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Attempting to access media via SMB client or FTP Server + external HD

Discussion in 'Google TV Help' started by Disintegration, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Disintegration

    Disintegration New Member

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    Trying to figure out the best way to access video content that I have on a windows server. So, I have a Sony Internet TV with GTV built-in, which was just upgraded to GTV2. I also have a 500GB exFAT external hard drive mounted. All is well up to that point.

    I loaded File Expert onto my GTV and it runs pretty well, with a few quirks that you can workaround. The SMB client in it can access the server and poke around just fine. But, when I try to run a media file... be it a movie or MP3, etc, it won't work. When I click on a video file, it tries to go to localhost:blahblah in Chrome and fails. If I copy that same file down to the GTV's internal memory, that same file plays fine in the default Media Player application.

    DLNA/UPNP servers on my windows 2003 server have been hit or miss, mostly miss. I've tried TVMobili to some success, but I scrapped it for some reason that I do not recall. PS3mediaserver will play MP3's well, but I have yet to have it actually play a video file. Again, if I copy that same video down locally to GTV, it plays fine.

    So, if I can't access things remotely, then I'd be satisfied if I could just FTP files to the external hard drive connected to the GTV. But, of course, no dice there either yet. The FTP server jails you to the "SD card" so you can't get to /mnt/<externalhdname>. Even File Expert's FTP server doesn't let you get to the external HD remotely. (In File Expert on GTV, if you're at the root of your file structure, you can hit the "Back" button on your remote a couple times and it will actually go up to the real root of the file system. You can wander around and read some system/config files, but you can't seem to edit any... like, /etc/hosts, for example.)

    The FTP server is next to useless for media purposes if you can only access the paltry 4GB of internal storage. Has anybody been able to access an external HD remotely? Or found an SMB client that will play media files reliably on an SMB share?

    My next test will be to see if something like BotSync will load on the GTV and be able to access the external HD. If so, I'll setup an SFTP server and see if I can get a directory on my server mirrored to the external HD on the GTV. Again, not ideal, but at least it saves me from copying to a thumb drive like it's 2001 instead of 2011.

    Intuitively, a task like this shouldn't be so difficult. Does anybody have any advice?

    D.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  2. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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  3. Disintegration

    Disintegration New Member

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    Yeah, that helped a lot. This is the kind of thing I was looking for. It only plays about 60% of my videos. Going to look at these a little closer tomorrow to understand which codecs are supported, which aren't. Divx is a given that it isn't supported since it is proprietary, right? Xvid seemed to work consistently. MP4 container seemed to play consistently...

    Thank you kindly for mentioning.
     
  4. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome. Glad to have helped. You should understand though, that all of the video players for Google TV are going to posses the same level of format support. This is indicated on this web page, "Supported Media Formats - Google TV Android Developers Guide - Google Code". It is due to the fact that Google has decided not to support the NDK on this platform. In the past, Android developers have created applications which include libraries from FFMPEG; libavcodec and libavformat, to give a wide variety of support. However, without NDK compatibility this is impossible on Google TV.

    As for DivX support, it should be compatible since they are meant to use the same MPEG4-SP/ASP codec for Xvid. Unfortunately, the FourCC association for DIVX and DX50 appears to be broken in the Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) update. This was recently discovered in this thread, "http://www.googletvforum.org/forum/...layer-will-not-play-files-old-one-played.html". The simple work around to the problem is to use FourCC changer to alter the respective metadeta to "XVID". Otherwise you'll need to use a format conversion program like Format Factory or AVS Converter (at least until Google resolves root cause of the problem).
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  5. dimasboy

    dimasboy New Member

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    GTVBox Video Player works great but I still can't figure out how to make my external HDD visible. Any help would be appreciated.

    I have the Sony GT1 with GTV and I have a 500GB hard drive attached to it. I can play anything on the hard drive with no problem. I can also see all my windows share and play everything that way as well. So far, great! My goal was to leave the HDD hooked up to the TV so I don't have to keep my PC on all the time in order to use the shared folders. The only issues is loading new content to the hard drive. I was hoping I can see it somehow on the network and transfer the files this way instead of having to disconnect it and hook it up to the computer and then take it back to the TV. I don't know if GTVBox Video Player is supposed to solve that problem at all. Other than that it's pretty cool that I can browse all my media drives on the TV.

    Thanks!
     
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  6. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    I think that would be outside of the scope of a media player. Have you considered using GTV Settings > Storage > Configure FTP Access > Enable FTP access. The you would be able to FTP files from your computer to your Google TV device.

    There's also File Managements apps on the Android Market. I use File Expert which includes FTP/HTTP server access if you enable it. Plus, they also support access your PC via Windows/Samba file sharing, Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), File Transfer Protocol Secure (FTPS), and WebDAV.
     
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  7. dimasboy

    dimasboy New Member

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    Thank you! The built-in FTP server is almost useless since the internal memory is only 4GB and it doesn't give you access to any external devices.

