Need help with your PC or Modding Projects?
User avatar
bmoc
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1538
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 1:36 pm

NAS Media Server Suggestions

by bmoc Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:44 pm

So the local ISP is out of DSL ports and has not expanded for 9 months now. My work issues me a mobile phone and they turned on the hotspot feature because I had no Internet. There essentially weren't any data caps because the company's mobile phones all share a big pool of data.

However, it seems like we are soon going to get rid of company issued mobile phones across the board and switch to a stipend. That is going to leave me high and dry for reliable home internet access that doesn't have a data cap.

Seeing as how we only watch TV through streaming services, this is going to hurt...a lot.

The best plan that I can think of is to get a NAS with media server capabilities to use at home and use PlayOn to record our shows and movies at an alternate location with Internet access *cough* my office *cough*. I would then transport the recordings with a high capacity USB drive to my home NAS on a regular basis.

I have my eye on this one https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/DS216+II but I wanted to get a few other opinions as I've never really messed around in the home server arena. I like this particular one because I can plug the USB drive in the front and press a single button to copy everything to the NAS. It also has hardware media transcoding so things like the PS3 can play a wider variety of file formats and it can support up to three simultaneous video transcodings at a time @1080p.

Thoughts?
User avatar
fastbilly1
Site Admin
 
Posts: 13740
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:08 pm

Re: NAS Media Server Suggestions

by fastbilly1 Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:01 pm

I know Kalessin has a Qnap 410 and Exhuminator is familiar with the Synology line. I simply built my own using Brian Moses's advice:
http://blog.brianmoses.net/2016/02/diy- ... ition.html
Though I used an old Athlon64 box, but will be moving to something like he used in that article eventually.
User avatar
Exhuminator
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 11573
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:24 am

Re: NAS Media Server Suggestions

by Exhuminator Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:39 pm

Fastbilly has it with the NAS suggestions.

Allow me to propose an alternate solution though.

I have our living room HDTV hooked up to a small inexpensive remote controlled media playing device, via HDMI. This device has a USB port. It can read from USB drives or USB hard drives (as long as they are self powered or require sub 5amps). In mine I have a 256gb SanDisk Ultra.

So all you have to do is fill up a USB drive with your (cough cough) LEGALLY OBTAINED MOVIE FILES (cough), put the drive in the player, hook the player to the HDTV, and bippity bam you're watching digitally streamed movies without internet. It's cheap, it's easy, and it works. It also plays other media files besides movies, like photos, music, and documents.

Here's the player:

https://www.amazon.com/Micca-Full-HD-Po ... icca+speck

There's also a WLAN version:

https://www.amazon.com/Micca-MPLAY-HD-F ... icca+speck

And the thumbdrive 256gb I prefer:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YF ... UTF8&psc=1

The only caveats are the player doesn't do 10-bit video, and I'm not sure about h265 either. But it's played 99% of the files I've tried.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
User avatar
Cronozilla
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 2610
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:15 pm
Location: Oregon, USA.

Re: NAS Media Server Suggestions

by Cronozilla Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:16 pm

For software, I recommend Plex for cataloging and watching. It's also supported on pretty much everything. Consoles, Roku, Android, etc.

It requires an internet connection to work (it uses a server login to connect server to streamer, but will use the most local network), but it does stream over the network. It can, however, stream over the internet, and you can even share libraries with other plex users.

It's also free, unless you want some features that I don't understand why people need.

As for hardware, my thought process on NAS has always been building a server and doing it that way. At least then you could also set up neat stuff like your own mail server and even a nice firewall.

But for Software, check out Plex, it's great.
User avatar
KalessinDB
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 2461
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:07 pm

Re: NAS Media Server Suggestions

by KalessinDB Sat Aug 06, 2016 1:11 am

Aye, I've got a qnap based on some recommendations from a techie on another forum. It's fantastic, if crazy overkill for what I need it for.

Sadly it's also basically full, since when I bought it (4-5 years ago now) I filled it with 2TB drives which were the biggest ones that were reasonable to buy back then, leaving me 6TB total. ISOs add up quick. Some day I'll upgrade.
Gunning for a licensed NES NTSC-U set, follow the madness and poverty here!
Cheat sheet of my collection, always looking to increase it. 405/677 licensed games, 46/"95" unlicensed
Chronically out of date BST thread
User avatar
bmoc
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1538
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 1:36 pm

Re: NAS Media Server Suggestions

by bmoc Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:05 am

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. Going with the components that I picked out, it was going to run me about $500 to get started with one 5TB drive. And I would add another down the road for redundancy.

I had considered piecing together my own NAS from scrap parts from work but power consumption and USB speed was a concern. I don't think anything we have to recycle is going to have USB 3.0 and I'm going to have to buy large capacity hard drives in either case. Fastbilly1's article has given me some food for thought. I'll have to crunch some numbers to see if I can make something better for under $500.

The Micca device would be the best solution if our TV was the only place we watch stuff. We watch stuff on our ipad and phones all the time while the main TV is in use (Typically in use with video games. My son is a Skylanders junkie. :lol: )

I have looked into Plex but I am not sure how great it will work without an Internet connection. I don't know that it would offer any additional functionality over the built-in Synology interface. If I end up making my own NAS, I'll definitely have to investigate how well it works offline. I'll just have to wait and see on that one.

I should know by Friday of next week if my semi-unlimited data mobile hotspot is taking a dirt nap. :cry:
User avatar
Exhuminator
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 11573
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:24 am

Re: NAS Media Server Suggestions

by Exhuminator Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:31 am

I'm pretty sure the WLAN version of the Micca I linked earlier can stream over wi-fi to tablets and smartphones and smart TVs. I'm doing some more research to be 100% sure though. I'll let you know what I find out.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
User avatar
bmoc
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1538
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 1:36 pm

Re: NAS Media Server Suggestions

by bmoc Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:57 am

Unless I misunderstood the description, I think it will only mirror whatever is playing on the mobile device to a tv. Output appears to be limited to the HDMI port.
User avatar
bmoc
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1538
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 1:36 pm

Re: NAS Media Server Suggestions

by bmoc Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:12 am

I crunched the numbers and I would save about $20 building my own FreeNAS server if I used all the mail-in rebates. FreeNAS is fairly resource intensive from what I gather and I don't have any CPUs & motherboards laying around that would be able to keep up. The only parts that I would be able to scavenge for free would be some RAM.

Here is the what I came up with that would match the Synology unit in terms of capacity and simultaneous transcoded streams:

Intel Core i5-4430 Haswell Quad-Core 3.0 GHz
ASRock H81M-ITX
COOLER MASTER Elite 110 RC-110-KKN2 Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case
Toshiba 5TB hard drive
SanDisk Cruzer Fit 16GB
EVGA 430w Power Supply

A custom built NAS is more easily upgradable but the Synology would be a lot easier to get up and running. It may come down to which interface I like the best. Time to watch some Youtube videos.
User avatar
KalessinDB
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 2461
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:07 pm

Re: NAS Media Server Suggestions

by KalessinDB Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:09 am

Custom built NAS also (usually) has lower power draw, which is nice. To me at least, if you're gonna have it running 24/7
Gunning for a licensed NES NTSC-U set, follow the madness and poverty here!
Cheat sheet of my collection, always looking to increase it. 405/677 licensed games, 46/"95" unlicensed
Chronically out of date BST thread
Return to Technical Help

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests