Author Topic: [GUIDE] Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup  (Read 167035 times)

Re: Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup (Long & Image Heavy)
Reply #45 on: August 21, 2011, 10:46:34 AM
I've ordered mine! A full breakdown of what I ordered:

HP ProLiant MicroServer - £121.15 (after cashback)
2 x Kingston ValueRAM memory - 4 GB - £31.46
HDE Wireless USB PC Remote Control Mouse for PC (Chinavision CVSB-983)£7.95
HIS HD 6450 Silence Edition £36.99

I went with 8Gb of RAM because it was so cheap. Might as well have too much.
The remote is just for the IR receiver so I can use my Harmony remote to control it, I've read that that remote is supported in the Harmony database.
The 6450 seemed to be the highest performing passive, low profile card I could find.

I'm holding off adding any additional drives because I'm not short of storage at the moment. My DNS323 is still doing a good job for now but I expect it will be turned into a full 'dumb' backup device once the HP is up and running.

EDIT: Delievered! Let the fun begin!

EDIT: The remote linked I havent yet managed to get setup properly and the receiver has a terrible range, I dont recommend it.
Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 12:58:38 PM by sexytw #187;
Formerly sexytw

Re: Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup (Long & Image Heavy)
Reply #46 on: August 30, 2011, 23:53:01 PM
Hi Guys,

I'm kind of new to this whole media server business so you'll have to excuse me.

This is probably a very stupid question but here goes....

I'm just wondering once you have the media server in place how do you go about streaming this content to your living room TV?

I apologise if this is covered in the guide I have only skimmed it briefly.

Thanks,

Luke

Re: Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup (Long & Image Heavy)
Reply #47 on: August 31, 2011, 00:04:02 AM
Hi Luke, welcome to the forum, the idea behind this setup is that the computer connects directly to the TV either via VGA or HDMI...

XBMC is then the software used to display the media..

You don't have to go to this level of complexity, you could just plug your laptop or computer in to the TV and use it as normal.. but then if you are up for it, then this can provide a good interface.

If you give us an idea of what media you want to play and what hardware you have or your budget then we could probably make some suggestions ;)
Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 00:07:29 AM by XEntity #187;

Re: Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup (Long & Image Heavy)
Reply #48 on: August 31, 2011, 11:24:01 AM
Hi Guys,

I'm kind of new to this whole media server business so you'll have to excuse me.

This is probably a very stupid question but here goes....

I'm just wondering once you have the media server in place how do you go about streaming this content to your living room TV?

I apologise if this is covered in the guide I have only skimmed it briefly.

Thanks,

Luke

As XEntity said, this guide primarily assumes that the computer running all this software is connected directly to the TV. I have my HP Microserver (the PC I use to run everything) tucked away in a cupboard with a 10m HDMI cable running to my TV. If I need to go on the computer and dont want to occupy the TV I remote desktop to it from a laptop.

Formerly sexytw

Re: Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup (Long & Image Heavy)
Reply #49 on: August 31, 2011, 18:05:09 PM
Fantastic thanks guys! I have taken the plunge and also purchased one of the HP Proliant Microserver's :)

Can you recommend worthwhile upgrades? Will I need some kind of USB InfraRed receiver in order to use a remote?

Cheers,

Luke

Re: Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup (Long & Image Heavy)
Reply #50 on: August 31, 2011, 18:40:34 PM
Just to clarify I intend to use it for pretty much the exact same stuff as Leon has highlighted in his guide.

Re: Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup (Long & Image Heavy)
Reply #51 on: August 31, 2011, 19:03:22 PM
In terms of upgrades:

- If you are going to be storing a lot of movies - get some hard disks to go in there
- If you are going to play HD content - You will NEED a new graphics card
- For a remote there are many options out there and when you get a remote, most will come with a receiver.. however you can get two types (Infrared - needs line of sight or RF - you can hide the computer away)
- Extra ram can give a performance boost an isn't very expensive
- OS - Don't forget that this doesn't come with an operating system!!

Re: Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup (Long & Image Heavy)
Reply #52 on: August 31, 2011, 19:22:04 PM
Thanks XEn :)

I noticed sexytw picked up the ATi 6450 is this a safe bet graphics wise?

I will probably pick up 4GB of RAM with a 2TB storage drive, looking at either a WD Green or Seagate alternative.

