Author Topic: Skippa as a networked media player?  (Read 15391 times)

Offline Rat

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Skippa as a networked media player?
« on: May 25, 2015, 08:04:31 PM »
Trying to decide if I would be happy with the Skippa as a networked media player to play files from the HDD of my PC on the TV the Skippa would be connected to as we do now with our old Beyonwiz.

The specs just released say "DLNA Streaming" and that is the only info, now AFAIK that means you have to run DLNA software on the PC and in the past I have found this way of accessing files on my PC through a media player to be clunky and restrictive.

So could someone please answer the following......

Will Skippa support multiple ways of connecting to my PC network as the Beyonwiz products do, including FTP?

Will Skippa be able to stream high res .MKV files from my PC as there is no mention of .MKV files in the specs? (It may fall under one of the stated file types???)

Do others think the list of supported file types looks like it will offer good support for files from all different sources?

Offline Leon K

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Re: Skippa as a networked media player?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2015, 08:15:10 PM »
Hey Rat,

The Skippa can stream from the PC via Media Player or any other DLNA server for example the excellent free cross-platform Universal Media Server (www.universalmediaserver.com), and works great. It's fast and not clunky at all - best of all it streams MKVs.

The Skippa can also act as a DLNA server itself - streaming recordings to Ipads / Computers around the house too.


Offline Rat

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Re: Skippa as a networked media player?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2015, 08:22:25 PM »
OK thanks....so you mean it only supports DNLA streaming and not other methods such as FTP then?

I don't want to have to run Media Player on my PC to access the network and I don't have to now with my Beyonwiz.

What you are suggesting may well be easy, but it sounds like a step backwards to what I am doing now.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 08:25:14 PM by Rat »

Offline snuke

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Re: Skippa as a networked media player?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2015, 09:58:04 PM »
any other DLNA server for example the excellent free cross-platform Universal Media Server (www.universalmediaserver.com), and works great. It's fast and not clunky at all - best of all it streams MKVs.


If it is connecting to a PC or any other server via DLNA, then no, it is not streaming MKVs. If you're using UMS, then it is transcoding the MKV into an MP4. DLNA can't handle MKVs, they must be transcoded or re-muxed first. So if you have a low powered device as your server, MKVs are not an option.
DLNA is slow to index items on the server, you can get around this by using Plex media server so it is already indexed, but then you're stuck with an annoying file tree to get to the content, so a lose lose proposition whichever way you go.
Actually, you can use Kodi as a DLNA server, that will index it and have a smaller file tree than Plex, but still stuck with MKVs not playing, lose again.
It seems the Broadcom BCM7241 is simply not capable of playing MKVs. I was hoping that this problem wouldn't exist with the initial plan to use an Intel chip.

Offline IanL-S

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Re: Skippa as a networked media player?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2015, 10:38:07 PM »
MKV is a conatiner, not a codec. Codec support can be either via hardware or firmware. Even if there is hardware support, the firware has to direct the video and sound to the hardware decoder rather than using a firware decoder.

When it comes to DLNA there is a lot of very loose discussion. There are DLNA servers, renderers, players etc; any one device can have multiple DLNA roles.

Ian
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 10:41:00 PM by IanL-S »
IceTV: 2xTRF-2400 + 2xTF7100HDPVRt + SKIPPA + T2 + U4
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Check out the oztoppy wiki and Topfield Aus Forum for Toppy help

Offline Rat

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Re: Skippa as a networked media player?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2015, 10:04:40 AM »
So from what I can gather the answer is NO, I will not be able to browse shared folders on my PC like I currently do with my old Beyonwiz where I just select network using my remote and browse the shared folders and click the file I want to play and don't need to be running any software on the PC to do this.

I don't use Windows Media Player I uninstalled it and use VLC for video and Winamp for music.

It seems that DNLA media servers need to build a library everytime they are started, that sounds very slow and frustrating and a major step back. My PC that I keep my media on is the family PC in the living room, it's a few years old but still quite functional. But I don't want to be using it's resources to be running extra programs and transcoding streaming media on the fly, how resource hungry is that? I don't even know if my PC would be able to do it smoothly, especially if someone was using it for another task at the same time, which they would be.

I really want to like the Skippa and I'm trying hard to be convinced to buy one, when the T3 came out I hung on and waited for Skippa, but now I'm still not convinced.

