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Topic # 104643 19-Jun-2012 12:20 Send private message

Hi all, 

Here is what I have: 

  • Xbox 360
  • 2 2TB HDDs
  • 2 TVs 
  • One old laptop that works but is well past it's prime, will probably upgrade after I see what Win 8 serves up.
  • Home WiFi network, TelstraClear modem + Cisco wireless router.
What I ideally want is a device I can plug the HDDs into which will wirelessly stream to my TVs. This device would ideally be plugged into the wall and be able to be left on so I don't have to start it every time I want to watch something.

Currently my solution is to stream from my laptop to the xbox with Media Centre for one TV and copy a USB stick which plays on a very cheap DVD player for the other TV. This is ugly, particularly the USB stick stuff but there you go. I could use the old laptop as a file server when I get a new one but I'm not keen on leaving it on all the time and it is on the way out so a more permanent solution would be better. 

I think what I need is at least two new pieces of kit. First, I need a device to plug the HDDs into and stream from and then I need at least one media player for the second TV or two if streaming to the xbox isn't possible. 

I guess that first device could be a cheap desktop, it only has to have a screen and keyboard connected once to set it up from then it is just streaming video to the other devices. Is there a more elegant, or even better cheaper, NAS box built with this in mind? 

Anybody know the limits on streaming to an xbox? I figure the second bit of kit is going to be a WD Live Media Hub or similar, and if I can't stream to the xbox two of them.




Didn't anybody tell you I was a hacker?

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BDFL
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  Reply # 643099 19-Jun-2012 12:22 Send private message

Whatever you do, don't think of "wirelessly stream to my TVs". It just doesn't work like that, and with more and more HD content WiFi just can't cope.

I'm currently using a small two bay Synology DS212j and very impressed with its capabilities. Posting about it soon.




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  Reply # 643105 19-Jun-2012 12:25 Send private message

Hi, we have been rolling out the DS212+ (which is the same as the j but 2GHz CPU and more ram) to small rural schools for a local server (ie very small <35kids), the OS on these devices is fantastic, not much you cannot do, look forward to Mauricio's review.

Cyril

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  Reply # 643108 19-Jun-2012 12:28 Send private message

I have mine configured as a Time Machine storage, iTunes server, media storage for our HTPC, sync location for our files around the house, and with 5TB storage in two drives it's great. Performance (transfer speed) is a lot better than the old Windows Home Server too (at least double the speed most of the times).

Apps for remote access from my Windows Phone and Android devices, UPS support (plugged an Eaton UPS and it's managing the network from there), can't even start describing the feature list...






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  Reply # 643118 19-Jun-2012 12:33 Send private message

How much? 

And is it easy to set up? 

If WiFi is no good what is the best kind of network set up to get video files from a central location to screens? Or is it better to plug the HDD into a media player at the screen?

Currently Media Centre streams from the old laptop to the xbox over the home network with very good results. 




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  Reply # 643119 19-Jun-2012 12:33 Send private message

We have them setup for cloud access including rsyncing to offsite cloud backup.

Yes the Eaton UPS support is important to use, seems to work very reliably. Easy intranet support including PHP so kids can create local websites.

List goes on and on.

synology.com/dsm/index.php?lang=enu

Cyril

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  Reply # 643121 19-Jun-2012 12:36 Send private message

crackrdbycracku: How much? 


Sorry, but I'm going to bitch... We don't know prices of all tech products - you can help yourself by clicking the Price Me link on top of Geekzone pages and enter "Synology DS212j". Here is the direct link to Synology DS212j prices.






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  Reply # 643122 19-Jun-2012 12:36 Send private message

Hi, a wired network is the best way, yes DS is very easy to setup.

Cyril



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  Reply # 643138 19-Jun-2012 12:58 Send private message

All good thanks for the advice and links. 

I'll look into that solution and await your review. 




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  Reply # 643139 19-Jun-2012 13:00 Send private message

Just dont put green drives in any NAS device.

Cyril

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  Reply # 643142 19-Jun-2012 13:02 Send private message

cyril7: Just dont put green drives in any NAS device.

Cyril


Can you back that up with a reason ?




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  Reply # 643156 19-Jun-2012 13:09 Send private message

In general green drives in servers and devices like this that have their own sleeping routines results in slightly lower performance and double sleeping/parking regimes. Synology does cert green drives comments about seems they prefer you non green.

I should say that I have used WD green drives in these NAS's with no significant issues, except for a noticable longer delay in coming out of sleep.


Cyril

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  Reply # 643178 19-Jun-2012 13:52 Send private message

I have Thecus n4200 (original version, superseded by n4200Eco and n4200Pro) and this has been running for almost 2 years now. My typical usage:

1. itunes server
2. time machine
3. backup (?duh)
4. media server
(5. planning to setup ip webcam soon - should be straightforward as you can install 'apps' onto this NAS)

I have 4x 2TB WD green drives, RAID 5 with no issue so far. However, 2 of the green drives were Dead On Arrival.

Built-in UPS is a bonus.





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  Reply # 643194 19-Jun-2012 14:04 Send private message

If you have an old PC and don't care about power consumption or size you could use FreeNAS. I have tried it on a fanless PIII 700 with 400MB RAM, but transfer rates were only 4MByte/s up 7MByte/s down. Strangely I can get 8-10MByte/s in both directions to my similarly spec'd XBox.

I had a Welland ME-747ANS but it was also too slow.

The Synology DS212j looks nice but is beyond my budget.

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  Reply # 643212 19-Jun-2012 14:44 Send private message

I've just finished my HTPC setup to do pretty much what you are doing, I have an Xtreamer Ultra2 runing XBMC connected to the TV, it then streams video and audio of of my Thecus N4200pro NAS.


The NAS is configured with 4 * 2TB drives in RAID-5  - WD "green" ones ;-)  and connected to an 8-port managed switch it can sustain about 215MB/s read and 200MB/s write ... so more than enough performance for what I do!

Just remember that most NAS devices you get will want to reformat whatever drives you shove into them so be aware of that when you reuse your drives.

Also if your TV supports DNLA that is generally a good thing but only if your movies are in a format it can understand, otherwise the DNLA server (the NAS you might buy) might be forced to do transcoding which is CPU heavy .. and the cheap NAS devices can't do it, my Thecus can't transcode much more than standard definition video because even though it has a good CPU for storage work it's not good enough for video.





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  Reply # 643220 19-Jun-2012 14:51 Send private message

Skolink: If you have an old PC and don't care about power consumption or size you could use FreeNAS. I have tried it on a fanless PIII 700 with 400MB RAM, but transfer rates were only 4MByte/s up 7MByte/s down. Strangely I can get 8-10MByte/s in both directions to my similarly spec'd XBox.

I had a Welland ME-747ANS but it was also too slow.

The Synology DS212j looks nice but is beyond my budget.


+1 - you say you have an old laptop, with an ethernet port you could use this as a NAS, and add a switch timer to wall so you keep using the battery (UPS), maybe for 30 mins every night. This way you have an itunes server running 24/7. Drives can be connected to the USB ports, or through a hub.

I have done this with an old emac, which runs Leopard and the latest version of iTunes. Runs 3 external drives of differing capacity's, from various previous purchases.

Jon

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