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can every computer be both a server and a client?


xrqp

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If I have 4 computer HTPCs, one per room per TV, can all 4 be set up as servers, and all 4 also be able to be client of the other 3?

 

The purpose be that the hard drive storage on all computers would be available to all others.

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You can if you like, but I think the user experience would leave a lot to be desired - a client can only be connected to one server at a time.

 

You'd be much better off selecting one PC to be the server (choose the most powerful or the one that is most likely to be on when needed) and install the server on that one.

 

Then, on each of the other PCs share out their media folders - and add the media locations to the server's Media Library using UNC paths (e.g. \\servername\sharename\Movies, \\servername\sharename\TV, etc.)

 

That way all your PCs can connect to the same server, all content from all PCs will be available, and similar libraries (TV,  Movies, etc) will be combined.

 

Just be aware that if you have TV series split across different PCs - e.g. Simpsons seasons 1- 4 on one PC, seasons 5-8 on another, then these won't be combined.

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What Adrian said.  There are much simpler ways to share the storage between the devices and still get the full benefit of the server setup.

 

Edit: you are talking about the Emby Server and not ServerWMC...right?

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Oh.  So all is shared even though different files reside on each PC. Say PC1 is the server, and PC2 and PC3 are clients.  So the server, PC1, can serve to PC2 a movie that is on PC3?  

If that is correct then the only downside is all 3 must be on instead of just 2 on.  That is OK.

 

Can PCs be in sleep S3 and be automatically woken, for example if PC2 requests a movie from server PC1 and the movie resides on PC3, will this call from PC2 wake the other PCs so it gets the movie?  Do I set BIOS to wake on LAN for that?

 

Regarding if I use Emby Server or ServerWMC, maybe you can help me with that as I get confused with so many programs and servers. I am in the process of setting all this up for the first time and have not even completed the first go at it.

 

Lets say I use only PC1 as the server and PC2 and PC3 as clients.  I have an antenna with good reception, HDHomeruns, and Windows 7, so I want ServerWMC so I can use the free WMC program guide.

 

Is this how I should set it up and how it works? :

  1. Kodi is the front end (interface to user) on all PCs.
  2. Emby is the scraper and pretty face provider.  
  3. EmbyServer is server for the ipad and iphone (eventually when it has that feature).
  4. ServerWMC would only serve between WMC and Kodi.

 

On a thread here I was told I should setup ServerWMC on both Kodi and Emby.  Why not just Kodi?

Edited by xrqp
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For your last question you only need to install the emby live tv plugin if you want to access live TV on another device such as roku or smart phone with out kodi installed

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krustyreturns

Let  me start with the one I know best.  Serverwmc (the desktop program) only has one purpose it enables programs like Kodi and Emby to use WMC as the backend program to do pvr functions (steam live-tv, record shows, etc).  Emby now has these pvr functions built into its core, so as long as you have si-dust tuners you don't need a backend program like serverwmc so long as you only run Emby clients.  

 

You could run the emby's live-tv along side serverwmc for kodi - but the two pvr programs won't talk to each other.  So issues with tuner management would be a problem, along with figuring out which platform you are going to use to record a show, etc.  You might me able to get this work if you think it through, but I wouldn't bother (but I am lazy that way).

 

To the question you asked earlier if you decide to use serverwmc, you need to download the plugin for Emby-server that talks to serverwmc and enable the addon in each of your kodi clients that also talk to serverwmc.  But you only need one serverwmc desktop app running and it needs to be on the machine that has a configured and working wmc.

 
For your ealier questions:

 

To your first question about having multiple machines running multiple emby's and serverwmc, as others pointed out its not practical to do this.  You can also adopt the single server machine idea but have your media spread out over multiple shared disks on multiple machines, but as you point out this is not really practical either unless all the machines are on.

 

Really the best way is to designate one machine as the server.  I have one machine in my house that provides a centralized kodi database for all the kodi clients to get info from and it of course also has Emby-server installed on it for all the emby clients to stream from.  On this same machine I also have wmc/serverwmc so that pvr functionality is also available to emby-server and kodi clients.  The wmc/serverwmc machine could be on a different computer but since pvr needs always-on capability to record programs, and in general I want all my media available all the time too, it makes sense to use one machine (imo).  On this server machine, I have a butt load of storage (8TB and counting).  All of my other clients are as thin as can be, at least media wise.

 

Hope that helps.

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Emby now has these pvr functions built into its core, so as long as you have si-dust tuners you don't need a backend program like serverwmc so long as you only run Emby clients. 

Except then I could not use the free EPG that comes w Win7 which i want.  Free EPG for about 4 more years.

 

 You can also adopt the single server machine idea but have your media spread out over multiple shared disks on multiple machines, but as you point out this is not really practical either unless all the machines are on.

Why is not practical? Is the concern for watts and wear & tear, or is there a functional difficulty?  

I think it would be fine for watts and wear and tear because the way we watch:  

  • 80% of the time we watch recorded TV to skip commercials.  Nearly always I use Tivo1 (soon to be PC1), I pick the TV shows recorded to Tivo1 and only watch what is on Tivo1.   My wife uses Tivo2 (soon to be PC2) similarly.  We do not like each others TV recordings, so no reason to share most TV.  So most times, I only need one PC on for me.  Same for wife. 
  • 20% of viewing time is movies we want to share, and will need 2 or 3 computers on only then.  

After "cutting the cable" and setting up HTPC etc, it seems we will ironically have more media choices so our viewing habits may change but I doubt watts or wear and tear would become an issue.

