Who else has built a ridiculously overpowered HTPC? What's your story? - Page 6 - AVS Forum
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

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.
Your PC can but the NAS can't. You're confusing streaming (or just general network access to files) to transcoding and then streaming. In the former, sure, the NAS box can probably serve/stream multiple HD files (or even the same file) to different PCs, no problem. However it can't transcode them and send them because the NAS CPU isn't powerful enough to do even one transcode, never mind all the other things it has to do. And in the case of just network access, you probably don't need to do any transcoding at all because the PC on the other end is handling whatever format it is, just fine as well.
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Originally Posted by ajhieb 
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.
I'm not really sure what you're on about (???) but even though you keep saying you know what the differences are, it sounds more like you don't know what you're talking about at all, lol. In any event if a NAS works for you, as I said, that's all you need to have. If you needed a server you would probably know it, and know why you needed one (instead of just saying "I know" but then not really knowing). I wouldn't worry too much about it.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb 
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.

But aren't you just using the HTPC as server in this case? Frankly, you don't even need the NAS either. DAS will work just fine, too.

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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

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

Whether you "need" a separate server or not depends entirely on individual circumstances.

I have a separate server in order to serve multiple PC's (including HTPC's) and mobile devices around the house. This way, if I ever need to take one of the HTPC's offline, my other HTPC's and devices remain unaffected.

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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

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

And this one, I believe I've answered.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ES_Revenge View Post

Your PC can but the NAS can't. You're confusing streaming (or just general network access to files) to transcoding and then streaming. In the former, sure, the NAS box can probably serve/stream multiple HD files (or even the same file) to different PCs, no problem. However it can't transcode them and send them because the NAS CPU isn't powerful enough to do even one transcode, never mind all the other things it has to do. And in the case of just network access, you probably don't need to do any transcoding at all because the PC on the other end is handling whatever format it is, just fine as well.

Yes, I know that the NAS box can't transcode multiple streams by itself. But that was'n t the question. The question was regarding a NAS AND an HTPC. I'm including the HTPC because this is a forum about HTPCS, and specifically a thread about ridiculously overpowered HTPCs in a discussion about using HTPCs. It's an inherent part of the setup in this discussion. Talking about a NAS box without an HTPC on here would be like talking about building a house without a piece of land to put it on. Nobody is building houses floating in the sky, and no one on here is putting a NAS in for their home theater without having a HTPC to connect to it.

So again, I'll ask... what can an HTPC+Server combo do that an HTPC+NAS combo can't do?


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I'm not really sure what you're on about but eventhough you keeps saying you know what the differences are it sounds more like you don't know what you're talking about, lol. In any event if a NAS works for you, as I said, that's all you need to have. If you needed a server you would probably know it, and know why you needed one (instead of just saying "I know" but then not really knowing). I wouldn't worry too much about it.

It sound to me like you're just having trouble with reading comprehension as I haven't said anything remotely like what you've suggested I've said.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

But aren't you just using the HTPC as server in this case?

By your definition of a server, every PC is a server. So yes, the HTPC would be acting as a server. (but not a storage server, which I believe was the context of the discussion, no?)


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Frankly, you don't even need the NAS either. DAS will work just fine, too.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I already said that.

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Whether you "need" a separate server or not depends entirely on individual circumstances.

Circumstances will vary, but when looking at the capabilities of the machines, an HTPC+NAS can do anything an HTPC+Server can do. Different combinations of equipment can yield different levels of noise, heat, speed, power consumption, etc, so often one will stand out as a better choice, but in terms of the capabilities of each (HTPC+NAS vs HTPC+Server) they can both do the same things.

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I have a separate server in order to serve multiple PC's (including HTPC's) and mobile devices around the house. This way, if I ever need to take one of the HTPC's offline, my other HTPC's and devices remain unaffected.
And this one, I believe I've answered.

And if you had a NAS instead of a Server, how would taking one HTPC offline affect the other HTPCs?

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:38 PM
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

So again, I'll ask... what can an HTPC+Server combo do that an HTPC+NAS combo can't do?

Nothing
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Nothing

Owning all three I'm not sure I agree. The obvious first thing is it could serve your media while the HTPC restarts or is turned off. The second thing is it could serve the HTPC and other devices transcodes, which might be handy if your HTPC is a streamer box, or wireless, or on a 720p display. The list is longer but I'm sticking with just the super obvious.

