View Full Version : SlimServer for photos?

2006-09-05, 11:48
I had toyed with putting this thought in the SS 7 requests thread (here: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=26874) but I thought that this was a bit too far off topic. So I'm posting in a new thread:

I used to use an HTPC hooked up to my TV for all of the wonderful things that HTPC gives you. But there were two inherent problems that I was never able to fully tackle to my satisfaction:

1. I _HATED_ having a PC in my living room... no matter how much I tried to silence it I could still hear it, no matter how pretty I tried to make it, it still looked like a PC, and stuck out like a sore thumb along side my slick A/V devices.

2. Even though the machine gave me all sorts of cool things I could do, I really only used it for music and photos. So the HTPC seemed too much like overkill for the relatively simple things I regularly used it for.

So when I began to explore other options, I came across the Squeezebox, and I couldn't be happier as far as my music is concerned (how happy I am that I have gapless playback! I can't believe this was of little concern to the HTPC folk). Plus it looks sexy as hell sitting next to my receiver.

But I am left without the ability to view my photos on my TV... SlimServer does eveything I need for music, so I was wondering if there was a similar option for photos. Here's what I'm looking for:

- retrieves my photos over my home network, wireless preferred, but not mandatory (ie: a solution that only plays back from a memory card or DVD is not what I'm looking for)
- can navigate using an IR remote control. No keyboard or mouse. TV display could be used to browse entire photo collection.
- ability to view the pictures using the maximum capabilities of my TV (ie: HD if available, S-Video or composite if my TV is challenged...) and auto scaling to match TV resolution. (scaling could be done on the server side to minimize network bandwitdh usage?)
- ability to access this remotely for computer viewing over the internet would be a HUGE bonus

I picture a SlimServer / Squeezebox type solution for this, where the server does most of the work and "streams" the media according to the capabilities of the display device (much like streaming to a remote winamp player transcodes to MP3, while streaming the FLAC version to the local squeezebox), while the hardware device sitting beside my TV is JUST for retrieval and display. All organization and management would happen on the server side.

Does anyone know of somethiunbg that does what I am looking for? There are networked media players that do this kind of thing, but since I'm only interested in the photo display aspect of them, I was hoping to keep the cost down by only paying for what I need/want. The ability to play music is redundant (nothing beats my SB3) and the ability to play video is something I just won't use (beyond my PVR, I have no desire to watch video files on my TV -- a behaviour I learned when I had the ability with the HTPC).

I appreciate any and all suggestions that you may have!
- Thanks!

2006-09-05, 12:21
There was the Roku Photobridge, but the website says its been discontinued and a "new product" will be released in 2007 - http://www.rokulabs.com/support/HD1000discontinued.php

2006-09-05, 12:52
Does anyone know of somethiunbg that does what I am looking for?
If you have an XBOX, a modded XBOX can achieve all of this for you for a pretty low cost.


2006-09-05, 13:29
shabbs wrote:
> If you have an XBOX, a modded XBOX can achieve all of this for you for
> a pretty low cost.

The XBOX isn't silent, and while the aesthetics are in the eye of the
beholder (I think it's fugly, whereas my roommate thought it looked
pretty cool), doesn't bear much similarity to most consumer AV gear.

Perhaps a slim AV style Mini-ITX enclosure with DC-DC power supply,
network booted from a remote server? That would be an essentially
silent solution in an unobtrusive case. It doesn't really have the
simplicity and ease of use of a "Squeezebox for photos", though. It's
also expensive, by the time you add up the various components.

I imagine that the photos would be displayed on a TV? Some models of
TVs now include flash card slots for displaying photos; that would
require no additional hardware, and would also be silent. Of course,
that's a pretty big investment, especially if you have a TV you're happy
with already.

There are also a lot of standalone little devices like this:


(Caveat Emptor -- above link found through Google, no idea if they're
reputable or not).

For $15, you get a standalone flash card reader with video out. I
suspect the quality matches the low price point, but it may be adequate
for your purposes?


Nick Silberstein
Senior Developer
Flying Machine Development, Inc.

Pale Blue Ego
2006-09-05, 14:53
Some of these ideas were recently discussed on the thread:


I started out thinking of a networked display screen, but I think a small, standalone box with networking and various video outputs would be better.

2006-09-05, 23:27
I've been using a Media MVP from Happahauge for almost two years to stream music and photos to our family room. It works (even streams video), but the clunky i/f was what led me to eventually replace it (for music streaming) with an SB3. Love it.

We're finishing a room addition and moving some things around. When we're done, I'll probably keep the MVP around to stream family photos to the TV.

2006-09-06, 01:00
pixelmagic makes a mediaplayer with great soundquality the mb200


I think it might be able to do exactly what you want.


2006-09-06, 08:38
The HD MediaBox looks pretty good, but since I already have the SS/SB combo, its capabilities are overkill, and a little expensive for what I'm looking for... The cheapest one they have is USD $360 without a hard drive. I was thinking of spending about half that amount for a deidacted photo-only device.