Struggling here. Watching media on my TV from NAS. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-08-2013, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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As basic as it may seem I cannot find an adequate solution.

Very simple: I have a smart LG TV (55LW5600) connected to my gigabit router. I'm going to buy a NAS and also connect it to the router.

Here's the question: How can I watch the media on my NAS (1080p video - all types) with my TV?

Requirements:
1. For this exercise, there will be no computer in the house, just the NAS and the TV.
2. HTPC is not an option

Solutions that aren't solutions:

A. The LG TV will be able to see the media on the NAS. However:

1. The media must be supported by the TV, so no videos that have DTS audio
2. The interface SUCKS. navigating videos is slow and laggy.
3. No transcoding support by either the TV or the NAS - so only part of my video files are "compatible" without conversion. This also meas no PLEX.


B. Apple TV. However:

AFAIK, AppleTV is not compatible with most NAS devices. If the NAS has support for an iTunes server, will this solution work? Will I need to convert ALL my video to iTunes compatible? Will the Apple TV interface still be quick and snappy?


C. Just use an external HD connected to gigabit router via USB 3.

Not nearly as much network support/flexibility as a NAS, correct? Additionally, there is still the interface issue. The built-in LG smart interface is absolutely terrible and I want to avoid it.


Am I overlooking something here? There must be something I am not considering.

Thanks for any help!! smile.gif
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-08-2013, 09:28 AM
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Am I overlooking something here? There must be something I am not considering.
Yes. It is not what you are not considering, it is what you are considering -- using a "smart TV" to stream you media.
Smart TV's are a joke. Buy a real media streamer that can handle all your files. The WDTV Live-SMP is a very good choice for under $100. In addition to streaming your media, it will have all the Internet streaming site connectivity of the TV and more.

I just bought a Panasonic P65VT60 "smart plasma". The DLNA client for streaming BD media from my server is an absolute joke because of how limited the range of formats it supports. There is no reason to use it vs. my Live-SMP player and many reasons not .
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-08-2013, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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WDTV Live is completely new to me, and after a brief review of it, it sounds VERY promising.

How is the interface? snappy? Would I be able to sort and organize the content that it's pulling from the NAS? It needs to be intuitive... the gf would appreciate that smile.gif
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-08-2013, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by js09 View Post

As basic as it may seem I cannot find an adequate solution.

Very simple: I have a smart LG TV (55LW5600) connected to my gigabit router. I'm going to buy a NAS and also connect it to the router.

Here's the question: How can I watch the media on my NAS (1080p video - all types) with my TV?

Requirements:
1. For this exercise, there will be no computer in the house, just the NAS and the TV.
2. HTPC is not an option

Solutions that aren't solutions:

A. The LG TV will be able to see the media on the NAS. However:

1. The media must be supported by the TV, so no videos that have DTS audio
2. The interface SUCKS. navigating videos is slow and laggy.
3. No transcoding support by either the TV or the NAS - so only part of my video files are "compatible" without conversion. This also meas no PLEX.


B. Apple TV. However:

AFAIK, AppleTV is not compatible with most NAS devices. If the NAS has support for an iTunes server, will this solution work? Will I need to convert ALL my video to iTunes compatible? Will the Apple TV interface still be quick and snappy?


C. Just use an external HD connected to gigabit router via USB 3.

Not nearly as much network support/flexibility as a NAS, correct? Additionally, there is still the interface issue. The built-in LG smart interface is absolutely terrible and I want to avoid it.


Am I overlooking something here? There must be something I am not considering.

Thanks for any help!! smile.gif

Here's a possible quick/fast solution to your problem.

Your LG TV is capable of using an app called Media Link. If you're going to purchase a NAS, look into Synology/Qnap/Netgear (I prefer Synology); get a NAS that has an x86 CPU/processor. Run Plex Media Server (PMS @ http://plexapp.com) on the NAS, connect the Media Link app on your TV to Plex, voila....you can now watch the content on your NAS at your TV. I have a Samsung TV that I've installed the native Plex client on and I have no issues watching content from my NAS. You will need to ensure that you're encoding your content in a format that your TV will support (most likely h.264 MP4) so the NAS isn't called upon to do any transcoding (it's really limited on these NAS's).

Or you'll be required to purchase another device to view your content....Roku, WD Live, etc....since you don't link the LG interface.
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-08-2013, 11:45 AM
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@js09
Interface and speed are subjective -- I find both to be to my liking. It has media scraping capability so you can build a library where each movie has a pretty picture background that fills the screen and lots of text info. I prefer a simple list of titles and organize my media in folders on the server. The Live-SMP does that also. You can get a good idea of the interface by downloading and skimming through the manual.

