Stream anything to any device over a home network "catch-all" thread.

kuddles wrote:

So, people have positive things to say about Plex? I've been using Universal Media Server for ages and anytime I use something else there ends up being weird playback issues, but if it works fine, I'm kind of in the same boat as oilypenguin in getting one of these media boxes.

Plex on Roku streaming from a Windows 7 box works flawlessly for me. All the video I've ripped/streamed has been from HandBrake and I've never had an issue. I also use it quite often on iPad and only occasionally on PS3 with no issues. I can't say how well it streams to Chromecast as I've not really used it enough to comment.

I highly recommend it. At least giving it a try shouldn't muck things up if you're looking for another solution. I used pyTiVo for the longest time and took me a while to cut over to Plex. However, if Universal Media Server is working for you though, I'm also a big fan of, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

PaladinTom wrote:
kuddles wrote:

So, people have positive things to say about Plex? I've been using Universal Media Server for ages and anytime I use something else there ends up being weird playback issues, but if it works fine, I'm kind of in the same boat as oilypenguin in getting one of these media boxes.

Plex on Roku streaming from a Windows 7 box works flawlessly for me.

Same here, most of the time. I have the added wrinkle of it serving files that are themselves mounted from a different machine, but it's organizing and recognizing terabytes of files without much difficulty.

I also love Plex. If you don't transcode it can stream from almost anything, including the WinXP P4 box we have running for the kids. I can watch stuff on the server from anywhere on my phone or tablet, as long as I have an internet connection.

PaladinTom wrote:

I highly recommend it. At least giving it a try shouldn't muck things up if you're looking for another solution. I used pyTiVo for the longest time and took me a while to cut over to Plex. However, if Universal Media Server is working for you though, I'm also a big fan of, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Yeah, the only issue with Universal Media Server is that a lot of these new streaming devices aren't compatible with it as it needs to be DLNA-compliant. Plex having an Android/Roku app kind of fixes that issue.

Plex app is on the fire. I saw it on tne gigaom video. Device looks really nice.

You can also wirelessly mirror your tablet display to your Fire TV with Kindle Fire, as well as other Miracast-enabled phones or tablets starting later this year. Fire TV supports standards like DIAL, so app developers can enable multi-screen experiences based on open technologies.

Miracast is what most modern Windows 8/8.1 devices use for wireless screen mirroring with audio, and DIAL is the protocol used by the Chromecast.

I am still running my 2 Boxee Box's because it was NAS content focused, but between them being bought by samsung, and them freezing it seems every week (as well as being pretty slow) I am on the hunt for a new solution. A friend of mine mentioned an Apple TV with plex, but I'm looking for other thoughts. I guess we will have to wait until the Fire is in the wild to see how plex and such works.

Happytime Harry wrote:

I am still running my 2 Boxee Box's because it was NAS content focused, but between them being bought by samsung, and them freezing it seems every week (as well as being pretty slow) I am on the hunt for a new solution. A friend of mine mentioned an Apple TV with plex, but I'm looking for other thoughts. I guess we will have to wait until the Fire is in the wild to see how plex and such works.

What exactly are you trying to do?

Happytime Harry wrote:

I am still running my 2 Boxee Box's because it was NAS content focused, but between them being bought by samsung, and them freezing it seems every week (as well as being pretty slow) I am on the hunt for a new solution. A friend of mine mentioned an Apple TV with plex, but I'm looking for other thoughts. I guess we will have to wait until the Fire is in the wild to see how plex and such works.

Note that getting Plex on the AppleTV isn't supprted through official means, requiring either a jailbreak or a special app running on a PC that redirects the trailers app on the box.

I had a lot of issues with Plex, so switched to serviio and haven't looked back. Everything just works, and that's all am looking for.

I used plex (well xbmc when plex splintered) and haven't really kept up, so it's going to be a few days of research I think. I can't believe the Fire TV doesn't have HBOGo, that's a pretty big omission for me.

So...anyone put XBMC on their Fire TV and feel like telling us about it? Having a dedicated remote (with actual buttons!) out of the box already makes it more attractive than other possibilities.

So my old-ass refurb Roku is getting annoyingly flakey and I'm thinking of replacing it. What the go-to set-top box these days? Don't need it to do anything fancy, just streaming the big three (Amazon, Hulu, Netflix) is enough. YouTube would be a plus (can't believe Roku and Google haven't been able to make nice and get YT on there). Also, is Roku still the only one that Giant Bomb has a channel on?

No interest in an Apple TV-- not an Apple guy-- but what are the other options on the market these days, and what are their advantages / disadvantages over just replacing my old Roku with a new model?

The Roku 3 is still the go-to box if you want both Giant Bomb and Amazon. It's faster than any other Roku and the new remote can pipe all audio to a set of headphones.

Roku 3 also has the best/fastest YouTube app. I'm not sure if the new $50 streaming stick has YouTube, but older Rokus still have not gotten the app - and given the silence, probably never will. Plex to the rescue again...

I posted this in the Linux thread, but would no doubt be better served here, so I'll repost and edit the Linux thread entry. This thread also failed to show up in my various GWJ searches, so I apologise in advance if this has been covered recently - I'll back-fill the last couple of pages once I get home, but for now, the repost:

Good peoples of the GWJ Linux corner, I have a semi-off-topic query that I’m hoping at least one of you may have crossed in the past. Please excuse the brain dump that is about to follow, I tend to dive in and go nuts looking at all the options when I’ve decided to do something.

I recently acquired a teeny set top box (Sky TV here in the UK released a rebranded and slightly modified Roku2 LT, called NowTV for £10) which gave me access to a few media streaming things, including spotify, without the need to connect up my PC like I have done in the past. Now, this has proven quite successful with the wife (the litmus test for whether it’s worth spending any more money on a ‘proper’ solution). With the NowTV box, you can very quickly enable developer mode and install a Plex client. Trouble with that is, you then need a Plex server on a second powered on system, and I rather prefer XBMC anyway.

Many years ago I ran XBMC on an original Xbox and it worked pretty well, but this experience with the teeny set top box has set me on a little bit of a research spiral of indecision (you guys know how it goes). I’ve been looking into small, fanless devices that could be used to run XBMC. It seems that there are a number of Android based ones, available for under £100 that run the Android version of XBMC. While this may accomplish the Media Streaming part of things, the linuxman in me refuses to believe that there isn’t a true Linux alternative – one that I could run a teeny web server on, should I desire, or any number of other things – essentially, I want a tiny Ubuntu box, or what have you. It doesn’t have to be super powerful, as I won’t be transcoding 25Gb BluRay rips or anything crazy like that. Just some local (LAN) videos, and perhaps streaming some live media (TV, Sports) from various packages I already utilise via a laptop. Being able to connect a USB key/external disk should I want to play files from disk would also be beneficial.

Has anyone bought/built such a thing? My research so far has lead me round in circles with devices like the , RaspberryPi, BoxeeBox, Gigabyte Brix, Xtreamer Ultra 2 and so on, through to slim-PCs like the Shuttle DS437T, or Zotac Zbox, all the way to custom-building a mini-itx/Atom Mini PC, which is the more expensive end of the possible solutions. My understanding is, however, that the RaspberryPi struggles a bit with the xbmc interface, even though it doesn’t have a problem playing (not transcoding) 1080p video.

Has anyone used the Android based solutions/XBMC packages? Does anyone have any of the prebuilt teeny boxes, or mini-PCs? There are a couple I have seen, such as the Pivos Xios that say they can run linux, but don’t specify which distro they are basing it on, which seems like a nightmare if I want to add a few bits and bobs.

I guess a mini list of likes would be:

Small and fanless
Running a ‘common’ linux flavour, so no doubt Ubuntu or debian
Capable of running XBMC, but also just act as a regular linux box
Ideally be able to be controlled by either a phone App (I think xbmc allows this?) or by my IR Logitech Harmony.
Play 1080p video from local LAN

I'm not even sure if all of those things are even possible in one system. I’ll be continuing to research the options in the evenings and lunchtimes when I get time, but thought maybe someone here has already been through these motions! Obviously price comes into it. I'd rather not go down the road of spending $500 - my longer term goal is to build a decent SteamOS system in a year or two once it's matured - but $100 is easier to take a risk with, and $300 might be acceptable if the solution is just ideal.

Look into supported hardware platforms for OpenElec and the Flirc. There are trade-offs to be considered over using Plex, which puts most of the fiddly bits on the end that can bear it so you have clients on pretty much every platform and device.

PaladinTom wrote:

Roku 3 also has the best/fastest YouTube app. I'm not sure if the new $50 streaming stick has YouTube, but older Rokus still have not gotten the app - and given the silence, probably never will. Plex to the rescue again...

Looked through the Channel Store last night on my Roku 2. YouTube is there. Installed it and watched one video. Bit slow, but not bad.

I'm circling away from the Android based XBMC boxes as they apparently aren't all that stable (yet). Also, If I keep my desire to be able to do 'other things' with the box as well as XBMC, then I may need something a bit more PC-like.

I found this on my travels. It's an Intel NUC, Haswell i3 (HD4400), 4GB RAM, 60GB SSD, Wifi/BT Card for just under £350. I could probably snap up similar spec in barebones+parts myself for about £30-40 less if I so desired. There are also numerous 'fanless' cases available that I could swap the hardware into should the NUC case be too noisy. I'm thinking it would be more than capable of running Ubuntu, auto-launching XBMC, while still giving me the ability to ssh in and run things in the background. It also has Gb Ethernet, 4 USB3 ports and an IR sensor, so my harmony remote should hopefully be usable.

Happytime Harry wrote:

I am still running my 2 Boxee Box's because it was NAS content focused, but between them being bought by samsung, and them freezing it seems every week (as well as being pretty slow) I am on the hunt for a new solution. A friend of mine mentioned an Apple TV with plex, but I'm looking for other thoughts. I guess we will have to wait until the Fire is in the wild to see how plex and such works.

