Can I do all this with a NAS? - AVS Forum
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

I'm slightly loathe to post another Which NAS question on here but I'll freely admit I'm a little overwhelmed by the information both here and elsewhere.

I have quite a strict list of requirements so I'd be grateful if anyone who has a similar set-up could let me know what they are using.

If I can't find a NAS that will do all this stuff then I'll probably build a Linux box but I'm attracted to the convenience of a NAS. In summary, I'm looking for:

- 2 drive bays with RAID support
- the ability to stream a library of music in FLAC format to a squeezebox client
- the ability to transcode FLAC into MP3 or another suitable format on the fly and stream to devices that don't support FLAC
- the ability to stream video to a Samsung DLNA compatible TV
- the ability to automatically back-up/image a PC and Mac
- remote access to files over the web

I'm not actually sure that all this is even possible on a humble 2 bay NAS? As you may have guessed I'm a little rusty in this area.

Thanks,
S.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by steve695 View Post

Hi everyone,

I'm slightly loathe to post another Which NAS question on here but I'll freely admit I'm a little overwhelmed by the information both here and elsewhere.

I have quite a strict list of requirements so I'd be grateful if anyone who has a similar set-up could let me know what they are using.

If I can't find a NAS that will do all this stuff then I'll probably build a Linux box but I'm attracted to the convenience of a NAS. In summary, I'm looking for:

- 2 drive bays with RAID support
- the ability to stream a library of music in FLAC format to a squeezebox client
- the ability to transcode FLAC into MP3 or another suitable format on the fly and stream to devices that don't support FLAC
- the ability to stream video to a Samsung DLNA compatible TV
- the ability to automatically back-up/image a PC and Mac
- remote access to files over the web

I'm not actually sure that all this is even possible on a humble 2 bay NAS? As you may have guessed I'm a little rusty in this area.

Thanks,
S.

Netgear readynas ultra can do this, but be aware that dlna is not a great protocol for video handling.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot mlknez, I haven't seen the readynas ultra so I'll check it out.

I've also heard that DLNA isn't so great for video as you say, but isn't this the only option though when communicating directly between a NAS and a "semi-smart" device like a TV? I guess if I wanted broader/better video compatibility I could buy a WDTV or something but I'd rather not have an extra box if I can help it.

I do really appreciate the advice though - any more suggestions welcome!
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by steve695 View Post

Thanks a lot mlknez, I haven't seen the readynas ultra so I'll check it out.
I've also heard that DLNA isn't so great for video as you say, but isn't this the only option though when communicating directly between a NAS and a "semi-smart" device like a TV? I guess if I wanted broader/better video compatibility I could buy a WDTV or something but I'd rather not have an extra box if I can help it.
I do really appreciate the advice though - any more suggestions welcome!

Synology, QNap or netgear should be able to do that. DNLA has limited support and most of the time doesnt work correctly. If your TV can support Plex, I would suggest using that.

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

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

 

Home Theater Set Up:

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8597

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Old 08-10-2012, 05:53 PM
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Have you looked into building an Unraid box? They are easily expandable and have a number of add-on features like sqeezebox support and my personal favorite the ability to run a Plex server

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Old 08-11-2012, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for the replies.

I am really drawn to the convenience of a NAS - my main concern after some further research is that the low-end/home ones might not have enough processing power to transcode on the fly - is this other peoples experience?

If you start to look at higher end NAS then you can actually build a core i3 box with unraid or Ubuntu server or amahi for lower cost!

Thanks for the recommendation of Plex - lots of people seem to have good things to say about this.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve695 View Post

Thanks again for the replies.
I am really drawn to the convenience of a NAS - my main concern after some further research is that the low-end/home ones might not have enough processing power to transcode on the fly - is this other peoples experience?
If you start to look at higher end NAS then you can actually build a core i3 box with unraid or Ubuntu server or amahi for lower cost!
Thanks for the recommendation of Plex - lots of people seem to have good things to say about this.

Transcoding music on the fly is not that taxing... transcoding video on the other hand...
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve695 View Post

Thanks again for the replies.
I am really drawn to the convenience of a NAS - my main concern after some further research is that the low-end/home ones might not have enough processing power to transcode on the fly - is this other peoples experience?
If you start to look at higher end NAS then you can actually build a core i3 box with unraid or Ubuntu server or amahi for lower cost!
Thanks for the recommendation of Plex - lots of people seem to have good things to say about this.

I run a number of plex clents. Many iOS based and my current Sony Google TV2 STB. The Plex server I am using for it is a Synology 1512+. Since the Sony supports most of my files natively very little transcoding takes place. Works great. Even with the Roku Plex client things run well. I don't run higher end audio so that's one less complication. Synology has a 2 bay NAS which would do what you want and more. The DS712+.

In any case transcoding audio is not taxing.

You can build a more powerful server. If you like that sort of thing then go for it. I would never go back to those days. The NAS from Synology has spoiled me. It handles both Macs and PCs. AFP, SMB and NFS all work fine. Time Machine works. Low energy, quiet, small.

philip
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by mlknez View Post

Netgear readynas ultra can do this, but be aware that dlna is not a great protocol for video handling.

I have and use the Netgear ReadyNas Ultra 2 for both DLNA (which I agree with everyone's comments) and a Plex server. I use Plex primarily for all my local video now. I love it. The ReadyNas will perform as a server but it does get taxed on transcoding as it uses a modest cpu. Netgear offers 2 flavors of these NAS's. If you want to run as a Plex server you need the Prosumer model the Ultra series.

Here is a link to a thread I started on the various models.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1372168/new-netgear-2-bay-and-4-bay-nas-release-overview

My suggestion though would be to run the Plex server on any dual core 2gig plus computer and use the NAS as that. A NAS. When you embed the apps into NAS's you add risk to the whole configuration. So while I ran Plex on my Ultra 2 I did eventually move the server to a small pc and point it to the NAS for all the media.

I also have an UNRAID server which makes sense for larger storage. But for a 2 drive system you can beat these low cost NAS's.

Bob Silver
Netgear AV Consultant
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