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245 posts

Master Geek


#272418 24-Jun-2020 07:46
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Hi so I’m not a big computer geek or programmer but a few years ago I bought a pi 3 with kodi installed on it.

I kind of lost interest in trying to stream tv and movie sources through it and it sat gathering dust for a while.

Now I have quite a large collection of movies, photos and music, around 2TB of media that I would like access to over my LAN.

I used to have a small USB pen drive plugged in to my router and was able to access this through HEOS as a music source.

That worked ok but the router can’t handle my 4TB drive.

So I wondered about the pi... do I try and set it up as a media server or as an access point to my media folders.

I have often looked at Plex and thought it just looks complicated to set up and then I get confused about media server set ups and access as well as setting up static ip addresses etc and eek.

I kind of want access to my media over wifi or through my home cinema but could use some ideas ?

Is the pi a possible route with a TB drive ? If so... what’s the best way to do it? Is plex the best way ?

Thoughts ? Hints ? Tips ?

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  #2511212 24-Jun-2020 08:33
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So if you install Debian/Raspbian on your Pi... you then just run 'sudo apt install plexmediaserver'

 

That's it.

 

Your only potential stumbling block is going to be how your 4TB external drive is currently formatted. But then, you would just "mount" the USB drive, and then import the media to Plex. I have no idea how well Plex may run on the Pi if transcoding is required, but if it's playback of the LAN in native formats, you shouldn't really have any issues.

 

Plex rocks - just makes everything incredibly simply.


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  #2511214 24-Jun-2020 08:36
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Like many people I have media files in a folder on my windows PC.

 

I have set the folder as a windows shared folder.

 

The PC is on my home network and so is the Pi (PI 2 in my case).

 

The PI has Librelec installed - very simple to do (https://libreelec.tv/)

 

It looks like the PI 3 has built in wifi - so you should be ok with that - The earlier models needed a dongle and there are problems with dongles that have the Realtek chipset - anyway - you should be ok.

 

Once you have Librelec installed you need to add the windows share as a source (say under the movies menu option).

 

You used to just be able to type in your PC name and browse for shares - with changes on windows that cant be done anymore, so you have to add the share details carefully - It drives me crazy getting this right when I had to set up from scratch - But mayvbe this will help:

 

https://forum.libreelec.tv/thread/13712-windows-10-shared-folder-for-libreelec-on-rpi/

 

PS probably a good idea to create a user on the PC called kodi and give it a password - used for network access from your PI.

 

Also - remember you can turn on HDMI-CEC on your PC and PI and just use the TV remote to control everything - makes it pretty seemless.

 

 





Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler


 
 
 
 


377 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2511300 24-Jun-2020 10:03
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I think robbon44 is thinking about using the pi as server. plex is one way, another is "Pi-NAS", you can use the pi as a NAS storage device. worked pretty well the last time I used it, many years ago



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Master Geek


  #2511312 24-Jun-2020 10:33
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thanks great responses 

 

i did used to have a shared folder on my windows pc but it always had to be powered on. The Pi power usage is teeny weeny by comparison so i figured this could be cool as a stand alone. 

 

Ye dryburn is right - i think ..i think i need a nas type solution ...ie acessible media from anywhere.. which is why plex is confusing me.. 

 

ideally i would like 

 

Pi + TB storage device

 

Pi connected to router 

 

Pi visible on network as readable/writeable device 

 

media accessible to HEOS, TV, BRP, Recievor, mobile phones etc

 

Happy Rob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Uber Geek


  #2511324 24-Jun-2020 10:56
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If they support uPnP/DLNA media share browsing. This is built into Kodi also (libelec etc will do it) without transcode

 

HDD -> PI(Kodi uPnP enabled) -> Device that sees media libraries

 

That's how I roll now. But my pi is my PC which loads Kodi Win as needed. And the ancient panny VT50 media player still sees the shared libraries through its onboard DLNA capabilities.

 

Most others than support PnP media discovery would do the same I imagine.

