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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. New poster and I apologize if I'm in the wrong forum. I didn't find anything in the search function and therefore could be in the wrong place.


Where and how do I educate myself on digital media hard drives and adding one to my home theater? I want to be able to access DVD's, music etc. directly from the TV. Do I just copy my movies to the hard drive? Do these come with programs you can access & select programming thru your TV? What hard drive to buy? How big etc?


I appreciate any & all advice.


Darren
 

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I am getting good at tagging on to other's threads (did the same in the HTPC section with a similar question)


My question and objective is similar to the one above. I have been looking into devices such as the Buffalo Networks combo DVD/media interface device. Also a friend has used the ROKU for video, but says that the interface is no frills and simply lists file names; no thumbs of DVD covers, etc. What was suggested was the new mini-Mac from Apple. At $600 or so it may make more sense to try and network to a remote(the other room) hard drive.


My home has structured wiring and ethernet running to each room, but my issue has been how to distribute and then interface at the TV. Any suggestions would be great.


Josh
 

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Step 1: Get a NAS and store all your content there. Be it an Infrant ReadyNAS NV, PC File server, whatever else. Shares should use NFS.

Pickup an Infrant and stuff 4 750GB Seagates into it using RAID5 and you will have 2TB's.

Rip you DVD's, copy your other content to the Infrant.

Step 2: Install wired ethernet to all rooms you want content.

Step 3: Get a good Gigabit router. Use static IP addresses.

Step 4: Hookup a Tvix 5000 (or maybe 4000) in each room to the television.

Step 5: Plug the ethernet wire into the Tvix, enter the IP address of the NAS.

Step 6: Grab you popcorn and soda, turn down the lights, fire up the widescreen HDTV and enjoy the movies.
 

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Thank you qz for the step by step. One problem. Much of this is very new so could you please translate (sorry) what is NAS, NFS and RAID5?


The rest I get. But if I get an Infrant why would I need the Seagate HD...just more storage?


Thanks again for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maybe I should have rephrased my title to "Newbie 101". I don't have a clue about any of this and didn't really know if this process (media servers) were a possibility. What I need is a place I can go to research, read etc. about what I can and cannot do and what I need to accomplish said goals i.e. selecting and watching a dvd from my library without having to get up off my butt and picking one out.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shapi /forum/post/0


Thank you qz for the step by step. One problem. Much of this is very new so could you please translate (sorry) what is NAS, NFS and RAID5?


The rest I get. But if I get an Infrant why would I need the Seagate HD...just more storage?


Thanks again for the help!

NAS: network attached storage - hard drive(s) on the network ..... they can be in a nice box like the Infrant that has Raid5 (method to setup the disks to provide some redundancy or safety) and can share files etc via NFS or network file system.


just do a search on google for the terms above and you can get some more detail on a wiki. I provided overly simplistic answers.


PS, the Infrant NV+ is very nice. I just stuffed mine w/ four 500GB seagate drives. The seagates are on infrant's "compatibility list" .. thus the recommendation.


I just finished "step 3". I'm waiting for another batch of 4000's to show up for ordering to finish out the process!!


good luck and remember to do your research to save you some heartache.
 

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Irregardless of where you store your files, you need disk space-and lots of it.

At the moment the Seagate 750 is the largest HDD you can buy. The Infrant is a nice little network attached storage server and you can buy it without any hard drives and put 4 Seagates in it. RAID5 is redundant storage meaning that after you move all that data onto the drives your data will be intact if 1 of the 4 drives fails. You can also use a pc with a bunch of hard drives, or even 1 hard drive. The tvix works best if you use NFS (Network File System) to stream high bitrate DVD's or transport streams instead of SMB. Both SMB and NFS are standards based network file sharing protocols.


You can never have enough storage.

I'm looking forward to the 1TB+ drives coming out next quarter from Hitachi and Seagate.
 

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KCGR...Any obvious heartaches? That sounds very ominous! I have been looking at various sites and products all day. I am concerned that in the end it will never be as simple as they make it appear to be.


How did youcome to settle on the Tivx? Looks like some cool stuff coming out from Netgear, D-Link has a interface player, as well as several others.


Thanks for the explanation qz...I am off to search more.


Any good resources for research? I found a cool site "ehomeupgrade" Any others you can suggest?


Last question...which Seagate drive did you order? I went to their site and would not know which was applicable? Is it the Barracuda or the 3.5 drive STA/ATA?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shapi /forum/post/0


KCGR...Any obvious heartaches? That sounds very ominous! I have been looking at various sites and products all day. I am concerned that in the end it will never be as simple as they make it appear to be.


How did youcome to settle on the Tivx? Looks like some cool stuff coming out from Netgear, D-Link has a interface player, as well as several others.


Thanks for the explanation qz...I am off to search more.


