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Why do you need UNC paths for direct play?


Deihmos
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Deihmos

Why do I need to use UNC to get direct play using MBC? Shouldn't the server be able to stream without transcoding? I was trying Plex and it does not use UNC paths at all and it direct plays.

 

The server is also my client and I have it set to sleep when idle. The problem with using UNC paths is that it sometimes cause the PC to take a long time to sleep because of file sharing. I am also not sure why it uses the UNC path when playing from the local hard drive.  

Edited by Deihmos
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techywarrior

If the client and the server are on the same machine you could use local paths but since the whole idea of MB at this point is to allow multiple clients to use a single server it is recommended to use UNC paths. It's just simpler to tell everyone to use UNC otherwise there are a lot of people complaining that their movies are transcoding when they believe they shouldn't.

 

Not sure if setting up the server with local paths and then using path substitution tries local path first and then falls back to UNC or if it just flat out maps the paths to the UNC equivalent.

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Vidman

Direct streaming and direct play are two different things. ..you shouldn't need unc path to direct stream with MBS either but it is the perferred method for a number of reasons

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You don't need unc paths. You can use Path Substitution instead. Actually that would be the recommended approach.

 

And you don't even always need that as many clients can direct stream using the http server. We just suggest it as more optimal.

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Deihmos

Plex direct plays without the need to use UNC. Can't the same be accomplished with MB3?

 

Path substitution always use the UNC paths even on the local machine. If I remove the UNC path it transcodes to the other MBC client.

Edited by Deihmos
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Deihmos

I have other clients in the home. On the client that has all the files it uses the UNC path from path substitution and not the local drive path. The PC then thinks it is file sharing and sometimes take a really long time to timeout.

 

Is this a limitation of MBC because MBT does not seem to need it for direct play.

Edited by Deihmos
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You are mixing up your terminology somewhat.  As mentioned before Direct Play and Direct Stream are two different things.  Direct Play means direct access to the file system so some sort of path that allows that direct access needs to be used.  As also stated, if the client is on the same machine, this can be done with simple paths.

 

Also, I have no idea what Plex is actually doing when it tells you it is Direct Playing.  I suspect it actually never direct plays and just Direct Streams and we can do that as well (but only if the client is capable of it and WMC is very old).

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I think part of the reason is that MB3 and Plex use the terms differently.  

 

In plex no client ever has or needs access to the file system.  Everything is always streamed from the server.  In plex Direct Stream means the file is streamed without a change in the file and it never goes through the transcoder.  In plex Direct Stream means it used the transcoder but only to remux the file into a different container.  Transcoding in plex means that the video and/or audio is actually being changed on the fly and this is CPU intensive.

 

If I have the correct (please correct me if I'm wrong).  In MB3 Direct Play means the client is physically playing the media back from the file system itself and is by-passing the MB3 server for streaming. In MB3 Direct Stream is used for two purposes and they are when the http server either directly streams the file or just remuxes the container on the fly (both use very little cpu).  Just like Plex, Transcoding means the same thing.

 

Does that help at all?

 

Carlo

Edited by cayars
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Yea, we may need to adjust our terminology as well because for remuxes most of our apps currently label it as transcoding. Then users complain why are we transcoding when another app is direct streaming, when in fact they're doing the same thing but are just being labeled differently. Even though in the remux scenario, neither transcoding or direct streaming is entirely accurate. It's really something in the middle.

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Well you could "borrow" the terminalogy that plex, Wowza, Encoder, ffmpeg and many others use.

 

So you could adopt the same terminology and then add "native play" or similar to indicate that the file is played off the file system. So maybe:

native play - files is played from file system directly by-passing use of MB3 server for delivery of media

direct play - file is sent untouched in it's native format to the client via MB3

direct stream - file is remuxed to change container on the fly via MB3

transcoded - video and/or audio and/or subtitle is being manipulated on the fly by MB3

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