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Old 04-22-2014, 01:44 PM
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I take it you aren't looking for me to be the person who admits that

Although, when running MB3/Plex/serving multiple computers/clients, I refer to the HTPC as a Server/HTPC (which I've used for quite some time)

Most of us don't add storage by purchasing a NAS from QNAP/Synology/etc since they are so expensive, but adding your storage there and running server applications from your htpc is no different than running them from a separate/dedicated server. For that matter, just add those NAS expansions to the HTPC smile.gif That's what I did with these items
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816133030
http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/pvaul/en/dell-perc-h310-spec-sheet.pdf

When it was all said and done, I can't stop using it as an HTPC either smile.gif Seems like a waste to not use it since it works just fine
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Owning all three I'm not sure I agree. The obvious first thing is it could serve your media while the HTPC restarts or is turned off. The second thing is it could serve the HTPC and other devices transcodes, which might be handy if your HTPC is a streamer box, or wireless, or on a 720p display. The list is longer but I'm sticking with just the super obvious.

What type of NAS do you own when you say you own all three?

HTPC is the server in the HTPC+NAS combo, it can do all things a server can do

Period end of sentence, nothing can break that argument. Can't do stuff while it's turned off is the equivalent of saying you can't do those things when your server is turned off . . .

There is no list
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

By your definition of a server, every PC is a server. So yes, the HTPC would be acting as a server. (but not a storage server, which I believe was the context of the discussion, no?)

But aren't servers, much like HTPC's just computers with specialized functions? Mind, I don't think there was any actual context or limitation that "server" meant just a storage server.

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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

And if you had a NAS instead of a Server, how would taking one HTPC offline affect the other HTPCs?

1. Would need to install and set-up Media Browser 3 Server, Plex Media Server and iTunes on another HTPC.
2. Will need to set-up recordings anew on another HTPC.
3. Will need to reconfigure comskip, scripts, etc on another HTPC.

Probably need to redo a bunch of other stuff that's set-up on the server that I'm just not remembering at the moment.

Mind, while I'm doing all this configuring on another HTPC, that means I've got 2 HTPC's in the house that can't be used while the other HTPC's will be limited to internet streaming services (e.g. Netflix) and live TV. Not exactly an ideal situation since we've cut the cord and all the TV's are fed by HTPC's.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post


But aren't servers, much like HTPC's just computers with specialized functions?

I'm just going by the definition that you proposed earlier.

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Mind, I don't think there was any actual context or limitation that "server" meant just a storage server.

You don't think when comparing a NAS box and a Server, that storage is implied? Why would they even be mentioned in the same discussion if not for the common thread of storage?

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1. Would need to install and set-up Media Browser 3 Server, Plex Media Server and iTunes on another HTPC.
2. Will need to set-up recordings anew on another HTPC.
3. Will need to reconfigure comskip, scripts, etc on another HTPC.

Probably need to redo a bunch of other stuff that's set-up on the server that I'm just not remembering at the moment.

So you aren't losing any functionality at all, it's simply a configuration issue.

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Mind, while I'm doing all this configuring on another HTPC, that means I've got 2 HTPC's in the house that can't be used while the other HTPC's will be limited to internet streaming services (e.g. Netflix) and live TV. Not exactly an ideal situation since we've cut the cord and all the TV's are fed by HTPC's.

That's all great but the limits you've imposed upon your own setup don't change the fact that a NAS box could do the same thing when teamed with an HTPC.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Owning all three I'm not sure I agree. The obvious first thing is it could serve your media while the HTPC restarts or is turned off. The second thing is it could serve the HTPC and other devices transcodes, which might be handy if your HTPC is a streamer box, or wireless, or on a 720p display. The list is longer but I'm sticking with just the super obvious.

So you're saying that a NAS box can't work with wireless?
So you're saying that a NAS box can't work with a streamer box?
So you're saying that a NAS box can't work with a 720p display?

Are you saying that a server can can serve media while it is turned of or restarting?

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:50 PM
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Ok enough is enough.



ajhieb you are so intent on being technically right that you've abandoned any semblance of being helpful, and in your mad chase for details you've completely abandoned the more important big picture.

I could drive my car backwards and in reverse gear on my way to work everyday; but I don't. Why ? Because it's less ideal. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Let's start here with this simple idea and stop the semantics.

