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Stream Video to TV RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am not very knowledgable about streaming video, or sharing video, or what have you.  I've never ripped a DVD to any computer successfully either.  That being said, I would like to have a DVD/video (AVI files, etc. from my DV camera and perhaps commercial movies) library on WHS and be able to stream it to my TV and other computers in the house.  Being the newbie that I am I do not know what hardware, nor software, nor connections that I'll need to be able to bring up the video to my TV.

     

    I would very much appreciate whatever help you all can provide so I can understand how and if this can be done with WHS.  I do not own a Media Center PC, although my wife's laptop does have Vista Home Premium.  I have three other computers that run WinXP Pro and a 10/100 wired Ethernet system.  Laptop is on 802.11g, however.

     

    Thanks for your help!

     

    -Matt

    Saturday, February 9, 2008 6:16 AM

Answers

  • Matt,

    There are many, many ways to do what you want to do.  I too had the same questions and I looked at several ways to do just that. Now, if you want PVR functionality...well that gets a bit more involved with TV turner cards and such much like a Windows Media Center.  Read on.....

    I have AVI, DVD Iso files as well as MP3 and JPG files I wanted to store and then view on my TV's around the house. I chose the first gen Xbox soft mod option. But for you and your needs one of the other methods may be best.
    1. Use WHS to store the content, but then use a MS Media Center PC to stream the content to a tv. This will require the Media Center to have a video card that can put the video on your TV. But then you basically have to have two pc to do this... Again, there are media file limitations that will not work.
    2. Connect an Xbox 360 to the WHS and use as a media extender, but there are some issues with file types that the Xbox will/can play. Though there are some hacks for it to allow it to play other movie file types.
    3. Install software on WHS that acts as a Media Server to transcode the movies and music. Some are SageTV, TVersity, WebGuide and a few others. Then connect a Media Player device like Dlink or Buffalo products. Those devices work like the Xbox 360 to capture the content from WHS and put it on your TV with menus.  This software version can really tax WHS to do the transcoding portion of the work.
    4. Soft mod a first gen Xbox with XBMC and let the xbox do all the work instead of WHS. (This is what I did and the best/cheapest most powerful alternative....for me). This method plays EVERY file type and codec. This method requires no streaming.  WHS will simply "serve" the file to the Xbox like it "serves" a Word document to one of your XP Pro machines on the network.  I've "served" two avi movies to two xboxes simultaneously over a 10/100 wired line with no lag or glitches. Period! You will have to make your way through the whole soft mod ordeal of finding the soflware and performing the 15 minute mod.
    5. Buy a device that works just as well as option #4. Mvix makes one and there are a few others out too. It's portable, can install a hard drive if you want and plays darn near every file type and codec. I have not tried it yet, but it seems to be everything the first gen Xbox mod option is with no work involved. Plug and play. But $350.00 USD.
    Here are some thread links that talk about and offer product links as well:
    Thread that covers ISO files and Mvix, first gen Xbox and other hardware divices
    WebGuide Info
    Thread that turned me on to the first gen Xbox option
    Xbox Mod How To
    TV Tuner cards and PVR opitons for WHS

    I'm sure that several other readers may be able to add much more info to my suggestions to clarify or add more options for you.  This topic can be daunting. It took me several weeks to sort through the hardware/software and costs to arrive at the simplest, cheapest and most effective Media integration with WHS. Movie file types and codecs were the hardest part! No one Software/Hardware combo #1-2 and 3, covered it all.
    I have a low power WHS, so a simple device to grab the media from the server and then let it do the grunt work instead of WHS was the best option. This will ultimately come down to your needs, tech knowledge, hardware, work required and costs.

    Good Luck.
    Saturday, February 9, 2008 2:34 PM

All replies

  • Matt,

    There are many, many ways to do what you want to do.  I too had the same questions and I looked at several ways to do just that. Now, if you want PVR functionality...well that gets a bit more involved with TV turner cards and such much like a Windows Media Center.  Read on.....