The main thing is its media playing capability is quite good and stable. Here is the active thread for the WD Live-SMP. You might find it useful to read the last 100 or so posts.

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post #6 of 13 Old 11-08-2013, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlacMagik View Post

Here's a possible quick/fast solution to your problem.

Your LG TV is capable of using an app called Media Link. If you're going to purchase a NAS, look into Synology/Qnap/Netgear (I prefer Synology); get a NAS that has an x86 CPU/processor. Run Plex Media Server (PMS @ http://plexapp.com) on the NAS, connect the Media Link app on your TV to Plex, voila....you can now watch the content on your NAS at your TV. I have a Samsung TV that I've installed the native Plex client on and I have no issues watching content from my NAS. You will need to ensure that you're encoding your content in a format that your TV will support (most likely h.264 MP4) so the NAS isn't called upon to do any transcoding (it's really limited on these NAS's).

Or you'll be required to purchase another device to view your content....Roku, WD Live, etc....since you don't link the LG interface.

BlacMagik,

Actually it's a little funny what you suggested, here's why. I already have PMS installed on a PC in the house, and I use Media Link to access it. It works great, except it can't pull the media files wirelessly quick enough without buffering. Anything over 2GB is a no-go. So I gave up months ago. If I need to watch a 1080p 10GB movie, I'll put it on a flash drive and stick it into the TV. I hate doing it this way, though.

The other thing is that I already have a nice NAS system (QNAP TS-419PII-US). However, I'm getting rid of it because it's overkill. It was used as storage between a few macs/pcs, not for my TV as a media server. It wouldnt be powerful enough to run plex anyway, and my TV doesn't support many files including DTS.

So basically my plan is to sell my existing NAS and all the drives, and get a smaller 1 or 2-bay NAS to serve as my TV media box. It looks like i'm forced to perhaps buy WD Live, which is ok.

If the cost of going the NAS + WD Live end up being as much as building an HTPC... I will just do that.

In summary.. good ideas, Magik, but I'm still stuck smile.gif

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@js09
Interface and speed are subjective -- I find both to be to my liking. It has media scraping capability so you can build a library where each movie has a pretty picture background that fills the screen and lots of text info. I prefer a simple list of titles and organize my media in folders on the server. The Live-SMP does that also. You can get a good idea of the interface by downloading and skimming through the manual.

The main thing is its media playing capability is quite good and stable. Here is the active thread for the WD Live-SMP. You might find it useful to read the last 100 or so posts.

Thanks Kelson.. that was helpful!
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-08-2013, 01:47 PM
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Ah ok...I understand. But wait, isn't there a NAS out there that runs XBMC and has a HDMI output? Either Thecus or Qnap? That may be a solution.

I understand bout the performance/interface of the earlier smart enabled LG televisions, they were the definition of terrible, I did have one of those earlier models.
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-08-2013, 02:06 PM
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-08-2013, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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If I go the Thecus NAS + XMBC, my TV will still not support certain A/V formats, right? So that's not going to work. Not to mention, it appears to be out of my budget frown.gif

I'm researching a bit on this inexpensive NAS: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EVVGAFI/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1J4MZ81YSMS6A&coliid=IILXVUMZEB63X

It looks like it will work great with the WD TV Live.. any thoughts going this route?

Another concern I have that I did not mention earlier, is sharing music via iTunes so that multiple Mac's can access it. I have to do some more research on this item though, since I don't know yet what's possible/practical.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-08-2013, 10:56 PM
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The other thing is that I already have a nice NAS system (QNAP TS-419PII-US). However, I'm getting rid of it because it's overkill . . .
So basically my plan is to sell my existing NAS and all the drives, and get a smaller 1 or 2-bay NAS to serve as my TV media box. It looks like i'm forced to perhaps buy WD Live, which is ok.

So here is an idea to keep your costs down and still get what you want. Don't sell your current NAS, buy a WD Live-SMP and test it out together. If your current NAS is high performance, the Live-SMP should have no problems streaming content from the NAS shared folders. You don't need any other sever software for the Live-SMP, just SMB shares. This way you are in for under $100.

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post #11 of 13 Old 11-10-2013, 01:49 AM
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Sometimes a simple 2 piece solution as you suggest is far more complicated.

Skip the NAS and consider perhaps something like a Med8ator or Dune media player. Of the latter, try to find the smaller ones that offer simple hard drive internally. The advantages of these units is that you can control some facets of the output - video you can set to scale all to 1080p etc and more importantly the audio. If you have no AVR/receiver, and depend only on the TV's audio, you can set these units to stereo out. These media players come with HDMI out so that should solve most problems for you. Plug it directly into your TV.

