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Old 05-18-2022, 01:09 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: Midwest
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Calling all computer geeks

I'd like to build a video streaming server for my house that will eventually find its way on my bus. Problem is, I don't know the first thing about how to do this.

=================================
The requirements -

Linux based, but not a Linux version that you have to be an ubergeek to get around in. I'm comfortable in a Windows environment, but really don't like Microsoft and would like to get away from them. Plus my wife has to be able to use it.

Able to save, say, 10,000 2 hour movies as a high quality copy. This should cover all my movies, future movies and the old TV series I have on DVD. I'm not a fan of streaming services as I don't binge watch (no time for that) and they have a bad habit of dumping any large TV shows before I get through all the seasons. I'd rather store the DVDs/CDs at my home base than cart them around with me. I also don't mind adding extra hard drives if necessary since a hard drive is much smaller than a single DVD.

Able to handle music, as I have probably 1,000 or more CDs

Low power consumption, since solar will be the way forward

Not take up a lot of space, since there's not a lot of space on buses

Touchscreen pad controllable. I don't mind if I have to connect a keyboard, monitor and mouse for system maintenance, but I'd like to use a touchpad as a remote control.

Able to use a CD/DVD player so I can add new stuff on the fly. New CDs/DVDs can be stored on the bus until we return to home base.

=================================
Nice to have but not required -

Run a backup camera

Run a bus security system

Connect to the bus ECM for troubleshooting purposes. No need for real-time gauge outputs, I'm a fan of actual gauges

=================================
I don't intend to connect it to the internet. I intend to use two different routers, one hardwired to run the bus and AV system, then a second one for the internet although the second router might become an internet hot spot off the phone. The hardwired system would have wireless access only to connect to a pad to control the TV/stereo, and read trouble codes.

Ideally, recommendations will come with a list of stuff to buy and programs to download. Doing this now also lets me work out any kinks long before hitting the road. Thanks for any assistance anyone cares to provide.

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Old 05-18-2022, 02:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloc View Post
I'd like to build a video streaming server for my house that will eventually find its way on my bus. Problem is, I don't know the first thing about how to do this.

=================================
The requirements -

Linux based, but not a Linux version that you have to be an ubergeek to get around in. I'm comfortable in a Windows environment, but really don't like Microsoft and would like to get away from them. Plus my wife has to be able to use it.

Able to save, say, 10,000 2 hour movies as a high quality copy. This should cover all my movies, future movies and the old TV series I have on DVD. I'm not a fan of streaming services as I don't binge watch (no time for that) and they have a bad habit of dumping any large TV shows before I get through all the seasons. I'd rather store the DVDs/CDs at my home base than cart them around with me. I also don't mind adding extra hard drives if necessary since a hard drive is much smaller than a single DVD.

Able to handle music, as I have probably 1,000 or more CDs

Low power consumption, since solar will be the way forward

Not take up a lot of space, since there's not a lot of space on buses

Touchscreen pad controllable. I don't mind if I have to connect a keyboard, monitor and mouse for system maintenance, but I'd like to use a touchpad as a remote control.

Able to use a CD/DVD player so I can add new stuff on the fly. New CDs/DVDs can be stored on the bus until we return to home base.

=================================
Nice to have but not required -

Run a backup camera

Run a bus security system

Connect to the bus ECM for troubleshooting purposes. No need for real-time gauge outputs, I'm a fan of actual gauges

=================================
I don't intend to connect it to the internet. I intend to use two different routers, one hardwired to run the bus and AV system, then a second one for the internet although the second router might become an internet hot spot off the phone. The hardwired system would have wireless access only to connect to a pad to control the TV/stereo, and read trouble codes.

Ideally, recommendations will come with a list of stuff to buy and programs to download. Doing this now also lets me work out any kinks long before hitting the road. Thanks for any assistance anyone cares to provide.