Yes a NAS can work wireless, and it can feed a streamer box, or play a 720P display- but what it typically won't do is take a full bit rate file and transcode it on the fly and spit it out over wifi in 720p/2.0 stereo sound for a 720p display/Roku/ or a laptop/tablet. If it was powerful enough to do it, I'd be scared of the price tag. Most typical NAS boxes can't do that. So that means you need to first suck the file from the NAS with the HTPC and then have the HTPC do the transcode right ? That is what you are saying ? Well the problem with that is fairly obvious in that every time the HTPC restarts or isn't on then the feeds don't run. With a windows based HTPC it's nearly impossible to keep the HTPC from wanting to update, and I find myself restarting my HTPC for whatever reason more often than I want to have to do it. Every front end software updates, as does the server back ends, and all the HTPC applicable programs. I bet I could list 50 things installed on my HTPC that have been updated or resinstalled at one time or another. Not to mention windows itself updates as does your hardware drivers. It's just less ideal.

Remember my first thread in this post where I explained I first tried an all in one machine (desktop, HTPC and server in one) and the main problem was I could not surf the net or use the PC when a movie was playing. So I built a HTPC and fed it from the workstation, which worked ok too- but every time I had to restart or my PC crashed my wife would scream from the living room her movie or TV show stopped playing. So I built a cheap server (celeron chip) which was a huge improvement because it was 24/7 always on, never crashed, and only needed restarting with WHS a couple times a year at times I choose. I was happy for a while. Then I discovered transcoding and MB3 and PLEX and I wanted to watch on my ipad, we got a ROKU, and I wanted to share media with my family at their own homes. Then I need a more powerful media server to pull that off.

No one is saying you can't do something with a NAS. You need to let this go; No one wants to argue semantics with you about this. People are saying it's not really a great way to do it, which is different than saying you can't do it. Just mentally replace "can't" with the word "shouldn't" and you should understand.
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

You don't think when comparing a NAS box and a Server, that storage is implied? Why would they even be mentioned in the same discussion if not for the common thread of storage?

Take note of the word "just". I think when Mfusick and myself refer to server, we take it to mean as more than just a dumb storage box. I think our point is you can do with just the server what you'd need to do with HTPC+NAS.

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So you aren't losing any functionality at all, it's simply a configuration issue.

That's all great but the limits you've imposed upon your own setup don't change the fact that a NAS box could do the same thing when teamed with an HTPC.

For me, the issue isn't lack of functionality - it's downtime. In my experience, having a dedicated server reduces or even eliminates downtime. Besides, can you honestly tell me that setting up each and every HTPC with Media Browser 3 Server, Plex Media Server and iTunes sharing is better than just having a dedicated machine to run these? That's assuming I don't run into issues with iTunes activation since I believe there's a limit of 5 PC's max.

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So you're saying that a NAS box can't work with wireless?

The NAS box alone might not. You might need to have the HTPC as transcoder depending on bitrate.

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So you're saying that a NAS box can't work with a streamer box?

Depending on the capabilities of the streamer box and how the content was encoded, again, you might need to have the HTPC as transcoder.

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Are you saying that a server can serve media while it is turned of or restarting?

Obviously not but having a dedicated server separate from the HTPC means you can turn off or restart the HTPC and the server will still continue serving media to all your other devices.

I've gone the HTPC+NAS route before. Since the HTPC I was using as server was the one in the living room, that meant a whole lot of getting screamed at when I needed to do some tinkering. My HTPC's are nothing more than front-ends nowadays and I generally have a bunch of spare Mini-ITX builds lying around (with WMC and Media Browser already set-up). If an HTPC goes down, I can quickly replace it with a spare. Unfortunately, it's kinda expensive to create a mirror of the server but it is something I plan on doing eventually.
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Remember my first thread in this post where I explained I first tried an all in one machine (desktop, HTPC and server in one) and the main problem was I could not surf the net or use the PC when a movie was playing

That's quite a small problem to have, and most everyone has an alternate internet device around the house these days . . . phone, tablet, laptop

I'm still using an all in one. I think ajhieb is just trying to point out that an overpowered HTPC will serve, transcode, playback, etc without a hitch. Doesn't matter whether the additional storage is inside the HTPC or inside a NAS. It's a Server/HTPC with additional storage

There is nothing additional that can be done by dedicating a machine to do server tasks on it's own. I do think it's worthwhile for people to know this since this discussion went on for so long
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:17 PM
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Obviously not but having a dedicated server separate from the HTPC means you can turn off or restart the HTPC and the server will still continue serving media to all your other devices.

