Who else has built a ridiculously overpowered HTPC? What's your story? - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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post #121 of 346 Old 04-16-2014, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by btinindy View Post

What would you do with four blu ray burners? Is there a program that could rip 4 simultaneous Blu Rays? Just curious to know what I am missing out on!

Multiple instances of ImgBurn will do it. I like ripping to ISO first for backup purposes and when it's on the HDD, that's when I run it through MakeMKV.
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post #122 of 346 Old 04-16-2014, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

Multiple instances of ImgBurn will do it. I like ripping to ISO first for backup purposes and when it's on the HDD, that's when I run it through MakeMKV.

It's much faster to run MAKEMKV on an ISO - so this makes sense. smile.gif

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post #123 of 346 Old 04-16-2014, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by el aye View Post

Not my HTPC, but my server replacement I'm building right now:

Core i5-4430 (haswell)... was originally going to use a Pentium G3220 but I got the i5 for $100
ASRock Z87 itx
4gb RAM (split a 16gb kit between my desktop and server)
4x4tb drives (currently trying to find)
Crucial 64gb M4 SSD
Server 2012 essentials

This is replacing an EX495 with Q9400 (quad core), mainly because it isn't going to cost me much to upgrade and now I have a case/mobo that supports more than 4 internal drives.

My and my parent's HTPCs were built last year using Core i3-3225 and ASRock H77m ITX, 4gb samsung "wonder" ram.
If you have an HTPC I'm curious why you need a server. Wouldn't a built up NAS suffice?

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Speakers/Sub: (4) NHT Classic Two and an NHT TwoC center + PSA-XV15 subwoofer.
HTPC: z97 mobo, 16GB mem, i5-4440, SSD+HD, LG BD drive, Win 8.1 pro w/WMC + MB3.
Content sources: OTA Winegard HD7698P, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Netflix etc.
HDTV: Sharp LC-60SQ15U (ehhh).
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post #124 of 346 Old 04-16-2014, 02:39 PM
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I have a FreeNAS server to handle all of my couchpotato, torrents, and plex media server. This just helps to offload some of the resources of my HTPC. Since my server is on 24/7 might as well have it handle these type of things.

My htpc are pretty low powered compared to some but at one point I had a quadcore q7700 being my HTPC and gaming rig till I started playing more on my 360.
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post #125 of 346 Old 04-16-2014, 03:52 PM
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Heck if you just want to be able to access a storage device remotely why not connect a massive external HDD to a new AC router via USB 3.0?

Living room theater set-up:  
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1124-K.
Speakers/Sub: (4) NHT Classic Two and an NHT TwoC center + PSA-XV15 subwoofer.
HTPC: z97 mobo, 16GB mem, i5-4440, SSD+HD, LG BD drive, Win 8.1 pro w/WMC + MB3.
Content sources: OTA Winegard HD7698P, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Netflix etc.
HDTV: Sharp LC-60SQ15U (ehhh).
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post #126 of 346 Old 04-16-2014, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhughy2010 View Post

If you have an HTPC I'm curious why you need a server. Wouldn't a built up NAS suffice?

I suppose I could get away with a NAS, but I like the expandability and other perks of using Server 2012.

My progression has been:
Acer H340 (single core Atom?), spent $300
Cost me $15 to upgrade to EX495 w/ Q9400 and switch from 2tb+3x1.5tb to 1.5tb+3x2tb
Current server upgrade estimating to cost me $50 to upgrade to Core i5 and from 12tb to 16tb.
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post #127 of 346 Old 04-21-2014, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by el aye View Post

I suppose I could get away with a NAS, but I like the expandability and other perks of using Server 2012.

I agree 100% biggrin.gif (Although I am ancient and still use 2011 WHS with FLEXRAID)

Having a real media server running a windows OS can provide a vast amount of features and functionality you can't get with a "NAS" or premade box.

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post #128 of 346 Old 04-21-2014, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I agree 100% biggrin.gif (Although I am ancient and still use 2011 WHS with FLEXRAID)

Having a real media server running a windows OS can provide a vast amount of features and functionality you can't get with a "NAS" or premade box.

