My twist on a Media Server Build

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  • Yup, got all my movies transferred over to the new drive, working on getting KODI setup with dual profiles then will set it up with my Harmony One Remote on my upstairs computer and dial those settings in, then duplicate them downstairs.....

    Also have to get Plex downloaded and installed....

    Once thats all done I'm going to play with seeing if my Asus EA-N66 can hack streaming the data to my bedroom via plex wirelessly.....

    I very much doubt it but gonna try anyway...
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • nguyendot
    nguyendot Posts: 3,587
    What do you mean hack stream it?
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD
  • nguyendot wrote: »
    What do you mean hack stream it?

    Can handle sending the data from the HTPC to my Roku wireless...
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • nguyendot
    nguyendot Posts: 3,587
    Ohhh. My router only handles Internet, no wifi. We streamed 1080p to like six devices last week without breaking a sweat.
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD
  • So I installed the Plex server (free) on my HTPC last night and got it all setup. This morning I added the Plex Roku channel (free).

    I had my HTPC connected to an old Linksys WRT54G router working as a extender in my loft as I havent put the HTPC in my rack yet.

    I'm still tweaking Kodi to make sure the profiles and remote and everything work.

    In the meantime I figured I'd give streaming a shot over wireless G. The Roku is hardwired at least.

    Pulled up the Plex app on my Roku in the bedroom and selected a blu-ray rip that was NOT compressed to give it a real test. Hit play and was SHOCKED when it loaded right up, and started streaming with little to no delay, and kept playing.

    So I'm thinking the wireless N extender will have NO PROBLEM streaming to the bedroom.

    So now I'm downloading the Plex app (which looks to be 5 bucks) for the Android tablet we have to see if it will work there too. I dont have a Plex account, so it would only work in the house, but still its not a bad option. And if it works good enough, maybe I will pay the 150 for a lifetime membership....

    So far it looks like what I envisioned is coming to life without a lot of drama, which is a GOOD THING!

    I will report back with more impressions later.....
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • nguyendot
    nguyendot Posts: 3,587
    If the device supports the PLEX app, it will automatically adjust the quality to the speed provided. Also the max throughput is governed by the encoded bitrate of the media, some are 8mbps, 10,12...etc. A WRT54g will do about 20 give or take in a single stream. I paid the year membership which allows me to download any app pretty much. I'm REALLY impressed. It doesn't keep the quality of Kodi since it re-encodes depending on the device, but the ease of use is SOOOOOOO worth it. Popping 16gb into my PLEX server asap to see what difference it's going to make.
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD
  • I've got both profiles setup the way I want, plex up and running.

    Now I'm working on getting Kodi to autostart when the computer loads. Their are a couple ways to do this.

    The first (using a Group Policy) didnt work for me so I'm moving onto using EventGhost to launch it.

    We will see how this works out.
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • EndersShadow
    EndersShadow Posts: 17,231
    edited September 2015
    After some additional work I discuvered I really didn't want the Group Policy as it was just a PITA to get working. I got it working but then I'd have to specify EVERY program I wanted to load.

    Same with EventGhost...

    Instead I downloaded the Kodi program I found here, which has a GUI to let you set Kodi to start when Windows does.... and more importantly throw focus on Kodi after a given time frame. This lets all the other programs load in your start menu, then Kodi gets brought in front of them and your off to the races...

    Now installing the evil iTunes so I can get the Bonjour service running to control Kodi from my iphone using the remote apps...
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • nguyendot
    nguyendot Posts: 3,587
    I'm going to have to upgrade the NAS i've found out. The i5 760 can only do 2 1080p streams I believe. Even for a quad core i5, it's pretty slow even compared to the dual core i3s we have now. Time to sell it on craigslist and get a faster mobo/cpu. I want to be able to stream to every family member in the house at once if necessary.

    Also I'm ordering a SAS raid card, should be able to raid all my 2/3TB drives now!
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD
  • nguyendot wrote: »
    I'm going to have to upgrade the NAS i've found out. The i5 760 can only do 2 1080p streams I believe. Even for a quad core i5, it's pretty slow even compared to the dual core i3s we have now. Time to sell it on craigslist and get a faster mobo/cpu. I want to be able to stream to every family member in the house at once if necessary.

    Also I'm ordering a SAS raid card, should be able to raid all my 2/3TB drives now!

    Nice!

    I'm very far away from that thankfully. Since the HTPC will be in my rack for quite some time, it can stream direct there, and then at max to my bedroom to the Roku (downconverted via Plex) and MAYBE MAYBE my loft, or the tablet we bought my daughterr, but that less than 1% likely, and its unlikely it would all be at the same time....

    So I think my G3220 will last for a bit. If the 1150 socket gets long in the tooth I will probably upgrade at that point to a TOTL processor, but while prices remain where they are I cant justify the upgrade as I wont really need the extra horsepower.
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • nguyendot
    nguyendot Posts: 3,587
    I'm currently pricing it out. As the i5 uses some old 1155 or 1156 socket I'll have to swap out mobo and cpu. If I can get a deal on a 6 core it would work out well. Or maybe if one of my clients gets rid of a dual socket server it will work out well. Just have to be patient and look I guess.
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD
  • So its been a week or so since I played with it. This Friday I moved it downstairs to place it where I had originally thought I would, only to find out its not going to fit there.

    So I have to re-do my rack entirely to get it to fit.

