[Wolves] Roku & Zotac

Claire Robinson lug at sitesearcher.co.uk
Mon May 12 21:18:02 UTC 2014

On 12/05/14 17:50, Kevanf1 wrote:
> On 12 May 2014 15:03, Claire <lug at sitesearcher.co.uk> wrote:
>> On 12/05/14 11:56, Kevanf1 wrote:
>>> On 12 May 2014 11:45, John Rose <john.aaron.rose at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Kevan,
>>>> Thanks for the info. I don't want to use Plex or other web-based app as I
>>>> don't want to give access to my PCs to any external organisation and because
>>>> I don't want to buy a device which is accessible externally. Also, I'm quite
>>>> happy to use our laptop to stream to a box connected to my TV). I decided to
>>>> take a risk and buy a cheap Zotac Stream Box. I hope that it works with
>>>> Universal Media Server (my preference) / minidlna (Canonical say that they
>>>> have committed a fix to put minidlna back into Trusty's repos) and my Sony
>>>> non-smart TV. I'll let you know how I get on.
>>> Ah, I'm assuming then, that 'minidlna' is a lightweight media server?
>>> I honestly had not heard of any of these prior to you mentioning them
>>> and I am very interested in giving them a go.  My goal is to use as
>>> light a weight distro as possible on an old machine to give decent
>>> performance (streaming wise) on the tv.  I don't have a smart tv as I
>>> had to buy this present one just
>>>  before they came out :(  It was a case of buy a tv or go without
>>> until they came down in price...  This was a bargain at the time at
>>> £900 for a 42" plasma.  I have had it for about 4 or 5 years now.
>>> Anyway, back to the experiments.  I'm thinking of trying a bare bones
>>> install of Debian, adding a lightweight GUI and nothing else apart
>>> from a media server and its dependencies (I found I needed the avahi
>>> daemon to run Plex on Lubuntu because I'm not grabbing it from a
>>> repository).  I'm certainly finally starting to learn more about Linux
>>> by doing this after all these years :)  I'm ashamed to admit that even
>>> though I first installed and used Linux back in 1997 (Corel Linux
>>> anybody?) I still shy away from the CLI and do not know even a tiny
>>> amount of what I should.  I'll get there..
>> If all you want is a cheap media server I'd recommend considering xbmc
>> on the raspberry pi. It's not so good for iplayer etc but in place of a
>> dlna server/rendered it is cheap, low powered, always on, usually no
>> format conversion necessary and can directly play your files in full HD
>> using NFS, SMB or even attached USB storage.
>> Alternately if you have something more powerful lying around you could
>> use it instead and have a full htpc instead. There are various front
>> ends and back ends to do so, xbmc, mythtv, tvheadend, vdr etc.
>> When looking at dlna be aware that the device you to connect to your
>> telly (media renderer) may only support certain specific formats and
>> on-the-fly conversion may be necessary on the server, which is a heavy
>> duty task.
>> Claire
> I was waiting for somebody to suggest using a Raspberry Pi :)  You may
> gather from that that yes, I have indeed thought about it.  Yes, I
> have been very tempted to do just this.  It's a future
> consideration....  At the moment I happen to have a couple of old PCs
> knocking about gathering dust.  I used to have them up and running in
> my workshop but then I had a reconfigure and shuffle around to make
> room for a lathe.  So they got powered down and left... and left....
> until now.  It's very much a case of can I use these still for real
> useful stuff.  Those who know me well will know that I hate to throw
> anything out if it possibly has some life left in it.  It also means I
> hate to spend money if I have something already that will do the job
> :)
> As it happens, I may have been sidetracked by my own obsession with
> Plex.  I found out today that MiniDNLA, apparently now known as
> ReadyMedia, is available in the Puppy repo's.  Now things are really
> starting to get interesting.  I happened to try Lucid Puppy 528 only a
> few weeks ago.  It runs very nicely on this particular old desktop,
> especially since I transplanted some old RAM and took it to the heady
> heights of 512mb :D  woohoo, steady on now!!!
> File formats are thankfully not a problem :)  I tend to stick to avi,
> mp4 or mkv which my ROKU LT handles fine.  If I do happen upon
> anything different I can always change it to a more friendly format on
> my main laptop.
> I may return to the Pi.. watch this space ;)

I used to run mediatomb (no longer maintained) then moved to
ps3mediaserver (a cousin of UMS) on a headless 2.8 celeron with 512mb
RAM and it would run quite happily but wasn't up to on-the-fly transcoding.

You can do cool things like this with raspberry pi and xbmc


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