    I have AVI, DVD Iso files as well as MP3 and JPG files I wanted to store and then view on my TV's around the house. I chose the first gen Xbox soft mod option. But for you and your needs one of the other methods may be best.
    1. Use WHS to store the content, but then use a MS Media Center PC to stream the content to a tv. This will require the Media Center to have a video card that can put the video on your TV. But then you basically have to have two pc to do this... Again, there are media file limitations that will not work.
    2. Connect an Xbox 360 to the WHS and use as a media extender, but there are some issues with file types that the Xbox will/can play. Though there are some hacks for it to allow it to play other movie file types.
    3. Install software on WHS that acts as a Media Server to transcode the movies and music. Some are SageTV, TVersity, WebGuide and a few others. Then connect a Media Player device like Dlink or Buffalo products. Those devices work like the Xbox 360 to capture the content from WHS and put it on your TV with menus.  This software version can really tax WHS to do the transcoding portion of the work.
    4. Soft mod a first gen Xbox with XBMC and let the xbox do all the work instead of WHS. (This is what I did and the best/cheapest most powerful alternative....for me). This method plays EVERY file type and codec. This method requires no streaming.  WHS will simply "serve" the file to the Xbox like it "serves" a Word document to one of your XP Pro machines on the network.  I've "served" two avi movies to two xboxes simultaneously over a 10/100 wired line with no lag or glitches. Period! You will have to make your way through the whole soft mod ordeal of finding the soflware and performing the 15 minute mod.
    5. Buy a device that works just as well as option #4. Mvix makes one and there are a few others out too. It's portable, can install a hard drive if you want and plays darn near every file type and codec. I have not tried it yet, but it seems to be everything the first gen Xbox mod option is with no work involved. Plug and play. But $350.00 USD.
    Here are some thread links that talk about and offer product links as well:
    Thread that covers ISO files and Mvix, first gen Xbox and other hardware divices
    WebGuide Info
    Thread that turned me on to the first gen Xbox option
    Xbox Mod How To
    TV Tuner cards and PVR opitons for WHS

    I'm sure that several other readers may be able to add much more info to my suggestions to clarify or add more options for you.  This topic can be daunting. It took me several weeks to sort through the hardware/software and costs to arrive at the simplest, cheapest and most effective Media integration with WHS. Movie file types and codecs were the hardest part! No one Software/Hardware combo #1-2 and 3, covered it all.
    I have a low power WHS, so a simple device to grab the media from the server and then let it do the grunt work instead of WHS was the best option. This will ultimately come down to your needs, tech knowledge, hardware, work required and costs.

    Good Luck.
    Saturday, February 9, 2008 2:34 PM
  • Still reading.  Would this work?

     

    BeyondTV Setup

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 3:59 AM
  • Matt,

    Yes, BeyondTV will work.  If I remember correctly, it functions much the same as Sage, TVersity and WinTV.  It works as a background software server/transcoder to stream the vids and music to your network pc's with menus and such.  But, you will need a Media Player (DLink or Buffalo or simular) to put the media on your TV's. Those software versions do have their own menus, but it's ment to be viewed over your network or web by other PC's.  The minute you throw in a TV, you must install a media player to put the images and menus on the screen.

    Now, if you buy a Hauppauge multi tuner TV card and combine it with SageTV, WinTV BeyondTV, you can intergrate that directly to your TV with menus and use the PVR functionality without needing a Dlink Media Player.  WHS will effectively become a Windows Media Center of sorts.  But, all this software and transcoding will strain WHS unless you have a high power CPU and a ton of ram. Otherwise, this strain will cause others on your network to experience lag when they try to retrieve files from WHS when you are watching a movie on a TV.  CPU power is what you will need if you want one machine (WHS) to function as your Media Center/PVR AND be your primary file storage and backup solution. It's a sweet idea and if I had a $1,000+ USD to build it....I would.

    You could still build an XP or Windows Media Center machine with this hardware and media certer duties will be all it handles. But still have a seperate WHS machine to store your PVR TV shows and movies then push them from WHS to the Media Center machine when you want to watch them.  It's two machines, but another option.

    But for now, that's why I went with the first gen Xbox option and why I may get a Mvix for other TV's in my home. I don't have PVR or web surfing with it, but there's no need for all that extra hardware, software, configuration.....and possible hassle.

    It just depends on your needs, abilities and cash.

    Hope this helps....
    Sunday, February 10, 2008 4:48 PM
  • Man, that absolutely helps!  Thank you!  My problem(s) is that I am very unsure of all the hardware and software needed to get the thing going.  Sounds like I need to build a stout computer and purchase the package from BeyondTV and I should be good to go.  Now I just have to find out if the digital cable box is compatible and I'll be good to go, I think.

     

    Regarding my pending DVD library, I assume like Photos, I can simply rip on one of my other computers and move the file to WHS on a directory for BeyondTV (although I read in Snapstream's forums if you want to record like a PVR BeyondTV needs a separate drive that is not part of the pool).