    I just tried File Expert and it still doesn't "see" the external storage. FTP and HTTP access is nice though.

    I also still can't see the benefit of GTVBox Video Player. It does work but the stock GTV Media player kind of has all the features as well and a slightly more user-friendly interface. Is there something I'm missing maybe?
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
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  8. dimasboy

    dimasboy New Member

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    I just found out that SwiFTP lets you serve any part of the filesystem of your GTV you want. Looks a little weird as it's optimized for phones but it works great. You can drill down to a specific folder or just serve your whole GTV filesystem via FTP. For now it's the best solution I've found for this task
     
  9. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Awesome. I'm glad you were able to get it to work on your own. I knew there was "an app for that" but just didn't know which one. Thanks for the feedback. I've already passed on the information to another user on our forums.
     
  10. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Well, here is their feedback.

    I actually had to Long Key Press Directory > Scroll down to More... > Set as Default Sharing Dir. I was able to share the "/mnt" directory and have access to its sub-directories. However, I wasn't able to share "/". Better than nothing I suppose.
     
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  11. dimasboy

    dimasboy New Member

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    I just tested it. It does work. Thanks for the clarification. I guess it is kind of hidden. I would have never guessed it.

    I hope File Expert gives me better speed. I haven't had a chance to test that yet. Transferring an HD movie from my laptop to the TV via SwiFTP takes so long that I am better off moving the hard drive back and forth so it wasn't much of a help anyway.

    Thanks again for clearing that up.

    UPDATE: I just tried the HTTP share and that is working beautifully! I am really excited.

    UPDATE2: File Expert's ftp server is about 10 times faster than SwiFTP and is actually usable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
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  12. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome. Glad to help. Though the better notion that you should take away from this, is that the developers of these apps are accessible for questions and suggestions. So, don't be afraid of sending them an email and give them feedback.
     
  13. pirobox

    pirobox New Member

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    Hi eferz,
    I've tried your suggestion, but I can't make it work.
    I set a directory "Default Sharing Dir" but the ftp client still shows me only the content of the /mnt/sdcard.
    I've also tried to uninstall and reinstall file expert but it didn't work.
    I think I'll give a try to swiftp.
    Mah, I'm puzzled.

    Edit: actually the http sharing is using the "Default Sharing Dir" I have set. Only the ftp server seems to ignore it. Quite weird.
    Edit2: ok, it works. I stopped the file server and restarted it and everything started working. Don't laugh too much, I swear that I had tried the server reboot before writing the first reply.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  14. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Excellent. I'm glad you have been able to figure it out on your own. Plus, you've shared the resolution with other users that might experience the same problem. Thank you very muchly.
     
  15. bkdg100

    bkdg100 New Member

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    i can ftp in but cannot see attached ( mounted ) external usb drives . tried reboot and still no joy . entering on port 2121 my directory starts
    /
    alarms
    android
    dcm
    download
    ect
    ect

    but no sign of mnt or usb devices .??

    any ideas ?
     
  16. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's why I don't use the built-in FTP server of Honeycomb. I prefer using File Expert as indicated earlier in this thread. You can set the default share directory to "/mnt" that way you can access both "/mnt/sdcard/" and /mnt/media/usb*" mount points. You're not limited to FTP but also have HTTP access as well. It is also much more intuitive using the URL link to connect to it.
     
  17. bkdg100

    bkdg100 New Member

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    yes , been struggling with built in . will file expert retain settings ?

    ftp set up never gave me the right directory access till i logged thru browser and "wala" i get the right shared directories in the filezilla .... go figure ..
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  18. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Yes, as described in the earlier post.
     
  19. bkdg100

    bkdg100 New Member

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    i was successful, but could definitely have used a tutorial on setup of ftp and html access .
    now that i have my cloud access as well as on the fly file transfer to local drives jacked into the revue my world is a better place . between near NAS capabilities now, as well as access to droid market for great video players as well as file management i feel the revue has finally matured .
    Its to bad Logitech and Google did not cut loose their teams to make the most of the revue, rather than the least ( i as see it ) .

    anyone not impressed with their 99 dollar investment now is not exploring its potential . perhaps a few tutorials written by the more capable here would offer those of us who struggle a leg up to maximize what the revue can actually do ...

    thanks
     
  20. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 New Member

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    I'm scratching my head here... I cannot figure out, for the life of me, how to set the default directory? I've been all through File Expert and cannot find anywhere that it would let me set the Default Share directory.

    OK - Edit:
    Go to My Files -> Phone Internal Storage -> long press "mnt" -> scroll down to more -> click "Set As Default Sharing Dir"

    However, I'm having the same problem pirobox had.... it still isn't seeing it. Tried stopping and start, no luck.

    Edit#2... and... just like pirobox.... now its working? Not sure what the deal is, but I've got it all working now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012

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