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should i buy NAS or a big internal HDD?

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August 8, 2007 4:22:09 AM

ive searched for this question, im sure its been asked in some form but im just unable to find it

im looking for advise, i recently bought a HD camcorder and plan to start transferring my miniDV's, but i am in dire need of more space, on my network i have my laptop (wireless), xbox 360 (wireless), and my home pc (wired), im wanting a central storage point for all my videos/music that i can stream to all my pc's and xbox360, would i be better off buying a NAS or adding a new HDD in my home pc? also, what size should i plan on buying, i havent done any video transferring yet so i dont know how much space Hd video will soak up, thanks for any help i can get :) 
August 8, 2007 5:41:52 AM

NAS is a nice idea but remember 2 things:

1) The transfer rate will be something like 1MB/s rather than 20-25 from a USB/Firewire drive or 30-40 internal.

2) Look at the NAS instruction manual before getting it since a lot of them only allow FAT32, limiting the usable space to 32GB which stinks - they allow bigger via usb, but only FAT32 via network. Some of them allow the linux ext3 formatting which will allow large sizes so these are fine.

Jo
August 8, 2007 5:54:04 AM

i hadnt thought about that, i was just thinking it would be faster because it wouldnt need to access the home pc to stream, but i will have a better streaming experience, and probably a WAY easier setup than a NAS huh?
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August 8, 2007 6:03:43 AM

Passing stuff through a network is slow, regardless of whether the other end is a NAS or a computer. Just for storing things that don't need to transfer back really fast you can just build a home server from whatever old parts are laying around or an old pc you're not using. You can stream to a pc, but wireless can be frustrating when it stops the show you're watching. I always fully transfer files to my media center before watching them rather than streaming since it's so frustrating.

Jo
August 8, 2007 6:10:36 AM

i dont know the first thing about building a home server and i dont have any spare parts unfortunately and my budget is kinda limited, im basically limited to about $300, i do appreciate your input tho jo, as for streaming to my 360, cant i just pause the video and let it 'build up' for a little bit and eliminate the pauses that your speaking of?
August 8, 2007 6:11:38 AM

what kind of specs would a server need? how should i put that into my network that would make it share video better than a NAS or streaming from my home pc
August 8, 2007 6:25:28 AM

It wouldn't be better at streaming, it would just be build out of junk parts rather than costing $200.

Also, if you can use linux, install Fedora and then you can see the screen via VNC and use that machine to download things - run torrents with Azureus on there and don't even have any file-sharing apps on your windows pc's. You can also setup fedora to serve your webpage and FTP to get your files when at your friends' places (you have to forward ports 21 & 80 on your router to that machine though).

Jo
August 8, 2007 6:27:22 AM

Oh I just saw your other reply - in this case a NAS would be nice to avoid leaving your main computer on all the time. Just look at the manuals to make sure they can do other formats than FAT32 for network access.

Jo
August 8, 2007 6:42:48 AM

my home pc is on pretty much 95% of the time, ive never used linux at all, i dont have any junk parts so it would all have to be bought, i dont mess with torrents, ive have to many bad experiences with non-secure downloads, i dont use p2p at all, i even buy all my music! haha

i basically just need more room to hold my home movies and want to be able to watch it on my xbox360, so knowing all that, should i really mess with a server?
August 8, 2007 7:13:04 AM

namehater said:
i dont know the first thing about building a home server and i dont have any spare parts unfortunately and my budget is kinda limited, im basically limited to about $300, i do appreciate your input tho jo, as for streaming to my 360, cant i just pause the video and let it 'build up' for a little bit and eliminate the pauses that your speaking of?


With that kind of budget, just add a TB drive to your present PC. You won't get any kind of NAS (that I'd use anyway) for $300.

Buts lets think about a few things... How will you get these movies to your PC? Probably USB? Maybe use an external enclosure, do a usb to usb xfer from your camera to the external drive... (make the drive a shared drive in your OS and just use that drive as the target). I don't know anything about consoles, but I'd assume there would be some way to plug your external drive into it....
August 8, 2007 7:54:55 AM

ill be transfering directly from my camcorder via firewire to my home pc, as far as i know the xbox wont recognize an external hd attached to it, this ensures that people buy their products, but it is but in to stream
August 8, 2007 8:01:02 AM

namehater said:
ill be transfering directly from my camcorder via firewire to my home pc, as far as i know the xbox wont recognize an external hd attached to it, this ensures that people buy their products, but it is but in to stream

OK, how does it do the streaming, then? (I told you I knew nothing about consoles... :kaola:  )
August 8, 2007 2:10:34 PM

If your comp is almost always on, add two 500GB drives to it and watch from your xbox if that works fine now. It'll make putting the videos on the drives from the camera and editing easier & faster.

Jo
August 8, 2007 2:54:41 PM

JMecc said"
If your comp is almost always on, add two 500GB drives to it and watch from your xbox if that works fine now. It'll make putting the videos on the drives from the camera and editing easier & faster. "

I second the motion - good answer to the problem. Been doing networks for almost 25 years now, and I'll tell you that for most techs it's easy to forget that the simplest answer is often the best answer.
August 8, 2007 6:13:42 PM

croc said:
OK, how does it do the streaming, then? (I told you I knew nothing about consoles... :kaola:  )

with the xbox360 you can stream video and music from any pc that is on the same network, and since the xbox360 is a high definition connection to my tv, im really hoping that streaming my high def video will turn out good, its basically a big trial and error hehe

thanks a lot for everybodys patience and for coming up with a solution, btw, does anybody know how much space HD video takes?
August 8, 2007 7:37:14 PM

I'd say shoot 10 minutes of HD with your camcorder to see how much space it takes per minute and how well it streams to your xbox BEFORE you go out to buy a hard drive. Then you'll know how much space you need and if wireless streaming will be acceptable.

Jo
August 8, 2007 8:03:54 PM

JMecc said:
NAS is a nice idea but remember 2 things:

1) The transfer rate will be something like 1MB/s rather than 20-25 from a USB/Firewire drive or 30-40 internal.

2) Look at the NAS instruction manual before getting it since a lot of them only allow FAT32, limiting the usable space to 32GB which stinks - they allow bigger via usb, but only FAT32 via network. Some of them allow the linux ext3 formatting which will allow large sizes so these are fine.

Jo



NAS is faster then 1MB/s on 100mb lan it gets 10 mbps and on gigabit 20-30...but its still slower then interanl drive would be.
August 8, 2007 8:07:51 PM

I don't know the exact speed but over my 100mb lan my transfer speeds are very very slow. Copying to a portable drive, walking to the other comp and copying to that computer is faster for me than going through the network to copy movies. I use my network for word/excel files and stuff like that but for videos only portable drives.

Jo
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