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Network storage linked with tv/computers

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July 21, 2011 8:05:17 AM

Hi all, thanks in advance for the advice.

I'm seeking reccomended setups to store all my media files over the network. I currently have in excess of 5TB of music and video and every time I want to watch or listen to anything I have to plug my laptop into the tv. My question is,

What experience have you had in setting up a network storage system and are there any methods/brands you can reccomend. I'm trying to achieve the following:

Play media files over the network on any tv in my house. (WD live player?)
Be able to save files to the network storage device. So say I download a file I can do a 'file save as...' straight to the network storage instead of to my desktop then copy it over.
A capacity of 6+ TB
Wireless or wired
Tv must be able to browse using either a hub or some sort of network device that can browse and play from the network media server.

Thanks again in advance. If you have stuff you've done that doesn't work also let me know so I don't walk down that path >_< thanks!

a b G Storage
July 21, 2011 3:55:35 PM

There are many ways that you can do this. You can get complicated or simple.

There are lots of different media player devices that you can connect to a network, such as the WD device. There are lots of different home theater devices that will do this too, such as home theater receivers and even BluRay players. We bought a new BluRay player at the first of this year, specifically to connect to the internet and stream Netflix. Ours is an LG and has builtin wifi. It will also search our network and find stored media files and play them. I have played with this a little bit but not very much.

As for how to store the files, there are lots of ways to do this too. Basically you need something on the network that acts like a server. This can be any ordinary computer that you will have running when you need it, or it can be a simpler device called a NAS (Network Attached Storage). These devices are a little bit more than just an external hard drive. Some have the capability of installing up to 4 hard drives and dealing with them with different types of RAID or just a bunch of hard drives added together. You can buy one of these things, plug it into your router, and all of your networked devices will have access to it just like a normal file server. Some of these are low priced but they will be a bit slower than a dedicated file server. This is probably only a factor when you are copying a lot of files from one place to another, just playing a file doesn't need that much speed. There may be some devices as simple as a WD Mybook that will plug into your router and do what you want, or if you really need a lot of capacity you can buy a separate NAS enclosure and plug in 4 of your own drives.
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