video output from HDMI vs. streaming over ETH

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    • video output from HDMI vs. streaming over ETH

      Hi, everyone!

      I've almost finished my first NAS with OMV for home. I'm using a single board PC (BananaPi) and a 1TB HD. I'm working on the case. I'd like to stream videos to my TV, and I'd like to know if I have to forward the HDMI port to be accessible on the case.
      The qestions are:
      - is it "better" to stream the video via ETH using Plex, Emby, ... plugins or output the video on the NAS HDMI and connect it to TV?
      - is it even possible to output video on the HDMI?

      Thanks!
      MIX

      P.S.: actually, I don't have any TV yet... I can't do many test at the moment. But I'd like to know if I have to further drill the case or not, so I can finish the job now and close everything, without needing to rework the case later.
    • il_mix wrote:

      I'm using a single board PC (BananaPi) and a 1TB HD. I'm working on the case. I'd like to stream videos to my TV, and I'd like to know if I have to forward the HDMI port to be accessible on the case.
      "Forward the HDMI port"? I'm guessing you're looking for something like this adapter (on E-bay) or, maybe a short cable?
      HDMI adapter To do what I think you're talking about requires a male to female, HDMI cable or adaptor.
      (Maybe run a normal cable through a hole in the case?)


      il_mix wrote:


      - is it "better" to stream the video via ETH using Plex, Emby, ... plugins or output the video on the NAS HDMI and connect it to TV?

      It's not really a question of better. It's your preference. Go to the PLEX and EMBY sites to see if what they're offering fits what you want.

      To "stream" from a NAS, as you suggest above, you'd have to have your TV hooked up to another PC. I do this, using a small form factor PC as a HTPC (Home Theater PC) The connection between the PC and the my flat screen TV is HDMI. I have a stereo receiver that is HMDI capable, between the two. (HDMI carries HIFI sound as well.) If your TV has speakers, a stereo receiver or amp is not necessary.

      A "smart" TV is another matter. Some TV's can be hooked to a network VIA wired or wireless Ethernet, and stream media from a server without the need for a PC. (However, their streaming functions tend to be limited.)

      While many use Plex, and it works very well for organizing media, it's not really necessary. I don't "stream" media per say. I have a short cut on the HTPC desktop to my video folder(s) and I simply click on the files I want to play. (Even 100MBS Ethernet works fine for this purpose.) I use a standard player for MP3's, with play lists, with files on the remote server.


      il_mix wrote:

      - is it even possible to output video on the HDMI?
      Can you connect OMV directly to your TV VIA HDMI? You could but, given OMV's server based design, it would require additional configuration and it wouldn't be very convenient. OMV is designed for hosting files (NAS) and network streaming operations as a server. Also, OMV is designed to run "headless" - meaning that, after the initial setup, a monitor or TV is not needed. After setup, OMV is accessed over the network, by it's Web site interface.) Again, playing, or displaying media files is a client function.


      It you're looking to do it cheaply, you could get another PI (A $29 Rapberry PI 3 perhapes?) and load it with a Raspbean desktop client. With a wireless keyboard / touchpad combo (Logitech K400R - $30 Wal-Mart) you'd have a low cost Theater PC.

      In essence, (and in my opinion) it's best to separate the NAS and network server functions, from the client function of playing files. Also, for a good experience on the client end, it would be better to have something with more horsepower in your HTPC than an ARM processor.

      While OMV will run find on ARM platforms, a media playing client should have something along the lines of an Atom processor (minimum). Intel Celerons and up would be much better.

      These are just my thoughts on the matter. Others may have differing opinions.
      Good backup takes the "drama" out of computing
      ____________________________________
      OMV 3.0.99 Erasmus
      ThinkServer TS140, 12GB ECC / 32GB USB3.0
      4TB SG+4TB TS ZFS mirror/ 3TB TS

      OMV 3.0.99 Erasmus - Rsync'ed Backup
      R-PI 2 $29 / 16GB SD Card $8 / Real Time Clock $1.86
      4TB WD My Passport $119
    • Hi @flmaxey, and thanks for your VERY detailed answer!

