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post #1 of 30 Old 05-07-2012, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks in advance for you guys help!!!! I know some may get tired of these threads but, just so hard to choose which way to go..

I guess I'll start by saying that I would like to do media(mkv's),maybe mp3 music,and POSSIBLY dvd around the house in a whole home setup. This will be a combo of wired and wireless. Don't have to touch on that as to pretty versed on what the experts feel on that. I may use this setup for backing up my wives laptop and mine,but not a real concern. We both got externals that we repurposed exclusively for that so no big deal. Media playback around the house is most important to me. Also the ability to be at a buddies house and get into my server to access movies,etc would be nice as well.Not necessary though.

The playback devices would be computers, and WD media players.

I have a this computer http://www.pcsuperstore.com/products...o-9702A4U.html that I was hoping to use as the server to save some money. Only different specs from link is I have 2gb of ram and added a PNY 8600 gt to it. I know I've read not necessary,but i had it for 5 yrs and was collecting dust. Could remove to add a sata card if ever necessary.? There are (4) sata ports on board being used by 2 hard drive(200gb, and 80) and a dvd drive.1 sata port is free. I have a 1.5 tb seagate freeagent external usb that i was thinking about cracking open and adding to the last sata port.? Should I do this or just use as external usb. Currently filled with movies.

So I guess that sums it up pretty much,narrowed my choices down to those 3 setups,just wondering what do you think would work best with that computer as a server? Also need what ever server I go with to be able to use the external as is filled with mkvs without needing to reformat it. So any direction you could give based on this stuff would be appreciated.

I guess the main thing that has me second guessing myself is I thought I read that with a couple of my choices you would HAVE TO reformat the hard drive filled with movies to work with some of them. Which I don't want to do!!!

So looking forward to opinions.Any questions just ask.

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post #2 of 30 Old 05-07-2012, 07:34 AM
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http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1392050

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post #3 of 30 Old 05-07-2012, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Actually saw that thread and build.. I do like the option of being able to use all different size drives..But at this point my largest drive is filled with movies and from what I gather it would HAVE to be the parity drive and reformatted? If I could just use it as is for the time being that would be great.

Also I assume not matter which direction I go,I'm better served to crack open that external and use it as sata instead of usb,correct?

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post #4 of 30 Old 05-07-2012, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickie View Post

Actually saw that thread and build.. I do like the option of being able to use all different size drives..But at this point my largest drive is filled with movies and from what I gather it would HAVE to be the parity drive and reformatted? If I could just use it as is for the time being that would be great.

Also I assume not matter which direction I go,I'm better served to crack open that external and use it as sata instead of usb,correct?

brickie

I had all my movies in a 2tb external drive. My W7 PC internal drive is 1tb. So, I bought another external drive 2tb, and I transfer all my files to that one. I already had an internal 2tb drive, which i bought for my server.

I precleared the 2 2tb drives I had. I didn't choose a parity drive, I transfer my data, and after completing transfer I choose a parity drive, and I precleared the 3rd drive.

With unraid you don't need to preclear / format a drive, but it is recommended.

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post #5 of 30 Old 05-07-2012, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Gus, I think I understand what you're saying. But with unraid from what I'm reading,it sounds like the array would want my 1.5 tb drive to be the parity drive..I got it and a 200gb and a 80gb that are currently installed in that machine now. If I understand how the parity must function I can't do this now since my 1.5 tb drive is full of movies and can't be the parity. I would need to essentially go get a hard drive as big or larger to make this work without erasing my movies and using the 1.5 as the parity,and the other 2 as data.

I know recovery options are important,but was hoping to get a setup going and maybe in a few weeks or so buy another drive to function as "backup"

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post #6 of 30 Old 05-07-2012, 09:57 AM
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you don't have to assign a parity drive with unraid...
it is a good idea to do so sooner or later... but still you could be up an running now, get a parity drive in a month or two and add it in then....

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 #7 of 30 Old 05-07-2012, 10:01 AM
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I used to use a Freenas build (on a single core Atom w/ 2gb of ram) and it was rock solid. The OS was even installed on a USB flash drive. I ended up pushing it to the side for WHS. To be fair, I didn't use it's features to their max because I wasn't familiar with the language.

I'm kind of glad I switched to WHS because I love it. It made things 50 times easier. All of our laptops connect to it for backups on a weekly basis. If the laptops are turned off, it can turn them on.

It serves media to all of the computers wired and wirelessly with no issues (1080p blu-ray rips to family photos).

I can log in from outside my house anytime I forgot to bring a file with me. It also backs it self up to an external hard drive.

