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post #1 of 37 Old 01-29-2013, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok. Here is my question.

I am currently building a media server that I was previously going to setup as a server to run Ubuntu and Plex Server. And then run that with a GB connection to a new samsung player. My current setup is a rack server downstairs about 20 feet from my upstairs HDTV. And the plex server is currently doing DLNA to a sony BD player at the moment.

I saw a few ideas of having a IR setup USB ran from upstairs TV (probably underneath TV for receiver) and then that ran to the server downstairs for control. Then run a HDMI cable from the server to the TV directly. Still looking into a HDMI video card for the motherboard. Plus I found that I may need sound cables for the audio to transfer, though I thought HDMI carries audio also.

I really dont want a setup with the PC near the HDTV, as we have a 1 year old and tends to get into stuff. I have everything tucked right now and she doesn't see anything other than the lights of the TV and BD player now. I much would have it in a controlled environment where less prying hands can get to them.

Am I thinking correctly so far, or does anyone have any additional input to add.
Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 37 Old 01-30-2013, 01:13 AM
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Some advice on the video card..

Since you are running Linux, buy a Nvidia video card and set it up to run vdpau. If this is just for TV 1080p or less, then something on the order of a GT430 will be more than fine. They can be found for $40-$50 and will do audio/video through HDMI.

Don't waste your money on ATI as this will be heartache. if you ever wanted to add something like MythTV (DVR for TV) you will want Nvidia.
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post #3 of 37 Old 01-30-2013, 01:26 PM
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I think you are on the right track. You should be able to run audio through HDMI. It might take a little configuration with some apps and/or pulse/ALSA. Almost all of my machines are setup to serve audio via HDMI to my receivers and TVs.

And yes, go with Nvidia. Intel and ATI have made great strides, but Nvidia still gives the least headache on average. I have old ION and ION2 GPUs and Geforce 210s and even and 8400 and they playback everything I throw at them just fine. TVs are all HD, some 1080p.
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post #4 of 37 Old 01-31-2013, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Holbrook View Post

Plus I found that I may need sound cables for the audio to transfer, though I thought HDMI carries audio also.

Correct, HDMI carries sound and this will be supported on the Nvidia card, so you won't need any sound cards. But what you might want to consider is to forget about the Nvidia card and just buy a Roku media streaming box. It has a nice plex client and works great for streaming from a plex server. No need to run HDMI or IR cables. The Roku is only slightly bigger then a desktop mouse and would probably be a quicker and cleaner solution.

http://www.roku.com/meet-roku

I use this solution to get video to my bedroom TV from my main HTPC...works great and will probably be about the same cost wise when you factor in the graphics card, cables, time etc. Not only that you'll get a bunch of extra's that you don't have with HTPC.
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post #5 of 37 Old 01-31-2013, 02:04 PM
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I had a Roku, and found it to be almost worthless. It is only good if you have streaming Netflix or Amazon Prime. For anything else you are limited to whatever channels they want to offer, and usually with very poor/low resolutions. There is a media streaming application, to stream video from your computer, but it is only for Windows, not Linux. I was so disappointed in Roku, that I gave away three of them that I had purchased.

With my HTPC, I can get much more streaming video, including Flash video. And I can watch sporting events vis ESPN3, which the Roku can't do.
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post #6 of 37 Old 02-01-2013, 10:59 AM
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I had a Roku, and found it to be almost worthless. It is only good if you have streaming Netflix or Amazon Prime. For anything else you are limited to whatever channels they want to offer, and usually with very poor/low resolutions. There is a media streaming application, to stream video from your computer, but it is only for Windows, not Linux. I was so disappointed in Roku, that I gave away three of them that I had purchased.

With my HTPC, I can get much more streaming video, including Flash video. And I can watch sporting events vis ESPN3, which the Roku can't do.

Sorry but your wrong big time. Maybe this was true at one time, but I assume your basing your response on outdated information. Runnning Plex Media Server with Plex Media Client on the Roku works great and Plex Media Server is available via most Linux distros. I'm running his configuration today with XBMC and PMS on my HTPC and streaming videos to the Roku remotely at HD quality using the Plex client.

And I have no problem viewing EPSN3 on the Roku via the Plex ESPN3 channel. As a matter of fact, most add ons for XBMC are also available for Plex and work with the Roku since Plex is based on XBMC.
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post #7 of 37 Old 02-01-2013, 02:07 PM
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Sure, it was maybe 1 1/2 or 2 years ago.