What can you do with an HTPC & WHS/SE that you couldn't do with an HTPC & NAS?

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #129 of 346 Old 04-21-2014, 05:09 PM
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I like being able to remote in and use it as a second windows machine. I like running stuff directly on the server, like plex server or mb server. The server is constant, stable and always on. I do a lot on my server actually.

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post #130 of 346 Old 04-21-2014, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I like being able to remote in and use it as a second windows machine. I like running stuff directly on the server, like plex server or mb server. The server is constant, stable and always on. I do a lot on my server actually.

Right, but what do you do on your server that you can't do on the HTPC/NAS combo?

You said there was stuff you can't do on the NAS. I'm curious about what can't be done?

(My storage server is a Windows box for the record. But I wasn't aware of any functional limitations I could run into should I choose to go the NAS route)

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #131 of 346 Old 04-21-2014, 07:22 PM
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NAS boxes generally don't run an OS...

Sent from my Note3 via Tapatalk
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post #132 of 346 Old 04-21-2014, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by goros View Post

NAS boxes generally don't run an OS...

Sent from my Note3 via Tapatalk

There are more NAS boxes that run an OS than there ones that are hard coded. Most run on Linux.
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6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #133 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

It's much faster to run MAKEMKV on an ISO - so this makes sense. smile.gif

Even more so if your scratch drive is an SSD. biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

Right, but what do you do on your server that you can't do on the HTPC/NAS combo?

You said there was stuff you can't do on the NAS. I'm curious about what can't be done?

(My storage server is a Windows box for the record. But I wasn't aware of any functional limitations I could run into should I choose to go the NAS route)

Given the CPU limitations on most pre-made NAS boxes, how about real-time transcoding for internet streaming to mobile devices? I also use the server as central DVR, iTunes syncing and Blu-ray ripping with AnyDVD HD. As mentioned already the Media Browser 3 server still doesn't work on NAS boxes (although Plex Media Server does).

Sure, it's possible to offload the heavy lifting to the HTPC but it's generally not ideal to do management-type stuff on it when other members of the family just want to watch something.
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post #134 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

Given the CPU limitations on most pre-made NAS boxes, how about real-time transcoding for internet streaming to mobile devices? I also use the server for iTunes syncing. As mentioned already the Media Browser 3 still don't work on NAS boxes (although Plex does).

I can do realtime transcoding, iTunes syncing, MB3 etc on an HTPC/NAS combo.

I think some people here are confusing how they prefer to do things vs what they can or can't do.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #135 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

I can do realtime transcoding, iTunes syncing, MB3 etc on an HTPC/NAS combo.

I think some people here are confusing how they prefer to do things vs what they can or can't do.

Sure, but how about doing all that while someone else is using the HTPC?
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post #136 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

Sure, but how about doing all that while someone else is using the HTPC?

Yeah.... How about it?

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #137 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

Sure, but how about doing all that while someone else is using the HTPC?

This is the main reason I prefer a server. I went over my brothers house the other day because I borrowed his truck, he was watching one of my favorite shows on TV. I exclaimed " oh you like this show too.... I have them on my server at home" to which he replied "this is your server fool" and I laughed. Then I stopped by my moms on the way home and she was watching the same show, from my server too ! Same time. When I got home I saw wife was watching on the ROKU in the living room too. Three transcodes at once- and all was good.

My HTPC and desktop are not stagnant and stable enough to be able to function 24/7 as a server. Every time I mess around with or install something, or restart it effects the other devices that are streaming from it, including other people than myself. I feed not just HTPC's but ROKU, iphones and ipads all over the place. That's why an all in one sucks. One restart and it's all over. Many normal people if the show stopped half way through and would not resume in 8 seconds or less would be pissed, and never return to try it again. It's unacceptable. A 24/7 media server that never turns off, never restarts, and is rock solid stable is the solution and it's a way better solution than an all in one.

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post #138 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

This is the main reason I prefer a server. I went over my brothers house the other day because I borrowed his truck, he was watching one of my favorite shows on TV. I exclaimed " oh you like this show too.... I have them on my server at home" to which he replied "this is your server fool" and I laughed. Then I stopped by my moms on the way home and she was watching the same show, from my server too ! Same time. When I got home I saw wife was watching on the ROKU in the living room too. Three transcodes at once- and all was good.