I've gone the HTPC+NAS route before. Since the HTPC I was using as server was the one in the living room, that meant a whole lot of getting screamed at when I needed to do some tinkering. My HTPC's are nothing more than front-ends nowadays and I generally have a bunch of spare Mini-ITX builds lying around (with WMC and Media Browser already set-up). If an HTPC goes down, I can quickly replace it with a spare. Unfortunately, it's kinda expensive to create a mirror of the server but it is something I plan on doing eventually.

What if your server goes down?

No different, and I've had my share of down time. I don't think I'd have had any less if the server was dedicated all this time
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

ajhieb you are so intent on being technically right that you've abandoned any semblance of being helpful, and in your mad chase for details you've completely abandoned the more important big picture.

Since when is the truth not helpful? I've already acknowledged on multiple occasions that there are scenarios where a true server would be better suited for a given situation over a NAS. My point is that a server isn't a necessary component to a good HTPC experience. The question was posed by someone else why someone would need a server instead of a NAS, and I've simply tried to demonstrate, why it isn't a matter of necessity, simply a matter of luxury. A NAS can work for pretty much any given scenario. A server might work better.


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I could drive my car backwards and in reverse gear on my way to work everyday; but I don't. Why ? Because it's less ideal. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Let's start here with this simple idea and stop the semantics.

I'm well aware of that. You're pretty much the poster child for "just because you can, doesn't mean you should." You promote over doing it at every opportunity. You glorify excess in nearly every thread you post in. You want it bigger, faster, louder.

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Yes a NAS can work wireless, and it can feed a streamer box, or play a 720P display- but what it typically won't do is take a full bit rate file and transcode it on the fly and spit it out over wifi in 720p/2.0 stereo sound for a 720p display/Roku/ or a laptop/tablet. If it was powerful enough to do it, I'd be scared of the price tag.


Windows SE 2012 - $399
Synology DiskStation DS214play - $369

You were saying something about price tag?

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Most typical NAS boxes can't do that. So that means you need to first suck the file from the NAS with the HTPC and then have the HTPC do the transcode right ? That is what you are saying ? Well the problem with that is fairly obvious in that every time the HTPC restarts or isn't on then the feeds don't run. With a windows based HTPC it's nearly impossible to keep the HTPC from wanting to update, and I find myself restarting my HTPC for whatever reason more often than I want to have to do it. Every front end software updates, as does the server back ends, and all the HTPC applicable programs. I bet I could list 50 things installed on my HTPC that have been updated or resinstalled at one time or another. Not to mention windows itself updates as does your hardware drivers. It's just less ideal.


I bet I could count on one hand the number of times I've had to restart my HTPC in the past year. It's not impossible at all to keep a windows PC from installing updates when you don't want. It's one setting cleverly hidden under the title "Windows Update Settings" Drivers don't get installed unless I want them to (which is a rarity on my PC) I don't think my HTPC is typical of all the ones out there, but I think it is closer to what most would consider ideal (it works when you need it to, and requires little-to-no fiddling)

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Remember my first thread in this post where I explained I first tried an all in one machine (desktop, HTPC and server in one) and the main problem was I could not surf the net or use the PC when a movie was playing. So I built a HTPC and fed it from the workstation, which worked ok too- but every time I had to restart or my PC crashed my wife would scream from the living room her movie or TV show stopped playing. So I built a cheap server (celeron chip) which was a huge improvement because it was 24/7 always on, never crashed, and only needed restarting with WHS a couple times a year at times I choose. I was happy for a while. Then I discovered transcoding and MB3 and PLEX and I wanted to watch on my ipad, we got a ROKU, and I wanted to share media with my family at their own homes. Then I need a more powerful media server to pull that off.

No one is saying you can't do something with a NAS. You need to let this go; No one wants to argue semantics with you about this. People are saying it's not really a great way to do it, which is different than saying you can't do it. Just mentally replace "can't" with the word "shouldn't" and you should understand.

That was an awful lot of typing to finally get around to just agreeing with what I said in the first place.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

What if your server goes down?

No different, and I've had my share of down time. I don't think I'd have had any less if the server was dedicated all this time

Ergo,
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

Unfortunately, it's kinda expensive to create a mirror of the server but it is something I plan on doing eventually.

