AVS Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, been a while since I visited AVS but I've always found amazing info here and it was instrumental in helping me get to my current setup which has been providing me with excellent entertainment for years.


The deal is, I'm moving soon and I'm going to have a LOT less space, my gear is starting to wear out (video card in the HTPC is having problems), and there are so many cool new toys in this realm I'm not even sure if my current thinking of how things work together is the best anymore.


Here's what I have now:


An AMD dual-core ubuntu-linux server with three 2TB drives in mdadm RAID5 for a total of 4 TB of usable space. This is being used as a single large media partition. It has a small SSD for the system.

My "killer apps" list on the server is:


- samba for sharing the media on my local network (windows and OSX desktops/laptops)

- subsonic for streaming music and video to my android and the web streamer for listening to music at work

- rtorrent for torrent management with a watch directory for dropping in torrent files even while remote to get torrents started easily

- ssh and byobu for persistent rtorrent and shared sessions

- apache with some basic auth so I can view pictures and download media over the web wherever I am (I forward specific ports from my router to my server)

- usb power supply management software for my UPS (has come in REALLY handy when the power goes out!! I can safely shut down with the ~20 minutes or so I have while the power is out but the server's running on battery)


Then I have a frankenstein HTPC which notably has:


- a home-soldered digital audio (coax) connector from the motherboard going into my receiver's coax digital input

- HDMI out on an old pci express video card to my TV

- An external USB TV tuner adapter

- Windows 7 and media center for easily recording and playing back HDTV streams

- VLC to play movies and shows from the server

- Hulu, Netflix, etc from chrome / IE

- A nice HP wireless keyboard with a built-in optical track'ball' area


That's about it.. between these two pieces of kit and my nice gigabit wifi router, I've been able to do almost anything I'd ever want to media-wise for a while now.. but here are the problems:


1) I still don't have a great '10 foot interface' except for windows media center - I've seen plex in action and am very impressed.

2) The server is a constant source of worry - what if the system drive dies? What if two hard drives fail at the same time?

3) The HTPC is slowly falling apart.

--and probably the biggest problem--

4) It all takes up too much space and power!


I got a chromecast for Christmas and streamed some hulu from my laptop to the TV directly and realized how compact and simple things can be now and it got me to wondering.. do I need any of this stuff?


What do others do nowadays who want it all but don't want it to take up too much room? Anyone do a similar 'downsizing' recently and have some wisdom to impart on me?


What I'm leaning towards is this:


- Rebuild my server into a miniITX case with a mSATA drive and no other internal drives

- Put my drives into a synology / qnap

- Run plex on the server and plug it directly into the TV & receiver (or maybe one of those fancy plex/myth ubuntu distros?)

- Use the chromecast / get an appleTV for light content viewing


What I'm worried about with this setup is:


- Live OTA HDTV support on linux (my last venture down this route proved extremely time-consuming and frustrating)

- How good are the dedicated NAS's about handling failures? Or e-mailing when a drive becomes degraded? Or shutting down automatically (and safely) when you have a power outage?

- Something I enjoy right now that I won't realize I'll be missing with this setup



Any opinions, verbal abuse, ideas, suggestions, or outright ramblings welcome. Oh, and Happy New Year!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
858 Posts
A Synology NAS does pretty much all of what your doing already

* samba of course

* Audiostation - audio streaming over browser or DSAudio app for iOS, Android, Windows 8

* Built in torrent via download station and remote management

* Audio, photo, video station provide access to your media over the net

* TVHeadend can run on Synology NAS you can use that to provide LiveTV/PVR to XBMC, ethernet link to whatevers running XBMC recommended.

* Can also run Plex server.

* email/sms notifications

* USB or network UPS supports auto safe shutdown and power on when power is restored


Go look at the DSM live demo and you will see all the features for yourself. Click the ? symbol in any area for detail explanations.


For the TV something that runs XBMC, get an Ouya and you have XBMC client plus Plex client all in one. Google are rumoured to be launching a Nexus AndroidTV device later in the year that would likely give you Chromecast, XBMC and Plex all in one so you could drop the Chromecast dongle.


That would cut you down to two low power boxes, but you'd really want one of the more expensive x86 Synology models like the DS412+, they don't come cheap $600 for that unit.


Before pulling the trigger on that kind of system try seeing up TVheandend and XBMC on a PC to see if you like it. If not keen on TVheanded a HD Home Run might be another option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alx330  /t/1510558/overwhelmed-with-options-content-server-htpc-theory-and-build-questions#post_24180483


A Synology NAS does pretty much all of what your doing already

* samba of course

* Audiostation - audio streaming over browser or DSAudio app for iOS, Android, Windows 8

* Built in torrent via download station and remote management

* Audio, photo, video station provide access to your media over the net

* TVHeadend can run on Synology NAS you can use that to provide LiveTV/PVR to XBMC, ethernet link to whatevers running XBMC recommended.

* Can also run Plex server.

* email/sms notifications

* USB or network UPS supports auto safe shutdown and power on when power is restored


Go look at the DSM live demo and you will see all the features for yourself. Click the ? symbol in any area for detail explanations.


For the TV something that runs XBMC, get an Ouya and you have XBMC client plus Plex client all in one. Google are rumoured to be launching a Nexus AndroidTV device later in the year that would likely give you Chromecast, XBMC and Plex all in one so you could drop the Chromecast dongle.


That would cut you down to two low power boxes, but you'd really want one of the more expensive x86 Synology models like the DS412+, they don't come cheap $600 for that unit.


Before pulling the trigger on that kind of system try seeing up TVheandend and XBMC on a PC to see if you like it. If not keen on TVheanded a HD Home Run might be another option.

This is perfect - I had a feeling the NAS's were capable of far more than just file sharing. I'll take a close look at my budget and the capabilities of the recent synologies and might end up building a new mini-ITX windows HTPC and just running everything else directly off the NAS. Sounds like that will neatly mirror my current functionality and take a lot less space and power.


Thanks!
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top