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Yet another new MB3 user, somewhat lost trying to figure out the "art of the possible"

MB3 VLC xbox 360

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#1 jetradio OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 04:30 PM

Hello all, I am yet another new member to the community - I read about MB3 for about 5 minutes and immediately became a lifetime member - I think it's a great tool and I can't wait to see where things go!

 

In the interest of a brief background, here's my environment:

 

- Windows 7 x64 running Windows Media Server (using Ceton cards on Verizon FIOS) - sending live and recorded TV to several XBox 360s around the house (works great)

- large movie collection sitting on network-attached storage device (mapped as drive M: on server) - 99% of the movies are in .vob format (due to size of collection I have no interest in any sort of conversion)

- no music or photos to worry about

- just installed MB3 a little while ago (installed Cover Art and Rotten Tomatoes plugins)

 

My use cases are as follows:

 

1. Use MB3 to present movie collection to a viewer that's sitting in front of the media server and big TV - once a movie is selected, have VLC take over and actually perform playback

2. From other PCs located around the house, use MB3 to browse movie collection and once again have VLC take over once the play option is selected

3. Transcode movies from MB3 to XBox 360s

 

I have been all over the forums, but I'm still a little unclear on feasibility as well as  procedures to try and set up my use cases.   From what I've been able to discern, folks are using VLC on PCs for playback, but I can't get it to work to save my life.  I have the VLC option enabled under options in my browser, and even when I click on "Play" - I get the option to play from VLC, but it just won't start.   I have created the direct mapping, but I'm stuck.   I have VLC open when I try this as well.   Am I missing something?  Is it possible to launch VLC from the web client or is that a non-starter?

 

My search results for watching movies on the 360 are all over the place.  Some threads give the impression that it works for some (with a few caveats), others suggest that I should set fire to all of my 360s and buy Rokus.   I know the 360 is a million years old, but it's sitting there serving up live and recorded HD programming brilliantly as well as playing oldie but goodie games, so I'd love to pursue the holy grail of getting my movie collection on them.   I've done my best to search FAQs, Wikis, and other areas, and I fashion myself as a competent user, but any guidance would really be appreciated!    After I get any of this figured out, I'd be happy to submit a write up for the appropriate section.

 

Thanks (and apologies - ha) in advance!

 

 



#2 Beardyname OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 04:44 PM

Hello and welcome :)

 

May i ask why VLC? MBC and MBT (the players and not the web-ui) are both capable as to providing player support from external players such as VLC (or even better MPC).

 

You did not specify from which app you had trouble so I'm not sure :)

 

Also to prevent transcoding or falling playbacks have you added the shares from M:\ ? If you have you might want to consider either switching to UNC (best option to get it correct imo) Or add path-substituion otherwise the other pc's won't be able to access the content directly and will try and force the server to stream it to them.

 

 

From your post it looks like it's having problem accessing the content so i would start by changing the path from a local drive to the network path instead!



#3 jetradio OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 04:57 PM

Hi there - thanks for the reply!

 

I had chosen VLC because I have a small collection of .avi, .mkv, and even .iso files (to go along with my massive .vob-based DVD collection), and I thought VLC would be the best global player that could be called upon.  Should I look at something else?  Based on what I've read, I was under the impression that MBC is going away - is that true?

 

My problem is that I'm browsing MB3 using Chrome, and at the moment I can't get a movie to play with VLC.   I have added Path Substitution in the following manner:  

 

One my MB3 box, the movies are mapped to the M: drive.   The actual path is "M:\movies".   I have 4 sub-directories below that folder.    On the MB3 server settings page, I have the following:

 

From: "m:\movies"   To: "\\max\movies"

 

I thought that should work, but it doesn't appear to be.  


Edited by jetradio, 08 February 2015 - 04:58 PM.


#4 jetradio OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:15 PM

Ok - I think I have a Path Substitution problem... I'm troubleshooting it now - will report back...



#5 jetradio OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:25 PM

I verified my Path Substitution is good.  At the bottom of the page for the movie, the correct network path is displayed.   I think I have a slight browser issue.  I tried a different browser (Firefox) other than Chrome and this time Firefox complained:

 

"The address wasn't understood
 
Firefox doesn't know how to open this address, because one of the following protocols (vlc) isn't associated with any program or is not allowed in this context.
 
    You might need to install other software to open this address."
 
I will try to see if I can get Firefox to call VLC  - if I get this figured out I will revisit Chrome.


#6 Beardyname OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:26 PM

Hi there - thanks for the reply!

 

I had chosen VLC because I have a small collection of .avi, .mkv, and even .iso files (to go along with my massive .vob-based DVD collection), and I thought VLC would be the best global player that could be called upon.  Should I look at something else?  Based on what I've read, I was under the impression that MBC is going away - is that true?

 

My problem is that I'm browsing MB3 using Chrome, and at the moment I can't get a movie to play with VLC.   I have added Path Substitution in the following manner:  

 

One my MB3 box, the movies are mapped to the M: drive.   The actual path is "M:\movies".   I have 4 sub-directories below that folder.    On the MB3 server settings page, I have the following:

 

From: "m:\movies"   To: "\\max\movies"

 

I thought that should work, but it doesn't appear to be.  