Server goes down, I'm kinda screwed although I do have my most favorite content backed up to externals. That said, the HTPC's will still do live TV and Netflix so it's not like they become completely useless. rolleyes.gif
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

Take note of the word "just". I think when Mfusick and myself refer to server, we take it to mean as more than just a dumb storage box. I think our point is you can do with just the server what you'd need to do with HTPC+NAS.

So what's your point in splitting hairs over what a server is and if it is just a sotrage server, or if it is a multipurpose server? It doesn't change my point any? Is there anything you can do with a multipurpose server and an HTPC that you can't do with a NAS+HTPC? No. So what's the point of trying to differentiate? Do you want to call the HTPC a server if it is being used along with the NAS? Okay fine. It still saves you from having to purchase another multipurpose/storage/streaming/whatever server.

The labels you keep trying to attach to things don't change the message. An additional server is a luxury compared to a NAS. They will both play similar roles, and the server may be better suited for some situations, but it certainly isn't a requirement.

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For me, the issue isn't lack of functionality - it's downtime. In my experience, having a dedicated server reduces or even eliminates downtime. Besides, can you honestly tell me that setting up each and every HTPC with Media Browser 3 Server, Plex Media Server and iTunes sharing is better than just having a dedicated machine to run these? That's assuming I don't run into issues with iTunes activation since I believe there's a limit of 5 PC's max.

Your server is still a single point of failure in your scenario. And if everything runs solely on the server, I don't see why you would need to run multiple instances if it was running off the server.

Quote:
The NAS box alone might not. You might need to have the HTPC as transcoder depending on bitrate.
Depending on the capabilities of the streamer box and how the content was encoded, again, you might need to have the HTPC as transcoder.

Who's talking about the NAS box alone? I'm pretty sure I asked about the NAS+HTPC, didn't I? Pretty sure I not only made that stipulation, but went into pretty lengthy detail as to why I made it. I feel like I've already mentioned that about a dozen times now, yet people still keep trying to point to what the NAS box is limited to without the HTPC.

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Obviously not but having a dedicated server separate from the HTPC means you can turn off or restart the HTPC and the server will still continue serving media to all your other devices.

Are you under the impression that every time you restart your HTPC that your NAS will reboot too?
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I've gone the HTPC+NAS route before. Since the HTPC I was using as server was the one in the living room, that meant a whole lot of getting screamed at when I needed to do some tinkering. My HTPC's are nothing more than front-ends nowadays and I generally have a bunch of spare Mini-ITX builds lying around (with WMC and Media Browser already set-up). If an HTPC goes down, I can quickly replace it with a spare. Unfortunately, it's kinda expensive to create a mirror of the server but it is something I plan on doing eventually.

Don't want the wife screaming? Treat your home like an enterprise. (that means no tinkering on production boxes)
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Since when is the truth not helpful? I've already acknowledged on multiple occasions that there are scenarios where a true server would be better suited for a given situation over a NAS. My point is that a server isn't a necessary component to a good HTPC experience. The question was posed by someone else why someone would need a server instead of a NAS, and I've simply tried to demonstrate, why it isn't a matter of necessity, simply a matter of luxury. A NAS can work for pretty much any given scenario. A server might work better.
I'm well aware of that. You're pretty much the poster child for "just because you can, doesn't mean you should." You promote over doing it at every opportunity. You glorify excess in nearly every thread you post in. You want it bigger, faster, louder.

And instead of simply answering the OP question, you instead jump all over Mfusic.
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:06 PM
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The labels you keep trying to attach to things don't change the message. An additional server is a luxury compared to a NAS. They will both play similar roles, and the server may be better suited for some situations, but it certainly isn't a requirement.

Last I checked, I never said a server was a requirement. Just pointing out some scenarios where having a dedicated machine is more ideal.

Besides, even the poster who asked the question why you need a server realized there's value in having a dedicated machine:
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Originally Posted by jhughy2010 View Post

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Originally Posted by el aye View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
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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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.

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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

Your server is still a single point of failure in your scenario. And if everything runs solely on the server, I don't see why you would need to run multiple instances if it was running off the server.

The point I was making is if I didn't have a server (or even an always-on HTPC acting as server), then I'd need to install and setup multiple instances of backend/server-side software.

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Are you under the impression that every time you restart your HTPC that your NAS will reboot too?

No I'm not but if you're running Plex to transcode and stream to, say, an iPad or Fire TV or something, leaving the NAS turned on while the HTPC is rebooting still means you've lost the stream.

