Streaming and Audio System Poll

john_dennis wrote on 1/2/2014, 9:50 PM
I'm curious, too.

jr said:

"[I]Actually, we should start two new threads to continue two topics we've brought up here but don't really pertain to the Mac Pro announcement that this thread is about.

(1) I would be interested to know how many Vegas Pro editors stream video from media servers in their homes and what they use.

(2) I would be interested to know how many Vegas Pro editors have 5.1 surround setups in their homes and what they use.[/I]"


ushere wrote on 1/2/2014, 9:58 PM
i simply 'play to' bravia from anything and everything. or search from bravia across devices. all wifi

with my hearing two speakers still sound like one bad one;-(

oh, i still have an old hdmi hyundai media player connected for usb / hd,s etc. it'll play ANYTHING!!!!
john_dennis wrote on 1/2/2014, 10:06 PM
(1) I stream video from any of my three Windows 7 PCs with Windows Media Player when I want to show something to others quickly. I mostly do this for unedited camera video from my archive or the backup of the archive which are locally attached to two separate machines. I don't use streaming as my primary means of viewing video. Primarily, I copy the files over the gigabit network to a 2 TB drive in an enclosure that's locally attached to a Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray player.

(2) I have a 5.1 amplifier and the room is wired for rear speakers but the most channels I've ever hooked up is L, R and Center. Some of my camera sources are 5.1 and I've preserved the channels in projects, but I listen to the stereo down-mix. My current personal camera records stereo.
musicvid10 wrote on 1/2/2014, 10:18 PM
Yes to both. WDTVLive, two attached media storage drives, and Playon. A modest Sony 5.1 receiver, and variety of speaker pairs.
Streaming to my Android tablet works, but the Playon mobile app still needs a LOT of work.
ritsmer wrote on 1/3/2014, 2:03 AM
(1) Here finished videos are streamed from a Qnap NAS and via 1 GB cable network. As we use more than 31+ Mbps video, WiFi has proven not fast enough to avoid slight stuttering now and then.
Video test renderings from unfinished projects are streamed directly from the editing machine.
Video is shown
-a on a 58” plasma via a Dune Smart B1 player using Zappiti for showing movie posters.
-b on a 50” plasma via a Dune TV-102 player also using Zappiti.

(2) Some years ago I had a high end Sony 5.1 surround system but found it more confusing than usable.
So now at the 58” there are 2 Bang & Olufsen “Organ”-speakers (Beolab 8000) and at the 50” only a high end LG Soundbar with woofer (with 2 more Beloab 8000 high on my wishing list)

The B&O speakers bring so much content, nuances and levels out of my sound tracks that it has forced me always to use quality headphones when editing – else there is too big a difference from audio-when-editing to audio-when-watching the finished result.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 1/3/2014, 5:42 AM
1) No.
2) No.

Would like a surround sound system though, but there's other stuff we need/want more.
John222 wrote on 1/3/2014, 6:45 AM
1. Yes. I use Serviio (free) to stream my pc harddrive contents to my TV's via Blueray player.

2. Yes. I'm using a Yamaha 5.1 receiver with a Mirage 5.1 speaker system for my 100" projection system (Mits HV4000)
TeetimeNC wrote on 1/3/2014, 6:47 AM
I stream my videos from a Windows Home Server via WDTV Live to my home theater. The home theater uses a Pioneer 5.1 AV receiver and 5 surround speakers. I occasionally use Beam on my droid to beam video to my theater.

Sadly, I haven't really done any 5.1 audio in my own videos other than one or two experiments with downloaded audio. I love 5.1 done right but just haven't invested the time and resources to do that in my own projects.

willqen wrote on 1/3/2014, 7:48 AM
a) No streaming, unfortunately.

b) 5.1 system in my home studio setup, along with stereo.

Stereo system uses a pair of Mackie 824 powered monitors (got them back in the 90's, have been very good to me)

5.1 uses an M-Audio powered monitor setup with sub and satellites. Also very nice setup. Works great for me

Chienworks wrote on 1/3/2014, 8:17 AM
1) Yes, but probably not in the sense that jr is asking about. My "streaming media server" is simply my Windows XP Pro workstation sharing 6.5TB of it's drive space. The clients are whatever PCs/tablets/phones that happen to be on the network and in the room where i wish to stream. The only place i stream video to an external screen is in the living room (see #2 below) on an LCD projector, while in other rooms i use the playback device's built in screen. Generally in every room except my office i use my tablet for playing music through whatever stereo is in that room. The office has the "streaming media server" itself connected to one of the two stereos in that room.