My HTPC and desktop are not stagnant and stable enough to be able to function 24/7 as a server. Every time I mess around with or install something, or restart it effects the other devices that are streaming from it, including other people than myself. I feed not just HTPC's but ROKU, iphones and ipads all over the place. That's why an all in one sucks. One restart and it's all over. Many normal people if the show stopped half way through and would not resume in 8 seconds or less would be pissed, and never return to try it again. It's unacceptable. A 24/7 media server that never turns off, never restarts, and is rock solid stable is the solution and it's a way better solution than an all in one.

That's great and all, but there is no reason someone couldn't do that with a NAS. Just because your HTPC isn't stable enough to do it doesn't mean it can't be done.

The idea that a NAS limits you in some way is utterly false.

I get that some people might prefer to set things up a different way, (I'm one of those people) but using a NAS isn't inherently limiting.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #139 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 09:42 AM
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What pre-made NAS has that kind of power built into it ? And what NAS would run windows so I would not be limited in what applications I could run on it ? I'll agree it's possible for the sake of not arguing semantics with you, but it's not something that would be my first choice or way of wanting to do it.

The bottom line is I do tons of stuff with my WHS server that I would not want to try and do (if I could) with a NAS. I remote into it on a second monitor all the time and use it as a windows machine (locally) to do extra work simultaneously- it's very handy for a second instance of MakeMKV, or mediaCenterMaster, and very handy for a second simultaneous encode- cutting down drastically the time it takes me to do the stuff I need to do to manage my media. Bottom line is I like being able to install the unlimited amount of stuff available for windows if I should so choose and the second you move away from windows based OS you lose that.

Please consider the fact that most premade or "NAS" that are non windows are almost always slow and limited in processing power; if they are not they are super duper expensive. I don't think your wrong about it being possible, but it's not really the best choice IMO.

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post #140 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 10:33 AM
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I agree in regards to the WHS over the NAS. A NAS is just that, a networked storage device. It's barely a server.

I was doing ripping on my HTPC the other day and wishing for a server when I was being scolded for hogging the main TV in the house.

Living room theater set-up:  
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1124-K.
Speakers/Sub: (4) NHT Classic Two and an NHT TwoC center + PSA-XV15 subwoofer.
HTPC: z97 mobo, 16GB mem, i5-4440, SSD+HD, LG BD drive, Win 8.1 pro w/WMC + MB3.
Content sources: OTA Winegard HD7698P, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Netflix etc.
HDTV: Sharp LC-60SQ15U (ehhh).
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post #141 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 10:56 AM
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Since no one seems to understand what it is I asked, I'll try again.

I'm very well aware of the differences between a NAS and a Server. I'm aware of the differences in operating systems, processing power, and everything else.

But even with those differences, what can you do with a WHS/HTPC combo that you can't do with a HTPC/NAS combo? The whole point is you aren't going to have a NAS with nothing connected to it. Moreover, this is a thread about building ridiculously overpowered HTPCs. So when I ask about what you can't do with one combo compared to the other, I don't care about the differences between a NAS and Server. I already know the differences. I want to know what you can do with an HTPC/Server combo that you can't do with a HTPC/NAS combo.

So far I haven't seen anything in response to that question.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #142 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

Since no one seems to understand what it is I asked, I'll try again.

I'm very well aware of the differences between a NAS and a Server. I'm aware of the differences in operating systems, processing power, and everything else.

So far I haven't seen anything in response to that question.
You might state that you're "aware" of the differences in processing power but you don't seem to understand what that means? In this particular case you missed one crucial line...
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Three transcodes at once- and all was good.
Emphasis added.

Not only was his server streaming three different things (at least two over the internet I assume), it was transcoding the streams as well. Most NASes can't even do one transcode unless, as Mfusick said, they are very expensive. Even then the expensive Atom (and similar) powered ones would likely only be able to do one transcode if that and the CPU would be maxed out.

