AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 81 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of putting in a server at my house. Really, just as something to do and something new to learn. But Im not really sure as to what benefits it would give me?


I currently have 3 computers at my house.


One main one that I call my "media" computer. This is my best computer, I use it to rip and play BluRay movies, store all my songs, pictures, etc. Its also my gaming computer I play MW2 on.


The other computer is my "work" computer. I do some graphic work and other stuff, so this computer has Photoshop, Corel, Quickbooks, etc and lots of files stored on it. It is in the garage where my workshop is and I do all my work.


The last computer is in my son's room. He is only 9, so he just uses it to browse the web and occasionally watch movies on it.


All 3 computers are on Windows 7 and I share certain folders that have pictures, movies, etc so that I can access them from any computer on my home network. So when Im in the garage I can watch a movie that is stored on my "media" computer with the big hard drives. Same thing goes for my son's room, he can watch movies..


id like to possibly get another pc or 2 for my bedroom and living room so I can watch these movies. (but Ill have to get new tvs first). The one in my "media" room is a 50" LCD that is hooked up via VGA cable. So its a tv and computer monitor in one. Id like to do that in the living room and bedroom also.


So heres my question, what would setting up a server give me? What advantages would it have over what Im doing now?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00bolt /forum/post/18294087


I'm thinking of putting in a server at my house. Really, just as something to do and something new to learn. But Im not really sure as to what benefits it would give me?


I currently have 3 computers at my house.


One main one that I call my "media" computer. This is my best computer, I use it to rip and play BluRay movies, store all my songs, pictures, etc. Its also my gaming computer I play MW2 on.


The other computer is my "work" computer. I do some graphic work and other stuff, so this computer has Photoshop, Corel, Quickbooks, etc and lots of files stored on it. It is in the garage where my workshop is and I do all my work.


The last computer is in my son's room. He is only 9, so he just uses it to browse the web and occasionally watch movies on it.


All 3 computers are on Windows 7 and I share certain folders that have pictures, movies, etc so that I can access them from any computer on my home network. So when Im in the garage I can watch a movie that is stored on my "media" computer with the big hard drives. Same thing goes for my son's room, he can watch movies..


id like to possibly get another pc or 2 for my bedroom and living room so I can watch these movies. (but Ill have to get new tvs first). The one in my "media" room is a 50" LCD that is hooked up via VGA cable. So its a tv and computer monitor in one. Id like to do that in the living room and bedroom also.


So heres my question, what would setting up a server give me? What advantages would it have over what Im doing now?

Well the typical benefit is central access to all your files. But it sounds like you already have that using Windows 7 shares. Another benefit is backup and redundancy. If the hard drive in your media computer dies, are you gonna be in a boatload of hurt? Or is it all backed up? How about your work computer?

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,558 Posts
I'm buying a centralized server for redundancy, backup, and ease of access for all of my audio/video files. I want to be able to access it locally and remotely, and besides it's just cool to think of a central box somewhere housing all of my stuff. It's the future!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You are correct, I do not really have any sort of backup. So it does make sense. I do have one question.


Currently my "sons" computer is accessing our network via wireless connection. Iv been to lazy to go up through attic and do it right. But his computer also, isnt a new super computer with fancy graphics card.... but if I try and play one of my 720p bluray rips on his computer (again, stored on my "media" computer), it basically will not play. Its real choppy and lags. Is that based on the wireless connection or his PC?


Im asking because, Im wondering if i run ethernet lines through the house, and have a central server, will all the computers be able to watch the 720p videos? or will they all need to be upgraded hardware?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Many people use a server as a location to store a large amount of data. It is difficult to stuff a large amount of semi-redundant storage in to a typical desktop computer case. Once you get to the point where you are using external drives, I would go to the client server model.


I use an unRAID server to store my data, because it is low power ( comparatively ). An always on "desktop" normally has a much larger thermal and power footprint.


I run an Active Directory domain at home, but Windows 7 has really reduced the need. My main goal there was the ease of sharing resources. Windows 7 does that for me, so I am going to ditch AD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,824 Posts
Most likely the stuttering is due to the wireless connection - very difficult to get much HD content to stream properly over wireless
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
837 Posts
I use 2008R2 server as my workstation/server. I wanted a centralized spot for everything with backup. The server allows me to keep it on 24x7 and leave the other machines off/sleep when not in use. If I want to watch a bluray movie somewhere I just unsleep it and click on the movie without a problem. I wired the place and used gigabit networking so there's no problem watching a movie anywhere. Its easier to have a main place for everything so it's easier to get to and will be running flexraid soon so it'll all be backed up. Also I keep a backup of my other machines on the server incase I have a failed drive it'll be easy to replace. Some people like unraid or WHS or NAS that is headless and keep it in a closet or something and it's out of view.


