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xena7051

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#119242 25-May-2013 19:58
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HI

Trying to find help on how I set up a solution for storing accessing, viewing and playing al the electronic media I have.

I have a number of devices....some as old as 20 years, some recent purchases e.g. Smart phone. I want to build a solution that allows me to access the media I have at home, both internally in the house (multiple devices at the same time) and externally e.g. via a smart phone I want to also access various streams of digital media...e.g. even though I have  large library of MP3's lately I been listening to Internet Radio via Pandora (create my own catalogue ). I would like to stream movies and TV from all over the world to my TV. Trying to see if I can future proof my self fro where media is heading.

So I have an old Samsung  42" Plasma 1080I , and old HP Pavilon Slimline PC, an old Samsung HD recorder, a Samsung smart phone  and tablet...my electronic media is either on USB powered drives sized  from 250Gb to 1 TB, and photo's on DVD's etc

I want to have a centralise system that I can access any electronic media from within the house or when away.... thoughts,

So where do I start, expect I need to buy a new TV, a new PC , setup a NAS system....and find software which will help me index and catalogue all media and streaming links.....and ideally have a friendly simple interface that allows me to access this data.n e.g. If the kids want a copy of their birth certificate they will be connect via their phone and download a copy, photo etc). I would feel more comfortable to have my own "cloud storage"

e.g. what type of  smart TV should I look at?, do I attach a NAS system  to store all my media controlled by replacement computer.. or is their a better solution? What software do I use mange and index it all? What interface do I have on the various devices that need to connect to it?  Not sure I want to go down the Apple path....probably stick with Android on the mobile  devices and Windows 64 bit on the PC?

And lastly I don't have a huge budget, first step was to get Ultra fast broadband connected to my home which has now been done. So its likely a progressive rollout e.g. I find things on special etc

Many thanks in advance for your feedback  or examples of what people have put together. Maybe there are good examples of articles that cover what you to think about before going out and purchasing lots of hardware

Peter

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1080p
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  #825329 25-May-2013 20:01
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My suggestion for simplicity would be Plex Media Server running on a NAS/home server.

Dunnersfella
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  #825351 25-May-2013 20:33
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Another vote for Plex.

 
 
 
 


kiwijunglist
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  #825360 25-May-2013 20:43
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Decide on system first. Plex, XBMC, MCE, MediaPortal, Apple/iTunes, etc.

Then after that decide on things like smart tv's etc...

I like mediaportal as it is the most powerful + feature rich software, but it requires a pc that can run windows at each access point. If you wanted to access your media via a smart tv, then you might look at something like plex.




HTPC / Home automation (home assistant) enthusiast.


xena7051

44 posts

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  #825497 26-May-2013 11:15
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Hi

First many thanks for your reply. I have been searching for more information and looks like Plex will do what I want...trying to work out now what configuration of hardware I need. e.g. do I setup a NAS system connected to my router so it can be access any time. Plex server would run on this. Then have a PC where my PLEX client would run and I do my day to day computing. Or do I combine the both?

I have an old amp for my stereo..so not sure how I get my music content to this....somehow be streaming

Thoughts..I appreciate any help

Peter

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  #825503 26-May-2013 11:30
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You can do it both ways




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1080p
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  #825514 26-May-2013 11:57
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Plex uses a client/server model so you can run only one instance of the server (I'd recommend on your NAS) and many instances of the client (desktop/notebook/phone/tablet/certain smart TVs...)

You can also set Plex to allow streaming outside your home network but it will need to transcode most video and audio so a beffy CPU would be a good idea in your NAS if you plan on that too.

Also keep in mind that the Plex mobile apps all cost money so if you have many mobile devices this could be a factor.

kiwijunglist
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  #825522 26-May-2013 12:43
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If your NAS can't run plex server, you can have server on PC + files on NAS.




HTPC / Home automation (home assistant) enthusiast.