Personally I have a NAS and it does everything I want--I have no need for a server myself and don't need to waste the power one requires on average, compared to a NAS box. I don't require my NAS to do any transcoding, don't ever even need to access it over the intarwebs, nor do I have any one else ever accessing it but me. I have several computers in the house but hey I'm never using more than two of them at the same time anyway and the NAS has no problem handling my needs. I only have 2TB of storage in it too, not like 50-100TB like people seem to require here, lol.

So yeah a NAS may work fine for you, but for others and for other uses and demands, most NAS boxes can't handle much and indeed in those cases a server is a much better solution.
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post #143 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 11:25 AM
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I'm debating with myself if I should add additional comments to satisfy ajhieb's request, trying to decide if I care enough or not to type it all out. I'm on my phone and this I think I've decided a reply will have to wait. The response would be lengthy if I wanted to trace step by step the differences for clarity.

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post #144 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 11:38 AM
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You might state that you're "aware" of the differences in processing power but you don't seem to understand what that means? In this particular case you missed one crucial line...
Emphasis added.

Not only was his server streaming three different things (at least two over the internet I assume), it was transcoding the streams as well. Most NASes can't even do one transcode unless, as Mfusick said, they are very expensive. Even then the expensive Atom (and similar) powered ones would likely only be able to do one transcode if that and the CPU would be maxed out.

Personally I have a NAS and it does everything I want--I have no need for a server myself and don't need to waste the power one requires on average, compared to a NAS box. I don't require my NAS to do any transcoding, don't ever even need to access it over the intarwebs, nor do I have any one else ever accessing it but me. I have several computers in the house but hey I'm never using more than two of them at the same time anyway and the NAS has no problem handling my needs. I only have 2TB of storage in it too, not like 50-100TB like people seem to require here, lol.

So yeah a NAS may work fine for you, but for others and for other uses and demands, most NAS boxes can't handle much and indeed in those cases a server is a much better solution.

So you're telling me that I can't transcode three streams at once using a NAS and an HTPC?

That's news to me, because I' was under the impression my ridiculously overpowered HTPC could handle that just fine.

Again, you're focusing on one specific device (the NAS) and completely ignoring that it isn't the only device in the equation. I'm well aware that a NAS isn't the best solution for every situation, and I never suggested otherwise.

I was simply addressing the sentiment that if you had a NAS you were somehow limiting yourself in capabilities, and that simply isn't true.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #145 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I'm debating with myself if I should add additional comments to satisfy ajhieb's request, trying to decide if I care enough or not to type it all out. I'm on my phone and this I think I've decided a reply will have to wait. The response would be lengthy if I wanted to trace step by step the differences for clarity.

Nobody is asking for the differences. I'm aware of the differences.

I'm simply asking if there is something that you can do with a HTYPC/Server combo that you can't do with a HTPC/NAS combo. If there is, then name it. If there isn't, then say there isn't. It shouldn't require a novel to say what it is you can do with one and not the other. Don't make it harder than it needs to be.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #146 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

But even with those differences, what can you do with a WHS/HTPC combo that you can't do with a HTPC/NAS combo? The whole point is you aren't going to have a NAS with nothing connected to it. Moreover, this is a thread about building ridiculously overpowered HTPCs. So when I ask about what you can't do with one combo compared to the other, I don't care about the differences between a NAS and Server. I already know the differences. I want to know what you can do with an HTPC/Server combo that you can't do with a HTPC/NAS combo.

Well, I can't turn off the HTPC or put it offline to work on it while still having MB3 server, DVR, iTunes, etc. working. smile.gif
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post #147 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

Well, I can't turn off the HTPC or put it offline to work on it while still having MB3 server, DVR, iTunes, etc. working. smile.gif

Yes, being powered on is a requirement for most electronic devices to operate if I'm not mistaken.

But you can still use MB3 server, DVR, iTunes etc with a NAS+HTPC. None of those things are precluded by using a NAS+HTPC.

