Are media servers dead?
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Author:  carlmart [ Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:53 am ]
Post subject:  Are media servers dead?

My Mede8er started to hiccup some glitches, so I started looking around for alternatives.

And the only brand I found is Dune!

Mede8er is no more, flew away and left even recent buyers abandoned.

What you find a lot of are TV boxes, but now they are close to being forbidden in Brasil, where I live.

So what are the options for managing video from your computer?

Author:  Ruben Rocha [ Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Are media servers dead? works for me on the mediaplayers as well as the desktop.
I use a readynas for storage and rasberryPI as a mediaplayer at each tv.
Then I use to manage/copy movies to the catalog.
Then of course anydvd to crack the encryption on the movies.

Author:  carlmart [ Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Are media servers dead?

I was asking about what were called media players, like Popcorn or Dune.

Kodi TV is mostly used by TV boxes, and it seems more limited than what media players used to be. To start with it doesn't open Dolby or DTS audio coded tracks, so you do need another unit to do so.

In fact I will be using an Odroid C2, which was recommended to me as superior to Raspberry in ethernet connection, as my video manager to be.

Even if being, apparently more powerful than TV Boxes, it's another way to deal with video managing, different from media players.

So it does seem that media players are dead.

Author:  Ruben Rocha [ Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Are media servers dead?

If you look at my signature you will see I have about every media player except for xbox and that needs to be a old one which by the way does not have blueray playback.
I use the rasberry PI b3+ as a media player.
You have to build it and load the software.
Which is very cheap compared to popcorn or Dune about 70 us dollars.
They are very simple to make about the size of a pack of cigarettes.
You load the software and boom.
They perform way better than my other players.
They do have dolby play back at least my avr sees it as so.
It has 1 ethernet port , 1 hdmi output and 4 usb ports and bluetooth and wifi

The specs are just a little different than your Odroid C2 but the board looks Identical.
Except for the heatsink and IR
In fact it fits the same case and you will still need Kodi to use as a media player.

To test KODI you can install it on your desktop .
Just goto and download the installer.
The price seems very close to each other board only.

In fact I might try one to replace my htpc,

Author:  carlmart [ Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Are media servers dead?

Even if I won't need 4K reproduction for now, apparently the Odroid C2 is more powerful there than the Pi 3 B+.

One concern, on both boards, is the quality of the on-board video.

KODI seems to be the program of choice by everybody, so it's certainly worth a try.

I already bought and received a Raspberry Pi 3B+, so I can easily try for video managing too, and learn about the process at the same time. Then decide which board to get for video.

In any case there will be two dedicated boards: one for audio and one for video managing.

For audio I was recommended to use HQplayer on the PC and NAA on the Raspberry. Have you used any of these softwares?

Author:  Ruben Rocha [ Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Are media servers dead?

I have not tried any of them, Nor Have I needed them.
I rip all my dvds 1 to 1 and they play flawlessly on my avr. and decoded properly
The stand alone TV's decode what they can internally.
For the rasberrys there are two codecs you can purchace for around $4 that run audio via codecs instead of hardware but I have not noticed any difference. they really are for performance of the cpu.

All my music is ripped as mp3 to allow compatibility to all my portable devices

When you say two dedicated boards I don't get that.
What do you mean by managing.

In my case music cd's are ripped either by windows media player set to highest setting or mymovies.
Mymovies is what I use to rip movies with and it provides most all the meta data needed.
Of course as I said you need anydvd to decript the dvd or bluray which has a 30 day trial before purchase.
For stats I have around 600 music cd's ,550 movies mixed dvd and blueray. and 15000 photos. all are sored on my nas managed from one desktop and the rasberrys just connect to the nas.

Kodi has the settings for upsampling if needed at each rasberry.

Author:  carlmart [ Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Are media servers dead?

Let's start with what I mean by managing for video or for audio. It's very simple: controlling what you are playing and how you are playing it.