I'll scour the interweb for a suitable remote.

I had been thinking about getting an iPad when the v3.0 comes out can they be used as remotes and also manage the server via some sort of remote desktop app?


Re: Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup (Long & Image Heavy)
Reply #53 on: August 31, 2011, 19:33:14 PM
No worries..

Sexytw will be able to advise on the graphics card, as I'm using mine only as a server, I have a separate media PC..

In terms of the hard disk, the preference on here is the Samsung F4s in the HP micro server (I think we all have those drives in ours :) )

Not sure about the remote, as haven't played with that.. for remote desktop you have two main options (RDP - requires a Pro or server version of windows and will log out on the media PC, or the free and easy choice of VNC for which you can use "VNC viewer" on the iPad (I think it's a couple of quid, but much better than the free ones) Image quality isn't quite as good though..

Re: Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup (Long & Image Heavy)
Reply #54 on: August 31, 2011, 19:52:15 PM
Luckily my University is a member of the MSDN Alliance so I can get a copy of W7 or Server 2008 free of charge!

Re: Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup (Long & Image Heavy)
Reply #55 on: August 31, 2011, 20:42:27 PM
Nice work on MSDN, I LOVE my MSDN subscription.

The 6450 had been perfect for me so far, I cant fault it. It plays every full HD file I've thrown at it (with XBMC as the player). There may be slightly cheaper cards that do the same but at £35 or so I dont think you can argue.

It does audio over HDMI (HDMI 1.4) so I can have just one cable going to the TV / AV receiver and receive full HD, DTS sound.

I've played the extended Full HD DTS edition of Lord of the Rings (25Gb files) with no fault at all with the spec I laid out above.

As an FYI to Soopah, when following the Guide, there seems to be a part missing where you install XBMC, it jumps straight to the XBMC settings which is a little confusing. Awesome guide overall, got mine setup faultlessly which I wouldnt have managed otherwise!
Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 20:46:38 PM by sexytw #187;
Formerly sexytw

Re: Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup (Long & Image Heavy)
Reply #56 on: September 03, 2011, 15:24:55 PM
A few tweaks I have found are:

1. Enabling multiple concurrent user session in Windows 7.

This means I can remote onto the HTPC without affecting anyone who is watching something on the TV. I found a guide here but I had to manually modify the install.cmd to match my version of Windows. This just involved changing the top version name and build number variables to match your own (which can be found in the registry if you're not sure).


2. Making Windows boot directly into XBMC without showing the taskbar / login screen etc first (but still loading CouchPotato, SickBeard etc first). This works particularly well when you have a separate user account for xbmc and log in for maintenance using another (using the above concurrent session hack).

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=HOW-TO_make_Windows_boot_directly_to_XBMC_(as_a_shell)

3. Installing CouchPotato script usescript extension for chrome / firefox / your respective web browser

It is actually enormously simple but I spent ages googling trying to find the plugin extension to install to chrome. Once you have the couch potato application installed, navigate to its web interface from the computer you want to install the extension on. In the Config section select 'UserScript' then just press the big 'Install option'.


Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 09:21:06 AM by sexytw #187;
Formerly sexytw

Re: Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup (Long & Image Heavy)
Reply #57 on: September 06, 2011, 21:06:05 PM
For some reason my CouchPotato setup isnt updating my XBMC library. Everything seem to be setup correctly, I have tested the xbmc notifications and that works but when films are downloaded them dont appear in the library.

Amusingly I was googling for a solution (didnt find one) and the top result was http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=102800 Your guide on http://forum.xbmc.org!
Formerly sexytw

Re: Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup (Long & Image Heavy)
Reply #58 on: September 07, 2011, 17:33:28 PM
Hi Guys,

I have received my HP Proliant Microserver but it refuses to boot from 2 USB sticks now.

Just chucks me to the media test failure check cable screen! I have moved the 250GB disk that came with the machine to the 2nd slot and my new Samsung 2TB drive is sitting in the first slot.

Can anybody help?

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Re: Automated Media Server & XBMC Setup (Long & Image Heavy)
Reply #59 on: September 07, 2011, 18:09:30 PM
Hi Luke, are you trying to boot from USB on the internal port or one of the external ports? Make sure you've set it to boot from USB in the BIOS also.

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