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Newbie Questions

Discussion in 'HDR-FOX T2 Freeview Recorder' started by spinquark, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. spinquark

    spinquark New Member

    First post so be gentle.

    I am looking for a tv/network box that will connect my TV up to my home network to allow video and Photographs to be streamed from my synology network NAS and/or laptops to the TV. Also to record TV programs. Also to tune into Freeview HD (no Freeview HD tuner in my TV). I would like to use an Ipod Touch to wirelessly control playback etc. That is Ipod Touch(3g) acts as DLNA Controller, Synology NAS or HDR-Fox T2 act as DLNA media server, HDR-Fox T2 acts as DLNA renderer outputting to TV via HDMI.

    Does the HDR-Fox T2 meet these requirements ?
    Does the HDR-Fox T2 show up as a DLNA renderer on a home network ?
    Can I access the HDR-Fox T2 over the network through a web interface ?
    I have a few DLNA apps on my touch which I use for music streaming from the NAS: DS Audio, DS Photo, PlugPlayer, MLPlayer Lite, iMediaControl, UPnPPeek. Will these work with the HDR-Fox T2 as the DLNA renderer ?
    Is there an Ipod Touch network remote control App for the HDR-Fox T2 ?

    Any help or advice appreciated.
  2. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    I'm afraid you are asking a bit much. This is all way too sophisticated for something like the HDR-FOX.

    As far as DLNA goes, the HDR can either serve its content (and if you want it to serve HiDef recordings you will have to customise it), or act as a client and present streamed content to the connected TV. That's all. Even the customisations have not so far found ways of controlling its operation, when used as a client the only means we have to control it is by the standard handset.

    Actually, as it stands (current official firmware), even the DLNA client is broken in that it won't stream more than 4GB from a remote file.

    However, that said, the HDR-FOX is a competent dual-tuner FreeviewHD PVR with network capabilities, and the customised software gets around its more annoying (imposed DRM) restrictions.
  3. Sam Widges

    Sam Widges Active Member

    The HDR-T2 can act as a DLNA client or server, but I would class the client as a DLNA player, not a renderer.
    If you install the customised firmware, there is a web interface that allows program scheduling and EPG browsing, but not full remote control (as BH says). There is an iPhone app for that interface as well (not sure if that would work with your iPod Touch, though)
  4. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    It does. The iPod Touch (AKA iTouch) is essentially an iPhone but no camera* or phone functions (GSM). It can still communicate by WiFi.

    * I think more recent iTouch models might have a camera.
  5. spinquark

    spinquark New Member

    Thanks for responses so far.

    Humph. I think I need to brush up some more on the DLNA model. All this talk of DLNA client vs DLNA player vs DLNA renderer has got me somewhat confused. DLNA Player just seems to be a combined DLNA controller and renderer (?!). Not sure what DLNA client means as I didnt think DLNA was just a client-server model but is more sophisticated than that and dont see this term used/defined on the DLNA org website. Perhaps this is just a pseudonym for DLNA Player ?

    It seems surprising that there is no way to control the HDR-T2 across the network for two reasons. Firstly I would have thought DLNA capable meant the DLNA services running on the box should by definition be addressable over the network. All that is normally required is to know the URL for the DLNA service. (Could it be that the HDR-T2 DLNA renderer service is effectively hard coded to only see or respond to the HDR-T2 DLNA controller service ?) Secondly the commands from the remote (infra-red presumably) will have to be translated into programmatic commands on the box, so these commands must presumably exist to be called/accessed directly by a suitable service running on the box in response to inputs received over the network. Admitedly someone would have to code up such a customised service, but it would seem possible for the right geeks even if well beyond me.

    I have found the DLNA Server, Controller, Renderer model so effective for streaming and controlling music. I can, for example, run one itouch App to control the streaming of a music track from the Synology to my stereo via the synology USB audio rendering interface, whilst simultaneously running another itouch App to control the streaming of a different music track from the same Synology to another renderer device (e.g. my daughter's itouch). It seems very difficult to understand why exactly the same model is not readily available for video and photo streaming to a television. (I can stream photos from the Synology as server using one itouch as controller and the other as renderer for example). After all, people have written any number of ipod DLNA controller Apps as mentioned in my first post.

