Media Streaming Devices

slapyomoma

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I see a lot of media streaming device for sale but most of them only stream via Hulu, Pandora, Netflix, etc. Is there any device that can stream directly from a network share that anyone know about?
 

Ruuke

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Jan 30, 2009
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Roku has Plex support which works great for most media. Otherwise the Apple TV supports streaming from those mentioned or anything shared from an iTunes media collection.

As far as direct-streaming from a shared folder without any additional serving software, the only way I'm aware to accomplish this is with a HTPC lol.
 
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dar124

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I've been looking for a similar setup to use on our bedroom TV so we can watch movies from my WHS 2011 server (right now I'm mainly interested in watching content from my server, but I would like to have the option to eveuntally use YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, etc with the device). I always seem to have multiple projects going on at the same time, but I'm getting closer to actually setting something like this up. Right now we move our laptop around and just connect it via HDMI to whichever TV we'll be watching. So I'm also in the process of setting up a HTPC for our living room TV and then something similar / simpler like this for our upstairs TV.

I figured that I'd post a few that I found here and hopefully get some feedback.


WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Roku 2 XD Streaming Player

Roku 3

KDLINKS HD700 Media Player


I'm fairly early on in my search so I'm definitely open to any other options out there. Thanks in advance.
 

slapyomoma

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I'm looking through your links, but been also researching Blu Ray players that would do that. I'll let you know what I find.

I'm like you, i'm using a very small pc using Moovida which I control with my ipod (remotely using wifi and VNC) and it works fine. but I would prefer to use a streaming device.
 
Joined
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If you want a small computer for this you could look into a raspberry pi running XBMC. I don't use one but they supposedly work decently (some minor lag on some menus).
 

slapyomoma

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my setup has no lag at all. however, it takes a while to set it all up and if something happened, I would prefer to just replace one device. besides, I prefer to have a remote vs using ipod/iphone
 

Atticus_gamer

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Plex is the best solution so far. I have multiple hard drives hooked into my laptop and I can be doing something on the computer and the wife can be in the in the living room or in the bedroom and be watching something on either the ps3 or roku box, ill even have a stream on my xbox in the office..works flawlessly and is simple to setup.
 

wirerogue

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WDTV Live can access shared folders. works like a charm. i've got 4 of them running.
 
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my setup has no lag at all. however, it takes a while to set it all up and if something happened, I would prefer to just replace one device. besides, I prefer to have a remote vs using ipod/iphone

You mean you currently use the raspberry pi? If you want to be able to recover from something happening use a tool like win32 imager or your tool of choice to make an image of your SD card. If the card ever corrupts or something else happens just get another SD card same size or larger, image it with the image and you are done. It'll be an exact replica of how it was setup.

As for the remotes you can look here for supported remotes or a DIY setup: http://www.raspbmc.com/wiki/user/configuring-remotes/
 

dar124

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WDTV Live can access shared folders. works like a charm. i've got 4 of them running.


I looked up some info on the WDTV Live and it does seem like a pretty solid device. I'm thinking something like this would be simpler to set up & operate than a Raspberry Pi (with having to configure the Raspberry Pi and then figuring out a remote, etc). I'll keep doing a bit of research, but as of now I'm leaning towards the WDTV Live.
 

kn0s

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Dec 30, 2012
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I use a Pi in the bedroom and it works like a charme. Its running openelec gotham build oc'ed to 1000mhz. I use a SD-Card for boot and a usb stick for the rest of the OS to avoid filesystem corruption. It's much, much faster than the wd-live i setup at my moms. My media is sitting on a i3 openelec system in the living room.

Edit: BTW no need for a Remote on the Pi it has build in CEC so you just use the tv remote.
 

slapyomoma

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You mean you currently use the raspberry pi? If you want to be able to recover from something happening use a tool like win32 imager or your tool of choice to make an image of your SD card. If the card ever corrupts or something else happens just get another SD card same size or larger, image it with the image and you are done. It'll be an exact replica of how it was setup.

As for the remotes you can look here for supported remotes or a DIY setup: http://www.raspbmc.com/wiki/user/configuring-remotes/

The OS and the image isn't the issue. My setup consist of a computer (either laptop or small desktop) and an ipod/iphone. I'm referring to hardware issue.
 

slapyomoma

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I use a Pi in the bedroom and it works like a charme. Its running openelec gotham build oc'ed to 1000mhz. I use a SD-Card for boot and a usb stick for the rest of the OS to avoid filesystem corruption. It's much, much faster than the wd-live i setup at my moms. My media is sitting on a i3 openelec system in the living room.

