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Streaming Media Stick vs. Streaming Media Box

wkearney99

Senior Member
I make use of My Movies (windows) as it has a video converter.  I rip the discs with anyDVD and have My Movies scan them for conversion.  It dumps them into folders set up in both Plex and pytivo (python scripts for tivo sharing). 
 
I loaded up Kodi 14 and, again, it's still really lacking that final 10% of polish.  Plex isn't perfect either, but it's MUCH closer to 100% (especially on the WAF scale).
 
Having an I5 NUC do all the heavy lifting has made it pretty much undetectable as being transcoded.  
 

NeverDie

Senior Member
Sounds like some people are storing their media on the STB itself, and others, like Pete, are spreading it around their LAN using networking or concentrating it on a media server.  No one who has posted is yet using the cloud for their media storage.
 
Just FYI, it looks as though there are now several vendors offering unlimited cloud storage for little cost or, in some cases, for free.  Example: http://www.thetop10bestonlinebackup.com/cloud-storage  That's much cheaper than the last time I looked into it several years ago. 
 
I won't belabor it beyond that, but if you have large amounts of media that you rarely access, it may be something worth considering.  As a point of comparison, I happen to be building an 18TB storage server at the moment, and doing it properly using ECC memory and raidz3 is costing about $1K in hardware, and even so all that will still need to be backed up somewhere anyway.  i.e. I'll still end up paying for cloud storage.  Which leads me to wonder whether local storage delivers value beyond just rapid read access and write caching.
 
Anyhow, sorry for the tangent.  It just seemed related enough to be worth mentioning.
 

pete_c

Guru
Well here I do keep some stuff temporarily on the XBMC STB additionally to streaming music (internet or NAS), streaming video (internet (cloud?) or NAS).
 
Here is where my XBMC boxes run an XBMC OS (pure meat "lite" Linux) versus XBMC in Wintel or Android or iOS.  After all I only look at the XBMC GUI; nothing else.  Well remotely do keep Webmin running mostly as a conduit to what is going on with the base OS and to update it and a common mysql DB while concurrently looking at automation mysql db's.  It becomes a learning thing for me.  That said did notice (must have set it up) that XBMC / plugins updated themselves yesterday magical like.
 
Lately its been streaming something or another and having attention span issues of sleep such that I stop the stream and record and save it for another night.
 
I do want the horsepower / memory now of my current STB's cuz they are now multipurpose, multifunction.  I have now too gone to watching one stream and recording three streams for later viewing.  I do similar with that cloud TV thing I have (lately its been Amazon).  This isn't though about transcoding post recording or in vivo to multiple devices though.
 
I used to utilize much of the transcoding stuff when travelling while sitting in a plane for more than 3-4 hours or having to stay in a hotel / short term rental for work place bringing the portability of having something that I want to watch (whatever that may be).
 
@ND this has turned in to a very interesting discussion. 
 
I keep learning more and more as the thread gets longer with everyone's comments.
 
Just got email tickle from PlayOnTV.
 
Make Your Roku or Chromecast Better!
PlayOn Team [[email protected]<script cf-hash='f9e31' type="text/javascript"> /* */</script>]
 
The PlayOn & PlayLater Winter Sale is under way. Your Roku, Chromecast, or gaming console is likely the heart of your entertainment center. Now you can make it much more entertaining for as little as $19.99.
 
Stream any video on the web to your TV...

...or record any video and watch it later, even when you're offline. Roku and Chromecast customers can also automatically skip the ads in many of their recordings. All this awesomeness, for very little cash.
 
PlayOnTV must be assuming that the "stick" default device is the Chromecast and the "box" default device is the Roku.
 
A couple of weeks ago on my Kinect purchase endeavor ran into a concurrent "Gamestick and Gamestick Dock" search. 
 
The Gamestick is really a unique stick in the box device that started life as a Kickstarter.
 
stickinthebox.jpg
 
It wasn't about the gaming part of the Gamestick.  Rather it was about the XBMC part widget and software on the Gametick and dock that made it a very reasonable $25 purchase new.  (note that the Gamestock "dock" provides a wired connection to the network).  It was interesting that the design and presentation and the box of the box was very well done.  I think the same company (PlayJam) had cut a deal with some TV mfg smart pieces OS.
 

wkearney99

Senior Member
Cloud storage isn't well supported (if at all) in most current home clients.  Heck, just differentiating between local drive vs network share is problematic for a lot of software.  At least within Plex or pytivo multiple storage locations are abstracted into groups.  No more having to browse directory trees.  
 
That and the time necessary to upload the data is still pretty considerable.  While my local uplink might be fast, I'm still at the mercy of whatever congestion exists between here and the cloud storage.
 
I'm finding it's "least problematic" to allow using whatever mechanism works best at any given time.  Pulling it from the server to a Tivo works well enough, and avoids having to make the dreaded 'input change' for any devices.  However, when using the Plex client on a tablet and playing to the tablet, Chromecast or FireTV, the content stays on the server.  
 
The Tivo handles housekeeping media VERY well.  If programming doesn't get watched it eventually times out and gets deleted from the local 3TB drive.  It never really runs out of space anymore, so even that's a non-issue.  
 

tmbrown97

Senior Member
Pete - the Car PC is just a RPi running XBMC loaded with all the kids' movies.  Haven't been using it lately since I haven't put a TV in the new truck yet.  It was plugged into the video in on my old head unit so I could switch over then use XBMC Remote on the phone or the Rii remote I linked to pick movies.  That head unit would let me dual-zone so I could put any source on the front or back screen.  The RPi is also an access point and router - it can plug into my Cradlepoint then share the internet out from my Verizon card, or just be standalone so that, in my wife's car which doesn't let us see the screen up front while driving, I can still use my phone to pick a movie using the XBMC remote app.
 
For me the HTPC/Plex are about simplicity and reliability.  I have a dedicated HTPC that's well equipped storing the media and acquiring it - so it also does the sharing.  I don't think it transcodes much...  but I did end up upgrading my Roku to a newer one for better Plex support and I've used plex on the Amazon Fire Stick - it's nice and it's consistent with very little up front work.
 

pete_c

Guru
Thank you Work2Play. 
 
Yes here went from MS Media Center to a variety of media streaming NMT's ending at the smallest one with a drive called the Patriot Box Office (totally modded it) to XBMC today. 
 
The "box" does have a little SSD drive for temporary storage of media.  Most of the media though in on one dedicated NAS box and the streaming subs are on another dedicated box and the MythTV box for recording stuff (it too has some storage on it).  Well that and I do not watch television these days.  I don't really watch/listen to much media on my telephones or tablets these days. 
 
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