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NAS Set-up for my HT/Home Multimedia Needs

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Can anyone recommend a good NAS for my HT/Home Multimedia storage needs?
post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlon1925 View Post

Can anyone recommend a good NAS for my HT/Home Multimedia storage needs?

Yes
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
which brand can you recommend?
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlon1925 View Post

which brand can you recommend?
There are lots of choices.....need more information.

In no particular order:

1) Budget
2) Desired NAS size and redundancy
3) Your expertise
4) HTPC uses. Direct connected playback? Streaming? Transcoding?
5) Existing network and computers
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
1. Budget - 1000 USD or less.
2. I currently have 6 TB of movies and would like to upgrade to 10 or 12TB.
3. Definitely not an expert, would prefer close to a plug and play type.
4. Currently Im using a PC for my HTPC, im thinking of using NAS connected via LAN/Network? (So I can still use existing PC and just stream my new contents to it via Mediaportal)
5. Well yeah, 1 PC (HTPC) 1 PC for personal use. Both connected via LAN. Internet is shared via WiFi router. I sometimes use my Sony TV to stream video files from any of the PC.

Thanks.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlon1925 View Post

3. Definitely not an expert, would prefer close to a plug and play type.
IMHO, this will become your determining factor.

I am a BIG fan of the Synology units and would give them a strong recommendation for ease of setup and use. At the lowest end, you could use a DS413j (4 bay) that would result in ~12TB of usable space in a Synology Raid (4x4TB drives) and you would come in just under $1k for the bare NAS unit and drives. You can go up in price from there and the sky is the limit. Units like this have low power consumption CPUs that are more than capable of streaming multiple HD streams to HTPCs (via DLNA or a standard network format like NFS or CIFS/SMB) but they lack the CPU horsepower to transcode video. This would not be an issue using a HTPC since the HTPC is doing all the work of decoding the media. FWIW, here's the Synology calculator and you can see the results of various combinations of drives.

FWIW---Qnap, Thecus and Asustor are other major manufacturers of NAS units with appropriate hardware options for HT use.

At the opposite end, there are a multiple major freeware projects (FreeNAS, Nas4Free, Ubuntu Server, and several others) that provide customized open source server software that would allow one to build their own server in addition to Windows Home Server 2011. Obviously this option requires much more research and study into selecting hardware, software installation/managment, and network management. I am currently in the middle of setting up a FreeNAS box as I outgrew my earlier Synology unit and, IMHO, there is definitely a learning curve. (I would consider myself an advanced user but I have zero formal training or experience in IT.)

Whatever you decide: BUY DRIVES DESIGNED FOR A NAS!!! (Western Digital "Red" or Seagate "NAS" drives are ubiquitous.)

Happy shopping. smile.gif
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am confused which one to take between QNAP and Synology. Im wondering which one has better dashboard/control center?

Thanks
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlon1925 View Post

I am confused which one to take between QNAP and Synology. Im wondering which one has better dashboard/control center?

Thanks
FWIW, both QNAP and Synology have "live" demos of their dashboards available on their websites to play with prior to buying anything---this is easy for them to offer since their actual user interfaces are web based.

Take them both for a spin and see which one you like.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks sir. Have you tried QNAP and Synology? how about the multimedia management? video streaming? which one is better to use with xbmc/mediaportal?
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlon1925 View Post

Thanks sir. Have you tried QNAP and Synology? how about the multimedia management? video streaming? which one is better to use with xbmc/mediaportal?
I have only used the very entry level Synology DS212j. Even that "lowly" unit worked great streaming 1080p content to an Oppo BDP-103 Blu Ray player (via Synology's DLNA server) and to a HTPC running OpenELEC/XBMC (via NFS) at the same time. With XBMC running on a Linux box I liked using NFS instead of DLNA because it seemed "snappier" and FF in particular was much quicker when viewing videos.

Media management was a snap, but I also use Macs (with AFP enabled on the DS212j) and the both computers simply considered the DS212j another drive and I could copy files and create folders from the Mac desktop. Once the Synology was setup, the only time I really needed to use the the Synology dashboard was for configuration changes or software updates.

FWIW, I have moved on to using FreeNAS installed on a Lenovo ThinkServer TS140. This also works well, but I would have been totally lost trying to set it up without having had the experience of using the Synology first. The Synology is simply a nice solid easy to use (for a NAS) product.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much for your reply sir, this is really helpful.

I am just waiting for some comments from QNAP users so I can finally decide.
post #12 of 13
I use unRaid. Way cheaper and I know exactly what it's doing so dead easy to fix, upgrade, etc,
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
how about the noise?

Which one is more quiet?
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