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NAS or HTPC?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 OFFLINE   nozab62

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Posted August 07 2014 - 08:17 AM

Dear all,

First of all thanks for reading and maybe replying. 

Here is my current setup:
-AVR 171 Harman kardon receiver (with Sat receiver, xbox 360, bluray and misc stuff attached) 
-Apple tv
-LG 55la6600 smart 3d tv.
-My computer is a mac book air

Until recently, I was happy to download/RIP my TV series/ movie, put it on an hardisk that I attach it to my tv and play from there but:
-I am fedup having to make those transfers and would like my download and rip to be directly done on final storage place
-My TV seem to strugle with some high bitrate DTS/Dolby digital plus track
-Access easily all my movie from my phone, computer, tv and even from outside my place.

I then added an apple tv with the hope of just streaming from computer, but no DTS, and 1080p movie look horrible (blacks are horrible), apple tv is fine if i want to steam a 480p series or mirroring my computer. 

So...I came to the conclusion I need to add a middle man between my TV and my receiver and I just can't be sure what it has to be.

1) Synology DS214play 

This NAS is able to download my series via torrent.
But since it doesn't have HDMI, I can't connect it directly to my receiver. It is suppose to transcode, and works well on android and IOS...but on my LG smart TV (which will see the nas as a DLNA server) I fear it will send the original format and rely on tv to do the transcoding so the transcoding feature would be useless) 

2) Synology DS214 or DS214play which would send to a streaming box (chromecast or roku or WD) able to support any audio track and outputting superb image. 
Seems like a good solution but which streaming box would be ideal? 

3) A HTPC like a Zotac ID92 with a massive hardisked attached to it. 
For about the same price as solution 2 (maybe +150$) I could build a solid i5 HTPC.

What would you choose if you were in my shoes? 

thanks,
Regards!



#2 of 11 OFFLINE   Maurice Testa

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Posted August 07 2014 - 09:43 AM

In my opinion the HTPC is the way to go. An I5 is overkill and you should watch power consumption as it leads to more heat, also I wan't impressed by the performance of Intels 4000HD GPU's. I'm running a AMD A6 that consumes 65W which has a AMD Radeon HD 7540D built in.I play large DTS bluray rips with out a problem. Using the factory CPU fan its extremely quit and I'm loving it. I originally had a similar setup to you, instead of the Apple TV I used a WD TV Live box, which didn't have any issues streaming 1080p Movies but it could not recognize a external drive larger than 1.5TB connected to it. Maybe all you need is the TV Live box? I can give you the run down on my HTPC setup if you want, when I built it 8 months ago it ran me about $650. 



#3 of 11 OFFLINE   nozab62

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Posted August 07 2014 - 02:28 PM

Hey Maurice ! Thanks for the answer...

I just read extensively about Plex and i really feel I was stupid considering a NAS and a streamer which would have cost me 460ish (with no storage) while a HTPC with a 120gb SSD, 8gb or ram and a i5 would cost me 650$.

Thanks god the money is not too much of a concern here. 

About your concerns, the i5 is only 45w, also I think would be needed for the Plex transcoding function. 
The graphic are 4600hd, do you think that could not be enough? (I don't plan on gaming, just view 10-20gb HD movies). 

What would you attach as cheap but large and reliable storage to the HTPC?
I would like to go for 2 4tb WD red but I don't know what enclosure...and so on. 

Btw, here is the build I plan to spend on: 
http://www.amazon.co....=ATVPDKIKX0DER
http://www.amazon.co....=ATVPDKIKX0DER
http://www.amazon.co....=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Feel free to share your setup.



#4 of 11 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted August 08 2014 - 05:27 AM

Feel free to share your setup.

I stream from a ZyXEL NAS 320 and a WD USB drive connected to my Asus router to Roku, DirecTV and any other DLNA supported device on my network.

 

I chose the Roku as my streaming device because of the interface and the ability to get both Amazon Prime, Netfilx, Hulu Plus, etc. all in one simple to use box.  It is controlled with a Harmony 880 remote.



#5 of 11 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted August 08 2014 - 06:27 AM

I just found a NAS/media player in a single box.  Just add whatever hard drives you want.  With an HDMI out, it does everything that I would need.  http://www.asustor.com/product?p_id=20



#6 of 11 OFFLINE   nozab62

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Posted August 08 2014 - 01:16 PM

Dear Robert, 

 

In theory this asustor thingy sounds superb...but for having bought an Asus router which is using the same "Ai" software for download etc...this is total bullshit with worst interface ever... 

 

The day synology will make a nas with XBMC and plex , transcoding on the fly, HDMI and a proper downloading software, I would probably buy it eyes closed but not htis asustor ! 

 

Thanks for the proposal !



#7 of 11 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted August 08 2014 - 03:21 PM

If you're consider a combo like Robert pointed you to, I was drooling over this one before I got cheap and went with DLNA streaming only (skipped the media station functionality).

 

http://www.amazon.co...ywords=qnap 469



#8 of 11 OFFLINE   nozab62

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Posted August 12 2014 - 09:47 AM

Before thinking of going for the ds214 I had considered the qnap.

 

Anyway thanks but I will go the HTPC way, it's decided ! So much more flexible and future proof. Thanks ! 



#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted August 12 2014 - 01:31 PM

Why not a Raspberry Pi media center?

 



#10 of 11 OFFLINE   Spoooky

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Posted August 15 2014 - 01:40 AM

Why not a Raspberry Pi media center?

 

 The problem of Raspberry is: it only supports 720P playback.



#11 of 11 OFFLINE   blindpet

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Posted September 04 2014 - 05:22 AM

I use my HTPC as a NAS, especially if you are considering installing Plex then you will want the server to have a good amount of power in case it needs to transcode. NAS machines are great for low power setups and just sending information to different machines but HTPCs are definitely more flexible.






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