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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I want to build my own home media server but as this is my first time working on the hardware side of things I need a little help and advice.

I don’t want to spend too much on this, I understand that I will have to invest a fair amount of money into this but I don’t want it to cost the Earth. If possible I would like to spend no more that £500 on this project with the hope that I can upgrade when funds allow.

What do I want my home media server to do?

·         - It must be powerful enough to stream high-definition videos and music to multiple devices such as laptops, tablets, phones and TVs as well as being able to stream music and share photos.

·         - I want it to consume very little power whilst idle and it must be quiet and not generate too much heat.

·         - I would like to be able to add addition storage when cost allows.

·         - I plan to run the server headless but I would like to be able to attach a monitor (possibly a TV), keyboard and mouse if needed.

·         - If possible I would like it to back up files from my laptop and store them securely (maybe a password to access the files).

·         - I would like it to turn itself off safely if it over heats (if possible, I would like to be notified by e-mail that it has powered off).

I don’t know whether it will need an optical drive or USB ports, what would these be used for?

What would the best operating system to use?

I’m thinking of using a Linux-based operating system like Ubuntu. Is this recommended, or is there a better operating system to use for a home media server?

Which would be the best components to use?
 

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What is your budget?


I just finished building an HTPC for myself that is working fantastically. But this is more or less then end point of the media server chain.


I have an Asus motherboard that supports HDMI 1.3, using a Intel Core i3 4130 processor, 4GB of 1600Mhz of ram, desktop (or AV) style case, and a 500GB HD. I loaded OpenElec onto a USB drive, and loaded it. This boots the computer directly to XBMC.


I also have a 8TB NAS drive on my network with all my uncompressed movie only BD rips.


You may want to have a standard case that allows for more HDD space, and put Windows on for the ease of media sharing.


But the guts of my PC work fantastically for media streaming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

I have £500 to spend but I do have a couple of hundred pounds I could also use if needed.

I have more experience with the software side of things and this is my first time venturing into the hardware world and just need some guidance on how to decide on the best components to use.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by azzak  /t/1523775/how-to-build-a-home-media-server#post_24516518

 

I want to build my own home media server but as this is my first time working on the hardware side of things I need a little help and advice.

I don’t want to spend too much on this, I understand that I will have to invest a fair amount of money into this but I don’t want it to cost the Earth. If possible I would like to spend no more that £500 on this project with the hope that I can upgrade when funds allow.

What do I want my home media server to do?

·         - It must be powerful enough to stream high-definition videos and music to multiple devices such as laptops, tablets, phones and TVs as well as being able to stream music and share photos.

·         - I want it to consume very little power whilst idle and it must be quiet and not generate too much heat.

·         - I would like to be able to add addition storage when cost allows.

·         - I plan to run the server headless but I would like to be able to attach a monitor (possibly a TV), keyboard and mouse if needed.

·         - If possible I would like it to back up files from my laptop and store them securely (maybe a password to access the files).

·         - I would like it to turn itself off safely if it over heats (if possible, I would like to be notified by e-mail that it has powered off).

I don’t know whether it will need an optical drive or USB ports, what would these be used for?

What would the best operating system to use?

I’m thinking of using a Linux-based operating system like Ubuntu. Is this recommended, or is there a better operating system to use for a home media server?

Which would be the best components to use?
You mentioned Media "Server" and "Streaming" but it sounds like you are really just looking for a place to store your media which would be more a NAS than a "Server". If you are just going to be playing your media from a Network Share and not actually doing any kind of conversion of the media (like using Plex) then you are really just looking for a NAS which changes things dramatically as a NAS needs way less horsepower than a Streaming Server Does.

 

If you are just looking to store you Media then I would suggest just buying a NAS and you are done. I personally like the Synology Line up which may be a little more over your budget but well worth the extra money if you can justify it. Take a look at something like their DS1513+ which would give you a base unit of 5-days but expandable with Expansion Chassis if you ever need to go down that road.

 

Again I want to clarify as you say "Stream" to your Laptop, Tablets, Phones and TV's for this to work ideally you would want to go with some kind of Streaming Server which I would recommend Plex as this would take your existing Media and Convert it in the best possible format for each device. Lets face it you don't want to stream a 30GB Blu-Ray file do a Tablet or Phone, that will not work well especially over wireless. This changes things dramatically as you will need a fairly beefy system to convert the media on the fly and it will depend on how many devices you will have going at the same time.

 

So let us know what you are thinking / looking for and we will take it from there.
 

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He's going to need a pretty powerful CPU if he wants to transcode on the fly to multiple devices. I built my UnRaid Server with some older parts, but I ended up upgrading the mother board and getting an i5 CPU. I can stream to 3 iPads and my media player Dune D1 at the same time without any issues. I use Plex for the iPads / iPhones since it has a great UI.


You also have to remember that bluray movies take a lot of space. They can range from 15 to 40+ GB per movie. I've got 15 TB, and I am running out of space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

From doing reading on the internet most people recommend using an i5 CPU so I was thinking of using an Intel Core i5 4570 Quad Core. After that people’s opinions vary on what motherboard to use and deciding on which is the best to use is fairly confusing. Which form factor would be the best in a home media server; ATX, Micro ATX or Mini ITX?

I think for my needs 4GB of RAM will be sufficient?

I’m also thinking of buying a Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000 4TB 64MB Cache Hard Drive for it, the reviews I’ve read on it are good and it seems to be a good choice. I have other older hard drives from old desktops I will use for now to keep costs down but I will eventually upgrade them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

After doing a lot of research on the internet I think I have decided on the components I want to use.

Could this work as a home media server? Would I need to include anything else?

 

Case: Antec NSK4482B

Motherboard: ASRock B85M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard

CPU: Intel Core i5 4570 Quad Core Retail CPU

CPU Fan: Antec Kuhler Flow

RAM: Corsair CMX4GX3M2A1333C8 XMS3 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3

Hard Drives: Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000 4TB 64MB Cache Hard Drive

(I will use two hard drives at first, but when cost allows I will add more).
 

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Hello,

 

You should try FLEX server it is FREE.  I am running it on a Windows base computer and it is just Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! Hop this helps
 
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