Any good resources for research? I found a cool site "ehomeupgrade" Any others you can suggest?


Last question...which Seagate drive did you order? I went to their site and would not know which was applicable? Is it the Barracuda or the 3.5 drive STA/ATA?

No heartaches with the Infrant except for a slowdown with jumbo frames I'm working on. The Nas has been great otherwise. Support is fantastic.


I settled on the tvix as it seems to be the best of the mediocre options we "currently" have. Hopefully one that does everything right will come out soon. We've all been waiting and waiting.


google, tomshardware and infrant.com for research


I went with the ST3500641AS 500GB ones for the seagates.
 

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Thank you for the help. As I have been reasearching all of this I wonder what the future holds for this technology. With services like Vongo and what I am sure Netflix will deliver via the internet as well as fiber optic to the home service...I am going to need some big hard drives to feed my habit...as well as a better paying job.!


Thanks again.
 

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Remember that most of these digital media streamers can only stream non-encrypted DVD files (I don't know about Apple TV). Also not all audio formats are supported by these streamers. So before you buy research the manufacturers website for what's supported and what's not.


I had a Roku unit and was quite happy with it till it died (after 3yrs?). Third party apps made it quite a handy unit and gave it a great interface with DVD covers and info.


For a DVD jukebox I now use a Rapsody N35 with a NAS. Its interface is dull (no DVD covers) but it works well. Supports DTS, which the Roku didn't). Looks great. I've had problems streaming OTA (over the air) HD captured recordings but if only a DVD like jukebox appliance is required its great.
 

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Thanks P.K. What are you using for your NAS and do you have to have the NAS connected to anything other than the rapsody i.e. a P.C. w/ appropriate software/hardware? I am hoping that I do not have to upgrade my PC as well to a new technology i.e. Intel ViiV or Vista. My intent is simply plug and play a NAS and interface device at the TV(s). Do you think that my goals for a multimedia (DVD, music, Pic) juke box are too simplified and not realistic with out complex gear and implementaion.


Other than the information that everyone has been so gracious in providing here, there just does not seem to be any "home media storage and distribution via ethernet for Dummies(me)" information out there. Even Google has led me every direction but where I want t go.


Thanks for the help all.


josh
 

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I use a NDAS (Network Direct Attached Storage by Ximeta) 250GB unit for storage. It's different than a NAS (Network Attached Storage) in that is uses special Hardware (already built into the Rapsody N35 and their discs) and special drivers for OS X or Windows. The advantage of NDAS is it's xfer/copy speed as compared to SAMBA (what Windows typically uses). I use my PC to copy files to the NDAS unit which is a standalone drive attached by an ethernet cable. It is always on.

The Rapsody N35 sees it and plays files as requested when it is on.


The PC, the Rapsody and the NDAS unit are all attached to my home LAN via ethernet.

Only needed to add NDAS driver to the PC running XP. No special hardware on PC required.


I believe others are using the N35 with true NAS units like the Infrant unit. I already had the NDAS unit so that's what I used. I would love to have an Infrant 1100 NAS but not ready to make the financial investment. I had one bought (the 1000S model) for use in the small group I work in at my office and it has worked out quite well. My supervisor asked me if I didn't have it bought so I could get it when the project ends.



I personally don't like the idea of an always on PC. Too much hassle with viruses etc.

The idea of digital streamers and network attached storage is what I prefer. I do think all the digital content streamers have issues but for what I do I like the N35.


Again do the research. If all your files, video or audio, are in a specific format make sure the unit you pick will support them. Also make sure the GUI (interface) is workable/liveable by you & your family (The N35 is bland but it plays DVD ISO files (ISO files are one file per movie and give you DVD menu control, VOB files don't)).


Please note the N35 doesn't do very well on photos.


My 2 cents.
 

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Shapi, here's my $0.02 worth... I've been reading and researching since early December and finally made my decision and purchases Thursday.


I decided on the $250 TViX 4000 from digitalconnection.com. It uses the same firmware as the 5000 model which has been around for more than a year. One of the deciding factors was the maturity of their firmware and fact they frequently release firmware updates. They also seem fairly receptive to customer complaints and requests for features.


I ordered a 750GB drive to put in the TViX 4000 and also ordered the Infrant ReadyNAS NV+ with 2x500GB drives from newegg. There are so many factors on how well network streaming will work for various file size and types. I currently don't have a network cable to where the TViX 4000 will be. I'm going to try both wireless bridge and ethernet over power, but know there are so many unknown factors on how well they'll work. That's why I got the 750GB to put inside the TViX 4000... I don't want to set myself up for disappoint from day one.


I needed/wanted the NAS with fault tolerance for my other personal needs anyway. If streaming from it works well, I'll probably just add more/larger disks to it as the prices come down.


Chad R.
 
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