Serviio Add-In Updated, Now Supports WHS 2011

by Alex Kuretz on January 6, 2012 · 17 comments

in News

Paul York has written to let us know about an update to his Serviio Add-In for Windows Home Server that manages and installs the free Serviio DLNA media server. The update includes fixes and new features for the Windows Home Server v1 Add-In as well as a new Add-In for Windows Home Server 2011. Here is what Paul had to say about this latest release:

Serviio WHS today was updated to version 0.6.1 and now also includes add-ins for both WHS v1 and WHS 2011. In addition to the new 2011 add-in, Serviio 0.6.1 includes a lot of new features (including streaming web-based media to your DLNA device), significantly improved support for specific DLNA/UPnP devices, and stability improvements.

The full list of changes are in the release notes here.

You can learn more about the Add-In and download it here. If you give it a try be sure to let us know how it works for you, either here in the comments or in the forums.





Article by

I'm Alex Kuretz, and I'm the founder of MediaSmartServer.net. I was the Lead Test and Integration Engineer at HP for the MediaSmart Server until April 2008 when I moved on to other opportunities outside HP. I've kept active in the Windows Home Server community, creating several add-ins and helping users make the most of their Home Servers.


{ 17 comments }

Cuberob January 7, 2012 at 6:59 am

Does this mean easy mkv playback on my xbox360 etc.? Gonna give it a shot, thanks!

Paul York January 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm

It certainly should. I don’t have an xbox360, but it is one of the supported “renderers” out of the box. It works perfectly on my PS3, which is one of the main reasons I became interested in the project. Note that it is possible that FF/REW won’t work well on transcoded media (i.e., anything not natively supported by the 360). This is a limitation of all transcoding media servers.

Cuberob January 7, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Yeah works pretty good, though my i3 seems to have some problems transcoding the higher bitrate 1080p mkv files. But other than that quite impressed with the easy of use of this plugin!

Paul York January 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Yeah, I’d imagine the 1080p stuff is going to be a bit of a strain. I assume that you’ve tried unchecking the “Produce the Best Quality Video” box and maxed out your CPU count on the transcoding options tab? Petr built everything on top of FFMPEG, which is a cross-platform encoder/decoder/transcoder. Though it is a native, C-based library (thankfully not Java like the server itself), I assume that it is unlikely that it is as optimized as we would like for specific processors. That said, I’ve never had any problem with up to 720p stuff on my old, dinky EX470 with its AMD Sempron 3400+, so it must be pretty efficient. :)

Paul York January 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm

One other thing you might try. Serviio ships with a 32-bit build of ffmpeg for obvious compatibility reasons. If you’re using WHS 2011, then this is a 64-bit OS. If so, you might try downloading the latest 64-bit FFMPEG version (http://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/), extract ffmpeg.exe, and put it in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Serviio\lib folder (make a backup of the original). May or may not help, but I would think transcoding a big video file might benefit from the full 64-bit address space. If you’re using WHS v1, then this is moot.

Comp1962 January 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Alex thanks for the write up. I think Serviio is an excellant addition to any WHS where people require it and thanks to Paul York for his continued dedication to the developement of such a wonderful program.

While I do not have an need for this software I did test it out when Alex first wrote about it. Since then I have been recommending it to others as a Twonky alternative. Now that its available for WHS2011 I will have to give it a look at to see how it works out which I am certain it will do just fine. I know I have to get this installed on my GF’s Server so she can start enjoying content from her server onto her DLNA TV.

Tim January 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm

So far my initial tests have proven successful. I am running WHS 2011 on an HP ProLiant MicroServer with 8gb RAM. So far I have only tested *.mp4 format and they look pretty good. I will try other formats later as I am still in the process of building out the WHS 2011 from my old HP MSS EX495.

Cuberob January 8, 2012 at 1:29 pm

After some further testing 1080p mkv seem to be playing quite nice after all. Turns out the powerline-ethernet adapter between that xbox and the rest of the network is being a b*tch. Cause my other xbox 360/ps3 plays the same 1080p file like a charm.

Also plex media server does the same thing converting 1080p videos to my smartphone/tablet worldwide like a charm. Too bad they don’t provide a whs 2011 plugin. Now i’m stuck installing the server using remote desktop and configuring it to auto start at login and my whs to auto login. Very nice stuff though!

Paul York January 8, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Glad everybody’s having positive experiences!

