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NAS/Media centre build

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March 25, 2011 1:38:23 PM

Hi,

I'm planning to build a RAID 5 NAS (i.e 4 HDD's) that can be used also as a multimedia centre. i.e. connected directly to the TV.
I want something that will play full HD as well . I was thinking to go for the AMD fusion as the HW supports the 1080P but i couldn't find a MINI ITX board that supports RAID 5. I didnt't decided for the case either yet but it will have to support 4 HDD's no DVD rom required!

Summary:

1. Ability to play HD 1080P
2. RAID 5 cappability- min 4 ports
3.Form factor Mini ITX
4. Case 4 hdd bay
5. HDMI o/p -- optional
6.HD sound - ie 5.1 minimum


Any sugestions are welcome

Thank You in advance

More about : nas media centre build

a b G Storage
March 29, 2011 10:56:54 AM

**I did read the "connected to HDTV" part of your comment. I have investigated doing it this way but it had too many issues. You might make it work though.

Typically the NAS itself does not play the video. This is because the video would be sent through an HDMI cable to the TV not an ethernet cable. Therefore you need a device to convert.

A typical setup might look like this:
1) ROUTER
2) NAS
3) Media Player (Boxee Box, WDTVLivehub etc)

The NAS and media players are on the same network through the router either wired or wireless.

*Wireless issues:
I had a lot of problems with High-Def streaming. It turned out I needed to use the 5GHz network a special Video correction setting enabled (Netgear 3700 router). The 2.4GHz network couldn't handle this from the basement to the second floor. The Netgear 3700 has videos at their site.

Instead of getting expensive 5GHz USB adapters for my two WDTVLive Hubs's I simply used a 2.4GHz "N" wi-fi adapter for the basement (15 feet from my Netgear router) and used an Ethernet Switch to share my upstairs computers ethernet cable. (The 5GHz USB adapters have lots of issues including price. Ethernet is far more reliable. Monoprice in US or Cablesalescanada in Canada have inexpensive prices).

**You can send an uncompressed BluRay rip through an Ethernet cable.

NAS DEVICES:
To be clear, you don't have a NAS if you output video directly. You have a PC. The big difficulty in building a NAS is getting the correct software. I assume you'll get a Linux-based NAS solution. This is not my area of expertise.

You may wish to get a pre-built system like this:

READYNAS ULTRA 4 (DISKLESS)
RNDU4000

Hardware and comments:
1) The router (home networking) is very important. Most Gateway devices have a MODEM+wired/wireless networking. Wi-fi is problematic even with more expensive equipment. Hi-Def video is best networked non-wireless if possible. The Netgear 3700 and the Netgear 5GHz USB adapters are expensive. Also the Boxee Box already has it s own wireless internally.

2) NAS device.
Can be custom built but that's difficult for most people. NAS devices exist on the network, not directly connected to another device.

3) Media Players.
There are several. The Boxee Box is looking like the best solution as it will receive a lot of future updates. The hardware uses an Intel CPU so the software tools are excellent as opposed to proprietary chipsets which are much hardware to write code for.

You can try the Boxee for Windows software. The Boxee Box interface and code has significantly changed. Of particular note with Boxee Box:
- supports widest range of video/audio codecs
- supports DVD rips (rip to ISO legally with passkey lite and imgburn. both free)
- awesome TV show content addition. Can add ENTIRE SEASON details, name each episode with a few clicks
- no internal drive (use NAS, or a 2TB WD Elements USB drive)
- can or will support BluRay rips

After using the WDTVLiveHub which I like I think I would have preferred the Boxee Box.

Summary:
You need to think about the entire network and how you plan to use it. NAS devices vary a lot in quality. You MAY be able to build your own if you do your research. NAS devices are meant to send content to Media players which then decode the information for HDTV's.

Wi-Fi is problematic; ethernet is preferred for high-def video.

A pretty good home media network comprises something like the Netgear NAS 4-bay (add 2TB drives), Boxee Box media players and a standard Internet Gateway device. A better gateway device may be needed depending on need but if the Media Players and NAS can be placed on the Ethernet (non-wireless) network there's no issue.

GOOD LUCK!!
a b G Storage
March 29, 2011 11:09:57 AM

Custom built solution notes:

1) You may find more information from the Boxee forums on building a Windows Boxee setup

2) Wikipedia (NAS) link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network-attached_storage

3) Linux NAS solutions:
- FreeNAS http://freenas.org/FreeNAS

4) Microsoft Home Server:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/win...

*To be clear, I don't think server Operating Systems tend to have support for graphics cards since they're never connected directly to a screen.

Having said that, perhaps you can build a Home Theater PC which also has SERVER capabilities built-in. I just don't think people tend to do it that way.
Related resources
a b G Storage
March 30, 2011 11:05:18 PM

sylmarils said:
Hi,
....
'm planning to build a RAID 5 NAS (i.e 4 HDD's) that can be used also as a multimedia centre. i.e. connected directly to the TV.
I want something that will play full HD as well . I was thinking to go for the AMD fusion as the HW supports the 1080P but i couldn't find a MINI ITX board that supports RAID 5. I didnt't decided for the case either yet but it will have to support 4 HDD's no DVD rom required!

Summary:

1. Ability to play HD 1080P
2. RAID 5 cappability- min 4 ports
3.Form factor Mini ITX
4. Case 4 hdd bay
5. HDMI o/p -- optional
6.HD sound - ie 5.1 minimum


Any sugestions are welcome

Thank You in advance


I think find the case and MB is much harder than the RAID5 controller

Look at the RAID5 controller hardware raid that I use for 40TB Media server

It needs a SATA port, so each SATA port in your MB, you can have up to 15TB drive
a b G Storage
April 4, 2011 9:28:05 PM

Netgear 3700 comment:

I'm supposed to be able to hookup a USB hard drive directly to this router to share files. I wanted to share VIDEOS to any media player or PC.

Results:
1) USB hard drive (ON/OFF) button:
worked at 2.5MB/second so high-def was jerky

2) WD 2TB Elements:
did not work. This USB drive has no physical on/off switch so I think it requires a proper command to turn on and off. It works great with my WDTVLIVEHUB and likely works with the Boxee Box. A good warning to watch out for compatibility with hard drives that have no on/off switch (prefer to have the drive turn on and off with my device automatically though).

3) USB thumb drive:
Worked GREAT at 10.4MB/second!! I played a ripped, uncompressed copy of AVATAR from this using my WDTVLIVE HUB.

Sigh!
!