Help for my setup please...NAS or HTPC? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-07-2014, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
nozab62's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Red face Help for my setup please...NAS or HTPC?

Dear all,

First of all thanks for reading and maybe replying.

Here is my current setup:
-AVR 171 Harman kardon receiver (with Sat receiver, xbox 360, bluray and misc stuff attached)
-Apple tv
-LG 55la6600 smart 3d tv.
-My computer is a mac book air

Until recently, I was happy to download/RIP my TV series/ movie, put it on an hardisk that I attach it to my tv and play from there but:
-I am fedup having to make those transfers and would like my download and rip to be directly done on final storage place
-My TV seem to strugle with some high bitrate DTS/Dolby digital plus track
-Access easily all my movie from my phone, computer, tv and even from outside my place.

I then added an apple tv with the hope of just streaming from computer, but no DTS, and 1080p movie look horrible (blacks are horrible), apple tv is fine if i want to steam a 480p series or mirroring my computer.

So...I came to the conclusion I need to add a middle man between my TV and my receiver and I just can't be sure what it has to be.

1) Synology DS214play

This NAS is able to download my series via torrent.
But since it doesn't have HDMI, I can't connect it directly to my receiver. It is suppose to transcode, and works well on android and IOS...but on my LG smart TV (which will see the nas as a DLNA server) I fear it will send the original format and rely on tv to do the transcoding so the transcoding feature would be useless)

2) Synology DS214 or DS214play which would send to a streaming box (chromecast or roku or WD) able to support any audio track and outputting superb image.
Seems like a good solution but which streaming box would be ideal?

3) A HTPC like a Zotac ID92 with a massive hardisked attached to it.
For about the same price as solution 2 (maybe +150$) I could build a solid i5 HTPC.

What would you choose if you were in my shoes?

thanks,
Regards!
nozab62 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-07-2014, 11:22 AM
Advanced Member
 
gec5741's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chcago land area
Posts: 655
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 89 Post(s)
Liked: 59
I don't have much experience with the synology's myself but a few people I work with use them. They seem pretty nice but for the cost of the ones Iv'e seen plus the storage it can get pretty pricey. They run Plex (media server peice) on the synology but Im not 100% sure on how well that's working for them. I've heard reports that if multiple people are streaming from it it get's pegged out pretty quickly. For me I would love a synolgy but I probably would not use or rely on that to be my actual media hardware. I'd use it as storage maybe since you can load one up with 4 4tb drives and have some redundancy.

Now I run plex at my house. I have a basic PC that I leave on in my office. This pc is I think an i5 processor 8gigs ram running windows 8. It runs my PMS (plex media server) and also runs my in house file backups and I run a VM on it for torrents. I have a few stand alone usb drives connected to it that I store my movies, music, and tv shows on. Now with that in place I can use many different things for the actual plex clients. Roku's work well, Rassberry pies even have a project called rasplex that you could use. I prefer pc based and for that I like the INTEL Nuc. I have one i3 4gigs memory with plex home theater installed on it and it works great. But again there are other options.

I guess what I'm saying is in my oppinion I would build a media pc to handle the media. The nas things are great don't get me wrong but I would use them more for the storage and other featers they come with. That's just my 2 cents.

Other software to concider then plex is XBMC, and Jriver. I don't think Jriver is free though and I'm partial to plex myself. My big thing for me is being able to push any of my content from one central location to any TV or other device from anywhere. And plex has worked well for this for me. As long as my device is able to hit the internet or is on my local network I have access to all my stuff.
gec5741 is offline  
Old 08-07-2014, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
nozab62's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Hey GEC! Thanks for the answer...

I just read extensively about Plex and i really feel I was stupid considering a NAS and a streamer which would have cost me 460ish (with no storage) while a HTPC with a 120gb SSD, 8gb or ram and a i5 would cost me 650$.

Thanks god the money is not too much of a concern here.

The graphic are 4600hd, do you think that could not be enough? (I don't plan on gaming, just view 10-20gb HD movies).

What would you attach as cheap but large and reliable storage to the HTPC?
I would like to go for 2 4tb WD red but I don't know what enclosure...and so on.

Btw, here is the build I plan to spend on:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Feel free to share your setup.
nozab62 is offline  
Old 08-10-2014, 11:45 PM
Member
 
Prolab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Brampton, ON
Posts: 161
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I had that same dilemma before i moved into my apt.

When i was living with my parents, i had a bunch of PBO's, a PS3 to stream from my server.

Now, when i moved to my apt - i decided to just combine my NAS and an HTPC.

