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Luke
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Yes often times we direct stream the file through the server api, which as far as the client is concerned is identical to file playback through the LAN.

 

Then other times we just do a container swap, keeping the audio/video in their original forms but just changing the container from say, mkv to mp4. These techniques are cheap and will scale to a large number of people easily.

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DeeMac

HI Devs,

After a 'conversation' with EBR, I had an idea and wanted to make sure it got to everyone... and I'm not sure if EBR saw my last thought.

Per this thread, post #7 explains a potential solution to 2+ problems:  

http://mediabrowser.tv/community/index.php?/topic/8549-could-not-access-media-will-attempt-to-stream-use-unc-paths-or-path-substitution-on-server-and-ensure-this-machine-can-access-them/

 

 

Initially, the main point was to reduce the occurence of an error I, and some others, have received by adding SMB credentials to clients.

However, I then realized that scalability is the bigger issue here.  Then, in other threads, virtualization has been popping up and virtualization is hampered by transcoding, which goes back to scalabilty of the product.

 

Here is an attempt to describe what I mean overall....

 

As we all know, without SMB direct access to local files, the server will transcode videos.  People rip to higher quality data files because they want to watch that high quality file.

The 1st problem I see is that not only does Transcoding lower the quality of the files, but increases CPU usage.

 

The 2nd problem, In my/our near future, I can imagine 3-4 different family members all attempting to watch movies simultaneously from their own room/device locally.  Yet, the more work a server and its CPU is doing, the less clients it can simultaneously transcode to.... and so unfortunately, I can see the product possibly not meeting my needs;  And I believe I cant be the only one of a few that will have this dilemma now or later. Per a recent poll, most people are using MB at home.  If I'm out on the road, I dont usually depend on spotty 3g/4g to stream a movie with limited bandwidth and screen real estate.  Instead, I'd be looking to make my viewing experience awesome, perhaps by streaming FROM a mobile device to a larger screen...or logging into an internet service and playing vids from there, like netflix and amazon.

 

Furthermore, the 3rd problem I perceive - as virtualization continues to proliferate, advanced users will want to do what makes sense.... and the virtualization of individual machines means we'd be virtualizing the server.  However, with unnecessary transcoding, It might not be a great experience.  Someone asked why virtualize the server.  Virtualization abstracts the hardware layer, allowing one to move a vm to another server/pc without having to reinstall an OS.  Virtualization allows for easier testing, lowers cost of hardware allowing idle resources to be shared, and so much more.  Installing MediaBrowser in a vm would allow one to never worry about reinstalling my HTPC ever again, backups would be a simple copy of the old vm backup and restart - but alas, as stated earlier, transcoding and ultimately the scalability of Mediabrowser hinders this.   I'm not saying its impossible, but its a burden.

 

However, if Mediabrowser somehow could reduce the need to transcode, then it would scale better and work for a larger population.  I understand this may be a smaller priority on your radar because of larger issues, I just wanted to combine all my thoughts into 1 area and ask that it be considered to do with MediaBrowser what MS did with the xbox and wmc, when installing or setting up relationship between a client and the server, have the client attempt to use the auto-installed smb sharing user.... If the share is accessible AND the file is playable by the native hardware [or perhaps an external player like VLC] then great... If not, fall back to decoding.

 

Of course, this does not apply to internet clients (the more internet clients, the more transcoding) ...  But the upload of the internet connection will probably hinder one more than a CPU transcoding to 1 client.

 

I realize some of this could be a deeper architectural shift and may have to be included once MediaBrowser becomes feature complete and moves onto MB 3.0.

 

Well, I hope I have been clear, not too much of a bother, and would like to close with a big thanks for a great product - you've done well.

 

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many clients do offer these options. even when it streams through the server that does not always mean it's transcoding, as we have direct stream techniques and a number of other optimizations to avoid encoding. so performance is a priority for us.

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DeeMac

oops, I meant MB 4.0.

 

Wait, what?  My IOS and my Android client dont have SMB options... only my xbmb3c client asks for smb credentials.

Figures, the clients *I* use don't have those options, lol.

 

Well, that's the first time I've ever heard that it is not always transcoding.  Game = changed.

 

Gracias Luke.

 

 

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