Best way to stream movies from hard drive

Discussion in 'Home Theater PC (HTPC) & Media Servers' started by TMelvold, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. TMelvold Audiophyte

    TMelvold
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    I have been ripping my blu ray and dvd collection to my hard drive and have a WD cloud running through a Netgear Nighthawk 1900 router. I found there is a lot of buffering issues with my current setup. I know that I could use a regular hard drive hooked up to my router via USB 3.0. Is that the best route? Is PLEX worth the added cost for a software interface? I have Apply TV on most of the TV's and would like to have a quality app that can access these movies and play them without buffering issues.

    Any advice would be great! I have an open mind on where to go from here.
  2. rojo Audioholic Samurai

    rojo
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    When you rip your movies, in what codec / container are you encoding your video files? Does the WD Cloud transcode? Do you access the WD device via DLNA from your Apple TV gadgets? I wonder whether part of the issue is that your WD device is serving a codec the Apple TVs are having to decode via software / CPU, rather than via GPU.
    rojo,
  3. TMelvold Audiophyte

    TMelvold
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    Right now I rip them using "Make MKV" and then run them through Handbrake so I can hear the audio (yes, I probably have no clue what I am really doing). I really don't know enough about this process to adequately answer your questions.

    What would be a cost effective way to have my movie collection streamed in full resolution and sound to any TV at home and have the ability to access it when I travel?
  4. rojo Audioholic Samurai

    rojo
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    My guess is Plex is what you're looking for, but I've never used it myself. Any DLNA software (Windows Media, Serviio, Twonky, Plex, and on and on) will let you stream within your home, but Plex is the only one of which I'm aware that will let you access your content when you travel.
    rojo,
  5. panteragstk Audioholic General

    panteragstk
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    Emby will also let you access when you travel. It and Plex (and others I'm guessing) have real time transcoding as well. This is important since the ATV can't play mpeg2 video.
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  6. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Overlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    Handbrake has specific device profile for Apple devices as well as specifically for older ATV3 and older boxes.
    Choose most appropriate profile and see if it's improves the video quality.
    Also make sure that AppleTV is network hard wired, not using Wifi.

    Apple devices are more restrictive with video formats support, than most TVs. I'm certain that if it plays on AppleTV - it should play on most TVs as long as you use regular codecs/containers.
    I believe that MKV specifically is not best format for apple devices, mp4 is.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017 at 7:22 AM
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  7. rojo Audioholic Samurai

    rojo
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    I've been re-encoding all my media files to x265 + Fraunhofer AAC for the smallest file size. I've reclaimed over a terabyte of space so far.

    I have my DLNA software (Serviio) transcode on the fly into x264 + stereo MP3 to my Roku box downstairs, which my Roku can decode via GPU stutter-free with very little loss of visible quality. (I use a stereo sound base with my Roku, so I have to downmix audio anyway.) It's seamless for my family, and I get more space without having to buy extra hard drives. If OP were to do something similar using Plex or Emby, then selecting the Apple profile in Handbrake would be a non-issue.
    rojo,
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  8. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Overlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    that's not bad idea. I may use nvidia shield and latest gen quicksync supported plex/emby server as replacement instead of getting bigger hard drives for my nas. h265 is really starting to be more popular thanks to reduced file size.
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  9. rojo Audioholic Samurai

    rojo
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    In case you're interested, the Media Autobuild Suite simplifies building your own ffmpeg binaries with Fraunhofer AAC support, normally excluded due to GPL restrictions. Then I just use a bat script with a for /r loop to convert all my video files recursively. Speed mostly depends on video resolution for me. 1080p videos convert at about 0.5x. My re-encode has been going for about a month and a half now. :) If you've got a modern NVidia video card (GTX 950 or newer I think?) and can encode using the nvenc_hevc driver, it should be faster. I'm unsure about how that driver's resulting encode quality compares to libx265 though. I've read a few threads of people complaining about the quality, but I'm not convinced they've bothered to read all the inline documentation for that codec. My video card is a fanless GT 610, so I've been unable to experiment with GPU acceleration.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
    rojo,
  10. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Overlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    I've seen encoding benchmarks in which AMD/Nvidia accelerated video encoding is much slower than quicksync
  11. Bucknekked Audioholic General

    Bucknekked
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    I did a lot of mkv/handbrake rips when I was building a video library. You are correct: Apple formats were picky. If you chose a final format the device didn't like, everything could be perfect with the file but it still wouldn't play on the device. After a while, you either get the hang of it, or, get exasperated. I got the hang of it. Then one day it struck me that I'd rather stream the movies from a site like Netflix or Amazon so I havn't done any local rips in a year. I still have 100's of them. But rarely do anything with them.. I guess I'm just overly prepared for the zombie apocolypse.
  12. AcuDefTechGuy Seriously, I have no life.

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    I do it the old fashion way - have all my files on my good old NAS (Antec 1200, Windows 7, 14TB).

    Then I can access all files from any of my 8 TV systems (KODI) throughout the house (CAT6 wired).

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