AVS Guide to Media Servers, Part 1 - Page 2 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:18 PM
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the boxee box is perfect for this when you pair it with nas. its the setup I have used since the box was released and thought some dislike it I think its perfect. of course it helps to have ripping software and I do which I paid for but since some think its wrong to name the sw I wont. I can play bluray rips and anything else using the boxee and if I do dvd rips as iso the boxee will give you all of the options that playing the physical disc would except my ripping sw eliminates the trailers and fbi warning.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:42 PM
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no mention of UNraid by limesoft ??? whoa!!!!<br><a href="http://lime-technology.com/" target="_blank">http://lime-technology.com/</a><br><br>i have been using one for about 3 years with about 15GB of storage...never had an issue.<br><br>It cheap, easy to run and maintain.

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Old 03-23-2013, 01:46 PM
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I meant TB not GB

ASROCK H67 GE / HT/Core i3
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:35 PM
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I'm an unRAID noob but couldn't be happier with it. So far just storing music, household crap and it's the dumping pot for my scanner. Movies are in my future with it though.

High Desert Theater - work in progress
Building Bass - Subs

Surrounds - Easy as Pi

Storage - unRAID unDELL

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Old 03-27-2013, 07:32 PM
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Thanks for this – something I’ve been trying to wrap my arms around.<br><br>It seems that media server options run the gamut from the more computer centric (e.g. NAS or similar) at a very reasonable price (often less than $1k) to dedicated home media servers that take advantage of the fact of a one box PNP solution and then charge $thousands for the pleasure (not gonna happen). I’d like something in between ensuring practicality and above all a true HD experience. The biggest hurdle by far is copy protection and digital rights – I certainly don’t intend to deprive Sony, 20th Century Fox, et al of their billions. I just want to watch what I paid for or what is being broadcast over the air in HD format.<br><br>A well configured NAS seems to address much of the above, but when I ask myself why I need one, I can’t come up with complete and sound answer – so obviously, that’s not the way to go at this point. But it would seem to address the audio/video streaming issue, address a growing digital photo collection, and enable a more robust data back up protocol. Problem is I don’t have the technical smarts to deal with configuring a NAS.<br><br>Bascially, I want to record over the air 1080i HD and the HD version that Comcast gives me without having to play work around games. Having BD’s, DVD’s, and CD’s on the same system would be nicel, but if not possible, I don’t have a problem inserting disks into the Oppo….<br>Any suggestions and/or pointers in the right direction would be appreciated. Thanks again for the article.<br><br>Thanks/regards,<br>Nick<br>“DRM is bad for the customer”<br><br>
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:33 AM
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Those products strongly resemble products that I've seen being marketed for use at TV stations, post houses and other pro audio/video facilities. While it's great if you have unlimited funds and a desire for total overkill, most of us will DIY it at a fraction of the cost.<br>

You get what you pay for.  For professional advice, pay the professional rate.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:17 PM
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I've been using Vortexbox for about a year now. It's a free linux based program. While it's definitely not for the IT challenged. I knew nothing about linux before I started and have had very few problems with the system. I built my own media server but it is possible to buy a vortexbox appliance. That way you will have some tech support on the hardware. The tech support for the software is community based. Thus far it is a very active community so this has worked well for me.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:29 PM
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I think it would be fun to make an article for the diy kinda person. Show what can be done if your willing to do a little work yourself.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:00 PM
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Sad that Kaliedascope has to run through hoops to make their system legal.<br><br>I have two DVD disc changers, but since buying more blurays I went the audio &amp; video media ripped to NASes route a lot more flexible when the house hold doesn't all watch the same thing and not having to buy separate players for every room and not getting the physical media damaged. The home automation and media players organize the media for a button push away to playing.
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:23 PM
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You should expand on this with the DIY alternative from LimeTech and their Unraid server solution. You can built one for pretty cheap and keep adding onto it as time goes by.<br><br>Not only that but you have a lot of features like PS3 media server, Plex Server, and that's just scratching the surface.

