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Thread: My experience with MovieWiz over the network

  1. #1
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    My experience with MovieWiz over the network

    Hi,

    I have been experimenting MovieWiz for a month now and here are my experiences.

    My setup:
    1. GBPVR on PC1 - PC1 is wired connected to a NAS (gigabyte LAN)
    2. Client using wireless G to connect to PC1 and displayed on plasma TV

    Before people start bashing me that wireless G is not good enough - I will have to tell them it depends on the reception. For me ALL the movies play flawlessly over the G network.

    • MovieWiz interface is very slow. For example when I change categories, it takes forever....(my catalog contains > 150 entries).

    • When I exit from the GBPVR interface the MovieWiz does some processing...and it takes forever to exit from GBPVR


    My observation is to drive all the meta data from folder (say an XML file) rather than database - yes including categories and content. If the movie can play well, then the user interface should keep up with it.

    I have removed MovieWiz and am using the regular "Video Library" from GBPVR and it works like a charm.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by vskatusa View Post
    I have been experimenting MovieWiz for a month now and here are my experiences.

    My setup:
    1. GBPVR on PC1 - PC1 is wired connected to a NAS (gigabyte LAN)
    2. Client using wireless G to connect to PC1 and displayed on plasma TV

    Before people start bashing me that wireless G is not good enough - I will have to tell them it depends on the reception. For me ALL the movies play flawlessly over the G network.

    • MovieWiz interface is very slow. For example when I change categories, it takes forever....(my catalog contains > 150 entries).
    • When I exit from the GBPVR interface the MovieWiz does some processing...and it takes forever to exit from GBPVR



    Couple comments...
    • If you happen to have any old logs from when you were experiencing this behavior, they may help to pinpoint the problem.
    • If the MovieWiz db was local on the client, it would run much faster. When the db is on the server, all SQL queries must run across the network. Since SQLite does not support stored procedures, there is not a whole lot of tuning I can do.
    • There is no special code on deactive or dispose of the plugin, so I am not sure why when exiting it is slow. Again, your log files may provide some clues.
    My observation is to drive all the meta data from folder (say an XML file) rather than database - yes including categories and content. If the movie can play well, then the user interface should keep up with it.
    That would be a pretty major rewrite of the logic in the program, I don't have the time to tackle that at the moment.
    I have removed MovieWiz and am using the regular "Video Library" from GBPVR and it works like a charm.
    Sorry MovieWiz has not met up to your expectations... It is definitely a work in progress, and although I have addressed some folks issues regarding performance, I realize there is more work to be done.

    I'm glad you found a replacement that suites your needs...
    NPVR Server: Win8 / AMD Phenom II X4 965 / 8gRAM / ATI Radeon 7700 Series / Hauppauge 2250
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  3. #3
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    Javawiz,

    I frankly feel you will have to rewrite the framework “not to use database”.

    I will look for the following in the “Movie Interface”:

    1. Must be open – not tied to any specific db
    2. Flexible – Your framework is highly tied on the folder name…What if I change my folder name? What if I move my “Movie Directory”
    3. Speed – Especially over the network. I am sure 90% of the users will have some kind of NAS for storing content
    4. My watermark is if GBPVR can play the movie over the network, the user interface must keep up with it

    I feel the best way to achieve this is to create the content from the xml files.

    Let me explain with an example:

    My Movie Folder: D:

    Say the Movie Folder has the following folder’s

    D:\Movie1\folder.jpg, Movie1.avi, folder.xml
    D:\Movie2\folder.jpg, Movie2.avi, folder.xml

    You parse the D: and create Lists (which are stored in memory). The application will parse ONLY if the content has changed (may be use Timestamp to determine if anything has changed).

    The client side will also work the same way….You will parse only if there is a change. I am sure there are excellent XML parsers (open source) which will easily parse Movie folders.

    The folder.xml can contain entries like….

    <Movie>
    <Director>D1</Director>
    <Date>11/11/2008</date>
    <Language>English</Language>
    </Movie>

    I would mimic the vista gallery interface

    I will test my application against 10,000 folder entries over the network to determine if it is viable.