      My purpose is to have a direct connection between the NAS and the TV, to minimize the gadgets in the living room (already have a Volumio box for playing MP3, and several other stuffs. Wife already on the verge of nervous breakdown...).

      For HDMI streaming (yeah, I know that "streaming" is not always the right word to use in this context...) I planned to use a short male-female cable, as you said. But, as I was expecting from an headless device, you confirmed that it will be quite hard to output the video/audio from an OMV box.
      One less hole to drill...

      About the second option, my idea is to reproduce on a TV the behavior I have when watching videos stored in NAS from my PC: the NAS will simply send data on the LAN (that's its job!), and the PC will render them using some software (VLC, ...). I was thinking about a SmartTV, that I suppose is capable to do such things. In this scenario, the NAS processor power will not be a problem (again, sending data on the LAN is its job).
      But some new questions arise:
      - how "limited" (you used this term) is a Smart TV in terms of streaming from a remote server? Formats problems? Data access?
      - do one actually need to install some sort of media server to access the data from a TV? Or is it just to have some fancy interface to select multimedia?

      I think I'm gonna take my NAS at work and play with the SmartTV during launch break...
    • I am using a headless Raspberry PI 3B, which has Plex Media Server and also miniDLNA.
      the RPi is connected with ethernet, and so is my Samsung Smart TV.
      with all this I can stream video's up to x264, AVC, AC3 from my RPi to the TV.
      the management is done from my laptop.
      the main thing is to avoid Transcoding while streaming video.
      a small device like RPi is not able of doing that.
      Raspberry Pi 3 used as NAS
    • il_mix wrote:


      - how "limited" (you used this term) is a Smart TV in terms of streaming from a remote server? Formats problems? Data access?
      If I was to guess (regarding compatible servers, data format, access, etc.), I'd say "all of the above". My limited experience with this revolves around a Philips 55" "Smart TV". It's network aware and supports DLNA. It can detect a server, that's advertising itself, on a local network segment. With the TV's remote, it's possible to navigate to individual files, movies, etc., and play them without a client PC. Would I do it? No way. It's so awkward, I'd rather shoot myself. (Just a figure of speech. :- ) If you have a good number of files, and sub-dir's to organize your files, you'd get lost in navigating. I found, quickly. that I'd rather do this sort of thing with a mouse, not a TV remote.

      Are some TV's better than others? I'm speculating but I'd say yes. In any case, there's no way to know until you get it and, depending on the brand of Smart TV, your mileage will vary.

      il_mix wrote:


      - do one actually need to install some sort of media server to access the data from a TV? Or is it just to have some fancy interface to select multimedia?
      (While they were on a file server, I wasn't using a media server to access files from the Smart TV. However....)

      I am using a media "player" for MP3's, which catalogs the music collection but more importantly, it allows me to set up play lists. Also, I use Calibre for sorting E-books (tiles / authors / etc.) but I load books manually onto my reader. (This is on the client end.) Going beyond that, personally, I don't think a media server is necessary but I'm old school. (Going back to smoke signals and all that. :whistling: )

      Having developed my own little methods over the years, before media servers were available, I've developed directory names and structures that are intuitive to me so I can find nearly anything on my server in less than a minute and I have a LOT of files. On the other hand, some like the attractive interfaces of Media Clients like PLEX, that can organize a senseless mess of files, display Movie posters, a cast of characters, song lyrics, album covers, etc. And there's no doubt that a PLEX server on OMV, with a PLEX media client on the other end, would be the right way to go for many users.

