Media playback from NAS to tablet over Wifi

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Media playback from NAS to tablet over Wifi

Postposted on Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:55 pm

I'm moving into a new apartment pretty soon and I'm gonna be setting up a brand new home network, and I'm interested to see if there are any solutions for accessing and playing back movies from a NAS on either an android or apple tablet (wirelessly of course) while still being able to access the NAS from my computer to add more media to my collection.

I don't currently have a NAS or a tablet, I'm basically waiting to see if my preferred media consumption solution would work before purchasing the hardware. I'm assuming certain NAS boxes would be better suited to this particular task than others, and there are probably apps on both platformes' stores that could enable this functionality, so if anyone has experience doing this sort of thing I'd love to hear it

P.S. Because the tablet would be primarily for movie watching, I'd prefer an android over an iOS device simply for their tendency to be more 16:10 displays, but I'm open to either solution

P.P.S. If this should go under a different forum subject let me know, networking seemed the most relevant
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Re: Media playback from NAS to tablet over Wifi

Postposted on Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:24 pm

for Apple I use 8player
The lite version is good to get to know it and the rules that make it a "lite" version are not all that strict.

Most good apps can work from a share but there are a number of media servers that can run on NAS. I'd do your research on that. Sorry I don't have my list of servers I've used off the top of my head but in most cases I've reverted back to shares.

I'm not sure if it is worthwhile but you can also run XBMC on an Android (or jailbroken iOS)
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Re: Media playback from NAS to tablet over Wifi

Postposted on Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:50 pm

Many good quality NAS devices (such as Synology's products) have their own media management and playback apps, and if these won't work - there are many general apps (like MX Player or VPlayer) which support network streaming without using device-specific NAS apps.
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Re: Media playback from NAS to tablet over Wifi

Postposted on Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:58 pm

From what I can tell, you want to be looking for DLNA (Digital Live Networking Alliance) support from your NAS. Depending on your NAS, this may be built-in or if your NAS is a PC, you can get server software that implements the DLNA compatible services for the NAS (if you are running Linux there are open source services with these features http://elinux.org/DLNA_Open_Source_Projects ).

Note that plain old UPNP suppport might get the job done, the two protocols seem to be related.

The next step is to get a streaming client for your tablet to access the NAS. There are a bunch of choices out there, but here's an article about one: http://asia.cnet.com/blogs/have-movies- ... 208234.htm
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Re: Media playback from NAS to tablet over Wifi

Postposted on Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:05 pm

DLNA is a very limited set of codecs. It is growing but still limited and slow to evolve.
DLNA uses UPNP and is a subset of features, if I remember right.

A media server would transcode your media to a format that your player on your device has said it can play.
Transcoding is a fairly intensive process for cpu so you don't usually want that on a small NAS box (I'd done it with Twonky and a Dlink 323)
The best option is a client that can decode the media itself, best if it can use built in features/codecs of the cpu/gpu.
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Re: Media playback from NAS to tablet over Wifi

Postposted on Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:42 pm

Arvald wrote:DLNA is a very limited set of codecs. It is growing but still limited and slow to evolve.
DLNA uses UPNP and is a subset of features, if I remember right.

A media server would transcode your media to a format that your player on your device has said it can play.
Transcoding is a fairly intensive process for cpu so you don't usually want that on a small NAS box (I'd done it with Twonky and a Dlink 323)
The best option is a client that can decode the media itself, best if it can use built in features/codecs of the cpu/gpu.


Yeah I wouldn't want transcoding done on the NAS or on the tablet, neither one seems suited for that kind of job. I'm looking at the Asus TF701 with a Tegra 4 inside, I'd imagine that has good media playback support, I'd just need to find a media playback app that supports network streaming, preferably one with MKV support
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Re: Media playback from NAS to tablet over Wifi

Postposted on Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:08 pm

A while back I found BSPlayer for android. Plays just about anything, straight off the network, even from SMB shares. It also does hardware decoding!

Alas, my Tegra2 Toshiba Thrive doesn't like media files in general, but it will still play them, just choppy, with the audio out of sync...
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Re: Media playback from NAS to tablet over Wifi

Postposted on Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:30 pm

highlandr wrote:A while back I found BSPlayer for android. Plays just about anything, straight off the network, even from SMB shares. It also does hardware decoding!

Alas, my Tegra2 Toshiba Thrive doesn't like media files in general, but it will still play them, just choppy, with the audio out of sync...


Looking at the features, that looks absolutely perfect, and hopefully the Tegra 4 on the TF701T fares better than the Tegra 2 lol. Thanks for the suggestion, do you know what NAS would go best with that, or can I just get any generic NAS that supports DLNA/UPNP?
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Re: Media playback from NAS to tablet over Wifi

Postposted on Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:37 pm

I have a pretty beefy system in place for this. It is a Print server/NAS/Media Downloader/Transcoder. It also handles backups and replication at my home. It is based off an i7 2600 system.

The software is Windows 7 with Plex. I've also set up a DDNS to that machine too. That way, I am able to access media on my server from anywhere in the world and not just on my home network. Plex takes care of transcoding/buffering and whatnot so you don't need a powerful client tablet/phone either. I would recommend this approach if you don't already have a NAS setup.

I would recommend against DLNA generally. I've found the system to be notoriously unreliable and having issues with codec support. However, the last time I tried DLNA was several years ago. This might have improved by now.
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Re: Media playback from NAS to tablet over Wifi

Postposted on Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:58 pm

sid1089 wrote:I have a pretty beefy system in place for this. It is a Print server/NAS/Media Downloader/Transcoder. It also handles backups and replication at my home. It is based off an i7 2600 system.

The software is Windows 7 with Plex. I've also set up a DDNS to that machine too. That way, I am able to access media on my server from anywhere in the world and not just on my home network. Plex takes care of transcoding/buffering and whatnot so you don't need a powerful client tablet/phone either. I would recommend this approach if you don't already have a NAS setup.

I would recommend against DLNA generally. I've found the system to be notoriously unreliable and having issues with codec support. However, the last time I tried DLNA was several years ago. This might have improved by now.


I'd rather have a NAS I can attach to my network and access via other devices in my house, rather than having to put my current PC into a bigger case that can hold more hard drives. I don't travel at all so I don't care for being able to remotely access files using my phone or whatever, basically I just want to lie in bed and watch a movie on my tablet without having to load it onto the local storage of the device
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Re: Media playback from NAS to tablet over Wifi

Postposted on Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:52 pm

internetsandman wrote:
highlandr wrote:A while back I found BSPlayer for android. Plays just about anything, straight off the network, even from SMB shares. It also does hardware decoding!

Alas, my Tegra2 Toshiba Thrive doesn't like media files in general, but it will still play them, just choppy, with the audio out of sync...


Looking at the features, that looks absolutely perfect, and hopefully the Tegra 4 on the TF701T fares better than the Tegra 2 lol. Thanks for the suggestion, do you know what NAS would go best with that, or can I just get any generic NAS that supports DLNA/UPNP?


Any NAS will work, if it can serve the file fast enough. The app lets you grab stuff straight from a samba share. I don't have any DNLA on my machine set up, just connected in-app and browse the folder structure like any other device. I was able to stream an MP4 over wifi, the Tegra2 just doesn't handle HD.
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