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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, first of all I'm not sure if this is the correct place for this post, but...


A buddy and I are trying to have a shared collection of movies between us. That way each of us could upload new movies to the server and each of us access it from the server and display it on our screens in all its glory.


I know there are plenty of solutions to doing this while on the same network in the same house, but I'm not sure how to cross the LAN to WAN barrier.


So each of us plan on having a HTPC and one of us will have the server on site, while the other would access it remotely.


What are our options?
 

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I run windows on my HTPC, and have set up a home group on all of our PC's in the house, so sharing files between the computers is pretty simple. I'm sure there is a way but just depends on your software.
 

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If upload speeds are an issue, each one of your can have a server at your own theater, and then have them synchronized over the internet connection. This way, when one of you adds a movie, the other will be updated in a few hours.


It won't be instantaneous, but depending on the connection speed, it may be as little as few minutes.
 

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Are these uncompressed blu-ray's? Those are anywhere from 20-45 GB. Unless you have google fiber I don't see this being practical because of upload limitations and data caps. Assuming that is not an issue, this is theoretically possible with Plex ( https://plex.tv/ ).
 

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Setup a site to site VPN (OpenVPN works great) between the two locations using pfSense or something similar. Both locations will "effectively" be on the same LAN, with a single server accessible to both.


Edit: This is exactly how I access my home setup remotely, including in my car. My phone VPNs into my house on one end, turns on wifi tethering on the other end, and whatever connects to the wifi hotspot has full access to my home LAN. With wired routers on both ends, it'll be even faster.
 

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If you have sufficient upstream network bandwidth on both ends, Plex would enable different configuration options. You could both have a Plex server and cross-share all or part of your libraries. Or one of you could host a single server. Or you could even place the server on a service provider. On all options Plex makes the sharing plug and play without any need for vpn or similar.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by henris  /t/1525241/sharing-media-between-two-theaters#post_24554754


If you have sufficient upstream network bandwidth on both ends, Plex would enable different configuration options. You could both have a Plex server and cross-share all or part of your libraries. Or one of you could host a single server. Or you could even place the server on a service provider. On all options Plex makes the sharing plug and play without any need for vpn or similar.

except for one problem. You have to use the Plex client to play back anything. While that may be ok for non-critical viewing, from a home theater quality perspective, it's a no go. And then there's the integration factor and how it integrates with other activities you are doing.


Don't get me wrong, it is most certainly an option, but if "untouched" access is what you after, can't beat a VPN.
 

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What kind of bandwidth do you have?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone  /t/1525241/sharing-media-between-two-theaters#post_24554809


except for one problem. You have to use the Plex client to play back anything. While that may be ok for non-critical viewing, from a home theater quality perspective, it's a no go. And then there's the integration factor and how it integrates with other activities you are doing.


Don't get me wrong, it is most certainly an option, but if "untouched" access is what you after, can't beat a VPN.

Whats wrong with the Plex client as a player? I'm legitimately asking since I really don't know. I assumed it would have been roughly equal to XBMC, WMC, etc for playing unaltered video and audio.


The real bonus with Plex beyond the easy set up is that if you DO have upstream bandwidth issues the software can automagically compress on the fly to fit over the connection. That would definitely affect the quality though.
 

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Two options come to mind, Plex and Remote Potato. However, Plex would be the more ideal software to use, plus the fact that the developers promote the option to share your libraries with Friends and Family.


The Remote Potato option works with Windows Media Center, but you're not really restricted by it. If you simply share your media folders within the RP interface, your mobile devices, whether it be an Ipad, Android Devices, etc, will be able to stream your content, within your Home Network, and outside your network. You can stream to a PC as well though a web browser. Silverlight is supported and used for shifting back and forth within whatever you are streaming.


Plex facilitates this task.


