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View Full Version : Any video steaming servers with library capability, like SqueezeServer?



tbessie
2009-11-15, 16:57
Hi all...

So I'm setting up things so I can stream videos around my house wirelessly. I am using SqueezeServer (or whatever it's name is now) for music, but I'm wondering what you all know out there for something very similar that can stream video (HD and SD), as well as scan/maintain a database or library, etc.

Since my video is scattered around various machines, it would be nice if I didn't have to just mount filesystems on the client machines and look for movies, but have a central video server to do that, and manage a library.

Anyone know of a product, free or not, that does that, for video?

- Tim

MeSue
2009-11-15, 19:12
J. River Media Center

exile
2009-11-15, 19:49
don't know if it'll fit your needs but Boxee is a brilliant and free software program that allows you to quite easily watch video streams from the web and also watch movies/tv shows from your home server. And as a bonus it also does pictures and music (for those that aren't already set up with the squeeze server).

tbessie
2009-11-15, 23:15
don't know if it'll fit your needs but Boxee is a brilliant and free software program that allows you to quite easily watch video streams from the web and also watch movies/tv shows from your home server. And as a bonus it also does pictures and music (for those that aren't already set up with the squeeze server).

Does Boxee require a net presence? i.e. an account on Boxee? Or can it be completely controlled via my home network? I don't like things that require a connection to some server outside my home network.

- Tim

exile
2009-11-16, 09:39
in order to watch online video streams you would of course need to be logged into your boxee account within the program but it also has the option of working in the program in offline mode.

Boxee is a fantastic program that is just about to go to beta stage. I've been using it in alpha for about a year now and it's been revolutionizing my television experience just like the squeezebox did way back when.

fyi- i don't just use boxee. for a fully rounded online/computer tv experience I currently use boxee, the hulu desktop app and then for live tv- Elgato's eyetv which is also quite brilliant.

tbessie
2009-11-16, 12:45
in order to watch online video streams you would of course need to be logged into your boxee account within the program but it also has the option of working in the program in offline mode.

Boxee is a fantastic program that is just about to go to beta stage. I've been using it in alpha for about a year now and it's been revolutionizing my television experience just like the squeezebox did way back when.

fyi- i don't just use boxee. for a fully rounded online/computer tv experience I currently use boxee, the hulu desktop app and then for live tv- Elgato's eyetv which is also quite brilliant.

Well, all I really want is something like this - a media server in a single location that has access to all my video sources (in my case, ALL I care about are locally and remotely mounted drives, either via NFS or Samba), the ability to index said content and let me modify the database in case a given fileset/DVD on hard drive/etc. is unidentifiable, and a *thick* client I can run on Linux or Windows to watch and control the viewing. I don't want an applet or Flex app that runs in a browser and has lots of lag - I want a full-blown media player, but communicating with a central server.

Does boxee do that?

I'll check it out anyway. :-)

- Tim

exile
2009-11-16, 13:09
i think boxee is exactly what you're looking for but you be the judge. The best part about it is that it's free so you have nothing to lose by trying it out.

Andy8421
2009-11-16, 13:18
Rather to my suprise, my son managed to get windows media centre to stream SD video wirelessly to a PS3. WMC manages the library, PS3 hardware outputs HDMI and optical audio. No funny drivers or setup, it just worked.

radish
2009-11-16, 13:32
We have Tivos on each TV in the house. I run a little app called pyTivo on the linux server which serves up any videos I have there to the Tivos with transcoding as needed. Very simple, and works very well.

bossanova808
2009-11-16, 20:42
Ok the obvious solution to the is XBMC - excellent library system and will do exactly what the OP asked.

www.xbmc.org

Run it on an ASRock ION330 using the XBMCLive linux install - it's really easy to set up (guide here http://a8t8.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!2518DD508BB713E8!804.entry) and it will auto-scrape all your movies and TV shows. Plays pretty much everything, ISOs, avis, and mkvs all no problem. You can manage the library in XBMC itself or use various tools (Media Companion, TVRename etc) to manage the library on the server.

tbessie
2009-11-17, 00:19
Ok the obvious solution to the is XBMC - excellent library system and will do exactly what the OP asked.

www.xbmc.org

Run it on an ASRock ION330 using the XBMCLive linux install - it's really easy to set up (guide here http://a8t8.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!2518DD508BB713E8!804.entry) and it will auto-scrape all your movies and TV shows. Plays pretty much everything, ISOs, avis, and mkvs all no problem. You can manage the library in XBMC itself or use various tools (Media Companion, TVRename etc) to manage the library on the server.

