Few Questions RE: NAS & Streaming Video via Network - AVS Forum
Networking, Media Servers & Content Streaming > Few Questions RE: NAS & Streaming Video via Network
snowboarder33's Avatar snowboarder33 07:36 AM 07-21-2012
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.


GusGus748s's Avatar GusGus748s 09:34 AM 07-21-2012
I think you got it backwards. JBOD will cause you to lose your data since there isn't back up at all. I use unraid, which as a parity drive (back up) so if on of the drives fails, I just have to put a new one in and rebuilt it.

Unless you've got some hard drives available $350 isn't going to get you much storage. You can buy / build a HTPC may be for $200 dollars. That would leave you with enough money to buy at least one 2TB hard drive.
snowboarder33's Avatar snowboarder33 10:16 AM 07-21-2012
The budget for the NAS excludes the cost of hard drives.

Oh, so I think I'm looking at the potential drive failure the wrong way; when talking about a RAID and the risk of loss where if one drive fails and it the effect it has to the other drives, the effect isn't to the hardware - it refers to the data. Is that correct? In my opening post, I was specifically talking about the failure of the hardware, not the data. So in both circumstance, RAID vs. JBOD, the mechanical failure of one drive does not affect the hardware of the other drives - only the data?

I was kinda leaving the backup part out of my initial questions because it would seem to be a decision I would make in the future. And, as of now, I'm not really interested in backing up since, if I understand this correctly, the backup size must be 1:1 as to the size of the original data, which obviously doubles the cost of my hard drive investment if I want to stick with the original amount of space I had in mind. Also, if I get one of those prebuilt systems, they only have 4 bays, so if I were to use backup, then really my storage potential would be limited to what I put into 2 of the bays, which is not the size I had in mind.
acebreathe's Avatar acebreathe 04:22 PM 07-21-2012
If you don't backup and you have a drive failure then you have lost everything on that drive. There are 2,4,6,8 bay and up NAS devices with the bigger ones of course being the most expensive. That Synology that you linked is nice and about what you could expect to get for 350. Do some more research on RAID and the different levels. I would look at some kind of backup. HDD have come down in price but having to re-rip if one fails is time consuming. The specs for the NAS should tell you if it will run as a torrent client. Check out the HTPC section on these forums very helpful. Blu ray rips can be very difficult to stream without stuttering, especially at 25gb. I've had to use Handbrake to shrink the size to something that would stream over my pc. I've had better luck with a WDTV Live which has so far played everything. Good luck with your project.
GusGus748s's Avatar GusGus748s 05:14 PM 07-21-2012
Back size is 1:1 if you are using something like Window Home Server. For example, if you've got ten 2TB drives, 5 drives will be for storage and 5 drives will be for back up. Example with unRaid, if you've got ten 2TB dirves, you will have 1 parity (back up) and 9 drives for backup. WHS will give you 10TB of storage and unRaid will give you 18TB of storage.
nathanddrews's Avatar nathanddrews 05:31 PM 07-21-2012
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

Back size is 1:1 if you are using something like Window Home Server. For example, if you've got ten 2TB drives, 5 drives will be for storage and 5 drives will be for back up. Example with unRaid, if you've got ten 2TB dirves, you will have 1 parity (back up) and 9 drives for backup. WHS will give you 10TB of storage and unRaid will give you 18TB of storage.

Unless you install WHS on a PC with a RAID 5/6 volume already installed. Then you get the features of an inexpensive WHS build with the same storage capacity.
snowboarder33's Avatar snowboarder33 09:35 AM 07-22-2012
Thanks for the responses!

I like the idea of the parity hard drive - I don't understand how one drive can backup several others - but that makes backing up a more reasonable option. So if I were to at least have one dedicated hard drive as a backup, then those 4 bay NAS/Servers I linked before don't seem ideal, since I would like at least 4 hard drives dedicated to storage. It looks like there is quite the price increase from 4-bay devices to 5+, where 5-bays look to be at least $500. At that price, it would seem like you could do more if you just built it yourself.

Also, if anyone can answer/elaborate on any of my questions in the first post it would be greatly appreciated.
GusGus748s's Avatar GusGus748s 05:00 PM 07-22-2012
Write the questions individually so people can answer them. I don't like going back to read a whole post trying to find questions. I'm sure others don't like doing that either.
acebreathe's Avatar acebreathe 01:46 AM 07-23-2012
It's been a few years since I set up my home network but what I remember is starting off with a wireless router. You'll preferably want one that streams video. I have no idea what the latest models are. The software that comes with the router will walk you thru the network set up. You will want a secure network. Pick a name for the network and the router will provide the WEP key. Go on your computer look for your network type in the WEP key and you're done. You will have to repeat the network discovery on every computer in the house if you have more than one. If you already have a router get in touch with your internet provider and they can help you out. You have said that your budget does not include hard drives. Just be careful because if you already have a few hard drives filled up with movies that you plan on installing in a NAS the NAS might reformat them wiping out everything that is on them.
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