I'm limited to just a 1 meg upload outside the home and I can stream 1080p files, which are transcoded by my HTPC with ease. Is the video quality top notch, of course not, but I'm usually streaming that content to a phone or a tablet when I'm outside the home. For that same content to stream high quality videos, bandwidth and a good processor will be needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Andy_Steb - I'm going to have to check the bandwidth and see what kind of limitations we have.


kapone - Thanks for the tip on the VPN. I'll look into that.


It looks like most of the solutions I've seen so far have involved a web browser on the remote end or using a phone/ tablet/ etc.

Talking with the Media Browser 3 people, it sounds like they have something in the works that would be exactly what I'm looking for.
 

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+1 for the Plex option.



It's such an easy to manage solution, and works on so many devices. The quality issue someone mentioned may be valid if you want uncompressed blu-ray quality, but my experience streaming mkv's over far distances has been great. Quality is fantastic, as good or better than Netflix HD.


You really can't go wrong with Plex.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacon13  /t/1525241/sharing-media-between-two-theaters#post_24556552


Andy_Steb - I'm going to have to check the bandwidth and see what kind of limitations we have.


kapone - Thanks for the tip on the VPN. I'll look into that.


It looks like most of the solutions I've seen so far have involved a web browser on the remote end or using a phone/ tablet/ etc.

Talking with the Media Browser 3 people, it sounds like they have something in the works that would be exactly what I'm looking for.

To be clear, Plex is not limited to mobile devices or a web browser. See Plex Home Theater: https://plex.tv/downloads
 

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Well, I guess, my perspective for "sharing media between two theaters" is different.


To me, that implies sharing media without imposing any particular restrictions on playback/consumption. Yes, Plex is one option, but that is by no means the only option and it is restrictive to begin with. To me this implies attacking the problem at a level that is far below playback i.e. network access.
 

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I tried to stay out of this thread but I guess I'll join in.


The easiest and simplest thing to do would be install a free sync program like bit torrent sync which is secure and encrypted and private but can utilize the bit torrent protocol to sync two or more machines.


Step 1: install bit torrent sync for free

step 2: share or exchange your "secret" or password with each other

Step 3: WIN !


Basically you can set any folder as a sync folder. If you both set up a sync folder and then put your media libraries inside there then whatever you add would go onto his PC too, and anything he adds would populate onto your PC .


Storage is cheap enough so the only key is to make sure you both have enough storage. You both need enough storage to hold both peoples collections. This would place full quality locally too so no problems with internet speeds.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone  /t/1525241/sharing-media-between-two-theaters#post_24554809


except for one problem. You have to use the Plex client to play back anything. While that may be ok for non-critical viewing, from a home theater quality perspective, it's a no go. And then there's the integration factor and how it integrates with other activities you are doing.

Don't get me wrong, it is most certainly an option, but if "untouched" access is what you after, can't beat a VPN.
As others also stated, Plex Home Theater provides more than sufficient quality for critical viewing on Windows, OSX and Linux. It has AV-fidelity comparable to MPC+madVR (imho) and it's rock solid and has a very remote control friendly UI. Perhaps you have taken a look only on the web and mobile clients?
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone  /t/1525241/sharing-media-between-two-theaters#post_24557629


Well, I guess, my perspective for "sharing media between two theaters" is different.

To me, that implies sharing media without imposing any particular restrictions on playback/consumption. Yes, Plex is one option, but that is by no means the only option and it is restrictive to begin with. To me this implies attacking the problem at a level that is far below playback i.e. network access.
To my understanding, Plex is currently the only solution which has a built-in media sharing feature set. Plex also has the most extensive client device support. Plex lacks live-TV and DVR features but in this case it does not seem to a problem. I'm in no way saying there aren't other options but I would strongly recommend at least trying out Plex. It will literally take minutes to setup a Plex server, two myPlex accounts and then test how remote media playback feels. myPlex will take care of all the networking configuration as long as you have uPnP compatible router. Also with this approach you will be able to access your own media from anywhere with almost any mobile device not just from the fixed two networks.
 
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