Media Server

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KATZAT

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Mar 25, 2019
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I have put together a media server for the car/RV and it came out way nicer than I imagined. Some of my friends feel it is something I should sell. Here is what I have and I am also looking for input on whether or not it is marketable. I am also open to suggestions on improvements etc.

It is capable of streaming movies on up to 12 devices before I start to see buffering. It has one HDMI or Component audio/video connection for a television. I used a 2 TB Solid State Drive because cheap hard drives tend to get hot and also wear out after time. I had room in the enclosure for a second HDMI/Component connection but decided instead to put in a battery backup board. This allows for the unit to remain powered when we stop for gas or whatever. When the battery is charged I can actually play at least one entire movie on the battery backup. I can also easily bring it in the house or hotel to use. It is very easy to use with a handheld Wi-Fi remote or phone app remote and I have found a few apps that work well for streaming movies without internet connectivity. I also added a switch so I can load more content without taking anything apart to get to the drive.

Questions:
Would you get a bigger enclosure so you could have 2 television connections and a battery backup or just stay with one television connection and battery back-up as one option and have two television connections (without the battery backup) as another option?

Cost for the parts alone would range from $600 to $900 depending on the options. Plus time and labor to assemble (and configure everything) I think the cost would be $1500 to $1800. Do you think this is reasonable? Do you think RV manufacturers might be interested?
 

KATZAT

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Mar 25, 2019
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I understand that, but from what I have been reading it is perfectly legal to make a backup of anything you rightfully own. I would never put any content on the device. I would just give instructions on how to format files so the unit will recognize it. I was also thinking I could put a movie and music that are not required to have a license, just some free to air stuff that can be used as examples and to make sure everything is working properly.
 

Tom_M

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Apr 30, 2012
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At your planned price nobody would be interested, especially RV manufactures. I use a Raspberry Pi running Kodi connected to a 4TB USB drive. Total cost $150. My TV remote also controls the Pi.
 

KATZAT

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Thanks Tom! I'm interested in where you found a 4 TB SSD for $100? That's where a majority of my cost comes in. I would like to keep the cost low, but it takes some work to put everything together and configure it. Like I said the current parts list I have runs from $600 to $900. Maybe I should get a few of them out there at a discounted price to see what people think.

I posted a video on Facebook and Youtube of operation using apps and also how it looks when used on a TV. Just do a search on either of those for Volaris Media Server.
 

Isaac-1

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If you pursue this I would offer a base model with a smaller SSD. maybe 1TB, or even less you can fit a lot of SD video or even compressed HD on a 1TB drive (at 1GB per hour for compressed 720p video that is nearly a thousand hours of video, of course at uncompressed 4K it is much much less).      The problem I see is that the people that would buy this are the ones that want a one click content solution which is hard to do legally and those with the technical proficiency to handle ripping video files from source media, likely have the technical ability to roll their own media server, or know someone that does.
 

Tom_M

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8Muddypaws

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That?s more trouble than it?s worth to me.  I have a bunch of Sandisk wireless  USB drives that look like the image attached.  They create a wireless network with a built in media server.  If you have another wireless network that connects to the net these can act as an access point to that network at the same time as being a media server.

They sell for about $20.  (I have a bunch of them I?m thinking of selling)

FWIW I?m no stranger to Kodi, media servers, Plex, network DVRs, etc.

In our motorhome I use a Dell 3050 micro desktop (about the same as an Intel NUC) booting OpenELEC and running a stripped down version of Kodi.  A 128GB SSD holds more video than we could watch in a month.  I have larger SSDs if I need them.

 

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8Muddypaws

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Any of these:

Display port to hdmi adapter if I?m using a MS Surface
HDMI if using a laptop
Cast it from my iPad or phone (depending on the TV)
Connect Kodi to it via the network
Or simply plug it into one of the USB ports on the Kodi computer.  (easiest, but I?m not sure if the wireless continues working in this case)
Or plug it into the TVs USB port. (My experience is that this doesn?t work well on any of my TVs)

For $20 it?s a phenomenal device. 

I bought a couple of Hitachi 500GB media servers that do the same things but playback is always an issue - dropped frames & synchronization issues.  They ended up in the closet.
 

8Muddypaws

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Once you get the device on your own network, I.e not the one it created, the media server is at https://www.sandisk.com/WFD.

But there is a gotcha.  The first time you do this the script finds the local device, generates an actual address for it and stores it in a cookie.  The next time it will default to the cookie - if you’re using a different sandisk device it won’t be found.  Deleting the cookie manually is required.  Since I have around 40 of these devices I learned this the hard way.

I assume that if I got the actual generated address out of the cookies I could have all them online at one time.  Interesting idea.
 

egalt

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"The problem I see with all such devices is the questionable legality of most content."

Moot point - it does not come with movies.
 

Isaac-1

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Not a moot point if it has software on it that enables pirated content such as bit torrent, Kodi, etc.
 

solarman

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Isaac-1 said:
Not a moot point if it has software on it that enables pirated content such as bit torrent, Kodi, etc.

yes, it is a moot point..

media player devices generally do not include content. the user provides that..

also, the PC you posted to this forum from includes software that enables pirated content.. it's called a browser.
so that makes you a pirate by your own definition.  ;)

 

Isaac-1

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My point is that this is a gray area, one where you never know when their will be a new wave of legal enforcement, or more likely civil charges brought against the sellers of these easy to use file sharing boxes, see the policies that major tech players have taken against these devices.      https://torrentfreak.com/facebook-bans-the-sale-of-all-kodi-boxes-legal-or-not-180813/

A person considering making and selling these devices may be exposing themselves to considerable liability either way
 
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