Let's talk about HTPC storage. How much storage is "enough" in today's digital world ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 241 Old 03-19-2014, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Seems like the black hole of HTPC is storage. It's the most expensive part by far of this hobby and in many cases it seems like there is no end to it. This makes me wonder when is too much enough ?

I've seen some digital whores around here. I mean serious freaks of nature with an insatiable storage appetite. I don't think I fall into that category quite yet, but I definitely have more storage right now than I ever thought I would need a couple years ago. I have all of the bays on my Norco 4220 populated with 3TB drives and now I am considering finding a chassis with more drive bays or an add on solution.

How much storage do you have?
How much storage do you want ideally ?
How much storage do you expect to have over the next few years?
Is your current storage strategy and solution going to hold up for the next 24-36 months do you think ?
What do you currently use? What do you like about it? What do you wish you could improve?

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel or is this a never ending black hole of HTPC ? If you drop a hard drive into the black hole of storage would it ever hit the bottom where enough is enough ?

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post #2 of 241 Old 03-19-2014, 12:28 PM
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LOL...

This:
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I've seen some digital whores around here. I mean serious freaks of nature with an insatiable storage appetite. I don't think I fall into that category quite yet...

Followed by this:
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I have all of the bays on my Norco 4220 populated with 3TB drives and now I am considering finding a chassis with more drive bays or an add on solution.

While it is just a matter of degrees, based on the bolded section above, it would seem (at least to me) you're in "that catagory" with both feet biggrin.gif

I aspire to be a digital whore. Well, I guess I'm one already in that I have tons of loose internal HDDs scattered around the house, but I want to be a "well-organized" digital whore. To that end, I am planning on building a pretty massive server to store all my favorite HD content. The problem is that I'm too busy creating content (mainly editing HDTV recordings to remove commercials, pulling .srt subtitles from CC data, and muxing into a .mkv file with optional chapter stops), so my build never gets off the ground.

Glad to know that I'm not the only one with a big appetite for storage smile.gif
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post #3 of 241 Old 03-19-2014, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Seems like the black hole of HTPC is storage. It's the most expensive part by far of this hobby and in many cases it seems like there is no end to it.

I have all of the bays on my Norco 4220 populated with 3TB drives and now I am considering finding a chassis with more drive bays or an add on solution.

Storage is a pittance compared to the cost of the content. At $20 per BluRay and 45GB per rip, that's $27,000 worth of data in your Norco. If you are transcoding or ripping dvds, it'll hold $50K-$100K of content.

What I don't understand is:
1) What are you storing that costs less than the storage itself?
2) If it is worth so little, why are you bothering to store it?
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post #4 of 241 Old 03-19-2014, 12:45 PM
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How much storage is enough? That all depends on what you need to store.

My HTPC is used primarily for recording TV. It has a 120 GB SSD for the OS and a 1.5TB drive for recordings. I strive to keep up with recorded shows so I don't get backlogged. As a result, the 1.5TB drive is rarely more than half full, and much of that is used for storing variouys applications and miscellaneous files.

I also have a 24-bay Supermicro server. Currently, 22 of the 24 bays are occupied, although I do have enough spare drives to fill the empty slots. Drive capacities range from 1.5TB to 4TB. As the drives start aging (or failing, as the case may be), I upgrade to larger drives. Current capacity is around 33 TB or so, with about 11 TB free, IIRC. The server holds mostly Blu-Ray and DVD rips in mkv format with lots of archived TV shows waiting to be viewed, mostly older shows acquired from torrents that I just haven't had a chance to watch. I already have more movies than I will probably get a chance to watch in my lifetime and yet I keep adding more.

The server can hold up to 96 TB if I max it out with 4TB drives in all 24 slots. I'm already about one-third of the way there and I suspect I'll edge closer to the mark as time goes by. Otherwise, I may have to take inventory of what's on the server and start deleting items that are of least importance. I sincerely doubt that I'll miss most of what's there. In fact, I've already had at least one instance whereby data was lost and was unrecoverable. I don't recall everything that was on the drive and I'm not losing any sleep over it.
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post #5 of 241 Old 03-19-2014, 12:46 PM
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I guess it depends on how much money you have and what you like to watch. I have one friend that collecting movies is his number one hobby. He easily has more than 600 blurays and a probably 3,000 CDs. I don't think I have a single other friend who owns more than 30-50 DVDs+blurays combined.


