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Topic # 243646 22-Dec-2018 18:11
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Hi,

 

 

 

Not sure if the topic covers what I trying to set up and if it is in the right forum. 

 

I would like a home server on which I can download content using the laptop and play on the tv using an app or maybe even the tv remote.
Sound will need to go over my Marantz amp with network connection.

 

As I am unsure what this setup would be called it is can't of hard to Google it.

 

 

 

The tv & server are on the "to buy" list :)

 

 

 

Any idea on what I need?


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  Reply # 2149396 22-Dec-2018 18:27
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You probably want a client/server model. You could try Plex or Emby. I prefer not to have a PC in the lounge, so I use an Intel NUC (Windows) as the server and a Nvidia Shield (Android TV based) as the client in the lounge. If you have a smart TV you can probably get Plex or Emby clients for the TV, which would do away with a client device. If you do use the TV as the client be aware that your server may need to be a bit more powerful to transcode (convert in real time into a format the TV can play). I don't know how your amp works over the 'network connection' so I can't comment on that.

 

 

 

 

 

 








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  Reply # 2149412 22-Dec-2018 19:18
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If it helps... my setup is as follows.

 

 

 

I have a small PC (Apple MacMini) plugged into my sound system via HDMI.

 

My media is attached to a large powered HDD that's connected to my Apple MacMini.

 

I run software on my Mac called Plex.

 

I simply point Plex at my media library (Movies in a folder called 'movies', TV shows in 'TV' and music in 'Muisc').

 

This media is then available to play on my Mac via Plex, or on my iPad, iPhone etc etc - anywhere in the world.

 

Pretty sweet, what's more, it'll go away to the internet and grab the meta-data so it makes it easy to use / scroll through my media.

 

 

 

With all media servers, arranging your folders / media correctly is the key.

 

As there are numerous movies / songs with the same name you need to keep things well organised.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also use another app called 'Plex TV' which makes scrolling through my media even easier...


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2149415 22-Dec-2018 19:33
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I favour a file sharing approach. You sacrifice centralised management of metadata (it's possible, but less tidy), but can save on server hardware. Why buy equipment to transcode for less-capable clients, sacrificing quality in the process, when client hardware is cheap?

 

I use a Synology NAS, with NFS and SMB shares. Clients have included the PlayOn HD (and HD 2), a Popcorn Hour clone, Windows systems running Kodi, Raspberry Pis running OSMC/OpenElec (Kodi), and an OMSC Vero 4K. The OSMC Vero 4k (now replaced with the 4k+), is capable of playing any content I throw at it, will pass through digital audio in most cases, and supports CEC. The Pi is almost as capable, if you can live without higher bitrate h.265 videos or HDR.

 

CEC implementations vary from one TV manufacturer to the next, but on our Sony TVs, we can control everything, including live TV via tvheadend (running on a virtual machine), using the TV remote.


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  Reply # 2149443 22-Dec-2018 21:09
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I agree with much of what Dunersfella and Sir Humphrey say, but have a slightly different approach.

 

In large part what you should do depends on the details of what you want to do (how many TVs you might want to stream to at once etc), how much media you think you will have, and what your budget and preferences are. But I seriously recommend a centralised server-based approach.

 

For a server, I use a NAS. It sits on my network, holds all my media, and runs Plex to organise it all*. It gives fault tolerance if a drive fails, and lets me centralise everything in one place. It's an elderly dual-core Atom powered unit I have had you 5-6 years, and by today's standards its hideously underpowered. But it has 8 bays and holds a decent number of disks, and as long as the client is capable it doesn't have to sweat transcoding files so works fine. For clients I mostly use three Chromecast Ultra's that I picked up in sales for around $90 each, and a Raspberry Pi in the guest room. I use ethernet over powerline to stitch it all together so that WiFi isn't a bottleneck.

 

As a minimalist NAS setup, something like an Asustor AS3102T 2-bay NAS would run you to $295 at PB Tech, and a pair of 4TB Ironwolf drives would run you to $217 each. Costing $729 with 4TB usable in RAID1 configuration ($182/TB). With a bigger budget a 4-bay unit would run you to about $700, and with 4x6TB drives (around $332 each) in RAID5 would give you around 18TB for about $2,000 (circa $113/TB). Add ethernet over powerline (4 basic D-link units would run you to about $200), and a couple of Chromecast Ultras (again around $200) and you should be good to go. This is what I recommend.

 

Or, to do it on the cheap, a refurbed PC would run to around $300, with USB hard drives of whatever size/price you fancy plugged in.About $55 for a basic chromecast and connect over WiFi. On even an old PC if you have one spare, to cut the cost even more.

 

 

 

* Plex gives nice eye candy - posters, thumbnails, theme music, ratings, show and episode summaries etc. Until a few months ago I loved Plex. Now, not so much. Recent changes to the interface have, in my opinion, made it much worse. The forums and reddit threads are overrun with complaints, even from former die-hard fanbois. I'm looking to move the Emby, which is pretty similar media server software in the new year.


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  Reply # 2149481 22-Dec-2018 21:40
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Mine is a TVersity (free) Media Server setup, which is installed on my desktop where my media is. It talks to my Western Digital TV box over wifi and I can watch my files that way, over my wireless network. Took a bit of setting up when I replaced my PC earlier this year and had to upgrade to Windows 10, but it works well with very few issues so far (touchwood).


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  Reply # 2149501 22-Dec-2018 22:34
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PLEX is the best option in my opinion, i have upgraded servers and added and expanded many times over, the latest expansion is 30tb for media and half of it is full!, one of the things i like about plex is that i can migrate the database to another server or a new server if i upgrade or decide to rebuild on a new machine, so that i still have all the meta data and what i have and havent watched in my line up.

 

I have plex pass to back up photos and for the DVR as well to record live tv.

 

A central server of some sort would be the way to go as that means you can stream and share the media to any devise any where in the world, you can build it out of a old desktop and work your way up to something more substantial if you chose down the track like an old server or a NAS.

 

I started out experimenting with a old dual core that was in the bin and 3 1tb WD green disks, i tried many media servers/applications and plex was the easiest and universal app that i could find, i had a linux vm with plex but have reverted back to windows recently.

 

my curent server is on a windows 2016DC build with radarr and sonarr running in the back ground alongside ombi for requesting and sab for downloading all on a single VM.


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  Reply # 2149510 22-Dec-2018 23:36
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I use Plex - had it running on an old (10 years old this year) Dell Vostro Core2Quad system loaded with drives and a whopping 6GB of RAM. Ran damn well......... only stopped using it because I got an i3 with board and 16GB for free, so upgraded to that and thats ticking along happily with Plex and a couple of HyperV machines running. 

 

So you dont need to go nuts on hardware to run Plex, obviously dosent hurt either ;)

 

We use a mixture of PC's and consoles to access it, and occasionally via DLNA for anything thats being stubborn. 

 

Covers good chunk of our media needs for minimal cost.

 

 





XPD / Gavin / DemiseNZ

 

Server : i3-3240 @ 3.40GHz  16GB RAM  Win 10 Pro    Workstation : i5-3570K @ 3.40GHz  16GB RAM  Win 10 Pro    Console : Xbox One

 

https://www.xpd.co.nz - Games, geeks, and more.    


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  Reply # 2149511 22-Dec-2018 23:43
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Another Plex user here.

 

I run Plex in a Linux VM which happens to live on a Linux host.  The VM is pretty small.  4 x vCPUs (though it never uses them...could probably happily run on 1) and a paltry 1GB of ram - just checked and half of it is free.  Ive directly attached a disk to the VM for my libraries.

 

My TV has a Plex client (which I'm not 100% fond of) and I also have a Mi Box with Android TV Plex client (which is much better).

 

Linux = Free

 

Plex Server = Free (it does run on Windows, Mac OS and other operating systems too)

 

Plex Client on Android TV = Free

 

Chromecasting from mobile = Free

 

Ability to stream anywhere in the world = Free (and disgustingly simple)

 

At that price, Plex is hard to beat!

 

Side note: My host is a Ryzen 5 1600 CPU.  This is fairly recent. I used to run Plex on an AMD Athlon X2 3600 until the motherboard fried itself (actually that happened twice).  That could still handle streaming and encoding (albeit just).  So resource needs are low. If you've got a relatively modern CPU you'll be fine.


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  Reply # 2149523 23-Dec-2018 08:32
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My set up:

 

     

  1. unRAID server
  2. Kodi installed on clients - incl Nvidia Shield, Sony Android TV, Xiaomi MiBox, Phs+Tablets - most on ethernet.
  3. All devices can access UnRAID.
  4. Works.

