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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay maybe this has been answered 100 times but I sure am having a rough time finding it via the search thread.


I am looking for a digital media server that does not depend on a PC therfore I can use a NAS device in a RAID configuration to protect my data and utilize multiple devices around my house. I used to own an Audiotron that would only play MP3's from the NAS device. I am looking for something similair that will play the following.


Movies (ISO or VOB)

MP3's

Pictures


DVI or HDMI (1080i or higher)

1000 nic (for the high def video)

Digital Audio (optical tos link)


Any recommendations?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerick01 /forum/post/15466105


Okay maybe this has been answered 100 times but I sure am having a rough time finding it via the search thread.


I am looking for a digital media server that does not depend on a PC therfore I can use a NAS device in a RAID configuration to protect my data and utilize multiple devices around my house. I used to own an Audiotron that would only play MP3's from the NAS device. I am looking for something similair that will play the following.


Movies (ISO or VOB)

MP3's

Pictures


DVI or HDMI (1080i or higher)

1000 nic (for the high def video)

Digital Audio (optical tos link)


Any recommendations?

Any of the NMT products will meet your needs, like the Popcorn Hour A-110. However, you should be warned that RAID is not a data protection/backup strategy. It is a tool to maintain extremely high levels of data availability (100% uptime), but not to protect the data it contains. All it takes is for multiple drives to go down or for the controller to fail and you have lost ALL of your data. I would not use an onboard RAID controller, regardless. And good add-on controllers aren't cheap.


Personally I use an unRaid server to host all of my media files. I think it offers some of the benefits of RAID (parity protection) but has a number of other advantages (incremental expansion; the drives can be pulled from the server and mounted on a PC; if multiple drives fail you don't lose the entire array).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerick01 /forum/post/15466105


I am looking for a digital media server that does not depend on a PC therfore

So you want the server software to run on NAS hardware rather than a PC? Most of the better NAS devices bundle in media server software with the hardware. If you search for NAS devices on google and review the specs, you will find serveral options. QNAP, Buffalo, Netgear, come to mind. QNAP offer the biggest feature set. Twonky Media server (the best IMHO) is often bundled.

Quote:
I can use a NAS device in a RAID configuration to protect my data

Careful here. As the above poster cautions, RAID is typically a high availability feature, not a backup feature. RAID 5, which requires a minimum of three disks, will keep data available in the event that one disk fails. If more than one disk fails (think lightning strike), you lose all of your data. Also the forums are ripe with stories of RAID arrays failing to rebuild properly when a disk is replaced.


RAID 1, which is mirrored drives, is real time backup with failover capability. Doesn't help with the lightning strike though.


I don't see the value of RAID for a home server, since continuous availability is not a requirement in a home setting. Load a 1.0 to 1.5 TB drive into the NAS and back it up on a second drive in an external enclosure. The external enclosure can be removed for offsite storage (fire, flood, theft...).


Quote:
DVI or HDMI (1080i or higher)

1000 nic (for the high def video)

Digital Audio (optical tos link)

The Gbit NIC is easy enough to find. HDMI and Digital Audio (BTW, go with coax digital audio not optical) are found on the player, not the NAS. If you want to combine storage and file sharing with the ability to play content, then you now have a home theater PC.


You can use an old PC and run a Linux-based NAS package such as freeNAS, ClarkConnect, or Amati. If you have more money, you can run Windows Home Server on a newer PC (HP has a great WHS solution). Or you can buy a NAS box preconfigured with media server software and insert your own disks (lots of choices via google).
 

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NMT is not so good for MP3 or Pictures (can't think of any Sigma based player that does those well)


same follows in the other direction. Apple TV does music and photos well but it won't do vob/iso afaik
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajaxmike /forum/post/15472144


If more than one disk fails (think lightning strike), you lose all of your data.

I've had multiple instances of lightning damage in my house. I've lost xbox power supplies, xbox nics, router ports, modems, PC power supplies, PC nics, ReadyNAS NICs. DSL modems, phones, ReplayTV modems, ReplayTV NICs.....But NEVER, Never once have I lost data during one of these events. (Everything listed above was on a surge suppressor or UPS)


In fact I just moved the disk set from my old lightning zapped ReadyNAS 600 into a new ReadyNAS NV+ and it booted just fine. Like nothing had happened.


Not that it couldn't happen (lightning nuking data). Just sayin'


Needless to say. I now have a whole house surge arrestor. Plus Gas discharge tubes, on the phone, coax, and on the Ethernet just after the DSL router.


For floods, airplane crashes etc... off site storage of non-replaceable stuff.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai-Tan /forum/post/15474937


NMT is not so good for MP3 or Pictures (can't think of any Sigma based player that does those well)


same follows in the other direction. Apple TV does music and photos well but it won't do vob/iso afaik

Agreed, though 'playing' photos in a folder as a slideshow actually does work well.


Browsing, yeah ... not so much.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Slack /forum/post/15480061


For floods, airplane crashes etc... off site storage of non-replaceable stuff.

I'd think you would have more to worry about than data in the event of a plane crash
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay so I should clarify a little better.


The NAS would only hold the data. I like the idea of using the NAS in a Raid configuration since if a drive does fail, I can replace it. In addition upgrading to larger drives is critical since my data is constantly expanding with every DVD I purchase.


My current storage idea is to use the DNS-343 from D-Link. 1GB NIC and supports SATA. Drives are upgradeable etc. I am currently running a 1TB Western Digital My Book in mirrored mode (USB 2.0 - no nic)


For the media server I am currently using a MAC Mini. I have played with Front Row, XBMC and Plex. This is DVI to HDMI on my tv in 1080i and running mini toslink for digital audio.


End solution:


Storage:

A central low power storage solution that is easily upgradeable and low maintance (no patching, av, config etc). This storage solution would sit on the LAN and just serve up the digital files to multiple digital players.


Digital Media player:

I was on Vista Ultimate previously and loved the Media Center. I particulary like the ability to play music and photos of my choosing at the same time. This feature is not available on the MAC Mini. On the Mac Mini I like movie quality and ability to view movies naitivly. On the Vista Ultimate machine things just seemed a little off. Long story short, HDMI/DVI is a necessity and Digital Audio out. I like the WD solution however I am unable to run this with multiple units, looking to run 3 and since the WD unit depends on USB this is not a solution. I tried the popcorn hour 110 and it was so complex and buggy I sold it on Ebay after 1 week. Low cost is also I serious consideration.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerick01 /forum/post/15487473


Okay so I should clarify a little better.


---snipped----

Digital Media player:

I was on Vista Ultimate previously and loved the Media Center. I particulary like the ability to play music and photos of my choosing at the same time. This feature is not available on the MAC Mini. On the Mac Mini I like movie quality and ability to view movies naitivly. On the Vista Ultimate machine things just seemed a little off. Long story short, HDMI/DVI is a necessity and Digital Audio out. I like the WD solution however I am unable to run this with multiple units, looking to run 3 and since the WD unit depends on USB this is not a solution. I tried the popcorn hour 110 and it was so complex and buggy I sold it on Ebay after 1 week. Low cost is also I serious consideration.


Maybe an 'Apple TV' running XBMC?


I think the apple tv goes for about $229 and you can now use xbmc on it.

Might be something to look into..........
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerick01 /forum/post/15487473


My current storage idea is to use the DNS-343 from D-Link. 1GB NIC and supports SATA. Drives are upgradeable etc. I am currently running a 1TB Western Digital My Book in mirrored mode (USB 2.0 - no nic)

The DNS-343 supports UPNP, but its media server software might not be that great. The reviews on the 343 have been lukewarm. Have a look at QNAP, which offers much better software functionality including Twonky media server. I went with Linux on an old PC to save money, but that requires a lot more work and more electrical power. If the My Book has 1TB drives, you might be able to pull the drives into the new NAS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cerick01 /forum/post/15487473


Digital Media player:

I was on Vista Ultimate previously and loved the Media Center. I particulary like the ability to play music and photos of my choosing at the same time. This feature is not available on the MAC Mini. On the Mac Mini I like movie quality and ability to view movies naitivly. On the Vista Ultimate machine things just seemed a little off. Long story short, HDMI/DVI is a necessity and Digital Audio out. .....Low cost is also I serious consideration.

I would use the MAC as a media player to preserve your existing investment. I should think you would be able to find some good software for that if you don't like the Apple stuff (XBMC comes to mind). I think you can run Vista on the MAC if you really want it that badly, but then you need to buy a Vista license.
 

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I'd be careful on the QNAP. Decent price, losts of features, but on their low end (ie 109/209) product line, the backup capability is so slow as to be useless for anyone with a lot of data.


The Synology 209+ line looks better to me...
 
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