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post #6 of 241 Old 03-19-2014, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricN View Post

Storage is a pittance compared to the cost of the content. At $20 per BluRay and 45GB per rip, that's $27,000 worth of data in your Norco. If you are transcoding or ripping dvds, it'll hold $50K-$100K of content.

What I don't understand is:
1) What are you storing that costs less than the storage itself?
2) If it is worth so little, why are you bothering to store it?

I'm pretty sure the avg BD rip is closer to 25GB.

There are plenty of people that shoot their own video and take ridiculous amounts of pictures and never delete anything. Just an example of something that would cost much less than the storage but to most people would be "priceless".

I know plenty of people that store 100's of TB of downloaded content as well. There is no point though. As plenty of people have already discussed.... there isn't enough time in life to watch that much content.

I have about 20TB with 15TB (5TB free) of that being in a media server storing ripped content from my BD/DVD/CD collection. Another 5TB being photos, videos, backups and scanned documents. My plan is to not expand beyond my current storage but I can see adding another 3TB disk to my media server before I finish my collection. I have finally started to delete content I know I'll never watch again. Mainly TV shows that are currently running that aren't very entertaining.


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post #7 of 241 Old 03-19-2014, 01:10 PM
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I have 12.5TB in my HTPC just for storage of archived movies/TV (2x 4TB, 1x 3TB, 1x 1.5TB). I was copying 1:1 BR/DVD rips to them.

I am tired of needing codecs or the need to transcode and all that comes along with it. Also realizing I will run out of space with what I have before all my DVD rips are replaced with their BR equivalents. I have since decided to encode my BR/DVD collection to 15Mbps h.264 m4v files w/AAC audio (don't do surround sound, don't ever see me doing it) @ high level 4.0. This will allow NATIVE playback on all my devices (BR players via DLNA, Chromecast, Xbox 360 extenders, HTPCs/computers without any codecs needed, and any future devices I might get like an Apple TV 4 etc). The visual quality of the resulting files isn't on par with BR obviously, but is better than HD cable. I am fine with the final quality of these encodes.

Plus, from what I see of the resulting file sizes, I should be able to fit my current collection onto a single 4TB drive with some room to spare; and then redundantly duplicate it to my 2nd 4TB drive. This is another huge bonus for me. I always told myself if I lost the drives with my movies on them, I wouldn't do all this again and would just stick with recorded TV/movies and streaming services. Now, I will have a backup.

The backup drive will go into my main rig, wouldn't make sense to keep it in the HTPC. The 1.5 TB drive will replace my 750GB drive in the HTPC that currently holds recorded TV/music/pictures/home videos. The 3TB drive will go into the spare parts pile.

I also will be able to replace the i5 3470 in my HTPC (needed for transcoding the 1:1 rips) with a spare Celeron G1620 I have. I also will be able to unplug 2 of the 120mm fans in my HTPC (have 3 atm, 1 will stay plugged in) because the lesser processor and reduced amount of HDDs in the case. This all will reduce power/noise of the HTPC too smile.gif

When the 4TB drive, and it's counterpart back up drive are full, I will just replace them with 6TB drives (hopefully out by then).
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post #8 of 241 Old 03-19-2014, 01:34 PM
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Enough storage is equal to double whatever you think is enough at any given time. 30TB might seem like enough right now, but a few months down the road you'll have mysteriously run out of space and need another batch of hard drives. Happens every freaking time.
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post #10 of 241 Old 03-19-2014, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricN View Post

Storage is a pittance compared to the cost of the content. At $20 per BluRay and 45GB per rip, that's $27,000 worth of data in your Norco. If you are transcoding or ripping dvds, it'll hold $50K-$100K of content.

What I don't understand is:
1) What are you storing that costs less than the storage itself?
2) If it is worth so little, why are you bothering to store it?

You make some good points but I think you are short sighted or off the mark just a bit.

