Any way to make a dvd server similar to this without an Xbox?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by London Lawson, May 25, 2006.

  1. London Lawson

    London Lawson Second Unit

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  2. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    there's an even better and more powerful way, mythtv.

    www.mythtv.org

    CJ
     
  3. Vivek_IVB

    Vivek_IVB Stunt Coordinator

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    xLobby does it for free, if all you're interested in is cover art navigation.

    CQC is a fullblown home theater automation package, cover art presentment is the least of it's abilities. It can also control your a/v equipment [ie turn on/off, source control, etc], and many many other things. That's what I use.

    Here's screenshots of both:

    xLobby:
    [​IMG]


    CQC:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    You can always go with the PC offshoot of XBMC, made at least partly by the same people, Mediaportal. Excellent piece of software.

    http://mediaportal.sourceforge.net/

    Very simple to do, just install a Win XP, install Mediaportal on top of that, do a little configuring (not difficult) and you're good to go.

    Here are screenshots of it using the Project Mayhem III skin, essentially the same as the shots of that Xbox thread you link to:

    http://www.team-mediaportal.com/screenshots/catid,9/

    I use XBMC myself and it's a fantastic piece of software, but requires a modified Xbox since it is code that isn't properly signed. The fact that it's not an official Microsoft product is also its greatest strength... it's not bogged down with massive amounts of DRM and other stuff designed to hurt the consumer.

    Anyway, Mediaportal is great. It's what I plan to use once I get my HTPC done. I'd stick with my Xbox but more CPU power will be needed to play back HD material, and you can't get TV into the Xbox, just use it to play existing media.

    Btw, Mediaportal is a player and client. You can have your media locally or you can use any normal Windows tools to get at it, such as mounting a windows file share remotely over the network. The server doesn't need anything special, just any server with windows will do or a Linux based box with Samba.
     
  5. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    If you are using Media Center and My Movies it is also easy to do. I have a client who recently upgraded his NAS to 3TB (4 Seagate 750G Drives) to store DVDs. And he has almost every DVD he owns in at the touch of a button accessible. No shuffling discs, they are just there. It's brilliant. [​IMG]
     
  6. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    i have the same thing with mythtv, i use it as a tivo/media server. the only difference is space, i have about 500 GB space on it, which isnt enough to store all my DVDs and music. when 1 TB hard drives become available (and cheap enough), i'll put in a raid 5 array, my case can hold 6 drives, so 5 TB would be pretty nice.

    CJ
     
  7. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    I hope he is at least using RAID5 (and settling for 2.2TB usable space) for those drives or he'll be one unhappy camper when one drives goes and all his content across all drives is lost. [​IMG]
     
  8. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    not necessarily, a disk failure in aid-0 would cause total data loss, but he could be using jbod, or just using the disks as individual volumes.

    CJ
     
  9. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Yes, but with that device using no RAID level at all strikes me as abuse of a nice piece of gear.
     
  10. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    true, just refuting your "losing data across all drives" statement, which wouldnt happen unless he used aid-0. raid 5 would be the best option for him though.

    CJ
     
  11. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Everyone leaps to RAID-5 like a catch all, because in times where disc cost was high - especially with SCSI, RAID5 made incredible sense. But with disc cost cheap, RAID-3 is a far better solution for rebuild, disc performance, and especially better suited for Media Center large disc read/writes. Until RAID5 where right sucks, it's easier to write large batches of data, in this case that's important.

    So a simple Linux NAS running multiple 750G drives in RAID-3 offers quick rebuild, quick access, and great performance. [​IMG]

    Anyway, seperate story.
     
  12. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    I'm not sure I agree. Write performance with hardware RAID5 should be quite sufficient for any home use, it only becomes a factor in the highest performing database servers etc. There you really want to avoid all the XOR calculations even if they are done in hardware. Even so, you can use RAID5 to great effect in a database that is only used for data storage rather than doing intense transaction processing.

    Of course, no RAID version is really good enough, IMHO, not with a standard file system on it. They don't do checksumming of data.

    Personally I'm in the process of rebuilding my home server to run OpenSolaris and ZFS. ZFS will give me both redundant drives and much more importantly checksumming of the stored data. This will prevent something that is much more prevalent than actual hard drive crashes, and that is silent data corruption on the drives. OpenSolaris is a much better alternative for lots of uses these days than Linux is.

    http://www.opensolaris.org/os/community/zfs/
     

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