(Good grief! Do i really have 5 separate complete hi-fi component stereo systems in my tiny little house?)

2) Yes. The receiver is a Yamaha HTR-6130. All 6 speakers are Realistic Mach-3 monsters i still have lying around from my college days. The subwoofer is the one of the 6 that has a burned out tweeter, a replaced 15" woofer that handles a lot more power and has a lower frequency range than the original, and is powered by my brother's old Kenwood integrated amp with a burned out right channel. 5.1 content is provided solely by commercial DVDs.

I don't produce any 5.1 content of my own.
wwjd wrote on 1/3/2014, 8:57 AM
1. messed with most free servers, and some pay trials, as well as xbox and ps3... was more hassle and less fun for me so I don't bother. I burn discs, drop on thumb drives and also purchase commercial blu-ray for my viewing needs, over server use. (Ima computer geek at work, and sometimes at home I just get annoyed with computers - that might factor in)

2. only 5.1 I have is recently purchased computer speaker system specifically for Vegas 5.1 editing. My main movie area is just stereo. 5.1 is way cool, but watching a movie, my brain doesn't buy into the effect while a watch a flat screen ONLY in front of me.
johnmeyer wrote on 1/3/2014, 9:23 AM
I stream all the major services to my 55" 5.1 home theater. I also stream directly from my main work computer to the home theater. I have a simple 100 mbps wired Ethernet for the streaming from my office.[I] I would never recommend using wireless, no matter how fast.[/I] Everything is connected with a switch. I just use an old laptop connected to the TV with VGA or my new laptop connected via HDMI. Quality is excellent.

I also stream Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other commercial services from the laptop to the TV. However, most of these use Flash, and the Flash player has gotten screwed up the past two years and no longer can be relied upon to provide really smooth video. Fortunately my son's Xbox 360 can stream many of these services and, over my 12 mbps connection, the quality is excellent: there are not hiccups or delays, no banding or contouring, and the spatial quality and definition are as good as OTA HD.

In my experience, getting a decent media player, when playing from the PC -- whether streaming or playing from the hard drive -- is the most difficult and problematic part of this equation. I still haven't found a decent and reliable PC media player that can do as good a job as the Xbox.
JohnnyRoy wrote on 1/3/2014, 12:09 PM
First thanks John Dennis for carrying this over. Here are my answers:

(1) I still don't have the solution I want. Most of your solutions involve having a PC turned on somewhere and that's a deal breaker for me. I want an "always on" media server so I bought a Buffalo Linkstation that supports DLNA. This is a small headless device with a minimal electrical footprint. It's also a NAS so it's on my network 24/7 serving up files. I never turn it off. But I've had hit-n-miss luck with DNLA clients working. I bought a D-Link Media Player DSM-520 but it wouldn't talk to my old Linkstation even though they both claimed to be DNLA compliant. I now have a new Linkstation because after 5 years my old one died so I really should see if there's a firmware upgrade for the DSM-520 and try again with thew new Linkstation but this technology is probably too old to even bother with.

Next I bought a WD TV. That was OK but it required a hard drive be attached to it so I had to somehow get my media to the hard drive which was not connected to my network so I had to physically connect the hard drive to a computer, transfer the video, then connect it back to the WD TV. This also uses folder structure so you are awkwardly navigating folders instead of having a real media library. It was better than the D-Link but not what I wanted either.

Then I switched over to using Mac's and I bought an Apple TV. The Apple TV has Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc. and all that stuff and it will play anything that you've purchased on iTunes so I can watch movies that I've purchased. If I want to view my own videos or music, it will do that too but I have to have a computer open (remember that deal-breaker?). It also allows me to stream video from any Apple device so I can have media on my iPhone or iPad and I can even create slide shows with music from iPhoto and stream it to my Apple TV without having to render a video so I'm pretty happy with this solution but it still isn't the "always on" media server that I hoped for.

What I really want is a media server like my Linkstation that can serve up videos, music, and photos to my TV via some device connect to my TV but I haven't found the right combination of devices yet. The Apple TV comes the closest, but I still have to have a computer turned on to share files like most of you have. If Apple would come out with a media server for the Apple TV I'd be all set.

(2) None, but I want one which is why I was curious what others are using if anything at all.

Yesterday Best Buy had an offer for the Onkyo HT-R2295 on sale for $149! (Its back up to $349 today) so that prompted my question. I've been wanting a 5.1 system but you read the reviews and it's really hard to pick. I didn't buy the Onkyo because I realized that then I would need to buy speakers (which could get pricy) and it might be better to buy a whole system with matching speakers so... I'm still "on the fence".

