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Home Media Servers

Discussion in 'Community Broadband & Computers' started by boomertsfx, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    Win 7 media center is pretty darn nice... the free Media Browser plugin is really nice as it integrates trailers and media from each movie you have.

    http://www.mediabrowser.tv/

    Also Boxee now integrates into media center which is pretty nice.

    I'm up to 6.3TB on my Windows Home Server and love it... check into that if you're looking at NAS devices.... it does nightly backups and can do bare-metal restores along with lots of other stuff like media streaming/etc.
     
  2. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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    Re: Contractors for finishing basement

    I'm actually setting up a Boxee box; waiting on my Dell Zino HD to arrive (ordered on 12/18/2009!), otherwise I have all my other components ready. Boxee is gorgeous, and has some very useful features. I would suggest anyone interested to download it and just run it on any computer you have; it's just an application and will not take over your computer. It will give you a good feel as to what it can do and if it meets your needs.

    Boomer, what kind of iron are you running WHS on? I've been throwing the idea around lately, but wasn't sure what level of hardware would be 'adequate' performance-wise...
     
  3. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    Re: Contractors for finishing basement

    I had stability probs with Boxee beta on the PC back when it was first released but haven't tried it recently .. it worked pretty well for my local files... I didn't mess with internet streams. The interface was a breeze to use!

    I have a HP EX485 (better ones out now) which has 4 internal trays and eSATA/USB ports for more expandability.... I got it cheap when Bing Cashback had 25% off all HP purchases and was able to use my employee purchase plan pricing on top of the cashback. Tiny little box -- I love it.... it's headless and just sits in my utility closet. I was considering building my own with spare parts lying around but I got a great deal on the HP so I'm happy.... and it only uses like 60watts compared to who knows what with a custom build. Another thing I like is that it can sleep/wake all your computers (and itself) to back them up, etc.
     
  4. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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    Re: Contractors for finishing basement

    Try the latest Beta; they fixed a lot of issues since their first run.

    I just found an HP EX490 (with 1TB) on Amazon for $489, same price as Newegg. A tad high for my taste, but I have some gift cards from Christmas that I could put against that... Man, I'm really tempted... Thanks for pointing me to that and for the recommendation, much appreciated.
     
  5. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    Re: Contractors for finishing basement

    I paid $348 for the 750GB model -- hang on for a better deal... I think newegg just had a refurb last week for like $289
     
  6. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    Re: Contractors for finishing basement

    No RAID story in these tho? Wouldn't you want at least some sort of dynamic volume stuff to account for adding disks? I would have thought fault tolerance would be a mandatory in a central collector like this as well as abstracting you from the volume headaches
     
  7. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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    Folks, moved this discussion out of the original thread. Let's keep the discussion going, this is good information :)
     
  8. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    no RAID... it uses Folder Replication for redundancy ... basically you choose what stuff you want redundant and what you don't, and you're set. Handy for when you have lots of pix/documents/home videos that you can't lose, but other stuff like movies and music isn't as big of a deal losing, so you gain more space for that. It also allows you to use whatever drives you want and the system will balance itself. You can RAID the OS drive if you want. If a drive dies you replace it and it will replace any redundant info you had on it. You can also upgrade the size of any existing drives as well...
     
  9. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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  10. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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    Okay, this is getting weird (timing wise); just got an email from the Boxee team:

    ************
    We have released a new version of the Boxee Beta (0.9.20.10708), now available for download at http://www.boxee.tv/download.

    The new version of the Beta includes almost no new features, but rather is focused on bug fixes. We focused on stability issues. Many hangs and crashes were identified and resolved. We spent a bunch of time trying to improve the never-ending saga of handling SMB shares.

    All-in-all, more than 500 issues were resolved.

    Once you're up and running with the Beta we recommend to try out the Boxee Bookmarklet that allows you to easily add online videos to your Boxee Queue. See http://www.boxee.tv/bookmarklet/info

    We have also made it easier to find friends on Boxee. Connect your Twitter of Facebook accounts and see who of your friends is already using Boxee. See http://www.boxee.tv/user/findfriends
    **************
     
  11. esubscribe

    esubscribe Gadget Freak!

