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Theodore

Multi-Cast Support

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Theodore

I am switching over from a Win7 box running MBC to Chromecast dongles. With the Win7 box I had a HDMI to Cat6 setup that allowed me to stream to up to 4 displays/TVs simultaneously. It was great while it lasted, but involved stapling cables to the ceiling to run it from room to room - plus it has borked :(

 

Can there be an option to multi-cast to several receivers at once? i.e. simultaneously play to Chromecast dongles in my office and living room and kitchen simultaneously so i can walk from room to room without stopping and restarting the movie or show all the time? I realize that bandwidth could POTENTIALLY be an issue, but i have a fill gigabit network and a multi-port NAS so that really is the least of my worries...

 

Thank you!

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ebr

This has been requested a number of times but I can never find those threads when it comes back up again.

 

We are tossing around ideas internally and we would like to do this but it would/will be a very difficult thing to pull off.

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Theodore

I'm not a programmer so I am not sure this is helpful or not, but MB3 already recognizes all online devices in the browser and app clients, but wouldnt it basically be a checkbox to enable all devices simultaneously? Basically a "You're online? Then you play too!" function...

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ebr

Well, suffice it to say that, if it were that easy, we would have done it a long time ago ;).

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Luke

that sure would be one magic checkbox :)

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Latchmor

that sure would be one magic checkbox :)

 

You should put one of those on every dashboard page  :lol:

 

P.S. to the OP I'm not taking the P', it just made me laugh!

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steve1977

I believe it is already possible to send to DLNA-"casts" sequentially. For example, send one movie to TV-1 over DLNA and (while this movie still runs) send a second movie to TV-2 yet again over DLNA. Do I remember this wrong? If this is correct, what makes it so complex of sending two streams in parallel? I think this would be particularly interesting for music. I don't expect this to be perfect in sync, but potentiallly delayed by a second or so.

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ebr

I believe it is already possible to send to DLNA-"casts" sequentially. For example, send one movie to TV-1 over DLNA and (while this movie still runs) send a second movie to TV-2 yet again over DLNA. Do I remember this wrong? If this is correct, what makes it so complex of sending two streams in parallel? I think this would be particularly interesting for music. I don't expect this to be perfect in sync, but potentiallly delayed by a second or so.

 

If it weren't perfectly in sync it would be a horrible experience.  You would hear echoing throughout the space and as you moved from room to room.  This is a fairly complex technical challenge that, I think, only Sonos has mastered and they did so by having dedicated hardware and software and their own networking protocol.

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steve1977

I agree that it would be a huge challenge and only Sonos has managed to do perfect sync.

 

However, look at the apple's airplay implementation. it is not in perfect sync, but good enough for apple to have it in the market. i have been using it and it is not too bad. obviously it depends quite a bit on the setup of your house or appartment and i admit it may be horrible in some places. it is ok at my home with multi-cast airplay.

 

so, why not start with the same quality at apple has and not reach for the skies?

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ebr

so, why not start with the same quality at apple has and not reach for the skies?

 

That is probably what we'd have to do.  I never said we weren't going to do this.  I just said it wouldn't be easy - and even that implementation isn't easy.  Again, Apple completely controls the hardware and software environment.  We don't.

 

So, we will continue to toss around ideas on this and we will eventually, hopefully, get something out there.

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steve1977

Got it, sounds great. You are also right that the airplay sync is (even( less good once you airplay to non-apple devices (e.g., Kodi acts as a airplay receiver). It still works reasonably well depending on the setup of your place.

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Lonald

While synchronized video would be great, synchronized music would be used more (by me, at least).  Perhaps that's the first (hopefully easier) step.

 

Currently I am using Apple's Airplay and iTunes to play to 2 Klipscsh g-17 speakers, my stereo via Apple TV and my desktop.  The music library is stored on a Synology NAS.  The synchronization is excellent, though the music will drop occasionally due to wireless bandwidth (blaming my daughter...).  The synchronized music makes for a great home environment and would be a nice selling point for Emby.

 

Sonos does the synchronized playback by using their own wireless network.  Airplay uses the existing network infrastructure.  Synology has the option for multicast Audio, but I found the app frequently dropped locations.

 

Cheers!

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jamvids

Time to jump in,

 

I use the Pure Jongo system, I have bought 4 A2 units and they stream perfectly (audio),no echo or lag and plug into existing Hi Fi gear, either by optical, coaxial or good old fashioned phono leads and link with each other via WIFI. There is sometimes a bit of a discovery issue with them, especially running 2 routers (one as a wifi slave) but power cycling them sorts that out. It has only cost me £150 in total, the last one being only £20 (good ol ebay) so the garden is getting the treatment too, just need an old amp and an EOP setup, once again ebay for an amp and an old router (which is in the loft) for the shed and I'm away. I have then re-purposed the wifes old xperia Z which connects to the A2 in the kitchen via bluetooth and use Emby to stream my tunes to that and remote control it from my Z2. Works great, sounds great (even better if luke can sort out the music player to use native the android player). 4 areas for half the price of 1 entry level sonos component, and a million internet radio stations via the pure app (which also picks up Emby via DLNA). I don't need to stream video, can't really see the point.

