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ibrrfarr
June 19th, 2011, 03:48 AM
I have searched throughout and on the net and am at a loss to find an answer to my question in all parts. So, if it is posted on here please forgive me and direct me there. Otherwise, I would appreciate any help anyone may be able to offer.

I am converting a barn into a house (The photos are here if you are curious: http://foreclosurepedia.org/blog/?cat=23). One of my goals in this is to create a home media server. I'm not rich so I am wanting to use a computer several years old and have a friend who will add whatever to it I need if I buy the parts. Ideally, this computer/server would allow access from 4 TVs, play music and recorded DVDs and allow me to browse the internet (the browsing isn't necessary but would be nice that way I could just put a keyboard and monitor in each area instead of an independent tower). I would like to be able to record some regular tv shows, but it isn't necessary (I think something called MythTV is kinda an example of the software along with VLC or whatever). My net speed is 3000 +/- down and 500 up (kbps).

I run ubuntu 11.04 and suppose that would be the base OS I would be using on the machine I build.

So, what I really need to know is:



What kind of specs do I need for a tower to accomplish this;
What kind of software (programs) do I need to run;
Is there a step-by-step guide covering all this; and
What other options are available that you might think would be nice.

I am building our home as I get funds ($10/hr job) so that was my LOVE for ubuntu --- open source and free! The really great thing, as well, is that the product is INCREDIBLE! I also love the fact that I have learned EVERYTHING I have needed to know from this forum!

I thank each and all for your help in this matter!

LinuxHobbit
June 19th, 2011, 05:08 AM
Greetings.

You've got a good goal for yourself & have asked some good questions. And thanks to some relatively recent developments in hardware devices, here's a powerful new device that might interest you :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136831

For a long time, I've been wanting a very straightforward way of sending media files to my HDTV from my computer, and I've come very close to trying to develop my own, custom "homebrew" device in order to accomplish this simple but powerful task. Fortunately, most of the best hardware manufacturers are now offering solid devices that should make this very easy for all of us.

The particular device from Western Digital that can found via the above link is just one of many that are now becoming readily available. Although I haven't purchased one for myself just yet, I may very well do so within the next day or so. The salient point is that this Western Digital device can be remotely accessed from a computer, and it also can receive all sorts of info directly from an Internet connection. It also has plenty of disk space available, which enables one to transfer various media files from a computer that can be stored on this device & later accessed at any time by the user.

Since this device should have no problem in receiving all sorts of media files from a computer wirelessly, you might want to check it out & see if it can handle data from multiple computers. From the reviews on the Newegg.com website, most of the customers/users have had very good success in using this device to receive & store media data from a variety of input sources.

In my own case, I have a powerful, home-built system that I assembled myself (all parts came from the great Newegg website), and I have just upgraded my old OS to a fresh install of Kubuntu 11.04. And about all that I am lacking in my home media capability is this type of device that can receive & play all sorts of media files from my computer and/or the Internet, thus making it largely unnecessary to build another home computer box that runs MythTV. MythTV has come a long way & is a powerful application, but if I can just hook up this little Western Digital device to my HDTV, it may very well do just about everything that I need in terms of sending media data from either my computer or directly from my Internet connection so that it can be displayed on my large HDTV.

This thing looks pretty good to me but you'll obviously need to do a little digging around in order to determine if it might be able to be a good fit for your own particular needs. In my own case, it seems more than capable of handling everything that I need, and I just need to determine exactly what I might need to add to my computer in order to have a really good wireless connection to this device so that I can easily send & display all sorts of computer/Internet media data/files on my current HDTV.

Hope this helps just a bit. Good luck! :D

ibrrfarr
June 19th, 2011, 05:42 AM
Greetings.

You've got a good goal for yourself & have asked some good questions. And thanks to some relatively recent developments in hardware devices, here's a powerful new device that might interest you :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136831

For a long time, I've been wanting a very straightforward way of sending media files to my HDTV from my computer, and I've come very close to trying to develop my own, custom "homebrew" device in order to accomplish this simple but powerful task. Fortunately, most of the best hardware manufacturers are now offering solid devices that should make this very easy for all of us.