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Don't want the wife screaming? Treat your home like an enterprise. (that means no tinkering on production boxes)

This I actually do. All tinkering is now done on spare Mini-ITX builds or my laptops. What I need is another server for redundancy.
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:06 PM
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And instead of simply answering the OP question, you instead jump all over Mfusic.

So I answer it differently than mfusick.. what good does that do? Now there is just two different opinions out there. mfusick had already stated his opinion, I simply asked a question so that he (or anyone else sharing a similar opinion) might defend it. It's a fairly common means of discourse.

And if mfusick doesn't want responses like that, perhaps he should avoid posts like the one I was responding to in the first place. If he wan't to call me out, that's fine, but I'll respond in kind every time. I was quite civil with him until that post.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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You are arguing with yourself ajhieb, and you crapped all over an otherwise good thread. My advice is care less about being right, and care more about providing valuable input and people will care more about what you say. There is a difference in making a small correction to pointing out a technical detail or inaccuracy in a genuine effort to be helpful, versus being obnoxious with five hundred quotes and endless bantering trying to seem right or prove another wrong. The later makes me tired and my head hurt. I knew better earlier that I should have stayed out of this one. You somehow started an argument with yourself and just imagined the opposition; something you do frequently. You wait for the smallest little crack in anything someone says then try to chip it open to become the grand canyon. I can't understand what your point ever is though, and you look foolish doing it. This was a decent thread, I'm sad at the direction it's taken.

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Old 04-22-2014, 05:11 PM
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Zombies ate this thread and all that is left is crawling hands.

Sent from my Note3 via Tapatalk
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:54 PM
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Yeah I have to agree that this thread took a pretty destructive course.  Oh well... won't be the first time that has happened.  

 

I'm here to get it back on track though... as I've built a ridiculously overpowered HTPC and was scolded just last night at tinkering with the thing (was doing makemkv and setting up MB3) when all the family wanted to do was watch a movie.  

 

So this leads me to a question:  Since the 1TB drive is almost full in the HTPC, and I am being scolded everytime I want to rip a movie, would my gaming desktop and an external NAS suffice for my tinkering efforts to rip blu rays and store them?  Would I even need a NAS?

 

You know... I have all the computers in the house networked together.  How come I cannot just rip the movie on my gaming desktop and have the "rip to" location as the storage driver on my HTPC?  That would totally work without interupting the family and their hogging of the main room and HTPC!?

 

Additionally, I will have to figure out how I want to add the second drive to the HTPC.  Should I just go with a 4tb drive and add it as another drive?  Should I try to RAID it to the already 1TB drive?  The 1TB drive is my storage drive for Movies and Music only.  The OS is on an SSD.


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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Old 04-22-2014, 05:55 PM
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You are arguing with yourself ajhieb, and you crapped all over an otherwise good thread. My advice is care less about being right, and care more about providing valuable input and people will care more about what you say. There is a difference in making a small correction to pointing out a technical detail or inaccuracy in a genuine effort to be helpful, versus being obnoxious with five hundred quotes and endless bantering trying to seem right or prove another wrong. The later makes me tired and my head hurt. I knew better earlier that I should have stayed out of this one. You somehow started an argument with yourself and just imagined the opposition; something you do frequently. You wait for the smallest little crack in anything someone says then try to chip it open to become the grand canyon. I can't understand what your point ever is though, and you look foolish doing it. This was a decent thread, I'm sad at the direction it's taken.

What direction don't you like? That everyone seems to be in agreement regarding the capabilities of a NAS vs a Storage server? Or do you just not like that it isn't in line with what you originally said? If you don't care for the way I post, that's unfortunate as I have no intention of changing. Being right is being helpful. Spreading misinformation only helps the egos of those spreading it. I'd rather someone read a thread and walk away with enough information to make an informed decision for themselves, rather than a sliver of information to convince them to do it my way.

And I'm certainly not immune to making mistakes. I've been wrong about plenty on here. And when someone corrects me on something I acknowledge the correction, and in most cases thank them for the information. I don't run in circles trying to justify why something I said was right on some technicality. I also don't try to simply end the discussion like a five year old and just tell everyone to stop. (by use of words, or incredibly awful memes)

You know what the difference is between making a small correction to pointing out a technical detail or inaccuracy in a genuine effort to be helpful, versus being obnoxious with five hundred quotes and endless bantering trying to seem right or prove another wrong? The way you respond to it.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:06 PM
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I'm here to get it back on track though... as I've built a ridiculously overpowered HTPC and was scolded just last night at tinkering with the thing (was doing makemkv and setting up MB3) when all the family wanted to do was watch a movie.