At least in my scenario I don't have $100k worth of media. Now I've been collecting movies and music since long before I joined this forum ( <- join date ) and being into home theater, and audio video it's pretty hard to avoid building large media collections as the two are directly related to each other it seems but no way I have spent that much. It scares the crap out of me to think how much I really have spent over the years, but I know it's not that much.

Your scenario is not that realistic IMO.

First,
I think most BR rips are probably closer to 25GB as an average. The only super huge ones I have are the high frame rate stuff from Peter Jackson or James Cameron like Avatar or The Hobbit type stuff. Most movies are smaller than 45GB as MKV's.

Second,
Probably only half my 42TB is media. The other half is other stuff. As a whole my media collection takes up the most space, but all my other stuff takes up considerable space. I have:

-Home movies, wedding videos etc.
-Pictures (wife literally has hundreds of thousands she takes pics like crazy )
-software and programs
-back ups
- games
- music collection

stuff like that ^ I think is pretty normal. Now none of those categories is as big as my media collection is individually but all of them together could rival my digital media collection for size or space needed. In today's digital world a few hundred GB is not going to get it all done.

Third,
Not all my media has a high cost to it. My DVD collection is extensive but it was paid for a decade ago, and I have lots of TV shows that I got from my cable subscription or free OTA broadcasts. This is probably 10TB of my stuff right there. I have 8TB of TV shows dating back more than a few years. I paid for it, but not $25 a BR disc type cost. I'd also be lying if I did not admit to copying or "borrowing" some of my brother's collection or my parents collection. We basically all share in this regard.

Fourth,
I have a lot of duplicates. Some of my stuff I have as ISO and MKV-- ISO in case I want to playback the entire disc or access the menu or special features, MKV for the normal movie only collection. I also have some 3D and non 3D as well- so the same movie might be on my server multiple ways. I manage this mostly with different user accounts. I find that I require ISO playback with powerDVD13 or 3D playback much less frequently so those two libraries are not included in my normal user account library- and only show in the admin library. That's the best way I could figure out how to manage it and not have the duplicates show all the time unless I wanted them to.

So assuming I have 42TB of space- and average movies is only 25GB, and only half my storage is media, and some of my media is on twice, and I have about 8TB of TV shows of that media - I definitely do not have $100k of media. But I am probably still spent to much tongue.gif
There is some dudes on here on AVS that have serious media collections. I mean serious eek.gif I'm not even in the same league as some folks around here. I'm probably a movie a week kind of guy. Some more on holidays. biggrin.gif
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Enough storage is equal to double whatever you think is enough at any given time. 30TB might seem like enough right now, but a few months down the road you'll have mysteriously run out of space and need another batch of hard drives. Happens every freaking time.

SO TRUE biggrin.gif

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post #11 of 241 Old 03-19-2014, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

First,
I think most BR rips are probably closer to 25GB as an average. The only super huge ones I have are the high frame rate stuff from Peter Jackson or James Cameron like Avatar or The Hobbit type stuff. Most movies are smaller than 45GB as MKV's.

[...]
I have a lot of duplicates. Some of my stuff I have as ISO and MKV-- ISO in case I want to playback the entire disc or access the menu or special features, MKV for the normal movie only collection.

So instead of 45GB rips, you have 25GB rips and they are duplicated. I think you were making some argument for why the 45GB/BluRay figure was way off, but I couldn't follow it.

The other media you mention: DVDs, music, software and programs, games...these are all far more expensive per GB than BluRays. The hard drives to store them, in comparison, are practically free.
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post #12 of 241 Old 03-20-2014, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by EricN View Post

So instead of 45GB rips, you have 25GB rips and they are duplicated. I think you were making some argument for why the 45GB/BluRay figure was way off, but I couldn't follow it.

The other media you mention: DVDs, music, software and programs, games...these are all far more expensive per GB than BluRays. The hard drives to store them, in comparison, are practically free.

They are hardly more expensive. They can be, but not often. In fact, DVDs and music are both almost always less than your $25/BR figure. I'm not one to buy a movie when it first releases. I'll wait for sales, or buy used collections on eBay. I only ever buy games on sale, as my growing Steam collection can attest to. To say that the media must cost $100,000 is disingenuous. More than the total storage, sure, but not that much more.
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post #13 of 241 Old 03-20-2014, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mcturkey View Post

They are hardly more expensive. They can be, but not often. In fact, DVDs and music are both almost always less than your $25/BR figure. I'm not one to buy a movie when it first releases. I'll wait for sales, or buy used collections on eBay. I only ever buy games on sale, as my growing Steam collection can attest to. To say that the media must cost $100,000 is disingenuous. More than the total storage, sure, but not that much more.

