How does everyone store their Blu-ray rips? What do people find is the cheapest storage solution?
I am currently looking at ways to store my 400-500 Blu-ray rips (approx 16TB). I have looked at using a NAS and then buying the individual hard drives but they seem extremely expensive. The cheapest option I have found is buying 4 x 4TB USB 3.0 External HD's priced at £130 each. The USB 3.0 interface (though I could use 2.0) would be more than fast enough to handle the bitstream of the rips.
Hi watchy. Only the main title video, HD audio and necessary forced subtitles are remuxed to MKV. Files are about 25GB each. I am fairly knowledgeable on computers (Macs mostly) and would be comfortable with a DIY project.
You can certainly go with the USB drive solution, however unless you have these rips backed up, you will lose whatever is on each USB drive when it dies. Also, depending on what media streaming device you are using, you'll only have access to what is on each drive when it is attached to a computer or streaming device via USB.
A NAS, while expensive, offers several advantages, firstly you get redundant storage, this is not to be confused as a 'backup' but simply storage with protection from at least one drive failure. A four bay Synology NAS with 4x4TB drives would give you just over 10TB of useable space when configured in RAID 5, you can plug it into a network and access the files over the network. This is what I do for the movies and tv shows in my collection, I have several NAS's actually of varying sizes and capacities. A NAS can also double as a network backup for other data, a time machine backup repository and the list goes on. As you have found out, a NAS solution is not cheap, but the advantages it offers make the investment worthwhile IMO and protect your data to a degree.
Thanks for the reply ash_man. Even though I do own discs of all of the Blu-rays I would prefer to keep the video quality as it is. The plan was to plug the USB external hard drives into a Time Capsule attached to my home network so files would be readily accessibly and then use older external hard drives to back these up. Your suggestion to use RAID 5 sounds very attractive and I have managed to find a relatively cheap RAID kit http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/M3QX2KIT0GB/ which would work out approximately £210 with shipping (no drives). 4TB hard drives seem to be available at around £130 each. With RAID 5, am I correct in thinking that I won't lose any data if one of the drive fails and that if one does I can simply insert a new one and it will restore itself?