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DLNA Media setup

I'm thinking of getting a NAS so that I can centrally stream my media to multiple devices. Primarily for tvs in multiple rooms and portable devices (ipad). My tv is an older model so it will need a HD Streaming Player or or DLNA capable device to stream the media to it. Here's my idea:

TRENDnet 200 Mbps Powerline Ethernet AV Adapter Kit TPL-303E2K $40
DLNA Wireless/Wired Blu-ray player $100?
Iomega StorCenter 4 TB ix2-200 (2 x 2TB) Network Storage Cloud Edition - $340
Netgear - WNR2000 Wireless-N Router - existing

Would it be possible to have the Blu-ray player stream the content from the NAS connected via wired ethernet? I don't want to use Wi-fi is the quality is going to suffer. Any recommendations for a DLNA Blu-ray player under $100 and 4 TB NAS under $300?

Sp Chess
Tue, 31 Jul 2012 03:50:18 +0400

Forgot to mention the media types: iso, avi, wmv, divx, mp3, mp4, acc, jpeg.

Nice to haves: Netflix, pandora and other channels like Roku2.

Sp Chess
Tue, 31 Jul 2012 04:04:15 +0400

I don't know anything about DLNA . . . But I'm afraid of any digital connectivity standards, because they obsolete them every two to three years. Basically, they keep coming out with new standards to make you "upgrade" every so often. So unless you "upgrade" all your devices at once, you'll end up with "broken pieces" over time.

Also, because of the digital protection, you'll have compatibility problems unless you always buy from the same manufacturer. For example, my Sony DVD changer hasn't worked with my Panasonic HDTV via HDMI since day one. I've given up on it.

My set-up is simple . . . computerize everything.

Rather than using a NAS, which could introduce connectivity problems as well, I have a laptop computer for the HDTV in my living room. It also serves as a NAS server using Windows networks. Pretty much all OS (Linux, Mac, etc.) supports this type of storage server. I only needed one hard drive, but you can attach as many as you like to a computer.

Then with other netbooks and laptops in other rooms, you can pretty much "stream" anything or do anything. Netbooks are practically just as inexpensive as media components. The only thing you can't replace with a netbook today is a stereo amplifier.

I'm all done with discs. But if you are still attached to Blu-ray, I say buy a laptop with a Blu-ray player and use it as a Blu-ray server. It could even be your NAS.

Yah, those video formats are another head-ache. The electronic media components rarely support ALL of the formats out there. And little discrepency in one format will prevent them from playing.

You solve all that with computers. Cuz, you just install a new codec. But easier to use codec packs. And to make it all brainless, just use VideoLAN.

By the way, I use Wi-Fi and have no problem streaming movies via Windows network (SMB). I've successfully streamed up to two movies to two different netbooks (two kids), while watching another movie on the HDTV using the server. It doesn't seem the hard drive nor the SMB server is a bottleneck.

CC
Wed, 01 Aug 2012 12:39:29 +0400

I should mention that this simple computer set-up also works great with Android. Using "ES File Explorer" and "MX Player" app on Android, I've been able to stream movies to my Android tablet and phones via SMB and Wi-Fi.

Many Android tablet and phones have HDMI output, so you can plug them into your TV. The only deficiency is no remotes for Android devices, which you can easily get for your computers. Maybe a Bluetooth mouse or trackball will work, but you'll need Android 3 or Android 4 for it to work.

CC
Wed, 01 Aug 2012 14:32:31 +0400

One more thing, if you are going to use the server with your big screen TV (basically playing media and interact with you, rather than a background server), then I suggest a full-on laptop; not a netbook. I found the single-core netbooks to be wonderful background servers (and I run several of them), they don't multi-task well while playing media. Seems to be a system bus bottleneck. I have not tried a multi-core netbook in that role, so I don't know the results. But full-on laptops seems to work very well.

The single-core and multi-core netbooks are sufficient as media streaming/playback client. And you can use them to multi-task while streaming. They also work great as background servers (Windows Remote Desktop server, Windows SMB server, and full Linux server). Very little bottlenecks in this area.

CC
Wed, 01 Aug 2012 15:36:33 +0400

Check out this article:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20025670-1/which-streami . . .

