A better way to watch movies on TV

I like to watch movies on a big screen. And since my hometown lacks a cinema, that big screen is generally my Smart TV.

However, moving my movies around on a USB stick quickly becomes tiring. Surely there is a better way?

And yes there is one: Media Servers.

In short: A media server is an application that stores and streams media content such as videos, music, and photos to other devices on a network as long as these devices have an internet browser.

Media Server

Some popular Media Servers include Plex, Kodi, and Universal Media Server…

While the concept may seem straightforward, these applications face several challenges. From a non-expert standpoint, I’d wager that video encoding, compatibility, and performance can pose difficulties.

To better understand how a media server works, I built a very simple one that I will improve over time as the needs arise. Behold Palantir Media Server!

– ‘…What is it about – the seven stars and seven stones?’
– ‘About the palantiri of the Kings of Old,’ said Gandalf.
– ‘And what are they?’
– ‘The name meant that which looks far away…
— The Lord of the Rings, Book III, Chapter X: The Palantir

Tools used


Currently, the application is pretty straightforward. The user selects the directories containing the media files they wish to share. They then start the server on the desired host and port, making these media files accessible via the web interface. This is quite basic but it gets the job done as a start.



Possible upgrades

While Palantir Media Server is still very far from being a complete solution. I really enjoyed making it and unlike most of my side projects (and yours too don’t lie), I actually have a daily use for it.

Source code Windows release