Check my plan for media streaming, please? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-12-2013, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, so here's my situation:

I have two places that I would like to set up streaming, primarily of music and photos and occasional video. I'm not concerned with streaming uncompressed HD video.

At location 1, I have a TV and an a/v receiver which are located together. I also have a Roku box. The a/v receiver has not yet been purchased, so if there are thoughts on how to make all of this easier, I'm open. There may also be a new TV coming to this location.

At location 2, I have a TV and an a/v receier that are not located together - they are halfway acorss the houe. The TV is a 'Smart' LG tv and the receiver is old - I'm not sure if i it has HDMI.

I'd like to have a NAS to store the media on. This will need to be accessed from either location and may occasionally move from one location to the other.

Sooo...

I think at location1, I can use Plex to stream to the Roku. The Roku will be plugged into the a/v receiver through HDMI which wil then go to the TV via HDMI. I can use the Plex channel to stream anything I want onto the TV and through the stereo. Can I use an iPad to choose music to stream to the Roku so that the TV can stay off?

Location 2 is a bit more difficult. I think I can use Plex to connect the TV and the NAS directly and then use the second Roku box to connect the a/v receiver to the NAS and stream. Again, I'd like to use the iPad to select streaming media for the roku/stereo. Can I do this without a TV? Is there a better way to inexpensively connect the receiver to the network?

OK - does this work? Am I missing something stupid to make it easier?

Thank you!
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-15-2013, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Bump for a little more visibility...

Did I do something dumb? 51 views and no responses?

Thanks for your help!
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-15-2013, 11:40 PM
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Well first off while Roku's are "streamers" they are not local content streamers, there you may have a problem. Plex is just a bandage not really a solution. It would seem you are looking for something like the WD TV streamer or perhaps a Dune.

Why would you move your NAS around the house? If you simply connect all your equipment to the same router on the same subnet all content will be available in all locations.
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-15-2013, 11:52 PM
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You can use a Roku to "stream" music and photos from any computer, though I'm not aware of a way to control it without looking at a monitor.

I am unfamiliar with Plex (heard of it many times, just never looked into it). But you can download the demo version of Playon, which enables playing content from your computer through a Roku. Although Playon will stop streaming Internet content after the trial period ends, it will continue to stream content located on your computer.

You can set it up to watch folders on your NAS. There is an Android ROKU app available t control your ROKU, but you need to look at a monitor to see what you're selecting.

Sent from my Nexus 7
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-16-2013, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

Well first off while Roku's are "streamers" they are not local content streamers, there you may have a problem. Plex is just a bandage not really a solution. It would seem you are looking for something like the WD TV streamer or perhaps a Dune.

Why would you move your NAS around the house? If you simply connect all your equipment to the same router on the same subnet all content will be available in all locations.

I'm curious to hear more about your viewson Plex... Many people seem to really like it, so what limitations would you say it has? From what I understand, I can use an iPad to select music and send it to a specific location (i.e, I can tell it to play on the Roku throught he Plex channel).

I'll look at Dune and see what that is.

Should have been more clear. Locations 1 and 2 are two separate houses. I'd be setting this up for my in-laws and they live in two different houses for about 6 months/year.

Thanks!
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-16-2013, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leebo View Post

You can use a Roku to "stream" music and photos from any computer, though I'm not aware of a way to control it without looking at a monitor.

I am unfamiliar with Plex (heard of it many times, just never looked into it). But you can download the demo version of Playon, which enables playing content from your computer through a Roku. Although Playon will stop streaming Internet content after the trial period ends, it will continue to stream content located on your computer.

You can set it up to watch folders on your NAS. There is an Android ROKU app available t control your ROKU, but you need to look at a monitor to see what you're selecting.

Sent from my Nexus 7

Playon sounds similar to Plex....

Plex will, I think, allow you to use an iPad/Android to select the media and stream it to a chosen location/device.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-16-2013, 12:21 PM
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I've used both Playon and Plex, either or both are OK, but with the roku there is some transcoding going on. For all round use I'd opt for the WDTV units, cheap, support Netflix, and many other internet streams and also local content as either local shares or via a server though I hate anything to do with DLNA so I avoid it totally. If you have the Roku, fine - but of the two I'd opt for Plex - either one needs to be running on a computer in the background.

