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Old 12-22-2012, 09:07 PM   #1
Morpheus101
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How do I stream to TiVo with no computer?

I'm going to be moving to a portable computer. I am now running PyTivo on my desktop in order to stream to my TiVo.

There will be times when there will be no computer connected to stream to my Premier XL TiVo. However I'll still need the availability to watch videos while there is no computer connected.

What will be the options for doing this. Right now I have 2 2TB drives mirroring in my desktop.

I'm thinking that either a Router with some sort of streaming option, or an external drive enclosure. All my hardware is hardwired together at 1GB.

TIA...
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheus101 View Post
I'm going to be moving to a portable computer. I am now running PyTivo on my desktop in order to stream to my TiVo.

There will be times when there will be no computer connected to stream to my Premier XL TiVo. However I'll still need the availability to watch videos while there is no computer connected.

What will be the options for doing this. Right now I have 2 2TB drives mirroring in my desktop.

I'm thinking that either a Router with some sort of streaming option, or an external drive enclosure. All my hardware is hardwired together at 1GB.

TIA...
Sounds like you are talking about streaming stuff that has already been downloaded as opposed to live streaming from the net. In that case, maybe you should just buy one of the products that are dedicated to playing recorded media.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:11 AM   #3
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Sounds like you are talking about streaming stuff that has already been downloaded as opposed to live streaming from the net. In that case, maybe you should just buy one of the products that are dedicated to playing recorded media.
Yes streaming from a drive that has existing video files already on it.
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Morpheus101 View Post
I'm going to be moving to a portable computer. I am now running PyTivo on my desktop in order to stream to my TiVo.

There will be times when there will be no computer connected to stream to my Premier XL TiVo. However I'll still need the availability to watch videos while there is no computer connected.

What will be the options for doing this. Right now I have 2 2TB drives mirroring in my desktop.

I'm thinking that either a Router with some sort of streaming option, or an external drive enclosure. All my hardware is hardwired together at 1GB.

TIA...

I am not sure if I am understanding your post correctly, but it seems like your main point is that you want to be able to play video files on a TV, even if there is no computer available, correct?

If so, then it sounds like you want a media player. I would recomend that you get one that is capable of attaching an external slave drive. Also, Some of these are wifi capable.

In my personal opinion, stay away from Roku. It is popular, however, it is VERY limited in the types of files that it can play.

I have been looking at popcorn hour products(most powerful and most expensive, from what I have seen)and also some of the western digital products(powerful but less expensive).

http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinestore/

http://wdc.com/en/products/homeenter.../mediaplayers/

Whatever you end up choosing, you should pay close attention to the specs. Some if these devices can support wifi but not others. Some can support external drives but not others. Some can do pandora, hulu, wireless keyboards, etc, etc.

TC
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Last edited by True Colors : 12-24-2012 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by True Colors View Post
I am not sure if I am understanding your post correctly, but it seems like your main point is that you want to be able to play video files on a TV, even if there is no computer available, correct?

If so, then it sounds like you want a media player. I would recomend that you get one that is capable of attaching an external slave drive. Also, Some of these are wifi capable.

In my personal opinion, stay away from Roku. It is popular, however, it is VERY limited in the types of files that it can play.

I have been looking at popcorn hour products(most powerful and most expensive, from what I have seen)and also some of the western digital products(powerful but less expensive).

http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinestore/

http://wdc.com/en/products/homeenter.../mediaplayers/

Whatever you end up choosing, you should pay close attention to the specs. Some if these devices can support wifi but not others. Some can support external drives but not others. Some can do pandora, hulu, wireless keyboards, etc, etc.

TC
I REALLY don't want another extra piece of hardware. I was thinking something like the NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2-bay. Seeing I will need an external enclosure for my hard drives.

Hopefully someone here has tried this out, and has some advice?
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:48 AM   #6
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There are a few (?) NAS units out there with a TiVo-compatible server built in. Other people use pyTivo. It can run on pretty much anything that will run Python, although if you have videos that need transcoding, a NAS is not the best choice.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:38 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Morpheus101 View Post
I REALLY don't want another extra piece of hardware. I was thinking something like the NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2-bay. Seeing I will need an external enclosure for my hard drives.

Hopefully someone here has tried this out, and has some advice?
Perhaps someone smarter than me can figure this out. But I do not see how it will be possible to do what you are interested in without adding at least one additional piece of hardware to your home network

Even if you were to go with a NAS setup, you will still need something to catch the stream from the NAS device and feed it to your TV, correct?

Unless you have an IPTV, or some sort of display device which is capable of receiving packetized Video and decoding it, then it seems like you will need SOME sort of device to do this for you and it will have to sit in between the NAS and the TV.