 
 
 
 


Dunnersfella
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  #825668 26-May-2013 19:16
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I prefer a NAS solution with a PC / Mac running the Plex software.
2012 LG TV's had a Plex app built in, but 2013 models seem to have dropped this, whereas the Samsung range have an app for all 2012 and 2013 Smart TV's.
I'm running the Beta of Plex Home Theatre at the moment, meaning I now enjoy Airplay (video and music, just not mirroring) on my Mac Mini without the need for an Apple TV.

chevrolux
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  #825693 26-May-2013 19:58
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Plex is pretty awesome. The best thing I like about it is how easy to use the server is. I have set it up at my parents on their main Windows desktop and then the put a Roku (in favour my personal favourite the Raspberry Pi) on the TV. Everything is just super easy to use meaning I don't get weekly calls asking how to do this and that.

If you want Plex on a NAS you will need one of the supported NAS's - FreeNAS isn't an option yet unfortunately (without using jails etc).

xena7051

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  #825702 26-May-2013 20:00
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Hi
First many thanks for the feedback.

Sounds like Plex is the software solution for me especially with the "Plex client" supported for Television (if I buy a SMART TV, it will likely be a Samsung).

This YouTube clip help me understand setting up plex a lot more on what I need to do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK4XBLa6w5s

I have a few questions....

1) Any recommendations of buying a NAS solution? I see some of the large companies like DLINK and WD have "Cloud Storage solutions" for sale..... Is there a NAS solution you would recommend? Either form NZ or overseas

Is it best to buy these in NZ or get shipped from overseas i.e. cost difference especially but also choice of NAS units larger in the US

2) I have an older Harman Kardon AMP AVR 5550....I play my MP3's by having a 1TB USB drive connected to a WD TV Live( its and old unit does support Wi-Fi so its cabled to my AMP.)...so I select the songs through the TV and play through my AMP. Pretty basic setup...don't want to replace any of the stereo it does what I needs and won't have the budget for this....but how would I stream music from the NAS to my amp? Is it possible to somehow do this directly (stream) via some sort of adapter on the amp to take the streaming?

3) Any recommendations on what a Smart TV "must/should" have for streaming connectivity, or doesn't it matter as I could use some other network device to connect and stream to these devices e.g. both my old TV and Stereo AMP. My current TV is only 1080I Plasma about 8 or 9 years old I expect. I not after an expensive TV with lots of features I am unlikely to need  but want ease of the connectivity and what content I can send to it and play.

4) If I have a NAS unit it sounds like it should have a  pretty grunt CPU to handle any coding issues....what about memory requirements especially if running Windows 8 64 bit?

5) How do you protect the NAS from unwanted access from outside....to be honest I would like an area I can share with the extended family, where they could pick up files, view photos (read only) etc...while the other areas are protected. If running Windows 8, do I need additional firewall software or will the standard Windows stuff do this if setup properly.

6) I will put this all into a Visio i.e. building on paper.


Once again many thanks in advance for your advice and hopefully for suggestions on the above. The Utube clip was good on Plex but I realise how little I new on this subject.


Cheers
Peter

chevrolux
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  #825707 26-May-2013 20:11
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These are the NAS's that support a Plex server. I think my pick would be either Synology or ReadyNAS.

Your NAS will be naturally protected from the net because it will be behind a NAT firewall of some description. Just don't go opening up ports to it or putting it in a DMZ. Plex offers an offsite client thing. I have never used it but it is there own tech and all managed between the Plex server and their own site so should be secure.

xena7051

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  #825711 26-May-2013 20:22
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hmmmm , shows I thick when it comes to this.....