So, you have to have this Plex running on your PC in order to watch anything worth while. Why bother with the Roku then? A mini-ITX based PC with nVidia ION graphics can to all that and more.
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post #8 of 37 Old 02-01-2013, 09:06 PM
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The advantage of Plex with a Roku is that you can loadup Plex on your fileserer (like my headless virtualization server) and then have a small, quiet, low power device (Roku) at each TV. It fits with the OPs requirements. I got a Roku to replace my BD player's flaky Netflix support and fell in love with the Plex integration. The WAF is much better than the HTPC I also had setup.
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post #9 of 37 Old 02-02-2013, 05:35 AM
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The roku is great for the what it was designed to play - mpeg4. However still most of our viewing is free local over the air mpeg2 video. Which means that video needs to be transcoded to mpeg4 - most likely in software which just takes too much computing power and time, in my view anyway.

So the roku is great depending on your use case. They could have licensed mpeg2 - it can be added to the pi for $5 - but clearly didn't see the need or want the expense added to every unit.
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post #10 of 37 Old 02-02-2013, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterhead View Post

Sure, it was maybe 1 1/2 or 2 years ago.

So, you have to have this Plex running on your PC in order to watch anything worth while. Why bother with the Roku then? A mini-ITX based PC with nVidia ION graphics can to all that and more.

Yeah a lot has changed in that time with Roku. The main reason I chose Roku was cost, got it on sale for $50 and pretty much provides everything I would have gotten with a PC in a mini-ITX chassis with Plex running on my server.
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post #11 of 37 Old 02-02-2013, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djb61230 View Post

The roku is great for the what it was designed to play - mpeg4. However still most of our viewing is free local over the air mpeg2 video. Which means that video needs to be transcoded to mpeg4 - most likely in software which just takes too much computing power and time, in my view anyway.

So the roku is great depending on your use case. They could have licensed mpeg2 - it can be added to the pi for $5 - but clearly didn't see the need or want the expense added to every unit.

Plex transcodes formats that are not compatible with the Roku real-time, I've notice no issue with it using it to stream to my Roku and CPU usage is minimal in my case, maybe 50% on a dual core system I have. Also the Plex Media Server and Plex Client are free. Worth the try as their lasted updates will even stream to a webpage now in any computer. Although the quality in a web page stream doesn't seem as good as when streaming to my Roku or Nexus 7 tablet.
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post #12 of 37 Old 02-02-2013, 07:59 AM
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And I have no problem viewing EPSN3 on the Roku via the Plex ESPN3 channel. As a matter of fact, most add ons for XBMC are also available for Plex and work with the Roku since Plex is based on XBMC.
OK, I'll bite.

I installed Plex on my PC, and my Samsung TV has a Plex app that I installed. Now how do I get ESPN3 streamed to it?
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post #13 of 37 Old 02-02-2013, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac522 View Post

Plex transcodes formats that are not compatible with the Roku real-time, I've notice no issue with it using it to stream to my Roku and CPU usage is minimal in my case, maybe 50% on a dual core system I have. Also the Plex Media Server and Plex Client are free. Worth the try as their lasted updates will even stream to a webpage now in any computer. Although the quality in a web page stream doesn't seem as good as when streaming to my Roku or Nexus 7 tablet.

I'm not sure I'd be happy with the quality of the real-time transcode - I mean if you are happy with the quality thats all that matters. I once ran a "high quality" transcode using ffmpeg that was suggested in the roku forums - the resulting mpeg4 was terrific, but It ran at one frame per second. Obviously an extreme. I did play with handbrake and got something that was reasonable at about 20 frames per second. However overall it's just not worth it to me - I had a box at every TV anyway so I wasn't going to save any money at that point.

I think for fun I'll play with Plex again, so I'm glad you mentioned it.
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post #14 of 37 Old 02-02-2013, 01:36 PM
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I haven't used the ESPN3 plugin in awhile, I would suggest the Plex forum...
http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/topic/16630-espn3-plugin/page__hl__espn3
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post #15 of 37 Old 02-02-2013, 02:28 PM
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From the looks of it, you first have to be a cable subscriber. Then you have to log in to use the app. Why would I watch it on a Roku with some app, if I have cable and can just tune it in?

I don't have cable, and watch ESPN3 on line. Once again a dedicated HTPC is a better option than a Roku. The Plex server doesn't seem to work with my Music folders either.
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post #16 of 37 Old 02-02-2013, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I have looked at plex and roku. Ive also looked at xbmc that i thought about running instead of plex. Though still looking into other avenues too since plex doesnt use parental controls. I have kids movies along with kids movies that I would like more control over too. Ill look at the roku specs again in a bit
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post #17 of 37 Old 02-02-2013, 03:00 PM
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I have a Samsung TV, and stream videos to it using the Serviio media server. Serviio seems to be the same as Plex, and neither seem to be available through the repositories. Neither seem to work on the TV with music files, just video. If you are streaming to a Samsung DVD player with app capability, either one should work.