      In the bottom line, the answer is "yes";
      While acknowledging that they have amazing features, Media servers and their matching client players are nothing more than fancy interfaces to find and select media files. Again, it all goes back to personal preference.
      _________________________________________________

      Oh and a last note since you're using one of the various PI's:
      Use a quality (16Gig) SD Card like San Disk, for your boot drive. Install OMV's Flash Memory Plugin and follow the instructions under "Notes" so it works as designed. Lastly, when you have a working configuration that you like, clone your working SD card so that you have backup that's "plug and play". (This is a bit insurance that may save you some grief, down the road.)
      Good backup takes the "drama" out of computing
      ____________________________________
      OMV 3.0.99 Erasmus
      ThinkServer TS140, 12GB ECC / 32GB USB3.0
      4TB SG+4TB TS ZFS mirror/ 3TB TS

      OMV 3.0.99 Erasmus - Rsync'ed Backup
      R-PI 2 $29 / 16GB SD Card $8 / Real Time Clock $1.86
      4TB WD My Passport $119
    • fred44nl wrote:

      I am using a headless Raspberry PI 3B, which has Plex Media Server and also miniDLNA.
      the RPi is connected with ethernet, and so is my Samsung Smart TV.
      with all this I can stream video's up to x264, AVC, AC3 from my RPi to the TV.
      the management is done from my laptop.
      the main thing is to avoid Transcoding while streaming video.
      a small device like RPi is not able of doing that.
      Thanks for chipping in fred44nl.

      It's nice when forum users step up to help out new folks, especially since your server scenario directly applies.
      Good backup takes the "drama" out of computing
      ____________________________________
      OMV 3.0.99 Erasmus
      ThinkServer TS140, 12GB ECC / 32GB USB3.0
      4TB SG+4TB TS ZFS mirror/ 3TB TS

      OMV 3.0.99 Erasmus - Rsync'ed Backup
      R-PI 2 $29 / 16GB SD Card $8 / Real Time Clock $1.86
      4TB WD My Passport $119
    • I'm old-school, too. Well organized folders/subfolders and everything can be easily reached.
      BTW, sometimes it is nice to have a fancy interface with covers and so on; things will (sometimes) become more accessible for other users, that don't know your directory tree.

      I have to study a little more the "media server" world. I hoped for a simple web interface access (like in my Volumio box), but it seems that a client side app is needed, instead. And for Plex and Emby these client apps are non-free (or free for some devices, non-free for others. Still confused about this...)

      fred44nl wrote:


      I am using a headless Raspberry PI 3B, which has Plex Media Server and also miniDLNA.
      the RPi is connected with ethernet, and so is my Samsung Smart TV.
      I noticed that there is a Plex client app for Smart TV (found packages specifically for Samsung's, too). Are you using this app? Looks like the app is free for Smart TV, right?

      flmaxey wrote:

      Use a quality (16Gig) SD Card like San Disk, for your boot drive. Install OMV's Flash Memory Plugin and follow the instructions under "Notes" so it works as designed. Lastly, when you have a working configuration that you like, clone your working SD card so that you have backup that's "plug and play". (This is a bit insurance that may save you some grief, down the road.)
      I've seen the "Flash memory" section in OMV interface. But I don't really know what's for... Time to visit some wikis.
      Other thing, I've seen that it is possible to use the SD mainly for uBoot, than let the OS start from HDD. Have to do some test about this.
      Regarding the SD backup, it a daily occurrence task. For every new settings I'm adding (new share, new user, new pin configuration, ...) I create a snapshot.
    • Plex Media Server can be used for free.
      there is no need take Plex Pass, which has to be paid for.
      I did install Emby recently. this looks different, but does basically the same as Plex.
      apps on Samsung Smart TV's are for free, both Plex and Emby.

      you can move the system from the SD-card to the HDD and boot from there.
      there are several methods for doing this and it works :)
      may be this is rather complicated for beginners, but everybody can learn :)
      Raspberry Pi 3 used as NAS
    • il_mix wrote:

      I noticed that there is a Plex client app for Smart TV (found packages specifically for Samsung's, too). Are you using this app? Looks like the app is free for Smart TV, right?
      I've seen the "Flash memory" section in OMV interface. But I don't really know what's for... Time to visit some wikis.Other thing, I've seen that it is possible to use the SD mainly for uBoot, than let the OS start from HDD. Have to do some test about this.
      Regarding the SD backup, it a daily occurrence task. For every new settings I'm adding (new share, new user, new pin configuration, ...) I create a snapshot.

