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The way of the future

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
has anyone here ventures into the music server forum? there is some pretty awesome things being made as of late, which i strongly believe is the way of the future. streaming audio/video content from a hdd/computer/nas device seems to be the most popular thing. looking into buying a slim devices sb3 or tp, i noticed there are many many more products that essentially do the same thing. many of which have a gui that can be hooked up to your tv. you can not only listen to music, but also watch your ripped dvd's in iso format (similar to ripped music in flac format), display your personal pics and now even record hdtv material. has anyone compared any other device to the tp.sb3 and found any to be better? since i am going to add an external dac to whatever unit i buy, i can't seem to decide which unit to get. any comments/help???
post #2 of 43
I'd like to go with building a HTPC with a massive amount of hard drive space to storemovies and music. I have seen a DIY music/video server and it was really impressive especially if the user has plenty of space for the media.

I wonder how much products are offered by commercial vendors and how much better they are than the very simplified DIY designs.
post #3 of 43
Welcome to a long time ago?

Check out Kaleidescape, etc.

edit: added smiley. Didn't realize this came off nasty, I was being sarcastic.
post #4 of 43
Just out of curiosity, what's the expected hard drive life of these systems? Seems to me if you spend hours loading the unit full of movies and music, I'd want 10 years lifespan..

I have made double backups of my 6000 songs on my MP3 player. My computer hard drive is one, burned DVDs are the other.

There's a wave of problems with DVRs used for security systems right now. A bunch from reputable manufacturers seem to work K, but those cobbled together by computer techies are having lots of hard drive issues. They crash constantly, which could be an issue when the local gas station gets held up. Go to the hard drive, oh sorry, it died an hour before the stickup..
post #5 of 43
Well, most should be running raid arrays, so if drives fail you can drop in a replacement and not lose anything. I know that Kaleidescape is hotswappable too. And of course, the assumption is that legally you own all the content on there, so if there is a more serious problems like multiple drives fail at the same time or someone backs a dumptruck into your house, you have all the DVDs etc that you can have re-loaded onto the system.
post #6 of 43
The Kaleidecsape system will send a notice back to tech support when it detects a drive failure, or an impending one. They'll send you a new drive automatically, perhaps before you even realize it is needed. And because of the redundancy, you won't have lost any data as long as a second drive doesn't fail before the first is replaced.

I may be wrong about this, but I believe that in the case of a two-drive failure, you will lose only a portion of the data, not all of it. So that softens the blow in that unlikely event. (They do NOT use a standard RAID 5, which is why this is possible.)

I for one would take no chances and would shut down the system until the replacement arrives, but in theory any RAID system can run in unprotected/degraded mode.
post #7 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

Welcome to a long time ago?

Check out Kaleidescape, etc.



well thanks for the update?


i mean "streamers" that are just a hair less than $30k......

for example a tvix 5000. these units are all under $500, but i guess whats important if they are to be used as a transport is their ps and jitter specs. how good can a $300 machine be???
post #8 of 43
This is OT but when I saw the topic was "The Way Of The Future" all I could imagine was Leonardo DiCaprio / Howard Hughes at the end of The Aviator....

It's the way of the future
way of the future
way of the future
way of the future
post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by diver90 View Post

This is OT but when I saw the topic was "The Way Of The Future" all I could imagine was Leonardo DiCaprio / Howard Hughes at the end of The Aviator....

It's the way of the future
way of the future
way of the future
way of the future

Yeah that or an ULTRA-CURVASCOPE in every other home....
post #10 of 43
The jitter of a stream source doesn't matter, as it's all buffered and de-blocked in the playing device. It's important to have a solid clock in the actual DAC, but before then, you should go for uptime, compatibility and features. Often, this ends up being a regular PC system, dedicated to serving this function (i e, big disks, network attached, headless, stored in a cool and soundproof place).