I would suggest you turn in your "work" machine into your "server" and store all the data. You could easily do this by moving your extra drives/data to the "server", buying another drive (atleast as large as your largest drive), and setting up flexraid. This way you'll have all your data backed up nightly to the parity(spare) drive. The "server" doesn't need to run 2008R2 or WHS and can still have win7 without a problem.


Your problem is most likely because it's wireless. Which type of wireless is it? I have 300gps (really only 150) Wireless N for my laptop and can watch dvd's fine that are on my server (connected to gigabit wireless N router).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
837 Posts
You should try moving his computer to a tv that you can temporary connect with a wired connection to makesure it's a wireless problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,131 Posts
Here's my thought process from way back when I decided to have a "dedicated" media server and an HTPC/extenders than to just cram everything into one PC.


First thing a server gets you is it gets all the loud storage (it's hard to keep storage quiet if you want it cool so it will last) out of the rooms you inhabit on a regular basis and off into a location where it doesn't matter.


In addition to that, it buys you uptime/reliability. If you just have a machine running that nobody surfs the internet on, installs apps on, interacts with directly, it is dramatically more stable than your "mess around" machines. Putting your media on a machine that never gets used (directly), never gets rebooted, never gets crashed means your media is always available, all the time, and you can mess around with other machines all you want without worrying about disturbing other users (this is one huge reason I like SageTV better than WMC, it can run headless on a server and I never need to worry about my screwing around with my PCs messing up a recording, but I digress).


And finally it just makes things more organized, all your media is in one place and you don't need to keep track of what machine what stuff is on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
these are all some good thoughts guys, keep em coming!


My router is an Apple Airport Extreme. I do not know much about it except that I do believe it is "N" speed.


I have just a cheap little wireless usb thing into the back of his computer, so Im betting it is not very fast connection. I think Ill try connecting it with a cable this weekend and try it again. I just want to make sure, it doesnt need a fancy video card, etc to view HD video content as long as the "source" computer has it...... correct?


now, since i only have 3 computers, do I need a gigabit switch? Or can I just have them all go directly into my router until its full?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
837 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00bolt /forum/post/18294767


I just want to make sure, it doesnt need a fancy video card, etc to view HD video content as long as the "source" computer has it...... correct?

Incorrect. The machine connected to the tv needs a videocard thats strong enough for HD content. The source is only holding the data.



If your USB wireless is wireless B (11mbs) or G (54mbs) then you won't be able to access N capibility (150-300mbs).



It seems like the airport extreme is a gigabit router so you should already be getting gigabit connection if you're using cat5e or cat6 cables.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
so then it could be my sons computer also, and not just the wireless connection? Its not a 386 or anything, lol... but its just a typical Dell with onboard video card, 1-2gb memory, etc...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,520 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00bolt /forum/post/18294874


so then it could be my sons computer also, and not just the wireless connection? Its not a 386 or anything, lol... but its just a typical Dell with onboard video card, 1-2gb memory, etc...

Go to control panel, system. That will tell you what cpu is being used. It would be helpful to know the specs of your systems. What happens if you play a movie from your sons computer's harddrive?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay, great. Im going to try and play it locally first and see. Then I guess I can get a cheap video card if thats what it needs.


One more question... Since these HD videos take up so much space, Im looking at 7200rpm drives to save money. I can get 1.5TB 7200rpm alot cheaper than smaller 10k and 15k drives.


Will 7200rpm be okay for what Im wanting to do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
I'll have to disagree with Justin's last statement about transferring the movie. If the long term goal is to see if the machine will play a movie over the network. the best way to test this is by connecting it to the network and streaming. I will admit that either test will probably give the answer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,520 Posts
No SCSI. SATA works fine and is used by everyone here.


Here is a link for some hardware suggestions for a home media server.


Reading through this thread will give you information about the different storage options that are available.


After going through all that, then you can make a judgement of what it will take to make a home server, think about how much HDD space you might want and work on hardware needs.
 
1 - 20 of 81 Posts
Top