Combining XBMC, Plex, and a NAS... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,

I want XBMC for my primary HTPC... but I want Plex for its transcoding and mobile apps... and I want a NAS to store everything. I think I've figured out how to get it all, but I just want to run a sanity check.

NAS - I've decided on the Synology DS1512+. I'm going to get that soon. Great NAS, but the CPU isn't fast enough for Plex's transcoding so that brings me to...

HTPC - I'll build one based on an i5 or something similar, and I'm going to rub Ubuntu with XBMC. XBMC can play all of my video files off the NAS.

Plex - I'll actually run Plex Media Server on the HTPC itself. It will read the files from the NAS, but it will do transcoding on the HTPC. This way, I can view all of my content remotely w/ the Plex mobile apps.

Any flawed logic in this setup? Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 04:44 PM
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You must hate windows or MS ??

I'd personally build a media server over a NAS box. It's not much more. You can do for the same $$ and get better performance. Install Plex on that. Running plex on another machine (directly on your media server) will allow it to operate better and perform optimally. (no Network limits or LAN limits)

You can get a simple CPU for your unbuntu xbmc machine. i5 is overkill. A new $60 Ivy chip would be fine. Any dual core 1155 socket is fine to crush XMBC only machine duties. Save the cash. Spend it on a better media server.

A cheap i5 might make sense if your doing mega transcoding. My mediaserver can transcode fine with my G860 so you really won't need an i5 there either. I'd get an $80 3225 i3 from Microcenter ($119-$40 bundle discount) perhaps for both machines ?

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post #3 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm a big fan of Linux. Nothing against MS, but I'm not seeing much effort put into WMC.

I want a NAS for a lot more than just media streaming so I'm going to get a NAS. I understand that there are a variety of alternate setups out there. Looking for validation on whether mine is sane.

The CPU recommendations are helpful. The only thing I was thinking is that my wife could theoretically be playing a movie on XBMC while I'm traveling and streaming via Plex... so I wanted to beef up the CPU a bit.

I definitely want a dedicated NAS, and I don't want to build it. It's my data, the most important thing to me in the world, so I wanna go off-the-shelf w/ a reputable brand. I was hoping to combine the media streamer and HTPC into a single box by beefing up the CPU and running Plex Media Server w/ XBMC on the same machine.
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hungarianhc View Post

I definitely want a dedicated NAS, and I don't want to build it. It's my data, the most important thing to me in the world, so I wanna go off-the-shelf w/ a reputable brand.

Hmmm... ok, fair enough. Just make sure you have a good backup plan. A dedicated NAS is functionally equivalent to any self-built server, and the self-built server can usually do much more than a NAS. Unless that NAS comes with a guarantee on your data, neither one will protect you if the RAID, or disks fail.

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I was hoping to combine the media streamer and HTPC into a single box by beefing up the CPU and running Plex Media Server w/ XBMC on the same machine.

Easily doable. I'm not hip to on-the-fly transcoding, but I'd say a Core i3 or i5 would be just fine nowadays. In fact, a self-built server with the right hardware can serve as your Plex Media Center box, while you can build a purpose built XBMC box for the living area. Keeping those duties separate might save you a phone call in the future where you are watching a transcoded video from afar and your wife calls to ask why is the main media center so slow. wink.gif
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Just make sure you have a good backup plan.
Oh for sure! I always have three "copies" of the data. All of my macs currently back up to Time Machine, and I store those backups in the cloud...
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Easily doable. I'm not hip to on-the-fly transcoding, but I'd say a Core i3 or i5 would be just fine nowadays. In fact, a self-built server with the right hardware can serve as your Plex Media Center box, while you can build a purpose built XBMC box for the living area. Keeping those duties separate might save you a phone call in the future where you are watching a transcoded video from afar and your wife calls to ask why is the main media center so slow. wink.gif
Yeah that's a good point as well, but then I have to have three boxes - I may even do some Steam gaming on the Linux HTPC so I think I'll put some pretty beefy hardware in there!
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-13-2013, 05:42 AM
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I think a server with parity back up and online back up cloud like crash plan is a lot safer than a NAS.

Crash plan has not file size limits for $10 month.

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post #7 of 12 Old 02-13-2013, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I think a server with parity back up and online back up cloud like crash plan is a lot safer than a NAS.

Crash plan has not file size limits for $10 month.

A decent NAS should be configurable for doing this.

E.g.
http://forum.synology.com/wiki/index.php/How_to_Manage_the_Synology_RAID_Volume
http://forum.synology.com/wiki/index.php/CrashPlan_Headless_Client

(Not that I am recommending Synology -- it's just an example)

And don't forget what's one person's server is another person's NAS and vice-versa smile.gif.

 

 

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post #8 of 12 Old 02-13-2013, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm actually planning on going w/ Symform for my cloud based backup. Have you guys heard of it? It's free distributed p2p storage. In order to get "free" space, you must contribute 2x that. In other words, if I contribute 2TB of free space, I get 1TB of cloud storage. I'll be using that. There's a package for it built into Synology.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-13-2013, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hungarianhc View Post

I'm actually planning on going w/ Symform for my cloud based backup. Have you guys heard of it? It's free distributed p2p storage. In order to get "free" space, you must contribute 2x that. In other words, if I contribute 2TB of free space, I get 1TB of cloud storage. I'll be using that. There's a package for it built into Synology.

This sounds neat. I had this exact same idea but limited to enterprise customers. Looks like I might be too late. frown.gif. Many businesses have 100 or even 1000 desktops sitting around with tons of free HD space that could be used for enterprise-level backups.
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-13-2013, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hungarianhc View Post

I'm actually planning on going w/ Symform for my cloud based backup. Have you guys heard of it? It's free distributed p2p storage. In order to get "free" space, you must contribute 2x that. In other words, if I contribute 2TB of free space, I get 1TB of cloud storage. I'll be using that. There's a package for it built into Synology.


I tried it and it was slow and generally crappy.

I use Dropbox.

I loved the concept but not the reality.

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post #11 of 12 Old 02-13-2013, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Recent builds are much improved. Dropbox is not economical for terabytes of storage.
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post #12 of 12 Old 02-13-2013, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

This sounds neat. I had this exact same idea but limited to enterprise customers. Looks like I might be too late. frown.gif. Many businesses have 100 or even 1000 desktops sitting around with tons of free HD space that could be used for enterprise-level backups.

I would donate a TB of my space in exchange for a TB of cloud sync.

Just the product isn't that good. Syncs are incomplete. What I had on my desktop never populated onto my other machine.

It sucked.

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