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    Don't have a WHS setup yet, but I plan to run Boxee (or XBMC) w/ Ubuntu on Acer Revo 1600 (expecting delivery tomorrow...here goes my weekend).

    http://www.greenhughes.com/content/...beta-acer-aspire-revo-including-64-bit-option

    More Revo info... http://revohtpc.com/revo-review/

    My collection is spread across 3 PC's (not very energy efficient)...need to build a WHS box and convert as primary media server.

    I am also interested to find out how folks stream their media in their homes...NMT player, waiting for Boxee box, have your own version with XBMC etc....!
     
  12. Mike-and-Kim

    Mike-and-Kim Member

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    We have a mac mini, hooked up to the stereo. Also hooked up to the TV via HDMI adaptor. Like the genius feature for automatically building playlists.

    One problem we had was a buzz through the speakers, turned out to be from the cable TV DVR. Bought an isolation transformer (coax on both ends) from MCM electronics for $10 problem solved.

    Backs up via time machine, plus we have another hard copy located off site.
     
  13. Madjake

    Madjake New Member

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    I really want to do something like this. Has anyone tried FreeNAS? Also, does streaming video/audio/large file backup work well over a Eth100 connection or wirelessly?
     
  14. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    Mac Mini doesn't have digital out?
     
  15. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    I have been keeping an eye on a new Blu Ray media player too that became available in December. It appears to be a Russian/Chinese product that functions as a player (discs) and media/network player as well. It will access and play ISO images and play them with all audio and picture functionality... This could be useful if you end up with a NAS where your DVD and Blu Ray movies are stored. It is a pretty simple process to load a movie onto the NAS as an ISO.

    It is called Dune Player. Looks to be around $400 but I am still learning about the various models etc. http://duneplayer.com/shop/
     
  16. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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  17. Mike-and-Kim

    Mike-and-Kim Member

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    It does but we do not use it. Mostly just have it hooked up to listen to "radio paradise", and for when my daughter visits.

    Mp3's don't sound that great anyway to warrant getting an external D/A and we do not have a digital input on the main music rig (as I've built most of it myself).

    Also not that motivated to re-rip everything lossless, and redbook CD's are tolerable with the right player (I use an old CAL Aria).
     
  18. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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  19. esubscribe

    esubscribe Gadget Freak!

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    You won't go wrong with PCH...I have had the PCH A-100 since it released in Mar-08 and it has been a rock solid NMT player. I have thrown all types of files...especially the mkv's which play like a charm! There are some minor quirks like playings ISOs etc., but other than that PCH is probably my best gadget investment in the past 2 years.

    The same company is coming up with Popbox...http://www.popbox.com. This has the ability to stream Netflix and includes many other apps...for those who are in the market for NMT players/media streamers...this definitely is worth a look, esp. with a starting price point of $129.
     
  20. Ken

    Ken Member

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    I'm using a WDTV Live with some homebrew firmware (b-rad.cc) and it's pretty slick. It's got a reasonably decent UI for serving media. On the back-end I have a 2TB Iomega StorCenter x2 acting as a NAS. I didn't use RAID 1 here. Instead I went cheaper and got another 2 TB USB drive which hangs off the StorCenter and it does nightly backups. My stuff isn't THAT critical that I needed an actual mirrored solution.

    Natively the WDTV Live only supports Samba shares (SMB, yuck), and it's pretty crappy right out of the box, but with b-rad's firmware, which basically turns it into a Linux box, you can tweak it so uses the NAS protocol... which is much, much better for streaming larger files (some Blu-Ray MKVs can get to 10GB) over the wireless network.

    The YouTube piece of pretty wonky, though, especially now that Google/YT has forced Western Digital to play nice and not allow playing videos that aren't meant for mobile devices and TV viewers (why these are in the same category, who knows), so at least half of my YouTube favorites can't play over it.

    All in all, it's a pretty neat little device. They had them at Costco this week for $110.
     

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