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Recommended Media Server?

Posted by frozenrhino 
Re: Recommended Media Server?
August 20, 2011 01:18AM
I must confess up front that I am not well versed in this area. I am currently using a Dockstar to stream OTA programming to a hard drive from an HDHomeRun digital tuner. I then serve this content to a PC over my local LAN and watch it using VLC or Windows Media Player. Realistically, this approach works well for me. I rarely sit down just to watch TV. Rather, I typically scale down the video window and listen to PBS or the news in the background while working on some project on the PC.

On my Linux clients, I use NFS to serve the programming, and it honestly works fairly well. However, I have not been as successful when using Samba with a Windows PC. I understand real-time video is a challenge for these protocols, which were not designed for real-time hi-def video. Sometimes it works OK, but usually, if I do any jumping around in the programming, it soon degrades to the point of being unwatchable. The player starts porpoising, consistently depleting its buffer causing it to pause while it waits for the buffer to refill, time after time.

My question: Do client video players like VLC and WMP, or even Windows Media Center, have the hooks to utilize these Media Servers that the TVs have? Would I be better off serving my content to clients on the local LAN using one of these packages? If so, which Media Servers work best in this situation? I'd appreciate any advice you can give me in this area.

Thanks in advance.

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