Now that we have the hardware all sorted out it is time to review the software for the media network. There isn’t much to this one so it should be over pretty quickly.
You will need software for the back end and the front ends. This one I am going to do in reverse as the front ends are fairly simple.
The front end software is fairly limited by the devices that you choose. For example the Western Digital TV live run a stock software ROM. This could possibly be changed but the stock does most of the thing that I would like it to do.
Portable Devices are similar. Some have applications that can be used with DLNA, MythTV and File Shares. These are worth taking a look at. The applications that I use on my mobile devices are
- Myth TV Front end for Android. – This allows you to view TV and recordings on the mobile devices.
- ES File Explorer. – This is great for browsing file shares on the network. then you can open the media in the built in video player or similar.
Just a note about portable media players. I have not yet found a smooth all round application for viewing all media types on the mobile devices. To be honest they seem to lack the power to be able to stream high quality video files (especially from MythTV) I am still looking though as I am keen to be able to get this working (I am aware of Myth Export but i have not been able to configure it to work reliably yet)
The back end software is very important and there is a wide range of options (I will do a post on possible alternatives). I have chosen to use MythTV and in particular Mythbuntu (because I know Ubuntu best). I decided to go with Myth and Mythbuntu for the following main reasons.
- It’s Free
- It doesn’t require super fast hardware to run smoothly.
- With MythWeb I can access it remotely to be able to see recordings and schedule new recordings all with any web browser.
- It works with DLNA, MythFront Ends and File Shares.
- I can plug my existing video collection into it.
- I know Ubuntu best out of all of the nix operating systems
- It allows me to add other items that I want to setup. Some of the other items I have setup include OwnCloud (A dropbox alternative), Monitoring for my roof top solar system and Deluge for managing torrents.
- It has a nice GUI for most tasks.