Thanks to others for sharing your experiences.

deusx wrote on 1/3/2014, 12:17 PM
See, Apple just does not work.

Turn on my Sony bravia and stream whatever I want directly to it. No PC required.

Sony, it just works and for real, not just in a slogan type of way.
bdg wrote on 1/3/2014, 12:30 PM
1) No.
2) 7.1, a Marantz receiver feeding 5 full range floor standing speakers and 2 full range bookshelf speakers for the rear. Plus a monster 15" sub-woofer that moves the whole living room around if I wind it up.
I use Vegas to make my own 5.1 content from a surround sound mic. Sadly I cannot afford the $1500 for the software to encode in 7.1.
The 5.1 is magical when there is real action occuring behind me but it's been a little disappointing with normal material where the front sound is loud enough that the rear sound is too low to make an impression.
I attribute this at least partially to the wide gap at the rear with 5.1. I feel 7.1 would fix that, but the cost rules it out.
It's a bit disconceting when I'm recording and a motorbike passes by behind me almost brushing my shoulders - because my headphones do not take into account the surround content. However when played back in 5.1 the bike sounds totally real and in place.
Visually we live in a very limited world in front of us (especially if we wear glasses), but our hearing is naturally a full 360deg globe of sound.
TeetimeNC wrote on 1/3/2014, 1:03 PM
>Most of your solutions involve having a PC turned on somewhere and that's a deal breaker for me.

JR, I too would prefer "Always ON", but I opted for "Always Available" with my Windows Home Server/WDTV Live combination. On my WHS I run the excellent LightsOut plugin that puts the server in standby after a user defined period of inactivity. If the server is in standby when I start WDTV Live, LightsOut resumes the server and keeps it up while streaming. The resume delay can be up to 2 minutes which is tolerable for me.

I also stream my music collection from WHS using Logitech Squeezebox, which also can resume the server from standby via LightsOut.

WHS also hosts all my shared files and my daily backups of the three client computers on my network. What I like about it is it requires very little care and feeding.

johnmeyer wrote on 1/3/2014, 1:12 PM
I didn't really answer question #2.

I have a 5.1 system of my own creation. Here is a picture of the front part of the system that I posted in the AVS forum a year ago:

The side cabinet doors are normally closed, and the doors in front of the speakers have white speaker grill cloth across the front.

The big horn speakers are Klipsch, as is the center channel. I built the TV stand to exactly accommodate the center channel. The cabinets were built twenty years ago for another setup, so I had to make a few compromises to fit the cabinets with my newer equipment. The biggest compromise was having a center channel speaker that wasn't 100% identical to the side speakers, although this Klipsch center speaker is supposed to be sonically "compatible" with the side speakers.

The two rear channels are mounted adjacent to the main viewing area, although are mounted on the ceiling, rather than at ear level, and are facing forward rather than the preferred forward/back that THX specifies.

The big change for me eighteen months ago was to finally retire my 1994 Pioneer Pro-Logic receiver and get a true 5.1 system. I could have gotten 7.1 but I saw zero advantage to the extra speakers, and didn't want to rebuild my family room. The advantages to having full fidelity in the front and rear channels, true stereo in the rear, and a separate channel for the subwoofer are significant and overwhelming compared to my archaic Pro-Logic system.

However, as discussed in a recent thread, some movies still have a terrible, muddled center channel that forces us to watch those movies with the subtitle track enabled. Other movies and TV shows are crystal clear, so I am quite certain it is a problem with the source material. As I said, this is covered in a separate thread, so no need to discuss further here.

I got a Denon AVR-3313 which was their top of the line at the time. The key thing it has which makes a huge difference for my setup is the Audigy calibration via a microphone they supply. My viewing room is sonically chaotic, and this calibration provides quite a bit of compensation for the room deficiencies. I still need to move my center channel speaker forward out of the enclosure to avoid any "boominess," but Audigy seems to compensate for most of the other obvious sonic problems.

The TV is a 55" Samsung LED LCD that I bought four years ago. I like it a lot, and it looks exactly the same today as it did four years ago. I still haven't figured out how to adapt my Spyder colorimeter to do a full-on calibration, but having used the old laserdisc calibration tool for my old CRT, I have a reasonable idea of what to do, and have it calibrated "by eye" to a first approximation. If I am ever feeling really flush, I may hire an ISF calibrator to come in and do the job right.

