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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

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Author Topic: Streaming to backyard system  (Read 6168 times)
bigRoN
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« on: May 22, 2014, 05:29:50 pm »

I just wanted to share one of the many projects I’ve been playing with that will improve my backyard movie experience (as well as viewing from anywhere in my house). I recently built a FreeNAS server, a FreeBSD-based file server that allows for add-ons. In my FreeNAS system, I have four 3TB hard drives set up in a RAID-Z array (similar to a RAID 5 setup). FreeBSD has a system of setting up “virtual computers” called “jails”. In one of these jails, I have installed the Plex Media Server. I have then used a program called MakeMKV to rip my Blu-Ray discs. MakeMKV will take the 20-30GB movie and package it all into a single MKV file, including the option to choose to see subtitles. Once the MKV file is added to the Plex library, it will automatically grab the movie metadata from online sources. I have many devices that work with Plex, including my Roku 3 and AppleTV or my iPhone and iPad. When my device connects to the Plex Media Server, Plex will transcode on the fly if needed, for the best quality audio and video possible.

Most of the movies that I watch outside are family-oriented movies. I spent much of yesterday ripping several Blu-Rays in my collection; 14 animated Disney movies, a few non-animated Disney movies including Mary Poppins and Enchanted which combines animation with live-action.  While I can stream from Netflix or Amazon Prime, I find Plex to be both faster and better quality and many of my movies aren’t even on those streaming services.
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Lincolntech
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 09:55:20 pm »

I wish I was more computer literate. I have no idea what you just said but it sounds really neat. I finally figured out how to put a DVD on my computer last week!!
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Towndrunk
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2014, 03:31:15 pm »

I messed with FreeNAS for bit since I had some hard drives and a spare RAID Controller.  I could never get it to work to my liking, so I ended up getting an eight bay QNAP.  I now have a little bit over 19TB of storage after configuring it with RAID5.  It has all sorts of apps that can be installed, with Plex being one of them.  I agree that if anyone is going to stream their movies, a NAS of some sort is the only way to go.  It works great with all of my XBMC installs too.  I scrape them with Media Center Master first to get all the the .nfo information so that it doesn't take forever to scrape.  I believe you can do something similar with Plex, but I haven't looked into it much.
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RoseRanch
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 11:55:33 am »

I wish I was more computer literate. I have no idea what you just said but it sounds really neat. I finally figured out how to put a DVD on my computer last week!!

LOL!  That's what I was thinking.  The great thing about this forum is that you have computer experts, audio hounds, visual/optical/projector nuts, engineers, party planners, movie fans...  I wish I kept up with technological changes more.  We have used the Wii to stream from Netflix outside, but that's about it.  Usually still go with DVD, though.
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KingPin
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2014, 10:44:31 am »

nice work - I have setup a PLEX server at home and love it.  I love the SYNC feature - makes for nice road trips to drop a few kids movies on the tablet before we leave....I haven't used my DVD/BR in over a year now...lol
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tronn4
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2014, 11:51:51 pm »

dont have a dedicated home server but instead have 4 2TB and under internal hdds all set to network share in a windows home group. i dislike wireless networking and prefer to go wired. my wdtv works perfectly like this. no transcoding needed.

recently grabbed a WD my book live NAS with cloud features. any movie (with the exception of MKV's) or song or picture on that drive (3TB) i can stream to my cell phone at work and i love it! about to add another 4TB NAS
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cecilb
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2014, 03:19:30 pm »

What on earth are you talking about???

Smiley)))


My burning question is what popcorn oil to use
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nivek
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2014, 10:07:33 am »

What on earth are you talking about???

Smiley)))


My burning question is what popcorn oil to use

I have a Degree in Network Admin and I can only understand a little of what they are doing. As for the oil, I use Orville Redenbacher popping oil, it has a great taste.


* popping oil.jpg (10.34 KB, 300x300 - viewed 312 times.)
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2014, 07:59:51 am »

Love the FreeNAS idea.  I currently run a server in the basement and stream everything through my network in my house.  I have about 20TB of storage right now.

I use a WDTV hub for my main television and have always liked the interface and the way that I can find my files easily.  And the fact that the WDTV seems to play just about EVERYTHING.

I started using PLEX and set up PLEX server as well.  But I only use this on my portable devises like my iPhone and iPad, when I'm traveling.  But it works great too.

I tried testing the PLEX feature with one of the new ROCU, but I just don't like the interface enough.  Because of the way I store my media (folder and naming convention) I have issues with the way PLEX looked.  So I don't use it for my home player.

You can read on another thread how I started using the Gen3 WDTV wireless for my BYT.  I really like it, except the issue of the "spinning arrow."

But I recommend to anyone that stores ripped media files to try setting up some type of server client.  You'll be very surprised how easy it really is, and how much use you'll get out of it.

~Cheers!
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Towndrunk
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2014, 11:46:05 pm »

I tried testing the PLEX feature with one of the new ROCU, but I just don't like the interface enough.  Because of the way I store my media (folder and naming convention) I have issues with the way PLEX looked.  So I don't use it for my home player.

I agree, and really don't care for the Plex interface at all.  I believe that Plex transcodes everything, whether it is able to directly stream it or not.  I only use it on the Fire TV, and that is more my son than me.  I have one of my smaller 8TB NAS devices streaming to this one too with .mkv files that I have I shrunk even more.

I like my two Lenovo Mini computers (4004H1U) running XBMC.  I can control everything with my Ipad/Android/Harmony remote. I wish they would make a device like the Fire TV that could just load a default android load and set up XBMC.  It is just a matter of time until someone is able to root the Fire TV.
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