Looks to me that the answer to my Skippa as a media player question is....

Skippa = DNLA

T3 = The Beyonwiz T3 embodies the most advance networking options every seen in a PVR supporting SAMBA, DNLA, NFS, FTP & DYN DNS so it is compatible with the most simplest to the most advanced home networks. The T3 also delivers an advanced Driver system allowing easy plug and play integration with many standard WI-Fi dongles & Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse systems, it also comes standard with an external eSata port for supper fast External HDD Integration.

The Beyonwiz T3 not only allows you to stream Movies, Music and Photos in many different popular formats from your local PC, Network Storage or other Media Centres but can access content from all around the world through a variety of IPTV and Streaming plugins.

Offline IanL-S

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Re: Skippa as a networked media player?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2015, 01:20:03 PM »
It seems that DNLA media servers need to build a library everytime they are started, that sounds very slow and frustrating and a major step back.

Yes, this is painful. I do not know if it is the DLNA server that is building the list rather than the DLNA player. For some reason I had assumed that it was the latter.

Ian

I rarely play content that is one one device on another device. Only exception is that I use by AppleTV to play media located on my NAS (it has an iTunes server).

Offline IanL-S

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Re: Skippa as a networked media player?
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2015, 01:41:17 PM »
The Beyonwiz T3 not only allows you to stream Movies, Music and Photos in many different popular formats from your local PC, Network Storage or other Media Centres but can access content from all around the world through a variety of IPTV and Streaming plugins.

The Skippa technical specifications include Opera TV Store, "The Opera TV Store is an HTML5-based storefront of exciting web apps optimized for TV. Opera TV Store apps run from the cloud and suit any screen size or resolution. App categories span Video (the most popular category), Music, Social Networking, Games, News and Information, making it easier for the user to discover and enjoy the extensive app portfolio.

The Opera TV Store gives the user a comfortable, “lean-back” experience, using a standard TV remote control to navigate, select and launch apps easily. The My Apps home screen displays all installed apps in a user-friendly layout. (see http://www.operasoftware.com/products/tv-store)

So far I have not been able to find a listing of apps currently available.

Update: The Opera TV Store is used by some TVs and BluRay plays from Sony, Samsung and I think it is also used on some products from Hisens and Humax. There is apparently a Plex app.

Further update: Forgot to mention that Opera TV store is available on TIVO in the USA.
Ian
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 02:12:45 PM by IanL-S »

Offline Leon K

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Re: Skippa as a networked media player?
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2015, 02:36:00 PM »

If it is connecting to a PC or any other server via DLNA, then no, it is not streaming MKVs. If you're using UMS, then it is transcoding the MKV into an MP4. DLNA can't handle MKVs, they must be transcoded or re-muxed first. So if you have a low powered device as your server, MKVs are not an option.

Snuke - This is simply not true. DLNA technology can handle MKV's, the issue is generally around Audio Codec's inside the MKV not being licensed to be played on the player eg. AC-3 Dolby Digital. You can certainly stream MKV's form a Media Server such as Serviio, with it's transcoding disabled, and it will stream perfectly to a AC-3 Licensed player such as Infuse App on the Ipad. Further to that - Media Server's can be very low resource intensive such as Serviio that can be installed on a Pentium 4. oShare is another very basic Media Server.

Let's keep it positive guys!

ps. Ian - Yes the Opera web browser is installed on the Skippa..
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 02:48:07 PM by Leon Kowalski »

Offline snuke

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Re: Skippa as a networked media player?
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2015, 03:54:58 PM »
Very happy to be wrong Leon, however every single bit of literature I can find doesn't not list MKV as a compatible codec for DLNA. The only H.264 codec listed is MP4.
Googling DLNA & MKV lists constant results along the same lines of people not being able to play, the answer being that tyou can;t forst without transcoding or re-muxing.
In my own personal experience, I have never gotten an MKV to play via DLNA without it being transcoded. I have used MediaLink, Playstation Media Server, Universal Media Server, Servio, Plex and a few others. I see a spike in the CPU as it starts to transcode, of it that is disabled, then the result is no playback. Sure media servers can be low intensive and installed on Pentium 4 devices, but if you trying to play even a mid size file such as a 4GB MKV movie, then it is a CPU killer for older hardware when it tries to transcode. Re-muxing is far less intensive, and only takes a short time to do (on my computer one 2Gb MKV is re-muxed in about 20 seconds). But that does require re-muxing all content you plan to play, and that alone is a hassle.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 05:40:13 PM by snuke »

Offline IanL-S

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Re: Skippa as a networked media player?
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2015, 05:00:38 PM »
I can play many MKV files on my TRF-2400 and 7100+; they have ancient Broadcom SOC (system on chip); some will not play due to the outdated MKV library in the Topfield firmware. I have only tried this once via DLNA. Usually do it from an external HDD. Logically it should not make any difference if it is from external HDD or an external DLNA server.

