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How to set up a Media Streamer

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wuyanxu 13th November 2010, 11:11 Quote
NAS box -> DLNA/UPnP -> done.

having your PC turned on idling just for streaming seems a bit wasteful.
EvilRusk 13th November 2010, 11:24 Quote
I remember setting up a music streamer back in 2004. It was utterly unreliable and completely unusable for anybody but the very tech-savvy.

Nowadays I just used a cheap laptop plugged into the TV with a remote control for media centre. It's not ideal but it is quiet and doesn't use much power. Of course it has little storage space but considering I didn't have to buy anything else it's not bad.
Orderoftheflame 13th November 2010, 12:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
NAS box -> DLNA/UPnP -> done.

having your PC turned on idling just for streaming seems a bit wasteful.

Except not everyone wants to buy a dedicated NAS?

Great guide. :)
Snips 13th November 2010, 13:40 Quote
I have an Asus O!Play and a Cyclone MKV linked up to my WHS. The Asus is better at playing the folders as if they were actual DVD's than the Cyclone but other then that they both stream really well.

I'd recommend Cat6 and Gigabyte patch panels and switches.
Guinevere 13th November 2010, 14:07 Quote
+1 for using a laptop.

I have a freenas box to central store files, and when we want to watch something we just plug one of the family laptops into the TV (cables ready and waiting) and copy over the files.

Whoever's not opening the wine / beer or putting the kettle on sorts out the laptop. So much easier than my old media centre burning up watts all the time, and as the laptops are macs they "Just work"
perplekks45 13th November 2010, 14:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
... and as the laptops are macs they "Just work"

Oh, you mean like Youtube on the MacBook Airs? Straight out the box, right?
Sorry, just had to. :p I actually fancy one of them, to be honest.

Anyway... nice guide but I agree with what people already said:
  • NAS > Windows shared folder
  • laptop > NAS for people on a budget or who don't want to go through the "hassle"
Senilex 13th November 2010, 14:31 Quote
Nice article Tom.

Using the "Share..." is adding the user to the ACL. So this can be achieved using the security tab as an alternative option, the advantage here is that you can configure more stringently the appropriate permission for the user or everyone account.

I personally always just set share in the "Advanced Sharing.." to Everyone regardless of whether I want it private or not. I then set the NTFS permission to control who can view it etc on the secuirty tab as mentioned above. Should you not want to reveal shares when people are looking at your network then you can always hide the share by adding a "$" to the end of the folder share name in the "Advanced Sharing...".
MajorTom 13th November 2010, 18:39 Quote
Thanks for the feedback guys.

As mentioned at the end of the article, a share on a NAS is definitely preferable to leaving your PC running all the time. I hope those who haven't got round to setting up a NAS yet will find this helpful for setting up their laptop or desktop PC though.

Senilex - Cheers for sharing your settings. Hiding a folder with a $ suffix is excellent for security. Unfortunately most players will fail to access a hidden folder such as this because you'd have to manually enter the folder path in order to reach it and players typically only support browsing to shares that they can already see.
Guinevere 13th November 2010, 19:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
Oh, you mean like Youtube on the MacBook Airs? Straight out the box, right?

Yeah just like that because I've never heard of anyone who ever had to install their choice software on a brand new computer before.

At least with a shop bought mac you spend the first half hour installing what you want rather than the first day installing all the crud PC builders install.

That's why my laptop is a Mac and my powerful beast I put together myself.

I like the new airs too, but for the slightly extra weight my MBP 13" is good enough.
Bumfluff101 13th November 2010, 21:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
NAS box -> DLNA/UPnP -> done.

Unless you want to stream iso files which I dont think work over upnp
perplekks45 14th November 2010, 14:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Yeah just like that because I've never heard of anyone who ever had to install their choice software on a brand new computer before.

At least with a shop bought mac you spend the first half hour installing what you want rather than the first day installing all the crud PC builders install.

That's why my laptop is a Mac and my powerful beast I put together myself.

I like the new airs too, but for the slightly extra weight my MBP 13" is good enough.
Oh come on, that was sarcasm, mate. :p It actually makes sense not to include Flash out-of-the-box... other than Adobe-hating from Apple. Another security hole less if users are forced to install the latest version.
Fod 14th November 2010, 15:09 Quote
Step 1 - buy a ps3.
Step 2 - install 'ps3 media server'

Step 3 - there is no step 3.
vampalan 14th November 2010, 16:08 Quote
Most (a lot anyway) people have a PS3, so step 2 only.
Senilex 14th November 2010, 17:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fod
Step 1 - buy a ps3.
Step 2 - install 'ps3 media server'

Step 3 - there is no step 3.

