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Old 04-05-2016, 10:02 PM   #1
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Media Servers?

Greetings!

We're about 2 weeks away from taking possession of our 2004 30' Classic, and so I'm starting to give some thought to electronics, etc.

We don't watch broadcast TV at home, but have a pretty sizable collection of movies and TV shows that we keep on a media server and access via Plex, as well as watching Netflix. The trailer has been upgraded with 2 flatscreen TVs, but I haven't looked at them in detail. I expect we'll probably either mount Chromecasts on both to keep the cost down or possibly AppleTVs, and use our iPads to cast to them. Video isn't really a big concern, as I hope to spend most of my time doing stuff - not watching TV as I can do that at home.

For music, at home I have a Squeezebox and gobs (make that terabytes) of music on my server.

I'm thinking of building a portable LMS server using a Raspberry Pi and a big SSD drive so low power, and no moving parts. I can probably tie it into the stereo in the front cabinet if there's an audio input. Thinking I'll probably also want a router and local wifi network so I can build/connect another little rPi unit for playing music outside using the inside unit to serve the audio.

Anyway - sorry if I'm rambling...

So, lots of questions. First off, has anyone built a small, solid state (i.e. no moving parts) server for their AS? What do folks do for music outside around the campfire/campsite? I'm guessing mostly Bluetooth speakers like the Bose Soundlink Mini, or the UE Boom. Has anyone put together something that uses wifi and client/server connectivity?

Cheers!
Brawny
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:11 PM   #2
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I'm a bit fan of Plex and use it all the time at home but never got their remote access service to work very well. Besides, Wifi is frequently poor and streamings costs aren't worth it. So I've found it best to simply backup my Plex video directory to a 1T harddisk, and simply play directly from the harddisk - in my case the Samsung DVD player has a USB port that can play from the disk.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:15 PM   #3
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I use a variation on the same theme.

At home each TV has a Lenovo Q190 HTPC connected to a 12TB NAS server and using a common iTunes library to manage the media. Our motorhome also runs a Q190/external drive with optical TOSlink into the motorhome sound system, and when the motorhome is parked at home the Q190 automatically joins the home network and syncs to the NAS.

Means wherever we are, we have the (selected) sync'ed content from the NAS but also have streaming content as the Q190 is a full Windows 10 PC.
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:27 AM   #4
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I use a media player. I rip my movies to a couple of 3TB hard drives (not SSD, but they were cheap enough when I bought them). The 3TB drives just plug into the media player by USB (2 connections) and that plugs into the HDMI slot on the TV. The media player has its own remote and brings up the movies in a few different ways, easiest is just a list but it can also play the movie in a small window to let you see what it is. You can play video or music through the TV by HDMI or composite RCA jacks. My media player also has a wireless connection to connect to your network and play stuff from a server or laptop. I rarely use this, however.

For outside I use a Beats Pill+ and Blue Tooth from my smart phone. Mindful of my neighbors, I don't want any external speakers and keep the Pill+ close to where I'm sitting so I can enjoy it and not bother them.

Inside, via the AS radio AUX input, I have Sirius satellite radio. I'm still working on getting a permanent installation. I need to run the antenna to the outside and mount a holder for the head unit.

Most of the time, however, I'm either sitting outside with the Beats Pill + (enjoying my music or Pandora) or watching network TV over the air. Of the 3+ months on the road, I think we watched 3 or 4 movies from the hard drives. She likes her morning with Hoda and Kathy Lee, then it's outside for us.
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:46 AM   #5
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We've got a collection of movies and music on a 3TB WIFI enabled drive - it creates its own network, so no piggybacking on public WIFI. That content then gets access on iPads/iPhones via a dedicated app.

We don't have dedicated TV screens in our trailer.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:27 AM   #6
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Interesting!

Home:
Mac mini under the TV
Drobo FS (12TB)
Plex

works like a charm.


