Sunday, December 28, 2014

DLNA Streaming from Linux --> 1st Gen Sony GoogleTV

While cleaning up my wife's tablet I found a few hundred photos/videos from 2010-2011 time frame.  I copied them all to offline storage.  My kids were having a ball watching younger versions of themselves over my shoulder, so I thought, why can't I just stream this stuff?

The Sony GoogleTV already supports streaming from other DLNA devices.  This generally includes a lot of devices, like Windows laptops, that appear on the network and make videos and pictures available to DLNA clients.

I tried a few different approaches in Linux before I found one that just worked right out of the box.

First, there's MiniDLNA (now called ReadyMedia).  This project is "sort of" supported by Ubuntu with a separate repo.  However the objects in that old repo seem out of date, and the only way to get this up and running with the latest and greatest version is by building it from source.  I didn't want to mess with that this morning, so I moved on without even giving this one a go.

Next, I found MediaTomb.  While this was relatively easy to set up under Ubuntu, I couldn't get my Sony GTV to recognize it.  My phone w/ a DLNA client, however, *would* recognize it, but it refused to play any of the content.  I messed w/ the config file and uncommented some lines for the PS3, Google'd around a bit, didn't find any solution.  Uninstalled, moving on.

I looked around for Plex, which I know is popular, but it is commerical and I didn't really like the license terms, so I moved on.

I finally found Rygel, which installed easily under Mint/Ubuntu and in literally minutes I had it running.  I also installed the companion app, rygel-preferences, which made it super easy to point to specific folders that had the content I wanted to publish. 

I did have to run "rygel &" from the commandline to start the server, but after that the Sony GTV discovered it immediately and the kids could look at all 6GB of short movies and photos.

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