The add-ons available are pretty cool too. It is my iTunes 'server' to serve Apple TVs and Airport expresses, and wirelessly sync the iPads and iPhones. It's the bridge between Apple products and Windows computers for me.

I know a lot of other systems can do this, Windows just made it easy and quick for me especially since all of our computers are Windows based.

I couldn't tell you if you can use your external in it without issues. I know when I switched from Freenas to WHS, I had to start with a fresh drive.
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post #8 of 30 Old 05-07-2012, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you Somewhatlost, that is what I was wondering about. That makes it a very tempting choice to play with right now and see how it goes.

scl23enn4m3, Thanks for your view as well. Since we all(most of us ) grew up on windows machines I always felt it would be easier to dive in and get started on WHS. I just would need to research how it will handle my hard drive "situation". Ideal would be if it would let me install it to the 80gb drive and leave the 200gb, and the 1.5tb(full of movies) alone as is. More reading to do..

I also assume that I SHOULD crack open that Seagate Goflex and use it on one of the free sata ports for better speed,correct?

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post #9 of 30 Old 05-07-2012, 12:05 PM
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Also read some of this http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post19735070

I have run the following -
Freenas

WHS

Vortexbox

unRAID - this is what I am running now and really like it. There is great support for it and great plugins.

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post #10 of 30 Old 05-08-2012, 07:31 AM
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I've been using FreeNAS for a few years now- very happy with it.
I run a four drive system w/2TB drives that boots from a $5 1GB Lexar Firefly USB drive- with one 2TB drive for parity that leaves me 5.4TB for storage. Over time I've had one drive fail- didn't even notice the failure till the system sent me an email. Ordered a new 2TB drive- popped it in- added it to the array and the system rebuilt it within 24hrs with no data loss.

Have also used Unraid- but didn't want to pay for the license for additional drives- that's when I switched to FreeNAS and haven't looked back...

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post #11 of 30 Old 05-08-2012, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickie View Post

Thank you Somewhatlost, that is what I was wondering about. That makes it a very tempting choice to play with right now and see how it goes.

scl23enn4m3, Thanks for your view as well. Since we all(most of us ) grew up on windows machines I always felt it would be easier to dive in and get started on WHS. I just would need to research how it will handle my hard drive "situation". Ideal would be if it would let me install it to the 80gb drive and leave the 200gb, and the 1.5tb(full of movies) alone as is. More reading to do..

I also assume that I SHOULD crack open that Seagate Goflex and use it on one of the free sata ports for better speed,correct?

brickie

So long as the drives are formatted to NTFS it should be plug and play. I have a WHS2011 server which had some hardware issues. I needed to reinstall it from scratch. I simply was able to unplug my media and back up drives and then plug them back in when done reinstalling the OS.

BTW WHS2011 is on sale with a gift card rebate.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...43&Tpk=whs2011
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post #12 of 30 Old 05-08-2012, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost View Post

I just don't get this...
this concept of OMG!! it costs Money... I must find/settle for a free solution...

note, this isn't an unRAID thing, or even a storage thing... it comes up with all sorts of HT related things...

Fair enough. The Pro license for unRaid costs less than a 3TB harddrive, so it shouldn't break the budget for the file server.
But, what do I do when I run out of disks? As far as I can tell, they don't offer an "unlimited" license, and the pro license only gives you license to use 21 drives. I'm already at 30 drives. I'm mirroring the drives, though, so in an unRaid configuration, I'd probably only need 16-17 drives for the same amount of storage. Still - it doesn't seem that unlikely to need more than 21 drives. Especially not if you're ripping blu-rays.
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post #13 of 30 Old 05-08-2012, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by trondmm View Post

Fair enough. The Pro license for unRaid costs less than a 3TB harddrive, so it shouldn't break the budget for the file server.
But, what do I do when I run out of disks? As far as I can tell, they don't offer an "unlimited" license, and the pro license only gives you license to use 21 drives. I'm already at 30 drives. I'm mirroring the drives, though, so in an unRaid configuration, I'd probably only need 16-17 drives for the same amount of storage. Still - it doesn't seem that unlikely to need more than 21 drives. Especially not if you're ripping blu-rays.

if I ever end up at the point where 21 drives is not enough (21x3Tb = 63TB, even if you fill it up with all Bluray's @ an average of 20Gb ea. that would be over 3000 movies, and @ ~ $10 ea that would be around $30,000... how much would a second license and second server cost?) and if they never come out with 4TB drives I would then be forced to build another server and buy another unraid license... actually, with just one parity drive, I am not sure I would want more than 20 data drives really... not a very happy ratio...

note, I have nothing against freeNAS, it serves a valid function, personally it felt a bit Beta'y to me, and I don't feel like risking my data to a beta solution... now that said, that is just my personal opinion... if someone else feels freeNAS is a complete solid product and they are happy with it, then that is great for them... and people should check it out and make their own opinion of it...
I just don't get this whole $30000 invested in movies (just using the above example,mostly cause it was there), but I am unwilling to even consider paying a couple bucks for a license for unraid (or flexRAID, didn't they start charging too?, or PRODUCT X)...

