PI3 w/ Kodi pulling from a Wi-Fi NAS

  • I was just looking for a bit of help and was wondering if it is possible to use the Raspberry PI 3 with LibreElec (preferred) setup on the Berryboot Bootloader and play videos from a NAS, which would be a 5TB Seagate attached directly to a gigabit wifi router via USB. I would be pulling large 1080p video files directly from the NAS over the WIFI to my PI. I have seen blogs discussing setting up caching on the PI to help with this, but am unsure of quite a few things:


    I have read articles and have been unable to find if the internal wifi antenna would work for transferring that data and not fall victim to buffering/loading/latency.

    I don't want to have to keep moving my hdd, because my last Seagate got a short in the esata to usb converter, rendering it useless. I want to be able to access my 5TB Seagate from my 2 laptops, phone, Raspberry PI, and any other device I get in the future.


    What are the potential bottlenecks if I have this type of setup? Would it be the HDD's filesystem? the router's USB speeds? the router (not sure why it would be, being gigabit, but I am not in IT)? The Raspberry PI's internal adapter? The cache on the PI? The Kodi flavor I choose? Settings in Kodi?


    Is anyone able to help me?/shrug Any help would be greatly appreciated:)

  • Do you actually need the BerryBoot loader, or can you just install LibreELEC as is? It would avoid possible problems with updates.


    So.. a 5TB hdd attached to a router.

    A Raspberry Pi using WiFi.


    You can see how 'big' the internal wifi antenna is, so it automatically will not win any championships for you.

    Wifi situations vary on a case by case basis, so it's impossible to predict how good/bad/awful the data throughput will be in your case.

    In any way: if you ever have the option to use Ethernet cable, go for it. It will simply work. Power adapters tend to give various results.


    Routers are usually not the fastest servers because of their own low-powered setup. If you have a redundant pc gathering dust, put the HDD in there. It will get cooled better (external drives usually have no airflow at all), and with a proper network connection to the router, data throughput will be better.


    The biggest bottleneck? Wifi, by far. Gigabit connections on the router are useless if you don't use them. The USB (2.0, 3.0) port on the router is not likely to reach full USB speeds, again because of the router's limited internal capabilities.


    You talk about "large 1080p video files". What sizes are we talking about? 5GB, 25GB, 40GB? What is the current top speed of your RPi3 wifi? 2,5MB/s? That would mean a maximum support of 10Mb/s bitrate. Do your videos have a higher bitrate than that? Then prepare for video buffering. Network caching may help partially, but I think it's only a band aid. It could also wear out the microSD card on the Rpi much quicker.

  • Yeah, I wasn't sure how a router would work for serving, but I have seen devices out there that claim they can change an External Drive into a NAS (usb to ethernet converter with IP configuration options). I figured this type of setup would be about as good as that, except for that I am using WIFI. As for the WIFI, it will be a router very close from the PI. I would go with Ethernet, but I have a very small place and that would take up too much room. Also I have 2 laptops and would like to be able to access the data without plugging in each time. I figured there would be wear with the caching, as Solid State storage always has that risk, although I have heard there have been large strides in advancing its lifetime, so I wasn't sure. Most files are about 2-5GB and 2.5hrs long each (mp4 and mkv if that matters). I see that the internal wifi is weak and figured i may have to get an external dongle or something. Are there any calculators for this type of thing. I am just starting to learn a bit of networking and am by no means a pro in figuring that kind of stuff out. Not even sure what information I all need to check the throughput. I guess I will have to check benchmarks on hardware. Is there a good site for this? I normally use userbenchmark.com, but I have not seen network tests or calculators there... I can certainly reformat my video with handbrake if that would help. As for the bootloader, I prefer it so I can also work in Raspbian on learning linux (although I am about to add bash into Win10) and work on my Retropie project, so that I can add to my list of gaming systems. I do have an old tower that I could use if necessary, but don't have the room for a tower (which would explain my having an overpriced gaming laptop lol). You said that power adapters give various results, so are you referring to networking through my apartment's electrical system, as that would save some headache with cords... Sorry that I am working through this backwards, but anyways, My External 4TB Seagate does have a built in fan... although it is weak. Finally, is there any way rating that I should be looking for, in regards to the USB interface with the router. I know that I should look for USB3.0, but as for the serving, I am not sure where to even begin looking. Apparently I had to change in. (the measurement) to very close, since this board doesn't like that word. Guess they must be jealous of the size of my ... antenna (yeah bad joke, but it is ridiculous that you can't say a measurement lol). HDD: B00J0O5R2I What I was looking at for a Router: ref=pd_ybh_a_1?_encoding=UTF8&refRID=RRCA6NZA0SEH9CNRR9E7&th=1

