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Streaming 1080p videos from PC to Android device

OP Animor

6th August 2013, 12:07 PM   |  #1  
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Hello,

I've tried to search but didn't find an answer.

I'm looking for a way to stream 1080p videos from my PC to android device (Nexus 10 in my case), both on the same wifi lan using N-type router.

I have set a user and password on the PC windows 7, and I can connect to it with my tablet (ES/solid explorer) through the wifi, and stream videos. The problem is this connection type is not fast enough for streaming 1080p videos, so the videos on my tablet lag, shutter, etc.

Any ideas how to solve it? Can I setup a different type of connection/protocol, which will be fast enough for streaming 1080p vidoes?

Any help is appreciated!
8th August 2013, 07:08 AM   |  #2  
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Try Plex media server. The android app is $4 (I think) and the PC software is free. The beauty of it is that you can connect to your server from anywhere. I've watched episodes of modern family from the comfort of the bathroom at work without any issues. For high quality video you're going to need to be on Wi-Fi, but you can get great quality video through plex.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 4
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8th August 2013, 07:36 AM   |  #3  
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Thank you.

Meanwhile I have found another solution:
- Installing XMBC on my pc and enabling uPNP on it.
- Installing MediaHouse app on my tablet.

uPNP is much faster than the normal Windows SMB, so I can now stream high quality videos without any issue over my wifi.
The only problem is uPNP doesn't support streaming srt subtitles file along with the mkv movie. So I have to copy the srt it locally to the Tablet or embed it to the MKV.
13th August 2013, 04:51 PM   |  #4  
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My favorite streaming tool is Emit. www.emitapp.com

They have an Android client, iOS client, and web streamer, and it's a decent-quality transcoder. Totally free.

I have no problems transcribing on an i5-750 that is also a Hyper-V host for 3 VMs, and is running torrents 24/7. It's a dedicated box with a gig connection though, so I have tons of throughput. No problems streaming over LTE on my S4 or over my home connection (50MB comcast)
21st August 2013, 03:09 PM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phishfi

Try Plex media server. The android app is $4 (I think) and the PC software is free. The beauty of it is that you can connect to your server from anywhere. I've watched episodes of modern family from the comfort of the bathroom at work without any issues. For high quality video you're going to need to be on Wi-Fi, but you can get great quality video through plex.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 4

thanks for this man..
27th August 2013, 12:46 AM   |  #6  
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TTT. Figured I'd rez this rather than starting a redundant thread.

I gave Plex a shot; I downloaded the Windows App, installed, opened it, but once I tried to navigate to the "Channel Directory" I got this prompt:
Plex Media Server
Waiting on Response...

It never connected to the PMS. I tried some Googles to figure out the problem, but couldn't find anything relevant. So screw Plex.

For now, what I've done is create a Homegroup, and I use ES File Explorer to navigate the Homegroup in the LAN tab. However, there are two things I don't like about this:
  1. The speed is limited. I guess this is an SMB problem. Separately, as a test, I've connected an i5 laptop to this homegroup, and it won't play a 16GB mkv I have of The Avengers over the Homegroup. It's handled any video files I've thrown at it under 5GB, but past that, it appears that the data bandwidth becomes an issue because the video stutters. This couldn't be a shortcoming of the laptop because it could play the files from its native hard drive without issue. Thus, the problem must be the rate of data transferred wireless over the router. So I'm attracted to the uPNP servers.
  2. On Android, it only works for yet smaller files. I'm only able to watch videos that MX Player can handle using SW decoding. This has limited me to low bitrate 480p video. My goal is to be able to watch all my videos and movies on my Xoom or my Droid X. Unfortunately, the Tegra 2 and the ARM V8 processors in these devices aren't very powerful, and the mkv's/mp4's I have aren't specifically encoded for their chipsets. Also, most of my movies are 1080p, and the Xoom is only 1280x800, and the Droid X is 854x480, so there is the additional workload of downscaling. One solution is that I can convert any video I have using a program called "DVD Catalyst", but the conversion rate is ~125% on a minute-per-minute basis, so this is very time consuming. I'd rather that I was able to use my PC's CPU/GPU to decode the video in real time as I watch the video, and stream this over the Homegroup to my phone/tablet. In other words, in principle, I want to use the PC's hardware to do the heavy lifting while the Android device displays the product of that work.

What's the best way to do this? The OP mentioned he uses XMBC and MediaHouse. Is this optimal, or is there a better method for my goal?
Last edited by Madmick; 27th August 2013 at 12:50 AM.
27th August 2013, 01:37 AM   |  #7  
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Of course SMB is slow, I wrote it on the first post - this was my main problem. It's ok for 720p but not for 1080p.

You can use XMBC and MediaHouse - it will work but will not stream the .srt subtitles. There are other free uPnP options I've found that work with external subtitles, if you're interested.

