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Video streaming from NAS storage

rjsdavis

Active member
Oct 27, 2020
12
1
25
Hello to all

I am looking to find a good solution to streaming video and audio into my home cinema set-up. At the moment, I have:

Sony Bravia KD55XG7073 Android TV
Pioneer VSX-LX52 Receiver
Pioneer BDP-51FD BD Player

...amongst other separate components. The TV is directly connected to the receiver for audio output with an optical cable. The TV also has both Chromecast and Microsoft casting devices plugged into it's HDMI ports.

I have largely digitised our music and video files, and are stored on a massive NAS drive. However, I want to be able to stream *both*, which are on a single source, into the separates system for audio and video playback. I can see that the obvious and easy solution for audio streaming is something like a Pioneer N-70AE, but this is audio only.

At the moment, I've got the KODI app within the TV sort of working, to access the NAS video files and stream videos direct from the NAS to the TV, but it's not a great app and doesn't even show all of the files that are in the specific NAS area.

I'd prefer a box, that I can plug into my separates stack that will stream both types of file, but I can only see audio streamers out there. Can someone point me in the right direction on the hardware possibilities please?

In the meantime, if there isn't a hardware box that does what I'm looking to, is there a better app than the KODI Android app, for the TV to directly access the video files and stream them directly to the TV for playback?
 

jro

Well-known member
Nov 7, 2011
4
5
18,525
Nvidia Shield, using Plex for Kodi is probably the way forward in terms of combining a nice interface (Plex) with Kodi+Shield's HD Audio bitstream capability. You can run the Plex Server on the NAS (which is what I do, using a Synology 916+) or on the Shield itself if necessary.
 
Last edited:

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
430
175
19,070
Search for DLNA player in the Android store which will read all the media files on the NAS.

If there is no app available on the TV, have a look at your phone/Tablet store for one, and cast from your phone/Tablet using the Chromecast feature on your TV.

If you have neither a phone or tablet then get a Roku and load a DLNA app onto it and use that.

Bill
 

rjsdavis

Active member
Oct 27, 2020
12
1
25
Nvidia Shield, using Plex for Kodi is probably the way forward in terms of combining a nice interface (Plex) with Kodi+Shield's HD Audio bitstream capability. You can run the Plex Server on the NAS (which is what I do, using a Synology 916+) or on the Shield itself if necessary.
Hi JRO

Many thanks for replying - much appreciated.

I must admit, that I have seen and heard of Plex, but don't eally understand how to use it, or how it fits into the mix between the files that sit on the NAS drive, and the app that is running on the TV to play them!

I'll have a look this evening, and download Nvidia Shield onto the TV - but it's the Plex element that I don't know what to do with?

Many thanks
 

rjsdavis

Active member
Oct 27, 2020
12
1
25
Search for DLNA player in the Android store which will read all the media files on the NAS.
Thanks, but I'm hoping to find on here someone that has an actual solution that they use themselves. I'm already using the KODI app, but as per my OP, it's not a great solution.

If there is no app available on the TV, have a look at your phone/Tablet store for one, and cast from your phone/Tablet using the Chromecast feature on your TV.
Once again, I'm already using this, but Chromecast is so limited in the file formats that it will support - it will not play .avi or .mkv files for example.

I already also use a Microsoft Display Adapter as well, but this only works for screen mirroring, therefore is hugely intensive on the battery of the handset. The true casting of Chromecase is desireable, but the file format limitations are ridiculous. I cannot find an Android app that will cast .avi or .mkv files to Chromecast.
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
430
175
19,070
Thanks, but I'm hoping to find on here someone that has an actual solution that they use themselves. I'm already using the KODI app, but as per my OP, it's not a great solution.


Once again, I'm already using this, but Chromecast is so limited in the file formats that it will support - it will not play .avi or .mkv files for example.

I already also use a Microsoft Display Adapter as well, but this only works for screen mirroring, therefore is hugely intensive on the battery of the handset. The true casting of Chromecase is desireable, but the file format limitations are ridiculous. I cannot find an Android app that will cast .avi or .mkv files to Chromecast.
Try VLC Media Player as it can cast to Chromecast and has decoding built in.

Bill
 

rjsdavis

Active member
Oct 27, 2020
12
1
25
Try VLC Media Player as it can cast to Chromecast and has decoding built in.

