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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I successfully built my HTPC last week and I want to be able to use it throughout the house. I have Mavericks installed and XBMC. I have it hooked up to a SmartTV (LG). I have two more Smart TVs in the house (Samsung and Panasonic). I read that XBMC supports streaming through devices like TVs, but it does not support the playback of certain files, such as .mvk files. It will only play back formats that the specific TV supports.

So, I was thinking about building a 2nd HTPC for one of the main TVs, and possibly one more in the bedroom, but not anytime soon. Would it be worth building a second one for a second TV?

I have a pretty basic i3 4330 build and will be going the same route on the second one.

Thank you in advance for your help!
 

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Truthfully it is up to you. Is all your media stored on your current HTPC or do you have a NAS that handles that?. PLEX Media Server can transcode unsupported files on the fly but you would need a Plex client to access it I know they make one for Roku which would be a cheaper option than building an entire new rig.

I think it just boils down to what you want as far as customization options, ease of use/ set up , and price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Originally Posted by Macnemarion View Post

Truthfully it is up to you. Is all your media stored on your current HTPC or do you have a NAS that handles that?. PLEX Media Server can transcode unsupported files on the fly but you would need a Plex client to access it I know they make one for Roku which would be a cheaper option than building an entire new rig.

I think it just boils down to what you want as far as customization options, ease of use/ set up , and price.
Thanks for the reply!

I did not know that Ruku ahd the option. That may be a way to go.

I was looking at the NUC, Brix and Raspberry Pi, as well. I can build a new HTPC with the components that I used for my first one for roughly the same price as those machines. And, with Raspberry Pi, I read that 1080p videos played through programs like VLC are not good. Also, I do not want to rely on Wifi. I would like to be hardwired into my network.

I was thinking that if I had another HTPC with VLC on there, I would just be able to access all of my files from the main rig and play them through VLC for simplicity's sake. I mean, the wife, kids and visitors (in-laws that are essentially babysitters lol) are not that tech savvy, but they would be able to figure out how to play videos on a second HTPC machine.

I thought that way would be the path of least resistance and I get to build another machine!
 

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i will never build another htpc after getting smart tv, i just run network streams thru serviio and the tv accepts everything that i would use htpc for (HD network streams, netflix, hulu)

(or a smart bluray player)
 

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Granted building another machine is always fun, and your gonna do what you wanna do. But think to the future, you just got off work, you get home pour a beer and kick your shoes off, the wife walks in and tells you that the remote you bought for your htpc is not doing anything. Well now you either need to restart lirc, reboot your box or do some hack-fu. When all you really wanted to do was sit on the porch and drink your beer for a minute. Granted plex can mess up too but at least with plex your dealing with two things that are made to work together not two things that you have to make work together. I only bring this up because I have this happen to me all the time. Its fun when you want to do it, but it becomes a pain when its not doing what it is supposed to do.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macnemarion View Post

Granted building another machine is always fun, and your gonna do what you wanna do. But think to the future, you just got off work, you get home pour a beer and kick your shoes off, the wife walks in and tells you that the remote you bought for your htpc is not doing anything. Well now you either need to restart lirc, reboot your box or do some hack-fu. When all you really wanted to do was sit on the porch and drink your beer for a minute. Granted plex can mess up too but at least with plex your dealing with two things that are made to work together not two things that you have to make work together. I only bring this up because I have this happen to me all the time. Its fun when you want to do it, but it becomes a pain when its not doing what it is supposed to do.
oh my god yes.

girlfriend and the daughter never have issues with my smart tv always works, and if it doesnt they turn the tv off and back on then it works
smile.gif


i love it, the worst thing i have to do is occationally remote in and restart the dlna server. so nice not having to manage another computer in the house
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macnemarion View Post

Granted building another machine is always fun, and your gonna do what you wanna do. But think to the future, you just got off work, you get home pour a beer and kick your shoes off, the wife walks in and tells you that the remote you bought for your htpc is not doing anything. Well now you either need to restart lirc, reboot your box or do some hack-fu. When all you really wanted to do was sit on the porch and drink your beer for a minute. Granted plex can mess up too but at least with plex your dealing with two things that are made to work together not two things that you have to make work together. I only bring this up because I have this happen to me all the time. Its fun when you want to do it, but it becomes a pain when its not doing what it is supposed to do.
Then again... a pre-built or stream solution may not receive an update to support Netflix Super-HD or ever get a Hulu app or support H.265....

Personally, I can recall two failures of my HTPCs.... both due to HDD/SSD failure. Same failure could have happened with a OEM system but at least I can fix it.

You're right though... it's down to what you want to do personally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NKrader View Post

i love it, the worst thing i have to do is occationally remote in and restart the dlna server. so nice not having to manage another computer in the house
Couldn't someone just write a script to heartbeat the DLNA server? If no response, sleep for 1min, then try again. If still no response, kill the process and start it again?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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Originally Posted by NKrader View Post

i will never build another htpc after getting smart tv, i just run network streams thru serviio and the tv accepts everything that i would use htpc for (HD network streams, netflix, hulu)

(or a smart bluray player)
Thank you. I am going to look into that program. Do you know if it uses java like PS3 Media Server? I don't want to use PS3 Media Server just for that reason.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macnemarion View Post

Granted building another machine is always fun, and your gonna do what you wanna do. But think to the future, you just got off work, you get home pour a beer and kick your shoes off, the wife walks in and tells you that the remote you bought for your htpc is not doing anything. Well now you either need to restart lirc, reboot your box or do some hack-fu. When all you really wanted to do was sit on the porch and drink your beer for a minute. Granted plex can mess up too but at least with plex your dealing with two things that are made to work together not two things that you have to make work together. I only bring this up because I have this happen to me all the time. Its fun when you want to do it, but it becomes a pain when its not doing what it is supposed to do.
I hear you on that, for sure! I want it to be easy as possible. Is Plex a free program? Will it work with a Mac OSX, and do I have to have it installed on both the HTPC and the Roku?