      What the Flash plugin is all about is excessive wear on the flash device, from constant read and write activity, as if it was a spinning hard disk. The FLASHmemory plugin reduces read / write activity, greatly extending the life of the flash drive.

      With that stated, it's important to note that not all flash devices are equal. Quality devices like San-Disk and other major brands have "wear leveling" built into their on-board controllers. Cheap knock off's may not. Spend an extra dollar or two for a good brand name.
      Note** a blazing fast device, like a class 10 SD card, is not important. Also, after the boot process is over and OMV is loaded in RAM (with the WEB GUI closed), there's next to no performance difference between an SD card and an SSD. For severs that are up 24x7, the speed of booting is not important.


      Regardless, it's important to clone flash devices (I use Win32Diskimager) and it's simple to do it. After cloning, test the clone, and set your extra boot drive (or two) aside just in case. They're too inexpensive to not have 2 or 3 on hand, ready to go. While your data drives are another matter altogether; knowing that you can boot into an already configured and tested OMV, even after a critical boot error, is a good thing.
      Good backup takes the "drama" out of computing
      ____________________________________
      OMV 3.0.99 Erasmus
      ThinkServer TS140, 12GB ECC / 32GB USB3.0
      4TB SG+4TB TS ZFS mirror/ 3TB TS

      OMV 3.0.99 Erasmus - Rsync'ed Backup
      R-PI 2 $29 / 16GB SD Card $8 / Real Time Clock $1.86
      4TB WD My Passport $119
    • I've just installed Plex to do some testing.
      (I was more interested in EMby, tbh, but the plugin is not in "stable" state for OMV 3.0 yet, so...)
      I generated the movies library and tested the web interface from PC. Via web interface one can play a video, that will be rendered in browser. Given the CPU usage during streaming, and the fact that a "plex -codec" process appears in htop, I suppose that the NAS is doing the video decoding. Quite a hard work for my tiny BananaPi...
      Result, on PC better use good 'ol VLC.
      Question: using the SmartTV's Plex app, will the decoding be performed by the TV or by the NAS?
    • il_mix wrote:

      Question: using the SmartTV's Plex app, will the decoding be performed by the TV or by the NAS?
      transcoding will always be done on the server, not on the TV.
      and that will depend on the video-file that you have downloaded.
      streaming towards you PC/laptop means that PMS will have to convert the media-stream to something that your PC/laptop can handle.
      the same applies for streaming towards your smart TV.
      I have a Samsung F-series and I can stream AVC-video and ACC- or AC3-audio without transcoding, to the Samsung Plex app. just activate the app on the TV and test it.

      I had Emby installed, both on my Raspberry and on my TV, and found it is a very large application on the Raspberry AND it uses much more cpu on the server. so, I dismissed it :)
      Raspberry Pi 3 used as NAS
    • il_mix wrote:

      I've just installed Plex to do some testing.
      (I was more interested in EMby, tbh, but the plugin is not in "stable" state for OMV 3.0 yet, so...)
      I generated the movies library and tested the web interface from PC. Via web interface one can play a video, that will be rendered in browser. Given the CPU usage during streaming, and the fact that a "plex -codec" process appears in htop, I suppose that the NAS is doing the video decoding. Quite a hard work for my tiny BananaPi...
      Result, on PC better use good 'ol VLC.
      Question: using the SmartTV's Plex app, will the decoding be performed by the TV or by the NAS?
      I believe (my opinion of course) the client should do the processor intensive stuff in any case. For other reasons which has more to do with the variety of installed codes, the availability of additional codec's, and continuing support, I've been using VLC for awhile.
      (On the support issue, Micro$oft is closing in on an "F", from my point of view. It's tiring when they suddenly discontinue servers and app's because they're not making a pile of cash.)
      The VLC player will decode nearly anything, so transcoding is not required. As a result, my server is doing what it's supposed to do, serve files, and my client is doing what's supposed to do, using it's CPU horsepower for rendering. (And the client is not "On" 24x7.)

