I just recently purchased a cisco ea4500 router and have been using a connected external hd (320gb passport via usb) for media streaming to my wdtvs. I also use network shares on my pc, but really want have all my media on one storage device for streaming. Media include 1080p video, music, photos. I've looked into building a JBOD but could really use some help b/c there are way to many options. Below is my criteria, let me know what you suggest. I'm hoping to stay between 300-400 for the initial build (I realize once more hds are added it will go up)..
1) 4-6 bay enclosure (I don't want to build another pc)
2) I can stream 1080p video, music collection, and photos to wdtv, ps3, tablet etc..
3) It does not need to be backed up information, just easy throw in a 3tb drive, and when that fills up throw in another for additional space.
4) can connect easily to my router. I'm not sure if I can will just be able to plug it into the usb on the router? Or if the device will need to have built in ethernet...I'm guessing ethernet would be best?
5) I'm fairly tech savy, but I would really like something painless and within budget.
I'm not saying that exact one, just use it as a reference for searching similar devices. You likely won't want to use usb as you mentioned, as that connection is a bit limiting. Devices that are standalone with 4 to 6 bays, and have an ethernet port are fairly expensive though. You would be quite a bit over your budget once you added drives to that device I linked above. There are lots of post on here asking similar questions which you could probably find some good info there.