Clerk computers as media server

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mattcragun
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Clerk computers as media server

Postby mattcragun » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:45 pm

We considering ways to host AV media locally at the building to eliminate problems with streaming the content from the church's server as well as reduce the burdens on the members to download the content/own/bring laptops etc.

We are looking heavily at using Roku boxes on TV's as has been referenced in many posts. Roku has a channel called Roksbox which allows media streaming from a local server. The question I have is whether or not it is 'ok' to use the clerk's office computer to host the content? I understand there are other issues regarding making sure the computer is up when people need it, etc, and in reality it may be much simpler just to have a dedicated machine. But I just wanted to see if the a clerk machine is even an option. The resource requirements are minimal. The network just needs to open a port in the firewall on port 80 and supports basic password authentication from any machines on the local network trying to access it.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks

russellhltn
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Re: Clerk computers as media server

Postby russellhltn » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:12 pm

I can't say as I recommend it. First, by policy, anything installed on the clerk computer has to be approved by the stake president. One of his guidelines is that it's can't compromise security.

Secondly, I'm not sure of the default settings of the church-supplied personal firewall, but I'd imagine that port 80 would be blocked by default. So you'd have to adjust that and hope that church management doesn't decide to close it later.

Third, what happens when the clerk needs to reboot a computer for a update but another ward is in session?
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rknelson
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Re: Clerk computers as media server

Postby rknelson » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:59 pm

mattcragun wrote:We are looking heavily at using Roku boxes on TV's as has been referenced in many posts. Roku has a channel called Roksbox which allows media streaming from a local server.

Our Stake President is supportive of this approach. We are using Roku players with 16 GB USB Flash drives, but it is clear that a more general video streaming solution will require more like 100GB of space, and that will only grow over time.

I would be very interested in hearing how your evaluation goes, any issues you run into, how stable it is, and how easy it is for a novice user to find and play a video.

rolandc
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Re: Clerk computers as media server

Postby rolandc » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:30 am

I would hold off any internal streaming till the new 881's security and internet filtering are fully implemented.

Websense going away and zScaler is coming soon, with MUCH tighter restrictions.
Roland

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johnshaw
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Re: Clerk computers as media server

Postby johnshaw » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:43 pm

How is it that information is shared with some and not all? Is there a secret to knowing the future plans of the church IT Staff. Our stake plans for the future, we try and do things in a proactive manner and it helps my Stake President to make better decisions when he/I have the information we need.
Last edited by johnshaw on Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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johnshaw
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Re: Clerk computers as media server

Postby johnshaw » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:44 pm

Clerk computers have a personal firewall that does block many ports, you can get into the ruleset by opening the Sophos firewall manager
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russellhltn
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Re: Clerk computers as media server

Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:29 pm

JohnShaw wrote:Clerk computers have a personal firewall that does block many ports, you can get into the ruleset by opening the Sophos firewall manager


Except the rule set was set by CHQ. Is it policy or just a starting point? We don't know, so at least in this forum I think we'll have to take the most conservative approach and say that it should not be changed without approval from CHQ.

Also, until we hear from a church employee what the policy is, explaining how to do this could be a violation of the Code of Conduct for posting "Methods for circumventing Church policies or security mechanisms".
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rogerscr
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Re: Clerk computers as media server

Postby rogerscr » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:54 am

I looked into Roksbox for my home setup and ended up using Plex (www.plexapp.com) instead, much easier to use. I can't speak to the appropriateness of it's use but it was way easier to setup for me.

I was considering a similar move in my building but we have a FHC we can play with to avoid putting server software on a computer with sensitive information.

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johnshaw
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Re: Clerk computers as media server

Postby johnshaw » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:27 am

russellhltn wrote:
JohnShaw wrote:Clerk computers have a personal firewall that does block many ports, you can get into the ruleset by opening the Sophos firewall manager


Except the rule set was set by CHQ. Is it policy or just a starting point? We don't know, so at least in this forum I think we'll have to take the most conservative approach and say that it should not be changed without approval from CHQ.

Also, until we hear from a church employee what the policy is, explaining how to do this could be a violation of the Code of Conduct for posting "Methods for circumventing Church policies or security mechanisms".


My comment wasn't meant to encourage the changing, just that one can see what the rulesets are.... you can also look at the firewall log to see traffic being blocked and by what ruleset

As a note, there are some very legitimate uses, in my opinion, that could/should be allowed. iPad printing is one I've identified, SMTP for doing scan to email functions of the HP MFP being put into stakes. The MFP does not allow for authenticated SMTP to using an email address, etc.. is just not going to work.

I had these running last year in our Stake office and the Central Office at CHQ pushed out a ruleset turning it off. My SP wasn't all that happy to lose iPad printing. So far my queries into the Desktop Management team has not resulted in dialogue.
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russellhltn
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Re: Clerk computers as media server

Postby russellhltn » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:35 am

Just keep in mind that if you open up printer or file sharing, you've opened up sharing the whole hard drive to anyone that knows the clerk password. For that reason I'm leery about setting up any kind of sharing on the MLS computer.
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