Windows 10: How does one network Win10 with a media streaming device?

  1.    03 Nov 2016 #1

    How does one network Win10 with a media streaming device?

    For perhaps a decade now I have watched video and listened to music from my computer's media collection (now grown to over 6 terabytes) using a wired ethernet connection over to my stereo/TV thru a media streaming device (currently an LG bluray player). First I was using WinXP and later Win7. I just set up the disk containing the media files as shareable using traditional windows networking (with permissions to "Everyone") and it talked to the streaming device right away. Many months back I upgraded to Win10, and after using it for a week (including networking) without problems I deleted the .old folder containing my old Win7 operating system (being the overconfident idiot that I am). It turns out that the one connection I forgot to check out was the one to the living room (bluray). It no longer works. The sharing was so seamless I had always assumed the bluray player was behaving just like any of my other networked windows computer. However it turns out it uses a different protocol, Samba, or CIFS (I'm not sure which) - although there is a way to enter a CIFS password on the bluray player (which I never needed with winXP or win7). It appears that Samba is not compatible with win10, at least out of the box. This is an important feature to me and I would have reverted to win7, but unfortunately I can no longer do that.
    I've seen at least a dozen threads describing some success with samba and win10 (various registry hacks and other obscure windows and dos commands) but no two threads are even remotely similar. I have tried to follow them all but have had no success. I'm sure I didn't follow all of them exactly because many were apparently written by networking professionals for other networking experts and often I didn't know what they were talking about. I've tried for months now on and off and I think I'm at the end of my rope on this one, so perhaps there is another solution. Is there any third party free or commercial software that can implement the samba protocol? Or do I just have to bite the bullet and get a new media streaming device. Mine is perhaps 5 years old or so ... perhaps too old to work with modern operating systems? If so, what kind of devices or protocols should I be looking for? (I don't know why Microsoft had to go messing with this protocol as is seemed to be perfectly adequate to me for so many years. They just don't seem to know how to leave well enough alone. Don't even get me started about the start menu :)

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    03 Nov 2016 #2

    Hi there

    This is a bit hard to put into a post as there's 10 zillion ways to do this.
    My consensus is that it's much better to get a dedicated device for NAS - that way you can have separate HDD's etc and leave the box on all day / all night and forget it.

    However what I would do FIRST is perhaps to use VMPLAYER or VBOX (both free) to create a Virtual machine running a simple version of LINUX. For beginners MINT is probably "The most Windows like", but Ubuntu has easily the most documentation and examples.

    That way you can see how SAMBA works - one thing about pretty well all major Linux distros (Sorry Windows guys here) is that Networking usually works Straight out of the box --99.999% of networking problems that I've ever had have always been on the Windows side !!!!!. Note also these LINUX distros are 100% FREE.

    I'm using CENTOS but for a 100% beginner I'd start with one of the other ones - MINT or UBUNTU. It's easy enough to switch distros once you get experienced. Note though keep same file system -- EXT3 or EXT4 is ideal as all linux distros handle that --SAMBA connection to Windows will allow READ/WRITE access from Windows.

    See how files are shared and then install something like PLEX and stream say a simple file. You can install the PLEX server either on Windows or the VM so long as the server can access a shared file.

    Once you've tested this and are happy then I'd buy a small cube server box for your NAS --servers work better than desktops for this trpe of stuff --more robust and designed to be operated 24 hrs a day etc without being re-booted.

    Install Linux with SAMBA and PLEX on it , set up your shares and you are ready to go. I'd start with 2 HDD's for the media with the OS on an SSD.

    For the server you don't need to connect a keyboard and monitor once you are up and running --simple access the server's console via RDP from Windows. (Ensure XRDP is installed on the Linux machine --often is by default).

    Other people suggest get a dedicated NAS - say a QNAP type of system. My argument against these is that they are usually a lot more expensive and less flexible than a "Roll your own Server". The small cube shaped servers are quite cheap these days and generally space for 4X HDD's.

    With Linux it's easy to install stuff, update, fix etc etc. With QNAP you've got essentially a "Closed proprietary" system.

    I can't advise more on this at the moment --you need to do bit of research as to what you want your NAS to do and what sort of budget you have. Lower end Cube servers are ideal though for this purpose -you don't need blazingly powerful CPU's, and definitely far cheaper than typical QNAP NAS boxes.

    SAMBA is quite easy - ignore about 99% of the complicated stuff in the books

    Here I'm sharing 2 X 7 TB HDD's with windows (actually 4 HDD's as 2 RAID 0 arrays)

    simple samba config file - more than sufficient as an example

    #======================= Global Settings =====================================

    max protocol = SMB3
    # can set it to SMB2 if you want experimental SMB2 support.
    workgroup = WORKGROUP
    server string = Samba Server Version %v

    ; max protocol = SMB2

    log file = /var/log/samba/log.%m
    max log size = 50
    security = user
    passdb backend = tdbsam
    name resolve order = bcast host lmhosts wins

    load printers = yes
    cups options = raw

    ; printcap name = /etc/printcap
    # obtain a list of printers automatically on UNIX System V systems:
    ; printcap name = lpstat
    ; printing = cups

    #============================ Share Definitions ==============================

    comment = Home Directories
    browseable = yes
    writable = yes
    valid users = %S

    comment = All Printers
    path = /var/spool/samba
    browseable = no
    guest ok = no
    writable = no
    printable = yes

    comment Music files
    path = /mnt/DV2/Music
    guest ok = yes
    writeable = yes
    browseable = yes

    comment Films
    path = /mnt/DV2/Films
    guest ok = yes
    writeable = yes
    browseable = yes

    comment BBC
    path = /mnt/DV2/BBC
    guest ok = yes
    writeable = yes
    browseable = yes

    comment TV series
    path = /mnt/DV2/TV
    guest ok = yes
    writeable = yes
    browseable = yes


    comment VM's, Backups, data
    path = /mnt/DV2
    guest ok = yes
    writeable = yes
    browseable = yes


    comment VM's, Backups, data 1
    path = /mnt/DV1
    guest ok = yes
    writeable = yes
    browseable = yes

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    03 Nov 2016 #3

    Thanks Jimbo for your quick reply.

    Wow, I can't even begin to count how many acronyms were in your reply that I don't know the meaning of.

    But anyway it sounds like you are agreeing with me that windows is now useless for this kind of thing? (despite the fact that I have been using windows for this purpose for a decade, and I didn't eve know that it was called Samba.

    > With Linux it's easy to install stuff ...

    You have got to be joking. I think yes - if you have been a unix hacker for a few hears, certainly it is easy. I've tried to use linix only a few times, but every time I ran into instructions and explanations that only a true unix geek could appreciate and might as well be written in Arabic without meaning anything less.

    So do I really need something as complex as a whole addtional operationg system just to run this networking protocol? I have no other use for linix, so I assume that I could run linux in the background just to implement samba, without impacting the usual stuff I do under windows 10?

    I looked up VBOX and didn't find it. Did you mean to say "VirtualBox"? (Or perhaps VBOX is a common abbreviation for this product?)
    Also ... vmplayer? Does that refer to vmware?


    > With Linux it's easy to install stuff,
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    03 Nov 2016 #4

    What Jimbo said , get a NAS box, doesn't need to be an expensive one , even just a bare bones box and add your own disks , plug it in , set it up and forget it...much cheaper power wise than running your PC to stream also AND whatever it streams is available 24/7.
    Last edited by Wullail; 04 Nov 2016 at 02:35.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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