From the information I could get from people that know a lot more about this than me, one of the problems is ethernet interfacing. The Raspberry Pi 3 B+ seems to have corrected that.

I want to have two separate systems handling video and audio files, as the output of each one will be different: video through HDMI, audio through USB. Video manager connected to a 5.1 preamp or receiver through HDMI. Audio manager connected to a DAC, which will connect to a dedicated input on the L/R amplifier. This amplifier can switch back to the 5.1 system, so the L/R speakers are shared between audio and video.

My LP collection will be converted to high resolution digital files. The CDs will be captured on the NAS as they are, 16bit/44Khz files, never MP3. And I will also play DSD files through the audio chain.

My movies are all MKV, the vast majority in 1080p. Image quality on a 50" TV or through my HD projector do show the difference with DVD. I'm planning to process some DVD files I have which I couldn't yet find an HD file of with Avid Media composer, processing it to "look better".

In fact I did that a few years ago on a documentary I shot, where part of the shooting was done using an SD camera, the main camera being HD. The mixed results were very good. And now there are even better plug-ins to use than there were then.

In any case, as I said, as I already have the Raspberry Pi 3 here, I will test it as a video manager too first.

Author:  Ruben Rocha [ Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Are media servers dead?

A true audiophile. I understand now.

I once was that way.
Till I sold my dahlquist dq10 speakers and my hafler amp and my LP collection .

Just as a note.
In Kodi you will need to edit(turnon) the settings for dolby and dts.
Under settings/system then select audio
At the bottom left is a gear icon keep selecting until you see expert mode. That will display all the options.for all the menus
Then enable the audio features you wish.

Also for movies I always felt mkv was a downgrade. Yes it saves disk space but that is not a issue for my setup.
One to one copies gives me the the complete true copy of a dvd/blueray movie as it was purchaced
Then I can play with upsampling for say 4:3 movies on playback if I wish.

If you have any play back issues as I said before you may need to purchace the codecs. They are very cheap.
Below is a excerpt from osmc faq page. I use osmc for the rasberry's
I’m having an issue playing LiveTV / MPEG2 / VC1. What can I do about it?

You can buy the codecs here from the Raspberry Pi foundation.

It is still recommended that you purchase the codec packs from Raspberry Pi. These allow the device to decode MPEG2 and VC1 in hardware. If the codec packs are not present, then the device will attempt to play them in software using the CPU. This will work for SD material, however more demanding content may be problematic for the device. If you are planning to watch HD MPEG2 or VC1 content, we recommend you purchase the codec packs from the Raspberry Pi foundation.

These codecs can be configured via My OSMC -> Pi Config.

Here is a very good guide on the rasberry or probably your OCDROID it covers most all of your concerns including DAC and using two boards. ... h-raspbmc/

Author:  carlmart [ Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Are media servers dead?

Thanks for the recommendations. I will into them.

I am not an audiophile, I am an audio person. Though I became that when I went into movies, film school and all that, and I got into audio as a way to be in the movies.

That was a looong time ago. Working in location audio and following the movie's audio steps until the end. This was in Argentina, where they have what is called an "sound director"., responsible for the whole process.

But one thing all that did was educate my ear, which worked as a great help in my private life.

In fact knowing all the movie areas help you look at movies and enjoy them a whole lot more.

So I am really a filmphile, even if it's in video.

About the mkv image quality, it goes beyond what DVD ever did. And as long as you stay at 1080p and files are up to 8Gb, they can't be distinguished from the original Bluray. I did do many comparison tests.

MKV it's a lot superior to AVI, which was the format DVDs were transferred to.

Author:  Ruben Rocha [ Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Are media servers dead?

well you are a audiophile compared to most all other user here.

When I rip a movie as I said it is a direct 1 to 1 , A exact copy of the dvd.
No avi or mkv files involved.
I end up with a iso for blueray or on dvd a video_ts file structure just like the original dvd.
So I don't have any audio codec issues for dolby, etc.
Like you get with say handbrake.

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