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Media Question help

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  • Media Server
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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February 25, 2014 10:12:21 AM

Does anyone know of a pre-built or easy to build way to make a media server / storage?

I'm looking to have a massive collection of movies, anime, TV shows, pictures, and music, I have Plex so maybe I could set it up to be able to share throughout my house too, I have the best internet available 24mb a second.

I've found things like this, but it seems there has to be a cheaper way to go about it.
http://www.amazon.com/Buffalo-LinkStation-Performance-P...

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a b G Storage
February 25, 2014 10:19:36 AM

The difference between a server and a computer is largely the OS that you put on it. If you have an old computer laying around then you can slap a bunch of HDDs in it, and then throw a server OS on it and you have a nice cheap media server for the home. You can do something as cheap and powerful as FreeNAS, or go a little simpler with something like ClarkConnect, or if you want to pay a little money for convenience then you can probably find an old copy of Windows Home Server for cheap (though it is discontinued, so don't expect much MS support there).

As far as a prebuilt NAS (Network Attached Storage) device, that Buffalo really is on the more affordable side of things. A 4TB HDD alone is going to cost you most of that price, so getting a NAS enclosure with it is really a steal. I just don't know much about it's performance or reliability.
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a b G Storage
February 25, 2014 10:24:58 AM

I guess the real question is how big do you need it to be, and what exactly does it need to do?

Do you want to store computer backups on it? That will eat a ton of space. 2TB easy for 2-3 computers doing incremental backups.

Do you need DLNA support for sending media to devices like recievers, TVs, etc?

Do you need access to your files outside of the house?

How big is a big media collection? Back in my torrenting days I use to have a 50GB music collection, which was far more music than I would ever listen to. But at the same time 50GB is only a few high quality HD movies. Making ISOs of your software is a great way to have quick/easy access to your program discs, but expect 4-9GB per disc, and that is not easily compressible.

Lots of things to consider here.
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February 25, 2014 10:53:08 AM

CaedenV said:
I guess the real question is how big do you need it to be, and what exactly does it need to do?

Do you want to store computer backups on it? That will eat a ton of space. 2TB easy for 2-3 computers doing incremental backups.

Do you need DLNA support for sending media to devices like recievers, TVs, etc?

Do you need access to your files outside of the house?

How big is a big media collection? Back in my torrenting days I use to have a 50GB music collection, which was far more music than I would ever listen to. But at the same time 50GB is only a few high quality HD movies. Making ISOs of your software is a great way to have quick/easy access to your program discs, but expect 4-9GB per disc, and that is not easily compressible.

Lots of things to consider here.


500Gigs of Music MAX, 100Gigs of Pictures, rest on TV Shows, Anime, and Movies to run on my Xbox 360 / Chrome-cast in the living-room when the wife and kids are sleeping and for listening to music on my phone / Ipad outside my patio when im chilling and having a beer.
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a b G Storage
February 26, 2014 5:06:18 AM

is 3TB going to be enough for all of that? Do you need/want redundancy in the event of a HDD failure (because HDDs are good at failing, regardless of brand).

On my own system I have 480GB system drive with music, documents, and programs (2x240GB SSD in RAID0), and a 3TB drive with system immages, backups of documents and music, project files (AV work), and bulk media like videos and pictures. All told I have 200GB left on the system drive, and ~1TB left on the storage drive. But at the same time, we only have a 30GB music collection, 4GB of documents, 20GB of pictures and personal videos (growing quickly now that we have kiddos), 500GB from system immages for my wife's and my systems, and 500GB in old project files (down from 2TB), and then a few movies (anime that compresses very well).

If you have a decent music/picture/movie collection then 3TB may work as a starting point, but you would be supprised at just how quickly that can fill up (especially ripping DVD/BRD and backups!). In the end I would highly suggest that you start accumulating parts to build a real server with a RAID5. With 4x3TB drives you would have 9TB of space to work with (well... less after formatting), and if a drive dies on you then you would have a course of action to recover data. That is what I am working towards. Whenever I do my next major upgrade then my current system will become the dedicated home server, and then I'll build a cute little silent mATX game/editing rig for my desk.

As for the Seagate drive; I use all Seagate drives because they play nice together, and there are no silly limitations about drive configurations that you have to deal with on WD drives. I have only ever had one Seagate drive fail on me younger than 5 years old. Not sure if that makes me lucky, or if Seagate is really that good. But all HDDs are prone to drive failures, typically in large batches, so be sure to check reviews on multiple sites before purchasing.
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