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Old 07-29-2013, 11:03 AM
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Barely scratches the surface of media servers - might as well have just written "here are 3 media servers and their specs and a link to an article on RAID". Doesn't mention any of the massive drawbacks of RAID that can cause you to lose your entire collection (solved by UnRAID, FlexRAID, etc.)<br><br>You can build one yourself for a fraction of the price of the offerings mentioned above. All you need is a NAS (or powerful PC) and something like XMBC, JRiver, WMC w/MediaBrowser.<br><br>From listening to many of the author's podcasts it's clear he knows little about this (he said as much in a podcast a few months ago). It's a bit of an affront that he is now writing articles on the subject (effectively proportion to be an authority)
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:10 PM
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Best way is to build it yourself. My collection had grown to over 3000 titles on dvd and bluray,and all these boxes takes up a LOT of shelf space,so i built a 21 drive standard pc box,i use Antec 1200 with 4 norco/x-case 5in1 drive bays and 2xibm serveraid SATA cards and it currently holds about 46TB.<br>I run regular win7 64bit on the box, where i have uninstalled everything to make it as bare bones as possible, and then i use flexraid and hdd sentinel to safeguard against hdd crashes,as frontend i use a popcornhour a-210 and a dune D1, and i am NEVER going back to finding the discs and loading them on my standalone bd players.<br><br>If anyone wants more details on how,what,where feel free to pm me
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Old 08-17-2013, 02:46 PM
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anyone tried Zappiti (<a href="http://www.zappiti.com/" target="_blank">http://www.zappiti.com/</a>)<br>I have everything working with WMC. MediaBrowser and TMT3, but hate the playback BD ISO's (blank blue screen while TMT launches, etc.). Did rip BD's as MKV at one point, but found chapters weren't supported in WMC/mediaBrowser even though they are in the MKV<br><br>In my main media room the HTPC is my DVR (4 silicon dust HomeRun tuners). I love the DVR functionality in WMC, would just like to improve BD playback (from NAS)
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Old 08-31-2013, 04:51 AM
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These articles are going to be very useful. I think the expense is going to keep me playing the disks one at a time though.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:54 AM
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I currently have a windows media center PC with a centon card with commercial skip software in it. I want to put my DVDs on it and music, in which I have some, but looking for a better solution. I was thinking a nas with a video matrix so I can pause and watch on another TV or watch different stuff on multiple tvs. What is a good budget solution?

I also might want a better skin for media PC and what do you use to rip your DVDs so metadata and everything is good.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:08 AM
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DIY media server is like $1000 (with drives!)

My 50TB Flexraid media server probably cost me $2500 with the 50TB of storage drives and operating system, software license etc. This also includes i7 CPU and 20 bay hot swap chassis. The best part is I was able to grow as I go adding one drive at a time over the coarse of two years until all 20 of my hot swap hard drive bays are now populated. I didn't start with 50TB, I started with 12TB. I chose this solution because it had the ability to add more drives over time without data loss, I could even add full drives or drives with data already on them. I can also restore a failed drive and replace it's contents on a new replacement drive with two clicks. Or, I can remove a drive and it's contents are still readable on any other system. This isn't possible with most solutions, but being a PC guy this was important to me. My media server also has an i7 CPU that's more than capable of transcoding on the fly to different resolutions, even two or three at a time. That way I can enjoy my media on all my devices, like my ipad or iphone, android, kindle windows phone, ROKU(we are big ROKU family) laptop, and my Audio/videophile HTPC on the theater. I can even watch my media when traveling and away from home. On my honeymoon I watched in Hawaii waiting for a delayed plane in the airport and my my media server is half way across the world in MA ! Plus, the front ends like mediabrowser or xbmc are slicker and have more features than most private media servers. Mediabrowser in particular is quite robust and allows for coming soon plug ins, even custom intros like "welcome to xyz theater"... And since I have so much media I love having trailer support so I can quickly play a trailer for something I've forgotten what it's about and decide if I want to watch it or not. All in all I'd put my solution up against any commercial offering at any price.... It's it cost me a fraction of the cost.