Airstream:
SOHO router
Samsung blue ray player
ATV2
iHome wifi speaker

Use some old DVDs that I play on the BR player.
Sync content to the iPad with plex and stream that to the ATV
use airplay to play music from phone/ipad as needed

Pros:
pretty simple set up.

Cons:
Airplay drops out on me in the airstream when streaming video. can get annoying.. seems related to the furnace kicking in....
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alano View Post
I'm a bit fan of Plex and use it all the time at home but never got their remote access service to work very well. Besides, Wifi is frequently poor and streamings costs aren't worth it.
I have problems with remote access to my Plex server as well - I suspect its because I'm behind my router at home, and all outbound traffic from my server goes through a VPN to provide anonymity. A second network card in the server for unencrypted traffic might fix that - but I haven't had the time/energy to play with that yet. It's still bandwidth intensive, and costly if not on wifi, so not a great solution anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
I use a variation on the same theme.

At home each TV has a Lenovo Q190 HTPC connected to a 12TB NAS server and using a common iTunes library to manage the media. Our motorhome also runs a Q190/external drive with optical TOSlink into the motorhome sound system, and when the motorhome is parked at home the Q190 automatically joins the home network and syncs to the NAS.

Means wherever we are, we have the (selected) sync'ed content from the NAS but also have streaming content as the Q190 is a full Windows 10 PC.
Sounds like a good solution. I'm trying to avoid spending a bunch of $$$. With the CDN dollar, nothings cheap here! A raspberry pi solution would be neat, since they're more or less stateless. Can kill the power and they'll just start up again. Same with SSD - less risk of corruption. I've looked at a bunch of mini's over the years - Apple Mini, Intel nuc, Zotax, HP all make some interesting all-in-ones, but I haven't pulled the trigger yet. Maybe now is the time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by richw46 View Post
I use a media player. [snip]

For outside I use a Beats Pill+ and Blue Tooth from my smart phone. Mindful of my neighbors, I don't want any external speakers and keep the Pill+ close to where I'm sitting so I can enjoy it and not bother them.

Inside, via the AS radio AUX input, I have Sirius satellite radio. I'm still working on getting a permanent installation. I need to run the antenna to the outside and mount a holder for the head unit.
Another good solution.

I had a WDTV Live a few years back that sounds similar to your media server. I have a UE Boom that works really well on bluetooth with my phone or ipad, and I have iPeng on both, so with wifi I would be able to stream music from a server inside the AS to the Boom, similar to what you're doing with the Beats+. We just got Sirius on our TV, but I haven't thought about trying to get it on the AS radio yet... Really enjoying the Grateful Dead station, and Classic Vinyl, etc. Might be worth figuring that out too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by andreasduess View Post
We've got a collection of movies and music on a 3TB WIFI enabled drive - it creates its own network, so no piggybacking on public WIFI. That content then gets access on iPads/iPhones via a dedicated app.

We don't have dedicated TV screens in our trailer.
Yet another good solution. Perhaps I should just look at a Wifi drive, like the WD Passport wireless or something similar. I could update it between trips. That would work for tv/movies, for sure. I might still think about the rPi solution with LMS for music though, and keep that separate.

We have 2 flatscreens in our AS - purchasing used, and it came that way. We'd probably just use our iPads if the TVs weren't there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gsmblue View Post
Interesting!

Home:
Mac mini under the TV
Drobo FS (12TB)
Plex

works like a charm.


Airstream:
SOHO router
Samsung blue ray player
ATV2
iHome wifi speaker

Use some old DVDs that I play on the BR player.
Sync content to the iPad with plex and stream that to the ATV
use airplay to play music from phone/ipad as needed

Pros:
pretty simple set up.

Cons:
Airplay drops out on me in the airstream when streaming video. can get annoying.. seems related to the furnace kicking in....
I have too much 'crap' on my iPad to think about syncing to Plex at home. I'd have it full in no time, so I'd have to give some advance thought to what I wanted to watch, rather than bringing the world along with me...