 

 

I don't think MBC is going away so long as people are still going to use Windows Media Center (MBC depends heavily on it)

MBT though is seeing some major re-work and will soon(isch) be brought up to speed, takes longer than one would want to build a dedicated HTPC app.

 

anyways now i'm rambling i have not tested external player from the web-ui myself, but i'm guessing it generates an .m3u playlist or something?

 

If you open the playlist what path does it display?



#7 Beardyname OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:29 PM

 

I verified my Path Substitution is good.  At the bottom of the page for the movie, the correct network path is displayed.   I think I have a slight browser issue.  I tried a different browser (Firefox) other than Chrome and this time Firefox complained:

 

"The address wasn't understood
 
Firefox doesn't know how to open this address, because one of the following protocols (vlc) isn't associated with any program or is not allowed in this context.
 
    You might need to install other software to open this address."
 
I will try to see if I can get Firefox to call VLC  - if I get this figured out I will revisit Chrome.

 

 

it might be possible that the vlc thing is a dirty "hack" since web-browsers are not really that smart, I will try and see if i can get this to work.

 

On a side note, have you tried MBT? should be able to this as well if you can't get the web-ui to open the vlc path correctly.

 

 

*edit* yeah it does not seem to work for me with VLC from the web-ui, not a surprise since as it states on the page it's more intended for Android/iOS which supports url schemes.


Edited by Beardyname, 08 February 2015 - 05:40 PM.


#8 jetradio OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:36 PM

This is the path that gets sent to Firefox:

 

"vlc://h t t p ://10.1.1.5:8096/mediabrowser/videos/f91ef14017ba5a9b60f58f8187f8354e/stream.m3u8?static=false&maxaudiochannels=6&audiobitrate=320000&videobitrate=1180000&profile=high&level=41&maxwidth=1280&videoCodec=h264&audioCodec=aac&mediasourceid=f91ef14017ba5a9b60f58f8187f8354e&deviceId=d7a3002916225faaf57cad55c74c7b2ad2f53ce4"

 

(I put a couple of spaces in there so the entire link that Firefox is calling would show up in the post)

 

I don't want to do anything that is outside the boundaries of normal use, but I was under the impression the browser could call an external program.  If MBT is really the preferred way to do this, I could install it. As I mentioned, one of my largest TVs is directly connected to the computer running Windows Media Server and MB3.   I suppose I can run MBT on that same machine?

 

Thanks again!


Edited by jetradio, 08 February 2015 - 05:38 PM.


#9 Angelblue05 OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:48 PM

There's many playback options depending on what kind of set up you prefer. Even Kodi, with the Media browser add-on if you are looking for even more customization.

 

Whatever you choose, you can install it on the same machine as our Media browser server. :)


Edited by Angelblue05, 08 February 2015 - 05:49 PM.


#10 jetradio OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:55 PM

Ok - I just installed MBT and it's gorgeous.   I think I'll just table the pursuit of calling VLC from the regular MB3 browser and go with this option.  It certainly makes things easier!   Now all I have to do is capture the magical unicorn of sending anything I want to an XBox 360.  



#11 Beardyname OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:56 PM

This is the path that gets sent to Firefox:

 

"vlc://h t t p ://10.1.1.5:8096/mediabrowser/videos/f91ef14017ba5a9b60f58f8187f8354e/stream.m3u8?static=false&maxaudiochannels=6&audiobitrate=320000&videobitrate=1180000&profile=high&level=41&maxwidth=1280&videoCodec=h264&audioCodec=aac&mediasourceid=f91ef14017ba5a9b60f58f8187f8354e&deviceId=d7a3002916225faaf57cad55c74c7b2ad2f53ce4"

 

(I put a couple of spaces in there so the entire link that Firefox is calling would show up in the post)

 

I don't want to do anything that is outside the boundaries of normal use, but I was under the impression the browser could call an external program.  If MBT is really the preferred way to do this, I could install it. As I mentioned, one of my largest TVs is directly connected to the computer running Windows Media Server and MB3.   I suppose I can run MBT on that same machine?

 

Thanks again!

 

Browsers calling programs on the computer are not really a good way to do stuff (imo) but some ppl wanted this feature so it got implemented.

 

I would recommend that you play around with MBT, it is more "made" for large screens than the web-ui. If that does not fit your taste, Kodi with the mb3 addon is also a really good option for this (might be better seeing that mbt is going through a major rewrite). and as @Angelblue05 said you can install this along side the server software on the same machine without any problems!

 

 

With that said, the browser thing should work. But I'm not sure on how to get the browser to accept that url's starting with vlc:// whould point the whole thing to the player on the computer. Perhaps someone else can chime in on that :)



#12 Beardyname OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:58 PM

Ok - I just installed MBT and it's gorgeous.   I think I'll just table the pursuit of calling VLC from the regular MB3 browser and go with this option.  It certainly makes things easier!   Now all I have to do is capture the magical unicorn of sending anything I want to an XBox 360.  