Seems like the easiest way would be to incorporate one of the products that I mentioned to you? That would also give you a side benefit of having a remote control so that you could fast forward the video, pause it, rewind, etc.

TC
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:58 AM   #8
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I think it may have just dawned on me what you are trying to do.....

Currently you use pytivo on your computer to push your video files to the Tivo and watch them.

Now you are trying to figure out some way that you will still to be able move files from your drive onto your tivo without having a computer around? Is that the deal?

By the way..... sorry for cluttering up your thread.

TC
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:12 AM   #9
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Why can't you just leave the desktop computer plugged in and treat it as a media server?
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:54 AM   #10
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Several folks here run pytivo on a Symbology NAS. other brands as well that are linux based. As long as the video is in a format that can be sent to tivo without re-encoding the video, running pytivo on a NAS can work well.

Some tools to do some reading on in addition to pytivo would be vidmgr and jukebox which can also run on the NAS or a windows machine.


Head over to the Home Media section of the forum for specific help in setting this up. What you are trying to accomplish has been done many times in a number of configurations.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:15 AM   #11
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Why can't you just leave the desktop computer plugged in and treat it as a media server?
700 Watt PS, and extra work. I'm just doing basic stuff and really don't need it high processing power anymore. I retired my wife's desktop about 6 months ago and she is loving the new HP laptop.

I'm moving to a Surface Pro after the first of the year as a replacement for my desktop. Just trying to simplify my life, and less stress on the environment.

I just need a way to serve up my video file, photos, and music when my portable computer (Surface Pro) is not connected.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:18 AM   #12
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Several folks here run pytivo on a Symbology NAS. other brands as well that are linux based. As long as the video is in a format that can be sent to tivo without re-encoding the video, running pytivo on a NAS can work well.

Some tools to do some reading on in addition to pytivo would be vidmgr and jukebox which can also run on the NAS or a windows machine.


Head over to the Home Media section of the forum for specific help in setting this up. What you are trying to accomplish has been done many times in a number of configurations.
I thinking this ReadyNAS might be the way to go. It appears that they are actually working with TiVo on the solution in their Ultra line of NAS boxes.

Just need some advice on user that have done this. I'll check out the Home Media Section.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:57 AM   #13
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I thinking this ReadyNAS might be the way to go. It appears that they are actually working with TiVo on the solution in their Ultra line of NAS boxes.
I may be biased, but I believe the consensus is that pyTivo works better than the built-in HMO server they provide.
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:26 PM   #14
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There has got to be a computer of some sort doing the work. Calling it a "media server" or a "NAS" does not change the fact it is a computer. I make this point because the OP needs to decide what sort of computer he wants attached, not how to attempt to eliminate computers.

The size of the power supply is really not relevant. One could attach a low power motherboard and an SSD to a 1000 watt supply and only draw 10 watts or so. Some NAS units do have very low power requirements, but then so do some desktop systems. A NAS may most certainly serve the requirements, but so should a desktop. If one is really concerned about power consumption, I would recommend perhaps replacing the motherboard and CPU with low consumption models and install green, low RPM drives. Remove all the peripheral devices and unnecessary expansion cards, including any video adapter and run the device headless.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:13 PM   #15
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There has got to be a computer of some sort doing the work. Calling it a "media server" or a "NAS" does not change the fact it is a computer. I make this point because the OP needs to decide what sort of computer he wants attached, not how to attempt to eliminate computers.

The size of the power supply is really not relevant. One could attach a low power motherboard and an SSD to a 1000 watt supply and only draw 10 watts or so. Some NAS units do have very low power requirements, but then so do some desktop systems. A NAS may most certainly serve the requirements, but so should a desktop. If one is really concerned about power consumption, I would recommend perhaps replacing the motherboard and CPU with low consumption models and install green, low RPM drives. Remove all the peripheral devices and unnecessary expansion cards, including any video adapter and run the device headless.
Yes, the Surface Pro will be running PyTivo, as my desktop is right now. However, it won't be connected all the time.

It's not just power consumption. I'm looking at simplicity too. I've got a router that I can plug in a USB drive and access through the network using DLNA, but I'll need another piece of hardware in order to get it on the big screen. I really don't want anymore hardware connected to my big screen.

Seeing I'll be using my portable, I no longer need a desktop computer, or all the maintenance that goes with it. It's always better when a stand alone device is used only for a single specific task, like the TiVo. I never have to do anything with it, maybe a reboot a couple times a year, but that's all.

