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Media server software and htpc software

Lil'John

Senior member
Dec 28, 2013
201
4
81
Currently, I have a boatload of movies, tv series, and music content on a Windows 7 machine that is acting as a file server. It is using a i5-4570S CPU. Is it worth upgrading to another server software?

Is there something that will serve up the content as a web page? Mainly thinking something like Netflix, Hulu, etc with search capability and view history.

Onto the consuming machine(s):
Most of the machines throughout the house are Windows 7 and 8.1 and are used as dedicated computers(games, web browsing) If the server above is still Windows 8 with a shared folder/drive, is there a client that would provide search capability, viewing history, and queued up play list? For queued up play list, think Windows Media Player.

Dedicated machine playing on a 1080p projector(unknown). Hardware may be a Gigabit Brix(Broadwell) or Intel Skull Canyon. Currently, I have been trying to use OpenElec on the Gigabit Brix but haven't found a viewing history or play list capability(haven't looked hard) Nice would be Netflix and Hulu capability. This would be playing in a family room.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
If you want Netflix, Hulu and the streaming of local media then get an Amazon FireTV or FireTV Stick.
Install Mezzmo on your server and the Mezzmo App on your FireTV.
http://conceiva.com/products/mezzmo/default.asp
Smooth as butter.

Alternately, if you decide you want to stream to PC locations just use Kodi and the Mezzmo Plugin. It would work the same if you ran LibreELEC or OpenELEC on a Chromebox or Gigabyte Brix.

Mezzmo also lets you access the server locally or remotely via Web Interface.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
38
91
re: Mezzmo From my quick look it appears to be just a basic windows only DLNA server. Missing all the OP client requirements.
I personally really like the solution in my signature, as I get all of what the OP is looking for in a UI that the wife actually uses on my NVidia Shields/ Nexus Player.
(And the new Mi Box is the equivalent to the Nexus Player- Good AC Wireless is a must with the Mi/ Nexus Player)

Your i5-4570S is about equivalent to the 4770T in my main Plex server, so you should be able to comfortably transcode 4 simultaneous 1080p streams in the event your choice of client does not play your file natively. (More if just TC'ing audio)

What is Plex: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1XarhCUL8o
 
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XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
4,307
444
126
Not to hijack, but how are the Homeruns working for you with Plex? I haven't hooked mine up yet.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
38
91
PlexDVR+ HDHomerun works as expected for recording; may not be what someone else wants if running on a cable system (CCI-CO, aka "DRM Copy once content", will not work- and probably never will in Plex)

My "daily driver" for consuming live TV is the Google Live Channels app- enabled via the HDHR View app (same issue with CCI-CO, but the HDHR View app should get CCI-CO ability at some future point- and that functionality may/may not get piggybacked into the Live Channels app) (video example from Lon Seidman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LMaCNcORdE )
 

DesiPower

Lifer
Nov 22, 2008
15,368
740
126
Have been using Plex for a number of years, recently it added DVR too and that kind of made it even more appealing imo. As several other mentioned above, Plex is definitely something you should look into. I have infact 2 servers running in my house. One that has all the movies on a beefed up gaming PC and other is a Pentium T running the DVR
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
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re: Mezzmo From my quick look it appears to be just a basic windows only DLNA server. Missing all the OP client requirements.
Well, look again, then. I can't find anything on OP's list that Mezzmo doesn't do as well or better than Plex.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
38
91
Is there something that will serve up the content as a web page? Mainly thinking something like Netflix, Hulu, etc with search capability and view history.
If the server above is still Windows 8 with a shared folder/drive, is there a client that would provide search capability, viewing history, and queued up play list? For queued up play list, think Windows Media Player.
mezzmo: (modified) folder based; with metadata, transcode, playlists, <playlisted history>
Plex: multiple format, with metadata, transcode, playlists, SEARCH AND VIEWING HISTORY

of course, Plex really shines in a more robust 10 foot UI like AndroidTV where the integrated top level voice search is magical....
I consider mezzmo to be in the same territory as the old WDTV devices- workable but not a great UI/ UX for couch surfing.
 

smithkt

Member
Oct 29, 2007
176
1
81
I've been running Emby server on my NAS with Kodi/LibreElec clients using the Emby plugin. It has been very solid. I have not tried Emby's native clients on anything. You need to pay for a subscription to do so. Emby does support live TV and a some form of support for DVR, which again, I have not tried.

For live TV, I am using the Silicondust DVR on the NAS and the HDHomeRun apps on Windows 10, Xbox One, and FireTV 2 boxes. Again, pretty solid, though I still don't like the UI.

