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Media streaming question

Last response: in Networking
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January 14, 2010 5:36:41 PM

Hi guys. Here is my plan of building a media stream network.

I have a router that has a built-in file server through USB. I'm thinking of buying an external 2TB USB hard drive to it, to use it as a media tank. Is this generally fast enough to stream 1080p video (wired)? I mean, does a file server utilize the full speed of the hard drive?

I'm gonna get the Syabas Popbox once it's out :love:  I'm planning to use powerlan to hook it into the network, because I want to be sure I can stream full HD movies without hiccups. Wireless is cool, but the distance from where my TV is and the router is too big. Any of you guys have experience with powerlan in general? Does it really pump out 200 Mbit?

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January 14, 2010 9:00:16 PM

Well USB isn't exactly the fastest thing ever.

I tried what you're suggesting on my own router, but I wasn't sure what the point was because it was so amazingly slow that I had difficulty streaming normal stuff. Once I plugged the same enclosure into a computer and shared it, it worked as expected.

Try with a test vid on a flash drive and attempt to play a video on it while it's on the router. Then copy it off and see how fast it goes. Then you'll be able to tell if that's good enough. If not, try and see if you can find some really crappy ancient computer in your closet or something, and put FreeNAS on it. (besides a normal hard drive would be cheaper than a external one. Not only that but I'd suggest a couple of 1.5 terabyte drives instead of one 2 tb)

Powerlan depends on the actual wiring of your house. Unfortunately you'll probably have to buy some stuff and do speed tests of various sockets.
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January 15, 2010 12:46:20 AM

Sure USB isn't the fastest, but it should be fast enough to stream fullHD video. And yea, I'll probably go for a 1,5 TB drive. They are indeed a lot cheaper.

I'm definitely going to give it a go with the USB stick, hadn't thought about it, thanks.

I live in a new house, is that good or bad for powerlan?
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January 15, 2010 12:52:07 AM

Heh, that depends on the contractors who wired it.

Tell me what it does with the USB stick. It should give an indication as to how the router itself will perform for that function.
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January 15, 2010 8:44:19 AM

Double post
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January 15, 2010 8:45:20 AM

Alright, I tried with USB (NTFS) stick. Computer sees the files but can't access them. Formatted USB stick as FAT32, same story. Formatted USB stick as FAT16. Same story again.

Tried an external drive. Router sees that it's NTFS and says only FAT works. What the hell? It saw the USB stick perfectly fine which was also NTFS. Formatted as FAT32 and FAT16. Files show up in explorer, but can't download or access them. Either something is wrong, of it's so extremely slow that it just takes forever to access them.

This whole practice reminded me of how I felt many times before, when I was still running XP on my previous machine. You know, that lovely feeling that you just want to throw your computer out of the ***ing window and stomp on it.

I have thought of a new genius plan. I think I'll just get the Western Digital external network drive. It's pretty notorious for being slow, but that doesn't matter. I'm putting it next to the Popbox, and hooking it up with USB to it. So the only time I'm using the LAN, is when I'm putting new files on it. That way the speed of the powerlan doesn't really matter anymore also. I have patience when I'm going to put new files on it, the only thing I really care about is that it can stream file flawlessly.
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January 15, 2010 7:42:07 PM

Well that does seem like a plan. Especially if you're only gonna use that one thing to play videos from it.

You'll still need to buy that powerlan stuff and see if it even works. Sometimes it ends up that the lines are completely isolated from one another so it can't communicate correctly. Which may prompt you to move your router or something if possible.
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January 16, 2010 2:38:27 AM

Yea, man. I'm going to try that powerlan stuff. 9 out of 10 times it should work right?
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January 17, 2010 1:18:30 AM

Well just make sure where you buy it has a good return policy. I haven't tried it myself for quite a while, but supposedly it has gotten alot better since the last time I tried it.

It's more likely that you'll end up at one extreme or another. (meaning works awesome or practically not at all)
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January 17, 2010 10:10:00 PM

Hehe, alright. Well, it'll be in a few months when I'm going to buy those things. I'll have to wait for the Popbox to come out first. Can't wait for it!

Thanks anyways for the replies. I'll give this topic a bump once I'm getting the powerlan things if I don't forget about it.
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