 

crap i was to slow writing xD

 

Good thing you like it :)

 

Now to the 360 thing, from the web-ui there is a little button that looks like a screen, if you press it does your 360's appear as an option to "play-to"?



#13 Happy2Play OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 06:07 PM

I know it has something to do with "network.protocol-handler.expose" in about:config.  But I can't seem to get it working again.

 

This is the path that gets sent to Firefox:

 

"vlc://h t t p ://10.1.1.5:8096/mediabrowser/videos/f91ef14017ba5a9b60f58f8187f8354e/stream.m3u8?static=false&maxaudiochannels=6&audiobitrate=320000&videobitrate=1180000&profile=high&level=41&maxwidth=1280&videoCodec=h264&audioCodec=aac&mediasourceid=f91ef14017ba5a9b60f58f8187f8354e&deviceId=d7a3002916225faaf57cad55c74c7b2ad2f53ce4"

 

(I put a couple of spaces in there so the entire link that Firefox is calling would show up in the post)

 

I don't want to do anything that is outside the boundaries of normal use, but I was under the impression the browser could call an external program.  If MBT is really the preferred way to do this, I could install it. As I mentioned, one of my largest TVs is directly connected to the computer running Windows Media Server and MB3.   I suppose I can run MBT on that same machine?

 

Thanks again!



#14 jetradio OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 06:12 PM

Thanks for all the feedback guys!   I've been at this all day today lol.   I think I'm going to break this down into small projects.    I'm definitely saying goodbye to trying to call a local Windows application with the MB3 browser client and saying hello to MBT.   My top 2 projects with MBT will be figuring out if I can create collections in MBT (Drama, Comedy, Sci-Fi, TV, etc.) and then also control my MBT experience with my Logitech Harmony remote control.  I've already seen a couple of threads on that so I'm really focusing on creating collections inside of MBT.   Thanks again for all of your help!


Edited by jetradio, 08 February 2015 - 06:13 PM.


#15 CashMoney OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 06:22 PM

Thanks for all the feedback guys!   I've been at this all day today lol.   I think I'm going to break this down into small projects.    I'm definitely saying goodbye to trying to call a local Windows application with the MB3 browser client and saying hello to MBT.   My top 2 projects with MBT will be figuring out if I can create collections in MBT (Drama, Comedy, Sci-Fi, TV, etc.) and then also control my MBT experience with my Logitech Harmony remote control.  I've already seen a couple of threads on that so I'm really focusing on creating collections inside of MBT.   Thanks again for all of your help!

 

If you go into the web interface, go to collections, you can add a new collection and create your own. I will also point out you might find it redundant since MB3/MBT does support genres; assuming your metadata is correct you should be able to access them that way. But I understand the need to have user created collections, and thankfully so do the MB3 devs :)

 

Harmony remote control ... not sure on that one. I don't use MBT personally so hopefully someone else will come along with proper info, but iirc MBT will accept media center remote commands; at least the basic ones. If you add a Media Center remote to your harmony maybe that will control MBT? That is of course if you have a Media Center remote IR port for it to send to.


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#16 jetradio OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 06:35 PM

If you go into the web interface, go to collections, you can add a new collection and create your own. I will also point out you might find it redundant since MB3/MBT does support genres; assuming your metadata is correct you should be able to access them that way. But I understand the need to have user created collections, and thankfully so do the MB3 devs :)

 

Harmony remote control ... not sure on that one. I don't use MBT personally so hopefully someone else will come along with proper info, but iirc MBT will accept media center remote commands; at least the basic ones. If you add a Media Center remote to your harmony maybe that will control MBT? That is of course if you have a Media Center remote IR port for it to send to.

 

Yes I have a Media Center IR remote already hooked up to my Harmony, so I'm pretty confident that I can get that going.   YIKES - I just saw the genres section in MBT - awesome.  I'll just make sure my metadata is clean and use that.   



#17 jetradio OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 06:43 PM

 

 

Now to the 360 thing, from the web-ui there is a little button that looks like a screen, if you press it does your 360's appear as an option to "play-to"?

 

My Xbox 360 shows up on the list of devices to "play to", and it actually makes an attempt to play the movie, but after that I get a "playback error".    I'll revisit this once I get MBT sorted.



#18 ebr OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 06:50 PM

If you're using 360s as extenders, you really should be using MBC - at least for those devices.  You could use play-to or DLNA but if you want to actually browse on the 360, MBC would be a much better choice.


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#19 jetradio OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 08:47 PM

If you're using 360s as extenders, you really should be using MBC - at least for those devices.  You could use play-to or DLNA but if you want to actually browse on the 360, MBC would be a much better choice.

 

Ok great - that seems to be what I was starting to gather from other threads.   As soon as I get done tweaking MBT I will install that and see how it works out.   I will be documenting everything along the way.

 

Thanks again to all - I wish I could mark multiple "best answers"!


Edited by jetradio, 08 February 2015 - 08:48 PM.


#20 thefirstofthe300 OFFLINE  

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 02:07 AM

Don't forget that you can create collections using any smartphone or tablet as the web client is mobile-friendly. Anything you can do with the web client, you can do with a smartphone.

 

Definitely one of the best aspects of MediaBrowser. :)







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