You can avoid such issues on a Win7 PC by installing the Concurrent RDP "Patch" that will allow you to remote in from another PC and do your work (be it ripping, configuring, administration) Reboots will obviously cause an interruption but most everything else should be fine. (ripping while watching a physical bluray disc would be problematic unless you have 2 bluray drives, but you get the idea)

Quote:
So this leads me to a question:  Since the 1TB drive is almost full in the HTPC, and I am being scolded everytime I want to rip a movie, would my gaming desktop and an external NAS suffice for my tinkering efforts to rip blu rays and store them?  Would I even need a NAS?

Either option would work. Ripping stright to the NAS will be slower for ripping, but save you copying time later on if that is the final destination. Some choose to rip and add metadata then move the rip, others rip directly to the library. It's up to you and your preferences for that one. Mfusick has some thoughts on the subject that are worth noting. (no, that isn't sarcasm)

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You know... I have all the computers in the house networked together.  How come I cannot just rip the movie on my gaming desktop and have the "rip to" location as the storage driver on my HTPC?  That would totally work without interrupting the family and their hogging of the main room and HTPC!?

Yes. You'll need to create a network share and make sure you have permission to write on said share, but that would work also.

Quote:
Additionally, I will have to figure out how I want to add the second drive to the HTPC.  Should I just go with a 4tb drive and add it as another drive?  Should I try to RAID it to the already 1TB drive?  The 1TB drive is my storage drive for Movies and Music only.  The OS is on an SSD.

Using RAID with a 4TB and a 1TB will yield 2TB at most (in any common raid implementations) For 2 drives of dissimilar size, I would recommend just keeping them separate, or if you wanted to see them as one drive letter just use disk spanning if your version of windows supports it. (disk spanning will not add redundancy or any performance benefits, it is simply for convenience)

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:34 PM
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Yeah I have to agree that this thread took a pretty destructive course.  Oh well... won't be the first time that has happened.  

I'm here to get it back on track though... as I've built a ridiculously overpowered HTPC and was scolded just last night at tinkering with the thing (was doing makemkv and setting up MB3) when all the family wanted to do was watch a movie.  

So this leads me to a question:  Since the 1TB drive is almost full in the HTPC, and I am being scolded everytime I want to rip a movie, would my gaming desktop and an external NAS suffice for my tinkering efforts to rip blu rays and store them?  Would I even need a NAS?

You know... I have all the computers in the house networked together.  How come I cannot just rip the movie on my gaming desktop and have the "rip to" location as the storage driver on my HTPC?  That would totally work without interupting the family and their hogging of the main room and HTPC!?

Additionally, I will have to figure out how I want to add the second drive to the HTPC.  Should I just go with a 4tb drive and add it as another drive?  Should I try to RAID it to the already 1TB drive?  The 1TB drive is my storage drive for Movies and Music only.  The OS is on an SSD.

You make a great point. My wife throws a fit if I fool around with the HTPC or the server while she is trying to watch something. Right now as I type this I am managing media on my workstation, and she is streaming on the roku in our living room. I do all the media management on my high end desktop because I love the control I have with triple monitors and high quality mouse and keyboard- it's just easier. And it does not bother anyone else. When I am done I just copy paste whatever it is that I am working on into the appropriate category on my Flexraid server and on the next scan PLEX or MB3 will add it to my libraries. I don't have to bother anyone or interrupt anything. That is why it's nice to have a dedicated HTPC, a dedicated workstation and a dedicated server.

I don't have a keyboard or mouse on either my server or my HTPC, and I don't even have a monitor on my server either. I remote into them, from my comfortable workstation with keyboard and mouse and big monitors. I manage both this way. It's easier.

I can even bring the HTPC on one monitor, the server on another and still have my desktop on the main monitor. It's three systems on one set mouse and keyboard- incredible for saving time and productivity. I manage everything from one location and I have to spend very little time and effort doing it. It took me a long time to reach smooth sailing like this, but it was worth the growing pains for sure. I'm generally very happy these days with my HTPC experiences.

As far as your problem/questions,

I would not "RAID" them as I think hardware RAID is not worth the trouble. You might want to "pool" them together into one big drive like driveblender or Flexraid. Flexraid would add additional parity based backup and recovery of failed drives which is nice IMO, but there is many programs that just do the pooling part too.

