Originally Posted by FrankTR
Well I am about 95% finished.
Glad you re-energized this thread. I'm embarrassed to say my build is still not complete. I've been dealing with LIG headwinds and waiting for door jambs, a couple amps, realizing I made an error in the measurement of my A/V cabinet and the opening is 1/2" too short, touch-up painting, the list goes on. The last 5% takes the longest!
I'm looking forward to doing an invite (hopefully this Spring) for the group.
I am not a computer guy but, would like to get a electronic storage and organization set up for my DVD's like a Kaleidescape. Any of the computer guys built something like this and can provide advise?
Well, there's the old Sony DVD changers. I believe there was a 300 or 400 DVD model. I don't know if there was ever a BD version or if Sony still makes them. My preferred route is a HTPC and digitize the DVDs onto it. Then use Plex or Kodi as the front end. JRiver Media Center also is highly spoken of. I have only used XBMC, which is what Kodi was called before Microsloth threatened to sue the small non-profit group that makes Kodi over the "X-box Media Center" name.
The primary challenge with a HTPC is of course the PC part. Thankfully, there are turn-key solutions for the technical feint-of-heart. For example, you could get a Synology Diskstation or Rackstation. They have a Plex plug-in and a DLNA streaming plug-in. There may be other apps that work on it. The 2nd challenge is digitizing your DVDs, but there are a variety of software platforms that do this (including removing copy protections). Out of respect for the forum owners, I won't offer suggestions here since some of them are gray-area. Google is your friend. The Synology products double as NAS units (Network Attached Storage), such as file servers.
If you are up for building your own media server, I can offer you some guidance. Just let me know. If you've never built a PC before, you'll have a bit of a learning curve and should expect to devote many hours of your time (mostly on software configuration). The upside is once the core server is built, customizing it is a relatively simple affair. That's the big plus of the DIY route. Future customization plus complete control over the specs.
These days you can also go with a lite server and put everything on the "cloud," but I recommend against that. I don't like relying on things beyond my immediate control when watching a movie. I've experienced how much it sucks when Amazon Video stops working in the middle of a movie. Not a good experience.
Netgear, Western Digital, and Seagate all make "media" servers but they are a joke compared to a full-fledged media server. However, if your needs are modest they may be OK. That's just my PC snobbism talking. Lol.
The market has unfortunately become dominated by the companies with the largest marketing budgets, such as the HD manufacturers. Synology is one of the best bets if you want a solution-in-a-box. They have been in the NAS market longer than any other player and know what they are doing.