I am also running the MediaTomb server. It does much better with music files, and not so good with video. I have my surround sound receiver connected to MediaTomb (it has a LAN connection), and play my music library that way.
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post #18 of 37 Old 02-02-2013, 03:10 PM
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Gave Plex and a Roku a run today. Unfortunately my test server hardware is pretty old and couldn't handle transcoding tasks for the roku. But I can see if one had a capable server, was watching on a secondary TV and didn't need the video to be bluray quality, then it would be a decent solution. Funny they don't appear to have a Linux client but I tried it on my mac and it worked nice. No transcoding when doing it this way so no issues.

I looked into the espn360 a little, didn't see it as a channel I could load though.
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post #19 of 37 Old 02-02-2013, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Well sports have never been my thing. Id be more interested in educational amd documentary channels. Ive tried mediatomb and serviio before. Its been a while on both, so by now im sure theyve come out with fixes of the things I saw when I tested them before.
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post #20 of 37 Old 02-09-2013, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok. Like I mentioned before, I've been running Plex on a basic setup. Some glitches, but the box it is running on was built for gaming, not streaming.

I've already went ahead and started to build a permanent new server as a dedicated server/client box which will be hardwired to my 1gb switch along with all computers The server is going to run Ubuntu 12.04 Desktop since the GUI interface it going to be needed if I'm going to use the server as a client also with a IR remote.

ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005WUUFBW/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00
Corsair Vengeance 8 GB
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AMD FX 4100 4-Core Processor
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Logisys 4801 All Black 4U Industrial Rackmount Cases
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Corsair Builder Series CX 600 Watt
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I am still waiting on the WD Red drives to come down in price due to their stats on being good NAS drives.
WD Red 2 TB NAS Hard Drive
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This is what I am looking into a HDMI video card to run upstairs to the TV
ASUS GeForce GT 430
http://www.amazon.com/GeForce-ENGT430-DI-1GD3-LP/dp/B00471LVW4/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=2UNLM6H3VWG70&coliid=I29J842ZA2VO4S

As for IR remotes and receivers, that is where I am at a loss atm. I see alot of MCE remotes and receivers, but haven't found any definite hardware that is fully Linux compatible as of yet. Tho I see alot of write-ups saying they have it working but no specifics of model #'s.

I am also looking into MythTV and XMBC as for parental controls. Tho I am still looking at a writeup on how well they work with the current plans of running the server/client that I am intending.
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post #21 of 37 Old 02-09-2013, 04:36 PM
 
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post #22 of 37 Old 02-10-2013, 06:44 AM
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If I were to build a new one I'd definitely find a SuperMicro Mobo with IPMI (for remote admin), and hopefully a built-in nVidia with VDPaU. Maybe there's something newer, but I haven't had to research.
After the Atom CPU was paired with the nVidia "ION" GPU, Intel has kept nVidia from being able to continue this type of product. I had read that Intel had kept nVidia from obtaining the documentation needed to embed a nVidia GPU with the newer Intel CPUs. They have supplied it to AMD, so that is why we see lots of these products. Possibly because nVidia was/is aggressively developing it's Tegra ARM chips, and Intel has been working on it's own HD-3000 graphics. By why include AMD? Don't they pose the same type of competition that nVidia does?
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post #24 of 37 Old 02-10-2013, 10:03 AM
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BUT nVidia has given us open-source types a terrible time, with their insistence on providing just a binary-only driver. Unacceptable.
This is the attitude that I don't understand. If it wasn't for the binary-only firmware blobs. a lot of our hardware wouldn't work with Linux. I am referring to capture cards and wifi chips, not just video cards. I wish nVidia would give us a Linux "binary-only" driver for their Tegra line. Then we could install a real operating system on those devices, instead of the awful Android "pretend" operating system.
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post #25 of 37 Old 02-10-2013, 10:23 AM
 
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post #26 of 37 Old 02-10-2013, 10:28 AM
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VAAPI actually works? I tried it, maybe 6-8 months ago with the Intel HD graphics, and there was no deinterlacing available. Since I primarily use my MythTV HTPC to record and watch OTA ATSC broadcasts, deinterlacing is a must-have.
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post #27 of 37 Old 02-10-2013, 07:42 PM
 
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post #28 of 37 Old 02-11-2013, 03:12 AM
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I can't speak to 0.26, but it works with nightly 0.27.
Deinterlacing too?
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post #29 of 37 Old 02-11-2013, 08:33 AM
 
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post #30 of 37 Old 02-11-2013, 03:09 PM
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If only there were some world wide, you know, 'network' of some kind, where we could easily move around and look for information that we need, kind of like a library...

Why don't you lift a finger and search just a little? I've spoon-fed you enough.
I did actually try using it last year, and there was no deinterlacing. I thought that this being a Help forum, and you claim to be using it, that you could easily just tell me of any improvement in the last six months.

I thought wrong.

Have a nice life, A-hole! frown.gif
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