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Ask Slashdot: Suggestions For a Simple Media Server? 420

Posted by Soulskill
from the any-given-solution-will-do-80%-of-what-you-want dept.
rueger writes "We live and breathe Netflix, but sometimes want to watch programs downloaded from the 'net. I've been carrying them downstairs on a USB stick, but would prefer to run a small media server on my Mint Linux box. As usual, I thought this would be simple. Install a package on my PC, and use our Netgear NeoTV Max box to play stuff off of the server. Plex was highly recommended, and installed easily, but will see some .mkv files, but not others, for no obvious reason. The one file that does show up plays fine, except that subtitles don't work. And it completely refuses to see the partition full of music. A quick tour of the Plex forums suggests that making this work would take more hours than I'm prepared to spend. Serviio looked good too, and 'sees' my music, and sees the movie folders that Plex couldn't, but won't show the actual .mkv files. And again, it looks like configuring the thing could consume half of my life. So I'm asking: is there a fairly simple, works-right-out-of-the-box, fairly resource friendly media server that will just allow me to play movies that I download without a lot of headaches? (One obvious issue is that movies and TV shows downloaded can be in a any of a dozen formats. I'd love it if the server dealt with that. I'm also open to suggestions for a Roku style box that does Netflix well, but which will also play nicely with a media server. And if any or all of these things can also let me play streaming video off the web (like BBC iPlayer content), I'll be in heaven.)"
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Ask Slashdot: Suggestions For a Simple Media Server?

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  • Awesome thread (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @06:53AM (#45963333)

    This is a great thread for people to get some ideas on what NOT to do.

    Come on, people. No one wants to break out a circuit board and build their own solution. No one wants to hook up to a PC and break out a keyboard every time they want to watch movie with the family. No one cares about things "you haven't tried, but will probably work".

    Jesus Christ. This is not an unsolvable problem. Cheap, elegant, well-documented and functional solutions already exist for this problem.

  • Re:Awesome thread (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cyborg_zx (893396) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @07:01AM (#45963377)

    Well thanks for your references to the cheap, elegant, well-documented and functional solutions that already exist. I find those really helpful.

    Oh wait, I don't because they don't exist.

    AC Troll.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @07:21AM (#45963453) Homepage

    "making this work would take more hours than I'm prepared to spend."

    There is no turn key no work involved media server out there. you can try a standard NAS and build yourself a XBMC playback box, but you can not buy one.
    You will have to invest an entire weekend if you are a novice, or an entire saturday if you are an expert to do what you want. You had better prepare to spend some hours on this.

  • Re:XBMC ftw (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @07:31AM (#45963491) Homepage

    "Netgear NeoTV which he wants to utilise for that."

    He can, you pick it up, walk over to the trash bin and drop it inside. He wants to use a toy he got duped into buying, there is no happiness until he realizes that and get's rid of it.

    XBMC on a low end core duo throwaway PC and a mild out of date nvidia video card will blow away any device you can buy to play back media on your TV. utterly blow it away.

    and the side effect, the same XBMC pc can act as the media server so it is an all in one solution. but you can not buy one. You have to spend time to build it and you have to take the time to educate yourself on how to build it. He refuses to even spend time fixing his problem.

  • Re:Raspberry PI (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fostware (551290) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @07:37AM (#45963519) Homepage

    Someone has a new hammer and every problem is looking like nail...

The one day you'd sell your soul for something, souls are a glut.

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