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Thread: How to create a domestic media server/cloud

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Sunny Southend-on-Sea
    Kubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: How to create a domestic media server/cloud

    Quote Originally Posted by xeon-88 View Post
    I have a doubt on the various DLNA software suggested above. Where are audio and video codecs needed, on the server or on the clients? That can be a major problem particularly on smart TVs, that seem to be stuck at mp3 and avi formats. That would create a bit of a problem, since I have already converted part of our multimedia collection to more modern formats, mainly flac and mkv, and I'm not sure they can be read on every smart device.
    Part of the DLNA specification is negotiation of capabilities, so both ends of the connection will say which formats they can do. If the player can handle the file as it is, the server will stream it over the network; otherwise, the server can transcode the stream to something else. Transcoding means that the stream will need more bandwidth, and will put more load on the server, but is generally painless: my PS3, which barely followed the specification, was the only thing I've used that was finicky about formats.

    AVI and MKV are just container formats: the important part is how the stream is encoded; widespread encodings like those used for DVDs, Blu-Ray, and YouTube, tend to be hardware-accelerated in consumer hardware, so those are generally easiest to get working without transcoding.
    None but ourselves can free our minds

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Metro Boston
    Kubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: How to create a domestic media server/cloud

    My LG TV supports MKV files, and my Roku supports MKV file with ASS subtitles as well. (I complained about subtitle support to Roku, and sometime thereafter suppot for ASS files was improved.) They show up in the closed-captioning box with no font stylings.

    Not all TVs are as forgiving. Sony's seem limited to files in the MP4 container with AAC or MP3 audio. I've converted (with ffmpeg) a few shows to that format to share them with friends who just want to plug in a USB stick and start watching.

    Tried checking to see if my TV supported FLAC. It does fine with music tracks in that format, but all my video files that use FLAC use other technologies that aren't supported (H.265, 10-bit color, etc.). It also seems to barf at 1080p BD rips, but handles 720p rips fine.

    Most of the time, though, I watch files on my server over the network on a computer that's connected to my TV. I simply mount the video and music shares with NFS, then run appropriate software on the client computer like SMPlayer + mpv.
    Last edited by SeijiSensei; May 17th, 2020 at 05:20 PM.
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