Suggestions for setting up streaming throughout a home

Flidiot

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2011
Messages
915
So I have an interesting challenge on my plate, I am hoping that I can get a few ideas from the geniuses of the forum!

Basically what I would like to achieve is to have everything setup in a central place (we will call this the control room) and stream over the network.

In said control room we would have:
  • PC (looking at HP Micro Server but may settle for a spare PC) with a TV Tuner and decent capacity hard drives
  • DSTV Decoder
  • Network connection (obviously)

The ideal setup would allow for streaming media files from the PC over the DLNA as well as streaming the signal received by the TV Tuner card over the network.

The media files isn't too much of a problem, that part I have gotten right so far. The snag is the signal from the TV Tuner. I read up about Media Portal's TV Server and this seems to be the way to go as this can be accessed through another PC through the network. But in a perfect world, I would prefer not to have a PC at each point where I want to tap into the streams.

Is there maybe a way to access the TV card stream via DLNA as well?

I have checked out a few sites such as:
http://club.myce.com/f181/how-share-tv-card-over-lan-between-several-pcs-229636/#.UBbVUbQe4oMwhich
http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/224939-Streaming-Digital-TV-Over-A-Network

Even looked at:
http://uk.slingbox.com/go/home

Seems the general idea is to use VLC to stream, but as I said, we ideally do not want to have a "PC" at each point. At just about every point there is a device that supports DLNA.

I am open to all suggestions and if there is maybe more info needed to give better advise, please let me know. I will do my best to reply with as much information as possible
 

alloytoo

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 12, 2006
Messages
12,469
So I have an interesting challenge on my plate, I am hoping that I can get a few ideas from the geniuses of the forum!

Basically what I would like to achieve is to have everything setup in a central place (we will call this the control room) and stream over the network.

In said control room we would have:
  • PC (looking at HP Micro Server but may settle for a spare PC) with a TV Tuner and decent capacity hard drives
  • DSTV Decoder
  • Network connection (obviously)

The ideal setup would allow for streaming media files from the PC over the DLNA as well as streaming the signal received by the TV Tuner card over the network.

The media files isn't too much of a problem, that part I have gotten right so far. The snag is the signal from the TV Tuner. I read up about Media Portal's TV Server and this seems to be the way to go as this can be accessed through another PC through the network. But in a perfect world, I would prefer not to have a PC at each point where I want to tap into the streams.

Is there maybe a way to access the TV card stream via DLNA as well?

I have checked out a few sites such as:
http://club.myce.com/f181/how-share-tv-card-over-lan-between-several-pcs-229636/#.UBbVUbQe4oMwhich
http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/224939-Streaming-Digital-TV-Over-A-Network

Even looked at:
http://uk.slingbox.com/go/home

Seems the general idea is to use VLC to stream, but as I said, we ideally do not want to have a "PC" at each point. At just about every point there is a device that supports DLNA.

I am open to all suggestions and if there is maybe more info needed to give better advise, please let me know. I will do my best to reply with as much information as possible

Wow, that's pretty ambitous.

Much of what you want to do seems to hinge on how new your TV's are. The New Samsung smart TV's apparently seem to do everything except open the fridge and hook up to Wi-Fi without much trouble. Slightly older one's have a USB port which accesses USB drives effortlessly (and apparently some can record digital TV).

My TV's are slightly older (and cheaper) and only boast HDMI and VGA in, so I've opted for the pc in every room option.

I use XBMC on each pc (or netbook) to access my 'Server' for music, Audio books, TV shows, movies, comics, and even photos.

I basically point XBMC to the network drives and tell it what scraper to use TV or movie and as long as my naming protocol's are sound XBMC pulls movie and TV series (and episode) information off the Web.

You can set it up to check for new material everytime it launches, so all you have to do is copy new movies, shows into those directories and they become available.

You can also effect parental control by putting your mature movies in a separate directory and simply not pointing your children's pc's to it.

XBMC is freeware, under constant development and they've just announced an Android version.

There are also a lot of scripts out there for accessing Web TV from around the world (if your bandwidth can take it)

My little home wi-fi router Huawai 556a seems to handle up to 3 simultaneous video streams without any problem.

Not what you wanted to hear (PC in every room (but hey I got them for free)) but hopefully of some interest.
 

Flidiot

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2011
Messages
915
Haha, ja... Ambitious is probably a good word for it.

I am actually very quickly starting to lean towards XBMC on a small form-factor PC in each room.

I use it at the moment at on a single HTPC setup. Just for movies/series/music. I got the other version with "PVR" functions but it doesn't seem to gel too well with media portal's TV server. Otherwise it works well.

One of the reasons i may actually go the XBMC route is due to the fact that if the network is setup just right (e.g. All PC's use the same drive mappings for media folders) you can configure the "server" to index all folders etc. the networked systems can then be tweaked to retrieve their data from the server's MySQL database, without having to re-index at startup.

I learnt quite a bit in the last hour :)

My main issue is still the DSTV signal streaming.... I honestly have no cooking clue how to handle that. Think I should maybe set everything up tomorrow and see if I can get it running as I'd like to. Technically speaking, i should be able to tweak the config files of the "PVR" version of XBMC to retrieve from a networked media portal tv server. Otherwise using Media Portal on it's own could even solve it.