This might be closest to what you want. PS3 is a good alternative too, but a newer version is rumored to be coming out.
http://reviews.cnet.com/blu-ray-players/sony-bdp-s590/4505-9 . . .

I gave up on disc media too. All my standard def and downscaled HD media seem to stream fine over wifi (802.11g). You don't need to go wired until you stream BluRay rips. DLNA never works right for me, so just make sure your streamer supports SMB/Samba.

If you already have a server running full time already, you should just run Plex Media Server in the backend (the UNIX version runs on some NAS too) and get a $50-$100 Roku as a client in the frontend. Plex is forked off of XBMC. Your media get indexed automatically in the backend and the interface is gorgeous.
http://www.plexapp.com/getplex/index.php
http://plexapp.com/roku/

Plex also has mobile clients (IOS, Android, WP7 ,etc). They are all $4.99.

With Roku, you will have access to Netflix, HuluPlus, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora, etc. etc.

If you need BluRay, just get a standalone player after that.

gnowk
Wed, 01 Aug 2012 16:33:36 +0400

cool... plex looks neat. umm.. would it be safe to link up my entire media set into plex and with myplex? sounds like i'm giving them a nice tidy packaged up list of all of my media indexed and all with information tying back to me. no?

charlie
Wed, 01 Aug 2012 17:14:38 +0400

http://wiki.plexapp.com/index.php/MyPlex#Security_and_Privac . . .

i will be leery still.

gnowk
Wed, 01 Aug 2012 17:40:42 +0400

Thanks for all the great suggestions. I'll need to read up on the Plex Server option.

I like the laptop for the various formats but the easy of use for other people may be an issue.

Sp Chess
Wed, 01 Aug 2012 18:56:50 +0400

Okay, so I bit the bullet and went ahead with ordering some hardware from Amazon.

Sony BDP-S590 3D Blu-ray Disc Player with Wi-Fi - $120
Iomega StorCenter 4 TB ix2-200 (2 x 2TB) Network Storage Cloud Edition 35430 - $280
TRENDnet 200 Mbps Powerline Ethernet AV Adapter Kit TPL-303E2K - $60
I'll update once I have this set up and in use.

Sp Chess
Mon, 13 Aug 2012 21:20:08 +0400

I'm interested in how well the Powerline adapters work, especially on a surge protector strip.

CC
Mon, 13 Aug 2012 21:21:47 +0400

great price for 4TB and the NAS unit itself. Looks like it's hackable:
http://vincesoft.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-to-install-softwar . . .

gnowk
Tue, 14 Aug 2012 00:11:52 +0400

I finally got my setup completed.

Just a reminder
Iomega ix2-200 4 TB (RAID 1) NAS
Sony BDP-S590 3D Bluray player
TRENDnet 200 Mbps Powerline Ethernet AV Adapter Kit TPL-303E2K

I ran into some trouble setting up the Personal Cloud piece on the NAS, After reading some forums, I found that I had to port forward on both my router and DSL Modem/Router. I'm still copying my content to the NAS from my computer. This is a big problem as the copy operation is taking a very long time. Other than that, the device is working and has a lot of good features.

The Bluray player, which is now connected to the network via a cable with the help of the Trendnet adapter, comes with its own set of Sony free content - Crackle Movie, TV and originals. I scanned through some of the movies (250 so far) and started to watch one. The streaming is fine, By the way, the setup was very easy. Since it is a Sony, the remotes will work with other Sony devices (ie., tv, audio receiver, etc.). I have an old 42" LCD tv so the picture quality is subpar.

The Trendnet adapter is pretty cool. I was able to detect the pair plugged into separate surge protectors - upstairs and downstairs. The instructions recommend not to plug them in this way, but it is working for me. You can add up to 8 total devices on the same network. There is a feature to use a different network name, so you could continue to add 8 devices in this way. Technically they would not see each other based on the network name, but if they are on the same router and subnet, then they could communicate if you know the ip address. If you're going to have more than 8 of these devices, then you should consider a different solution.

I've only began to touch the surface of the setup. My next project is to replace the tv and perhaps get a soundbar with a sub-woofer. That's for another thread. So far I'm pleased with the setup. The one complain is the copy speed. However, this will hopefully be a one-time thing. Once my content is updated, I will only have smaller uploads in the future.

Sp Chess
Fri, 31 Aug 2012 23:52:35 +0400

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