Good point.
I once bought a DVD lot on ebay. I want to say it was something like 500 DVD's for $79. I remember the cost of each being like a .35 each or something. I don't remember the specifics but at the time it seemed like a really good deal, and I clearly remember the cost being well under $1 per disc.

Trouble is most of the movies are pure crap. Definitely not suggesting someone does this, but also definitely would re-enforce what you are saying.- you can buy media cheap if that's what you want to do. No rule exists you have to pay new release prices. Every home theater enthusiast knows movies get cheaper once they are not new releases. It's not a small difference either. Sometimes it's 50% or 75% of the original cost for good movies.

Assuming you paid $5 average for your 25GB MKV rip that means that each 3TB drive full cost you about $600 in media. (3000GB divided by 25GB per movie is 120 movies times $5 each)

That does not seem too excessive to me. Actually seems kinda cheap from an enthusiast perspective. Point being $100K is way too much I think, but it can still be a good amount of money spent on media. You can get a lot of media for a few thousand dollars invested, and my guess is that with a community like AVS where everyone shares a common interest in audio and video that your average AVSer has spent a couple thousand on media over the years easily. It seems like it's nearly automatic.

With cable costing 80+ per month too.. that's going to add up as well. I've been in my home since 2002 so in the last 12 years I figured I spent $15,000+ to Comcast my local cable provider. That's freakin' nuts to think about. If I spent the same on media to store on my server I'd still have it all. In comparison I have basically not much to show from my Comcast payments. All my recordings of TV are done mostly with free OTA these days anyways, I stopped paying and fooling around with those stupid cable cards recently. I dropped my cable bill down to the very basic only as we found we almost never watched any of it anyways.

Although I do strongly disagree with EricN's valuation to do agree that media can be expensive, or perhaps not necessarily expensive but the amount spent on it can add up cumulatively over time to be a significant amount. I'm not sure many people are very cognoscente of the fact how much they actually spend or how it adds up over the years. It's tough to make the jump from the $5 disc you grab at best buy that caught your eye, or the $10 disc you ordered on Amazon prime to the total value you've spent over a long period of time like a decade or two. It's nickel and dimes over time to some people, but it will eventually add up to be a serious amount if you are consistent about it.

My accumulation of hard drives is basically the same way. I buy one here. Two there. I try to grab them on sale. It adds up, and my storage capacity adds up. But I never went out and bought all at one time 48TB of storage in a single purchase.

I think if that is how people had to do it this hobby would be extinct. No one would go out and buy 20 hard drives at $100 each ($2000) plus spend say another $500-$1000 in PC hardware (or more $ if you are serious) for a media server then go out and in a single purchase buy $600 in media x 18 drives full of it ($10,000) all in one shot. That's like an investment of $25k total. That probably seems pretty crazy to many people.

But $600 a year on media, + the same spent on cable TV/TV shows + a few hundred $ in hard drives is probably a lot more reasonable. Do that for a long time you'll hit $10k, $20k, even more eventually pretty easily. I think people can swallow a couple hundred bucks at a time, but I don't know many that would drop $25K to start from zero and get there instantly.

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post #14 of 241 Old 03-20-2014, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcturkey View Post

They are hardly more expensive. They can be, but not often. In fact, DVDs and music are both almost always less than your $25/BR figure. I'm not one to buy a movie when it first releases. I'll wait for sales, or buy used collections on eBay. I only ever buy games on sale, as my growing Steam collection can attest to. To say that the media must cost $100,000 is disingenuous. More than the total storage, sure, but not that much more.

