Does the ideal Media Server/Content Streamer exist? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-24-2012, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Well about a year ago I built an Unraid server. It is currently a 20tb storage unit that holds all my BluRay and DVD rips. I purchased a Boxee Box to stream content to my home theater. The boxee box worked great at first. It was able to handle my 20-30gb MKV files without any stutter. All the movies loaded up within a few seconds and it is able to pass through lossless audio. The Boxee also streams Netflix & Vudu along with tons of other channels. IMO the Boxee has a great UI, it easily passes the "wife test" she is able to find movies and watch Netflix without any confusion.

Recently the Boxee has had an issue of dropping audio, which is the main reason I want to drop the Boxee. Another reason I want a new streamer is the lack of Hulu. I do not for see either of these being corrected any time soon.

I have a Roku with is nice because it does Netflix, Hulu, but doesnt do Vudu or local content. I also have a PS3 which seems to do all the content services, but it does stream MKV.

I have looked at Dune but I am not sure which apps it has
I have also looked at Popcorn hour, but again, not sure which apps and I read mixed reviews

My ideal Media Server/Content Streamer:
-Have a movies section that streams my BR and DVD rips (Must be able to do HQ MKV with lossless audio)
-Stream Netflix
-Stream Vudu
-Stream Hulu
-Stream Amazon Prime Videos
-Decent UI

Is there a "One Stop Shop" for all of this?

I apologize in advanced if this has been discussed, I did not find a current thread or one that seemed to address all of this. Thanks for everyone's input!
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-24-2012, 04:31 PM
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You may want to just get a small pc and put a good media app on it.

I also looking for a good streamer but may end up getting a eeepc for about 350 and just do everything off that
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-24-2012, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought about an HTPC but from what I read, It can get pricey if you want to decoded HQ MKV. I thought about using XMBC, but Im not too sure what apps it has.
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-24-2012, 06:06 PM
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Unfortunately, there really isn't a single device on the market that can do everything really well. An HTPC with XBMC can be great for local media but is pretty limited when it comes to the online pay services; many of the services don't offer their highest quality streams to PCs and some (::cough:: Hulu+ ::cough:: ) aren't available at all on a PC.

I'm pretty happy with the functionality of my current setup, which consists of a tiny Foxconn HTPC for local files, a Roku 2 for most of the online services (I really dislike the Roku interface, but the little box just works), and my blu-ray player for VUDU. I hate that it takes 3 devices for everything, but after going through countless streamers, this is what I have grudgingly settled on.

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post #5 of 15 Old 08-24-2012, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Livings View Post

I thought about an HTPC but from what I read, It can get pricey if you want to decoded HQ MKV. I thought about using XMBC, but Im not too sure what apps it has.

Im not sure how it can get pricey when this will play mkv file just fine. Its just like my asus ul30vt laptop. MPC-HC uses the gpu to play all the videos. I can play all my mkv files, even the ones that are 30gigs with full uncompressed video and full audio just fine.

http://www.amazon.com/Asus-EB1033-B001E-ASUS-EB1033-Desktop/dp/B008ABL0WI/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=3W2KXC0F6IGLS&coliid=I3PO4RGDOU7ENI
370 is not a bad price for what you get. I may try the new Mede8er MED1000X3D but the price of that is 250 bucks. I will have to read up on the reviews of it.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-24-2012, 06:22 PM
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Since you have a Roku you could give Plex a try smile.gif
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-24-2012, 06:32 PM
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There's no one stop shop unfortunately. I use a $200.00 HTPC with XBMC for local playback and streaming RSS based sites like Revision 3. It uses a Foxconn MB, Celeron G530, and 4GB of RAM with some cheapo mini-itx case. I use the apps on my TV for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Rhapsody.

Looky here!
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-25-2012, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdb4133 View Post

Since you have a Roku you could give Plex a try smile.gif

I wish I could use this, but since I have all my local content on an Unraid server, I would need to learn how to code linux I think.
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-25-2012, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Livings View Post

I wish I could use this, but since I have all my local content on an Unraid server, I would need to learn how to code linux I think.