Thanks much for the link! It looks a bit like MediaPortal, which I guess came from it. The tough thing is, all of these products have these '10 foot views' which I hate. I just want it to keep a library and serve media, but in a computer-expertish way, not in a couch-lounging way. I mean, I use a keyboard, not a remote, so I would like finer granularity than it seems to provide. Perhaps there are other skins out there for it for that use.

I tried it a bit, and it hung in the middle of scanning my music and video collections. It also seemed to have trouble guessing what my videos were, since I keep them all in DVD directory format (and not ISOs, since I'd originally wanted to play with with VLC, which seemed to be quite happy with the directory format). I'd use VLC for streaming, but it wants you to pick the thing to stream at the source, and doesn't seem to be much made for library management and remote control (I mean, from another computer, not a handheld remote control).

So it *looks* like XBMC and MediaPortal would be my best bet, though for the videos I'll have to either convert everything into ISOs and put them in obviously named folders if I want automatic naming to work, or add things to the library one folder at a time... and XBMC, at least from what I saw, isn't very friendly to the guy who wants to edit his music collection like a spreadsheet. But maybe there are plugins for that? :-)

- Tim

exile
2009-11-17, 08:26
just for clarity- Boxee is based on the XMBC model. I believe the Boxee folks used it as a starting point for their project. Also it's menus are customizable and Boxee also integrates well with the iphone/itouch for remote control purposes.

I now sound like a Boxee salesperson but I can't say enough good things about the Boxee project.

MeSue
2009-11-17, 12:48
Did you explore J. River Media Center? I don't use it for this, so I can't provide specifics, but I'm pretty sure it can do what you want. It's very customizable. I know it can play ripped DVD directories - so you would not need to convert to ISOs, though it can play those too. It acts as both a library server and client, and I understand the latest version even makes the library server read-write, so changes you make on a client with be written back to the server.

tbessie
2009-11-17, 21:35
Did you explore J. River Media Center? I don't use it for this, so I can't provide specifics, but I'm pretty sure it can do what you want. It's very customizable. I know it can play ripped DVD directories - so you would not need to convert to ISOs, though it can play those too. It acts as both a library server and client, and I understand the latest version even makes the library server read-write, so changes you make on a client with be written back to the server.

Hey there -- yes, I just tried it out. It was okay, though not the easiest to navigate. It would be nice if it had some way to guess movie titles, but I guess that's tough; it'd take some work on the library to whip it into shape.

So it COULD work; one thing, tho', my laptop that I want to watch movies on runs Linux; the author of J River Media Center suggests using some special package to let you run it on Linux, but there's no Linux player for it, natively.

I'll probably end up just sticking to using the fileserver(s) for now, and see how things develop over time. I don't want it SO badly that I'd try something that didn't work just as I'd like.

Maybe I could write a simple one in Java. :-)

- Tim

MikeWynneDub
2009-11-18, 11:37
I use the Netgear EVA8000.

It streams video (and audio and pictures if you want) from a Samba shared drive (I run Linux).

It's cheap and just works...

They also have some other products in this category - http://www.netgear.com/Products/Entertainment/DigitalMediaPlayers.aspx

tbessie
2009-11-18, 22:01
I use the Netgear EVA8000.

It streams video (and audio and pictures if you want) from a Samba shared drive (I run Linux).

It's cheap and just works...

They also have some other products in this category - http://www.netgear.com/Products/Entertainment/DigitalMediaPlayers.aspx

I will take a look - I had hoped to avoid using a 3rd-party thingie like this (thus the reason I built my HTPC to begin with), but I'll look - thanks!

- Tim

vasik
2009-11-24, 16:03
Hi everybody, looking for something similar, I would need multiroom system for playing FullHD h264 movies from one fileserver on multiple LCD Tv's in our offices. Actually the same as squeezebox, just for video (I will use Squeezebox + iPhone for audio - thought about Sonos, but like Squeezebox so much more). I need 5.1 AC3 surround support... Any ideas? Thanks