please help me understand my options for digital storage - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-31-2013, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I have an HTPC that is reaching its maximum storage capacity of 1.8 TB. The HTPC is wired to my airport extreme router and both have an open USB port. I was thinking about adding a 4 TB external hard drive to the system like this one. http://www.amazon.com/Book-External-Drive-Storage-Backup/dp/B008S94HXG

I currently only watch the movies stored on the HTPC on my PJ that is wired to however I would like to add devices to two other tvs that could access the movies wireless as well.

1) Is an external hd the best option in the $200-$300 range or are there any other options I should look at?
2) Are there brands or models to stay away from?
3) Should I hang in on the router or directly to the HTPC?


thank you in advance!

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post #2 of 10 Old 09-01-2013, 06:20 AM
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are you open to the idea of building a server or freenas based pc?

if you want to keep it simple you can buy a 4 or 8 bay external enclosure. this way when you fill up a 4tb hard drive you have room to add more.


My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-02-2013, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

are you open to the idea of building a server or freenas based pc?

if you want to keep it simple you can buy a 4 or 8 bay external enclosure. this way when you fill up a 4tb hard drive you have room to add more.


Yes I'm open to that idea but I dont have any experience with multi bay servers or how to incorporate them into my home system.

Where should I start?


Thanks!

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post #4 of 10 Old 09-02-2013, 03:19 PM
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Mediasonic ProBox HF2-SU3S2 (H82-SU3S2) is a 4 (8) Bay USB 3.0/eSATA Enclosure. Just attach it to your HTPC and use HDD as local drives.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-03-2013, 05:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Mediasonic ProBox HF2-SU3S2 (H82-SU3S2) is a 4 (8) Bay USB 3.0/eSATA Enclosure. Just attach it to your HTPC and use HDD as local drives.

http://www.amazon.com/Mediasonic-HF2-SU3S2-ProBox-Drive-Enclosure/dp/B003X26VV4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378207134&sr=8-1&keywords=Mediasonic+ProBox+HF2-SU3S2


Plus

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Desktop-3-5-Inch-Internal-ST4000DM000/dp/B00B99JU4S/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1378208863&sr=1-1&keywords=4tb+hard+drive

With this I am under my $300 budget and have the ability to add up to 3 additional hard drives in the future? I dont have to fill it up with 4 hard drives now correct?

Assuming the above is correct, how do i make sure my HTPC is compatable or has the needed mother board and conections?

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post #6 of 10 Old 09-03-2013, 06:32 AM
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You are correct - you can add a drive at a time, mixing and matching makes and models.

There are two ways to connect it to your PC - USB and esata. Using a USB 3.0 port is the fastest data transfer speed (I think). So if you have a USB 3.0 port on your PC that is probably the best way. Even if you only have 2.0 connections its still fast enough to record to and play movies from. When you plug it in and turn the computer on it will show each drive individually.

esata would require an esata port on the motherboard (or an add on card) for starters, and that connection would need to support a feature called port multiplier. I was surprised that isn't a native feature on most motherboards.

My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-03-2013, 07:27 AM
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That wouldn't allow him to access anything off of the HDs on the other TVs in the house (at least not easily). If the external HDs are only hooked up to the HTPC, then it would always have to be on for other TVS in the house to retrieve anything stored on them.

I think he'll need to go NAS.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-03-2013, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mteastham View Post

That wouldn't allow him to access anything off of the HDs on the other TVs in the house (at least not easily). If the external HDs are only hooked up to the HTPC, then it would always have to be on for other TVS in the house to retrieve anything stored on them.

I think he'll need to go NAS.


NAS? Is that storage hung off the router instead of the HTPC? Sorry if that is a poor question that shows my ignorance.

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post #9 of 10 Old 09-03-2013, 11:11 AM
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NAS is short for network attached storage. It is a simple file server that sits on your network. To access its settings you typically use a web browser from another PC in your home and navigate to it's internal network IP address.

A NAS could be a great device and would fit in your $300 max price. I didn't suggest one outright since I think keeping the main htpc on with an external enclosure is a bit more simple than having a headless server type device sitting on your network. It would be one less thing to trouble shoot if you run into an issue. But NAS servers are very popular on the forum at large for people to create their own "cloud." You can buy a NAS from a company like Western Digital or Drobo or you can use software like FreeNAS to turn a computer into a NAS.

My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-03-2013, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I do have a spare pc that could be used. Not much of a hard dive on it though (500gb.)

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