I really like XBMC though. Especially when I go a bot further down the line and setup sickbeard/sabnzb to grab new episodes etc.

Think I am going to have to sleep on this one :p
 

DominionZA

Executive Member
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
8,308
I have a home network setup but DSTV is done differently using 2 HD decoders with one for the rooms upstairs and the other downstairs.

My whole house is gigabit ethernet and 3 wireless access points.

I have a Core2Duo machine setup as the server with Plex Media Server for clients that support the Plex Client, and Mezzmo server for DLNA clients.

My storage is an HP Microserver with 5 x 2TB drives and running FreeNAS. 8GB RAM.

Kids bedrooms all have notebooks and they watch movies via the Plex Media Center on their machines.

Lounge use Plex via a Samsung Bluray BD 5500 player. AllShare on the Sammy TV but never used because of Plex.

Main bedroom we stream via the DLNA client in the bedroom LG TV. Going to get a Roku2 XS for the bedroom as Plex is the way forward.

Game/Movie room is also Plex via a Roku2 XS media player.

Bar has an HP Microserver with Plex Client hooked up to the TV.

Plex is designed for multi room environments and runs on many media players. If you have a newer Sammy TV with Smarthub then Plex is available in the app store.
 

alloytoo

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 12, 2006
Messages
12,469
Haha, ja... Ambitious is probably a good word for it.

I am actually very quickly starting to lean towards XBMC on a small form-factor PC in each room.

Ex corporate boxes normally fit this bill. My company gives purged Out of Warranty IBM/Lenova boxes to staff who request it (I've collected two thus far :),
Unobtrusive, people hardly know it's there until I pull out the keyboard.

It was also useful the other day, a friend need me to help them generate a document (service sheet for a funeral), I did every thing on the plasma in the lounge in front of them and printed it off to the shared network printer.

I run a Netbook on another TV (The screen is damaged so I got it for next to nothing). It also runs XBMC. That's a really nice form factor as the screen slips behind the telly and it looks at casual glance like the netbook is actually part of the telly.

Another neat trick is to use iTap android/iOS app to emulate a mouse/Keyboard via the Wi fi network.

I use it at the moment at on a single HTPC setup. Just for movies/series/music. I got the other version with "PVR" functions but it doesn't seem to gel too well with media portal's TV server. Otherwise it works well.

One of the reasons i may actually go the XBMC route is due to the fact that if the network is setup just right (e.g. All PC's use the same drive mappings for media folders) you can configure the "server" to index all folders etc. the networked systems can then be tweaked to retrieve their data from the server's MySQL database, without having to re-index at startup.

That sounds neat, I should investigate sharing the Databases (though truthfully the updates don't really dent my 80gb broadband package)

My main issue is still the DSTV signal streaming.... I honestly have no cooking clue how to handle that. Think I should maybe set everything up tomorrow and see if I can get it running as I'd like to. Technically speaking, i should be able to tweak the config files of the "PVR" version of XBMC to retrieve from a networked media portal tv server. Otherwise using Media Portal on it's own could even solve it.

I'm thinking of getting a Freeview Satellite decoder with USB for PVR. There are some models which will record to network drives, but they're very expensive. It would I think just be easier to manually copy anything I want to add to the media folders ad hoc.

Frankly I download stuff faster than I can watch it, and we have stacks of unwatched material waiting for those rainy days. (of which we get a few in NZ)


I really like XBMC though. Especially when I go a bot further down the line and setup sickbeard/sabnzb to grab new episodes etc.

Sickbeard is my next investigation, there are a few series which I have to have almost as they air. (Doctor Who being one of them.)
 

Mr Feesh

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
1,865
I have a home network setup but DSTV is done differently using 2 HD decoders with one for the rooms upstairs and the other downstairs.

My whole house is gigabit ethernet and 3 wireless access points.

I have a Core2Duo machine setup as the server with Plex Media Server for clients that support the Plex Client, and Mezzmo server for DLNA clients.

My storage is an HP Microserver with 5 x 2TB drives and running FreeNAS. 8GB RAM.

Kids bedrooms all have notebooks and they watch movies via the Plex Media Center on their machines.

Lounge use Plex via a Samsung Bluray BD 5500 player. AllShare on the Sammy TV but never used because of Plex.

Main bedroom we stream via the DLNA client in the bedroom LG TV. Going to get a Roku2 XS for the bedroom as Plex is the way forward.

Game/Movie room is also Plex via a Roku2 XS media player.

Bar has an HP Microserver with Plex Client hooked up to the TV.

Plex is designed for multi room environments and runs on many media players. If you have a newer Sammy TV with Smarthub then Plex is available in the app store.

Is there a way to make it that each user almost has there own ID? Like when they watch a tv show that I have already partly watched it must not give them the option to carry on where I left off.
 

DominionZA

Executive Member
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
8,308
Is there a way to make it that each user almost has there own ID? Like when they watch a tv show that I have already partly watched it must not give them the option to carry on where I left off.

Not yet, but coming. Plex said they are working on a multi user setup. No ETA though.
My whole family uses Plex so a bit of a pain for the reasons you mention. Considering how awesome Plex is though, I have learned to live with this small shortcoming.
 
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