I second/third the recommendation to use RAID (1 or 5) for making sure a single drive failure doesn't kill you. A drive may last three years (especially if you get server-grade drives), but may also fail after one if you're unlucky.
post #11 of 43
HTPCs have been capable of doing this for quite awhile (and there are a lot of high-end solutions in this space). I assume you're looking at stand-alone silent units (slim devices, etc.). One problem that I've encountered is their ability to stream VOB (DVD) files. They work well with other types of data streams...
post #12 of 43
Thread Starter 
yes, i am looking for a stand alone unit such as the slim transporter that does dvd video, pics, etc. all the units at this present time exhibit some difficulty playing some form of file without it stuttering (even if hardwired). other units play back the files (video) flawlessly but the ff/rw either locks up or is too slow/fast. it seems that this technology really needs a bit of time to mature, getting away from a common pc (bugs) and going towards the direction of modern cd/dvd players. not sure if i should bite the bullet yet as its still all too buggy. the slim stuff does however seem solid and i think i will pull the trigger on that as soon as a good deal comes up.
post #13 of 43
I'm moving to a computer-based front end and was considering NAS but the idea of a RAID spinning all day in an empty house just seems excessive. Anyone know if a NAS will spin down and sleep when idle? I would think Kaleidoscape can do this for reliability but that system is beyond my price point and needs. I really just want to use iTunes to manage my music. I'll keep the transport around for SACD/ DVD and the occassional CD.

One strateegy I'm considering: build the library and then back the whole thing up to one or two 500gig drives using an external enclosure. Remove bare drive from enclosure and put in a safe place awaiting the inevitable. This way you can use cheaper drives because they only run as back-ups. I think a 500Gb maxtor is only $160.

I would love to stream DVD rips of the kid films (Disney, Baby Einstein, etc.) to the TV, but this is more trouble than its worth on the Mac. Apple has crippled MPEG2 playback on that platform and transcoding takes too long without getting a really fast box to run automated conversions.
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundKernel View Post

I'm moving to a computer-based front end and was considering NAS but the idea of a RAID spinning all day in an empty house just seems excessive. Anyone know if a NAS will spin down and sleep when idle? I would think Kaleidoscape can do this for reliability but that system is beyond my price point and needs. I really just want to use iTunes to manage my music. I'll keep the transport around for SACD/ DVD and the occassional CD.

One of the worst things you can do to a hard drive is cycle it up and down frequently. These are actually better running 24/7. The time that a drive is most likely to fail is when it's spinning up.

This is from a bit o' experience with hard drives -- when they fail it's usually ugly.

Quote:
One strateegy I'm considering: build the library and then back the whole thing up to one or two 500gig drives using an external enclosure. Remove bare drive from enclosure and put in a safe place awaiting the inevitable. This way you can use cheaper drives because they only run as back-ups. I think a 500Gb maxtor is only $160.

THis part is quite smart; the only practical backup medium for consumers these days is another hard drive. You can get tape based solutions but they are rather expensive. Don't forget that you would also need to validate the integrity of the backup drive from time to time.


Quote:
I would love to stream DVD rips of the kid films (Disney, Baby Einstein, etc.) to the TV, but this is more trouble than its worth on the Mac. Apple has crippled MPEG2 playback on that platform and transcoding takes too long without getting a really fast box to run automated conversions.

That's just stupid on their part.

Cheers,
post #15 of 43
Good point on the spin up / down.

Maybe just leave it in the external case for a look-see every now and then. Decent cases are about 50 bucks and it helps protect the drive.

Stupid- maybe. This will certainly slow adoption. I assume the no-MPEG2 thing has to do with DVD's lack of managed copy and no-rip legal nonsense. Possibly a studio-friendly gesture? I think that device is positioned a year or so out when HD content becomes more available on the iTunes store. Still curious how it looks in use.