Did you try the Boxee+ that you can load from a USB stick.. that helped me resolve some issues...but its still pretty slow once your library increases in size..

I'm debating a Fire with Plex or an Intel NUC with XBMC to replace it... anyone have thoughts pro's/cons? between those two?

Well, I've trolled the xbmc forums as there doesn't appear to be much experience with NUCs here yet.

I was swithering over the i3 Haswell, as I noted above, but I am strongly thinking about going for this now. The i3 would probably be overkill for what I will be looking to do here. This alternative would be:

Intel DN2820FYKH NUC
- Intel Celeron N2820 2.4Ghz Dual Core
- 4GB Crucial RAM
- 60GB Kingston SSD 450MB/s read/450MB/s write

For a total of £175 delivered (~$290).

I'll do some more research tomorrow and hopefully make my decision. Sadly, I always come to my conclusion on Thursday/Friday, which means I have the extra weekend to wait for, or pay for, delivery

cheeba wrote:
PaladinTom wrote:

Roku 3 also has the best/fastest YouTube app. I'm not sure if the new $50 streaming stick has YouTube, but older Rokus still have not gotten the app - and given the silence, probably never will. Plex to the rescue again...

Looked through the Channel Store last night on my Roku 2. YouTube is there. Installed it and watched one video. Bit slow, but not bad.

...and the very next day it gets released for the older boxes. It is indeed a little slower on my Roku 2, but still better than the TiVo I have on that same television.

One thing I like about the Roku YouTube apps is that they support DIAL just like the Chromecast.

Could be worse: could be the PS3 YouTube app.

Not that it seems anyone is very interested, but [email protected] post here anyway, in case it does help someone. I received my NUC today - a D34010WYKH, Core i3, 1.7Ghz, Intel HD 4400 GPU, 4GB RAM (to start), 60Gb SSD.

Took about 5 minutes to install the RAM, a spare wifi card that I had, and the SSD, really neat little box inside.

My plan is now to install Ubuntu on it, then XBMC. I know of XBMCbuntu and the likes, but I'd prefer to have it as a mini Linux box, that is also an XBMC box, rather than the other way around If anyone is interested, I'll let you know how it goes once I get things installed over the weekend.

PaladinTom wrote:

Roku 3 also has the best/fastest YouTube app.

Just installed on my Roku 2 and it's incredibly disappointing.

It's very slow to browse, which is somewhat understood given the older hardware.

But it has the same failing so many other set-top YouTube apps have: completely oblivious to the concept of playlists in channel subscriptions. (Or, you know, reasonable browsing of videos within a subscription other than "here's a newest-to-oldest list, scroll all day, no there will not be any sorting")

We have an Xbox 360 hooked up to a TV simply because it has the only set-top YouTube app that actually provides access to this feature.

It's really irritating just how awful most set-top YouTube apps are.

PaladinTom wrote:

One thing I like about the Roku YouTube apps is that they support DIAL just like the Chromecast.

Do you have to be in the Roku YouTube app for that to work? I'm seeing it as a target even when that app isn't running on the Roku--and by serial number rather than the names set on roku.com.

Kurrelgyre wrote:
PaladinTom wrote:

One thing I like about the Roku YouTube apps is that they support DIAL just like the Chromecast.

Do you have to be in the Roku YouTube app for that to work? I'm seeing it as a target even when that app isn't running on the Roku--and by serial number rather than the names set on roku.com.

Yes, you have to be in the YouTube app to stream it to the Roku. The app doesn't have to be running, streaming to it from YouTube will fire up the app and load the content.

The crappy part is the ID. I've named my Roku devices via the Roku app, but they still show up as their serial numbers in YouTube. The iPad YouTube used to let you rename devices it sees, but for some reason they removed that ability in a recent update.

There are posts on the Roku forums about it. Hopefully they address it someday.

PaladinTom wrote:

Yes, you have to be in the phone's YouTube app to stream it to the Roku. The Roku's app doesn't have to be running, streaming to it from YouTube will fire up the app and load the content.

The crappy part is the ID. I've named my Roku devices via the Roku app, but they still show up as their serial numbers in YouTube. The iPad YouTube used to let you rename devices it sees, but for some reason they removed that ability in a recent update.

There are posts on the Roku forums about it. Hopefully they address it someday.

Modified for clarity. At least with just 2 Roku 3s in my place, I can remember which is first and second.

Is there a good tool for adding metadata to m4v files?

One of my summer projects is making the DVD library into something Roku 3-friendly. DLNA streaming from NAS to Roku Media Channel is working great, but browsing with only file names and generic icons is getting less efficient as I convert more movies.

misplacedbravado wrote:

Is there a good tool for adding metadata to m4v files?

One of my summer projects is making the DVD library into something Roku 3-friendly. DLNA streaming from NAS to Roku Media Channel is working great, but browsing with only file names and generic icons is getting less efficient as I convert more movies.

What OS? I use Identify on OSX to add metadata to my movies to stream from Plex to Roku.