Low Power / Network Storage / Music Server / Record HDTV(air) / Internet Streaming - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 11-07-2012, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Well my subject kind of describes what I am trying to do. I already have a Roku box that can be used to deliver streaming to the TV. I am OS neutral, but am fascinated by the Plug Computers, so maybe I will end up in the Linux forum? I am hoping to simplify the HTPC by utilizing the Roku box we have.

In order of importance: Low Power / Low cost

1) Network Storage - We need storage for family pictures and videos and want it set up as a network drive - mostly archive ability and ocassional backup of important data - nothing automated.

2) Music Server - We would like to access our music library via the server and play it on our TV and/or future sound system/wireless speakers. I think I am ok with just local access, but wouldn't mind an upgrade path to accessing it anywhere via the internet. (or do it now if it doesn't require a lot more investment.)

3) Record TV - We will have an HDTV antenna and want to record tv shows. I would also like to be able to record any internet streaming video with a service such as PlayOn or equivalent solution. No cable tv recording needed.

4) Internet Streaming - Netflix / Hulu

Environment:
We are a split Android / Apple family when it comes to mobile devices.
We are a Windows family for PC's.
Our internet access is cable to a wireless router that is in separate part of home as the TV
10/100 Ethernet

I could run hard wire and/or upgrade to GbE if it is essential.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 21 Old 11-09-2012, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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post #3 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 03:26 PM
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Sounds like your looking for a value oriented HTPC.

About $350 for good hardware and storage.

Minimum price/choice:
$60 AsRock mobo
$40 G530 CPU
$25 4gb ddr3 ram
$130 3TB storage drive
$40 HTPC case and CPU
$55 60GB SSD for OS drive

It will have tons of storage... You can save from devices and other pc and laptops to this machine. It could stream to your devices and you can even add a cheap tuner card to record TV.
I was tempted to drop SSD to save you some money but I find when sharing HDDs over network for storage it's best not to use your Cdrive.

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post #4 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbird02 View Post

1) Network Storage - We need storage for family pictures and videos and want it set up as a network drive - mostly archive ability and ocassional backup of important data - nothing automated.
Easy, but if you're a Windows PC environment then go with a Windows install
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Originally Posted by cbird02 View Post

2) Music Server - We would like to access our music library via the server and play it on our TV and/or future sound system/wireless speakers. I think I am ok with just local access, but wouldn't mind an upgrade path to accessing it anywhere via the internet. (or do it now if it doesn't require a lot more investment.)
Also easy, since WMC, Mediabrowser, XBMC, etc will all play music locally (and from other PC shares in the house)

I'd go ahead and organize it well on the Main HTPC/Server, then get activate Google Music on your gmail account (or create a gmail account and add google music to it)
Then download the google music manager and let it upload all of your stuff to Google servers. (This will take a long time, and you are limited to 20,000 songs)
Upgrade your android devices to at least 4.0, and sign in to the stock music app. All of your stored songs will be there smile.gif
iOS has some third party stuff, but I've never used it. Looks the same, and probably works well. gMusic for example
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3) Record TV - We will have an HDTV antenna and want to record tv shows. I would also like to be able to record any internet streaming video with a service such as PlayOn or equivalent solution. No cable tv recording needed.
Record OTA TV is pretty flexible. You could use Mediaportal, NextPVR, Windows media center, mythtv, and lots more (just check for tuner compatibility when your planning the Tuner card purchase)
XBMC is hard at work on integrating several of the above mentioned backends into their PVR builds
WMC just works
Sorry, but all I know about recording streaming video is that you usually have to run a separate app that reframes & records the content . . . others will likely chime in
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post #5 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the input guys. So no one out there thinks I can implement this on a Plug Computer?
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post #6 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 04:06 PM
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Also, I forgot to mention, but a great way to keep using the Roku is to install Plex on it from the Roku app store (whatever it's called) http://plexapp.com/roku/

Then install the server version of Plex on the HTPC. The G530 should be able to transcode to your Roku box just fine

I guess you could also use plex for music on your phones, but I prefer native clients whenever possible (i.e. Android's Music Player)
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post #7 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbird02 View Post

Thanks so much for the input guys. So no one out there thinks I can implement this on a Plug Computer?

Not if you really value the storage part of it . . .

I think you are talking about HDMI-Android plugs similar to the MK 806

I am not aware of any server-equivalent software apps for Android that would enable samba sharing for a windows environment

Also, most of the current lineup is Rockchip dual core or some variant, several apps are still not yet supported (netflix is among these last I checked)

If google were to push a Nexus type Android server, it would probably be low power, cool, and well developed. Until then I'd expect a fairly long wait on that becoming a reality

Also, most of these have only 1 usb port, you'd be much better off to go with a standard PC type build and try to maximize power conservation through the use of Hard Drive spin down, low rpm fans, efficient PSU, current cpu, and sleep while idle with WOL to provide access when needed
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post #8 of 21 Old 11-13-2012, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I was thinking more along the line of a linux plug with Marvell based processors like this
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post #9 of 21 Old 11-13-2012, 12:07 PM
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I really don't think you'd be able to run MythTV on there

Netflix may be do-able

Music and light NAS usage can be accomplished with DD WRT or Tomato routers and a portable USB 2 drive, so this could definitely handle it. Looks like the similar specs to high end routers like the e4200

tv server and internet streaming would be hold backs

I personally think you'd get better bang for your buck to pick up a g550 from microcenter for $35 and start up a FreeNAS project in an existing computer case. Based on FreeBSD and will get you better sharing throughput than Debian running Samba services
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post #10 of 21 Old 02-11-2013, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Sounds like your looking for a value oriented HTPC.

