video/audio streaming from media server
I've been toying with the idea of using my laptop as a DLNA / uPNP media server. I have most of my video/audio assets stored on an external USB memory drive (it's actually a MP3 player with custom RockBox firmware...but I digress), so I could also use my little NSLU2 Linux server, providing I install all the required software on it.
At the top of anyone's list there should be at least: AllShare, AndroMote, Twonky (and iMediaShare for those wanting to share media *from* the tablet device). I tried them all, with varying degrees of success due to the type of media server I was running on my Mac OS X laptop. Plex doesn't seem to provide this feature so I ended-up using TVMOBiLi instead, which provides a not-so-user-friendly web-based interface. There are other advanced servers, such as miniDLNA, uShare, FireFly or MediaTomb, but this was getting far too time-consuming so I stopped there.
In fact, I ended-up using VLC Player with its built-in "web interface" feature (essentially a streaming server that can be controlled remotely), and VLC Stream & Connect on the Android tablet. It works great, and the live transcoding of the video was pretty satisfying (only minor glitches due to re-synchronizing the A/V streams from time to time...probably some settings I can tweak in VLC-S&C). The nice thing about DLNA / uPNP is that it is a discoverable service, that clients normally automatically detect on a LAN. VLC offers the same level of "it just works", and allows me to browse my media files directly from the tablet. Nifty.
A more advanced method is to share a folder on the media server via Samba / SMB / CIFS (works on Windows, Linux and Mac), to mount the shared directory on the Android tablet via a custom-built CIFS kernel module. Then any basic file explorer will "see" the remote files as local files, which results in video/audio players being "tricked" into thinking they are working with local files, when opening media assets from the file explorer. Conversely, using Astro (with SMB support) or ES File Explorer we can access network files via the smb: protocol, but video/audio players are unlikely to support opening media via this kind of URL (most players only support local files). Also note that the transfer speed may be problematic depending on the required media bitrate...anyone to test full HD video streaming ?
Follow this link for more info: