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Jingthing

Android T.V. boxes (hardware and software) for "dummies"

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Posted (edited)
On 6/30/2020 at 6:01 PM, Jingthing said:

As is probably evident different people have different interests in how to use their t.v. boxes.

My primary interest is better management of my video files.

Using Plex has been highly recommended to me and I want to try it.

I got some advice from a non-forum source on how to make that happen.

I have a wired DSL connection so use a modem/router combination.

I have been running a wire from the modem to the t.v. boxes (LAN). 

 

Here is the suggestion detailed.

 

Get a 4 TB USB external hard drive for videos. 

Connect that to a 3.0 USB on my all in one PC. 

Get a 5 ghZ wireless router and an AC capable dongle.

Connect the new router by ethernet port to my DSL wired router.

Plug the dongle in a USB 3.0 port on my PC.

(Or would the dongle go on my t.v. box? Sorry, got confused)

Install PLEX on my PC to manage the video files on the 4 TB external drive.

Install the PLEX player on my Android box. Apparently that's required for this setup. 

If that all works obviously I would no longer have the issue anymore of controlling USB files from the box on my PC.

Downsides I see are that the PC would need to be on while using the t.v. box for videos and also I wonder if the wireless connection via the new router would be as good as the current setup (internet via LAN, videos via direct USB drive into the box).

Any comments?

I don't think I've ever seen a thread with as many irrelevant off-the-wall comments. Only blessing is that one of our SSD fanatics hasn't shown up to insist you put an SSD in your media box. And reinstall everything. 😉

 

Lemme first address these:

 

Kodi - people here are obsessed with Kodi or the hot alternatives for streaming video from the net, esp all that cr.a.p from the UK, and they evaluate it on that basis. But, as a man of discriminating taste, you just want a player for previously downloaded files. Kodi's good, has more features than, say, VLC. You don't need any addons. VLC's good too, lighter, has a few features of its own. Not as pretty, though. 😉Either one will organize your media files

 

Loaded apps - what for? You got all you need. At most you'd need an FTP server IF you wanna go the transfer files route.

 

Mini-keyboard, mouse - nah, these are mainly for surfers entering addresses and whatnot frequently. No need, the remote's doable. Once in a blue moon you can suffer an extra 5 min dealing w/ the onscreen keyboard, press the mouse button to get a mouse, press again, sigh. Get into training, man.

 

ES File Explorer - no need. You find your vid files in the media player file browser.

 

dongle on the box, Netflix, Mobro - useless for your purpose

 

a netgear 4 port hub - what for? Your box and PC are already connected.

 

plex server on a Raspberry Pi - Huh? You got a PC and you got a box, either of which can run Plex if you really want Plex. set it up so you can watch anything on your phone WHAT? Yeah, why you need that TV. 😉

 

TP-Link AV1000 Gigabit Powerline ac Wi-Fi Kit - Most bizarre of all. W.T.F? You're wired already!

 

OK, getting up to date here . . . let's go thru this:

 

Get a 4 TB USB external hard drive for videos. 

  >Why? You already got an external USB drive. Why 4 TB? That a magic number?

 

Connect that to a 3.0 USB on my all in one PC. 

   >If you're going to stream from your PC, you can just stream from your internal hard drive; faster access.

 

Get a 5 ghZ wireless router and an AC capable dongle.

Connect the new router by ethernet port to my DSL wired router.

Plug the dongle in a USB 3.0 port on my PC.

(Or would the dongle go on my t.v. box? Sorry, got confused)

   >OMG. Laughable nonsense, since both your devices are already on the LAN.

     No, no, no.

 

Install PLEX on my PC to manage the video files on the 4 TB external drive.

    >Personally I don't like Plex. It's a hog, it's slow, it takes over your PC. You can stream from Windows Media Player or VLC to your box if you really want to do that. H.e.ll, Win 10's got its own native DNLA server: That, Plex, and UMS (I prefer that one, it's lighter) are discussed here:

 

https://www.howtogeek.com/215400/how-to-turn-your-computer-into-a-dlna-media-server/

 

Install the PLEX player on my Android box. Apparently that's required for this setup. 

    >I don't think so. The other players will recognize an UnPn/DNLA stream as well.

 

If that all works obviously I would no longer have the issue anymore of controlling USB files from the box on my PC.

    >Well, but now you have to control them from 2 places, your PC AND the media box. Issues may arise w/ transcoding and subtitles and remote control. Or, maybe not. 🙂

 

Downsides I see are that the PC would need to be on while using the t.v. box for videos

    >Yep, and Plex is running, consuming resources.

 

and also I wonder if the wireless connection via the new router would be as good as the current setup (internet via LAN, videos via direct USB drive into the box).

    >Useless, not as good as the LAN, and the LAN's not as good as direct USB into the box. Your box, you know, can download files directly from the 'net to the USB drive. But then you'd be entering addresses and names, so the keyboard would be good then.

 

So, yeah, you can stream from your PC, as I'd said earlier. Don't listen to Mr. Plex anymore, though.

 

Some, now, use sneakernet, just carry their USB drive from the PC to the box and back. Personally I like FTP to transfer files from the PC to the USB drive connected to the box and also manage files there. I gave you instructions earlier. 

 

BUT, sounds like what you really want to do is set up shared folder on your PC. Which could be on that brand new 4 TB drive Mr. Plex told you to get, if that's where you want to keep all those vid files--rather than on an internal hard drive.

 

I mentioned earlier that it isn't as fun. You gon' have to use that infernal remote, too. After it's set up, however, you should be happy enough. This was asked about earlier too by Powerline:

 

On 6/29/2020 at 4:19 PM, Jai Dee said:

I personally have not tried it, but is it possible to share a Windows drive/directory (even external HDD) to your home network and can the Android boxes connected to the network see it and play media files from it?

 

So, by popular demand, here's how you do it. First, your box may like to talk only to SMB 1 shares, not 2. Don't bother wasting time: just go ahead and install SMB 1 on your Win 10, like this:

 

https://www.tachytelic.net/2019/09/windows-10-enable-smb1/.

 

It will require a reboot. No biggie, though.

 

Then do this:

 

https://www.howtogeek.com/215400/how-to-turn-your-computer-into-a-dlna-media-server/

 

Except you don't need to setup a special user, just create the share on the folder. Note the name of the share. You end up w/ an address in Kodi like this: smb://192.168.n.n/Videos/. Might take a time or two to get it right. You can leave username and password blank if the share is assigned to Everyone.

 

BTW, before one of our ace experts jumps on this point, you should first set up a static IP address for your PC in the router. Otherwise, the address may change and Kodi can't find the share.

 

Some other redditor thoughts here, if you get stuck: https://old.reddit.com/r/kodi/comments/altu3v/adding_smb_share_to_kodi_finally_figured_it_out/

 

So then Kodi and VLC and other players will see that shared folder on your PC and you can play vids from there.

 

Does this really work? Yup, quite well, too. Enjoy!

 

Edited by BigStar
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