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HDR networking and XBMC

#1
I've been playing around with networking the HDR, so far just to understand what can be done rather than with a clear use in mind. I'm a bit puzzled!

The HDR is connected to a Devolo plug by ethernet. My iMac ( OS X 10.4.11 ) is linked via airport and another Devolo at the other end of the house. The HDR's internet connection works fine, though it seems I have to reconnect to the network via settings every time I start it up. Shouldn't this be automatic?

Although the network connection clearly works I cannot see the HDR from my iMac. Nor can I see the iMac from the HDR ( ie if I select Network from Media it searches for a while then says no servers found ). After a bit of research I thought a DLNA server was needed on the iMac and installed XBMC. After fiddling with the settings XBMC found the HDR and happily played recorded files ( though with subtitles showing which did not show when played on the HDR directly ).

However I still cannot access the iMac from the HDR with XBMC running. I thought XBMC provided a DLNA server with the HDR should find.

So why can't the HDR see the iMac and shouldn't the HDR show up in Finder?
 
#2
I thought XBMC provided a DLNA server with the HDR should find.
XBMC is a media player (client) not a server. See the XBMC Wiki.

There are DLNA servers available for Mac. Having tried most of the ones that Google throws up, I use Twonky. It's not free, but it's not that costly and it does at least work, which none of the free ones I tried did (though things might have moved on since I last went through that tedious process).

Bear in mind that the Humax is picky about what video formats & containers it will play over DLNA.

shouldn't the HDR show up in Finder?
In general, only Apple devices on the local network which have sharing turned on will show up in the Finder automatically. This Apple knowledgebase article explains how to access an FTP server from the Finder (access is read only, to be able to write to the server you need to run a full FTP client application on the iMac, such as FileZilla).

You've already worked out how to access the HDR's DLNA server via XBMC (other DLNA clients are available, eg VLC).

The HDR is connected to a Devolo plug by ethernet... The HDR's internet connection works fine, though it seems I have to reconnect to the network via settings every time I start it up. Shouldn't this be automatic?
Can't help you there I'm afraid, my Humax connects automatically first time, every time.

I refuse to have anything to do with Homeplugs, though I suppose I am lucky in that I was able to run a LAN cable under the floor from my router to my media unit. My TV, Blu-Ray player and the Humax share that connection via a cheap (<£20) Gigabit switch which hides out of the way at the back of the unit.
 
#3
Thanks for that - I'd seen a lot of references which seemed to suggest that XBMC was a server as well but your link makes it crystal clear. I'll look into Filezilla - though as I say I'm playing around rather than meeting a specific need. However sometimes when you find something is possible you find a new need.
The homeplugs work well for me. A listed building, thick stone walls, solid floors - it doesn't make for easy networking.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#4
I thought XBMC was capable of providing DLNA server, but I could be wrong (and I'm talking PC). Subtitles are a config setting in XBMC. I use HomePlug with no problems.

Are your HDR Internet Settings set to DHCP or manual?
 
#8
Aha - found it. The subtitles menu in XBMC controls font, size, position etc - everything except on or off. That, as said above, is on the Video menu where it's called teletext rather than subtitles.

Back to the XBMC as server issue - on the network menu there are a number of settings which look as though that's what they are for. Eg Allow Control of XBMC though UPnP, Share Video and Music Libraries through UPnP, Allow Other Programs to control XBMC......... If these do indicate some sort of server capability why can't the HDR see XBMC? All these settings are on and the fact that XBMC can see the HDR must mean both are UPnP capable.

Still confused ( but getting used to it ).
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#9
"Allow control of XBMC" suggests the DLNA "renderer" function which allows another device with a controller function to command XBMC remotely - not useful here.

"Share libraries" is what you want - that should make it visible to the HD/HDR-FOX through the Media >> Storage >> Network menu.
 
#10
"Share libraries" is what you want - that should make it visible to the HD/HDR-FOX through the Media >> Storage >> Network menu.
Share Libraries is set, and I've just checked my Mac's sharing and firewall settings and can find nothing there to stop the HDR getting access. Selecting Media/Storage/Network results in the HDR searching for a couple of minutes then displaying "No Server Found".

I'm wondering if installing the custom firmware might help, if not by actually solving the question then by letting me see what's going on.
 
#11
Aha! Its not enough to set sharing, you have to turn the Mac's firewall off completely. Not sure I like the idea of that but it does enable the HDR to see the XBMC server on the Mac. Apparently XBMC has had a server built in since Jan 2007 but some parts of the Wiki do not reflect that.

I'll have a play then turn the Firewall back on.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#12
I don't know Macs, but I should think once you know what you need you ought to be able to let the relevant packets through the firewall. At least by turning it off you have a proof of concept.

The custom firmware/software will not help with regard to watching the standard firmware do its stuff, but it will show you all the parameters for each recording (as used by the DLNA search - the other way from what you're doing). It will also mount a networked drive as a virtual USB, bypassing DLNA completely (important before .27/.28 because of the 4GB playback cut-off). Beware of .20 in this application.
 
#13
Correction to my earlier post regarding subtitles - disabling teletext on the main video settings pane does not turn off subtitles. They are on by default and to cancel them you click the speaker icon whilst playing a file then from the pane that pops up you can switch them off for the current program and set the default for all. Hmm - sounds like an afterthought but never mind.

Meanwhile I can still only see XBMC on the Mac from the HDR whilst the firewall is off. I've tried setting up a new service for XBMC on port 8080 but no joy - the options on OSX 10.4.11 are fairly limited, though many seem to reckon that prior to 10.5 it's Ok to run without a firewall anyway. Odd thing is although I can see the Mac from the HDR I can't actually see any of the files XBMC can see. The file structure seen from the HDR does not correspond with what I see on the Mac.

I'm not sure I'll actually use this connectivity but it's become an intriguing puzzle......