Update: This post is out-dated and parts of it have been updated by Fully automated media centre using Flexget, emby, Trakt and IMDb.
I’m not really someone who watches most of the stuff on TV – I watch specific TV shows that interest me, the occasional movie, and I would watch news, documentary and some sports channels if they were available at a reasonable price without all the other crap.
I’ve therefore put my old computer to good use and created my own streaming TV service that shows me the TV shows and movies I want to watch, when I want to watch them, and you can too. Think of it like a PVR over the internet. Basically your own private version of this rumoured streaming service from Rogers with the stuff you want. Also gives me an excuse to go the bar and watch certain sports 🙂
Hardware and software needed
Here is all the stuff you need:
- A computer (or certain NAS devices) to store and stream from. You need a sizeable harddrive to store media on. I used two 1TB Western Digital Reds in mirrored RAID configuration (I’m tired of losing data).
- A fast wireless router (best to get a 5.8GHz model these days to reduce interference).
- Linux server – free. I used a Ubuntu Server 13.1 VM running on a Proxmox VE host, but you could use any Linux distro.
- Serviio streaming media server – free or $25 if you need it. I wanted the MediaBrowser web interface so I can play content on my MacBook Air.
- Flexget content automation tool – free.
- Transmission bittorrent client – free.
- Samba file and print server – free. This is not required, but mounting the files on your laptop is also kind of useful.
- An account on Trakt.tv – free. Use to select what TV shows you want, but it’s also a very useful site.
- Some time and some knowledge of Linux (or a friend who does) – opportunity cost.
You can also add something like a DLNA-compatible TV to this mix, or an PS3 or Xbox (I found the Serviio Media Browser far preferable for browsing content due to the crap interface/functionality available on the Xbox). Read More