I am fortunate that most of the channels on MY FIOS service do not have DRM so I am not missing out on much.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
mezzmo: (modified) folder based; with metadata, transcode, playlists, <playlisted history>
Plex: multiple format, with metadata, transcode, playlists, SEARCH AND VIEWING HISTORY

of course, Plex really shines in a more robust 10 foot UI like AndroidTV where the integrated top level voice search is magical....
I consider mezzmo to be in the same territory as the old WDTV devices- workable but not a great UI/ UX for couch surfing.
I am not trying to devolve this into an argument here but you simply have no idea what you are even comparing Plex to. With the Kodi plug in, the UI is the Kodi UI with the benefit of Mezzmo's superior library and Playlist management. The library/ playlists are also accessible through any w
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
eb browser or through the Android app or Roku channel, all of which have file/metadata search.

There's also granular control of things like user and remote access, much better control of transcodng and formats as well as library customizations.

The only place that Plex has a clear advantage is the wide range of devices with the plugin.

Don't get me wrong, Plex is very good but it's really not the dominant solution it once was.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
38
91
Not going for argument- maybe a debate though.... An argument suggests an unwillingness to listen to logical points....

I do, however, admit to a point of view colored towards my ecosystem of choice. I personally believe that anyone who has used Roku, Tivo, WMC, AppleTV (Gen4), Kodi, Emby, Plex, Android, "Android Smart TV Box", and a real "Android TV" device would not be satisfied with levels of interactivity and top level user experiences that do not specifically cater to their desires/ family needs.

I honestly did not USE mezzmo, but drew my conclusions from their webpage. (Screenshots/ indicated support modes/ marketing speak)
Plex ALONE is not all that and a bag of chips (I find Emby to be really close- or even better for certain things). But in the right ecosystem it really shines...

(I never cared for Kodi/ SPMC in any environment with more than a single "point of consumption" device.)
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
Not going for argument- maybe a debate though.... An argument suggests an unwillingness to listen to logical points....

I do, however, admit to a point of view colored towards my ecosystem of choice. I personally believe that anyone who has used Roku, Tivo, WMC, AppleTV (Gen4), Kodi, Emby, Plex, Android, "Android Smart TV Box", and a real "Android TV" device would not be satisfied with levels of interactivity and top level user experiences that do not specifically cater to their desires/ family needs.

I honestly did not USE mezzmo, but drew my conclusions from their webpage. (Screenshots/ indicated support modes/ marketing speak)
Plex ALONE is not all that and a bag of chips (I find Emby to be really close- or even better for certain things). But in the right ecosystem it really shines...

(I never cared for Kodi/ SPMC in any environment with more than a single "point of consumption" device.)
What? So we're not going to get mad and hit each other? If we are not going to start name-calling and make it uncomfortable for everyone else in the thread, then what's the point of the thread in the first place?

;)
 

smithkt

Member
Oct 29, 2007
176
1
81
(I never cared for Kodi/ SPMC in any environment with more than a single "point of consumption" device.)
I'm curious about this comment. Is this because of the lack of a native client/server model?

I've found that using Kodi with the Emby plugin has solved this problem for me. There is an unofficial Plex plugin that does much the same for a Plex server, but it requires more work to configure than the Emby plugin.

I guess I just like the Kodi UI better than the native clients for both Plex and Emby.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
It is true that multiple kodi boxes using simple folder sharing is a major PITA and just not worth it. But once you throw the emby/kodi addin into the mix, you get something useful that can be configured in just minutes. Other than the emby/kodi addin, the only thing I change in my default kodi install is the xconfluence skin to allow a bit more configurability.

Multiple windows machines is just too much hassle to maintain. Unless you have specific needs that prohibit it, you should really consider moving to Shield or Pi boxes as your consumption devices around the house. My own maintenance tasks were reduced by 90%.
 
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smithkt

Member
Oct 29, 2007
176
1
81
It is true that multiple kodi boxes using simple folder sharing is a major PITA and just not worth it. But once you throw the emby/kodi addin into the mix, you get something useful that can be configured in just minutes. Other than the emby/kodi addin, the only thing I change in my default kodi install is the xconfluence skin to allow a bit more configurability.
Yep, this is exactly what I am doing as well. The native install of Emby server on my Synology NAS just eliminated all the hassle of using a SQL server for managing multiple Kodi boxes. The only thing missing for me now is Kodi on the Xbox One. I may have to break down and try the Emby Theater client for that one.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
Yep, this is exactly what I am doing as well. The native install of Emby server on my Synology NAS just eliminated all the hassle of using a SQL server for managing multiple Kodi boxes. The only thing missing for me now is Kodi on the Xbox One. I may have to break down and try the Emby Theater client for that one.
This echoes my Kodi experience almost exactly. The Kodi 10-foot interface is fantastic but the library management is far from comprehensive. That's why I went Mezzmo w/Kodi Plugin. It is so much easier for everyone to manage the library from one place and get a unified experience at all locations. The Emby and Plex experiences should be similar.
 

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