Minimum price/choice:
$60 AsRock mobo
$40 G530 CPU
$25 4gb ddr3 ram
$130 3TB storage drive
$40 HTPC case and CPU
$55 60GB SSD for OS drive

Can you recommend the model # of AsRock mobo?
Any recommendations of good case?
How about the SSD drive?
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post #11 of 21 Old 02-11-2013, 01:14 PM
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The motherboard would matter with the case. (it should fit. IE- Micro ATX mobo and Micro ATX case)

Personally- I would get a Micro ATX model Asrock and the Silverstone 03 case.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157303

and

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163174

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post #12 of 21 Old 02-11-2013, 01:19 PM
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As far as SSD, I am a bit of an SSD snob. I like fast ones:

Here is my favorites:

MAX IOPS (Toshiba TOGGLE NAND 120GB) $89
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227714

Samsung 840: $98

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Series-120GB-internal-MZ-7TD120BW/dp/B009NHAF06/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360617403&sr=8-2&keywords=samsung+840

Also like:

OCZ VERTEX 4 128GB
SAMSUNG 840PRO (Has better NAND inside and very fast!)

Plextor M5 and M5 Pro are good options too:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820249024

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820249032


Do you have a budget ?

I am not a fan of 64GB drives they are too small and too slow. Cheaper SSD in the 120/128 range are probably not cheap enough to give up the performance they do against the drives I have listed.

I'd say get the MAX IOPS for $90 is a good value, as is the SAMSUNG840/VERTEX4 under $100

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post #13 of 21 Old 02-11-2013, 01:23 PM
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If you need a cheap SSD you can check out Crucial M4 64GB or an Agility model from OCZ ($50-60) but it's slower and has lower quality memory NAND inside.

Note:

The Ivy bridge version of the G540 CPU I reccomended was on sale today at Superbiz for $35 with coupon CODE: TECHLUV

That code should save you another $5 off any CPU you choose. Superbiz has prices on CPU about $15 cheaper than Newegg already. They ship really fast too.

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post #14 of 21 Old 02-11-2013, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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My budget is $350-$400 total. I am trying to stay as low as possible, but I will pay for the best value without compromising performance. So as far as HDD goes - if it will effect the performance of the media portion(video/Audio/recording & playback) I will not skimp on it. If it has to do with performance of the data flowing over the network(file transfer), I am not really concerned about that.
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post #15 of 21 Old 02-11-2013, 02:06 PM
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Have you seen the TV tuner for $10 in the deals subforum? It will do OTA recording, but only 1 recording per card meaning you would need multiple if you want to watch and record simultaneously. It is also a full height card. But at $10, if you got the slot's it's a steal still. Figured I'd make you aware of it whether you choose it or not smile.gif
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post #16 of 21 Old 02-11-2013, 02:26 PM
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Do you have an old PC that is not being used anymore? Just convert it into server-use for little to no money other than HD storage.

Stick it in a closet or in your basement on your wired network and you are good to go.

To record OTA TV there are a ton of free options like Media Portal, NextPVR, or of the old PC can run Vista or Windows 7 then most editions have Media Center built in.

If the PC is powerful enough then you can run Plex which can stream to most any device.
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post #17 of 21 Old 02-11-2013, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll check out the tuner card. Do not want the plug load of an old computer 24x7.
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post #18 of 21 Old 02-11-2013, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Have you seen the TV tuner for $10 in the deals subforum?

Do you have a link? Can't find it
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post #19 of 21 Old 02-11-2013, 04:05 PM
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post #20 of 21 Old 02-11-2013, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbird02 View Post

My budget is $350-$400 total. I am trying to stay as low as possible, but I will pay for the best value without compromising performance. So as far as HDD goes - if it will effect the performance of the media portion(video/Audio/recording & playback) I will not skimp on it. If it has to do with performance of the data flowing over the network(file transfer), I am not really concerned about that.

Hard drive performance isn't a concern unless you want to stream many blu-rays at the same time. Network performance isn't a real concern either with 100mbps or 1000mbps wired. A parity drive is worth every penny.

To get 6 sata this is the cheapest option:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131843

For 4 sata:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157324

For $350 - $400 a NAS isn't a good option when you have to buy a htpc also. Unraid is free for up to 3 drives though.
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post #21 of 21 Old 02-14-2013, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

The motherboard would matter with the case. (it should fit. IE- Micro ATX mobo and Micro ATX case)

Personally- I would get a Micro ATX model Asrock and the Silverstone 03 case.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157303

and

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163174


With this mobo, don't I have to buy a video card or a processor with a video card? I know the video is important as some have trouble with Netflix since it uses Silverlight. Seems some ideo cards just don't have compatability and the buck just gets passes between Netflix/Microsoft and the card manufacturer - with no solutions.
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