The particular device from Western Digital that can found via the above link is just one of many that are now becoming readily available. Although I haven't purchased one for myself just yet, I may very well do so within the next day or so. The salient point is that this Western Digital device can be remotely accessed from a computer, and it also can receive all sorts of info directly from an Internet connection. It also has plenty of disk space available, which enables one to transfer various media files from a computer that can be stored on this device & later accessed at any time by the user.

Since this device should have no problem in receiving all sorts of media files from a computer wirelessly, you might want to check it out & see if it can handle data from multiple computers. From the reviews on the Newegg.com website, most of the customers/users have had very good success in using this device to receive & store media data from a variety of input sources.

In my own case, I have a powerful, home-built system that I assembled myself (all parts came from the great Newegg website), and I have just upgraded my old OS to a fresh install of Kubuntu 11.04. And about all that I am lacking in my home media capability is this type of device that can receive & play all sorts of media files from my computer and/or the Internet, thus making it largely unnecessary to build another home computer box that runs MythTV. MythTV has come a long way & is a powerful application, but if I can just hook up this little Western Digital device to my HDTV, it may very well do just about everything that I need in terms of sending media data from either my computer or directly from my Internet connection so that it can be displayed on my large HDTV.

This thing looks pretty good to me but you'll obviously need to do a little digging around in order to determine if it might be able to be a good fit for your own particular needs. In my own case, it seems more than capable of handling everything that I need, and I just need to determine exactly what I might need to add to my computer in order to have a really good wireless connection to this device so that I can easily send & display all sorts of computer/Internet media data/files on my current HDTV.

Hope this helps just a bit. Good luck! :D

I appreciate the reply (very detailed!). The equipment seems to do what I want partially. I am wanting, though, to use my own computer and store it in a closet where I bring all my wiring down into a cabinet. I'll toss a picture up here tomorrow. I was looking at VLC and that really seems to be pretty cool; I just need to get more info on how to build/set up my own system as opposed to purchasing something. $199 doesn't seem like a lot of money, but it represents almost 70 2x4s for framing. I really thank you, though, as I read the link and now have a better understanding of what is out there and may be able to better post questions/ideas! :)

ibrrfarr
June 19th, 2011, 07:12 PM
I read up a bit more on the product and it appears that I can multistream with this device. I am going to call NewEgg and see what all is involved. The only drawback I see is that I still am not sure how to run my net access at the same time. Obviously, one would still need the remote and keyboard either way.

cdavid13
August 3rd, 2011, 11:35 PM
I plan on doing the same thing when I get out of school. And am in the same process of figuring out how I will accomplish all my needs of streaming video from the tower to my tv's and music where I wish but as for a keyboard I have found this one on amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/ProMini-Wireless-Keyboard-TouchPad-Pointer/dp/B003VAVC26/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1312410698&sr=8-5

It is very small almost phone size, and it has some fairly good review, however I have not personally tried it yet, but I think it would be a good remote size keyboard to browse through files from the server tower on the TV.

Hope it helps.

oldfred
August 4th, 2011, 12:18 AM
If money is an issue, you may want to delay plans for systems and invest in wiring and infrastructure first as that will make everything easier to do later. You can use wi-fi or power over the electrical wires, but having home run wiring for cat 5 or 6 to every location back to a "server" room would be money well spent.

tjones00
August 4th, 2011, 03:02 PM
Your best bet is to visit some Mythbuntu forums to get solid support with your issues.

For recording live TV you will need a PVR or TVcard preferably one that handles transcoding itself. For steaming media to all 4 TV's they will need to be able to use UPNP/DLNA or you will need to buy a media box/pc for each of them to act as a front end.

Re-purposing an old PC is always a nice idea but be careful depending on how old it is it might cost you more in power consumption than a newer 45nm nettop pc or a ARM based system over the long run.