80 quid + for a media player or 250 quid + for a ps3, gee let me think...
perplekks45 14th November 2010, 17:46 Quote
True... but I heard rumours there are other uses for PS3s other than streaming movies. Just rumours though, I'm sure.
Fod 14th November 2010, 18:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
True... but I heard rumours there are other uses for PS3s other than streaming movies. Just rumours though, I'm sure.

what!? really!? say it isn't so!
phuzz 15th November 2010, 09:59 Quote
Funny, as I was dropping off to sleep last night I was thinking about building a media streamer out of an old laptop. Remove the screen, battery, case etc. and just install a basic Linux distro with a remote control. Because it's a laptop it won't be using much power, and should do sleep and hibernation properly. Cheap laptops with dead batteries and/or broken screens should be cheap on ebay, but still have enough grunt to play HD files and flash.
[USRF]Obiwan 15th November 2010, 10:17 Quote
Hmmzzz I must go looking for a nas soon. Now my gaming-rig is sharing movies/series using 200w @ socket in idle, plus the xtreamer connected to the Samsung 50" plasma. all that is using around 500w of power all night when watching stuff.

Now i must say that for the last 7 months I have been monitored the power usage of my gaming rig and calculated that with the KWH price of my energy supplier. Right now the PC is costing me 71.65 euro. So the uptime in total will cost me about 90 euro estimated for 12 months total.

If I can find a NAS for 90 euro and use that for a year I have almost compensated for the expense of the PC. However since a NAS cost between 250/400 euro. I need to at least use the nas for the next 4 or 5 years. Not even counting the price of the HD's. 180 euro for 2x 2TB hd's.

Investing in a NAS+HD's now will set me back around 600 euro. Thats 7 years of using my PC if i want to get the investment in energy savings back.
Waynio 15th November 2010, 11:48 Quote
This is the most awesome NAS box I ever seen & has a truly outstanding quality video work log to go with it.
http://www.willudesign.com/BlackDwarfTop.html
part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BatakM9iAik
part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPjcXkKxkIA

I should probably make my own NAS box too so I don't have to incorporate the extra space for 6 or 8 HDD in my pc case designs.
Yardstick 15th November 2010, 14:12 Quote
I also went down the laptop route for the TV in my study. I have an HDMI socket by the sofa so just plug in the laptop and away we go. It sits next to me during play, so the all the control are easily to hand. Having tried internet TV over the weeked, or at least Samsung's frankly crap implementation of it, this is easily the simplest way to stream the likes of iPlayer to the TV.

For the main TV in the living room it is even easier. That has a very nice built in media player, so I use a 0.5GB USB passport drive to store all the files and play them off that. I haven't tried many 1080P files but those that I have done run nice and smoothly. I have a fair amount of 720P content and this set-up copes with these beautifully as it does with SD content whatever the format. The drive is so small and light that it just tucks into the cables at the rear of the TV. Whenever I need to upload or edit files I just unplug the passport drive and plug it into a networked desktop or laptop.

I looked into the alternatives and whilst they would satisfy my urge to do something a bit more technically challenging, frankly they were unlikely to work as well.
misterd 15th November 2010, 17:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
I have an Asus O!Play and a Cyclone MKV linked up to my WHS. The Asus is better at playing the folders as if they were actual DVD's than the Cyclone but other then that they both stream really well.

I'd recommend Cat6 and Gigabyte patch panels and switches.

Gigabyte branched out to networking hardware? :)
thehippoz 15th November 2010, 18:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
True... but I heard rumours there are other uses for PS3s other than streaming movies. Just rumours though, I'm sure.

like being a snuffaluffagus :D

I got rid of the media center as I run my pc's 24/7 anyway.. setup the hdtv as a second screen on another rig and have a audio switch.. it's not as nice but I don't watch pirated movies anyhow.. too low quality, just go to the movies
Jim 15th November 2010, 22:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fod
Step 1 - buy a ps3.
Step 2 - install 'ps3 media server'

Step 3 - there is no step 3.

Step 3 is when you discover that the PS3 falls over any time you give it 1080p content, and give up.
MajorTom 17th November 2010, 13:52 Quote
@snootyjim - The PS3 plays 1080p content just fine. It simply doesn't have the same level of codec support as a decent media player though so you typically need to convert it first. Please, Sony! Let us play MKV files!
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