Most of the other streamers I have looked at (not including KaScape , of course), have crappy UI's. Media Center looks OK but its not a good fit form me.
post #16 of 43
Hey Everyone,

I graduated from PTI for Networking so I alot of experience with PCs and networking.

If you are going to build a server with tons of music and movies etc, think in terms of redundancy. I would build a Server witha hotswap drive bays so that you can easily back up your data.

IMO the NORCO cases are great along with Chembro you can get ones that have up to 24 SATA II bays this is ideal for people who are in this league of storage.


If it were me and I wanted a Kaliedascope killer it would be

http://www.serversdirect.com/config....id=SDR%2D5305T

I would go dual CPU with 4GB ram, Server 2003 or atleast XP pro.

24 x 500GB should be enough for most that gives 6TB with the ability to completely copy everything to the swap bays for redundancy.

Using Norco's 12 BAY swap rack which is SATA 2 externally with the PCI card you can add 12-24 more drives

Now you may be thinking yeah that s great but I have like 4 or 5 rooms to access this all from. Using the Linsys Wireless Gaming router you can wirelessy serve it all up on PCs, Xbox 360s, or Squeezeboxes, take your pic...

~Bob
post #17 of 43
Actually, for server OS, I would go with a Linux flavor. Part of the offerings of the company I work for is an enterprise application that needs a server cluster to run, and we can serve both from Windows and from Linux. The uptime of the Linux servers was so superior to the Windows based servers (both 2k server and XP server variants) that we only do Linux now. At home, I do the same thing: Linux server, Windows clients.

I serve MP3 and video (as well as internet connectivity, DHCP, DNS, etc) over both Wireless-G and wired. I must say that the wired is more robust, though. When there are problems, it's always with interference on the wireless link (microwaves, cordless phones, crappy firmware, etc).

And I can vouch for the Slim Devices devices. Never given me any problems (although I don't have their $2k version).
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by khellandros66 View Post

Hey Everyone,

I graduated from PTI for Networking so I alot of experience with PCs and networking.

If you are going to build a server with tons of music and movies etc, think in terms of redundancy. I would build a Server witha hotswap drive bays so that you can easily back up your data.

IMO the NORCO cases are great along with Chembro you can get ones that have up to 24 SATA II bays this is ideal for people who are in this league of storage.


If it were me and I wanted a Kaliedascope killer it would be

http://www.serversdirect.com/config....id=SDR%2D5305T

I would go dual CPU with 4GB ram, Server 2003 or atleast XP pro.

24 x 500GB should be enough for most that gives 6TB with the ability to completely copy everything to the swap bays for redundancy.

Using Norco's 12 BAY swap rack which is SATA 2 externally with the PCI card you can add 12-24 more drives

Now you may be thinking yeah that s great but I have like 4 or 5 rooms to access this all from. Using the Linsys Wireless Gaming router you can wirelessy serve it all up on PCs, Xbox 360s, or Squeezeboxes, take your pic...

~Bob


Damn, I went to their website and setup a top of the line computer and it was almost $18,000!! Granted, I'm sure I don't need alot of what I put on there but for that money, I should be looking a K-Scape.
post #19 of 43
True true Linux is great but for alot of people its a steep learning curve, and for in home use 2003 will run 1000x more solid the say XP MCE or XP.


I have yet have my Server 2003 box (my HTPC that I am on right now) crash and I put alot of uptime on it. Granted I can reboot to the Linux partition at will.

The K Scope for DVD serves upwars of $20-25k so that $18k system which you configured may be bloated with extra hardware that won't benefit.

I figure

Server 2003
2x2GHz AMD
4GB RAM
Dual 74GB WD Raptors Mirrored (OS and apps only)
24 x 500GB Seagate Perpedicular Drives or 6TG x 2 replicated for redundancy
DVD+/-RW
Gibabit LAN
Linksys Gamer Edition Router
Xbox 360, PS3, or The Squeezebox in each room

This could be setup by alot of people here at avs and the familiarity of the OS being similar to windows XP would lower the learning curve issue. I would consider this before a K Scope system cause of the ease of expansion and total lack of propriety components

~Bobby
post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Palme View Post

Just out of curiosity, what's the expected hard drive life of these systems? Seems to me if you spend hours loading the unit full of movies and music, I'd want 10 years lifespan..