Anyway, if you have resolution scaling issues that your android device cannot handle on the fly, I suggest you to re-encode the video offline on your PC.
27th August 2013, 12:13 PM   |  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Animor

Of course SMB is slow, I wrote it on the first post - this was my main problem. It's ok for 720p but not for 1080p.

I suppose I didn't make it clear, but it's because of what you wrote that I was presuming that SMB was my issue. Still, I can play most 1080p content over the WLAN to the laptop; just not the 1080p content with a really high bitrate.
Quote:

You can use XMBC and MediaHouse - it will work but will not stream the .srt subtitles. There are other free uPnP options I've found that work with external subtitles, if you're interested.

Have you found desktop server software and an Android app that you prefer to these? Please elaborate if you have.
Quote:

Anyway, if you have resolution scaling issues that your android device cannot handle on the fly, I suggest you to re-encode the video offline on your PC.

In part #2 of my post I described why I already use this as an option, but I would prefer not having to do this. This gets to the heart of what I'm trying to learn. Is it possible to play the desktop files on the tablet/phone without offline conversion? I can conceptualize two theoretical ways, but I have no idea- assuming they are even possible- if there is software that would enable me to do this:

(1) Streaming conversion.
Without creating a new, converted file from the source 1080p video, I'm wondering if there is a program that will convert the desktop 1080p video in real time while streaming that over the network to the Android device. Perhaps it wasn't clear, but my PC is powerful enough that most video converts in the DVD Catalyst software at a minimum 1.25x rate (meaning that 5 minutes of video will convert in about 4 minutes). Thus, a real-time conversion stream seems possible since it would take less time to convert a movie than it would take to watch it. This kills the waiting period and also storage issues. Using offline conversion, I have to decide what I want to watch, convert it, then play the converted file (which takes up additional space on my hard drive). If I could convert-in-stream, then I could simply pick whatever video I wanted to watch, and play it without having to wait for it to convert, and I wouldn't have to worry about extra space being used.

(2) Display mirroring.
The PC plays the video as it would on itself in VLC, and somehow mirrors this image (like with NFC) over the network. No conversion; only downscaling, and this shouldn't be a problem because my PC can easily downscale 1080p to 720p on VLC without stutter. Ergo, in this scenario, the Android device becomes basically a computer monitor that is receiving the data stream over a network rather than from an HDMI/DVI/VGA cable. This seems like the simpler option. Anyone know if it's possible?
Last edited by Madmick; 27th August 2013 at 12:20 PM.
27th August 2013, 01:53 PM   |  #9  
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Hi,

As for your question, I have found a way to stream external srt subtitles along with the movie, using free uPnP.
Apparently, only some uPnP media servers and clients support it. In addition, only some movie players can extract this information when streamed through uPnP. I've found several such uPnP media servers, but most of them require payment after a trial period. However, I've managed to find one that doesn't

So, in order to stream videos with external srt, you need the following:
1. Serviio on you PC.
2. BubbleUPnP on your android device.
3. MX player on your android device.
4. The srt file should have the same name of the movie file, and they have to reside both at the same directory in your PC.

If you want to check your system under heavy or moderate bit rate, you can use this:
http://www.auby.no/files/video_tests/
"birds" is quite heavy. If you get it to work, you won't have any problem with 1080p movies.
Perhaps the term "1080p" movies is not accurate. What really matter is the bitrate. Naturally, 1080p movies requite higher bitrate. So even if you manage to play small-size 1080p movies through smb, I guess that as you wrote yourself, it's because of the lower bitrate.

If you want to make sure where is your bottleneck, copy the movie to your android device and run it locally. you can use "birds" or any other movie you want. If the movie stutter when run locally, then your bottleneck is your android hw. However, don't use SW decoder, use hw decoder. On MX player I use HW+, and on BS player I use the "experimental hw decoding" feature. On my Nexus 10, this is the only way I can handle high bitrate movies.

Regarding what you asked about: I'm sorry, but I am not familiar with a proper way to mirror a high quality video from the PC to the android device. You can try screen sharing/mirror softwares like VNC or TeamViewer, but I don't think they will work with adequate fps for displaying a video.
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27th August 2013, 06:29 PM   |  #10  
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You're the man, Animor. This is exactly what I needed, and although Servio doesn't "mirror", it does do #1. The word I was searching for there was "transcoding", and their software does just that because I am able to stream all of these 1080p videos flawlessly on my tablet using the Servio + BubbleUPnP (which has a gorgeous UI, btw), and I know for a fact that MX Player-- even with ARMv7 codec support and running H/W+-- couldn't play these files without stutter even when I'd copied them to its local SD. So it's definitely using my PC's processing power.

This is just so amazingly bitching. I feel like Doc Oc in Spider-Man 2:


"The power of my PC...in the palm of my hand."

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