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Not A "what Is The Best Media Player Thread"


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OK, so her indoors saw an all singing, all dancing device on Martha a few weeks ago.

"Why haven't we got one like that", she said. "I want to play shows from the internet on the TV", she said - immediately followed by a chorus of "Yes Dad" from my daughters)

OK, yeah, yeah - I'll look into it

In parallel I was already looking for a NAS. Taking backups has never been my forte, and I know for sure the external USB drive with all the digital photos will fail one day. If that day ever comes, I'll be more likely to start a thread about where I can sleep for the night rather than anything AV related after "the special one" would find out

So, in a nutshell, I have been looking around for a NAS and a Media Player, and my formulated opinion after looking at all the forums is that maybe these purchases should be thought about in unison

Being naive in both these areas, I would like to pick a combination of products based on the necessary features. Here's the thing - what features ?

There are a few things I know, I want

- RAID 1 configuration on the NAS with a min of 1Tb usable

- A client I could use to download TV shows without having to have a PC on.

...and there a few things I don't think I need

- ISO DVD or BR support (If you own the disk, why not use a player ???)

- Wireless support

So guys, with all your vast experience - What are the most important features and must haves, that I should be looking for in a NAS and Media PLayer ?

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Hmmm I cant think of any NAS/Media players with Raid 1 off the top of my head. You may want to look into getting a NAS, connecting it to your router and then getting a media player to playback all the content.

As for a NAS......

Netgear Readynas DUO - Good Raid support, BT downloading, Good HDD support (will send you emails when you HDD if starting to Fail so you can get prepared)

or I just saw this on special on ozbargain....dont know what its like but looks like a cheap NAS

Linksys NAS

As for a media player....

Well im still trying to figure that out for myself you could go for a.....

cheap.....

xtreamer sidewinder

egreat

Pricey (but good)

Popcorn hour

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Ok,

1) RAID 1 is just a mirrored array. Most 2 drive NAS will have this as an option.

2) What do you download (BT? or NZB?) Many NAS have a BT server however I think only a QNAP will have a NZB one.

3) Note that a mirrored setup is NOT a full backup. If your drive is stolen or damaged (fire) then your data is lost. Possibly not a big deal for downloaded content but something to consider. Many people also put music and pictures on the NAS which obviously need a separate backup.

4) TBH the NAS is probably the first choice. I'd have in mind the Media Player options, but any modern one should be able to fit in with a good NAS.

5) Personally I have a QNAP. Very kitted out and you can install user packages to enhance its functionality. I just send it my download requests from work and it handles the rest. Something like this

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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- ISO DVD or BR support (If you own the disk, why not use a player ???)

Convenience. Looks cool.. Ability to download info from the web, and then cross reference.. Safer to update software on a PC than updating firmware on a player.

Sounds good? But there are only 2 cons...

1) You may miss the physically presence of the media :P (serious! No joke!)

2) Gray legal area...

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In parallel I was already looking for a NAS. Taking backups has never been my forte, and I know for sure the external USB drive with all the digital photos will fail one day. If that day ever comes, I'll be more likely to start a thread about where I can sleep for the night rather than anything AV related after "the special one" would find out

Just wanted to say that having a NAS does not preclude doing backups.

You need to backup the NAS too!

LOL.

It never ends.

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Hmmm I cant think of any NAS/Media players with Raid 1 off the top of my head. You may want to look into getting a NAS, connecting it to your router and then getting a media player to playback all the content.

As for a NAS......

Netgear Readynas DUO - Good Raid support, BT downloading, Good HDD support (will send you emails when you HDD if starting to Fail so you can get prepared)

or I just saw this on special on ozbargain....dont know what its like but looks like a cheap NAS

Linksys NAS

As for a media player....

Well im still trying to figure that out for myself you could go for a.....

cheap.....

xtreamer sidewinder

egreat

Pricey (but good)

Popcorn hour

Thanks - Just to be clear, I do want a seperate NAS and Media Player, I just do not know which functions I should look for in each - e.g. Some NAS have BT client, some Media Players have BT support, but I do not need both obviously :-)

Also, I am not so much after the make/models to look at, but more what features are must haves

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Ok,

2) What do you download (BT? or NZB?) Many NAS have a BT server however I think only a QNAP will have a NZB one.

3) Note that a mirrored setup is NOT a full backup. If your drive is stolen or damaged (fire) then your data is lost. Possibly not a big deal for downloaded content but something to consider. Many people also put music and pictures on the NAS which obviously need a separate backup.

4) TBH the NAS is probably the first choice. I'd have in mind the Media Player options, but any modern one should be able to fit in with a good NAS.

5) Personally I have a QNAP. Very kitted out and you can install user packages to enhance its functionality. I just send it my download requests from work and it handles the rest. Something like this

Regards

Peter Gillespie

Thanks Peter

2) Ok, you have confused me - BT ot NZB ?

3) I understand, but if you have 2 mirrored disks, besides theft, what other risks would determine that a backup is required ?

4) I think you are right Peter, and as long as the media player can see the NAS, there should be not too many further problems, but do I pay for a rich set of features on the NAS as a preference to the media player ?

5) I think the TS-210 is more in my price league, but certainly the Qnap rates a lot higher in transfer speeds than the cheaper Netgear stora. Does the TS-239 include the disks aswell ?

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3) I understand, but if you have 2 mirrored disks, besides theft, what other risks would determine that a backup is required ?

Both disks fail.

Believe me it happens.

Especially when in the same batch.

Plus, correct me if I'm wrong somebody, but only two disks mirrored might not be the best way to go.

4 disks would give you redundancy.

ie, You can hot swap any one of the four at any time.

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2) Ok, you have confused me - BT ot NZB ?

NZB. Thecus has a NZB module too...

I always thought of newsgroup as work.. Never thought of it as play.. :P OTOH Internode (my ISP) don't have free newsgroup access now (I think).. So meh. :P

Both disks fail.

Believe me it happens.

Especially when in the same batch.

Or a surge... :( Or a sudden power cut.

Plus, correct me if I'm wrong somebody, but only two disks mirrored might not be the best way to go.

Depends on what one needs to do.. You can actually mirror 4 disks, or 3 disks.. But IIRC the mirror has very slow writes, but very fast reads. Good RAID1 if reading is more important than writing.

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Convenience. Looks cool.. Ability to download info from the web, and then cross reference.. Safer to update software on a PC than updating firmware on a player.

Sounds good? But there are only 2 cons...

1) You may miss the physically presence of the media :P (serious! No joke!)

2) Gray legal area...

What about the biggest con...it's a PC. :P If BD and HDMI don't send me around the twist, the using a PC for this stuff would. :blink:

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What about the biggest con...it's a PC. :P If BD and HDMI don't send me around the twist, the using a PC for this stuff would. :blink:

Everything is a PC more or less... :D A media player has a video chip, a general purpose chip (or in some instances an integrated chip), and firmware. PC is the same, a video chip (with HDMI), a general purpose chip, and software.

I think Flemo was totally lost when he looked at my setup.. :lol: :lol: But it's not too bad.. Alot of the complications comes from HDMI.. So that is really out of my control... :P

Not a perfect machine (my god PCs are noisy! And I can't power on with the remote), but little annonyances aside, it suits my needs... :wub:

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2) Ok, you have confused me - BT or NZB ?

The two majotr downloading formats.

3) I understand, but if you have 2 mirrored disks, besides theft, what other risks would determine that a backup is required ?

Theft, Fire, Both disks failing, Someone's stupidity (Format N:)

As someone mentioned, you can go endlessly down the backup route. Personally I find mirroring enough. Even if they both get corrupted you'll always be able to recover 99% of you data from one drive (that hasn't physically failed). ATM a 1.5 WD USB extenal drive is $128 at Office Works. A nice feature in a NAS is you plug one of these in once a week and push a button on the front and it makes a 100% backup. Then just keep it in your glove box. Going RAID5 is good but also ups the expense considerably. Have you determined how much storage you want 1Tb?

4) I think you are right Peter, and as long as the media player can see the NAS, there should be not too many further problems, but do I pay for a rich set of features on the NAS as a preference to the media player ?

From what I found you'll probably only use a few of the features of even a simple NAS. Most simply offer diferent variations on how to do the same thing - port data around the house. A ReadyNAS or the QNAP TS-210 should be all you require. Some places sell NAS with drives bundled in others don't. Have a search on staticice for some prices etc.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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FWIW I'm using three different NAS boxes at home, all of them dual disc setups and all of them 100% reliable from day one. My needs are very basic, nothing other than media storage.

Of the three the Patriot Valkyrie is the cheapest, quietest and easy enough to setup - but not the simplest. Bought it here. Initially I had issues caused by the Samsung HDDs I was using, since replacing those it hasn't missed a beat. Very happy with it.

Sorry, ausnew I also overlooked the fact that you're looking for features rather than recommendations.

My major prerequisites were/are reliability and stability. YMMV of course but I guess it depends what you really want to do? Do you need a BT client? Does the client itself need any particular features? (the ones in the machine I use don't include schedulers for example, makes it awkward to work with download quotas so I use the BT client built into FreeNAS.

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Peter, Would the NAS specs specifically mention NZB, or would it be described as something else ?

Unlikely (most NAS are just so happy they have BT capability :))

As I said, If you want NZB capability then QNAP is definitely the way to go. They have QPKGs that are a simple addon to install. The one I use is SABNZBD+. It brilliant. A firefox plugin means NZBMatrix is fully integrated. I touch a single icon on the site and the NZB is sent to the QNAP and sorted.

Anyway on your questions as to critical features. It really comes down to what you want.

1) One touch button to external drive

2) Ability to install QPKGs

3) No fan (only really available on single drive models I think)

4) Size and number of drives

5) Ability to do Mirror or RAID5 redundancy

6) A print server is nice if you want to network your USB printer

But end of the day, a NAS is really just a low powered networks hardrive you can point other devices at to stream music etc. at.

On the Media Centre, I'd just get a WD Live ($160). Plays most stuff I believe, networkable, nice OSD. Cheap enough that if you want to upgrade it in a bit (this area is currently seeing some rapid development), it won't hurt :)

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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