 

 

 

It in fact works sweet - and has done so for 6 years now - over which time have increased no. of hard drives from 4 to 12 to to give total storage space of 56TB - no data loss ever. (Note: Have server on a UPS to allow clean shutdowns as power supply out our way used to be dodge.)

 

IMO unRAID is perfect for media storage and access - given it is non mission critical stuff - but you still have some backup capability via parity - and also means you don't halve your storage volume like true RAID.

 

Can also be done cheaply using spare HW and added to over time.

 

Licence is not free - but is low cost and worth it IME.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2149540 23-Dec-2018 09:50
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Another Plex user here. I run the Plex server on a Windows 10 desktop that's always on with a few USB drives attached. I don't do RAID since the content isn't that important.  The desktop is a AMD A10-5800K with 8GB RAM but I use it for general web work also.

 

I use a Odroid C2 running the Plex client as my client and it's of sufficient power that the server never has to transcode content. The Odroid can play 4K Atmos content natively.

 

That being said I am toying with replacing the Windows server with another Odroid running the Plex server. It has way  more power than the Raspberry Pi, costs about the same (I paid  US$71 for one with a case and power supply including shipping) so I just had to provide a microSD card to boot up the OS. Four USB ports should be plenty for my content.

 

The Pi setup is here but I suspect it would be the same for the Odroid

 

https://thepi.io/how-to-set-up-a-raspberry-pi-plex-server/

 

 





System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


My Google+ page 

 

 

 

https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 




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  Reply # 2149548 23-Dec-2018 10:32
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Oh man, part of me wishes I'd never asked :D I do appreciate the replies a lot!

 

I thought I was asking something very simple here. Just this server connect to your network and you are done. Was I naive?
I guess so. You guys gave me a whole bunch of info which I all need to Google as it doesn't make any sense. It is like learning a new language :)

 

It probably will take me sometime to process this.

 

 


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  Reply # 2149550 23-Dec-2018 10:44
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Been using plex for 4 years now, started out with an old PC as the server, but migrated to a NAS box.

 

 

 

It works great, like others have said, works across multiple TV's at once, stream to phones/tablets anywhere in the world and just so easy to use.

 

 


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  Reply # 2149552 23-Dec-2018 10:56
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It got a lot better when Plex released an official client for Kodi. So no hacking required. I use a cheap IR remote from Ali that its receiver connects via USB and then learnt the IR codes from a Harmony remote. So that makes the Plex client incredibly easy to navigate.





System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


My Google+ page 

 

 

 

https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 


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  Reply # 2149553 23-Dec-2018 11:05
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I went for Emby a while ago. Added it to the PC we had and just added drives and media as it was acquired. I personally am biased in favour of Emby over Plex, though seeing as I've never used Plex I probably shouldn't say so.

 

TBH you do need to pay for Emby to get the most out of it, especially if you want to use its live tv features, and you can probably do more without paying for Plex than with Emby, but its not much if you add it to your tv/server shopping list and they're pretty similar really.

 

https://emby.media/

 

EDIT: I feed a Shield, a few Fire TV's, the odd laptop and daughter occasionally watch our stuff from her house 30km away. It also has Roku, Apple, Kodi clients and servers for Windows, Linux, various NASes and the Shield (in beta).





rb99


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  Reply # 2149554 23-Dec-2018 11:11
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Pinpoint:

 

Oh man, part of me wishes I'd never asked :D I do appreciate the replies a lot!

 

I thought I was asking something very simple here. Just this server connect to your network and you are done. Was I naive?
I guess so. You guys gave me a whole bunch of info which I all need to Google as it doesn't make any sense. It is like learning a new language :)

 

It probably will take me sometime to process this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, at its most basic, install the software you decide on using onto your "server" and depending on the client you wish to do the viewing from, either browse to the server or download the matching app for you client OS.  Plex is more than happy to be used via browser on Windows etc, but there are dedicated apps on iOS, Android etc.

 

Plex is very easy to setup.

 

Plex can also be used outside of your network as well, so friends/family can view your library if you wish. This does require decent uplink however, and knowledge of how to port forward on your router etc.

 

If you want, drop me a PM and I'll give you access to an account on my server with a few things shared so you get a feel for it from the client point of view.





XPD / Gavin / DemiseNZ

 

Server : i3-3240 @ 3.40GHz  16GB RAM  Win 10 Pro    Workstation : i5-3570K @ 3.40GHz  16GB RAM  Win 10 Pro    Console : Xbox One

 

https://www.xpd.co.nz - Games, geeks, and more.    


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