I have tinkered with Media servers since the original Windows Home Server and Xbox360 integrations. I have done OpenMediaVault, Kodi, and a whole bunch of other solutions. Last year, i decided to make it simple and just buy a Synology NAS. I do server stuff at work all day and I just wanted a simple to maintain media server. I have been super happy with the Synology. Specifically, i have an RS1221+. I use it for my business, but it runs Plex great and can even stream in 4k with internet fully unplugged.


It doesn't hit every requirement on your list, but I will tell you that any system that does will have its drawbacks (like everything that can do everything, isn't the best at anything).


A few things, i wouldn't get a rackmount for your use, the standalones are more portable, quieter and cheaper.



You wont be able to directly rip a DVD or CD onto a NAS, youll need a local PC to manage the content (unless you just source the movies off a torrent or some other source that can run on a docker on the NAS).


They are low power and moveable with two plugs.


As far as NAS streaming, you can either have larger movie files that dont need transcoding, or a more powerful (expensive) nas that can do hardware transcoding.


I dont plan to take my NAS on the road, as it has business duties at home, but i may stream from it or netflix while traveling. If theres no internet or kids didnt download on their tablets, then they can look out the window like i did when i was a kid.


This is totally subjective and more nerds will be behind me, but i recommend the below setup to accomplish what your looking for. Its not the cheapest, but its probably a nice middle grouund to maintain.


1. Synology NAS running Plex. Can run dockers with Home Assistant or other services you need (audio streaming, podcast download, you name it). Also has SurvellienceStation for Security cameras if you want.

2. Laptop for content management. Can run Engine diagnostic or watch content on it, pay bills, etc.
3. Tablets to stream or be remote controls for radio, etc
4. Backup Camera (keep this on its own out of the box system)


If this interests, you, check out the below article and google a bunch more to shop around..
https://www.androidcentral.com/best-nas-plex


As far as diagnostic software, seems like alot of people like the Nexiq
https://www.diesellaptops.com/produc...ostic-software


Ill be rolling the dice on a Chinese clone for about $300.
I believe most that follow the RP1210 standard should work.


Currently i have a bluefire and its sufficient for additional data and trouble codes.
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Old 05-18-2022, 03:17 PM   #3
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A low cost and fairly well supported solution might be a Raspberry Pi 4 or one of the derivatives with something like Plex or Emby installed. I have a Pi 3 running Emby and it's not blazing fast but it does the job AND I can use it as a wireless access point/router as well using a package called RaspAP (found on github). On my last trip I did have trouble with the Pi getting too hot so I'm upgrading the case to one with a fan to see if that helps.

Your issue is going to be storage: you're going to need A LOT of it, and spinning rust (traditional moving hard drives) are not happy on a moving vehicle. Whatever you end up using, you'll want to make sure you use solid state storage: solid state drives, big USB drives, something like that.

A Synology NAS is actually a pretty clever idea too. You would need a separate wifi router but if you shop around for one that uses 12V DC power you can just hook it up to your battery system without any special power supply.
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Old 05-18-2022, 06:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloc View Post
I'd like to build a video streaming server for my house that will eventually find its way on my bus. Problem is, I don't know the first thing about how to do this.

=================================
The requirements -

Linux based, but not a Linux version that you have to be an ubergeek to get around in. I'm comfortable in a Windows environment, but really don't like Microsoft and would like to get away from them. Plus my wife has to be able to use it.

Able to save, say, 10,000 2 hour movies as a high quality copy. This should cover all my movies, future movies and the old TV series I have on DVD. I'm not a fan of streaming services as I don't binge watch (no time for that) and they have a bad habit of dumping any large TV shows before I get through all the seasons. I'd rather store the DVDs/CDs at my home base than cart them around with me. I also don't mind adding extra hard drives if necessary since a hard drive is much smaller than a single DVD.

Able to handle music, as I have probably 1,000 or more CDs

Low power consumption, since solar will be the way forward

Not take up a lot of space, since there's not a lot of space on buses

Touchscreen pad controllable. I don't mind if I have to connect a keyboard, monitor and mouse for system maintenance, but I'd like to use a touchpad as a remote control.

Able to use a CD/DVD player so I can add new stuff on the fly. New CDs/DVDs can be stored on the bus until we return to home base.

