Streaming from Computer with Netgear, Roku, and Linux
I wanted to Stream my own music collection, Family Photo’s and Home Movies from my Computer to my Big Screen TV in another room. My computer is a Home Brewed one with a AMD 64 CPU, 4GB of Ram, and a 500GB Hard Drive, Running Linux Mint 17. I have a 3 Terabyte USB External Hard drive for storage, and a 120 GB USB External Hard Drive hooked to the USB Port on my Netgear 900N WNRD3700v3 Wireless router. I Bought a Roku Streaming Stick to hook to my TV. I have my computer hooked to a Lan (Local Area Network) and a couple of other computers hooked to it Wirelessly through the Netgear Router. The Roku Found my Network and I was able to hook to the Internet and stream movies from the Internet to my Big Screen TV in another room.
The problem was I wanted to stream Home Movies, Photo’s and My Music Collection stored on my computer. To do that I needed a server Like Plex, Roksbox, and Apache. I downloaded Plex, only to find out that after 30 days I would have to pay and found out that Rocksbox was probably the same. Then when I tried Plex I could not get it to recognize my music, Photos, or home movies. To many problems trying to setup Plex or Roksbox and my collections so they could access and read contents of my collections.
I then installed Apache2 From the Linux repo’s. I got it to work partway, but Could not get it configured so that Roku could see it. I did not want it to go onto the Internet and just wanted it to act as a server for Roku and my computer on the Lan. I was about to give up when I remembered that the Netgear router had something called “ReadyShare” “USB_Storage” and that Roku Found on my Local Network. I took a 120 GB USB External Hard drive and hooked to the USB Port on the router. I then copied 3 folders called Movies, Music, and Photos to it. Put part of my Music collection in Music and several family pictures with jpg format in Photos. Then in my Roku from the TV I choose a Free Roku Channel to stream from my ReadyShare on the router. Roku found ReadyShare and USB_Storage and in USB_Storage it found the Folders that I had put on the drive. I selected The Music folder and Viola I was streaming music from my music collection. I did the same with my photo’s and looked at several family Photos.
I now need to put a line in my FSTAB so that the External USB Drive on ReadyShare will load when I boot the computer. This is so I can add more Media. It is not necessary to do that once you have all of the media on the ReadyShare USB_Storage drive, as Roku will see it on the lan without having to add anything to FSTAB. Maybe someday I will get Apache2 working so I can Stream from my computers Hard drive and my big USB3 External Drive. This would be faster because the USB Port on the Router is only USB2 and my Network card in the computer is GigaHertz so that should be faster. I could download movies and stream them from my computer. By the way ReadyShare calls the hard drive USB_Storage.