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Noob media streaming questions

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Ok so I'm new to this so forgive the noob questions biggrin.gif. First what I want to accomplish is to have my music and movie collection backed up and able to be streamed throughout the house to TV's, PCs, laptops, iPads, ect.. just about everything that can play video and audio files. I know hardwire connections are the best, and I'd like to do that for my main TV, but obviously I also would need wireless to stream to mobile devices and other rooms. I'd also like the on screen display to show all the metadata in a nice to view format. like XBMC does (though XBMC itself is not a requirement).

So yeah, pretty much have no idea on the best way to go about this. I've done quite a bit of reading and it's all pretty foreign to me. Are there any lossless formats that are universally playable (not sure if MKV or iso are)? I'm not concerned about compressing because hard drive space is cheap, I can always get more if I run out; though I am willing to compress if there is a way to do it without losing blu-ray quality in video and audio. And I'm not too sure on the differences between using a NAS with a media player, and building a HTPC. Does using a HTPC also require you to get a WDTV/Dune/other media player as well?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, benefits and disadvantages of the different way to go about getting all this set up, that sort of stuff. Thanks.

EDIT: I don't care about netfix, hulu, amazon ect.. as my TV and PS3 can already handle all of that, just purely concerned with my own digital media. Also, I'd like to be able to flip through my selections with my universal remotes, I don't want to have to use a keyboard and mouse on my tvs.
post #2 of 4
For lossless music you should go with ALAC, because that way it will work with the ios devices you mentioned (whereas FLAC doesnt).

Any NAS drive should support all the storage and theinterconnectivity, I would recommend a Synology one as they are fairly easy to use and have apps for ipads/smartphones etc. and then a seperate standalone HTPC connected to the TV to playback files.

MakeMKV should provide you with the lossless blu-rays that you need. If they don't work on one of your devices as it is uncompressed you can just encode it into the required format.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Cool, thanks for the info. For rooms other than my main, what media player is recommended? I don't want to have to build a HTPC for every room lol.
post #4 of 4
To make media playable on everything means using a PC with a powerful CPU, many devices outside of dedicated media players only support select media formats so your media server will have to transcode content in real time (convert on the fly) in order for it to work.

Plex is probably the solution as it's server supports transcoding, there are Plex clients for most devices and computer versions, lastly is also double as a DLNA server so DLNA only devices like PS3 should be able to connect to it.

Unfortunately Plex set top box options are limited, you have Roku which will do but only support compressed H.264/MKV it wont do the output from MakeMKV (which is uncompressed Blu-ray), the GoogleTV devices also have a Plex client which is better and can handle output from MakeMKV at videos, but not so sure on subtitles, you'd have to ask over on Plex forums.

There is also another option which is the Raspberry-Pi, there is a Plex client in development for this.
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