The Dune media player also has third party software makers that let you go to your computer and create screen akin to Plex or XBMC. Med8ator may also have similar.

These players cost far more than say a WD Live but do a great deal more in terms of video and audio. The cost certainly is a consideration but when you consider a WD Live plus NAS, then its really not much of a difference but a whole lot more to gain.


As for me - I can play some files through my VT50 Panasonic plasma directly but I prefer to use my blu ray player that can talk to my NAS (rather large library of media files - both music and movies) and pass it through my AVR then to my plasma TV. This is pretty much a traditional set up. I have used in the past the Dune Base 3 player with excellent success. Its only short coming was the generic screen is rather boring and list like. The 3rd party additions do help make it a lot nicer but time has to be spent to create those screens. My friend now has my Dune Base 3 and I don't see as much of him now that he is watching movies constantly. (He bought a 3 tb 5400 rpm drive for it and is converting all his movies).

The only caveat is that if you download movies from iTunes, neither of the above will play them as Apple needs to control their drm movies.

TV to Router to Dune (with internal 5400 or 5900 drive)
TV to Dune via HDMI

The only other option that would make life easy might be a Mac Mini with Plex or XBMC set up also to do stereo out. There are external drive enclosures that have the same foot print as the Mac Mini (mac mini stackers at OWC) that can add more volume as needed and sit under the Mini.
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post #12 of 13 Old 11-11-2013, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

So here is an idea to keep your costs down and still get what you want. Don't sell your current NAS, buy a WD Live-SMP and test it out together. If your current NAS is high performance, the Live-SMP should have no problems streaming content from the NAS shared folders. You don't need any other sever software for the Live-SMP, just SMB shares. This way you are in for under $100.

Unfortunately I need to sell my NAS to help fund its replacement of 4TB external drives. It's also too big.. so that's why I'm looking at the WD NAS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrehdd View Post

Sometimes a simple 2 piece solution as you suggest is far more complicated.

Skip the NAS and consider perhaps something like a Med8ator or Dune media player. Of the latter, try to find the smaller ones that offer simple hard drive internally. The advantages of these units is that you can control some facets of the output - video you can set to scale all to 1080p etc and more importantly the audio. If you have no AVR/receiver, and depend only on the TV's audio, you can set these units to stereo out. These media players come with HDMI out so that should solve most problems for you. Plug it directly into your TV.

The Dune media player also has third party software makers that let you go to your computer and create screen akin to Plex or XBMC. Med8ator may also have similar.

These players cost far more than say a WD Live but do a great deal more in terms of video and audio. The cost certainly is a consideration but when you consider a WD Live plus NAS, then its really not much of a difference but a whole lot more to gain.


As for me - I can play some files through my VT50 Panasonic plasma directly but I prefer to use my blu ray player that can talk to my NAS (rather large library of media files - both music and movies) and pass it through my AVR then to my plasma TV. This is pretty much a traditional set up. I have used in the past the Dune Base 3 player with excellent success. Its only short coming was the generic screen is rather boring and list like. The 3rd party additions do help make it a lot nicer but time has to be spent to create those screens. My friend now has my Dune Base 3 and I don't see as much of him now that he is watching movies constantly. (He bought a 3 tb 5400 rpm drive for it and is converting all his movies).

The only caveat is that if you download movies from iTunes, neither of the above will play them as Apple needs to control their drm movies.

TV to Router to Dune (with internal 5400 or 5900 drive)
TV to Dune via HDMI

The only other option that would make life easy might be a Mac Mini with Plex or XBMC set up also to do stereo out. There are external drive enclosures that have the same foot print as the Mac Mini (mac mini stackers at OWC) that can add more volume as needed and sit under the Mini.

Thanks Phrehdd! The Dune looks nice but at that price point I would go the HTPC route. It appears to me the WD My Cloud is a good value solution to help keep costs down until I can upgrade. Most of my videos are 1080 mp4 files that should be compatible just fine.
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post #13 of 13 Old 11-11-2013, 08:06 AM
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Unfortunately I need to sell my NAS to help fund its replacement of 4TB external drives. It's also too big.. so that's why I'm looking at the WD NAS.
OK, so here is another option. As I read your posts you seem to be talking about 1 HDTV and not whole house streaming. So assuming that is the case, how about a WD Live-SMP and an external HDD array that you plug into the USB of the Live-SMP and stream from that array to your HDTV. The Live-SMP is network aware so you can access it just like a NAS and manage the files on the attached array. Its network pseepd in not the fastest, so use your PC/laptop to do the initial loading of your current catalog and just send your additions over the wire.

You can buy inexpensive 2-bay enclosures and populate them with 3-4TB drives configured as a single volume.

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