  4. #4
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    I cannot change the plugin at this time. What you are asking for could (and probably would) take hundreds of hours. The plugin UI is only a small part of the code, there is much logic also in the config manager as well. I have many users of this plugin who do not seem to think the plugin has a significant performance problem, so I do not see the need of making these kind of changes. I suspect it may be how you are using it, or possibly a configuration issue.

    2. Flexible – Your framework is highly tied on the folder name…What if I change my folder name? What if I move my “Movie Directory”
    MovieWiz already deals with movie files being moved to new directories (See Archive Locations on Plugin Setting tab) and/or being transcoded to a new file extension.
    3. Speed – Especially over the network. I am sure 90% of the users will have some kind of NAS for storing content
    4. My watermark is if GBPVR can play the movie over the network, the user interface must keep up with it
    I agree that performance is an issue in client mode, especially when the client is wireless. If you put the database on your client machine, I think your performace concerns will be minimized. When the db is on the local machine, I don't see a significant performance problem. By utilizing the Archive Directories, you can pretty simply just copy the db from Server to Client, and it should work.

    I added the ability to reference the server db from the client due to user requests, the original design did not have this feature.

    As time allows, I will address and improve issues associated with client mode.
    NPVR Server: Win8 / AMD Phenom II X4 965 / 8gRAM / ATI Radeon 7700 Series / Hauppauge 2250
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  5. #5
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    I am a bit surprised no one else has commented on this thread yet.

    I have been using MovieWiz for quite some time now & while I don't have NAS & don't know if that could affect the speed. I have found it fine running on my server & accessing if from my wired MVP's even when more than one is accessing it at the same time, I'm not sure exactly how many movies I have right at the moment but I do know it's in the hundreds. I could well be wrong but I don't remember seeing a post from you actually asking JW about your speed issue & if there is anything he can do about it. If you read through some of the threads in this forum you will find he goes out of his way to "try" to fix things & make enhancements for users.

    While your suggestion might (I don't have the expertise in this area to comment) be one solution I'm sure it isn't the only one! (but I do have the expertise to be able to make this statement) & who know JW may come up with something different that works just as well for you but doesn't mean fully recoding the whole plugin?

  6. #6
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    I thought about responding, but i don't run wireless so didn't thought it was worth commenting.

    I've noticed no speed issues, and I like the db options rather than xml, as it takes away the dependence on knowing which machine, which share, which folder has movies.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vskatusa View Post
    My setup:
    1. GBPVR on PC1 - PC1 is wired connected to a NAS (gigabyte LAN)
    2. Client using wireless G to connect to PC1 and displayed on plasma TV
    My set up is comparable to yours... I have:
    1. GBPVR on a PC connected to a domain server over a Gb LAN (movies are stored on the domain server)
    2. A laptop client connected to the domain using wireless G displaying on the laptop screen.

    I add new content to the DB on the GBPVR maching using UNC addresses, then simply copy the updated DB from the GBPVR machine to the laptop.

    I currently have 107 movies in the DB, most of which appear under at least two categories.

    I've never experienced any performance issues with this setup - the UI opens and closes immediately - and navigation is instant.

    IMHO, the DB is one of the key features of MovieWiz, since I can sqlite about in it to my heart's content. I for one would not be happy with a shift towards file tagging. MovieWiz (along with Music Library2 - also DB based) are the 'killer' plugins which make GBPVR (already awesome in it's own right) the best media center software avaiable - by far.

  8. #8
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    Hi vskatusa,

    I've been using MovieWiz extensively for several months and am happy with the performance. My 800 movies are spread across 3 network drives and network performance has never been an issue, even with 100Mb/s connections.

    High bit rate movies (HD movies) will place a high demand on your network performance. I'd check the playing the movies from a local drive to help determine where your bottlenecks are.

    I like the SQlite database format because there are lots of good tools to fiddle with it if you want to "play".

    I also use an UNC approach to movie paths and mainly modify my movie database on another system on my network.
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