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Thread: Home media streaming?

  1. #1
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    Home media streaming?

    Any of you fullas have a good setup for media streaming around the home? I'm thinking a file server PC attached to the TV for movies and shit, which can be controlled from phone (android) or tablet to chuck a movie on or whatever (remote desktop in to sort out files etc), and a few audio devices (rPi or similar) stuck to stereos in the shed and shit which can also be controlled by phone or tablet. Ie, pick up phone, select what music to play out in the shed.

    Google keeps showing me audio systems which stream the audio signal over the air, or streaming systems which stream music to your phone or whatever; but I don't want that shit, phone just needs to be a remote.

    So, anyone know of unified systems for this? or do I need to just remote control each device separately; if so, what are good recommendations for this? (OS agnostic)
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    I haven't tried it but a guy at work uses MythTV (a Linux based digital video recorder) might be worth a look at.
    it's not a bad thing till you throw a KLR into the mix.
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    i know my wifes samsung controls the samsung so you could use their built in media player?
    just dont use a note 7

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    Depends how technical you are, whether you want a plug and go, or happy to fiddle.

    I used to rely on WD NAS drives until one burnt me pretty good (3TB+ into the ether) so I went all in and now I'm using FreeNAS with a Plex plugin to catalogue the media. Plex has the server component indexing the data along with apps for mobile, plus the server component can be accessed via web browser. Remote access away from home is possible, but no way in hell I'm happy with remote access plus connection is crappy anyway.

    FreeNAS also has things like snapshots for version control of files. I would properly back it up, but it's holding around 6-7TB currently... argh, maybe another is on the cards For this one, for now, I've gone for 6x 4TB drives, with 2 for parity, so some extra redundancy but the machine has the capacity for another 6 disks if I want (but then I'll probably need more memory... and the slots are all full... sigh). FreeNAS is the more functional option, if you want something without the plugins then NAS4Free is an option.

    One thing I haven't quite got my head around yet, is enabling normal speakers to be available to the network... Currently making do with a bluetooth one I can link mobile to and play from Plex, or HTPC > TV > Speaker. It's a little convoluted, but when I see the prices for proper home entertainment (4 figures or more for the likes of Bluesound) then I keep going the convoluted way
    Quote Originally Posted by Jane Omorogbe from UK MSN on the KTM990SM
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    Do my music by phone through sonos...
    Not cheap but works and sounds great.
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    Ed seems to know everything about all things under the sun ( and more ), so it might pay to ask him

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gremlin View Post
    Depends how technical you are, whether you want a plug and go, or happy to fiddle.

    I used to rely on WD NAS drives until one burnt me pretty good (3TB+ into the ether) so I went all in and now I'm using FreeNAS with a Plex plugin to catalogue the media. Plex has the server component indexing the data along with apps for mobile, plus the server component can be accessed via web browser. Remote access away from home is possible, but no way in hell I'm happy with remote access plus connection is crappy anyway.

    FreeNAS also has things like snapshots for version control of files. I would properly back it up, but it's holding around 6-7TB currently... argh, maybe another is on the cards For this one, for now, I've gone for 6x 4TB drives, with 2 for parity, so some extra redundancy but the machine has the capacity for another 6 disks if I want (but then I'll probably need more memory... and the slots are all full... sigh). FreeNAS is the more functional option, if you want something without the plugins then NAS4Free is an option.

    One thing I haven't quite got my head around yet, is enabling normal speakers to be available to the network... Currently making do with a bluetooth one I can link mobile to and play from Plex, or HTPC > TV > Speaker. It's a little convoluted, but when I see the prices for proper home entertainment (4 figures or more for the likes of Bluesound) then I keep going the convoluted way
    Crikey. that seems very difficult.


    I am not techy at all and I want what OP wants. Apparently the Apple-verse offers it but I would not know.

    I have "invested" in Sonos kit for distributing music round the place. That was based on selling all my audiophile gear because it just ended up being expensive ornaments taking up a lot of space. I rarely have time for just chilling and listening to music. I have in the lounge a Sonos connect with two Paradigm shift A2s attached. That is usually used as a radio but is also used for music. Controllable from the app on my phone or tablet. Bonus: SWMBO who is almost completely technophobic can use it.

