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Old 09-09-2010, 09:10 AM   #1
dsvick
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Home media system

KK's recent thread on Hulu and the media library poll got me to realize there are quite a few people here who seem to already have a home media library/system. This is something I want to do so instead of trying to read everything on the web (all gazillion pages of it) I'll ask those of you here...

What we want to do is set up a server, NAS, or something by which we can access movies, music, and pictures. The devices that woould access tehm would be computers (both wired and wirelessly), TVs (wired), and a home theatre system (wired).

Right now all we have is a blu-ray player that is DLNA certified (if that matters), and older (non HD) TV, and a home theater system (a tuner and speakers) that is about 7 years old.

I guess my question is what has everyone else done? Is the whole DLNA thing the way to go? If so I can just hop over there and start reading, if not then is there a better/preferred route. I'm fairly technologically inclined so that is not an issue.

Any input, suggestions, comments, and/or thoughts would be great - thanks.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:32 AM   #2
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DLNA is one way to do it, sure, but most media players will also work with "SMB" shares - normal network shares - which any NAS box, PC, etc, can provide.

I'd recommend using a wired gigabit network for video streaming; it works a heck of a lot better than wireless. Wireless is fine for music.

I have a Buffalo NAS server and a Netgear set-top box. Both work extremely well, but there's loads to choose from.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:02 AM   #3
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We've got a Netgear NAS server, and a Popcorn Hour player.

Try to get a NAS that is hot swappable and that can have more than one drive, 2TB and up. The reason for two drives (at the least) is so you can make it RAID, which should help against data loss...
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:05 AM   #4
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Try to get a NAS that is hot swappable and that can have more than one drive, 2TB and up. The reason for two drives (at the least) is so you can make it RAID, which should help against data loss...
Totally agree. My NAS is a 4x1.5TB RAID5 array, resulting in 4.5TB of usable storage. You can never have too much storage, especially for video.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:15 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.

From what your saying then I really don't need a media "server" to access the storage device, I just need the storage device and the proper devices (blu-ray player, stereo etc) that can access it.

I was already leaning towards a RAID NAS, although 4TB might be a bit much at this point, but it is cheaper now so what the heck
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:17 PM   #6
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uhhhhh I have an HDTV. I don't even have a DVD player, well other than my travel one
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:21 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies.

From what your saying then I really don't need a media "server" to access the storage device, I just need the storage device and the proper devices (blu-ray player, stereo etc) that can access it.

I was already leaning towards a RAID NAS, although 4TB might be a bit much at this point, but it is cheaper now so what the heck
The server is the box that stores your media - the NAS box, PC, or whatever.

You also need some kind of device to play the media. This is what reads it from the server. This will typically be a set-top box that connects to your network, and has an HDMI output to your TV.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:37 PM   #8
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The server is the box that stores your media - the NAS box, PC, or whatever.

You also need some kind of device to play the media. This is what reads it from the server. This will typically be a set-top box that connects to your network, and has an HDMI output to your TV.
Got it, thanks Harry. What I meant by server was something purpose built to be a media server, as in having a specific OS.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:43 PM   #9
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Got it, thanks Harry. What I meant by server was something purpose built to be a media server, as in having a specific OS.
No, there's no need for that. Anything that supports network shares will work just fine.
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:20 PM   #10
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No, there's no need for that. Anything that supports network shares will work just fine.
Perfect, that is what I thought. The whole thing sounds easier than I thought it was. All I really need now is the NAS to get started.

The would be nice to haves are the HD TV, new sounds system, and some minor electrical wiring done
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:54 PM   #11
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I'm sure Chris will weigh in on this when he sees it. We've had several incarnations of media server setups in the past several years.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:40 PM   #12
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Ok, next question....

We currently use the DVR that came from the cable company (time warner), I've seen others out there that are supposed to work with different companies and are DNLA certified. Has anyone used them or had any experience with them? I dont know that we'd run out and get one of those right away, we'll be piecing this together, but it would be nice to know if they are worth considering.
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