 

For some reason people overlook the built in capability (not normally on by default) and always throw on media handlers or transcoders which may not be required and eat CPU to cover a few more devices.

 

You're half way there already. Give it a whirl

 

https://kodi.wiki/view/Settings/Services/UPnP_DLNA 


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  #2511325 24-Jun-2020 10:57
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The advantage of using Plex over just having media on a drive accessible by the TV is the cataloging and viewing history offered by Plex. Unless you have old viewing devices or obscure media formats, the Pi won’t need to transcode and should handle being a Plex server easily enough

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  #2511326 24-Jun-2020 10:57
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So install NAS software on the Pi, and then also install Plex - the "source" for Plex is simply the NAS share.

 

You then have NAS shares accessible over the network for any type of machine to access/edit files and then a solid media management option.

 

Plex, IMO, is still the best way to actually stream media around the house. The NAS stores everything, but you still want to have all your TV/movies properly indexed and searchable.


 
 
 
 


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  #2511328 24-Jun-2020 11:01
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So a PI running some sort of NAS software and an external hard drive hooked up to it?

 

That should be possible.

 

As mentioned above, PLEX has the ability to transcode content on the fly (so converting some types of media that perhaps devices in your house cant cope with, to something they can).  That usually requires some horsepower - so that feature might not be something you can use. But otherwise PLEX could just serve up the file.

 

Alternatively, just install some sort of NAS setup.

 

 

 

This video is pretty good:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpvlEbdA6qI





Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler


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  #2511330 24-Jun-2020 11:10
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I think you're overcomplicating things. Just install Kodi on the Pi, plug the USB hard drive into the Pi, and play your videos. Plex isn't worth it for you IMHO, Kodi probably works fine for what you need.


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  #2511416 24-Jun-2020 13:00
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timmmay:

 

I think you're overcomplicating things. Just install Kodi on the Pi, plug the USB hard drive into the Pi, and play your videos. Plex isn't worth it for you IMHO, Kodi probably works fine for what you need.

 

 

But they still need an easy way to manage files - a network share achieves that.

 

If they just stuck Kodi on it, then it's mucking around manually installing samba/nfs servers etc... that would be complicating it.

 

If it was me and this is all I had to work with, it would be Open Media Vault for the NAS stuff, and then chuck Plex on for server media.

 

 


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  #2511422 24-Jun-2020 13:15
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A network share from a PC is the way most people do it, I think, but it was mentioned the PC isn't always on. I get around that by turning the PC on when I need to watch TV.

 

The other option to manage files is to unplug the hard drive from the R.Pi and plug it into a computer.

 

This doesn't have to be complicated.


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  #2511430 24-Jun-2020 13:34
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timmmay:

A network share from a PC is the way most people do it, I think, but it was mentioned the PC isn't always on. I get around that by turning the PC on when I need to watch TV.


The other option to manage files is to unplug the hard drive from the R.Pi and plug it into a computer.


This doesn't have to be complicated.


Yup. Not a biggie to go and wiggle the mouse on my pc to wake it up when required.




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler




245 posts

Master Geek


  #2511810 24-Jun-2020 21:47
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Thanks all

I’m going to look in to the plex option and watch a few videos. Thanks for the links they are really useful.

Plus 1 for all the support.

if I get stuck I will shout.

Rob



245 posts

Master Geek


  #2513906 28-Jun-2020 14:20
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update - 

 

Installed PLEX server on Pi 3b 

 

Sorted out the USB storage and the NTFS system

 

added a powered 1TB drive that i had lying around (will upgrade this to a 4TB).

 

added a USB portable 2TB drive that has my current media on it - sorted the formatting to be consistent with the first drive 

 

bit of a work around to be able to browse the full files on the storage but sorted eventually 

 

fixed static IP to the Pi 

 

plugged in to an ethernet switch - remote access to Pi using Putty 

 

set up plex server and added libraries 

 

set up a transcode folder (removed the disk space error for playback)

 

Works a treat across the home network ! 

 

might look at upgrading to Pi 4 and adding a larger second drive as i add more of my DVD/Blu ray catalogue ! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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