Trying to build a NAS drive, need suggestions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-17-2014, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there a way I can stream all my movies to all my devices in any format like avi, mp4, mkv?

Right now i have an external 320gb Toshiba drive attached directly to my Sony Blu-ray player to play my movies. It plays 90% of them with no problems. The ones it can't play sometimes play through my Samsung Smart hub Tv. If that don't work I try to use my xbox 360 and WMC. I have more than 320gb of movies now and need to upgrade. I don't want to store my whole collection on my computer and leave my PC on all the time. I have a Cisco E4200 Router and want to attach a WD External drive to it. I did some testing and My tv doesn't see the router all the time. I guess my question is... can I store all my movies on a 2TB drive and be able to stream them without any problems to all my devices (TV, Blu-ray player, xbox 360)? Do I need special software? Special device? Special drive? NAS drive or will any external drive work? Really confused over here, please help!
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-17-2014, 10:48 PM
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None of your equipment can be classified as a "streamer". A streamer that supports a number of formats like the Dune and WD units will do the job of playing all your content. While you can connect a drive to the WD units and share it, I have no idea if other units will allow you do do this, it is at best a NAS light. Another option would be to use something like Plex or other servers but that will require a computer to be running, but it should work with your existing equipment.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-17-2014, 11:06 PM
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NAS is a pretty smart way to create a movie/music library if done well. You might want to research smallnetbuilder site that has a couple of older articles on building a NAS. For many it is far more effective to buy a NAS unit such as a Synology or QNAP (there are others that work well too). They have additional software that helps the NAS be recognized by other devices for movie/music/photo playback. As well, some software on some of them will convert the file into a usable format for some devices one might have that are limited to file format they can exploit.

While I have QNAP NAS units (two of them), I read a great deal about a lot of happy people who use Synology. If you go the way of purchasing a NAS rather than building one, again check out smallnetbuilder as they have several reviews that are pretty much on the money with good information and good testing.

Last - you might want to explore a file storage system that includes simple HTPC function via XBMC or Plex. This might solve a great deal of challenges for you. Consider it building a NAS with XBMC installed so it can plug directly into your TV or via your AVR/receiver to your TV and sidestep other devices entirely. XBMC and Plex both play many formats and thus very versatile. Only caveat would to not use Apple's OSX as it limits HD audio streams to core audio only. Windows and Linux both can exploit fully XBMC (and Plex).


Best luck to you which ever route you go to get your system needs met for storage and playback.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-18-2014, 02:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by excaliburlives View Post

Is there a way I can stream all my movies to all my devices in any format like avi, mp4, mkv?

Right now i have an external 320gb Toshiba drive attached directly to my Sony Blu-ray player to play my movies. It plays 90% of them with no problems. The ones it can't play sometimes play through my Samsung Smart hub Tv. If that don't work I try to use my xbox 360 and WMC. I have more than 320gb of movies now and need to upgrade. I don't want to store my whole collection on my computer and leave my PC on all the time. I have a Cisco E4200 Router and want to attach a WD External drive to it. I did some testing and My tv doesn't see the router all the time. I guess my question is... can I store all my movies on a 2TB drive and be able to stream them without any problems to all my devices (TV, Blu-ray player, xbox 360)? Do I need special software? Special device? Special drive? NAS drive or will any external drive work? Really confused over here, please help!


As mentioned the short answer is no, not really for what you are looking to do. If you want to "Stream" the same video file in different formats (that is what you are asking isn't it?) you will need some kind of software that will do that and I understand that Plex will do that and allow most of your devices to play the files.

 

The other option would be to find a single file format that will work / play on all of your players if at all possible this would be the simplest way to go then you can place your storage wherever you want on your network and access it from any of your devices provided they can access the files from the network and not need to be directly attached.

 

You don't need a NAS unless you are looking for a single location on your network to put all of your media then access it from your players. The same thing can be accomplished by putting a drive on your router provided it supports it. People goes with a NAS to allow for very large amounts of data in a redundant / fault tolerant configuration. We are talking many, many TB of storage I built one for a friend that has a 13TB RAID 6 that is just about filled with his movie library. NAS units like the Synology ones offer a lot more options as well, including applications that will encode media for you with Plex and offer Cloud Like Services for your phone / tablet and even photo sharing.

 

Hope this makes sense...

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post #5 of 7 Old 03-18-2014, 06:55 AM
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The first thing to do is install Serviio DLNA server on your PC and disable it's transcoding feature, that will give you a glimpse of what streaming over a low end NAS would be like, e.g a Western Digital MyCloud or entry level Synology product.

Transcoding allows the DLNA server to convert media in real time so it works on the player at the other end even if it didn't support it but it needs a fast CPU, the kind of CPU's in the NAS I mentioned are very low end and either don't support transcoding or do not handle it very well.

If a lot of things do not play then you might need a NAS with a better CPU than the low end models.

The Cisco router also has a DLNA server but it is probably not a very good one which is why it only works intermittently. Samsung are known to break DLNA intentionally requiring custom profiles by the server in order to work.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-18-2014, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow, what a great response and suggestions. Didn't think i'de get much help but I did. I think i'll give Plex a try. I d/l last night and it looks pretty good and i will be testing it today. I have about 2TB of movies and want to convert all of to mp4 since this works best for me. I guess I can try and build one of those NAS and XBMC things lol. My goal in the end is to be able to stream all my movies with different formats to my 2 Samsung Wireless Smarthub TV's without having to leave my pc on.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-18-2014, 10:57 PM
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Why is it so important not to have a computer running? You seem to make a big point of that. That will be your biggest issue in getting your setup to do what you want. All my computers run 24/7 and I would not have it any other way, and my content is readily available at any time I want it.
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