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post #1 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok guys and girls, I have a question.

I recently moved into a new (to me) home. I have run Cat6 to all rooms where I have a tv. I have the following equipment:
Panny 50" Plasma
Samsung 52" LCD - non internet ready version
Samsung 40" LCD - non-internet ready
2 Sony PS3s
3 Xbox 360s
2 HD-DVD players
3 Directv HD receivers
Pentium 4 HT 3.2 PC with 1TB of HDD
I7 Quad-core PC with 2 TB of HDD
Gigabit router and switches.
Onkyo 7.1 receivers in 2 rooms.

My question is this. I want to be able to stream content (.mkv, mp4, avi, etc) to all of my tvs. What do you recommend I do?

I am thinking about turning my P4 box into a dedicated NAS and adding a WDTV Live on the one TV that will not have a PS3 but I am looking for some of your great opinions.
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post #2 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 11:13 AM
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My biggest question is whether the PS3s and Xbox will truly satisfy your streaming needs.

For multiple playback locations, a dedicated NAS makes a lot of sense.

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post #3 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 11:16 AM
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Unraid and freenas are two of the more popular NAS OS's around here.
I've used both, I'm sticking with freenas because of it works well and I can add as many disks as I want without paying for a license. Unraid makes you purchase a license key if you want to add anything over 3 disks.
Freenas also has no problem with the new 4K sector Advanced Format drives from Western Digital (EARS series).
I have two egreat media players and one PopcornHour player... they all play well together and no problem with all three streaming HD video concurrently from my freenas server (with Gb NIC).


Get yourself a nice big case, fill it with 4-6 2TB drives and have fun!!


BTW- Freenas can boot from USB pendrive- so no need to waste a hard drive or optical drive for everyday bootup..

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post #4 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I've just started digging into FreeNAS, that seems to be the way to go for the NAS. I just need a cheap KVM switch so I can use my one monitor in my office for that and my I7.
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post #5 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 11:58 AM
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Don't let the cost of unraid affect your decision. A Plus license is $70 and supports 6 drives (1 parity and 5 data). Using 2TB drives that's ~9TB of storage. With BR rips taking ~22GB each that's ~400 rips. If you buy all your BR disks @ $10/each (good luck with that) you'll have $4K for media alone. That makes the $70 inconsequential.
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post #6 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone have a good pros vs cons of FreeNAS vs Unraid.
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post #7 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wraunch View Post

Anyone have a good pros vs cons of FreeNAS vs Unraid.

If you want the most flexibility, doing a Ubuntu + Samba install may be a better fit for you. Not sure what the performance for FreeNas is these days, but Ubuntu had a significant lead in SAMBA performance back when I built my NAS about a year ago.

Another benefit with Ubuntu + Samba is that you can install a wide range of software and utilities onto Ubuntu that may be useful for you.

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post #8 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack@Micca View Post

...Not sure what the performance for FreeNas is these days...

I have no lag/stuttering issues streaming 3 concurrent 1080i content streams from my freenas server.

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post #9 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wraunch View Post

Yeah I've just started digging into FreeNAS, that seems to be the way to go for the NAS. I just need a cheap KVM switch so I can use my one monitor in my office for that and my I7.

Freenas doesn't need a monitor, keyboard or mouse to run.
It's helpful (but not a requirement) to have them for initial startup just to watch the boot process from pendrive or CD or maybe configure your NIC interface if it doesn't auto-assign via DHCP. But, once the initial LAN configuration is done- you do all the work via GUI login from your web browser from a computer on your network. Nothing really is done on the console (Freenas server computer) in a standard setup.
My Freenas server sits in a closet in the guest room- running with no monitor, keyboard or mouse and boots from a USB pendrive.... if for some reason it didn't boot- then I would pull it from the closet and attach a monitor just to see why it's not booting. But that hasn't happened yet on this particular server.

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post #10 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by replayrob View Post

Freenas doesn't need a monitor, keyboard or mouse to run.


GREAT! I was kinda thinking that would be the case but I haven't gotten that far. So I just change the boot priority so that it will load off the USB drive and let it boot and configure then I should be good.

Next question, if I install FreeNAS can I also install the PS3 Mediaserver program so that I can stream .mkv to my PS3s? Also, is there something better I should look into putting on the NAS to aide me in streaming?
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post #11 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wraunch View Post

So I just change the boot priority so that it will load off the USB drive and let it boot and configure then I should be good.

Yup... it's quite easy. I found the older small <1Gb flash drives work best for boot drives.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wraunch View Post

Next question, if I install FreeNAS can I also install the PS3 Mediaserver program so that I can stream .mkv to my PS3s? Also, is there something better I should look into putting on the NAS to aide me in streaming?

Sorry I can't answer that one- I use regular stand alone media players. I see that transcoding needs to be done to play MKV's on the PS3? That's a shame... do a google search for "freenas and PS3" and you'll see there's lots of info out there...



Here's a page describing some of Freenas's features: http://www.techjaws.com/freenas-as-media-server/

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post #12 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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What do you mean by standalone media players? WDTV, roku, etc???
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post #13 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 04:27 PM
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Wraunch how big is your current movie collection?
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post #14 of 27 Old 11-03-2010, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wraunch View Post

What do you mean by standalone media players? WDTV, roku, etc???