Bill
Thanks, but this isn't a solution, due to the limitation of the video formats that Chromecast will support. It won't even play .avi or .mp4 file formats, to name but two.

I already have two Chromecast devices.
 

rjsdavis

Active member
Oct 27, 2020
12
1
25
Nvidia Shield, using Plex for Kodi is probably the way forward in terms of combining a nice interface (Plex) with Kodi+Shield's HD Audio bitstream capability. You can run the Plex Server on the NAS (which is what I do, using a Synology 916+) or on the Shield itself if necessary.
Hello there

Was experimenting with this last night - I've installed Plex onto the NAS, and it's still scanning all of the media files. There are thousands of files to be fair, so it's not working particularly well yet. I suspect the inability to play files, is because it is essentially still indexing them all - or whatever it does. However, when the software loaded onto the NAS it did warn me of a problem "with a core component". I haven't yet got to the bottom of this.

However, I have just starting looking at the Nvidia Shield devices. Am I right in thinking that this is a small external box, that essentially replaces a Google Chromecast (as it has Chromecast built-in?), but also acts as a streaming hardware device capable of connecting to my NAS video / audio files, and streaming them into the TV via an HDMI port?

I'm trying to work out whether I should get one, and then either plug it into the TV itself and let the TV send the audio track to the receiver, or plug the Shield into the Receiver directly, and let the Receiver feed the video stream into the TV, and process the sound directly?

Many thanks
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
430
175
19,070
Thanks, but this isn't a solution, due to the limitation of the video formats that Chromecast will support. It won't even play .avi or .mp4 file formats, to name but two.

I already have two Chromecast devices.
You misunderstand; VLC does the decoding and passes it on to the Chromecast in a format it supports.

As to mp4, I have the original Chromecast and it fully supports it.

Bill
 

rjsdavis

Active member
Oct 27, 2020
12
1
25
You misunderstand; VLC does the decoding and passes it on to the Chromecast in a format it supports.
No, I don't misunderstand.

VLC player will play any video format that I throw at it on my phone. However, if I attempt to *cast* an .avi, for example, a message is thrown up saying "Chromecast does not support this format". It is the same when I attempt to do the same within MX Player as well.
 

daveh75

Well-known member
Jul 31, 2008
573
9
18,895
No, I don't misunderstand.

VLC player will play any video format that I throw at it on my phone. However, if I attempt to *cast* an .avi, for example, a message is thrown up saying "Chromecast does not support this format". It is the same when I attempt to do the same within MX Player as well.
You have have a Sony Android TV, so why not install VLC on it from the Play Store?

Though personally I'd persevere with Kodi. It's a great media player once set up, I've been using it for years without issue.

I suspect your issue with missing files is down to folder structure/and file naming convention as it likes them to be structured in a particular way. I suggest you look at the Kodi wiki.
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
430
175
19,070
Weird, I have the original Chromecast and VLC casts any type of media file (From NAS or others) to it without problems.

Check everything is up to date and also check for any settings that might be preventing it from working correctly.

Bill
 

rjsdavis

Active member
Oct 27, 2020
12
1
25
You have have a Sony Android TV, so why not install VLC on it from the Play Store?

Though personally I'd persevere with Kodi. It's a great media player once set up, I've been using it for years without issue.

I suspect your issue with missing files is down to folder structure/and file naming convention as it likes them to be structured in a particular way. I suggest you look at the Kodi wiki.
Thanks for this - can you point me in the right direction of the Kodi Wiki that you're referring to? I've searched around, and none of them talk specifically about file formats:

https://kodi.wiki/view/First_time_user
https://kodi.wiki/view/Installing

My NAS is pretty organised. Films in a main Films folder. TV Shows in a main TV folder. Music in a main Music folder etc etc.
Within the Films Folder, every film has it's own Folder and the name format is:

Filmname [2010] 1080p

The Folder and the main video filename within it is the same name format.

In the TV folder, every show has a main folder. Each Season has it's own sub-folder, and every episode within a Season is listed and grouped together in this file format style:

Eastenders [2001] S01E23 - Episode Name

Sometimes it has an episode name, sometimes it doesn't. If it doesn't, it's simply: Eastenders [2001] S01E23

I had already had the thought it was filename related, but as all the filenames are in the exact same format, and the file struture is the same across all of the different Films or TV Shows, I couldn't understand why the majority of them are there, but a number are not!
 
