[other] Media Extender/Thin Client Use for Multiseat Environment (1 Viewer)

hardcorehire

Portal Pro
April 1, 2008
108
45
OHIO
United States of America United States of America
I would like to revisit the idea of using MP with a Media Extender perhaps something like the popcorn hour A-110 or using thin clients and servers. I love MP and have been using for almost a year in my living room with a 100" screen and Espon 720 projector. As improvements have been made to stability and looks my wife buys into this more and more. However, I would like a better way to manage a multiseat environment. I want to have up to 8 pc's running in the house and not have to manage 8 pc's whenever I want to change the skin, update windows, make configuration changes, or install new plugins. I want to be able to make one change and have all pc's updated on the network or install one plugin that all pc's get updated with. My idea is to use thin clients or media extenders and to run off of sessions in server, but perhaps this is to difficult and technology just isn't there. Maybe the better way would be to have the configuration be able to update all pc's and install plugins on each pc if we can't use thin clients with RDP. Just looking for information or ideas on how to set something like this up. Maybe RDP sessions, Citrix sessions, Self contained web server, UpNP, or any other idea. Just would like to get ideas from everyone and start discussions I'm sure I'm not the only who would like something like this. Love to hear back any thoughts or ideas.

:D
 

El Gitto

Portal Member
November 4, 2006
22
1
Netherlands Netherlands
Mvpmc is the way to go if you ask me. Emveepee has just released the latest beta for GBPVR with HDMI support on the Popcorn Hour: mvpmcx2 Update 2009-05-24 - GB-PVR Forums. With this latest version you'll get the full GBPVR interface on you PCH. Now wouldn't it be nice to get this for Mediaportal?

Chris
 

hardcorehire

Portal Pro
April 1, 2008
108
45
OHIO
United States of America United States of America
Please Leave Thoughts

I really don't want to switch away from MP I love the software it offers so much flexibilty and works very well. I am surprised there isn't anymore discussion around this topic I was hoping more people had some opinions or ideas. Why is it so difficult to send not only streaming video, but the gui interface as well? Is it really just a matter of compression? Does it take to much bandwith to send uncompressed data, but if we compress the data we loose quality and if so how much quality? Is it enough to compress send the screen just like tv server sends data are we just loosing quality or can't it even be done. What are the opportunities with things like UPnP and DLNA servers? I would love to help out anyway I can, I know a little bit, but don't have near the expertise that I know is out there in these forums and with the developers. If we can get peoples best thoughts on the best road to go down maybe we could start working on a plugin for this. Really would like to see some posts on other peoples thoughts. Please help get this discussion going and leave a comment.

Thanks

:)
 

hardcorehire

Portal Pro
April 1, 2008
108
45
OHIO
United States of America United States of America
Did some good research today may have found a viable option.

What about using something like the HP MediaSmart SL4278N (There are other TV's like this with UPnP support). Then using plugins like
Kroko's https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/mediaportal-plugins-47/plugin-upnp-server-57667/
and
Kroko's https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/mediaportal-plugins-47/plugin-upnp-browser-client-57668/

The tv says that it can directly communicate with with a UPnP server. This way I wouldn't need any PC's nor media extenders at all other than my main server running the UPnP server and talking directly to the tv.

Any thoughts on a setup like this? What about and digital rights management didn't see anything about that anyone ever tried a setup like this or have any extra money to try it?

Can't wait to hear any thoughts back.
 

El Gitto

Portal Member
November 4, 2006
22
1
Netherlands Netherlands
I really don't want to switch away from MP I love the software it offers so much flexibilty and works very well.
I agree. I wasn't trying to convince you to switch away from MP. I wanted to let you know what the client for GBPVR on the PCH is capable of. This can be achieved for MP to, the developer of mpvmcx2 (the GBPVR client) has offered his help here a few times. But for some strange reason there's not much interest here, but you've probably noticed that by now.

Chris
 

moab

Portal Pro
April 22, 2008
250
9
California
United States of America United States of America
Do you know about setting up a share on the server and pointing clients configs to it?
You would still need a PC for each client.
 

hardcorehire

Portal Pro
April 1, 2008
108
45
OHIO
United States of America United States of America
My Thoughts

I don't think that would exactly solve all my problems, but for now till I figured out the other options, it would be a start. Do you have a link how to do that? What I was going for was a network where there doesn't have to be a PC in every room or it could just be a dummy thin client so there is only one place to make changes on the server. For instance even if each media portal client uses one central configuration file each client would still have to install all skins, plugins, and updates (including new MP builds) correct? I am assuming so in which case it really only takes care of a small portion of the problem. I don't want to have to update, add new plugins or skins, and manage up to 8 different stations. It really only becomes a problem in a network with over 3 - 5 pc's. Not only would it make it more managable to have only one place to make changes my wife doesn't like the idea of having computers everywhere in the house. This is a small part of the reason a small thin client or a TV with the built in capabilities would be so nice. Additionally I would love to only buy one piece of hardware otherwise I would have to buy 6 - 8 pc's plus the monitors anyway what if I could buy a monitor and nothing else. What if the monitor had the ability to communicate directy with the network --- DNLA TV's! I think I really like the idea of having the TV be the PC with DNLA setup the only thing that sucks is there really wouldn't be a way to show the MP interface on the TV. It would have its own proprietary software as the interface kind of like windows media center I think? I would love to have the technology built in the tv so it could basically run a session off the server through RDP. I just don't think the TV's are at the point I would like them to be plus that means I would have to give up on MP right or don't I understand the DNLA TV's? I guess maybe I have to wait for technology to catch up to my dreams. Still would love more feedback on other peoples thoughts on this topic.
 

El Gitto

Portal Member
November 4, 2006
22
1
Netherlands Netherlands
I never even thought about the config problem with 8 PC's :). If there would be a client for MP in mvpmc and it would work the same as the GBPVR client, you would only have to setup the server. Because the current GBPVR client works with VNC. So basicly you've got a VNC server proces on your PC, and the client (for each client a seperate instance) connects to that. This also means you only need to install the plugins on the server. People always seem to think VNC is too slow for this, but that's not the case. Check out the speed of the menu: YouTube - NMT screen speed. There are no fancy video effects in the menu's, but I don't care for that. I believe this would be an ideal setup for you, but first someone has to program it.

Chris
 

moab

Portal Pro
April 22, 2008
250
9
California
United States of America United States of America
If you don't mind seeing the same thing on all the TVs then you could use the same system (standa alone TV server PC with MP client) and install 8 video cards (or 4 dual cards). Then relay the picture to each TV over a wireless VGA adapter. (Perhaps you can have 1 VGA card -> 1 Wireless VGA transmitter -> 8 wireless VGA Receivers -> 8 TVs. You could have a hybrid. Say 2 MP client PCs each going to 4 PCs.
However if you have 8 family members all wanting different independent MP clients then this would require 8 PCs. There are management tools to maintain PCs remotely e.g. KACE (usually for 100+ PCs). This would be overkill and pricey but perhaps you are rich. A poor mans option would be to use Ghost or other software and clone the PCs.
The ideal option would be to have 8 VMWARE virtual clients connecting to a central VMWARE server. VMWARE is free (or at least it was). The catch is that I don't know what max screen resolution can be passed. It would put a huge video processing demand on the server. Might have bandwidth issues if all 8 PCs watch 8 HD channels concurrently. You can achieve >1GB network speeds on the server by using teamed network cards or drop $$$ on 10GB NICs and switches.
 

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