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Home media server


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#1 amstadaM

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 04:23 PM

Afternoon everyone,


I recently bought a new laptop because my desktop passed away. My wife and I both use music/videos/etc.. from the desktop. The hard drive didn't fail it was the other internal components.

We are looking into a "media center."


Anyone have experience with the media centers?


Pricing? More information?

Thank you!
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe." - A. Einstein

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 05:02 PM

Essentially, a Media Center PC is nothing more than a HTPC, which is easy to build, but you do have to be careful with what you buy as you don't want things to get too loud. HTPC's built with AMD's APU's are quite good from what I've seen. If you have digital cable, you will probably need a Ceton tuner to get the CableCard to work and decode any but the local channels otherwise, TV is limited to OTA or standard unencrypted cable.

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#3 amstadaM

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 05:07 PM

Thanks. Are these built like any other system?

This is going to work more like a home "cloud" computer in essence.
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#4 rotor123

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 05:45 PM

If you don't need a tuner and only want to serve music and video from your old hard drive(s) one option would be something like the Western Digital Live Hub. It has a 1Tb internal and two USB ports for external drives. It can function as a NAS on the network. Just put your old drives into external cases and plug them into it.

The release notes for the latest firmware say support for a powered USB hub. I'll be trying that once I get one and see if it can handle more external drives.

Another option is buy a NAS with a USB port that supports copying from USB drives and converting your old drives to USb and loading it that way. Once again simple hardware that will be quiet and low power usage.

Edited by rotor123, 28 November 2011 - 05:46 PM.

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#5 DJBPace07

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 06:25 PM

You could use a NAS and serve your content to your gaming consoles if you have one. You can build or buy your own HTPC using a mini-ITX board, but you can get pre-built systems. The Puget Systems Echo model seems quite good.

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#6 amstadaM

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 06:37 PM

Thanks for the quick responses. I am going to look into the information you gave and we'll see which one we decide on.

Appreciate everything! :thumbsup:
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe." - A. Einstein

#7 rotor123

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 10:29 AM

I see I forgot to mention that the WD Live Hub is a decent media player that plays most things. for me the fact that it also works as a NAS is a bonus.

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#8 amstadaM

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 11:57 AM

Alright I think I'm going to go with making more of a HTPC that acts somewhat like a server. I want it to function almost like a "cloud" as in I want to be able to stream my music/movies/videos from wherever I am... that has an internet connection for our computers.
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe." - A. Einstein

#9 DJBPace07

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 04:39 PM

I would use a "dumb" terminal that does something like support a bunch of codecs and connect that to the TV. In fact, some TV's do this if you use mainstream codecs. My TV will since it is DLNA compliant, as will a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. Using a high capacity NAS to store the media content and "serve" it to the consoles, and among everything on your network, is a great way to do this. The downside is that you need to have a relatively good home network, moreso if you are doing HD content.

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#10 amstadaM

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 04:53 PM

I live in a condo so everything is wired so basically the network is good to go.

I have a PS3 and Samsung LED TV.

Should I look into codecs that support Samsung LED tv's? OR were you referring to my terminal having all of the codecs.
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#11 DJBPace07

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 07:04 PM

Here is the list of codecs your PS3 will support. My PS3 supports most files, I do suggest you become more familiar with how the PS3 handles network playback. Codec support is controlled by the set-top unit. The NAS should act a simple device, merely serving up the files. There are some good NAS devices, I use the D-Link DNS-320 with a single 2TB drive. I use Windows Backup to backup over my home network to the device. I'm considering getting another 2TB drive and mirroring my media collection so I can get to it on any DLNA device in my home, my PS3 and Windows Phone.

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