More expensive per GB. If a typical BD is 25GB, and $25, that's $1/GB. For DVDs to be less, they would have to be less than say $5, CDs less than $0.50. From what I've seen of media pricing, the premium for BD is nowhere near equal to the 5x difference in capacity, likewise with CDs. Overall I'd say CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays cost "similar" per unit, say $5-15 if you buy them on special, meaning that DVDs and CDs are significantly more per GB than BDs.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #15 of 241 Old 03-20-2014, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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More expensive per GB. If a typical BD is 25GB, and $25, that's $1/GB. For DVDs to be less, they would have to be less than say $5, CDs less than $0.50. From what I've seen of media pricing, the premium for BD is nowhere near equal to the 5x difference in capacity, likewise with CDs. Overall I'd say CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays cost "similar" per unit, say $5-15 if you buy them on special, meaning that DVDs and CDs are significantly more per GB than BDs.

I think the cost of media is going to be a grey area for most people. There is all sorts of different prices and options you can't throw a blanket over everyone and just universally put a constant value on it. Some dudes are going to be those guys that visit the value and clearance bins or buy used media from used media stores and come home with boxes of stuff for not much money. Other guys (and gals) are going to be the new release junkie grabbing one or two movies every new release Tuesday from a retailer paying full price ($15-25$ each). Huge difference in cost per GB. CD's and music definitely has a high cost per GB. GB of music is a lot. DVD's only take up 5GB (not 25GB) but you can get them so cheap and many have them from many years ago so the costs might be high, but it's money spent a decade ago. I have thousands invested into DVD's from the early 2000's, but that's money I spent 10 years ago. My HTPC hobby actually lets me manage all those discs and play them back and enjoy them again (and more) so in many ways I extract additional value from those original purchases by ripping them to my media server for easy access and enjoyment.

The amount of money I spend on CD and DVD today is very small - and those things tend to cost a lot less these days. So I do agree that they have a high cost per GB because they don't take up much space- but for many folks the money was spent many years ago so they are basically free at this point. From that angle they are very cheap per GB. You already own them. Most bought them never thinking they would store them on a media server. I did not even understand a media server or HTPC when I bought most of my CD and DVD's. Assuming I bought them for a different reason a decade ago and they are already paid for and were purchased for the specific purpose of playing back those discs in my car CD player or home DVD player - then today they are free so the cost per GB is very low. I would have spent the same weather or not I did HTPC or a media server. It costs me only the cost to store them at this point- which is nearly nothing. Pennies on the dollar considering they take up little space compared to 1080p MKV's.

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48 Bay AIC Server with new guts seems perfect for you. 2 HBA card and 2 expanders poof your done.
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post #17 of 241 Old 03-20-2014, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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48 Bay AIC Server with new guts seems perfect for you. 2 HBA card and 2 expanders poof your done.

I'm already set on the guts and sata cards.

I really just need the chassis. I'm not inclined to go with junk though. I'd like something equal or better than what I have now. I always have a fear of used equipment or cheap stuff.

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post #18 of 241 Old 03-20-2014, 11:20 AM
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Trouble is most of the movies are pure crap. Definitely not suggesting someone does this, but also definitely would re-enforce what you are saying.- you can buy media cheap if that's what you want to do. No rule exists you have to pay new release prices. Every home theater enthusiast knows movies get cheaper once they are not new releases. It's not a small difference either. Sometimes it's 50% or 75% of the original cost for good movies.

I might have 5 DVD/BD that I paid full retail upon release. Every other disc I've waited a couple years after release and purchased used. The most I'll pay is $3.50 shipped. I've acquired ~10TB of movies/tv shows at that price. biggrin.gif
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post #19 of 241 Old 03-20-2014, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

DVD's only take up 5GB (not 25GB) I have thousands invested into DVD's

Invested thousands? Even $10K of dvds at $10-15/disc and 5GB/rip will fit on a single hard drive. You're claiming you're out of room in a 20-bay chassis and that the drives are so expensive. The numbers don't line up. They aren't even in the same league.
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Seems like the black hole of HTPC is storage. It's the most expensive part by far of this hobby and in many cases it seems like there is no end to it.

Picture a guy trying to improve his sound system by adding speakers. 5.1...7.1...9.2...none of those were enough. More is better, so he needed more. He's got twenty of the largest, cheapest speakers he could find stacked up against the wall, hooked up to the cheapest components that make sound.