I have made double backups of my 6000 songs on my MP3 player. My computer hard drive is one, burned DVDs are the other.

There's a wave of problems with DVRs used for security systems right now. A bunch from reputable manufacturers seem to work K, but those cobbled together by computer techies are having lots of hard drive issues. They crash constantly, which could be an issue when the local gas station gets held up. Go to the hard drive, oh sorry, it died an hour before the stickup..


Barrring that, the world could always go back to manufacutring hardrives that work and last.
post #21 of 43
Thread Starter 
i wouldn't hold me breath on that one. if they made them to last, then they would go out of business very, very quickly. how do you think the auto makers do it?
post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony A. View Post

i wouldn't hold me breath on that one. if they made them to last, then they would go out of business very, very quickly. how do you think the auto makers do it?

HDD manufacturers are not choir boys, I doubt however they make their product less reliable so that people buy more... the incessant need for more storage has seen to that already...
Think about it this way, what you are reading from this forum IS from a HDD , this forum does not go down often, does it ( I am sure that , once in a while an HDD or more goes bad but the usage on this site is thousands time higher than what an HDD would encounter in an house. HDD reliability is pretty good. They do not spin when they are not solicitated...
post #23 of 43
HDDs are mechanical devices... spinning parts fail.

End of sentence.

WIth the advances in solid state memory though, we will have some very intriguing storage solutions
post #24 of 43
Dizz,

True solid state is on the horizon but it will be a slow process because of fabrication costs. A solid state HDD for a PC still goes for $1700+ for around 8GB that would take a tremendous amount of money to realize a 12TB system anytime soon

http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/def...px?EDC=1022421


~Bob
post #25 of 43
You can buy 8 GB flash disks for under $100.
post #26 of 43
Where? i need some.
post #27 of 43
Thread Starter 
upon further research, it seems that a/v is heading towards the computer side of things. not sure if that is a good thing or not, but htpc's seem to be getting better and better. the only quirks i find is the o/s, which imo, mce and apple is not what i want. anyone have an htpc, that replaces a receiver, dvd player, cd player, etc?
post #28 of 43
Whoever builds the "HTPC" with an overlay skin that makes it look and feel like a home entertainment item (a la K) that is competitively priced will win.

Just like why the palm originally did so well. it was designed not as a mini PC, but as a handheld device that accomplished the tasks it needed to very easily.

Does an HTPC need email? Web browsing, and a myriad of other things? no. it needs to easily find music, play movies, and do so in different zones. THose other things might be wanted by the .00000000000001 % who is represented here. but we all have another PC, or a handheld device or some emans of finding all that stuff. Ever tried to navigate windows with just a remote? Even though MCE is better than windows, it still has a long way to go. and honestly, i do not think that microsoft has the ability to do it.

But an application that runs on top and allows an intuitive easy way to access everything ... There are a few billions to be made there.
post #29 of 43
Thread Starter 
so true, i am trying to stay away from windows os, mainly because of the drm, copy protection, etc. crap. linux seems to be good, but i've never used it so not sure what to expect and not sure if all hardware/software is supported. i've been reading of a few threads of audio cards that do dd/dts decoding and some stating they are superior to receivers. if that is the case, then that is exactly what im looking for. my only concern (other than the os) is the power supply. computer ps's often seem generic and mediocre at best. do you have any experience with good ones that are of "audiophile" quality?
post #30 of 43
Could someone tell me what the Kaleidescape systems cost ballpark. Running A/V to 11 zones. Also there is an AMX MAX... how does this compare?

thanks.

p.s. I am not super techy
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