     

    Hopefully all this will work!  Smile

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 4:53 PM
  •  Matt Greer wrote:

    Man, that absolutely helps!  Thank you!  My problem(s) is that I am very unsure of all the hardware and software needed to get the thing going.  Sounds like I need to build a stout computer and purchase the package from BeyondTV and I should be good to go.  Now I just have to find out if the digital cable box is compatible and I'll be good to go, I think.

     

    Regarding my pending DVD library, I assume like Photos, I can simply rip on one of my other computers and move the file to WHS on a directory for BeyondTV (although I read in Snapstream's forums if you want to record like a PVR BeyondTV needs a separate drive that is not part of the pool).

     

    Hopefully all this will work!  Smile



    Good to hear. Yes, it is complex..LOL.

    You can buy direct from Hauppauge, or Beyond or SageTV.  Any of the three offer the same Hauppauge cards and then it's a matter of which of the three software packages you like the best (features and looks).  Then just build a bad *** PC with a mobo and drivers that are Server 2003 compatible and you're off and running.

    The cable box integration or elimination was my stumbling block too. By the time I got to that last hurdle, I decided that this set up was not within my budget a the time. But, that would be the final work around in all of this. Post your answer to this when you find it....

    Now, pics, mp3 and AVI movies can be transfered from any pc to WHS onto any of the shares or where ever your PVR software requires.  Just like any other file. Your PVR software will see it and play it like normal. Using a drive outside the pool makes sense (or a folder outside the shares area too will work. Same as running uTorrent on WHS), because if Drive Extender gets ahold of the files while the PVR is recording...the files will get corrupted! 

    As far as ripping DVD's or creating ISO files from them.....I'm not going to go there. You will be on your own to research that business
    Sunday, February 10, 2008 5:16 PM
  • I think it'd be considered fair use for you to copy DVD's you own to your server. I use DVDFab Decrypter 4 to do that. It's a free download and works great. I just tell it to rip right to a folder on the server, and I can do three at a time with my ordinary desktop without problems (three dvd drives ripping at once).

    I think streaming data means that it doesn't get copied to whatever is using it. I play movies on a soft modded xbox that is connected to my TV and stereo, but  I'm not copying those movies to it and then playing them from it's own hard drive. Heck, its hard drive is only like 8 gigs, hardly big enough to fit a movie on there. I must say, that xbox is the cat's meow - cheap, works great and plays games. I researched media players for a long time before deciding on the xbox and I'm glad I did.

    My server hardware is lame (500 MHz PIII) and runs on a 10/100 network. I have tested it by playing five movies at once, and they all played fine. None were on media center pc's, just a regular desktop running XP Pro played three movies at once, and a laptop w/Win98se and the xbox played two more. The desktop showed only 15 - 18% network utilization with 3 movies playing. Weird, huh? It showed 85 - 90% utilization when ripping three dvd's to the server at once.
    Wednesday, April 9, 2008 2:06 AM
  •  Sirreel wrote:

    I think streaming data means that it doesn't get copied to whatever is using it. I play movies on a soft modded xbox that is connected to my TV and stereo, but  I'm not copying those movies to it and then playing them from it's own hard drive.


    Sirreel,

    Streaming in this context means the data (video) lives on one machine and you push it to another divice/TV.  In your case and mine we use the soft mod first gen Xbox.  I too did a ton of research before choosing a method.  To me, if you do not want to record TV shows, but simply play your own media stored on another PC or WHS...then the soft mod Xbox is the "cats meow."  It simply cannot be beat. Plus, there is nothing to install on a client PC or WHS to make it work and hence drain the resources of WHS central storage functionality.

    But the minute you want PVR functionality, then the ball game changes totally.  Build a bad *** unit with a fast processor, 2-3 gb ram and some TB drives and get a multi tuner TV card like the one I mentioned above.  Then install WHS and run....
    Saturday, April 12, 2008 3:20 PM
  • Can the modded xbox output anything greater than 480p? Or can it upscale a standard definition dvd to 1080i-720p like a pc connected to an lcd tv?

    Wednesday, April 30, 2008 9:55 PM
  • I also built one for my buddy who has a 60 inch 1080 plasma TV.  We tracked down a "hard to find" HDTV first gen Xbox cable and connected it. I must admit that I do not recall, but I don't believe it up coverts.  I feel it's 480 and nothing more.... It fills the screen as it should and the picture/resolution looks fantastic.  But I don't believe it is 1080.