    I have however been able to stream my rips wirelessley using the EA-N66 to my Roku upstairs without a lot of trouble. It isn’t loading the movies AS FAST as it was when it was on the Linksys (Even though the bridge is faster) but I attribute that to a signal issue more than anything. However I may be stressing my router out speed and bandwidth wise so I am going to keep an eye on that for now. I do still plan to hardwire this fall so it becomes a non-issue.

    I bought a Logitech K400 keyboard during Amazons firesale on some of their gear, and it works decent enough for the HTPC for me to tweak things. Additionally the Rosewill Windows Media Center remote I bought from Ryan allows me to program the Logitech Harmony One remote to control things and that works GREAT!

    All I really have left to do is put it in the rack, buy a couple USB extenders so I can get the IR Dongles closer to where I want and see if I the new setup allows for a better powercable to be used.

    Otherwise its doing exactly what I thought it would. Oh and I’m close to running out of space, so I need to mess with that again. Either delete some movies off that I likely will never watch again or move them to the external drive and then delete them.
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • villian
    villian Posts: 412
    edited November 2015
    Did you ever consider running Emby (previously known as Media Browser)? I've found it to be the most full featured, well supported, intuitive HTPC front-end and server back end on the market. Plus it's free. I've been using it since it's birth almost 10 years ago now. Never looked back.

    Nevermind that it's by far the best looking interface available, it's so easy to figure out that a caveman could use it! Most visitors at my house can't actually believe that they're using a pc when they're mindlessly usiusing Emby. It's the one interface that truly allows you to sit down, grab the remote control, and go!
    Too many good quotes to list..waiting for some fresh ammo. :)
  • EndersShadow
    EndersShadow Posts: 17,231
    Newegg has the HGST 4TB drives on sale for 140 w/ free shipping. So I snatched up another and will now have 8 TB of space
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • villian
    villian Posts: 412
    Newegg has the HGST 4TB drives on sale for 140 w/ free shipping. So I snatched up another and will now have 8 TB of space

    I believe they have an external 8TB for 199. You can strip the drive out and use it internally as well. I just bought an Amazon Fire TV Stick and am about to see what it's capabilities are.
    Too many good quotes to list..waiting for some fresh ammo. :)
  • EndersShadow
    EndersShadow Posts: 17,231
    villian wrote: »
    Newegg has the HGST 4TB drives on sale for 140 w/ free shipping. So I snatched up another and will now have 8 TB of space

    I believe they have an external 8TB for 199. You can strip the drive out and use it internally as well. I just bought an Amazon Fire TV Stick and am about to see what it's capabilities are.

    Not a fan of doing that. Most external drives are 5400 rpm green drives which I'd prefer to avoid.

    I'm sticking with my HGST 4 TB drives as they are proved solid performers and while losing ALL my data on a given drive wouldn't be the end of the world.... it would suck to have to re-rip all those movies again.

    If it was just to have a backup of all my movies, I might get one to have off-site backups of my movies.

    I already have a offsite backup of my MORE important stuff (documents/digital pictures/etc) at my parents, but dont have backups of all my movies or music just yet.
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • villian
    villian Posts: 412
    villian wrote: »
    Newegg has the HGST 4TB drives on sale for 140 w/ free shipping. So I snatched up another and will now have 8 TB of space

    I believe they have an external 8TB for 199. You can strip the drive out and use it internally as well. I just bought an Amazon Fire TV Stick and am about to see what it's capabilities are.

    Not a fan of doing that. Most external drives are 5400 rpm green drives which I'd prefer to avoid.

    I'm sticking with my HGST 4 TB drives as they are proved solid performers and while losing ALL my data on a given drive wouldn't be the end of the world.... it would suck to have to re-rip all those movies again.

    If it was just to have a backup of all my movies, I might get one to have off-site backups of my movies.

    I already have a offsite backup of my MORE important stuff (documents/digital pictures/etc) at my parents, but dont have backups of all my movies or music just yet.

    I've got you. All my large drives are for my media server and archiving. Modern 5400-5900 rpm drives outperform yesterday's 7200 and 10k drives. The increased density means that at least for read performance, much more data can be read by the laser at a lower rotational speed than what used to be possible. I usually see anywhere from 120 MBs to 170 MBs on my 2-4tb drives. That's plenty more than enough. You also gain wads of speed by using 64k sectors vs 512b.
    Too many good quotes to list..waiting for some fresh ammo. :)
  • ZLTFUL
    ZLTFUL Posts: 5,480
    villian wrote: »
    I've got you. All my large drives are for my media server and archiving. Modern 5400-5900 rpm drives outperform yesterday's 7200 and 10k drives. The increased density means that at least for read performance, much more data can be read by the laser at a lower rotational speed than what used to be possible. I usually see anywhere from 120 MBs to 170 MBs on my 2-4tb drives. That's plenty more than enough. You also gain wads of speed by using 64k sectors vs 512b.

    I am sure you meant magnetic head...right?
    Because hard drives are magnetic data storage devices while optical storage requires a laser of some sort...

    What Dan is stating is very true and his HGST drives are indeed modern drives. HGST was Hitachi which was bought out by Western Digital.
    They are working through the remaining stock of drives and components from their Costa Rica and SE Asian manufacturing facilities under the HGST brand. Nobody really knows what will happen when they exhaust that supply.

    Hitachi drives have a solid record of reliability in data center environments.
    Backblaze does a regular report of their data center's drive reliability and as you can see, Hitachi/HGST is far and away the reliability leader.
    https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-drive-reliability-q3-2015/

    What you gain in a ~20% faster drive with as long of a life span as a 5400rpm is worth the slight increase in noise.


    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip