I have been moving away from physical media but I don't want to compromise with compressed audio. I just started a small Plex server using a 2TB external harddrive with my gaming/htpc and I am liking it a lot so far. I am streaming on a Nvidia Shield TV Pro (1st gen). My PC is small form factor so internal storage is not an option (Fractal Node 202 ITX build). Problem is that I am quickly filling up quickly given the size of bluray rips. 4k rips are even worse. My library is growing very rapidly. What storage options are best? I was thinking of just picking up a 10tb external and see how that lasts me before considering a dedicated NAS. Would it be better to use the Shield as the server with an external drive? What would be the best way to add ripped movies from my computer to the Shield server?
I am interested to hear how you guys store movies. If you are digital: How many movies do you have and how much space do you use? Do you run a dedicated server?
TV: TCL 6 Series 75"
Speakers: Hsu Research HB-1 and HC-1
Sub: SVS SB-3000
AVR: Yamaha HTR-4065
Previously Owned Equipment: Elac B5 and C5, SVS PB10-NSD
If you think you are already headed in that direction, a dedicated NAS is really the best choice. You might still want the 10TB external for backing up your media though. Highly recommended to have 2 copies of anything you consider important. So you might start now with the external drive, then when you add a server later you can just copy the files over. One advantage of the NAS is that it can be accessed and managed by any device on your network, not just the one (Shield).
I am interested to hear how you guys store movies.
I have used a NAS and typical PC server in several configurations over the years and have ended up using a "hybrid" solution the last several years. I'm not into RAID with data that doesn't continually change and most NAS devices are way underpowered and overpriced for their non data serving duties. Typical PCs simply seem overkill for media serving in cost, performance and 24/7 power usage.
What do I use? Currently a ODROID-N2 (previously a ODROID-XU4 for two years). For under a $100 you get enough power to flood your network, transcode a few streams (if needed), run endless other apps (such as Pi-hole and Plex Media Server) while topping out at a few watts under load. I run it headless, installation and configuration takes an hour or so with virtually zero maintenance. For storage plug in any number of USB drives (plenty fast). I do keep a backup of each drive via rsync... power on the backup drive and fire off the script, power it off once completed.
Is it the perfect solution? Certainly not in every use case however in quite a few it certainly is... the right tool for the job.
| JVC RS2000 125" Projection - Denon 5.2.4 Audio - Shield TV PRO / 65" LG OLED TV - TiVo - Fire TV 4K | | ODROID-N2 Ubuntu Media Server |Water cooled Threadripper & Radeon VII, NVMe PC - 43" 4K IPS Panel |
I was originally in the same boat. Started with a Plex server running on a main PC...using external 4tb HD for storage....as expected that did not last long.
Instead what I did....was rummage thru my closets and storage bins and found enough "old" recently upgraded PC parts and built a "NAS" running UnRaid. Only thing I had to buy was a case with enough room to put in 8 HDs(7 storage and 1 for parity). Currently have a 8tb for the parity and four 4tb drives...so room for 3 more drives...or if needed start swapping out the 4tb drives for 6 or 8tb ones. I really like Unraid....its able to run Plex server docker along with some other useful dockers (printer server, etc)...I forget the CPU i had to put in it but it can transcode 3-4 1080ps at a time. Since I only had to buy a case...I was only out the cost of the case + hard drives + license for Unraid. Way cheaper and way better than trying to buy a traditional NAS.
That said...for my main home theater...I do not use Plex client...instead I use Kodi (Odroid N2 running CoreElec) which directly accesses the same files that Plex does via NFS or SMB.
Everywhere else in the house and remotely I use Plex clients.