    XBMC.org has a totally new web, wiki and manual section that should answer your up convert questions. See it here:

    Manual on HDTV Resolutions

    More Technical Data on HDTV and XBMC

    They both discuss playing non-HD and HD content via Xbox to a HD TV.  All my media is non-HD so it plays fine on the 1080, but it's not true HD because the source content is not HD. I must admit, my HD knowledge is limited here.

    Hope this helps.


    Thursday, May 1, 2008 12:58 AM
  • I wanted the same thing.  There are many a few media extenders out there like the one below that I purchased.  This one initially had a bug in the software but it has been fixed by D-Link.  It works great as a media extender for Vista Windows Media Center.  This one is hard to find because so new.

     

    http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=547

     

    ftp://ftp10.dlink.com/pdfs/products/DSM-750/DSM-750_ds.pdf

     

     

     

    Friday, May 2, 2008 2:03 AM
  • Well those devices and both first gen Xbox and Xbox 360 will connect to an HD TV. THey also will up convert NON-HD video files to 480 and 780. It works fine.

    The trick is to take an HD DVD, rip it to WHS, then play it on an HDTV at 1080.  The first gen Xbox simply does not have the CPU or the software to play that type of content.  But it can play content per my fist paragraph.  It basically depends on your needs. I have an HDTV, but I don't have an HD DVD player nor do I have any HD files.  I'm not totally on board with that yet.

    Yes, my buddy looked into the Dlink unit, but I showed him it was not necessary really. Again, unless you have HD  files to play...it's not really needed It depends upon your needs. The Xbox works fine.  But the Dlink and other devices like it require you to run a "Server" software on the Host PC to convert files to a format the device can read. That would have to install on a PC or Media Center. You don't need a media center or a regular pc to use the Dlink or any other device like it. The Dlink will work with WHS, but you would have to install SageTV or Beyond TV or WEbGuide or something like it on WHS (because they are compatible with WHS and the Dlink box. The Dlink software is not compatible with WHS). Then connect the Dlink to your network and finish the config.

    The great thing about the Xbox and the Mvix unit are that they treat WHS (or as many pc's as you want)  as a connected local network storage device, and they have the "conversion" software or codecs built into them. So there is no software to run on any PC or WHS. And I don't need a Media Center either.

    For me, the xbox is a super sweet device that gets 99% of your AVI, DVD ISO, Mpeg, MP3 and JPEG files off that pc or server in the back room and on to each TV in your house for the entire family to use!  I love it. 

    Once HD content becomes the norm, yes, I'll have to look into another device. Honestly, the Mvix is my most likely choice in the near future.....

    If any of this info helped you, please mark each post with a "Yes"...Thanks.

    Friday, May 2, 2008 11:13 PM
  • The DSM-750 will stream directly from the WHS using the media lounge.  I have tested it.  It streams from my Windows Vista Ultimate but I did not not want it to run all the time.  I found out I can stream from the WHS without using any other PC.  I had downloaded a TY file from my Tivo, then converted it to MP2.  It streams from the WHS to the DSM-750. I have not tried any other formats yet.  The DSM-750 makes no noise.  People that do not need a game machine like the XBox 360 may like a media extender like this.

    Saturday, May 3, 2008 1:06 AM
  • Todd,

    Good info to hear about the Dlink software working on WHS! That may help some others.

    BTW, I most of us that use the first gen Xbox with XBMC mod dont use them as gaming consoles anyway.  Its sole job is to do what the Dlink unit does. It works the same way as the Dlink...just no software to run on a PC or WHS.
    Saturday, May 3, 2008 2:49 AM
  • You just need to make sure the media sharing is set to on under the media sharting library for the DSM-750 to access it directly from the home server.  The DSM-750 must have the player installed in the firmware or operating system because my WHS is not running any media player.

    Saturday, May 3, 2008 1:43 PM
  • Tom,

    So, If I understand you correctly and the PDF file...this Dlink unit can access shared folders on WHS without using their software?  What media types with this Dlink play without their software installed on WHS?  Paticularly video types.


    Saturday, May 3, 2008 6:06 PM
  • The only type I have tried so far are the mp2.

    Tuesday, May 6, 2008 2:04 AM
  • Ah, IC.  Hmm, most people play AVI files with the Xvid or Dvix codec. Also DVD ISO files. Be interesting to see what other file types the Dlink can be tweaked to play.

    Other than the Mvix, and a few others like it, there is nothing out there that plays a wide array of format and codec types....Except the Xbox mod.  Throw in the HD requirement and then things get more limited. Really depends upon one's needs.

    Thanks for the feedback on the Dlink!
    Tuesday, May 13, 2008 11:23 AM