Will this work as I think? (Raspbmc. + Plex from NAS)?


9 posts
by TheSwede86 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:37 pm
Hi!

First of all, well just Hi! :D

Ordered my first Pi and I am eagerly waiting for its arrival and just wanted to check with you guys if my proposed setup will work.

First off, I am sorry if I'm posting in the wrong forum, please move this thread where you (the admins) find it most suitable.

Now to my question and my future setup:

My parents have always wanted a small portable device (pref. loaded with movies) to take with them when they travel abroad. A device to connect to the hotel TV and just chill out after a day taking in a new city etc. Now what I was thinking was to use a Rasberry Pi with the Raspbmc distribution and Plex addon and stream movies from my NAS which will be a Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 w. Intel Atom 1.8GHz and 1GB DDR-RAM.

I was thinking to do this even abroad and the material that will be streamed would be 720p in h.264 but it MIGHT be other material as well (1080p, other formats etc.).

The NAS will run the Plex add-on and I was picturing it to look a lot like this when browsing movies:
Image

The key is to browse movies by cover and automatically fetch meta-data about the movies and pref. subtitle support. Also in big capital shiny letters EASY TO USE. They are not tech-savvy but they are not totally lost either when dealing with tech. Pref. just plug'n'play and at most connect to a Wifi-network from Raspbmc if the hotel does not provide an ethernet jack.

Now to the big question, will it work like that, meaning they can take it anywhere in the world, connect it to the hotels internet and connect to my NAS (via dyndns I guess) and then well, just play movies like they played it at home on our LAN?

Does the NAS have any role in this other then serving movies (i.e. handing out movies, the Pi seems to decode the movies by itself as long as it is h.264?)? If so how strong (processor speed and ram) does it need to be?

Thank you very much for your replies and tips regarding this - TheSwede86
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by fuquit » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:33 pm
The short answer is probably not.
Unless you have some kind of broadband hooked up your readyNAS that provides a truly massive amount of upstream bandwidth and your parents are in a hotel that has a very strong wifi signal connected to a very good broadband connection, you're never going to get enough bandwidth to stream even 720p, regardless of the compression codec you use.
Have you considered the possibility that rather than trying to give them access to your entire media store, you could simply load a portable external USB drive with enough entertainment for the duration of their holiday? In some parts of the world, it's quite rare to find a hotel with wifi at all, let alone blazing fast wifi. XBMC will fill in all the artwork and synopsis stuff by itself. Pair that with a nice remote control so they can choose what to watch while laying in bed and I think you'll have a very user-friendly system.
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by ghans » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:21 pm
I'm thinking along the same lines.
Why do you care about streaming if the power supply isn't good or stable (dependent on power grid).
What if the WiFi has low throughput or isn't stable ? What if the Network is protected by a über paronoid firewall/proxy ?

But if all this has been ruled out , i see NO problems.

ghans
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by TheSwede86 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:42 pm
Hi again!

Just got my Pi and it's AWESOME :mrgreen:

Wondering though, I can't seem to get the "cover art" function to work?
Running raspbmc with the plex add-on and if I watch an episode from my computer I have to manually browse from:
TV-Shows -> Add-ons -> Plex -> Name of series -> Season of series -> Episode
in kind of a "drop-down" menu.

How can I automatically via Plex scan a folder (lets say my "series" folder on my computer) so I can:
A) Browse by covers in an easier way
B) Get updates automatically meaning if I add a new series on my computer it will automatically (with cover) show up on my raspbmc?

Would be most grateful for any help - TheSwede86

P.S I tried streaming a x264 file in 1080p via the local network (cable both ends) and it stuttered or "lagged". In 720p it did not seem to be any problems so I guess that only h264 in 1080p works lag-free due to that is the codec that the Raspberry Pi can locally decode so to speak?
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by ghans » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:43 pm
The RPi can only decode h.264 and MPEG4.
Sadly , i do not know how the Plex problem can be solved.

ghans
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by ilium007 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:24 am
Does the latest news of MPEG2 hardware decode change this at all ?

http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/1839

I sure hope so !!!
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by ghans » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:27 pm
No.
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by mindstorm » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:42 pm
I actually got the plex plugin working with xbian (http://xbian.org/).

I used this plugin (an updated beta version of the original plex xbmc plugin).
https://github.com/hippojay/plugin.vide ... /downloads

I managed to get 1080p streams to work with subtitles and dts. It is fairly buggy tho. Freezes happen alot. Not sure if the plugin causes this or xbian. I also tried openelec but I couldn't get this to run on my rasberry.

Also your only able to browse the plex catalogus by name (includig a small thumb). No further information is available.

I'm exploring the option of building a VPN with my router. The only downside of this is that I need a permanent 4mbit + link if I want to stream 1080P. Plex downstreams the quality depending on the connection wich I'd prefer.

If that wont work I guess well have to wait for an ARM build of PLEX. In theory it could work on the rasberry pi.
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by edgararroyo » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:29 pm
What version of Android are they at now? Any video drivers? Maybe using Plex for Android once they get it working good might be an option?
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