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AS-604T - Looking for Alternative(s) to XBMC

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AS-604T - Looking for Alternative(s) to XBMC

Postby steamship » Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:59 am

I'm looking for a suitable replacement for XBMC on my AS-604T. I only got it recently, and having spent the last couple of days searching this forum and others, am now aware that XBMC is now obsolete. With that in mind, I've been trying to find recommendations for alternatives to using XBMC, that use the HDMI port on the NAS. So far, the only suggestion I can find is to install Plex on the NAS and PleXBMC in XBMC. I've yet to read through the Plex sub-forum, so won't be attempting that until tomorrow.

My existing setup (for what it is) is a Raspberry Pi 2 running Kodi, and picking up the movies from the NAS (previously a Buffalo NAS, but now the AS-604T). I was hoping that with the AS-604T having a HDMI port and XBMC, I would be able to get rid of the Pi2 (or at least move it somewhere else).

If all else fails and Plex/PleXBMC doesn't work, then I suppose I can just keep using the Pi2.

Does anyone have any other suggestions on alternatives that I could try?
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Re: AS-604T - Looking for Alternative(s) to XBMC

Postby MarcN » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:25 pm

This NAS has an Intel Atom processor. In fact the HDMI output becomes useless because there will be no more updates.
I have the same problem with my AS-302T. The only thing you can do is accept or buy another NAS :|
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Re: AS-604T - Looking for Alternative(s) to XBMC

Postby steamship » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:24 am

Well, 'tomorrow' came and went, as did the next day as well between a power outage and bad timing for my new ISP to switch over, so left internetless for two days.

Thanks for your reply, but it seems to follow a simple vein to what everyone says... XBMC is dead, go buy another NAS! My original post confirms I know about XBMC being dead, which is why I was asking on here for possible alternatives that other people may have considered and adopted. I find this somewhat annoying as these Asustor NASes are clearly advertised with 'media centres' in mind (as well as other manufacturers), as do a lot of reviews of the units themselves. It might be okay for those people who have money to burn can afford to write off the purchase of a NAS, and just go out and buy the 'latest and greatest', but not all of us are that lucky. Together with the two HDDs I purchased, it took me six months to save the money, so throwing it up on eBay for a fraction of what I paid isn't going to happen.

I just find it hard to believe that those who purchased an AS2, AS4 or AS6 either never bothered with the HDMI in the first place or, when Kodi came out, they just bought a new model. I'm also surprised that Asustor haven't developed some sort of suitable replacement, as they seem to have developed several other media apps.
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Re: AS-604T - Looking for Alternative(s) to XBMC

Postby MikeG.6.5 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:43 am

You COULD run Plex Media Server on the NAS and use a Roku Stick for a client. Problem with that is: Your media needs to be in the right format and codecs so you aren't having to transcode it before you stream it.

I have some conversion scripts on my FTP for converting the media to MP4, H264 with AAC stereo audio. It also keeps DTS of AC3 5.1 as a second audio stream if the media has it in it to start with. You can find more info on the scripts here: viewtopic.php?f=49&t=5778 And this includes some of the editing in the config file to switch languages, save the srt subtitles, etc.
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Re: AS-604T - Looking for Alternative(s) to XBMC

Postby steamship » Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:55 am

MikeG.6.5 wrote:You COULD run Plex Media Server on the NAS and use a Roku Stick for a client. Problem with that is: Your media needs to be in the right format and codecs so you aren't having to transcode it before you stream it.

I have some conversion scripts on my FTP for converting the media to MP4, H264 with AAC stereo audio. It also keeps DTS of AC3 5.1 as a second audio stream if the media has it in it to start with. You can find more info on the scripts here: viewtopic.php?f=49&t=5778 And this includes some of the editing in the config file to switch languages, save the srt subtitles, etc.


Thanks for the offer. Been a while since I've done anything with this. With my other NAS, I already use a Raspberry Pi with Kodi, and was hoping the move to the Asustor would get away with that. Using Plex and a Roku stick is going down the same route. I did read about Plex Media Server and a particular plugin for it to use along with XBMC, but since time is limited, I only got as far as downloading and installing Plex. Even that seemed odd, as some movie files had proper cover art, but others had a screenshot instead, but haven't had the time to follow that up, let alone play with the XBMC plugin.
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Re: AS-604T - Looking for Alternative(s) to XBMC

Postby MikeG.6.5 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:03 am

If you have screen shots, the movie didn't match. If you look in my signature you will see quite a number of links to Plex related things. I'm a huge proponent to Plex, in general, and on Asustor models of NASes in particular. I think I covered this in at least one of the linked threads there.

Naming can be handled by apps like FileBot, CouchPotato or Sonarr for TV shows. (You don't need to use the download portions of the last two apps if you don't want to.) Another thing that can screw up naming within Plex is embedded tags in MP4's. I know people put those in to help themselves remember what things are, but they are a serious PITA for someone running Plex. The only way to get a good name for them is to take them out of Plex, delete the entry in Plex, edit out those embedded tags, and then put it back into Plex again. (this is called the "Plex Dance" and is just a workaround.)

For media that is NOT already in MP4, you are really going to want to use something like the conversion scripts linked in my signature that I mentioned in my first reply. These will strip any metadata from non-MP4's, convert to MP4, H264 with an AAC stereo audio track, and an AC3 or DTS if it's in the original files.

The biggest advantage to Plex and a Roku is the User Experience. If you use Plex on several different client devices, they will all work essentially the same. Same menuing, same features, etc. There are some apps that don't have certain features, or capabilities, but the Roku's aren't really all that limited. Android tablets, iPads etc, also have fairly good client apps.

I have literally been over 2000 miles from my server and watched something on my tablet sitting in the airport on more than one occasion. Can't do that with Kodi no matter haw you set it up, from my experiences.

IMHO Kodi wants to grow up to be Plex. Even though Plex forked off of XBMC back in the day, (even further back than Kodi has) the capabilities are drastically different than Kodi's. As I had nothing but problems with the predecessor (XMBC) I never looked at Kodi more than to find out remote streaming wasn't viable. Plex fills my needs a lot better than I had hoped it would when I first started down this road, over 3 years ago.
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Re: AS-604T - Looking for Alternative(s) to XBMC

Postby steamship » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:29 pm

Cheers Mike. I'll check out your links over the next few days.

Somewhat surprised that so many movies don't match. Will investigate further why they're not correct.
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