=================================
Nice to have but not required -

Run a backup camera

Run a bus security system

Connect to the bus ECM for troubleshooting purposes. No need for real-time gauge outputs, I'm a fan of actual gauges

=================================
I don't intend to connect it to the internet. I intend to use two different routers, one hardwired to run the bus and AV system, then a second one for the internet although the second router might become an internet hot spot off the phone. The hardwired system would have wireless access only to connect to a pad to control the TV/stereo, and read trouble codes.

Ideally, recommendations will come with a list of stuff to buy and programs to download. Doing this now also lets me work out any kinks long before hitting the road. Thanks for any assistance anyone cares to provide.
What it seems like you want is a PLEX server.
Basically, it's a dumbed-down media server that's only slightly larger than an app, and most of your modern smart TV's can find and connect to it.

You should be able to utilize your TV remote to watch (or listen to) anything you want on a PLEX server.

Of course, you're talking about 1.6 GB (for 2Hrs @ FHD quality) x 10K, so you'd need at least 16 TB for storage, plus some for audio/CD's. Add another 1 TB storage per FHD cam for ~60 days storage.

Fortunately, most NAS systems these days are capable of running a PLEX server as a baseline app/package, so pretty much any reputable maker should suffice. NAS units are built to be low-power, and all that I've seen and played around with are running some kind of linux or another.

Add a Raspberry Pi to the mix, and complete it with the Pi Touchscreen kit, and you've got yourself fixed for most of what you want.

You could also go with something like a NUC, or a (fanless?) mini-itx board and run something like (X/K/L)Ubuntu on a home-built box and accomplish the same goals, albeit with more power (-hungry).

But mostly, A Synology box with an RPi should do everything you need it to, as well as be able to fill in for a word processor or whatever you might suddenly need for whatever reason.

With a halfway decent router, you could easily wire them all up and keep them on a separate sub-net and limit that sub-net from accessing the WWW if you wanted to.
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Old 05-18-2022, 06:09 PM   #5
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oh, and if you get a multibay NAS, you can also run it in a RAID array for data redundancy at the cost of hard drive space, most can handle mirroring (RAID 1), and your better ones can handle striping w/parity (RAID 5).

Because the mechanical aspects of drives don't do well in a mobile/camping 'environment', I would HIGHLY advise going with something that has some kind of redundancy, so you don't lose your data--even if it's nothing but movies/music. Saying this as a guy who's lost a few hundred gigs of entertainment in the past before.
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Old 05-18-2022, 06:21 PM   #6
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following!

i have a qnap nas and run surveilance station. plex is available, i just never messed with it. i can see this 2 bay nas living in the bus some day. if you did a lot a of 4k video, you'd need the storage.

the surveilance station is kinda..... sketch. as far as a camera system, i think im going to try ubiquity products on the bus.

i use ubiquity at the house and its impressive, does what you want without every touching it. i want to hook their Cloudkey up to my bus router, hard wire 1-4 cameras to a switch, and let it do its thing. it'd be a self contained unit for surveillance only. ubiqutiy is proprietary and only uses their own stuff so its kinda pricey.

it'd be a bonus if you could remove the sideview mirrors and use the camera system instead.
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Old 05-18-2022, 07:37 PM   #7
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Is this . . .

What you are looking for?
https://www.amazon.com/2018-Brennan-.../dp/B07DFCHB32
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Old 05-18-2022, 08:42 PM   #8
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I have never used one, but you could also use an Nvidia Shield and external hard drive to run plex. Possibly one of the cheaper out of the box options..
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Old 05-18-2022, 08:54 PM   #9
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for a media server thats on the road in a bus, spindle drives are the last thing id use.. id use SSD... SSD's main failures come from excessive write operations.. a media server is generally a read-only device except for some admin functions but the medfia files themselves are read and read over and over but only writes are when you delete one and swap it for new movies.. this is small in the general world of wear-levelling SSD;s



for a mobile camera DVR, spindle drives are about the only thing you can use with all of the writes performed.. in those cases I put the machine on dampners and run 5400 RPM drives that have less tendency to gyroscope than the faster SAS (10k/15k) spindles...
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Old 05-19-2022, 08:05 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone, I'll take a look at the suggestions.
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Old 05-19-2022, 10:42 PM   #11
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+1 for plex server. Nas with ssd is easiest. I'll probably start with an old mini pc I've got laying around and pop in a decent sized ssd. No redundancy but may sync it to something larger at home when I'm there? My TV's all have Roku's on them so plex streaming is easy.