Thanks to everyone for the ideas!
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:04 PM   #8
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I have Plex and a Mac Mini as the server, I have not used it in the AS but at home. The computer is powerful enough to deal with the processing so a standard redundant NAS is all that is needed rather than the more expensive type. I use Movie Collector as my database and just went "cloud" with it.
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Old 04-07-2016, 07:20 AM   #9
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I use Movie Collector as my database and just went "cloud" with it.
I use Ant movie catalog. Movie Collector looks pretty sharp but Ant is free and does a nice job too. Downloading the information from IMDB is very helpful and Ant also has a number of fields to use or you can create custom fields.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:53 AM   #10
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MacBook 15-inch 1TB SDD 16GB Ram + 8TB WD. That's how we watch anything. Oh 29 inch ultra wide screen 16:10 aspect.
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:37 PM   #11
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Brawny,
wondering what you ended up doing? It is a year later since this post and I just got my first Airstream and I have the same question as you.

I too am worried about using a cloud based service like the Plex (though it sounds great for home). I have a 1TB NAS and am strictly concerned with music at this point.

I guess the dilemma is that the AS comes with a Clarion (basically a car radio), that only can be accessed via Bluetooth or USB.

My NetGear NAS has a USB connector but I don't know if I can use it yet for this purpose. I also have a MacBook Pro and use two different Logitech media servers (I see that they are now obsolete). At home the NAS is networked to the Logitech which goes to a DAC and then stereo outputs. Love the easy interface of the Logitech and would be ideal to use it.

What was your final solution?
Bill
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Old 07-21-2017, 01:25 PM   #12
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Brawny,
wondering what you ended up doing? It is a year later since this post and I just got my first Airstream and I have the same question as you.

I too am worried about using a cloud based service like the Plex (though it sounds great for home). I have a 1TB NAS and am strictly concerned with music at this point.

I guess the dilemma is that the AS comes with a Clarion (basically a car radio), that only can be accessed via Bluetooth or USB.

My NetGear NAS has a USB connector but I don't know if I can use it yet for this purpose. I also have a MacBook Pro and use two different Logitech media servers (I see that they are now obsolete). At home the NAS is networked to the Logitech which goes to a DAC and then stereo outputs. Love the easy interface of the Logitech and would be ideal to use it.

What was your final solution?
Bill
Just for clarification, you have a 1 TB drive of music that you want to play through the radio in your AS or are you trying to get the radio to access the music on drive by Bluetooth? Can you clarify what it is you're trying to do?
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Old 07-22-2017, 08:17 AM   #13
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Just for clarification, you have a 1 TB drive of music that you want to play through the radio in your AS or are you trying to get the radio to access the music on drive by Bluetooth? Can you clarify what it is you're trying to do?
I think the answer is either.
I have a 1TB NAS of music i want to play within airstream. The nas has a media server but would have to use laptop to access and would rather do something simpler like use my existing logitech media server or a replacement. Also haven't tried connecting nas to usb on Clarion yet as the RV and nas are in two different places right now.

So using Bluetooth or usb I don't care. Just want to hear some tunes hope that doesn't sound sarcastic.

I really like my logitec at home. I have iping mobile app too to control it.

Have Pandora and Amazon music on iPhone as well that would be a good substitute but concerned about cell coverage ( and need to add unlimited data plan).

Any ideas are really appreciated!!!
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Old 07-22-2017, 08:43 AM   #14
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This is old school but I am still a fan of Windows Media Center. It works for everything but will soon be unsupported. I use it at home to stream DVD's to a couple of media center computers. Here again, I am using an old version of Windows Home Sever to store everything on. I need something to replace that server with soon. When we are on the road, we put stuff on a hard drive and play through a laptop or microPC. We also use Media Center to record stuff off the antenna or cable using a USB stick tuner. I don't know of any new media software that will record off the air. Everything is streaming now which is great if you have unlimited data and a phone signal. 1TB of just music seems a bit much.

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