  • SPECS:

    PI:

    2.4GHz at 75Mb/s


    Seagate Backup Plus 5TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0 (STDT5000100):

    5300rpm

    150-180MB/s READ


    Archer C7 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (AC1750)

    USB 2.0

    2.4GHz at 91.3Mbps (file FTP transfers benchmarked at 27.5MBps using the router's USB input)

  • I had similar problems with the RPi3 internal wifi and I tried multiple solutions. Each might work for you but depends on the exact locations of the hardware.


    1) RPi behind TV - worked for SD but not HD.

    2) RPi moved to a better location and used a long HDMI cable to connect. Worked on SD/HD but not consistently.

    3) Changed router from normal mode 150Mbps to dual band 300Mbps. Didn't seem to make much difference.

    4) Used a 1G ethernet home plug and everything worked perfectly. However the home plug does need it's own socket to reduce interference. This didn't work for me as it required a long ethernet cable to connect it. (Socket locations)

    5) Used a 5Ghz wifi dongle. This has been the best solution as it works consistently on all files SD/HD. Obviously your router needs to have 5Ghz for this to be an option. I bought a cheap one from ebay for about £11 and it worked out of the box. The only issue I had was, because it was cheap it didn't have a MAC address so a few extra settings were needed in LE .


    You're really going to have to try all available options to see what works for you.

  • I figured the internal wifi would be the bottleneck and from what I understand that was your major bottleneck right? After you got it setup on 2.4/5Ghz dual-band with the dongle, were you able to load without buffering? All of the hardware will be close together since I have a small place. The only reason I plan on doing this is so that my laptops can access the drive too without ethernet cords (again, small apartment) or moving the drive all around. If this worked without buffering, then I guess the only thing I have to worry about is interference in my apartment. I don't think this will be much of an issue though, since I live in a small town with few neighbors. Did you have to add caching to Kodi for this to work? I just want the same experience I have been having, which is just seamlessly playing 2-5gb 2hr movies directly from the hard drive. I figure it will take a second longer to initialize... just worried that I will pay for all of that and then end up with buffering every 10mins, which really takes away from movies. Thanks for your response!

  • With the 5Ghz dongle, I can play 1080p DTS without problem. The size of file doesn't seem to be a factor, but bit rate is.


    The interference, I refer to, is an issue with the home plugs. Plug boards and multiple connections, cause it. Not wifi interference which is easier to resolve.


    I stream from my laptop (Ubuntu) 5Ghz, and Cubox (Archlinux NAS) ethernet without any issues.


    I do have buffering (250M) but this only helps for skipping past adverts and will not assist for your proposed setup. Get it working first, then play around with buffering, but you shouldn't need to. Buffering can only really assist for a "temporary disruption of service" like a momentary glitch in downloading - in a home system, this should not be an issue.


    Another option that might work, is a wifi extender with an ethernet output.


    As @Klojum mentioned, the RPi3 internal antenna is not the best in the world, eliminate that and use a good wifi adapter and I think you'll have few issues.

  • Quote

    I would go with Ethernet, but I have a very small place and that would take up too much room.

    cables really don't take any room, but can be untidy.