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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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    What is the NAS protocol? HTTP or something? :)
     
  2. Ken

    Ken Member

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    Doh. I meant NFS.
     
  3. TeamDonzi

    TeamDonzi ShowMeTheMoney!

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    GOOD GRIEF!! I can understand the last sentence...that's it!! Hahahaha
     
  4. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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    On Boomertsfx's recommendation, I finally picked up an HP Home Media Server LX490 just before the holiday weekend; figured I would have some extra time to set things up with the extra day off.

    From playing with it for the last 24 hours, I can honestly say that everything Boomer was raving about is correct! This thing rocks! So much better than my Buffalo Linkstation Live. It's incredibly quiet and works with very little hiccups after you setup everything and apply all the updates, etc.

    I'll have more comments once I spend more time setting things up, but so far, this was a great investment!

    Thanks Boomer!
     
  5. esubscribe

    esubscribe Gadget Freak!

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    Would you mind sharing where you bought it and how much you paid?

    Have been looking to build a home media server and based on 2 recommendations here ... I was looking over in Amazon and the reviews http://www.amazon.com/EX490-Mediasmart-Home-Server-Black/product-reviews/B002N8A0A2/ref=cm_cr_dp_hist_1?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&filterBy=addOneStar are 50-50. Would be very interested to read your follow-up.

    The main concern I have upon reading the reviews is the power supplies going bust...did you consider this before buying? Just curious as to what were the factors you considered before buying EX490? Thanks in advance.
     
  6. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    Cool! Yeah I love mine.... I didn't realize how small it was until I unboxed it -- pretty darn compact. I'm hoping we'll be able to upgrade to the new WHS OS when it comes out later this year -- it's in beta now... 64bit only, based on win2008 server... There are a lot of neat add-ins too.
     
  7. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    yikes, I just read those reviews on amazon... I hope HP does make spare parts available, or maybe there are 3rd party ones out there.... I haven't had any problems with mine yet... I just upgraded to the version 3 of the software which fixes some minor bugs/etc. I mainly use mine for backup up the workstations and storing media files and accessing them over CIFS/windows shares to my HTPC and also a WDTV Live. I haven't used it much with uPNP streaming and stuff. The nice thing is that you can install pretty much any media streamer you want if you don't like Twonky or whatever HP provides.
     
  8. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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    I picked mine up from Amazon; I had about $150 in Amazon gift cards I wanted to use up and with my Buffalo Linkstation starting to act flaky, I decided to go for it.

    I read some of the comments about the power supplies and I noticed 2 things after reading them; most were made quite a few months ago and most were mainly posted on Amazon. I read through some HMS websites, and many thorough reviews and most, if not all, only had good things to say about the LX49x series. I can tell you one thing that really impressed me; my LX490 is almost completely silent. I can hear the fan if I get real close to it and turn an ear to face it. It blows out very little heat and the case is not warm at all. This might change when I do some extensive video conversion on the unit, but so far, it's quiet and cool.

    I had it run an automated backup of my main workstation overnight it it worked flawlessly. I'm slowly consolidating all my music sources onto it, from multiple computers and the Linkstation. I'm taking the opportunity to re-organize my library as well as remove duplicates, etc.

    This afternoon, I put about 5 unprotected DVD's onto it and enabled the automated video conversion. It's converting the video as we speak and I'm planning on watching a movie tonight straight from it. The very cool part is that we recently replaced our old HDTV with an LG LED LCD with a network hookup. The TV can see the HMS and can display photos, play my music and play video. So, no need for anything special on the TV side, it's all built in and very efficient.

    I'm still 'playing' with it and setting things up the way I think I want it be. Is is always the case when I try something new, I'll try something and if I don't like it, delete and try something else. That's part of the fun/appeal to me of a project like this. Eventually, I'll end up with a setup I'm comfortable with and that my wife and kids can easily maneuver through. That's when I know I've gone down the right path.

    The more I play with this thing, the more I'm impressed. We were having dinner with some friends of ours last night and I hopped on their wireless using my iPad. I was able to get to all my files on my HMS, play some music, and look at some photos. I wanted to try the video streaming, but had not setup anything to view yet.

    I'll keep playing with it and probably have comments here and there during the week as I tweak things.

