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Multimedia Servers for LARGE media collections

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nippa82's picture
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Joined: 7 Apr 2013
Posts: 2

Hi Everyone,

I currently have just over 3000 Dvd's/Blu-Ray's and just over 10,000 Mp3's and i'm looking for a stand alone

Multimedia Server to store my collection on, it needs to have the following capabilities -

Picture - 1080p HD, 3D

Audio - DTS5.1, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD  

Storage - Extendable

Able to stream to at least 3 zones simultaneously

Would prefer NOT to connect to each media player wirelessly 

I will also need 3 media players to be able to access my content in 3 different rooms

I'm also looking for a handheld 2 way touchscreen control interface.

______________________________________________________________________

I've seen the Kaleidescape and Vidabox systems

can anyone point me in the direction of any other options for my required system.

 

Rob.S.Esquire's picture
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Joined: 21 Mar 2013
Posts: 19
RE: Multimedia Servers for LARGE media collections

Hi Nippa,

You may want to consider a custom build HTPC, although you may end up with a trade off between 'extendable storage' and ease of use. I have a custom built media 'server' that lives on my AV rack and stores the majority of my media conent, plays back Blu-ray 3D, Dolby HD, DTS Master, 24/192 audio, and surround DVD-A (no SACD though).. I have the Win7 desktop on my tv for streaming everything internet based, and then use a combination of software for everything else:

J River Media centre for playback and catalog of media.

TotalMedia Theatre for Blu-Ray playback support

DVD-Fab for DVD and Blu-Ray backup to hdd

J River for CD ripping and conversion

J River supports 'web control', Android app, iPad app

I use dual Gigabit network conenctions to ensure there is enough bandwith to go around and so the other 3 PC's in the house can stream simultaneously.  I am not sure what media players will support DTS Master or Dolby HD, I normally rely on PC's with accelerate graphics (Radeon 5XXX plus, Nvidia 460+, Intel HD), pretty much any recent higher end PC should support it.I did have a WD HD Live for a while but that did not support 'blu-ray' audio playback.

I only have 3 x 2TB disks in the server for my collection and an SSD for the OS, but I have an overflow storage on a dedicated server that lives in the 'server room' (read spare closet).  Win7 sees the server hard drives as local storage due to the configuration so the media software doesn't know the difference.

Maybe this is all too complicated and time consuming for some to set up, but for me I enjoy the tweaking and it allows for easy upgrading, unlmited storage, plus I did not have to outlay piles of cash at the start. It started small and grew as my needs and budget allowed.

Rob.

 

Edit: Thought I had better add this - Blu-ray media cannot be streamed via DNLA or any other mechanism as far as I am aware.  This is due to the limitation of the HDCP protection, however 1080P mkv files with DD or DTS audio can be streamed by a network media server.

If you want to stream your blu-ray videos then you may need to encode them to a different format and not store them as .iso or folder copies.The other option is to keep the .iso or folder on a network share and find a media player that can directly access the files (i.e. not using the media server and library).

I will do a bit more research on this and get back to you.

 

cheeseboy's picture
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Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 875
RE: Multimedia Servers for LARGE media collections

for storage try looking at something like a hp microserver http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/me/en/sm/WF06a/15351-15351-4237916-4237917-4237917-4248009.html?dnr=1

 

they will be more expandable and a hell of a lot cheper than a dedicated NAS unit.  If you run something like flexraid you can increase as needed.

 

Then just have a look at the streamers that take your fancy, although if you are looking for a touchscreen interface, you may have to look at some small footprint htpc's like an acer revo or something and run Plex or XBMC on them as they have ios/android remote apps for them and will run everything you are asking them too.

The_Lhc's picture
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Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 12628
RE: Multimedia Servers for LARGE media collections

nippa82 wrote:
I currently have just over 3000 Dvd's/Blu-Ray's and just over 10,000 Mp3's and i'm looking for a stand alone

Multimedia Server to store my collection on, it needs to have the following capabilities -

Picture - 1080p HD, 3D

Audio - DTS5.1, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD  

Storage - Extendable

Extendable? I should coco... I don't know what ratio of Blu-rays to DVDs you have in your collection but if it's 10% Blu-ray then, assuming no compression, each BD is the full 50GB and you store everything, then just for your blu-rays you're looking at around 15TB, double that much for the DVDs (again, assuming they're 9GB dual layer discs), so 45TB in total. Ok, it'll probably be less than that if you strip out the additional languages etc etc but still, bear in mind that the micro-server listed above is only a 4 port device, so, with 3TB discs and RAID-5 (or equivalent), you're looking at a usual storage of 9TB, some way short of what you require.

Rob.S.Esquire's picture
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Joined: 21 Mar 2013
Posts: 19
RE: Multimedia Servers for LARGE media collections

As I was mentioning before the 'extendable' requirement means you may want to look at a dedicated server to store the collection somewhere out of the way. You can build a fairly cheap server to act as a NAS but I do not recommend compact solutions firstly because they are less flexible and secondly because you need a big pile of rotating storage for all that content!

If you have an old PC lying about (anything dual core with PCI Express) for may want to consider using that as a base, then all you need is a RAID card with external SATA or SAS ports. Or alternatively get a huge server case and an internal RAID card such as the LSI MegaRAID 9220-8i which will support 8 internal drives as standard.

RAID Card: http://www.ebuyer.com/495109-lsi-megaraid-9220-8i-storage-controller-rai...

3TB Hard Drives (cheaper per TB than 4): http://www.ebuyer.com/319640-seagate-3tb-barracuda-internal-hard-drive-s...

Then you need a box to put it in, something like this will do: http://www.ebuyer.com/134806-4u-black-rackmount-case-545mm-deep-7x-3-5-h...

Chuck in an removable hard drive tray: http://www.ebuyer.com/221436-startech-3-5-4-drive-trayless-sata-mobile-r...

Get a decent PSU to run all of that: http://www.ebuyer.com/269259-corsair-600w-cx-series-v2-psu-6x-sata-2x-pc...

 

 

You now have a case with 7x (internal) 1x (external fdd) 4x (removeable).  12x 3.5" hard drive bays. That’s 1050 quid for 24TB

Compare that to an external all in one system at 1799 quid for 20TB: http://www.lacie.com/uk/products/product.htm?id=10607

Plus you still have 4 drive bays remaining that can be hooked up to the SATA ports on your motherboard and you can just slot drives into the bays on the front.

With 12 drive bays supporting 4TB drives each you could in theory max that out with 48TB of storage (36TB of RAID 5 if configered properly) which may be enough to support all that media but would cost you a whopping 1800 quid!

 

I would also think about having a HTPC box that plays back the collection and that lives in your main theatre room. Have one ugly, large, noise and heat generating box hidden away that stores everything and then have a nice compact quiet HTPC that controls the media collection over the network.

 

The question is, is it worth it to digitize your media collection considering the cost of storage? I started off slow with a custom server and every now and then add a new HDD as my requirements and budget allow.  The sky is the limit as long as you start off on the right foot.

 

MajorFubar's picture
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Joined: 3 Mar 2010
Posts: 3152
RE: Multimedia Servers for LARGE media collections

nippa82 wrote:

Hi Everyone,

I currently have just over 3000 Dvd's/Blu-Ray's 

Think we've just found who ended up with all of Blockbuster's liquidated stock lol

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nippa82's picture
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Joined: 7 Apr 2013
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RE: Multimedia Servers for LARGE media collections

Hi Everyone,

  Thank you for your information it's a big help.

Time to put all that info to good use.

 

Anyone got any ideas of a hand held 2 way touch screen controller ?

Needs to be able to control the media system and sky / virgin tivo box

and bose surround sound system.

John Duncan's picture
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RE: Multimedia Servers for LARGE media collections

Since whenever I've tried it (for research purposes only, obv, since it's still illegal in the UK) it's a) taken about two hours per disc or b) failed completely, I can't imagine trying to digitise a 3k+ strong film collection.  Fair enough with CDs where having a jukebox is a valid requirement (and each disc takes five minutes), but I think I'd rather just stick the disc in the tray...

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