The location of your media doesn't really matter to the Plex Media Server. I don't actually use it myself, but I have played around with it in the past and, at that time, I had the Plex Media Server running on my windows desktop, streaming movies from my Synology NAS to my Roku box.

There's also a Plex Media Server plugin for UnRAID...

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post #10 of 15 Old 08-26-2012, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Livings View Post

I wish I could use this, but since I have all my local content on an Unraid server, I would need to learn how to code linux I think.

This is not true. If you go to the Unraid forums or the Plex forums there is a version of the Plex Media Server that runs on your UNraid box. I have been running this now since the first version was available and have had zero issues. In my setup I access the server via iPhone, iPad, Mac Mini, and Jailbroken Apple TV2. I have a friend who accesses his via Roku with zero issues. I would say since you already have the Unraid server and the Roku there is no reason to not give this a try since it will be a cost of nothing but a little bit of your time

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post #11 of 15 Old 08-28-2012, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaxStar18 View Post

This is not true. If you go to the Unraid forums or the Plex forums there is a version of the Plex Media Server that runs on your UNraid box. I have been running this now since the first version was available and have had zero issues. In my setup I access the server via iPhone, iPad, Mac Mini, and Jailbroken Apple TV2. I have a friend who accesses his via Roku with zero issues. I would say since you already have the Unraid server and the Roku there is no reason to not give this a try since it will be a cost of nothing but a little bit of your time

Yeah what he said! smile.gif
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-30-2012, 12:44 AM
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It would be nice to have it all in one device. I think a lot of people have been looking for this but it doesn't seem to exist. There are some nice combinations like XBMC on a small net top and a Roku2. If you are not wedded to HD audio and playing from disk images then Plex is a really nice solution on the new Sony Internet TV+GTV box.

philip
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-30-2012, 11:40 AM
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Does a device exist that can do the following:

- Steam 1080p x264 encoded MKV files (10-20ish mbit) over powerline ethernet from SMB shares (assume 100mbit connection)
- Stream Blu-ray images (same conditions as above), chapter/menu support would be nice
- DVD ISO support, chapter/menu support
- YouTube HD
- Netflix HD
- Competent interface for music/playlist and picture slideshows
- Apple AirPlay would be nice
- 3D would be nice but I know it's not quite there yet

Not really concerned about DTS-MA/Dolby TrueHD audio at this point as I won't have n AVR setup for a while. Current plan is to use my first gen Popcorn Hour A-100 plus built in Panasonic Smart Viera for Netflix (haven't bought the TV yet).
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post #14 of 15 Old 08-31-2012, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grambo View Post

Does a device exist that can do the following:
- Steam 1080p x264 encoded MKV files (10-20ish mbit) over powerline ethernet from SMB shares (assume 100mbit connection)
- Stream Blu-ray images (same conditions as above), chapter/menu support would be nice
- DVD ISO support, chapter/menu support
- YouTube HD
- Netflix HD
- Competent interface for music/playlist and picture slideshows
- Apple AirPlay would be nice
- 3D would be nice but I know it's not quite there yet
Not really concerned about DTS-MA/Dolby TrueHD audio at this point as I won't have n AVR setup for a while. Current plan is to use my first gen Popcorn Hour A-100 plus built in Panasonic Smart Viera for Netflix (haven't bought the TV yet).

Boxee Box meets those requirements. deal breaker once you connect to AVR due to audio drop outs but works great connected to 2 channel TV
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post #15 of 15 Old 08-31-2012, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

Boxee Box meets those requirements. deal breaker once you connect to AVR due to audio drop outs but works great connected to 2 channel TV

Good to know, thanks... I'm going to try to run the Popcorn A100 and SmartTV for now and see how it works. When I buy a new box, I want it to handle everything including proper HD audio as I will buy a receiver/speakers within the next year.
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