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 #14 of 30 Old 05-08-2012, 07:31 PM
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I bought two licenses when I setup my first unRAID early last year. It was only a little more to get two licenses at the same time. I figured I would use one as a backup or to setup a second unRAID later. I finally setup my second unRAID box in early Spring. But I still haven't gotten around to transferring some of my content from my WHS to free up around 16TB from it. Then i can move eight drives from my WHS to my second unRAID setup.

Maybe I'll finally start on it this weekend if I don't get together with my GF.

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post #15 of 30 Old 05-09-2012, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow!! You guys have some ridiculous amounts of storage out there..I assume that maybe 4 (2) tb drives would do for me.At a certain point,cost factor would seem to come into play with so many hard drives.Still haven't decided.

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post #16 of 30 Old 05-09-2012, 07:28 AM
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I won't get in to the middle of the FreeNAS vs UnRAID debate as I have never ran UnRAID. I do run several FreeNAS, several Synology NAS and WHS here at home and work. Everything I've read about UnRAID sounds good just never felt the need to change.

I do take issue with the beta comment on FreeNAS as I have been running one at work with 15 users for over three years and it has been rebooted maybe a half dozen times. Having said that if you tried the latest 0.8 branch yea it is beta-ish. The last of the 0.7 releases 's specifically 0.7.2.8191 and most of it's predecessors have been rock solid for years. The funny thing is one of the reasons I never tried UnRAID is it sounded kind of beta-ish I guess it is all in the eye of the beholder.

My take on the various options I'm familiar with.
Synology maybe the nicest software but pricey since you are locked into their hardware. If you don't already have the hardware this is the easiest way to go.
FreeNAS very nice if you stick to the 0.7 releases, dated but gets the job done. Very mature unless you move up to the 0.8 release for ZFS (see below) or something.
WHS great for backing up PCs and not a bad server. At it's current price pretty cheap for MS.
UnRAID the big attraction here for me is having all the drives available standalone if needed. Downside is performance but still plenty fast for home use and not free.
Vortexbox Just became aware of this, since I'm a Linux weenie from way back I'll likely check it out.
Open Indiana/Solaris Enterprise quality with ZFS and it is free. Probably the fastest and most error tolerant server due to it being based in the Enterprise world. ZFS is pretty awesome when it comes to file systems. FreeNAS (FreeBSD) have it but the quality is still not quite there yet. If the OI project stagnates due to Oracle I'm confident FreeBSD will eventually get there. Definitely overkill for home use but it is where I'm headed using VMs on top of it.
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post #17 of 30 Old 05-09-2012, 08:47 AM
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I did a lot of research prior to building my UnRaid server. I wanted something that had some type of back up (parity drive) in case a drive went back, and to be able to use most or all of my storage. UnRaid fit the bill. I ended up buying the Pro License, and I've been happy with it. I mainly use it to store and stream my media, and it does an excellent job.

I was thinking of buying Synology, but it was too expensive for what I wanted to do.

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

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post #18 of 30 Old 05-09-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost View Post

I just don't get this...
this concept of [i]OMG!! it costs Money... I must find/settle for a free solution...

You don't get it? I'll explain it then.....
If there is a legitimate freeware product that offers the features you need- and then there's a pay-for product that offers the same set of features you need... then take the free product as long as it's as reliable and isn't missing features you can't live without that are only found on the pay-for product.

In my case- I needed a NAS with 3 disks plus 1 additional disk for parity. I need simple SMB file sharing from a central location for my various media players around the house. FreeNAS more than adequately met those requirements.... for no cost other than my hardware.

So please tell me why I should have spent money on an unRAID license when FreeNAS is meeting my requirements at no cost?

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post #19 of 30 Old 05-09-2012, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by replayrob View Post

You don't get it? I'll explain it then.....
If there is a legitimate freeware product that offers the features you need- and then there's a pay-for product that offers the same set of features you need... then take the free product as long as it's as reliable and isn't missing features you can't live without that are only found on the pay-for product.

In my case- I needed a NAS with 3 disks plus 1 additional disk for parity. I need simple SMB file sharing from a central location for my various media players around the house. FreeNAS more than adequately met those requirements.... for no cost other than my hardware.