Regarding having to auto-login, I purchased this software to allow me to run uTorrent and a few other packages as a service.

http://www.blackwidowsoftware.com/products/launchpad/

One of the best $5 purchases I’ve made. Now I go there and I see that it’s now FREE. So, total no brainer. I just “bought” 3 more licenses. :) I’m sure it’ll work for Plex, as well (shame on Plex for not having it run as a service in the first place).

Hmm, maybe that’s my next add-in. What launchpad does isn’t exactly rocket science…

bob January 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm

newbie here…so please be gentle;)

I have a 490 Mediasmart server.

I’d like to watch my downloaded .avi videos I get off Utorrent on my Samsung TV that has DNLA built in.

I loaded a my .avi video file into the VIDEO folder of the Mediasmart 490 and was able to watch the video on my Samsung TV via DNLA.

The only problem is that I have NO CONTROL. That is I can’t stop, pause, fast-forward or rewind. Moreover I cannot organize the naming hierarchy of the folders.

IS there a plug-in on this site that will give me the CONTROL I seek?

Paul York January 9, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Serviio can certainly organize your files by folder. It’s not clear whether you are using Serviio to share your files or not, as the EX490 does come with built-in DLNA sharing (just not nearly as robust as Serviio).

If you’re using Serviio, then you’ll need to be sure to add your Videos folder to the list of folders managed by Serviio. This is done in the “Library & Presentation” tab of the Serviio Add-In. Click the Add button and click the folder button to browse for your Videos share (should be nested under “My Network Places”–or D:\shares\videos). Make sure to select Video as the media type and check the boxes to retrieve metadata (genre, director, etc.) and scan for updates.

Once that’s done, allow Serviio to finish updating the library (shouldn’t take long if there’s only one file) and then start your TV. Find (hopefully) the DLNA server listed as Serviio (YOURSERVERNAME). Make sure you access it via a Videos menu so that it asks Serviio for videos. Then Navigate to Videos/Folders/WHATEVER. Now, if you just have one file in the root folder, I’m not even sure you’ll see the Folders option, but assuming you organize your Videos share with multiple sub-folders, these should show up and be navigable from here.

If you want to get fancy, you can customize the library options. Say you ONLY want Video and you ONLY want to be able to navigate using your folder structure, you can Disable the “Audio” and “Image” categories, set the “Video” category to “Display Content Only” and then Disable all Video sub-categories except for “Folders” (set this either to “Display Category” or “Display Content Only”–you can experiment with how you like it best. In order to see changes to your “Presentation Options” you’ll need to disconnect and reconnect to Serviio on your TV (probably just turn it off and back on again) in order to force it to refresh the category structure.

Oh, regarding the co control part, again I’m not sure if this is regarding Serviio or not. However, you should always be able to start/stop/pause. Rew and FF will usually work, but when you are transcoding (i.e., translating your video file into something that your specific TV can read), then it may behave slowly or erratically.

Hope this helps.

Bob January 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Thanks Paul

One more simple question.

I was confused. With the install process.

I installed the plugin for my home server console software

I also installed the desktop software application

Do I need both or just one or the other.

Please advise

Sal January 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm

My comment is slightly of-topic since it refers to Serviio performance on Windows Vista and not WHS. I heard of Serviio a couple of weeks back for the first time and thought to give it a try. I downloaded and installed it with no issues, however Serviio for some reason was only seeing files on the main C drive. I have 5 other drives and no media from those drives ended up in the serviio media library, even though I let it index all files for a few days.
On the contrary, PS3 Media Server worked without a hitch. My question to you WHS users is: is it possible to install PS3MS on a WHS machine and if so, what was your experience with it?

Alex Kuretz January 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm

See here: http://www.mediasmartserver.net/wiki/index.php/Playstation_Media_Server

Also search in the forums for discussion.

Sal February 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Thanks, Alex!!!

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Jon Hutson February 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I fancied a little HTPC the other week so I cobbled one together from HP s3000 bits and pieces that I had lying around and a copy of windows 7 Pro.

I accidentally stumbled upon Serviio a couple of days ago from just searching around and its a great little solution for my Sony TV and surround sound receiver that are both DNLA supported. Simply speaking, it just works and works well. The easiest way to steam video over the network I’ve encountered. Am now using it with FreeMake, another nice friendly bit of back up/conversion software, to back up my DVD collection.

Now I can just simply use my TV’s remote and select the movie from the tv menu, perfect.

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