    Boomer, I would love to hear about your setup if you don't mind sharing. You using any add-ons, etc?
     
  9. esubscribe

    esubscribe Gadget Freak!

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    Mr.Linux and boomer ... thanks for your feedback. I am going to see if the price drops under $400.

    Mr.Linux -- Hopefully the model #. is a typo and you are referring to EX490 and not LX490 as mentioned?
     
  10. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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    Yea, sorry, I meant EX490 :)

    Keep an eye on newegg.com - They will have them on sale now and then. I bought from Amazon because I had the gift cards and I have Prime shipping. Normally I will buy from Newegg if the price is lower...
     
  11. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    The WOL features of WHS are nice too, wake pc up for backup, then sleep it, etc...

    After I updated the software to HP 3.0 upgrade (which you need to reset the server to do) I haven't had the time to reinstall addins, but I had one called P80 to give SMART status of the drives and some other stuff.

    Also, i like the fact that I can RDP into the server to install custom software if I want, etc.

    Eventually I'd like to have some of my home automation stuff on there.... I just never get around to doing it 8)
     
  12. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    And if I understand the expansion options, you can have a max of 4 physical drives installed in the unit total? So, the 1.0 TB, plus 3 drives (at 2.0 TB each) is a max of around 7 TB of storage?

    Can you use external drives connected through a USB connection(s) to add more?

    I am playing around with digitizing my massive collection of DVD movies .... and my music so I have a central source. And are you guys using Gigabit Ethernet or N or what?

    I will need to upgrade my network either way... I am still using an old DLink 10/100 Wireless G setup. I was successful for the past few years to use a DLink home media server and TVersity server software to watch Video, TV from around the World... wireless on my bigscreen, but that is just not as good a quality as I would like.
     
  13. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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    The server has an eSATA port, so you could connect it to another external multi-disk enclosure; many folks are doing just that in order to increase the capacity to much higher levels.

    I use a combination of Gigabit ethernet and 802.11 N in my setup. Works well for me. Of course, I also have 3 access points in my home, so coverage is not an issue :happygrin: Yea, I have a specialized setup - normal folks don't need that many :)
     
  14. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    So Eric... I am thinking that you might be convinced (bribed) with some cool suds to help design my Network upgrade.... I am in serious need of some planning before I get too far in my big upgrade, basement build out, home theater etc.

    I have some Network/Home media diagrams I have been working on in Visio, perhaps with Boomer or others interested, we could come up with an excuse to meet and design a really great Network etc. for my next project!!
     
  15. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

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    Sure! Would love to talk 'tech' over a couple beers. Would be great if Boomer could join us as well!
     
  16. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    mmm beer, sounds good!

    I would love to build my next house and run all of the wiring/conduit myself and trick it out =) I wish I had an unfinished basement to do a man cave... maybe next house =)

    BTW, Eric -- one drawback to our WHS box (ex485/490) is that HP didn't enable the port multiplier for the eSATA *grumble*... the earlier ex470 could do it -- go figure. I current have 750GB system drive, 3x1TB, external 2TB eSATA -- I'm not really in the need of any more space, but if I wanted to expand, I'd rather upgrade the internal 1TBs to 2TB to keep things internal and clean and using less watts.. Then you can hang normal USB drives off of it to do backups of the server if you want... .I think Vail will have a better backup mechanism for the server itself.

    I've yet to have a drive fail, but kinda want one to so I can test the rebuild of any redundant data I might have =)

    One of the next things I want to do I set up some sort of rsync/unison/something to backup my colo linux server to home just in case anything happens.... and vice versa so I can have decent off-site backups.
     
  17. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    err, correction on the ex490 -- it does have eSata multiplier support... ex485/487 don't .. =) You can load that bad boy up with 10 drives or something 8)
     
  18. esubscribe

    esubscribe Gadget Freak!

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  19. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    looks like they might be clearning em out for the upcoming Vail release... I hope someone will figure out how to upgrade the older HPs to Vail as I doubt they will make it easy unfortunately :(
     
  20. Tech Head

    Tech Head New Member

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    Does anybody have FiOS-TV working with Media Center PC's with cablecard? If so, how is it connected (TV card, coax or wi-fi)?
     

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