    Is there anyone out there that has a HDR-T2 and an ipod touch or iphone ? If so does the HDR-T2 show up on the devices page within the PlugPlayer App (Only £2.99) ? If so does it appear as a Media Renderer or a Media Server or both (As an ipod touch does) ?

    Hoping for further insights before investing hard earned in an HDR-T2.
  6. Sam Widges

    Sam Widges Active Member

    Sorry for the confusion - several sites refer to clients and servers, but you are right DLNA itself doesn't refer to clients, but renderers, players, controllers etc. I suspect that the HDR-T2 is a player, but it would be interesting if you could stream to other devices as directed by a controller.
  7. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    Please note we are not steeped in the official word on the "DLNA model", we are not using the precise terms you would expect from a DLNA technical document, the idea of a "client" and "server" is good enough for us.

    As far as we are concerned there are players which are able to access the content of the HDR-FOX using UPnP (DLNA), and we call these "clients". That includes the HD-FOX, XBMC (on a PC), and I believe there are clients for iPhone/iTouch/iPad/Android. The "server" stores, and supplies the media file on demand. We have no concept of a "renderer" because the HD/HDR-FOX doesn't have that capability or enable that capability on anything else (as far as I know). In particular, not the HDR-FOX is not DLNA-certified, only to some extent compatible.

    I personally routinely stream from an HDR-FOX to a HD-FOX, and I have also experimented (successfully) with streaming from a DLNA-capable NAS to the HD-FOX and HDR-FOX. If you want more than that you are barking up the wrong tree - but unless you invest in a media centre PC and equip it with the software to do what you want, I don't think you will find what you want in a stand-alone box (certainly not at this price). The market for audio streaming is far more developed.

    For topics about clients (including iPhone), look in the Index (click) under Standard Software... Streaming.

    How about you being gentle with us?
  8. spinquark

    spinquark New Member

    Thanks again Sam and Black Hole. I guess I have jumped in the deep end a bit.

    Just started to search the forum for iphone/ipod touch/ipad references. Found something very brief from Parish so far - trying for a conversation with him. Will check out the index too as you suggest.

    As ever I would like to use non-proprietary standards (DLNA) to avoid buying an endless number of home computers and proprietary boxes. To my mind a TV should only be a display device, then need a separate black box to connect it and the stereo to the home network, and finally a handheld remote (ipod touch). Same type of model as HiFi separates. Some manufacturers must surely see this model as a way to beat Apple, Sony, Sonos etc proprietary stuff.
  9. parish

    parish Member

    For the iPhone I have Media:Connect + Flex Player which will work with the HDR-T2

    Media:Connect accesses the HDR-T2 but needs Flex Player to actually play content as iDevices don't have native support for MPEG2. Needless to say, HD content is not available as the HDR-T2 doesn't allow it to be accessed via DLNA
  10. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    We have ways around that!
  11. spinquark

    spinquark New Member

    Thanks Parish.

    Can you clarify how the HDR-T2 is recognised by Media:Connect.

    1. Does it appear on the list of Media Renderers found on the network when you select the Controller button in Media:Connect ?
    2. Does it appear on the list of Media Servers found on the network when you select the Player button in Media:Connect ?
    3. Have you tried using Media:Connect as a controller with the HDR-T2 as renderer ? (e.g. to stream content from a NAS or PC on your network)
  12. ChrisDaniels

    ChrisDaniels Well-Known Member

    The HD (with a HDD) & HDR are DLNA Client/Servers only.

    When the HD or HDR is in client mode (when you access it through the on-screen menu), they can access certain media types from across the network.
    Server mode is always on.

    AFAIK, Media:Connect for iDevices cannot control the HD or HDR boxes. No external application can.

    It would also appear that the boxes are now officially certified. This was not the case originally.
    See the certificate for the HDR here. The DLNA website is here.

    Server, Player & Renderer are explained on this page.
  13. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    Player: "These devices find content on digital media servers (DMS) and provide playback and rendering capabilities"

    Not exactly a lucid definition is it? Does that imply that a Player (by definition) has to be capable of being a Renderer too? If so, the Humax client isn't a Player (or at least we don't think it is), and we are justified in referring to it as a client because it doesn't fit any of the DLNA definitions.

    On the other hand, if a Player is a combined Controller/Renderer (but acceptable that it is only able to control itself), perhaps we can talk of the Humax as being a Player... but I'm still happy to talk about a client-server relationship because that is common with other networking discussions.
  14. ChrisDaniels

    ChrisDaniels Well-Known Member

    The certificate says Player/Server (DMP/DMS).
    I've found a DLNA guidelines document here which might shed more light.

    The DLNA certificate states DLNA Guidelines Version 1.5.
  15. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    OK, all good stuff. I shall (when I get around to it) make suitable accommodation in the Glossary.
  16. parish

    parish Member

    It appears in the Client Manager, even when it's not connected and appears in Player only when it's connected.

    As someone else replied, you can't control it from media:connect

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. hugoread

    hugoread Member

    I use PlugPlayer, which I have bought for both my iPod Touch (2G) and my Samsung Galaxy S phone. As an aside, I use this great app to stream all my music from my QNAP NAS to my hi-fi. I generally leave the iPod Touch plugged in as the renderer and I use my Android phone as a controller, works great.

    I also have a HDR-T2 and in the devices list of PlugPlayer it does indeed show up as a Media Server, listed as "HDR-FOX T2 Media Server". If I select this as the server, all the video content from my HDR-T2 does show up on the phone/iPod in PlugPlayer, but none of the files will play! I get an error message saying, for example, "Error Playing Noggin the Nog.ts" (don't ask). But this probably isn't surprising, as files are encrypted on the T2. Anyway, the HDR-T2 is a GREAT device and I happily play all the other mp4 video I have served by TwonkyMedia from my NAS server on the HDR-T2. It very happily acts as a DLNA player (ie a combined controller and renderer).

    I'm now very interested by Black Hole's point that he has successfully streamed from a HDR-T2 to a HD-T2. I've got a second telly in a different room and I'm really interested in playing back the content from my HDR-T2 on the other telly. If I can also get a HD freeview tuner at the same time and also play back my other video files from my network, all on a second HD-T2 (£90 on Amazon), then I'm buying!

    I'd be interested in knowing how any of these DLNA set-ups develop, so do post back with what you go for. I agree that the only way forward is non-proprietary separates for streaming audio and video around the house.
  18. hugoread

    hugoread Member

    Hi Black Hole. This comment *really* interests me! I've got a HDR-T2, which I love, but I've got another telly in a different room and I want to be able to play stuff stored on the HDR-T2 on this other telly. So it sounds like from what you said that I can get a HD-T2, which will greatly improve my telly for a start, making it HD and vastly improving the hopeless guide that's built into the telly, but crucially from what you've said it sounds like I could use it to play the stuff on my HDR-T2. Is that right? My whole house is networked, so they would both be plugged in. Also crucially from what you've said, I should also be able to play the other video I have on my NAS that I can currently play on my HDR-T2.

    Does all that sound right to you? If so, I'm buying today! Presumably I need this... http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0036TGN8K

    I imagine the portal has the same functionality as the HDR-T2? (sorry, a slightly different point I know).

    Hugo Read
  19. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    Yes, the HD-FOX does what you want, it will stream StDef and HiDef straight off the HDR-FOX with no issues and no customising required, except the 4GB bug limits the HiDef capability somewhat. iPlayer etc absolutely fine, and as you plan to give it an aerial feed you won't have any trouble with time sync.

    On the other point, any DLNA client should be able to access the StDef content, because it gets decrypted on the fly when it is streamed. HiDef content still has DRM (unless you use the custom software to unlock it) but the HD-FOX can handle the DRM.
  20. hugoread

    hugoread Member

    Great. I've just bought one and will post back once I've set up and let you know how it all works. My only slight worry is the inability to scan through programmes when streaming from the HDR to the HD - ie dealing with the dreaded adverts. If only there were a function like in the old MyStuff Topfield interface where the four coloured buttons jumped a programme by different times (5 mins, 1 min, 30 secs, or backwards 30 secs), which allowed you to get through the adds in three quick buttons pushes. Soon perhaps!

    On this point I'm not sure why PlugPlayer doesn't manage to stream the programmes. It is a great little app, certainly for music. I'll post again if I find anything out.