Ian

PS I think you should have thanked Leon rather than me.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 05:03:52 PM by IanL-S »

Offline IanL-S

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Re: Skippa as a networked media player?
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2015, 05:05:24 PM »
ps. Ian - Yes the Opera web browser is installed on the Skippa..

According to the specification it is now only the Opera Web Browser; it is also the tantalising looking Opera TV Store.

Ian

PS I could never see the need to have web browser on a PVR. I have 2 with that facility and have never used it other than for beta testing (TF-T6000 and TF-T6211).
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 05:06:55 PM by IanL-S »

Offline csutak40

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Re: Skippa as a networked media player?
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2015, 06:48:37 PM »
It seems that DNLA media servers need to build a library everytime they are started, that sounds very slow and frustrating and a major step back.

Yes, this is painful. I do not know if it is the DLNA server that is building the list rather than the DLNA player. For some reason I had assumed that it was the latter.

Ian

I rarely play content that is one one device on another device. Only exception is that I use by AppleTV to play media located on my NAS (it has an iTunes server).

Most of this conversation is waaaay above my head, but in my case, I often play content that is on one device on another (usually the TV)  ATM, I have all sorts of amateurish (and often difficult) ways of doing this, but I manage.

So, I wouldn't buy a PVR that wasn't an improvement of what I already have and wouldn't consider pre-ordering one until more information was forthcoming.
Cheers,
Judy
Windows 7 Media Center; Last Update Feb 20 2006; Beyonwiz T4, T2

Offline csutak40

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Re: Skippa as a networked media player?
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2015, 06:56:44 PM »


Let's keep it positive guys!

ps. Ian - Yes the Opera web browser is installed on the Skippa..

Sorry Leon, I find it hard to keep positive when one needs a pair of pliers to get info and we are expected to shell out quite a bit of money sans this info.  I am very disappointed in the lack of details in the specs, especially having waited patiently for years.  >:(

Offline Likkie

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Re: Skippa as a networked media player?
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2015, 09:33:05 AM »
Very happy to be wrong Leon, however every single bit of literature I can find doesn't not list MKV as a compatible codec for DLNA. The only H.264 codec listed is MP4.
Googling DLNA & MKV lists constant results along the same lines of people not being able to play, the answer being that tyou can;t forst without transcoding or re-muxing.
In my own personal experience, I have never gotten an MKV to play via DLNA without it being transcoded. I have used MediaLink, Playstation Media Server, Universal Media Server, Servio, Plex and a few others. I see a spike in the CPU as it starts to transcode, of it that is disabled, then the result is no playback. Sure media servers can be low intensive and installed on Pentium 4 devices, but if you trying to play even a mid size file such as a 4GB MKV movie, then it is a CPU killer for older hardware when it tries to transcode. Re-muxing is far less intensive, and only takes a short time to do (on my computer one 2Gb MKV is re-muxed in about 20 seconds). But that does require re-muxing all content you plan to play, and that alone is a hassle.

First of all MKV is a container not a CODEC.

Now that that is out of the way, I can tell you that I stream content in MKV format via DLNA un-transcoded all the time. I mean literally every day.

I have a NAS which has TWONKY DLNA server built it.  It has no transcoding capability yet I am able to stream to WDTV Live, LG Media player, SONY Bluray player or Kodi with no problem whatsoever.  The key is having a media player that can actually work with the MKV container format and which identifies its capabilities correctly to the DLNA server.

I can't stream to my Sony PS3 because it doesn't support MKV container format although I could if my DLNA server supported transcoding.

All of that information you have googled is produced by people who don't fully understand the (very simple) technology and you are perpetuating that misinformation by repeating it. 

Your experiences may be valid, but you are misinterpreting your results because you obviously don't understand what's going on.



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