Keep a separate laptop or tablet for running your diagnostics software and for your general internet browsing and management. Bluefire is good for on-the-to monitoring via a tablet but the actual pc based mfr software with nexiq is best for in depth troubleshooting.

I'll be using ubiquiti unifi security cameras. Viewable via a web page or android app (which will be one of the many tablets mounted on my smart-dash) over local wifi when on the bus and stream able over internet when I'm not. Ip cameras are Not great for Lane changes, but good enough for parked security and making sure I haven't lost my toad going down the road.

Smart routing (sdwan) will balance between starlink, wifi Uplink and cellular to maximize bandwidth and minimize cellular usage.
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Old 05-20-2022, 06:37 AM   #12
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I was wondering how good the unifi cameras are.. I have unifi LR6 AP's at home and they are fantastic.. as is every other unifi AP ive used or installed..
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Old 05-20-2022, 10:01 AM   #13
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I was wondering how good the unifi cameras are.. I have unifi LR6 AP's at home and they are fantastic.. as is every other unifi AP ive used or installed..
I use them in both my shops. Pretty decent quality both in build and video at their price point. It'll be interesting to see how well they hold up in a mobile installation.
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Old 05-20-2022, 11:42 AM   #14
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i downloaded plex last night and its still searching my nas for media. i had my last security system (reolink) setup on the nas and its found about 14000 little videos of the wind blowing in my yard.

plex looks interesting but im going to wait for it to stop searching before i look around too much.

as far as cameras.... the ubiquity is my 3rd set of security cameras. i havent sprung for a gen4 camera yet, but probably will try one.

the gen 3 cameras are fine high quality cameras equal to the reolink cameras i have at double the cost. the reolink infred night vision was crude but very bright. the ubiquity night vision IR is more refined, not as noticeable.

the issue i have with the reolink system is where it runs. it stored video to the nas, but it ran on a desktop, separate from either. to run it on the nas, you need to use the nas software to take over the cameras. its supposed to do everything but it takes multiple programs, qvr pro, qvr client,.....not a clean solution. i think i only had it setup to record continuously, for event detection the cameras needed.....more.

the ubiquity system runs on its own appliance. in my case i have the router, and it just works. from the second i plugged in a camera.... worked. i can see my cameras on my cell phone a hundred miles away. i never reached that level of "working" with these other systems. even though it says its all possible, you just need another program to add to the nas.

plex isnt stuck checking out the drive in my router for media

i'll test out a camera mobile and see how the system handles it. i can plug a wifi cam into a vehcile and drive around and see how it records.

right now my house camera (gen3) is about 50' away from the street and cannot read license plates. i'd like it to be able to do that on the road. maybe being closer would help.
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Old 05-20-2022, 01:00 PM   #15
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that was fun!

i put the wifi cam in the car and went around the block.

apparently my wifi cuts out about 1000' from the AP for the video cam, then comes back on as i return near the house.

i uploaded the return clip from the ubiquity system. this is their cheapest $30 camera. it did not make out the license plate of the passing vehicle.

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Old 05-20-2022, 01:12 PM   #16
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My shops are all gen3 bullets. Good enough to make out somebody in the shop but can't pull plates from a distance for sure. The gen4 are supposed to be 4k if I recall right. I'm looking at the pro version for the bus as that one is actually rated for weatherproofing (don't recall what level) whereas the gen3 and the non pro are just "water resistant" - fine on a building but probably not so great mounted on a bus driving through rain.