I would much rather shove my existing 2 2TB drive in an enclosure, plug it into my network, and stream directly to my TiVo.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:20 PM   #16
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I may be biased, but I believe the consensus is that pyTivo works better than the built-in HMO server they provide.
Have you tried the ReadyNAS Ultra drive solution? I'd like to find someone that has some insight on how it works with the TiVo.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:00 PM   #17
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Yes, the Surface Pro will be running PyTivo, as my desktop is right now. However, it won't be connected all the time.
I certainly do not recommend running any server, including pyTivo, on a box that is not connected all the time.

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Originally Posted by Morpheus101 View Post
It's not just power consumption. I'm looking at simplicity too. I've got a router that I can plug in a USB drive and access through the network using DLNA, but I'll need another piece of hardware in order to get it on the big screen.
You have no choice, unless the router can run pyTivo. Even then, a USB port is not the best choice for expansion. If you really want to eliminate boxes, then turn the PC into a router and get rid of the existing router.

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I really don't want anymore hardware connected to my big screen.
I'm not certain what you mean by that. PyTivo runs on a networked device, not one connected directly to the TV, or the TiVo, for that matter.

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Seeing I'll be using my portable, I no longer need a desktop computer, or all the maintenance that goes with it.
Then get rid of the desktop, not the box. All of my servers run without desktops.

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It's always better when a stand alone device is used only for a single specific task, like the TiVo.
Well, first of all, the TiVo is not used for a single task. It performs hundreds of functions. More to the point, however, is that a dedicated machine for each task winds up with a lot more computers being deployed, not fewer ones. That is not saying your mindset is entirely wrong, it is just that trying to follow it obsessively or exclusively winds up with a poorer network solution. In my case, for example, I have only two main general purpose servers, plus a couple of small, dedicated ones. The main server runs pyTivo, HME for Python, a backup process for controlling my home HVAC system in the event the other server fails, a DHCP server, a VPN server, an NTP server, a process that checks on the software of the TiVos, Network Caller ID, Apache web server, and several others. The backup server performs nightly backups of the main server's data array, provides primary control of the HVAC system, and generally provides alternate server resources if the main server fails.

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I never have to do anything with it, maybe a reboot a couple times a year, but that's all.
I reboot my servers less often than that. Most often, the reason they get shut down is extended power outages that happen from time to time. Other than loading new software or upgrading one of the existing ones (I upgraded, pyTivo and vidmgr recently, for example), I haven't touched the configuration on either server in years.

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I would much rather shove my existing 2 2TB drive in an enclosure, plug it into my network, and stream directly to my TiVo.
You are missing the point. You already have an enclosure with a moderately fast CPU and a 700 watt power supply. Why buy another one? It's your money, of course, and you can do whatever you like with it, but I surely would not go out and spend $400 or more when I had a more capable system sitting in the closet. No one is suggesting you should do anything but stream directly from the server, whether it be a NAS or the old PC. I'm not sure what notion you have of the term "directly". "Directly" as opposed to what?

If it were me, I would remove any peripheral cards from that system, load up a distribution of Linux (I prefer Debian), and load pyTiVo on it. You could also enable IP forwarding, IP Masquerade, and DHCP / DNS Masquerade and get rid of the router. Sit in it a closet or on a shelf with no monitor, mouse, or keyboard and let it hum, year after year.

You could use it for little more than those purposes, or you could run SAMBA and employ the hard drive as a network share, not only possibly displaying videos on any networked device in the house, but also sharing any other sort of file you wish.

There is nothing particularly wrong with going out and buying a canned NAS if you don't have any hardware on hand, but you do.

Last edited by lrhorer : 12-25-2012 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:06 PM   #18
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Have you tried the ReadyNAS Ultra drive solution? I'd like to find someone that has some insight on how it works with the TiVo.
Any device that can run Python applications works fine with the TiVo. I don't know if anyone here has tried that particular unit, but several people have loaded pyTivo on various ReadyNAS systems, I believe. Unless the videos have to be transcoded, pyTivo's use of resources is trivial.

Last edited by lrhorer : 12-24-2012 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:02 PM   #19
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Have you tried the ReadyNAS Ultra drive solution?
No, I have no need or interest. Currently I'm using a repurposed Linux netbook that got dropped on the floor one too many times, so it's no longer useful as a netbook but works OK as a server. It's connected to a large external USB drive. Prior to this I actually didn't run pyTivo full time, only on-demand. Anyway, it's a pretty low-power-consumption setup.
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:00 AM   #20
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You have to have something with a CPU that can push or send upon request files from a hard drive over the network to the TiVo.

Perhaps the wife's retired desktop if not yours?

And then you can keep your desktop around to do TiVo hard drive upgrades with.

Maybe get a 2 port KVM so it and the wife's desktop can share a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Always have a spare computer that can download stuff and make cd's or floppies so that you can fix your main computer if something goes wrong.
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