Edited by xrqp
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For a system like Krusty, with one centralized server, and with Win7 WMC free EPG.  Can someone list what software is needed, in the order it needs to be installed, if order matters?  

Here is my guess for the server (PC1):

  1. Win7 and WMC set up for HDHomerun, and TV antenna. 
  2. Kodi
  3. ServerWMC (download and install. See http://kodi.wiki/view/ServerWMC and http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=193310 )
       a)   In Kodi, setup Kodi to use ServerWMC which will be called "Add-on:PVR.WMC". See http://kodi.wiki/view/Add-on:PVR.WMC
       b )  In Kodi, configure live TV settings http://kodi.wiki/view/PVR/XBMC
  4. Emby Server.  In Emby Server configure the ServerWMC plugin which is in the Emby plugin catalog.
  5. Use Emby to setup a database (mysql database for kodi clients is not needed).
  6. Optional - various apps, plugins, and addons.

The clients, like PC2, would have:

  1. Win7 and WMC set up for HDHomerun.
  2. Kodi (is Kodi available in a client version?)
  3. "Emby TV App for Kodi" (not Emby TV App for WMC, correct?)
              (Mobile devices would instead use "Emby Mobile App").
  4. Optional - various apps, plugins, and addons.

Am I missing any essentials?

Edited by xrqp
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krustyreturns

Not sure why you aren't asking me, but I'll answer anyway.  You software and steps are for the most part right.  Don't be freaked out on setting up serverwmc, it has tons of options but you really just have to install it and run it to get it to work.  You can tweak it later if you need to.  The  wiki does make it look scary (its also very out of date)

 

Emby is setup to be a server.  Kodi is not really a server program, but rather a bunch of clients.  However you can read on the kodi website how to setup a centralized database for all your kodi clients (using mysql) - the steps are laid out there.  If you can't find the instrcutions let me know, its also not hard.  

 

But yeah, none of this is as simple as a tivo (but I haven't used a tivo in probably ten years).  

 

As to your non-centralized approach, if you can see how to make it work then go for it.  I didn't way it was impossible, I have users you do similar things, it just needs to be thought through.  And I was just concerned about watts, not wear and tear.  I try to build my always on computer fat in disk space, but also as low power as I can.  But I obsess that way, that's why I have 30 solar panels on my roof.  Good luck.

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I asked everybody, but I sure am glad you answered. Your replies were very helpful and from the amount of info, probably took a fair amount of time, so I super appreciate it. I was a bit awestruck and very happy that I got replies from someone of your stature.  I am ready to dig in and install and work out the details now that the big steps are outlined. 

 

I added step 5  "setup a centralized database for all your kodi clients (using mysql)"  http://kodi.wiki/view/MySQL/Setting_up_Kodi

Edited by xrqp
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I cannot do step 3 a.

3 a)   In Kodi, setup Kodi to use ServerWMC which will be called "Add-on:PVR.WMC". See http://kodi.wiki/view/Add-on:PVR.WMC

 

In Kodi, i did add-ons/install from zip/ then I browse to the zip "pvr.wmc-windows-0.3.108.zip" and click it then I get a message saying 

"Error pvr.wmc.  Dependencies not met.  Please contact add-on author."  I've been working on it for a couple hours to no avail.  I can't even figure out how to see what Kodi version I have from within Kodi.  I uninstalled and reinstalled Kodi making sure to install pvrwmc.  Did not help.

 

I am able to see "PVR WMC Client" in add-ons and I was able to enable it.  Help!

 

On the main Kodi start window I see Video etc, but I do not see TV. Do I use the Video menu item for TV?

Edited by xrqp
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krustyreturns

@@xrqp,  this is the wrong place to ask questions about kodi.  I suggest if you have more questions you ask them here:

http://forum.kodi.tv/forumdisplay.php?fid=205

you'll get a lot more help there for kodi stuff.  

 

When you download kodi you get pvr.wmc (the serverwmc addon) with it, so there is no reason to load it from a zip file.  The reason you are getting those errors is the zip file you are installing is much older and doesn't work with the new kodi version (the only reason those versions are available on our website is for those people who insist on running old kodi).  I suggest you reinstall kodi again.  Once done go to the pvr addons inside of kodi and enable pvr.wmc.  If this kodi is on the same machine as serverwmc you are done.  If its not, then configure kodi wih the ip address of the machine that is running serverwmc.

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I cannot do step 3 a.

3 a) In Kodi, setup Kodi to use ServerWMC which will be called "Add-on[emoji14]VR.WMC". See http://kodi.wiki/view/Add-on[emoji14]VR.WMC

 

In Kodi, i did add-ons/install from zip/ then I browse to the zip "pvr.wmc-windows-0.3.108.zip" and click it then I get a message saying

"Error pvr.wmc. Dependencies not met. Please contact add-on author." I've been working on it for a couple hours to no avail. I can't even figure out how to see what Kodi version I have from within Kodi. I uninstalled and reinstalled Kodi making sure to install pvrwmc. Did not help.

 

I am able to see "PVR WMC Client" in add-ons and I was able to enable it. Help!

 

On the main Kodi start window I see Video etc, but I do not see TV. Do I use the Video menu item for TV?

Don't forget to enable live TV in kodi settings after configuring the PVR addon
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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks.  I think my problem was I forgot to restart Kodi after changing some settings.  But I followed Krusty's advice and uninstalled Kodi and reinstalled, and did not use any repo.  And I restarted Kodi if a setting change did not seem to work.  I got all of step#3 done (installed and setting up pvr.wmc).  Yaaaaa!!!!  On to step 4.

 

If I want to post my steps (post #8) at the start of a new thread, where should i do it?

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