    The amplifier for the garage system shit itself recently (I am getting it fixed because it is a cool little vintage Sansui that has an 80's look with aluminium finish and VU meters. Every amp needs VU meters. When I win Lotto I am going to go McIntosh all the way... but it will get a Sonos Connect as well. In the meantime I have a Sonos Play 1 which I mainly use for the radio. I have another completely separate system in the office/mancave with a decent CD player, turntable and amp and my good headphones. All my CD's are ripped to FLAC and live on a WD drive attached to my router.

    As for TV: we are dirty downloaders and the files live on a WD drive and that is visible on the network. We just watch the telly and stream that shit over the wi fi. Not pretty but it works. The interface (Panasonic) sucks arse.

    I actually have an Intel NUC with built in wi fi and a bluetooth keyboard - I was going to connect allthat up to the TV and use the TV as a big monitor essentially but its just sitting in the corner here.

    It works and I dont have to devote intellectual effort to it.

    I am (I realise) very skinny on backups. Dont care aboutt he TV shows but ripping those CD's again? Yeah Nah. - its only 240GB so I might just go buy another 1 TB sandwich drive to copy to.
    In the white room, with black curtains, at the station

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryDorsetCase View Post
    Crikey. that seems very difficult.
    Hence my first line Being in IT, it's mostly within my skill set, but not everyone will have the time/skill/desire (hell, even I lack the last given I do it all week).

    Manufacturers like Sonos, Bluesound etc all offer home entertainment solutions. A client recently completed his house, has a lot of smart gear in it (there is an electronics cupboard in the garage full of smart switches, home automation etc, fills the entire back wall). 4 subs in various locations in the house, all controlled by app etc. Including home automation and smart lighting, you're often into 6 figures. However, as a cohesive solution that's easy to manage, yeup, probably one of the most simple to operate. They've taken all the guesswork out of it and you click play.

    However, what if the main storage unit doesn't meet your needs? Seems the Bluesound Vault is 2TB, which should suit most for example, but it's not redundant, and if that drive fails (I don't care what the company says, it's still a standard drive I'm all too familiar with) you lose everything. You also have file compatibility headaches. Most of those systems only play some file types.

    On the NUC note, yeah, plug it into the TV, something like HDMI. Whatever a PC can play (using VLC, winamp, whatever) then you can see it on the TV, plus the NUC will have better bandwidth to the network and processing ability than a TV for example. That starts to be an issue if you're trying to play Bluray on the fly, or the likes.

    Yeah, Apple has airplay, connect speaker to network, phone to network, push play. However, if it plays up (had that at a client) problem solving why it isn't working is hard... same as most Apple products basically.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jane Omorogbe from UK MSN on the KTM990SM
    It's barking mad and if it doesn't turn you into a complete loon within half an hour of cocking a leg over the lofty 875mm seat height, I'll eat my Arai.

  9. #9
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    Yep. I am more music than TV. Sonos was a win for me (despite the proprietary hardware/software aspect of it) because it will play any file type pretty much (I chose FLAC) and it is easy.
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    Plex, Roku and NAS with iRule remote. But if you take into account the cost of the hardware and electricity to run it over a year then streaming it on demand makes a lot of sense.
    I love the smell of twin V16's in the morning..

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonbuoy View Post
    Plex, Roku and NAS with iRule remote. But if you take into account the cost of the hardware and electricity to run it over a year then streaming it on demand makes a lot of sense.
    Please go outside and flog yourself

    Ok, so I've spent a fair bit on drives (let's not count all the hardware I already had), just spent $500 for a convenient way to hold them, countless hours configuring, maintaining etc. Please still flog yourself
    Quote Originally Posted by Jane Omorogbe from UK MSN on the KTM990SM
    It's barking mad and if it doesn't turn you into a complete loon within half an hour of cocking a leg over the lofty 875mm seat height, I'll eat my Arai.

