with Tablets as codec availability is better.
  • Internal Video player that makes use of Plex Media Server metadata for playback.
    • TV Show/Movie Poster
    • Video Resolution
    • Audio Format
    • Video Format
    • Audio Channels
  • Resume ability for picking up where you left off with a video.
  • Video Queue and Continuous Play back of items in the queue.
  • On Screen Display enabled and disabled by pressing Info button on a Google TV remote.
  • Preference setting to use the Plex Media Server calculated aspect ratio for playback.
  • Movie/TV Show watched/unwatched count.
  • Filter browsing views by Recently Added, Recently Viewed, Unwatched, On Deck, and much more.
  • Downloadd videos to external storage to be played with an external media player.
  • In app search for Movies. Usefull if you have a large movie collection.

Why no transcoding support?

Transcoding of videos is currently not supported. While there is an enhancement request for this, no timeframe is set to support this. In many cases if an external player is used on Tablets, transcoding of local media is not necessary. In many cases for Google TV, content can be played directly, only in limited cases like the Vizio Costar and Dolby Digital and DTS would transcoding be useful if an AV receiver or sound bar that supports those formats is not in use.

Where subtitles need to be transcoded, there are plans to natively support subtitles within the app so transcoding will not be necessary for this. If you can, it is suggested to re-encode the video currently to burn in the subtitles. Applications such as Handbrake can help with the re-encoding process.

If you need to have AC3 or DTS, you may want to look at using a container format such as MKV which supports multiple audio tracks. Make the first audio track encoded with AAC, and have the second audio track as passthru of AC3 or DTS. This will increase slightly the stored size of your files, but it allows for direct play of the content in serenity without transcoding.

Recommended companion apps: ----

You can also use the Internal player which provides additional On Screen Display information. External player is recommended for Tablets because of limited codec support on most of those devices.

Reporting Bugs: ---

Note: If you are not seeing videos, please also check your Plex Media Server's Authorized network settings and our MyPlex support page.

  • In the plex media server settings: show advanced settings, network. And then under "List of networks that are allowed without auth" make sure your local network has the netmask spelled out explicitly For example, instead of - the later does not work, the former does.

You need to know your plex media server's local ip address. As of version 0.10.0, Serenity can autodiscover the IP Address if you have DLNA enabled on the server. It populates the ip address in the Preferred Server preference setting.

Serenity uses the IP Address to access the server and if it is wrong, the only menu item that will show will be the Settings menu. To test that you have the correct IP address, you can open the Plex Media Server's web application in your browser. If your ip address was for example, you can access the web application by entering the following url:

Replace the ip address with your ip address and if the web app comes up that is the IP address to use when setting up Serenity.

When reporting bugs please provide the output of the following URLs, particularly the Server Version you are using as this will help us debug why menu items are not displaying:

I also need from the following URL what it says under type:

Replace the with the IP Address for your server. If possible include the RAW XML output as we can then add these to integration and regression tests.

In addtion for movies and tv shows, we need information from the all section. Assuming your movies are in key 1, the following will return the information:

In the bug report you can keep the XML intact by indenting it 5 spaces.