Mar 1, 2016
9
0
4,520
Hello there

Was experimenting with this last night - I've installed Plex onto the NAS, and it's still scanning all of the media files. There are thousands of files to be fair, so it's not working particularly well yet. I suspect the inability to play files, is because it is essentially still indexing them all - or whatever it does. However, when the software loaded onto the NAS it did warn me of a problem "with a core component". I haven't yet got to the bottom of this.

However, I have just starting looking at the Nvidia Shield devices. Am I right in thinking that this is a small external box, that essentially replaces a Google Chromecast (as it has Chromecast built-in?), but also acts as a streaming hardware device capable of connecting to my NAS video / audio files, and streaming them into the TV via an HDMI port?

I'm trying to work out whether I should get one, and then either plug it into the TV itself and let the TV send the audio track to the receiver, or plug the Shield into the Receiver directly, and let the Receiver feed the video stream into the TV, and process the sound directly?

Many thanks
Good article on Plex here - https://uk.pcmag.com/internet-3/117774/plex - might be some use.
The core component error doesn't sound good. What model NAS do you have? Certain models can transcode files and others are unable to do so. That might be the reason.
Plex should work with your Chromecast, so you shouldn't have to spend more than you already have.
If you do get Nvidia Shield, my personal preference is always plug source devices into the receiver so that I get fully uncompressed sound, with HDMI Arc to/from TV. Going the other way, you have to check that your TV is capable of passing uncompressed audio to your receiver, as a lot of them just pass standard DD5.1
 

rjsdavis

Active member
Oct 27, 2020
12
1
25
The core component error doesn't sound good. What model NAS do you have? Certain models can transcode files and others are unable to do so. That might be the reason.
Many thanks for the reply and the link!

I haven't got to the bottom of the core component error message that cropped up on the web-client. It disappeared, and went into the "Add libraries and then scan them" process. I think I made a schoolboy error, by adding in my Music folder along with my Films and TV folders - three whole days later, and my NAS was still whirring away solidly, whilst PLEX was still scanning. I eventually found an alerts tab that showed me exactly what it was doing, and it was scanning, processing and what not - but one track every 2/3 minutes all in. It was taking forever. For a long time I couldn't get into any of the Library tabs either to cancel the scan. Eventually, after many attempts, I was eventually able to cancel it and reboot the NAS.... so it's now stable again and not working 24/7.

I have a WD My Cloud EX2 at the moment, which is where all of the media files are stored. Once another couple of drives arrive, this will be replaced with an EX4, but that's another story. The EX2 had the PLEX software built-in, and it was added via the NAS control panels, accessed direct through the IP address. My NAS does support PLEX, as does it's replacement.

Plex should work with your Chromecast, so you shouldn't have to spend more than you already have.
Do you happen to know if PLEX can be added to the Chromecast device itself? I ask, as I'm still getting grips with how the Chromecast actually works beyond being a plugged in device that permits casting to it. When I was installing the Chromecast within the Google Home app on my Android phone, it seemed to be able to "install apps" - aiirc - it had Netflix and Channel 4 apps in their by default. I have no idea how to access either Netflix or Ch4 via the app built into the Chromecast itself, as the Google Home app is one nasty to navigate app, but I wondered if PLEX could be added to it somehow?

I ask, as I have an additional TV in another room that I've plugged a Chromecast into, and it appears that streaming my PLEX libraries to my smartphone, and then casting it to my 2nd screen is a PLEX Premium only facility? At least, that's the message that popped up on my smartphone when I tried to do it.

At the moment, I use VLC player on my smartphone to access my NAS and playback videos, and then cast them to the Chromecast, but Chromecast is so limited on the video formats that it will accept, this is a poor option, and most of my library is unplayable this way.

If you do get Nvidia Shield, my personal preference is always plug source devices into the receiver so that I get fully uncompressed sound, with HDMI Arc to/from TV.
Thanks for this - this is probably the way I'd have probably gone. I'm going to hold off on the Nvidia for now, and give PLEX a good chance to see how well it works.
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
219
42
10,820
I was using a roku uhd streaming both movies and music from my nas with absolutely no issues. Since you have arranged everything in folders. The roku app will show the same folder structure, apart from having a good search feature too. Though I believe the nvidia shield is much superior, as it should be for the price.
 

rjsdavis

Active member
Oct 27, 2020
12
1
25
I was using a roku uhd streaming both movies and music from my nas with absolutely no issues. Since you have arranged everything in folders. The roku app will show the same folder structure, apart from having a good search feature too. Though I believe the nvidia shield is much superior, as it should be for the price.
Thanks for the reply.