So there is  NAS software solution as well...that has to be installed on the base OS of the NAS hardare.....does it work like this

PLex  Client
to
Plex Server (running on a separate PC ..ideal setup??)
to
NAS software
to
OS (Win 64bit as an example)
sitting on
Hardware for NAS


kiwijunglist
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  #825712 26-May-2013 20:23
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2) I have an older Harman Kardon AMP AVR 5550....I play my MP3's by having a 1TB USB drive connected to a WD TV Live( its and old unit does support Wi-Fi so its cabled to my AMP.)...so I select the songs through the TV and play through my AMP. Pretty basic setup...don't want to replace any of the stereo it does what I needs and won't have the budget for this....but how would I stream music from the NAS to my amp? Is it possible to somehow do this directly (stream) via some sort of adapter on the amp to take the streaming?

Your plex client would connect to the amp to play mp3s
The plex client could be the plex app on the smart tv, or it could be a plex extender (eg. Roku)
Altternatively if you plug your WDTV into the network then you could use this to play mp3
if the NAS you buy runs plex server and has a built in plex client as well (some do), then your NAS could play the mp3 directly.

3) Any recommendations on what a Smart TV "must/should" have for streaming connectivity, or doesn't it matter as I could use some other network device to connect and stream to these devices e.g. both my old TV and Stereo AMP. My current TV is only 1080I Plasma about 8 or 9 years old I expect. I not after an expensive TV with lots of features I am unlikely to need but want ease of the connectivity and what content I can send to it and play.

You don't have to buy a smart tv, you can always use a plex extender with your current tv.

4) If I have a NAS unit it sounds like it should have a pretty grunt CPU to handle any coding issues....what about memory requirements especially if running Windows 8 64 bit?

If your NAS is running windows then your NAS should be a client + server HTPC. Cost is ~$5-600 to build a HTPC+NAS box. An HTPC would work 10x faster + better than a smart tv plex app or a cheap extender.

5) What about protecting my files from other people?

Wifi Password + File sharing password should be enough

------

I'd recommend you build an HTPC and use that as your NAS+Plex Server+plex Client. HTPCs are nicer to use and faster than smart tvs or extenders, they can also do a lot more, are upgradable etc. etc. My HTPC is always my NAS.  The advantage of having your NAS on your HTPC is it is cheaper + easier to setup.  The disadvantage is you can't have a tiny case under your htpc and a NAS tucked away in the attic.

Sample HTPC build (you could put larger hard drives inside and run something like flexraid or snapraid, or you could do a mirrored file system/raid).
http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_MEDIAPORTAL_1/15_Customization/98_Localization/4_By_Country/New_Zealand/1_Buying_HTPC_Hardware

This is my HTPC + NAS. I have upgraded since posting the pictures, it now has 13 TB of storage.
http://forum.team-mediaportal.com/threads/silverstone-grandia-gd07-ideal-large-htpc-case.113436/




HTPC / Home automation (home assistant) enthusiast.


kiwijunglist
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  #825714 26-May-2013 20:31
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Plex Client (Smart TV) -------- Plex Server + Media files(NAS)

(or)

Plex Client (Smart TV) -------- Plex Server (PC) -------- Media files (NAS)

(or)

Plex Client + Plex Server + Media files (Big HTPC)

(or)

Plex Client + Plex Server (Small HTPC) -------- Media files (NAS)




HTPC / Home automation (home assistant) enthusiast.


xena7051

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  #825722 26-May-2013 20:48
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Thanks although I am feeling a bit lost after each post....the HTPC idea sounds brilliant with Plex as my software..... it basically would allow me to extend my current hardware while over time allowing to pick up items without breaking the bank .... and going down a path that I couldn't integrate new solutions as they came along

Is there guides on how all this works...I feeling like trying to do a jigsaw when I don't have a picture of what it should finally look like...and therefore even at this stage am I missing parts which we haven't discussed......  how do you make these HTPC expandable...or is trying to future proof  these type of solutions is a losing battle with technology always changing

Can I just go and but a HTPC machine.... if so what do you recommend? Is it worth sourcing these units from the USA? Or is building one of these locally the way to go.

As usual I do appreciate your feedback.... but it sounds like I could have all my needs catered in one box..I forgot to mention my wife hates electronics...she wants no visibility of anything that looks like its part of  media server visible.

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