The biggest part I have with the commercial offerings is the excessive makeup and the proprietary designs. They lock away your media under a lock and key and you must pay a ransom to release it. You have to buy their front end HTPC machines and the unit isn't accessible like my media server is to other devices or multiple operating systems. I don't want to pay up excessively for a second or third room extension, I'd rather buy an $80 ROKU at Costco for the kids rooms. It works juts as good. Picture quality wise my HTPC probably looks better at playback than theirs also, but that's another story for another day.

Anyone wants more info or help feel free PM me.
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Last edited by Mfusick; 08-09-2014 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:28 AM
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I should follow up on my first comment and say that if I had the budget and lacked the PC skills I might have chosen a pre built option. There's nothing wrong with paying for something you want. If someone had the budget and didn't want to invest the time or effort into a DIY route the pre built media server option is a good solution. It's the same story as DIY screens, or DIY speakers or whatever. It's not for everyone. Totally different markets that don't necessarily compete with each other. I hate to hate on the prebuilt media servers so much, as they are fine products for what they are. Wife would divorce me if I bought one though. Lol.

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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Old 10-27-2014, 05:45 PM
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Yes it all depends on how frequently you want to watch WHICH movie disks. Why not just select those 10 or 20 you really like and spend a few hours converting them over to your PC/server? The best of both worlds? Inexpensive and effective
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:34 AM
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Is there a forum here for the DIY Media Servers?

I'm getting a WD My Cloud EX4 Diskless: High-performance NAS
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER
and (2) 6TB Western Digital Red 6 TB NAS Hard Drive to start, about $800.
They are ordered and being delivered tomorrow Wed 10/29.

I'm a Apple Mac only guy, nothing against WinTel use them at work but home is 100% Mac, we have 2 iMac's, a new MacBook Pro Retina (sweet laptop), and a few ipads/iphones/ipods.
I use Apple Time Machine for computer back-up.

My music, 400+ CD's + digitized albums/cassettes has all been ripped to iTunes.
I have 200+ blu-rays and 60-ish DVD's I'd like to put onto the NAS and access anywhere in my home.

My home layout:
  • Basement has PS3 in the Home Theater - I know it has capability but never used that,
  • family room has brand new Vizio P series 55" UHDTV with a older AppleTV (160 GB HD model),
  • while our bedroom has a 37" Vizio HDTV.

There seems to be no simple guide/answer to so this, hard for me to grasp how there is lack of easy info out there.

[edit] I found the forum and posted there using NAS as media players
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:44 AM
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HTPC forum .

All us there are nerds and can answer all your questions regardless what the forum is called.

PM link to your thread to me.

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:53 PM
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Smile Fire Fx media server

Fire Fx is the media server I use. I built a server before and I had problems here and there. I use my WD 6TB ex drive for my movies, and yes, I ripped movies for months. Some say "I ve saw the movie once or twice already", but it's like scanning TV and stopping on one of your old favs only to be interrupted by Sham Wow. You find yourself looking for that movie case only to find the disc missing. I love the fact that this thing plays trailers and movie shorts as well. Servers are the way to go but I am also seeing a new Oppo 103D in my new theater.
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Old 02-08-2015, 05:37 AM
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Build my own Nas a couple months ago out of cheap pc parts. Works flawlessly. Every pc connected to the network has access to the 600 blu rays I've got stored on there in their full quality.
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:40 AM
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Wow! I need some guidelines.. Did u set up ur own cloud


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Old 03-23-2015, 03:40 PM
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As many have stated, a NAS + a Dune works great. I'm going on 4 years now with my Synology 1511+ with the 510 expansion unit. Eventually swapped out all 2GB drives with 3GB drives. Have 2 Dunes, and after I hardwired, I can stream Bluray iso's to both simultaneously. Previously, one one at a time over Wireless-N.
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