He's having fun, so, hey, more power to him, but he talks about problems like "I'm out of wall space for more speakers" and ignores solutions like "stop buying more speakers and focus on things that improve sound quality" rolleyes.gif

Seriously, you are already so far beyond the "dude, WTF are you doing??" line that adding chassis capacity makes no sense. Transcode. Deduplicate. Consolidate. If spending a couple hundred per month on new hdds is your "most expensive part by far of this hobby", what are you filling the new drives with? Home movies and recorded TV that you'll never watch? Random torrents that you'll never even look to see what they are?
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post #20 of 241 Old 03-20-2014, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I've probably got a year if I want to stretch it out, longer if I wanted to delete some stuff.

I'm not really with my back against the wall or anything. Plus I'm on 3TB drives so swapping them out for 6TBs in a couple years is a realistic option too.

I think you are reading too seriously into things. My starting a thread was just a means of starting some discussion, not complaining or actively seeking anything. It seems like if I could go back in time two years ago and tell myself I'd have 40TB of storage space I'd think I was nuts. I clearly remember thinking if never need more than a few 2 TB drives. This makes me wonder what I'll think in another two years ???

Just wondering what others opinions are on this. When is enough really enough ?
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I might have 5 DVD/BD that I paid full retail upon release. Every other disc I've waited a couple years after release and purchased used. The most I'll pay is $3.50 shipped. I've acquired ~10TB of movies/tv shows at that price. biggrin.gif

At $3.50/BluRay and 25GB/rip, that's $570 per 4TB drive. Even at ultra-bargain prices, the media still costs several times more than the storage.
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post #22 of 241 Old 03-20-2014, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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At $3.50/BluRay and 25GB/rip, that's $570 per 4TB drive. Even at ultra-bargain prices, the media still costs several times more than the storage.

I think everyone agrees with you that media can be expensive. Just your $100k number was way off (at least for me).

I've spent a lot over the years but not that much. I'm not really complaining about storage costs either because I think $33 per TB is actually cheap. That's about what I seem to pay.

I'm more interested in talking about how much will we actually need in future years.

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post #23 of 241 Old 03-20-2014, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by EricN View Post

Invested thousands? Even $10K of dvds at $10-15/disc and 5GB/rip will fit on a single hard drive. You're claiming you're out of room in a 20-bay chassis and that the drives are so expensive. The numbers don't line up. They aren't even in the same league.

You're talking about two different things... there is the hardware/software hobby and the media hobby. The thread is just for a discussion on storage. I'm not sure why you have to be so offended by everything everyone says or does. Almost every thread in the section of the forum you're attacking people and sidetracking discussion for no reason. So the media is more expensive.... who gives a sh!t. It's just a fun discussion about storage.


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I'm already set on the guts and sata cards.

I really just need the chassis. I'm not inclined to go with junk though. I'd like something equal or better than what I have now. I always have a fear of used equipment or cheap stuff.

This should hold you over for another year at least....
http://www.chenbro.com/en-global/products/RackmountChassis/4U_Chassis/RM43260


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If you are transcoding or ripping dvds, it'll hold $50K-$100K of content.
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I think everyone agrees with you that media can be expensive. Just your $100k number was way off (at least for me).

($50K..$100K) * (5GB / dvd) / (60TB) = $4.07/dvd .. $8.13/dvd. Unless you were buying DVDs back in the day for an average cost of less than $4 each, then 60TB can hold $50K-$100K of purchased DVDs (even more if you transcode). If you watched 10 new movies per week, it would take 25 years to watch them all. It can hold twice as many movies as Roger Ebert reviewed in his entire career. With 60TB of media storage, the limiting factor is not the capacity, it's the production, acquisition, and consumption of the content.

You are asking "how much is enough", but you are already so far past that point, the question is moot. In ten years, a movie rip has gone up 5x, but hard drive sizes have gone up 40x. With 20 drive bays, simply replacing drives as they die with larger ones will increase your storage capacity faster than Hollywood is releasing movies.
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(even more if you transcode).

.