Edit: BTW no need for a Remote on the Pi it has build in CEC so you just use the tv remote.

What's CEC?
 

kn0s

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CEC has many different names, on my tv (Panasonic) it's viera link. It sendes Remote key presses on to the media center.
 

DangerousMan

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Jan 16, 2006
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250
+1 for the WDTV. I have a live+ setup wirelessly on a 40inch tv, plays almost everything from my network share. I did have some issues with a movie (Prometheus,) but the wdtv is also dlna enabled and plays movies from my ps3 media server setup.
 

Schro

Supreme [H]ardness
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From my experiences so far -

Roku 3 - Bonus points for having tons of streaming options. Points removed for Plex implementation being shoddy at best (I'm specifically having issues with stock bluray rips playing back either smoothly or at all). Does NOT have a YouTube app.

Stand Alone bluray players - I have a Panasonic that has various "apps". UI is sluggish and difficult to use, but will get the job done.

Take a look at the Chromecast. That might do what you want. Or, if you have a laptop/device that supports WIDI or Miracast, that could also punch the ticket.
 

dar124

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So I finally bought myself a WD TV Live Media Player. I love this thing, it's definitely one of the best purchases that I've made in the past few months!!!

Even though it has WiFi, I decided to run a network cable from our 2nd bedroom / office (where to modem & router are located) up to the attic, over and down into our bedroom. A couple of years ago I ran the coax lines up thru the walls, so I just needed to run the network cable thru the already drilled holes, etc. It gives me a bit more piece of mind with it being hardwired. A 30 ft cable and 2 new keystone plates cost me under $10, so it was worth the minimal amount of time and money.

It literally too me longer to run the new network cable than it did to setup the WD Live player. After booting, it did a few firmware updates, rebooted and then loaded its home screen. Then I logged into my home server thru the WD Live player and my network folders showed up. Before I would have to take my laptop back and forth between our living room TV and bedroom TV, it's so much nicer not having to carry the laptop, its charger and a HDMI cable up and down all the time.

As of right now I'm only using the WD Live player to access content that's on my server, but my hope is to slowly be able to move toward only using my home server and Netfilx / Hulu so I would be able to get rid of cable. My next project is going to be getting a HTPC set up for my living room TV.
 

eon

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 11, 2003
Messages
2,218
Im very intrigued by how a chromecast can cast anything playing in a chrome browser to your tv, making your phone,tablet,or laptop a remote. However the feature set is a bit thin compared to other devices. Do other devices offer a similar "cast" feature?
 

Priller

Gawd
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Sep 8, 2013
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812
I use Windows 7 Pro, Plex, & Xbox360.

Xbox360 allows you to access it directly without any setup.
 

runward

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Jan 31, 2010
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One caveat on WDTV Live (gen3 w/ Netflix support) - it will take over your network. It regularly forces master browser votes and tries to take it away from other devices. Anytime I reboot my server I have to reboot the WDTV live afterwards to pass master browser back to the server.

If the WDTV live was actually good at being a master browser this wouldn't be so bad... but I am regularly unable to see all devices on my network when WDTV is master browser.

The only other issue I have had is overheating when playing netflix videos.


If it were not for these two issues I would have WDTV live on every TV in my house.

My understanding is older versions of WDTV live have alternative firmware options that lower the browser priority, allowing it to play nicely on the network. However, they do not have netflix support, which is a significant portion of the media consumption in our house (we have two young kids).
 

Dion

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Oct 2, 2004
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3,769
One caveat on WDTV Live (gen3 w/ Netflix support) - it will take over your network. It regularly forces master browser votes and tries to take it away from other devices. Anytime I reboot my server I have to reboot the WDTV live afterwards to pass master browser back to the server.

If the WDTV live was actually good at being a master browser this wouldn't be so bad... but I am regularly unable to see all devices on my network when WDTV is master browser.

The only other issue I have had is overheating when playing netflix videos.


If it were not for these two issues I would have WDTV live on every TV in my house.

My understanding is older versions of WDTV live have alternative firmware options that lower the browser priority, allowing it to play nicely on the network. However, they do not have netflix support, which is a significant portion of the media consumption in our house (we have two young kids).