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deepseth

I believe parts of this multi sync stuff has been implemented in VLC, although in a way all you're really doing is implementing NTP - keeping multiple device clocks in sync. It's not the system clocks, but the player clocks, and there's the additional challenge of network buffers and the like, but if the server provides the master clock (and i'm about to make a huge assumption here), assuming most clients keep a reasonable buffer of both upcoming and already played (like, 1-2 seconds of what was just played), it may be possible to keep them in sync with small skews without causing too much playback pain!

 

Maybe :)

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pclausen

I have a HD Homerun dual tuner receiver.  It allows only 2 TVs in the house to be tuned to the same channel.  Implementing Multicast for Live TV would allow 3 or more TVs to view the same channel while still leaving the other tuner free to be accessed from another TV.

 

So consider this another vote for getting Multicast working in Emby. :)

 

On a side note, at work we have Microsoft IPTV deployed with about 10,000 subscribers with a total of about 30,000 set top boxes, and I can ensure you that multicast works just fine on all our "live" cable channels.  All the customers have fiber to the home.  Without multicast running on our core network, the bandwidth usage there would have been through the roof, but did take quite a bit of tweaking on the routers and switches to get it working smoothly using IGMP.

Edited by pclausen

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ebr

In the case of a Live TV channel, I think this is something we can do.

 

Much harder for other content as we aren't always in control of the playback experience at the server level - so that would first be a requirement.

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SwanStream

Sent over to this thread from @@ebr's response to a question I had about synchronized playback. After a quick scan I don't see this mentioned so:

Sonos isn't the only company to do the sync for music. Logitech abandoned their squeezebox hardware/software platform a few years ago and made it open source. I use all software solutions loaded on various boxes, some RasPi's, PC's, linux, Android, etc. All those timing and re-timing issues seem very well sorted for that setup. I realize it's "just" audio but my very superficial understanding of it is that getting audio playback speed in sync is possibly more challenging than video for reasons I know nothing about. But in case it's helpful, maybe the opensource code for Logitech Media Server and software players might be worth a look.

 

I'm no programmer, but very willing to help test if synchronized playback gets off the ground!

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glogrono

It would be awesome if this was picked up. At home, I've been using Softsqueeze pretty successfully to sync audio across multiple computers. I believe the Softsqueeze project is abandoned, but would be awesome if it could get worked into Emby. Here is the link

 

http://softsqueeze.sourceforge.net/

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PrincessClevage

+1 in support for this

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BAlGaInTl

Make sure you "like" OP topic if it's something you would like to see.

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nkelly

I don't want to get the reputation of constantly mentioning the "other" guy (begins with P ends with X) but there is an external application that allows multiple viewers in different locations to "watch together".  I haven't tried it but basically it seems to require a 2nd PC (or possibly an app on the server itself) to act as a coordinator which then synchronizes the playback on multiple machines.  They also provide free online service that provides a coordinator function for people without a separate PC or that don't want to setup the coordinator.  I think its very similar to "go to meeting" type application.    Again i haven't tried it directly but it seems to be gaining momentum.  The link to the site is below.  For me personally, I would like the functionality to be able to play in sync between my house and separate workshop.  Echos would not be a problem since i have to walk between the buildings.   again wasn't sure your were aware of this application.  Who knows, they might be able to adapt it to emby.

 

http://plextogether.com/

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Luke

Thanks for the info !

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cayars

I could see this being done using true IP Multicast.  That is when the packets are sent only one time.  Every client on the LAN reads the same set of packets so there is no bandwidth increase.

 

Each client would need to read/use the multicast.  So each client would need support for this.  Chromecasts and DLNA probably would not be able to do this.  Any platform that has support for VLC could be supported quite easily as we could embed the player in it and just use that pure and simple.  Although nothing is particulary tricky about just reading multicast itself.

 

Since every client is playing back the exact same media no OSD controls are needed as you should not have FF/RW/pause ability.  There is the possibility a "delay" might be needed for each client so a computer in room A doesn't play 1/8 second ahead of room B using a shield TV due to the way each handles buffers. This delay would need to function similar to setting up the SYNC of audio to video on most boxes.

 

One PC would setup the multicast and that is the PC in charge of all RW/FF/pausing etc.   This could be done use a "cast" type functions.  Instead of picking a device to cast to you choose Multicast and it sets it up on the LAN.  Doing it this way would not limit it's use to only the server LAN either.  ebr could login to Luke's computer, pick something a multi"Cast" that in his own home LAN.

 

I'm sure there could be sync issues but using a true multicast method would reduce this a lot.  It would probably be good enough out of the box for sharing CNN/Fox News type stuff around the house, probably music as well.

 

On each client there could be a new "library type" that is Multicast. When entering Multicast library you would get a list of all current multicast streams the client gets from the local LAN itself and not from the server.  This could allow stand alone methods beside just Emby to broadcast the multicast.  You could for example setup a script running ffmpeg that pulls data from your HDHomeRun Prime and broadcasts CNN or Fox News constantly.  You can do this now using ffmpeg and VLC.

 

Just some thoughts and possible ideas.

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