So I am very new to this whole concept and would just like someone to point me in the right direction so I can narrow my research.
My end-goal is to have a HTPC stream 1080p movies to a TV from a NAS over a network. The files I would be playing are Blu-Ray encodes which average in size from 10GB-25GB - not sure if that matters. Also, I would need the NAS to be able to run a torrent client.
Is this at all possible, within a reasonable price range?
If so, then what should I be looking for in the NAS regards? I don't like the idea of RAID where if one drive fails, then all the others do as well - I really would not want to repurchase ~4 new HDs because of one drive failure, especially given the inflated prices of HDs today. So I was thinking I would go the JBOD route, however, this would be reliant on if the HTPC is able to read all the drives together when browsing my library of video files. If that's not the case, I would very much consider setting up a RAID instead, since I do want to access all my video files at one time, when playing on the HTPC.
If all is well for the JBOD route, what sort of NAS equipment should I be looking for? My budget for this expenditure is around $350, excluding hard drives, so considering that budget, would it be better to build my own system or buy a prebuilt one? Going the prebuilt way, I am somewhat confused with the terminology used. Is there a difference between a NAS and a server? For example, what is the difference between this product http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822108066
and this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16859107052
Now for the networking piece, what equipment would I need to purchase? I really have never worked with a network, so I am a complete amateur when it comes to that.
I'll keep my questions limited so I don't deter anyone from answering. And I am willing to do more research myself, so any reference materials related to my questions would be helpful. Let me know if you need any more information from me to answer my questions.