I don't do that. That's against nature and seems unatural and against the law. Something about lowering the quality intentionally makes me shiver all over in fright. Who would do such a thing ? I'm perfectly fine spending $.75 a movie to store them at full quality, as evidenced by my consumption of hard drive after hard drive over the last couple years. I'm still not into my media server for all that much money, even including drives. Probably $2500 or so is my guess and I'd expect it to deliver me good service for years to come. Compared to what some people spend on AVR or amps or speakers or projectors it seems perfectly fine to me. Considering the vital role it plays in my system it's money well spent. Storage is cheap enough to avoid transcoding IMO. When my theater build is complete and my screen is 160" I want to know I am getting the maximum quality I can. Storing a moving in full quality is good move looking into the future. Upconversion sucks more on transcoded movies too. FULL BIT RATE FOR THE WIN.

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This should hold you over for another year at least....
http://www.chenbro.com/en-global/products/RackmountChassis/4U_Chassis/RM43260

60 BAYS ! eek.gif



What's the price on something like that ?

EDIT:

OMG!

Look at this PIG:
http://www.chenbro.com/en-global/products/RackmountChassis/9U_Chassis/RM91250
49afe59600e2ebc8f6cd126fb4056b4c.png

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post #26 of 241 Old 03-20-2014, 04:30 PM
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Enough storage is equal to double whatever you think is enough at any given time. 30TB might seem like enough right now, but a few months down the road you'll have mysteriously run out of space and need another batch of hard drives. Happens every freaking time.

 

I'm with you mate, never enough storage space.  My first archive was 8tb, needless to say that didn't last very long with recorded tv/dvds/blurays. 

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I don't do that [transcoding]. That's against nature and seems unatural and against the law. Something about lowering the quality intentionally makes me shiver all over in fright. Who would do such a thing ?

Me. smile.gif I know we've already had this discussion and you don't agree but if I can store and watch MKVs that are 35-40% of the full rip size with absolutely no perceivable loss in quality to my eyes and then I see NOT doing that as simply throwing money away on more hard drives that I shouldn't need.

I have a little mITX 6 hard drive bay server that I honestly intend to be the only server I'll ever need (unless 4K really does become mainstream and I get the unexpected urge to jump into that at somewhere down the road). Right now I've got about 1000 movies (half bluray, half DVD) + another 800 TV episodes, 90%+ of which are compressed (although I do keep all primary/English audio tracks including HD) taking about 8TB of space with another 5.6TB free. (6x 3TB WD Reds with 1 for parity = 13.6TB usable space). When drives eventually fail I will replace them w/larger capacity drives as 5TB+ drives start becoming more available and I I will inch up capacity that way. Otherwise I will start culling through my collection and deleting stuff before I think about adding getting a bigger server or adding on more drives. I'm sure at least 20% of my collection right now are titles that I'm never going to watch again. What's the point of keeping them forever?

At some point I think you have to look at it like cleaning out your closet for the Goodwill purge everybody does once in a while. The smart thing is not to ask yourself, might there ever be an occasion when I want to wear this again?, but, can I remember wearing this once since my last purge 2-3 years ago? I would apply a longer window with media but if I own a movie that I haven't even thought once to watch in 5-10 years.... ? You see where I'm going. Eric is basically right on this. You've already got way more content than you are ever going to watch again yet you are determined to add more capacity instead of better utilizing what you already have. Why?

My thoughts anyway. Thanks for the thread though. It is a good subject for discussion here and it's been interesting to read the responses so far.
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($50K..$100K) * (5GB / dvd) / (60TB) = $4.07/dvd .. $8.13/dvd. Unless you were buying DVDs back in the day for an average cost of less than $4 each, then 60TB can hold $50K-$100K of purchased DVDs (even more if you transcode). If you watched 10 new movies per week, it would take 25 years to watch them all. It can hold twice as many movies as Roger Ebert reviewed in his entire career. With 60TB of media storage, the limiting factor is not the capacity, it's the production, acquisition, and consumption of the content.

You are asking "how much is enough", but you are already so far past that point, the question is moot. In ten years, a movie rip has gone up 5x, but hard drive sizes have gone up 40x. With 20 drive bays, simply replacing drives as they die with larger ones will increase your storage capacity faster than Hollywood is releasing movies.

