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Old 05-26-2018, 06:07 AM   #1
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Digital Movie Library on the Road

Iím looking for suggestions to bring my digital library of movies with me on the road. I currently run Plex at home and have ripped all of our DVDs and BluRays to my NAS. Most movies are MKV or mp4. I want to be able to play movies without the internet.

I can do a server/client setup like at home and get really fancy and sync the NAS content or I can go simpler. I could just copy all my video files to an external drive and plug it in to the tv.

Does anyone know the current model of TVs that are shipping with the DX3 TS? Iím wondering if the support my various movie files or if Iím going to need clients at each tv?
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Old 05-27-2018, 11:18 AM   #2
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I use a NUC computer and keep my backup movie and TV series files on a hard drive stack in the camper. I use a router capable of network extension as my camper's network backbone and connect it to the home network wirelessly.

When I add a new MP4 to my home network, I back it up to the camper at the same time. That way I have an "off site" backup of my MP4 collection.

I used to use Universal Media Server as my media file server, but switched to PLEX recently. If PLEX is internet dependent, I was not aware of it and will need to further experiment with it on the road. Going back to Universal Media server is possible if PLEX does not work out.

PLEX works great at home and my LG Smart TV loads and runs the movies wirelessly without any trouble at all. It "sees" the PLEX and UMS on the "input selection" screen off the main menu. I replaced the OEM TV in the camper with a larger LG Smart TV and it is connected to the NUC via HDMI.

For a one time fee of $5 per device, I installed PLEX Viewer on our iPhones and iPads and they stream perfectly over the camper's backbone. I have a projector and outside big screen and can stream movies to my laptop for group movies.

I will be at the FROG Brass Ring, Mayberry, Goshen, and the Balloon Rallies this year and can demonstrate how it all works if you have any questions.

Herk

PS - Hardware:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16856102178
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16816111455
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16833281004
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16827136260


PPS - Very familiar with Kaysville as I lived in Layton for 5 years while stationed at Hill AFB and still have very good friends living in Roy.
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:17 AM   #3
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Thanks for the awesome reply!! That's a slick setup. I'll have to check out the NUC with a JBOD. Not a bad idea. This also had my attention as an all in one since it claims to have decent horsepower for encoding. https://www.plex.tv/wd-my-cloud-pro-series/ I am concerned about noise so maybe that's why you went the NUC route? I currently run a synology NAS at home so I have to figure out the best way to keep the arrays in sync.

Things have started to change a bit on the west side of the base near Roy. Hill AFB carved out some land and is leasing it for a technology park they call Falcon Hill. It keeps growing...

Thanks again for your reply!
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:52 AM   #4
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I'm a big fan of the 'KISS' principle for RVs. If the TV in the Dynamax can play back mp4 and mkv (less likely though) by all means just get a sizable flashdrive or external SSD storage and be done with it.
If the TV has limitations like mine, personally I use a Raspberry Pi Zero W running Kodi velcroed to the back, connected via HDMI and powered from the TV's USB port. It does require an adapter from micro USB to connect the flashdrive so that's a bit of a pain, and if the TV doesn't support HDMI CEC you need to use your phone as remote.
If AC power availability is not an issue just get a media player or cheap Blueray with media file support. Check the file format support though.
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Old 05-28-2018, 06:12 AM   #5
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Heh I was going to say synology but sounds like you’ve already got on that wagon.

Barring that what about a small form factor pc you can leave wired in the RV that can cloud sync with the home synology?
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Old 05-28-2018, 06:22 AM   #6
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The problem is that most (in not all), smart TVs have a limit (based on the firmware) on the maximum size file, flash drive size, and hard drive size it can directly access.

While you can "sneaker net" your movie to the TV via a properly sized flash drive (both my TVs have a 32G limit on a USB stick and 2T on a USB hard drive); it is a pain in the tush. I can not seem to predict what we want to watch until we coordinate with who ever is over to watch a movie. Trying to inventory a drawer full of sticks with 8-10 movies on it can be too much of a hassle. I have a small 2T drive stuck to the back of the camper TV as a backup in case the computer has a problem, but dragging it into the house to reload it with current movies is a pain.

Transferring terrabytes of data is time consuming.
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Old 05-28-2018, 06:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOURWHL View Post
Heh I was going to say synology but sounds like you’ve already got on that wagon.

Barring that what about a small form factor pc you can leave wired in the RV that can cloud sync with the home synology?
The NUC is perfect for that as it is 4 inches square and 2.5 inches thick.
HDMI output and 4 USB 3.1 inputs. The new i7 ones are VERY fast video servers. My i5 is plenty fast, though.
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Old 05-28-2018, 06:31 AM   #8
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The only time I don't power up the JBOD is when I am running the system on the inverter. I have 32G memory system drive and a 500G SSD IN the NUC.

If my next stop is without AC power, I will transfer a bunch of new stuff to the SSD ahead of time. The NUC draw is very low and so is the LED TV.
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Old 05-28-2018, 06:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
The NUC is perfect for that as it is 4 inches square and 2.5 inches thick.
HDMI output and 4 USB 3.1 inputs. The new i7 ones are VERY fast video servers. My i5 is plenty fast, though.
Hmm I may have to look into that. Would fit perfect up in the AV cubbie. Granted my RV never makes it home so I'd have to manually transfer but that'd be better than buying blu rays as we are now lol.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOURWHL View Post
Hmm I may have to look into that. Would fit perfect up in the AV cubbie. Granted my RV never makes it home so I'd have to manually transfer but that'd be better than buying blu rays as we are now lol.
The actual dimensions of the NUC are 2.01"H x 4.37"W x 4.53"D

I use DVDfab to create the MP4. There are other programs, but this one is the best IMO. There is also an upgrade to the basic program that will convert your Blu-Ray at full Blu-Ray resolution. The basic program won't do Blu-Ray.

https://www.dvdfab.cn/

You can try all the features free for 30 days.

If your smart TV is 3D, there is a 3rd party plug in that will create a 3D MP4 backup.
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