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Old 08-20-2015, 05:25 PM   #1
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Default Front end media centre stick

Hi all I want to purchase some sort of device that I can plug into my kids TV via hdmi and allow access to media stored on my server could anyone recommend something I usually use kodi and would like to still use kodi on my kids TV could be open to other options

Reqirements hdmi to TV,remote control,wifi

I share my media via smb shares and also run a transcoding server that should be able to do this job thanks people

I have seen kodi boxes on eBay but I don't no anything about them I have also heard Apple TV and chrome cast but don't no anything about any of them

So could access untranscoded files via smb share
Or on the fly transcoded media via dlna universal media server
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: Front end media centre stick

I originally went with one of these:

MK809II A9 Dual Core TV Box Android 4 4 WiFi Bluetooth Mini PC Smart XBMC Stick | eBay

Basically it just runs android, so it can run any of the apps that an android phone or tablet will. There are variations of these, you'd want to ensure you buy one with decent specs and make sure it includes the Google Play store.

Here is another one with better specs and already setup with Kodi:

New Kodi Fully Loaded Quad Core Android 4 4 Smart TV Box Mini PC Media Player | eBay

They're small and you can get wireless keypad remotes which are cool. Personally, I went with a Roku 3 after trying those because we also use Netflix, and I wanted a single device that could handle Netflix, Plex, and Pandora.

I wouldn't trust any of these mini boxes to handle encoding so check the media types supported and verify that you can either provide that media type or transcode it on the backend. Both Android and Roku support a good variety of media formats.
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Old 08-21-2015, 03:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: Front end media centre stick

Doesent universal media server transcode into a format that a stick would accept and I wouldent dream about trying get a tiny low spec stick to transcode or do anything load intensive it would just have to be able to play 1080p files with a remote control connected to us UMS
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Front end media centre stick

UMS will transcode, so yes I believe that would work with the streaming stick.
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Old 08-23-2015, 11:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Front end media centre stick

I can't get my TV to accept some .avi format from UMS shouldn't it accept anything that is streamed to it because it is transcoded by the server
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Front end media centre stick

I have looked in the transcoding settings in universal media server and there are 3 circled as not working from what I can tell
They are
Avisynth\FFmpeg
Avisynth\MEncoder
VLC

all of these under the transcoding settings tab and in the coloum video file engines

All other transcoding settings have blue arrows assuming the blue arrows are good and the other 3 have red stop signs

Any suggestions I am pretty stumped

Actually it's got worse for me I will explain because I am confused

I have the entire collection of family guy on my hdd all stored so kodi can read them in folders with .nfo n all that pretty much every episode is in the .avi format all of season 1 is .avi and season 2

Now the confusing part my TV won't accept the .avi format from UMS when you try season 1 of family guy if you try season 2 still .avi it plays I haven't found another .avi that doesn't play at the moment

Any help greatly appreciated because this is the sort of thing that would annoy me for weeks
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Old 08-23-2015, 11:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Front end media centre stick

Newegg has refurbished HP slim form factor systems for dirt cheap. In that case you connect the computer to the TV and then map the server as a network drive.
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Old 08-24-2015, 01:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Front end media centre stick

you could use a program such as MediaInfo (link) to compare the avi files that are working against those that are not, and find out what codec is used for the audio and video streams. might help you identify which codec your TV is having trouble playing. But as you said, UMS should be able to transcode accordingly.

Also, as Seti mentioned, a mini PC might be a better option for your frontend if you can afford it and incorporate it into your setup. You could run a full OS on the box that would be able to handle more media types without needing the transcoding.

If I have some time tonight maybe I'll take a look at UMS again, it's been a while since I've used it. and If you can get the info on the codecs used in your avi files post it so we can see.
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