The question was asked why would you need a server instead of a NAS. You don't need s server to run MB3 server, a DVR, iTunes, etc. You may certainly prefer it, but that isn't the same as a need. A server will certainly make more sense in many different scenarios. I'm not suggesting it is a poor choice. I'm simply saying it isn't a necessary one. It is a luxury. (Even within the confines of a discussion about purely trivial movie watching)

And there may be something that you soimply can't do on a NAS/HTPC combo that can be done on a Server/HTPC combo, but I sure don't know what it is, nor has anyone here mentioned what that thing might be.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #148 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

Yes, being powered on is a requirement for most electronic devices to operate if I'm not mistaken.

But you can still use MB3 server, DVR, iTunes etc with a NAS. None of those things are precluded by using a NAS.

The question was asked why would you need a server instead of a NAS. You don't need s server to run MB3 server, a DVR, iTunes, etc. You may certainly prefer it, but that isn't the same as a need. A server will certainly make more sense in many different scenarios. I'm not suggesting it is a poor choice. I'm simply saying it isn't a necessary one. It is a luxury. (Even within the confines of a discussion about purely trivial movie watching)

And there may be something that you soimply can't do on a NAS/HTPC combo that can be done on a Server/HTPC combo, but I sure don't know what it is, nor has anyone here mentioned what that thing might be.

I think I'd have to ask, how do you define a NAS? Because when I think of NAS, it's mostly in reference to boxes with one or more drive bays running underpowered ARM CPU's. Last I checked, you can't run MB3 or Plex Media Server on those while still having the grunt to do real-time transcoding to an iPad or something. I don't think they'd run iTunes, either. With an HTPC/dumb NAS configuration, the HTPC does all the grunt work. If you take the HTPC offline, then you become limited in what you can do.

Also, how would you define a server? Because for me, any x86 build with a halfway decent CPU constitutes as a server. Doesn't really matter what OS you choose to run on it.

Besides, the original question was what can you do with a Server/HTPC combo that you can't do with a NAS/HTPC combo. Not why would someone need a server. Whether the best choice is Server/HTPC or NAS/HTPC or even something else entirely would differ from person to person obviously.
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post #149 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

I think I'd have to ask, how do you define a NAS? Because when I think of NAS, it's mostly in reference to boxes with one or more drive bays running underpowered ARM CPU's. Last I checked, you can't run MB3 or Plex Media Server on those while still having the grunt to do real-time transcoding to an iPad or something. With an HTPC/dumb NAS configuration, the HTPC does all the grunt. If you take the HTPC offline, then you become limited in what you can do.

Also, how would you define a server? Because for me, any x86 build with a halfway decent CPU constitutes as a server.

Edited original post for clarity (though it is the same premise as I have always posed)

But you can still use MB3 server, DVR, iTunes etc with a NAS+HTPC. None of those things are precluded by using a NAS+HTPC.

Does MB3 Require a server to run? No. It doesn't
Does iTunes require a server to run? No. It doesn't.
Does Plex require a server to run? No. It doesn't.
Does transcoding require a server? No, it doesn't.

All of those things can be done on a HTPC. If you don't have an HTPC, then I'm not sure why you'd be participating in this discussion of ridiculously overpowered HTPCs.

Again, there are some advantages to using a server vs a NAS. No one has said otherwise.

You absolutely can do any of the things I've mentioned on an HTPC+NAS. For that matter, you don't even need the NAS. Your full blown server isn't going to be able to transcode much when it is turned off either. So suggesting that the NAS+HTPC can't do something because it's turned off is ridiculous. It absolutely can do it. If you choose to turn your HTPC off, that's fine, and that certainly is a viable reason to want to choose a server over a NAS. But that's doesn't change the functionality of the HTPC+NAS combo.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #150 of 346 Old 04-22-2014, 12:32 PM
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Besides, the original question was what can you do with a Server/HTPC combo that you can't do with a NAS/HTPC combo. Not why would someone need a server. Whether the best choice is Server/HTPC or NAS/HTPC or even something else entirely would differ from person to person obviously.
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Originally Posted by jhughy2010 View Post

If you have an HTPC I'm curious why you need a server. Wouldn't a built up NAS suffice?

The original question was why you would need a Server instead of a NAS.

I followed that up with what could you do on a server that you couldn't do on a NAS.

That question still stands.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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