Finally, if anyone really wants to get into building the "ultimate" HTPC, they should head over to the AVS Forum and explore one of the subforums listed here:

AVS Forum Home Theater PCs

MarkWWW wrote on 1/3/2014, 1:49 PM
1. I have a Windows Home Server (WHS) which acts as the file store for any video I want to stream to my main TV. The TV is is fed by an XTreamer - similar sort of thing to a WDTVLive, but cheaper.

2. In my "studio" I have 5.1 system made up from JBL Control speakers driven by a YAMAHA DSP-AX630SE amplifier. (Unfortunately the amp has just died so I'm looking for a replacement.)

TeetimeNC wrote on 1/3/2014, 1:51 PM
John, that is a fine looking theater. Good idea on the grill cloth in the doors. Where is the subwoofer located?

I 100% agree with you regarding the discrete 5.1 vs prologic. I had a prologic in the living room when I first installed discrete 5.1 in the den twelve years ago. The difference was remarkable. I also found that a powered subwoofer made a big difference compared to the non-powered one in the LR.

Chienworks wrote on 1/3/2014, 1:54 PM
"Most of your solutions involve having a PC turned on somewhere and that's a deal breaker for me."

Not a problem here at all since this particular PC has always been a 24x7 on machine, even before it became my household media server. For one thing, often it's rendering large projects for DVD and some of these renders often take overnight or longer, so i'd almost never have the chance to shut it down at night anyway. For another, it's also my primary workstation that i may have to access even when i'm not at home, so it has to be on for remote access as well.

Considering how little power it uses compared to some other household items like the dryer, the stove, the vacuum cleaner, etc. i never really thought of it as much of a power drain.
MarkWWW wrote on 1/3/2014, 1:59 PM
Jerry, which version of WHS do you have?

I have the original version here which looks after my small four PC network in terms of daily backup, as well as acting as central storage for any files I want to have available to all the PCs, stream to the TV (via an XTreamer), etc.

All my PCs are still running XP which the original version of WHS handles just fine. But if I ever add another machine it will presumably be running Windows 8 and I have heard rumours that the old WHS doesn't get on well with Win7 and Win8. I'd be interested in your experience of using WHS (whichever version you are using) with later versions of Windows (if indeed you are doing so).

Many thanks in advance for any thoughts, observations, etc, you can share.

johnmeyer wrote on 1/3/2014, 2:49 PM
Where is the subwoofer located?It is directly to the right of the main viewing area. I thought about putting it in the corner, but tests showed that the bass reinforcement you get from the corner would make it way too "boomy" no matter what setting.

The subwoofer is an absurdly high-end Velodyne ULD II with servo feedback. It cost more than any other part of the system. I never would have purchased such an expensive item, but at the time I bought it I had a business associate to whom I loaned a large amount money, and the only way he could pay me back was to buy something with one of his ten credit cards (he was keeping his company afloat by getting more and more credit cards, and then running them up to the limit). I eventually got my money back and, surprisingly, he actually managed to eventually pay off all of his cards.

TMI, I know.
ddm wrote on 1/3/2014, 3:37 PM
I have a gigabit network thruout my house, all Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and OSX 10.9. I usually keep media on several machines using SyncBackPro, just for redundancy. like my music collection and photos. Movies mostly reside on my main office machine, which is also my Vegas editing machine. I do archive movies onto bluray data disks as MKV files. I have a Networked Windows 8.1 machine in my livingroom that I've had for many years and find indispensable for watching movies, but also for playing music and for playing slideshows and music while entertaining guests, wouldn't be without that now, makes an excellent web browser, streams videos from Amazon Prime, plays dvds, blurays. etc. etc. I do have a 5.1 system hooked up as well which Windows has handled beautifully since early Windows 7.
Rob Franks wrote on 1/3/2014, 5:04 PM

"(1) I still don't have the solution I want"
There are plenty of solutions out there and I already told you mine. There is boxee box, roku, popcorn hour (and others) that will not only do what Apple does (and that includes netfix, utube, full browsers... etc) but will aslo accept and replay more than just the Apple basics. Not only that, but most of these systems are not locked down like Apple and you can run other software bases of them. If for example I don't like the Boxee interface I can load any open source interface such as XBMC.

JohnnyRoy wrote on 1/3/2014, 5:16 PM
> Reply by: deusx "See, Apple just does not work. Turn on my Sony bravia and stream whatever I want directly to it. No PC required."

I think you may have misunderstood me. The Apple TV doesn't require a PC either. You can stream anything from any device directly to it. I am looking for an always-on server solution in addition to being able to stream from all of my devices.