Why would master browser even matter. I guess it could cause a hickup if you are streaming over Samba. But anyone with a WDTV should not be doing that anyways.

Also if you have a router. Force it to be the Master Browser all the time.
 

Nzo

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Messages
121
I have had a WD live hub for a few years now and its awesome, the only issue I have is that there are some codecs that it does not decode.
 
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dar124

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jan 21, 2012
Messages
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So I finally bought myself a WD TV Live Media Player. I love this thing, it's definitely one of the best purchases that I've made in the past few months!!!

Even though it has WiFi, I decided to run a network cable from our 2nd bedroom / office (where to modem & router are located) up to the attic, over and down into our bedroom. A couple of years ago I ran the coax lines up thru the walls, so I just needed to run the network cable thru the already drilled holes, etc. It gives me a bit more piece of mind with it being hardwired. A 30 ft cable and 2 new keystone plates cost me under $10, so it was worth the minimal amount of time and money.

It literally too me longer to run the new network cable than it did to setup the WD Live player. After booting, it did a few firmware updates, rebooted and then loaded its home screen. Then I logged into my home server thru the WD Live player and my network folders showed up. Before I would have to take my laptop back and forth between our living room TV and bedroom TV, it's so much nicer not having to carry the laptop, its charger and a HDMI cable up and down all the time.

As of right now I'm only using the WD Live player to access content that's on my server, but my hope is to slowly be able to move toward only using my home server and Netfilx / Hulu so I would be able to get rid of cable. My next project is going to be getting a HTPC set up for my living room TV.



Just a quick update here (and hopefully some advice / ideas) the WD TV Live has been working great for the past couple of weeks. I have it wired into my network and logged into my WHS 2011 server so I can watch all my movies, TV series, etc stored on the server. I've had no issues with it, I've added movie & TV episode files to my server and they show up in the appropriate folders on the WD player. Nice and simple, it just worked.

Then earlier this week a few weird things happened. After turning the WD player on, navigating to the files tab on the home screen, normally my server folders would show up. Then I'd navigate to videos - series - name of the series - season and then all the episodes would show up there. But some of the series folders were missing?? I also noticed that the listing of my server folders were different. There were more folders, almost like they were organized differently. I tried switching the "view" options thinking that it got switched, but that made no difference. After looking around a bit, I'm also missing different seasons of some series. (ex. I have season 1, 2 & 3 on my server, but only season 2 is showing up on the WD player). I know that all 3 seasons were on there at one time because I had watched episodes from season 3 on the WD player. I also checked on my server to verify that all these files were actually still on the server, and they are still there.

I did 2 things after noticing all of this. I saw a firmware update so I did the update (from 1.6.xxx to 2.0.xxx (I don't remember the exact versions). And when that didn't help I tried what I think was a factory reset, which also didn't seem to help. But I'm not sure if it completely reset, because I didn't have to re-enter any of my network / server info which I thought that I would have had to set up again. Also when this seemed to start I was messing around with some extension cords while trying to plug in some holiday lights and I unplugged the TV & WD player. But the WD player was off, so I wouldn't think that that would affect it??

I'd appreciate any suggestions, input, etc.
 

dar124

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I had previously tried a "reset" thru the home screen's system tab and it didn't seem to work. So tonite I tried the reset with a paper clip in the reset button on the bottom of the device. Still no luck. So I'm in the process of doing a firmware roll back.

I'll update after the roll back and let you know how it goes.
 

dcninja

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Oct 22, 2012
Messages
42
ouya with plex works amazing... or xbmc - either way- in addition you get an awesome emulator console for your tv as well with wireless controllers... for the price of 99 bucks u can't beat it in my opinion... i don't use it for much else tho other that emu and streaming, havent spent a dime in their store.
 

dar124

[H]ard|Gawd
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Messages
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I had previously tried a "reset" thru the home screen's system tab and it didn't seem to work. So tonite I tried the reset with a paper clip in the reset button on the bottom of the device. Still no luck. So I'm in the process of doing a firmware roll back.

I'll update after the roll back and let you know how it goes.


Ok, so I rolled back the firmware and still no difference. But after a while of going thru the different menu's etc, I switched the media source to "Network Shares" and after logging into my server all the files/folders are back!!! I swear I changed that option multiple times and it didn't make any difference. Oh well, at least everything is back to normal now.
 
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