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I've got a huge digital video library and a ton of devices I use to watch content. I want to be able to stream content from my library to my devices, and generally the easiest mechanism I've found is good ol' HTTP.

For the moment I've got IIS pointed at my media folder with directory browsing. This works but it has some drawbacks:

  • Sucks on mobile browsers because the text is too small
  • Includes a ton of extra files
  • No way to password protect some, uh... content, that my kids shouldn't be seeing

Ideally what I want is something that is visually appealing, like with images and metadata, but is served over HTTP and looks good on a variety of browsers.

I'm not wedded to IIS, but I am sticking with Windows on the server.

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Have you checked out Orb?

They now sell phsysical hardware to connect to your server, but it sounds like you're more interested in OrbCaster which is basically a media server with a HTTP front end. You set it up on your primary server and point it to your video library. You can then open up ports on your firewall to your server. Your library will be accessible from anywhere. The nice thing about it is that you can chose the option to have the video server-side encoded. So if you have a BluRay rip that is 10GB, it will compress and stream the video to your 3G/4G/Remote device.

enter image description here

Outside the Home

Access all your content from outside the home from any device with a browser and an internet connection through the Orb portal. With Orb Caster running on your home PC, your media is available from any remote PC, mobile phones, PDAs, or portable media players. Simply connect to and use your private login and password.

Orb Live makes it easy to access you media from an iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or iPod touch.

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I actually have tried Orb, but it was a few years ago. Then the interface was great for a laptop (very iTunes-ish), but not so easy to navigate on a phone. It hosed itself after a while and I wiped it. I'm downloading it to try again, but I've got 2 questions: Does it support skins to make that UI sleeker, and when I stream to my phone on my LAN does it send my video out through their server and back to my house or is it all handled locally (I understand that's great for on the go streaming, but it wangs chung for local). – Hounshell Dec 31 '11 at 6:18
I would imagine for it to still be around that it would not communicate externally and reroute back inside your home with as many products as they are setting for home use. Worst case, make the media server a static IP address and access it via the local address instead of a domain name. – kobaltz Dec 31 '11 at 6:21
I too tried it a few years back and had problems (didn't load/was buggy), will have to give it another shot. – studiohack Dec 31 '11 at 6:25
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It's been a couple years, so here's the solution I'm rocking now.

Everything goes on a Synology box with uPnP. We use an app (Bubble uPnP) on our tablets to push media from there to any of our TVs via either Chromecasts, XBox 360, or XBOne. Generally we never see problems pushing to the XBoxes but the Chromecast is pretty hit or miss with codec support. We can also watch locally on tablets. Same app to browse, but push it to a local renderer, where we use Archos.

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