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    Thanks for the suggestions, Plex is a name that keeps cropping up so will start there I think. Now I just have to come up with a clean hardware solution, was thinking a Brix or Nuc, but not suitable for 3.5in drives for large storage volumes; don't really want to add anything else like a NAS into the system to compensate; so might do a microITX pc. Alternatively I've got an x86 SBC with Sata coming (kickstarter so who knows when) I could fit into a nice enclosure with an 8TB drive; it'd just sip at the electrons too, keep power conscious people happy!
    "A shark on whiskey is mighty risky, but a shark on beer is a beer engineer" - Tad Ghostal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gremlin View Post
    Please go outside and flog yourself

    Ok, so I've spent a fair bit on drives (let's not count all the hardware I already had), just spent $500 for a convenient way to hold them, countless hours configuring, maintaining etc. Please still flog yourself
    I think I'm up to about 4TB of media and 90% Of the content I will never watch again. I'm a bit loath to get rid of it as it would take so long to build up again.

    The only thing I wish I could do on Plex is to optimise the whole library and have it overight the original. Right now I can optimise but the original stays in the library making it a bit laborious to go through and delete them one by one.

    The NAS I was using didn't have enough balls to re-code some media I had so now I run a PC as the Plex. Think they say an i5 minimum now for recoding on the fly?
    I love the smell of twin V16's in the morning..

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonbuoy View Post
    I think I'm up to about 4TB of media and 90% Of the content I will never watch again. I'm a bit loath to get rid of it as it would take so long to build up again.

    The only thing I wish I could do on Plex is to optimise the whole library and have it overight the original. Right now I can optimise but the original stays in the library making it a bit laborious to go through and delete them one by one.

    The NAS I was using didn't have enough balls to re-code some media I had so now I run a PC as the Plex. Think they say an i5 minimum now for recoding on the fly?
    Yeah, this is kinda the electronic version of hoarding. Most of the media related stuff I have (not counting all the backups and stuff) I've never watched. GoPro footage is the worst. A day can easily yield 20-30GB of created content (lucky I don't use it much). Can't bring myself to delete it, can't be bothered processing into something pleasing to watch, and don't view it much. But I have it! Just in... uh... case? Worse is losing a lot... and not being entirely certain what you've lost

    Plex should fully update the database. Depends what you're trying to do exactly, but if for example, I delete media from the library and update, it's gone from the Plex database. This may help? https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/art...hing-a-Library

    I don't do much encoding on the fly, using a Win7 machine attached to the TV to access the server directly via wired LAN, and VLC to play the file from the server. Encoding on the fly has multiple variables, how many simultaneous streams are you trying to support, what is your server, what is the device receiving the stream etc. Sounds like you're using a PC, so is it doing anything else? If it's Win7 for example, you need to edit the registry to tell it you're using as a file server. I've got the FreeNAS machine dedicated to file storage, handling etc. It's a Gen 1 i7 (920) with 12GB of memory. Not strictly FreeNAS recommended hardware (they like ECC memory etc) but it saved me building a 3rd new PC in as many weeks. While probably a power monster, it's also reasonably grunty, but any i5 today would wipe the floor with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jane Omorogbe from UK MSN on the KTM990SM
    It's barking mad and if it doesn't turn you into a complete loon within half an hour of cocking a leg over the lofty 875mm seat height, I'll eat my Arai.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bogan View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions, Plex is a name that keeps cropping up so will start there I think. Now I just have to come up with a clean hardware solution, was thinking a Brix or Nuc, but not suitable for 3.5in drives for large storage volumes; don't really want to add anything else like a NAS into the system to compensate; so might do a microITX pc. Alternatively I've got an x86 SBC with Sata coming (kickstarter so who knows when) I could fit into a nice enclosure with an 8TB drive; it'd just sip at the electrons too, keep power conscious people happy!
    Biggest thing is how important that data on the drive is to you. 8TB is a lot of information to potentially lose, so would you have redundancy, another drive you keep synced, or raid, or NAS etc. Simple could be stuff like QNAP or Synology (you'd have to check what they support in the way of Plex, but I think some do at least).

    More equipment means more heat, more vibrations. The NAS drives are usually better on vibration as they're intended to be in close proximity with other drives. Small form factor is neater, but harder to cool efficiently, or you don't have it getting warm in the first place (Atom instead of i7 for example).
    Quote Originally Posted by Jane Omorogbe from UK MSN on the KTM990SM
    It's barking mad and if it doesn't turn you into a complete loon within half an hour of cocking a leg over the lofty 875mm seat height, I'll eat my Arai.

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