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Old 28-12-2011
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 344
How to create a VLC Media Server

What is a Media Server ? Is it necessary for us all to have or not ? Does configuring Media Server is Technically Tough or Easy ? There is some common question which many of us face if we plan to implement a media server. It is necessary to get answers for this first, before going in much technical detail. Media Server is a common platform where you can share your Multi-media files. Like music, videos, images, etc. Media Server expands the possibility of sharing content among different devices. With a help of a regular home router and internet connectivity it becomes easier to share multimedia among different devices like Smartphone, TV?s which support wifi, Laptops, Desktop systems, gaming console, etc. By this you can get an easy answer of all the above three questions. It simple words you can inside the range of server (whether wifi or plugged) can access this files. The admin who runs the server has full authority how to manage the content sharing. He/She can extend the capability by adding free internet support, or additional disk space to users, etc. The more you configure, the higher setup goes complicated. I am here to give you the easiest streaming solution. With the help of this you can share your content with anyone inside the range of server. You can allow any user to connect and add or modify the content. That depends on need and usage. For regular home users they just want to view movies across their home either on phone or tablet or on TV.

Gaming consoles like Xbox 360 or PS3 are media servers. They come with the possibilities of sharing digital content among the network. The configuration of the same is not too costly. But this does not mean that to create a media server it is compulsory to buy a Gaming Console. No. With your traditional PC or laptop you can create your own personal place where every member of your house or friends can view your movies, listen to music, etc. You can use devices like iPad, iPod, Tablets, Wifi Speakers, etc to sync and access the files directly on them. Apple products are much better in this case. Before going to a solution directly I will show how a media server works. What is its architecture. This will help you to finalize what are the products needed to have a media server. And a basic overview will give you the wireframe of entire network.

Media Server
Some devices are ready made media servers. They come with storage and wifi setup. You have to just enable them provide a LAN access and that?s all. But that setup is costly. If you have an overview about its functioning then it becomes much easier to manipulate the setup.
A basic diagram of media server is as follow
A Desktop System/Laptop Equipped with Media Server Software (Ex. Windows Media Server, VLC, Tversity, any LiveTV tool, etc.)
A Router/ Or Network Device which will act a bridge for all connection. I will not only connect the devices wherever support Cable Network (LAN ) or WiFi Mode (WLAN) but also act as bridge for connection of new devices. It can be a wifi router also with multiple ports.
All Devices which supports wifi/lan. It can be your TV which has wifi or LAN cable support. It can be your Smartphone. It can be any NAS device which can hold content. Any laptop or desktop which wants to access the files.

Diagram


This is just a basic overview to get you understand how this works. In layman words you need the above two parts to begin with your own media server.
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Old 28-12-2011
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 344
Re: How to create a VLC Media Server

VLC as a Media Server Solution

VLC is one of the most simple and open source solutions available today for media streaming. I found this tool as very easy to configure and there is nothing great settings you need to remember. Recommended for both Novice and expert this tool has option to run tons of codec?s and streaming smooth if all hardware on your network is functioning well. It is not just a player but a Media Server tool which can help you to stream files directly from the media server. There is no need to add any kind of third party software for this. All needed is some click setup to share your content over the air. VLC offers you a single package support to start your media server. If you can just plug some cables and install software, then it is enough easy to configure this. This solution consists of two important tools.
  1. VLC Media Player.
  2. VideoLAN Server.
1. VLC Media Player : VLC Media Payer is free and can be found easily on the web. It is a short download. Download and keep in this with you. Other than this, you can also found this player for Smartphone?s also. It supports many operating systems. The reason to choose VLC is that you do not need to worry much about the video/audio formats. It supports almost all kind of video and audio files. VLC Media Player is best recommended for buffer less streaming. You can use any other third party tool, but the difference in performance matters. VLC Media Player is the most compatible player with VideoLan Server. You just need to give appropriate path to stream digital content.

2. Video LAN Server (VLS) : VLS can stream a number of DVD files and even live channels. It is also possible to stream live Videos via this through your camera devices. IF you are planning for an easy to use media server then VLS is the most recommended one.

The image below clearly explains what you can do with VLC Streaming Solution. It not just sharing content but if you go in more depth you can broadcast your own channel. That is another advance part which you can try if you really enjoy this. VLC works cross platform. The features are not limited to only one operating system, which makes it a more powerful tool for media streaming. Second thing with good network bandwidth you can also manage your existing livetvs on it. There is no limitation of connection to this server. You can begin with your home network and move upto web. It is important to consider the bandwidth on the base of your streaming network. The video format which you are streaming is also important to consider and the amount of bandwidth which it is going to consume. I found this sample requirement on the official site which can put a clear highlight on the same.
Examples of needed bandwidth are:
  • 0.5 to 4 Mbit/s for a MPEG-4 stream,
  • 3 to 4 Mbit/s for an MPEG-2 stream read from a satellite card, a digital television card or a MPEG-2 encoding card,
  • 6 to 9 Mbit/s for a DVD.

Note* VLS is not really maintained rightnow. So in that place it is recommended to use VLC instead for basic purpose. I had just added VLS info for future reference.
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Old 28-12-2011
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 344
Re: How to create a VLC Media Server

VLC Video Streaming Setup

To setup Streaming video is easier in VLC. Just download the media player and install in your system. This is just the basic setup to Stream a Video from Local Disk / DVD / Network Location / Capture Device.

1. Launch VLC. Click on Media > Streaming.

(The first process is to stream a file first via this tool. When the media is properly configured to stream, then with the help of VLC player you can locate the content. The image below clearly indicates where you have to click. This process is engaged with choosing the media for streaming. It can be your local DVD or your network storage or web link. You just need to collect proper information related to your network ip and a open port. After clicking on streaming the following more options appears.)


2. Choosing a Streaming Content

Under Streaming you will find 4 different options.

a). File


b). Disc


c). Network


d). Capture Device


Now it depends on your choice which type of support you want for streaming content. All 4 options are easy to configure. You just need to add the file on the same.

3. For example click on File and then click on ADD. Add your media in the box and click on Stream.


TO PLAY THE STREAMING MEDIA

To play the streaming media you will need VLC player on other devices. It is best suitable for Smartphone?s and other desktop/laptop systems. Just launch the tool and for example click on Media > Open Network Stream. Provide the location and play the files.

Launch VLC Player and click on Open Network Stream. Add the location and done.

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