I particularly like that I can stream live or recorded video off them locally through my local network (or punched through my firewall) or remotely proxying off their cloud. Cuts down on internet bandwidth and latency when I'm right next to the box.
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Old 05-25-2022, 05:16 PM   #17
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[10000 2 hours movies would take you nearly 3 years to watch if you watched 24 hrs a day every day for almost 3 years.,
I'd start with a more realistic goal. the average 2 hour movie at 1080P occupies about 7 or 8 GB there are 1000 GBs in a terabyte. Use KISS principle. Maybe check Dell site for a Windows 11 low profile computer with HDMI port and a large hardrive. Then ditch all the moviews you can do without and recalculate. Good luck Alternative is Smart TV Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Apple TV. QUOTE=Veloc;472594]I'd like to build a video streaming server for my house that will eventually find its way on my bus. Problem is, I don't know the first thing about how to do this.

=================================
The requirements -

Linux based, but not a Linux version that you have to be an ubergeek to get around in. I'm comfortable in a Windows environment, but really don't like Microsoft and would like to get away from them. Plus my wife has to be able to use it.

Able to save, say, 10,000 2 hour movies as a high quality copy. This should cover all my movies, future movies and the old TV series I have on DVD. I'm not a fan of streaming services as I don't binge watch (no time for that) and they have a bad habit of dumping any large TV shows before I get through all the seasons. I'd rather store the DVDs/CDs at my home base than cart them around with me. I also don't mind adding extra hard drives if necessary since a hard drive is much smaller than a single DVD.

Able to handle music, as I have probably 1,000 or more CDs

Low power consumption, since solar will be the way forward

Not take up a lot of space, since there's not a lot of space on buses

Touchscreen pad controllable. I don't mind if I have to connect a keyboard, monitor and mouse for system maintenance, but I'd like to use a touchpad as a remote control.

Able to use a CD/DVD player so I can add new stuff on the fly. New CDs/DVDs can be stored on the bus until we return to home base.

=================================
Nice to have but not required -

Run a backup camera

Run a bus security system

Connect to the bus ECM for troubleshooting purposes. No need for real-time gauge outputs, I'm a fan of actual gauges

=================================
I don't intend to connect it to the internet. I intend to use two different routers, one hardwired to run the bus and AV system, then a second one for the internet although the second router might become an internet hot spot off the phone. The hardwired system would have wireless access only to connect to a pad to control the TV/stereo, and read trouble codes.

Ideally, recommendations will come with a list of stuff to buy and programs to download. Doing this now also lets me work out any kinks long before hitting the road. Thanks for any assistance anyone cares to provide.[/QUOTE]
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Old 05-25-2022, 06:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloc View Post
=================================
The requirements -

Linux based, but not a Linux version that you have to be an ubergeek to get around in. I'm comfortable in a Windows environment, but really don't like Microsoft and would like to get away from them. Plus my wife has to be able to use it.

Able to save, say, 10,000 2 hour movies as a high quality copy. This should cover all my movies, future movies and the old TV series I have on DVD. I'm not a fan of streaming services as I don't binge watch (no time for that) and they have a bad habit of dumping any large TV shows before I get through all the seasons. I'd rather store the DVDs/CDs at my home base than cart them around with me. I also don't mind adding extra hard drives if necessary since a hard drive is much smaller than a single DVD.

Able to handle music, as I have probably 1,000 or more CDs

Low power consumption, since solar will be the way forward

Not take up a lot of space, since there's not a lot of space on buses

Touchscreen pad controllable. I don't mind if I have to connect a keyboard, monitor and mouse for system maintenance, but I'd like to use a touchpad as a remote control.

Able to use a CD/DVD player so I can add new stuff on the fly. New CDs/DVDs can be stored on the bus until we return to home base.

=================================
Nice to have but not required -

Run a backup camera

Run a bus security system

Connect to the bus ECM for troubleshooting purposes. No need for real-time gauge outputs, I'm a fan of actual gauges

=================================
I don't intend to connect it to the internet. I intend to use two different routers, one hardwired to run the bus and AV system, then a second one for the internet although the second router might become an internet hot spot off the phone. The hardwired system would have wireless access only to connect to a pad to control the TV/stereo, and read trouble codes.

