Question regarding media servers

Discussion in 'Computers' started by HT4ME, May 3, 2013.

  1. HT4ME

    HT4ME Agent

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    All,

    I am preparing to begin finishing my 1900 square foot basement. Part of the project, the most exciting part, is the building of a home theater area. I have decided to take a 3 year old desktop computer, install 2, 2 TB hard drives and configure it as a media server for movies and music. Does anyone have recommendations on what media server software is best for my needs? I envision a kind of "entertainment jukebox" where accessing my favorite movies is only a couple of clicks away.

    Thanks in advance for your responses!!!

    ~HT4ME
     
  2. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    A few questions first:

    * Do you need it to record or capture TV shows (like a DVR?)

    If yes, your only option that really does this effectively is Windows Media Center, unless you want just Over the Air or straight analog programming.

    * Are you just interested in playing media files locally and over the network?
    If you don't care about recording TV, then XBMC right now is the leader in the clubhouse as far as ease, especially on older hardware
     
  3. HT4ME

    HT4ME Agent

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    Hello MattCR and thanks for the response.

    I have a dedicated DVR through my cable company and will not need the media server for this purpose. I will be using it mostly for recording movies from DVD and blu ray and setting up a music library. I have checked out XBMC, Plex and My Movies. It appears as if My Movies, will take care of my video needs. I will use XMBC for music. Why not use XMBC for both? I really like the interface for My Movies. I downloaded it and was immediately able to start building a video library.

    Thanks,

    HT4ME
     
  4. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I would tell you to seriously consider MediaBrowser3.. now, the core component you're probably going to be after is still about a month away (right now it's just WMC, but it has it's own front end soon) and it's functionality pretty well blows away plex.

    http://www.mediabrowser3.com/ http://www.mediabrowser.tv

    In regards to the basic makeup, keep this in mind:

    Make sure you have a gigabit network adapter in it; even if your network right now is 10/100, have it gigabit just so you can be prepared in case you upgrade later.

    If you're looking for a server, make sure you plan on the kind of drives and storage you want. There are several great options for this.
    Decide if you want a client/server situation, or "all in one". If you want your box to act as an all in one, then that may be different.. if you plan on using it as a server, just maximize the SATA ports and look into something like FlexRaid or Unraid.
     

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