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post #15 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 09:42 AM
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just a couple thoughts on NAS's...
they work great
ok so that's only one thought...

anyway, on my latest NAS upgrade quest, I checked out the following options:
  • Linux box with drives and stuff loaded onto to make it nas like - very flexible, but I am not a linux dude... too hard...
  • FreeNAS - looks good, should work fine...
  • unRAID - can mix and match any size of drive, no striping, only the drive that contains the media/data you want is 'spun up' when reading, if something horrible happens you can always get the data off the individual drives., easy setup, can recover from a single drive failure (similar to raid5). unRAID seems to be the best option for a media NAS...
So I choose unRAID for mt latest NAS...

as for streamers and stuff, my goal was simple:
I want to be able to watch Live TV/Movie/etc on one TV, stop, and then pick up where I left off at on another TV
I want to have the same user interface for all my media, and I want that same interface at every TV, this whole PCH here dune there,360 and PS3 patch work just seems very clunky to me, I want the same UI in the Den as I have in the theater...
I went with Sage TV server + sage extenders, works perfect for me... of course Sage is the only truly all integrated solution I found... sure would be nice if there was more competition...

NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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post #16 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewhale1 View Post

Wraunch how big is your current movie collection?

So far only 2.5 TB, but I have about 50 BRs and 50 or so HD-DVDs I would like to rip to drives.
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post #17 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 12:47 PM
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Hi SomeWhatLost,
You're running unRAID with Sage.

Is the Sage Server on the same machine as unRAID?
Is that possible?
Do you know if it is possible with FreeNAS?
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post #18 of 27 Old 11-04-2010, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkHotchkiss View Post

Hi SomeWhatLost,
You're running unRAID with Sage.

yep

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkHotchkiss View Post

Is the Sage Server on the same machine as unRAID?
Is that possible?

no, but I know it has been done... basically just using VM's

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkHotchkiss View Post

Do you know if it is possible with FreeNAS?

I would think it would be the exact same thing... so my guess would be yes... but that is just a guess...

also there is a linux version of sage so maybe they could both run on the same linux install, not through VM's?? just a wild guess though, I really am not a linux dude... just a guess that it seems possible?

NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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post #19 of 27 Old 11-05-2010, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Are any of you guys ripping your BR and HDDVDs to HDD in your NAS?
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post #20 of 27 Old 11-05-2010, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wraunch View Post

Are any of you guys ripping your BR and HDDVDs to HDD in your NAS?

silly question but why does BR or HDDVD matter?
data is data...
and network is probably the limiting speed factor...

any NAS option should handle BR & HDDVD just fine...

but to directly answer your question, no, I am not...
I just got around to installing my BR drive a couple days ago, finally got it off my coffee table where it has been sitting for over 6 months... sooner or later I will get around to actually buying a BR disk to start playing with... (maybe sometime in the next six months?)
at this rate I will get back to you with BR results next year some time

NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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post #21 of 27 Old 11-05-2010, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by replayrob View Post

I see that transcoding needs to be done to play MKV's on the PS3? That's a shame...

transcoding is not required. ps3 does not support mkv's, but mkv is just a container- take the material and put it into an MPG container, and it'll play. i use mkv2vob for that all the time, works great.
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post #22 of 27 Old 11-05-2010, 02:15 PM
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Are any of you guys ripping your BR and HDDVDs to HDD in your NAS?

yes
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post #23 of 27 Old 11-05-2010, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wraunch View Post

Are any of you guys ripping your BR and HDDVDs to HDD in your NAS?

main reason to have a NAS/Server. My choice was the unRAID after my storage requirements first exceeded my various USB drives, then the Synology 210j capacity...
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post #24 of 27 Old 11-06-2010, 04:33 PM
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main reason to have a NAS/Server. My choice was the unRAID after my storage requirements first exceeded my various USB drives, then the Synology 210j capacity...

I've ripped everthing I own, every home movie, all my pics and all my music cds.. All to my Unraid server.

22TB so far..

I use YAMJ to host my movies and XBMC to host the rest to 8 streamers in my house. Unraid is the cornerstone of my set up and I don't regret the decision EVER. It's a great low maintenance set up that doesnt require you be a linux ninja to set up. I can't imagine how much more I would have spent on appliances, etc if I had not went the Unraid route.

Point being.. if you are concerned at all with scalability, you should probably take a second hard look at Unraid.
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post #25 of 27 Old 11-06-2010, 05:35 PM
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I have been thinking about building a nas or getting a drobo FS. Can anyone tell me how the redundancy works on the unraid. If I have a 1.5 tb 500,600, and 1.5 drive. If I use one of the 1.5 drives as the primary backup drive will only 1.5 tbs of data be backed up. Also if I buy a new 2tb drive can I exchange the primary drive with it?
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post #26 of 27 Old 11-08-2010, 09:06 AM
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The largest drive in your system must be the parity drive. The setup you have listed would have a 1.5TB drive as parity, the 500GB, 600, and 1.5TB would be for data storage. This would allow for 2.6TB of storage in your system. The 1.5TB parity drive is your protection for all of the drives in your system, there is no striping as in a typical RAID setup.

http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=4339

Any single drive failure will be protected by the parity drive. and rebuilt from the parity drive. After adding a replacement drive for the failed drive, the data will be rebuilt from the parity drive onto the new drive. If you have a failed drive in your system, you will still have access to the server, and files from the failed drive.

If you have multiple drive failures, only the data for the failed drives is lost.

You can add any size drive to the system.

You can change the parity drive at any time, as long as the parity is the largest in your drive pool.

Plenty of information here:
http://lime-technology.com/wiki/index.php?title=FAQ
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post #27 of 27 Old 11-09-2010, 10:31 AM
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Thanks for the help.
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