So please tell me why I should have spent money on an unRAID license when FreeNAS is meeting my requirements at no cost?

I say use whatever works for you!!!!

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

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post #20 of 30 Old 05-09-2012, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
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So please tell me why I should have spent money on an unRAID license when FreeNAS is meeting my requirements at no cost?

1st, I truly do not care what option you go with, as long as it works for you.
2nd, I am not the one who came here and said OMG! unRAID costs money so I went with FreeNAS instead... it would seem the onus would be on you to tell us why FreeNAS is better...

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post #21 of 30 Old 05-09-2012, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Leaning towards WHS... Are there any really good setup guides for it.. Results I'm getting thru Google are very vague. Was hoping for something geared exactly at setting it up for media.

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post #22 of 30 Old 05-09-2012, 03:19 PM
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Quote:


2nd, I am not the one who came here and said OMG! unRAID costs money so I went with FreeNAS instead... it would seem the onus would be on you to tell us why FreeNAS is better...

Maybe I misread the thread but it seems like you were the one making the issue over the cost or lack there of. I thought replayrob did a pretty good job of explaining himself not that he owes you an explanation.
Quote:


I just don't get this...
this concept of OMG!! it costs Money... I must find/settle for a free solution...

You are the one who came in here and asked now he provides you an answer and you don't like it. FreeNAS is free and does what he wants. I's not a religious choice if something is free and does the job why not use it? Like GusGus says use what works for you.

Brickie - WHS is a pretty good choice. If you know your way around windows you will figure it out. I learned a lot at the wegotserved forum when I was starting with it.
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post #23 of 30 Old 05-09-2012, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually going to head over there and get to reading.Just wondering though, which version of WHS would be the preferable to run.I have access to both thru the network administrator at myy wives job.Just got to let her know which one I want.May get both,but still which is the preferable.

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post #24 of 30 Old 05-09-2012, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickie View Post

Actually going to head over there and get to reading.Just wondering though, which version of WHS would be the preferable to run.I have access to both thru the network administrator at myy wives job.Just got to let her know which one I want.May get both,but still which is the preferable.

brickie

None of them. Wait till server 8 comes out.

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

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post #25 of 30 Old 05-09-2012, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Gus, I feel you,but this is one of the perks of wives job. Can get them now just need to know which is preferred between those two.Got the itch to play around with this and see if one will work.

brickie

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post #26 of 30 Old 05-10-2012, 05:50 AM
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I would focus more on the whs2011. It will be supported longer, it is more robust and is more purpose built for media sharing.

I had the same question when I was getting the software as whs2011 was just coming out and I wasn't sure it was worth the premium. I was encouraged by the some users of both v1 and Vail to go with the new software knowing that a solution for dynamic expansion would be forth coming.

Good luck.
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post #27 of 30 Old 05-10-2012, 06:32 AM
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Yea if starting from scratch go with WHS2011. The original WHS has some nice features but it is pretty much End Of Life.
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post #28 of 30 Old 05-10-2012, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost View Post

1st, I truly do not care what option you go with, as long as it works for you.
2nd, I am not the one who came here and said OMG! unRAID costs money so I went with FreeNAS instead... it would seem the onus would be on you to tell us why FreeNAS is better...

I'm not here to argue and clutter the thread with he said- she said nonsense- but I never wrote "OMG! unRAID costs money so I went with FreeNAS instead".

I'm simply trying to offer my opinion that FreeNAS is a no cost alternate to pay-for software that may be a good option for the OP. FWIW the thread title is "Freenas,Unraid,WHS, which one ?" after all....

Others have posted here that they're happy with FreeNAS (v7) too, I'm actually running V6.xx but it's been so stable there's just no reason for me to update the software.

In the end- unless there's some must-have feature that only the pay-for SW has and the end user can't do without- I can't see why anyone wouldn't at least consider FreeNAS.

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post #29 of 30 Old 05-10-2012, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickie View Post

Gus, I feel you,but this is one of the perks of wives job. Can get them now just need to know which is preferred between those two.Got the itch to play around with this and see if one will work.

brickie

If you have the itch to play with one, why not use the beta of windows 8. It is free and pretty good with storage spaces. There is a new beta coming out next month as well. I like it MUCH better than WHS
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post #30 of 30 Old 05-10-2012, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickie View Post

Gus, I feel you,but this is one of the perks of wives job. Can get them now just need to know which is preferred between those two.Got the itch to play around with this and see if one will work.

brickie

In that case, get all of them and try them out, and see which one you like the most.

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8599

 

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