Not quite sure what you are trying to accomplish in the second scenario.
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-16-2013, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I hear what you’re saying. We’ve already got two Roku boxes so wouldn’t have to buy anything for that end and am looking to get a NAS to run the Plex server on and host media.

How much transcoding is going on for music from Plex to Roku?

In the first scenario, I can plug the Roku into my receiver and from there into the TV – use the Roku to reach back to the Plex server. In the second scenario, the TV and the receiver are far apart so I can’t do that. The TV is ‘smart’ so I’m hoping I can use that to reach back to the Plex server and keep the Roku box for the stereo receiver. If not, I’ll need to get another box or forgo looking at pictures.

In the end, it may end up being much easier to use Apple TV to do all of this….
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-16-2013, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattGoose View Post

I hear what you’re saying. We’ve already got two Roku boxes so wouldn’t have to buy anything for that end and am looking to get a NAS to run the Plex server on and host media.

How much transcoding is going on for music from Plex to Roku?

In the first scenario, I can plug the Roku into my receiver and from there into the TV – use the Roku to reach back to the Plex server. In the second scenario, the TV and the receiver are far apart so I can’t do that. The TV is ‘smart’ so I’m hoping I can use that to reach back to the Plex server and keep the Roku box for the stereo receiver. If not, I’ll need to get another box or forgo looking at pictures.

In the end, it may end up being much easier to use Apple TV to do all of this….

Apple TV must have an instance of Itunes running on a computer somewhere and no the itunes server software that runs on some NAS boxes will not do it. Roku should be able to pull from a NAS that can run plex and play music or photo's without a computer being on.

I have 2 Apple TV's and they're great for what they do, but a Roku with Plex on a NAS should be better for you. I know most of the relatively ne Synology NAS devices can run Plex and I'm sure there are others as well.

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post #10 of 11 Old 04-17-2013, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jgiddyup View Post

Apple TV must have an instance of Itunes running on a computer somewhere and no the itunes server software that runs on some NAS boxes will not do it. Roku should be able to pull from a NAS that can run plex and play music or photo's without a computer being on.

I have 2 Apple TV's and they're great for what they do, but a Roku with Plex on a NAS should be better for you. I know most of the relatively ne Synology NAS devices can run Plex and I'm sure there are others as well.

I really would prefer to go the NAS route to solve this problem - I have a growing photo collection that I want to be able to backup routinely.

If my in laws really wanted to use Apple TV to do this, they would also get iTunes match which would then, I think, allow them to play music from their iPad to the Apple TV... As much as I hate to say it, the Apple solution is really simple...
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post #11 of 11 Old 04-17-2013, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattGoose View Post


Should have been more clear. Locations 1 and 2 are two separate houses. I'd be setting this up for my in-laws and they live in two different houses for about 6 months/year.

Thanks!

Matt,

In this case, since they are separate physical locations/spaces, here are a couple options, both required internet access at both locations....

Option1....purchase a NAS to centrally store your content at location 1 or 2, use Roku to stream content from Plex (and with the Plex and Roku apps you can control the content remotely). Plex Server has a feature called MyPlex, which makes it really easy to access content remotely....ie at a different house. So the Roku at the 2nd location would need to be configured with your MyPlex account info and bang! you can access all the content from the NAS in house 1.

Option2....purchase 2 NAS's to centrally store your content at each location; each Roku will stream from content locally stored. How do you keep the content in sync you ask? Use rSync or rSync over SSH

Personally, I prefer option 1....I'm a PlexPass member and recommend it for it's ease of use and flexibility. Depending on your use case, option 1 will require that you have decent upload bandwidth, especially for video streaming over the net. I currently run Plex Server and have 10Mb upload from my ISP; I live in Florida and my sister in Atlanta has a Roku which she uses to access content on my NAS, and my parents also use a Roku to access the same content, all running from a Synology DS1812+. I've successfully tested 8 simultaneous video streams (6 local, 2 remote streams) without issue or extreme taxing of the NAS's resources, albeit this is without video transcoding.

I haven't used the Dune systems, although they are highly recommended by many on this forum....but I recommend Plex since you already have the Rokus, no need to spend money on additional client hardware, IMO.
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