Thanks!
 

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If compatibility of file types is your only issue, consider converting them. I use AVS, and love it. Although to convert the amount of movies I have on file would take too long, if you only have a few that won't work, you can just convert them and avoid that issue altogether.

I'm also looking for a solution for a similar conundrum, so hoping to see what people are doing nowadays and what the current technology offers. I'm considering a home server to house everything and just push it to a screen using a network attached receiver or smart TV. Only problem in your case is staying off wifi. Another HTPC certainly solves that...

I was looking into VLC's new(er) DLNA server capabilities and getting mixed results. Is anyone using this successfully? What does everyone use for dishing out the DLNA?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by testudoaubreii View Post

Thank you. I am going to look into that program. Do you know if it uses java like PS3 Media Server? I don't want to use PS3 Media Server just for that reason.
I hear you on that, for sure! I want it to be easy as possible. Is Plex a free program? Will it work with a Mac OSX, and do I have to have it installed on both the HTPC and the Roku?

Thanks!
Yes plex is free and yes you can run it on OSX. The server will run on the PC and the client will run on the roku . The client will connect to the server and if you have a file you want to watch that the roku doesn't nativity support then the server will trans-code it on the fly.

Quote:
Couldn't someone just write a script to heartbeat the DLNA server? If no response, sleep for 1min, then try again. If still no response, kill the process and start it again?
where would you suggest someone go to figure out how to so this in a linux environment. Not specifically for DLNA but any service?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macnemarion View Post

Yes plex is free and yes you can run it on OSX. The server will run on the PC and the client will run on the roku . The client will connect to the server and if you have a file you want to watch that the roku doesn't nativity support then the server will trans-code it on the fly.
where would you suggest someone go to figure out how to so this in a linux environment. Not specifically for DLNA but any service?
Thanks for your reply!

I will look into Plex. I know that I can install on my rig, but how would I go about doing that on the Roku? Is there an app or anything that I have to install on that device? How does it make it on the the Roku? I guess that would be a better question.

Thanks again!
 

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Yes there is a free channel you can add from the Roku store that connects to the server over your LAN. Plex will also allow you watch your media from any web browser when you sign up for a free Plex account. I sound like a salesman but it is pretty cool.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macnemarion View Post

where would you suggest someone go to figure out how to so this in a linux environment. Not specifically for DLNA but any service?
A little shell scripting would do it.....

Use either service or ps aux | grep [name] to find the process you want to check.
If not found, start it up again.

You can start the script with boot of the server. (I would put in some sleep to allow the normal service time to start up.)
You can loop it to run indefinitely as well.
 

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I am currently using Nero MediaHome 4 essentials to serve my media to the PS3 and the Blue Ray streamers. Is there better/easier software that you recommend?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by myrtleee34 View Post

I am currently using Nero MediaHome 4 essentials to serve my media to the PS3 and the Blue Ray streamers. Is there better/easier software that you recommend?
serviio
 

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Dont know if someone else suggested this, but I run both my lounge and bedroom tv off the same HTPC, just using a HDMI splitter and long HDMI cables under the floor.

I would certainly look into this before building a complete new one.
 

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Another vote for Plex/ PlayOn + Roku.

I run a dedicated server 24/7 and have a Roku on every TV in the house (4) all connected through wireless and I can stream a different BluRay rip to each of them and they all play flawlessly
thumb.gif


I used PS3Media server for years, and while it worked for the PS3, I had issues where it would crash every time I tried to FF or paused it for more than a few minutes (it was even hardwired). I switched to PlayOn, and although it isn't "free" it does everything I want, and I never have had a single issue with it. Well worth the $40 I paid for the license.

I think Plex has a much better looking front end, but I can't get it to stream more than the first few minutes of a movie and then it crashes (however it always plays on my phone without any problems
rolleyes.gif
) I wish I could get it to play nicely with my Roku's.

** I was able to finally play an entire 720p movie with out any issues through Plex last night.. I'll have to try a 1080p rip next
 

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I have a pogoplug and a chromecast and between those two I can play any media on my storage drive by just running a app on my phone. The pogoplug plus chromcast will cost about 50 bucks for both. Just add your own hardrive.

I do have more than one HTPC but the chromecast can do a lot if you already have media stored on the network.
 

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Id suggest just using a Roku 3 or PS3 to stream your library to the unit. Or just pop on a usb drive to the Roku or ps3. Plex is also an option for the Roku. Its what I use now for the kids room.
 

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nobody just suggested a wireless hdmi to the other tv and just alternating the outputs once in a while?

Like setup a VNC on the htpc and get your phone to change the outputs if your to lazy to go to the other system i mean if i was on a budget that's probably what i would do.
 
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