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Complete Home Network Setup Questions

Last response: in Wireless Networking
October 21, 2009 7:36:17 PM

I am planning on setting up my parent's home with a "complete" home network and I want it to be done right. Windows 7 and/or Windows Vista machines will most likely be on the network. I want to convert an old P4 machine into a file server that can hold pictures, video clips, and music, and also attach to a print to act as a print server. I have also been thinking about the ability to stream these pictures, videos, and audio files to the home theater entertainment.

I have questions about several of these components that I have had trouble finding an answer to:

1. The Server
The current machine has Windows XP on it and I was thinking of just running that, but obviously some people would say I should run Linux. I have heard Samba doesn't get along well with Vista and this might be a downside to deciding Linux, but Vista might also not get along well with XP. Any advice for what I should pick here?

I was also thinking about a RAID setup to protect the files (RAID 5, I suppose). Would either OS be more helpful in making my file server into a RAID setup? Any advice/comments in particular about RAID?

I'm also not sure exactly how much storage to have on the server. I was thinking of using 3 x 1tb HDD in RAID 5 configuration.

Also, I could set up a Linux server to be access via SSH so if I am away from home I can do some administrative tasks. But this might not be worth it.

2. The Router
The current router that they use is a LINKSYS WRT54GL. Will 802.11g be enough to stream, say, HD video? If not, would an 802.11n setup be able to?

3. Digital Media Player
I don't know much about these or how they work. Essentially I want to be able to wireless access videos, music and pictures on the server from my TV/home theater. I have found some D-Link devices that claim they do this but I still don't understand fully how they work. How do you navigate through files?

I have also heard that some D-Link devices may not allow high-resolution pictures to be seen at their full resolution because the media player scales them down. Can someone explain these in better detail and maybe point out some good ones on the market? I would want HDMI compatibility and digital audio if available.

4. My last question has to do with video editing in general, as this is a hobby of my father's. Assume he has a computer set up for editing video and also a file server like the one above. If he were to start making a new video, would he want to store the raw clips on his local machine, and then archive them on the server after he is done building the video? Or would it be okay to store them on the server from the get go? I was thinking that clips store locally would result in a much faster render time than if the clips were stored on the server, but I don't have much experience with video editing software. Also, where would he save his project files? If it is of any consequence, he currently uses Sony Vegas Studio (I think 8, maybe 9).

Is there any specific components I haven't thought about that I would need to achieve any of this?

October 26, 2009 6:26:38 PM

Bump. Anyone?
October 30, 2009 2:42:28 PM

1. M$ home server, easy to configure.

2. Must be an "N" with all wireless cards being "N"

3. No knowledge yet.

4. Keep working files local, working with large video files on a remote server will be slow and hog the network, keep finished items on server.