      In the bottom line, I think you're on the right track. If you're running something 24x7 (spinning the power meter), it's better to use 10 to 25 watts (A PI and USB hard drives), then to use 50 to 100 watts non-stop. Over the course of a year, it adds up.
      ________________________________________________________________________

      BTW: What ryecaaron (OMV's plugin programmer) considers to be "stable", is a bit different from "stable" for you and me out in user land. He sifts through numerous scenarios, (different hardware platforms, software feature combinations, network scenarios) looking for problems, and works on odd ball user errors that the rest of us would likely never encounter. Until he completes what could be referred to as a "due diligence" process, he labels it "unstable". But when he makes it available to download, that means it's usable in most situations. You could try Emby and if it works for you, it's likely that you'd never have a problem with it. That's been my experience in using an "unstable" plugin. It's your call, but I'd go for it.

      (Also, in the off chance that there's an issue, report it. He's good about running down and fixing bugs.)
      Good backup takes the "drama" out of computing
      ____________________________________
      OMV 3.0.99 Erasmus
      ThinkServer TS140, 12GB ECC / 32GB USB3.0
      4TB SG+4TB TS ZFS mirror/ 3TB TS

      OMV 3.0.99 Erasmus - Rsync'ed Backup
      R-PI 2 $29 / 16GB SD Card $8 / Real Time Clock $1.86
      4TB WD My Passport $119
    • flmaxey wrote:

      I believe (my opinion of course) the client should do the processor intensive stuff in any case. For other reasons which has more to do with the variety of installed codes, the availability of additional codec's, and continuing support, I've been using VLC for awhile.
      yes, I agree :) but where do you find a TV, that will run VLC ??
      Raspberry Pi 3 used as NAS
    • fred44nl wrote:

      yes, I agree :) but where do you find a TV, that will run VLC ??
      I don't know of a TV that will (run VLC) but, these days, there might be one out there.

      My 55" SMART TV is being used in a dumb role. I do use it for over the air broadcasts, on occasion. Other than that, it's connected to my small form factor Home Theater PC and a stereo receiver, VIA HDMI. So, the VLC player is on the HTPC. Essentially, the TV is being used as a PC "monitor". It looks and works great.
      Good backup takes the "drama" out of computing
      ____________________________________
      OMV 3.0.99 Erasmus
      ThinkServer TS140, 12GB ECC / 32GB USB3.0
      4TB SG+4TB TS ZFS mirror/ 3TB TS

      OMV 3.0.99 Erasmus - Rsync'ed Backup
      R-PI 2 $29 / 16GB SD Card $8 / Real Time Clock $1.86
      4TB WD My Passport $119
    • I use Plex Media Server for movies and Logitech Media Server for music. Plex sucks at music, and LMS excells at multi-room music.

      As Plex clients, I don't have a Plex Pass (too expensive IMO for what it offers). For the client I use a Raspberry Pi with Rasplex (free) and the Android client (which isn't free, but a one-time couple of euros, which I consider acceptable). There are clients for Samsung Smart TVs and maybe other brands, but I really don't have any use for a Smart TV, when I have an Android TV box and the Raspberry Pi. Plex also makes your content available outside your home, which allows me to share the content of my server with a handful of (select) friends.

      Rasplex is definitely the best Plex client as it never requires transcoding (except for HEVC x265), even when using subtitles, which means that you can run the server on a rather low-end server or NAS. I use an HP Microserver Gen7 and make sure to only us x264 encoding so that it never needs to transcode when streaming to Rasplex.

      Logitech Media Server streams to a bunch Raspberrys around the house that run Squeezelite in synchronized mode. This setup is much much cheaper and better quality (if you use decent speakers) than Sonos for example.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Nibb31 ().

    • Nibb31 wrote:


      Rasplex is definitely the best Plex client as it never requires transcoding (except for HEVC x265), even when using subtitles, which means that you can run the server on a rather low-end server or NAS.
      you have a low end Plex server AND a RPi with Rasplex, which is most likely connected with hdmi cable to the TV.
      I have a RPi with PMS AND a Samsung Smart TV app. and the result is the same: no transcoding, as long as you stay away from HEVC and EAC3.
      I have only one device, where you have two :)
      Raspberry Pi 3 used as NAS