Having a capable HTPC to play games with helps. But the cost savings in the long run, expandability and minimizing footprint works for my needs.
Prolab is offline  
Old 08-11-2014, 08:28 AM
Advanced Member
 
djearl81's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Midwest
Posts: 727
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked: 20
Hi Nozab

I agree with Prolab - Was in your spot about 2 years ago, so the components I used might be outdated by now. I tried the media server route on windows 7, but that meant that the office PC always had to be on with windows media player playing. Other solutions I toyed with included a hard drive connected to the router via USB. I never ventured into PLEX or some of the other streaming software others have used. In my experience, I couldn't get solid performance trying the DLNA route, so I built a dedicated HTPC with a GT440 based video card, small SSD for the OS, the biggest cheapest case I could find to go into the media room in order to house many hard disks, big reliable power supply, 8GB of RAM, and a quad core Phenom AMD processor (cheapest one that would do the job). At the time, XBMC didn't work real well on Linux, so I purchased windows 7 for it.

In the two years or so that we've had it, I haven't tweaked it much in about 18 months outside of windows and virus updates. We use it as a backup device for our other computers and a NAS. Since it's connected directly to our main living room receiver, we use it like any other A/V component. It has a few bugs, but we haven't had any problems that couldn't be fixed with a harmony one programmed macro. My wife doesn't have any issues using it and my two year old knows when we access the screens out of order to get to her favorite movies. It's been awesome to have our DVD's loaded and not have to mess with the discs when we aren't sure what movie to watch.

I like XMBC as it's free, reliable, and very customizable. We like to play music, watch our DVD collection, and view our pictures through the HTPC. I did play with emulators for a little while using an Xbox 360 controller. Cool stuff.

If you're looking to build a cheap NAS, you might look into FreeNAS. It based on Linux and works well. We ended up using the HTPC as the NAS at our house, but did play with FreeNAS for a while. You can run it in memory and load FreeNAS onto a 2GB CF card, then use a CF to IDE adapter to basically replace your hard drive with a CF card. It cuts down on power usage and keeps your NAS lightweight. http://www.freenas.org/

If I was in your shoes, I'd purchase the HTPC hardware, it's the most flexible option. Good luck and keep us posted.

I'm confused too.

djearl81 is offline  
Old 08-11-2014, 08:46 AM
Advanced Member
 
gec5741's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chcago land area
Posts: 655
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 89 Post(s)
Liked: 59
what I am doing at the moment as my setup is this. In my office I have a small form factor PC that was originally going to be just another workstation for anyone who needed it. I run a domain controller running windows 2012 server at my house so I like to have multiple domain accounts for different things. This PC I also have running my weekly and monthly in house backups of things like my pictures and other important files. so this pc I leave on 24/7. When I first started looking into plex I installed the PMS portion on it and it's been running just fine. I forget the exact specs of the pc but I know I have 8 gigs of ram and it's an i5 processor (forget the exact specs) but it's a bit on the older side now. Ive had it for around 4 years now. So with the plex media server running on my network I can use any plex client I want Roku, PC, etc. Now if your looking at the mini pc kind of thing you may want to look at these little mini pc's also. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=-1&isNodeId=1

I use them here at work for our companies digital signage. They are great little boxes and I plan to get one for my media room and use that as my plex client and connect it to my projector. I may eventually pick up a few more for other tv's like my living room. At the moment I have an older dell pc that I got for free that has a decent video card and enough juice to act as a client. That PC I have in my utility room in my basement. I'm running HDMI over Ethernet from that pc up to my living room TV for all my plex needs. It's also nice when my 2 boys want to sit and watch youtube video's on their favorite video games. Some day when money is no object I may just rebuild my server and my htpc onto some better hardware but for now things are running just fine.

One thing to note is for me I am running everything hard wired. I have wired up all rooms in my house with cat6 Ethernet jacks for the sole purpose of streaming video and audio. Wireless can work but for streaming I prefer the pipe size plus reliability of wired.
gec5741 is offline  
Old 08-12-2014, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
nozab62's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Hey you definitely convinced me, i'm going HTPC route, more future proof and powerful.

Dear Gec,
Beware of the U meaning in all the processor of the NUC, those are mobile versions of the i5. Way less powerful I believe.

I will stick with the Zotac id92, after comparing the Brix, the Nuc and so on, they just had the best compromise, heat vs price vs reliability vs power.

Thanks to all !
nozab62 is offline  
Old 08-12-2014, 12:37 PM
Advanced Member
 
gec5741's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chcago land area
Posts: 655
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 89 Post(s)
Liked: 59
I plan to only use the nuc as a plex client as its small and easy to mount behind the TV or hide in your component rack. I suspect though it would work fine as the server as well if that's all you were really using it for. But if I were planning to build an HTPC I'd go with a tower so I had the ability to add in the storage and other components for the horse power.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
gec5741 is offline  
 
Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off