I would add another 4TB and when you get around to it pool it into the other, possibly using software raid like Flexraid and adding Parity back up too. That way if any data drive fails you can recover it. Worth the cost of a hard drive IMO. As your number of drives increases the value of something like FLEXRAID does too. It's not as good a value on one or two drives like it is on say 20 of them, but it's still a good option one you have 3 or more hard drives.

I don't like ripping directly into my movie or TV collections, it tends to mess stuff up. I like to rip to a designated folder then manage it by naming it properly (or renaming it) and adding the art work and meta data and putting the rip into it's own folder (named properly) and adding the trailer, the extra fan art and whatever else I might want (like a live video back drop or theme music) - once this is all done I copy paste the final product into my media collection into the appropriate folder. That way anything that is in my media collection and shown on my front end is always 100% complete and perfect. Nothing is more annoying than a missing cover or meta data on a title when using your front end IMO. Even if the scraper is good- it will work better if you name it properly first. If you are a stickler like myself you want it perfect, and you also want the theme music, the live video backdrops, the trailers, the meta data, the art work, posters, banners, covers, etc.. and you want to manage these to make them perfect. It might sound hard but I can process 50 movies and 1TB worth of media in 15 minutes the way I do it, so it's actually quite easy. It only took me hours to figure it all out wink.gif

I would not copy or rip directly into my media collection, but rather a scratch disk or designated area for that. That's just me though, no reason you can't be different. I just wanted to share my opinion on that.

But as far as ripping over LAN you can do that for sure.

You basically want to do what I do. Rip it on the gaming desktop and get it all organized. Then just copy paste it to the other machine you want to hold it and store it on. Just delete the movie folder from your gaming desktop once the movie is placed on the other machine and free up that space to do it all again. It's nicer to work locally on a fast scratch disk anyways, I much prefer that. Then the copy paste you can just walk away from and go on about your life, it will finish when it finishes.

That's how I do it anyways.

I know I get beat up on a lot for doing it my way, but I would't want to do it any other way I have tried. I think those that don't have the set up I do, or have as low a tolerance for laggy and less efficient processes as I do just can't understand.

I actually upgraded my scratch disk to 9TB RAID 0 a few months back because my old 2TB drive was not large enough, and it was too slow. I do everything on that, I download to that. I rip to that. I manage the media on that. Plus I use it for a bunch of other stuff. Then I move everything over to the Flexraid server when I am done with it. No rush, I get to do it on my own schedule. A few 15 minute sessions here and there is all it really takes these days, but I do admit I have many, many hours into perfecting my collection and to get to this point.




See above ^

That is kind of what you want to do. Even if you don't need the size I have you can accomplish basically the same thing with your smaller drives you have now, or the new drives you might add.

Step 1. Create a home group and network share your machines. Set a home group password in Windows, make all machines join the home group.
Step 2. Click on the drives you want to share and share them.
Step 3: Map the network drive so the drive you want to rip to shows up on your other machine like a locally installed drive (like my Flexraid drive does above)

Live happily every after biggrin.gif

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Old 04-22-2014, 06:40 PM
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Now that I think about it this is nice too:




make a library short cut to a frequently used folder so you can jump to it any time you want from any window without having to go the long way to find it. Makes dragging and dropping easy.

I only put the dash in front to make them appear first, special characters are an easy way to make it first as they are considered before the letter A in alphabetical ordering. Set up something like that for your folders you use often and it will save you tons of time when you get around to ripping or downloading or doing any media management.

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Old 04-22-2014, 06:54 PM
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I don't like ripping directly into my movie or TV collections, it tends to mess stuff up. I like to rip to a designated folder then manage it by naming it properly (or renaming it) and adding the art work and meta data and putting the rip into it's own folder (named properly) and adding the trailer, the extra fan art and whatever else I might want (like a live video back drop or theme music) - once this is all done I copy paste the final product into my media collection into the appropriate folder.

I actually do something similar smile.gif:
  1. rip ISO to a temp folder on the SSD (ImgBurn batch script with AnyDVD HD running in background)
  2. rip main movie only with MakeMKV
  3. run Media Center Master to download metadata and artwork
  4. clean up metadata and artwork
  5. copy ISO+metadata to unRAID server for backup and MKV+metadata to Windows 7/FlexRAID server for actual use with MB/Plex (robocopy script)
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