Congratulations on calculating that Mfusick's storage is more than enough for you. Could you perhaps answer how much is enough for you instead of lambasting other people for answering what is enough for them?
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post #29 of 241 Old 03-21-2014, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
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On the transcoding vs encoding issue :

I know there is a divide between those like me that don't permanently encode the file to save space and those that do; I think I understand both sides of the story and neither is right or wrong.

For me it's always been about the labor than it has about the storage space. As I stated previously I'm ok with spending three quarters or a couple quarters and a dime to store my movie permanently in full quality. Not encoding it is easier and a path of least resistance. Perhaps I'm lazy too.

I'm ok with spending another 15 cents per movie file to avoid the hassle and labor of transcoding it. It's not very easy and requires a constant active effort to maintain that strategy across the board, and it takes a ton of time. My time and effort is valuable and I chose that it's more valuable to spends the .015 cents per movie to avoid the process and consume another perhaps 6tb of space.

If it was just the effort I think if be inclined to do it but when I factor in that it might lead to lower quality it's not worth the effort AND that risk. Together the issue of quality and the issue of time and effort are enough to sway my decision against it.

One thing I never seem to understand is how people tolerate that process on low end or basic hardware. I have three main machines in my home: dedicated HTPC with i5 3570k, dedicated media server with i7 2600k, and dedicated desktop work station with 4770k and triple monitors and RDP. If I chose to transcode I can bring up one machine per monitor and control then with the same keyboard and mouse and literally queue up and let fly 3 transcodes at the same time with what I consider decent PC hardware. I could even overclock them all to 4.0ghz to further speed thing up.

The process still is slow, it's still labor intensive, and it's still undesirable to me. Makes me feel for the poor guy who transcodes his entire collection with a dual core then might find out in a year or two they don't look as good on a 4k display. That's my biggest fear of all. The time and cost and personal effort I put into ripping and organizing and storing my collection I expect to pay dividends for years to come as I chase my home theater build and this hobby. It would be heartbreaking to me to waste that time then find out I really need to go back and redo it or undo it.

The cost of two hard drives is worth the avoidance if that risk to me. I'm sure others will disagree with valid reason for doing so and they probably are not wrong either.

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post #30 of 241 Old 03-21-2014, 07:30 AM
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The process still is slow, it's still labor intensive, and it's still undesirable to me. Makes me feel for the poor guy who transcodes his entire collection with a dual core then might find out in a year or two they don't look as good on a 4k display. That's my biggest fear of all.

I have that fear sometimes too. Then I remember why it is I'm not really interested in 4K in the first place. My wife and I have a small house in Berkeley where our maximum viewing distance is about 10' and when we retire we're determined to stay here in N. CA which on our modest savings means we're never going to have a big house w/a real home theater where we could even see the difference in a 4K display. Nor am I interested in pulling the couch up closer either where you could see a difference that way. Basically unless I win lotto, the way I watch movies is set and 4K has no use to me. The next big upgrade for me is a 70" 1080p TV and new media cabinet to go with it to replace the 40" I've got now and after that I'm done. And I've already heard from multiple posters who have 65-80" displays who encode their video around the same CQ settings as me without noticing any quality drop off, so I'm not worried about that upgrade either.

As for the labor intensive part, it takes me about 10 seconds to set up a job in Handbrake and turn it on. That's it. My laptop will then chew on it for 3 hours (bluray) before I can watch it off my server and if that was ever too long for me to wait (it isn't) I would just play the actual disk before I stuck it in storage. So I just don't see that as either slow or difficult at all.

Don't get me wrong, I totally respect folks like yourself who don't want to encode their video. I'm not trying to evangelize for it. If I had a larger budget and different setup I'm sure I'd be the same way. But what I would encourage you to think about is whether you also have absolutes in terms of how you enjoy your media that should set practical boundaries for you too. That's how you answer how much is enough. Your answer is obviously going to be different from mine if in addition to all the content you have already you are determined to jump into 4K as well. But there must at least be some limit to how much you can possibly watch for the rest of your life, right? Especially considering all the time you obviously devote to computers and this forum. Why don't you start there and do some math that way:

GB needed to store 1 hour of 4K video = A
Maximum possible hours of video consumption per week = B
# of weeks left in my life if I live to be 130 = C

A x B x C = ? TB.

There you go. You're welcome. smile.gif
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