At the moment, I'm still experimenting with PLEX to see how good and reliable it is. So far, it's ok, but I'd prefer not to have to stream my music library via my TV. I know I can use the app on my smartphone, but I can't easily connect by smartphone to my Receiver via anything other than an audio input cable, which means leaving the phone with the stereo separates.

I still ultimatley prefer the idea of a separates box that sits in the HiFi stack with my other separates. I'm giving some thought to a Zappitti unit, as this does seem to fit the bill, and be a logical solution with sending either the video streams or audio streams directly into the Receiver as the sound processor, and sending on the video signal to the TV when needed.

Which ROKU unit did you use?
 
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newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
219
42
10,820
Thanks for the reply.

At the moment, I'm still experimenting with PLEX to see how good and reliable it is. So far, it's ok, but I'd prefer not to have to stream my music library via my TV. I know I can use the app on my smartphone, but I can't easily connect by smartphone to my Receiver via anything other than an audio input cable, which means leaving the phone with the stereo separates.

I still ultimatley prefer the idea of a separates box that sits in the HiFi stack with my other separates. I'm giving some thought to a Zappitti unit, as this does seem to fit the bill, and be a logical solution with sending either the video streams or audio streams directly into the Receiver as the sound processor, and sending on the video signal to the TV when needed.

Which ROKU unit did you use?
I was using the previous gen roku uhd streamer. Though since the present TV already has streaming apps inbuilt for Netflix, amazon prime and YouTube. I sold off the roku to reduce the box count. But I was happy with it when I was using it.
 
Mar 1, 2016
9
0
4,520
Many thanks for the reply and the link!

I haven't got to the bottom of the core component error message that cropped up on the web-client. It disappeared, and went into the "Add libraries and then scan them" process. I think I made a schoolboy error, by adding in my Music folder along with my Films and TV folders - three whole days later, and my NAS was still whirring away solidly, whilst PLEX was still scanning. I eventually found an alerts tab that showed me exactly what it was doing, and it was scanning, processing and what not - but one track every 2/3 minutes all in. It was taking forever. For a long time I couldn't get into any of the Library tabs either to cancel the scan. Eventually, after many attempts, I was eventually able to cancel it and reboot the NAS.... so it's now stable again and not working 24/7.

I have a WD My Cloud EX2 at the moment, which is where all of the media files are stored. Once another couple of drives arrive, this will be replaced with an EX4, but that's another story. The EX2 had the PLEX software built-in, and it was added via the NAS control panels, accessed direct through the IP address. My NAS does support PLEX, as does it's replacement.


Do you happen to know if PLEX can be added to the Chromecast device itself? I ask, as I'm still getting grips with how the Chromecast actually works beyond being a plugged in device that permits casting to it. When I was installing the Chromecast within the Google Home app on my Android phone, it seemed to be able to "install apps" - aiirc - it had Netflix and Channel 4 apps in their by default. I have no idea how to access either Netflix or Ch4 via the app built into the Chromecast itself, as the Google Home app is one nasty to navigate app, but I wondered if PLEX could be added to it somehow?

I ask, as I have an additional TV in another room that I've plugged a Chromecast into, and it appears that streaming my PLEX libraries to my smartphone, and then casting it to my 2nd screen is a PLEX Premium only facility? At least, that's the message that popped up on my smartphone when I tried to do it.

At the moment, I use VLC player on my smartphone to access my NAS and playback videos, and then cast them to the Chromecast, but Chromecast is so limited on the video formats that it will accept, this is a poor option, and most of my library is unplayable this way.



Thanks for this - this is probably the way I'd have probably gone. I'm going to hold off on the Nvidia for now, and give PLEX a good chance to see how well it works.
Have a read through this article. there is a good section on getting the best from Plex to Chromecast through the Quality settings and Transcoding options, which may be of use. - https://www.comparitech.com/plex/plex-chromecast/

I can't see any way of installing Plex directly "into" the Chromecast but I think that once you go through this article, it should work pretty much as you hope.
Obviously it will depend on the quality/strength of the WIFI also.
 

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