Ideally, recommendations will come with a list of stuff to buy and programs to download. Doing this now also lets me work out any kinks long before hitting the road. Thanks for any assistance anyone cares to provide.
Honestly it sounds like you need two, a frontend system and a backend system. The backend system needs lots of space and something like Emby or Jellyfin (Or Plex if you like, it's not my favorite, especially in a disconnected system), the frontend system is where you (And the wife) interact with it. And actually, with your second requirement (ripping discs) sounds like you might need two, one for ripping (Disc drive and a beefy CPU) and one for playing (Codec support and a client to talk to the backend).

Encoding movies (Especially HD) requires a ton of CPU cycles (And thus power), hence why I recommend a PC-based system that can read the discs and software like MakeMKV or HandBrake to do the ripping and encoding. Once the movie is finished, as long as they fit on the server and are in codecs/container formats the frontend supports, all the backend has to do is read them and stream them out. Personally, I've just finished re-working all my encoding profiles from h.264/AC3 to h.265/(EAC3 or Opus) and that 2-hour, full-HD movie fits in 1.5-2GB.

Playing movies is actually the easy part. There are tons of cheap Chinese Android tv (Not AndroidTV) boxes available online. These run from 5w DC power (Wall wart) and capable of driving up to a 4k display (I only run 1080), and can be had for as low as $25 with remote and HDMI cable. These pared with some decent home theater software (Kodi is my favorite, and wife-approved after a little training) play h.264 and even h.265 HDR content (Up to BluRay quality) with no effort or fan noise. Some have a bastardized Kodi install, but that's removable and you can side-load the official Kodi Android APK from their website with a tiny bit of effort. If you want this as simple as possible, I recommend a 4G/64GB Android box, since the cheapest 1G/16GB boxes struggle a little with modern Android (7+) and Kodi (18.0+). For those who are willing to put in a little more effort, there's CoreElec and OpenElec (Micro Linux distros, "Just enough Linux to run Kodi") that make even the bottom-rung Android boxes run like new.

SSD drives would be much better in a bus, vibration and temperature wise, but since SSD is expensive, I would optimize your encoding profile to squeeze as much size out of the movie as possible without the video going to crap. Even at < 2GB per movie, 10,000 movies is close to 20TB. If your SSDs are SATA-based you can put them into pretty much any NAS system and it should work. QNAP and Synology both produces systems that should suit your requirements, though you're going to have to decide between price, robustness, and capacity, and you may have to learn some about VMs or Containers to get the most out of a NAS device.

You will want your system to communicate with the outside world at some point, unless you want to type in all your music metadata by hand and don't mind not having any information (Cover art, rating, synopsis, etc) about your movie collection.

CD rips are almost a gimmie anymore. Opus audio is absolutely TINY with amazing audio as long as your device can play it. Also, hard drives are NOT smaller than CDs (7-800MB), DVDs (4-9GB), or even BluRays (25-50GB), unless you mean physically.

Backup / security cameras are a whole other thing, as is data logging for the bus.
synestine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2022, 10:04 PM   #19
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I almost always load media files via sneakernet, if im at home ill load them via the home wifi but if out and about its pretty slow to load gigs-long media files at a starnucls or other public WiFi... im not sure if you get rippsed by something like starlink for downloading 100 gigs or more in a month or not..
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Old 05-26-2022, 01:32 AM   #20
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Just to pile on here and toss another vote for Plex. I have been using Plex for maybe 12 years and love it. My primary system runs at home on my DIY NAS serving up several terabytes of TV shows, movies, and music.

When we started doing more of the bus thing (not full-timers), I decided that I wanted to have Plex on the road to provide entertainment without having to worry about burning up that oh so $$$ mobile Internet. I tossed it on a Raspberry Pi 4 with a 500 GB Samsung T5 SSD. I selectively copy files from the home server to the server on the bus. For the viewing part of the equation, I use a Google Chromecast. It's a neat setup that is very easy on the power consumption.
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