Media files growing exponentially, HDMI video and RCA stereo, two systems

otto88

Member
2007-12-05 10:39 am
Sorry about so many questions, I’m just learning

To store media files that are growing exponentially (lossless audio, and video now including Bluray) I need either a NAS, or simply a big hard drive/ s (either USB or internal).

Looking at the receiving end of the sound and film:
• For best video (1080p) into my projector and TV - I will use HDMI
• For best audio into my pre-amp (for music) and later a HT receiver (for 5.1) I need audio via a pair of RCAs (phono plugs)

Not needed:
• Saving or sharing files from more than one PC to one storage place
• remote access from a browser

There are two output systems in two adjacent rooms - TVs and stereo amps.
Running cables isn't an issue. ie wireless isn't needed

For the 2nd systems, potentially I could just use splitters from one PC. But to control the system in the room currently without a PC, I need a 2nd PC or tablet. (I want a good size screen, so wouldn't use a smartphone). For a PC, I have an idle Antec case that’s well insulated for noise, with a very good sound card. And to run just a software media player eg VLC, it should be ok with specs of just a basic low-end processor etc. .

In the room that doesn't have a PC, while listening to music I might to browse the net, maybe on the TV. Do wireless keyboards and mice work through a wall of sheetrock (plasterboard)?

Looking into it, I just read that “entry-level NAS products with 20-50 Gb of storage can be purchased for $500 or less”

Other questions:
1. Can a NAS that is not expensive: have a Video HDMI Out, and an Audio Out (either a pair of RCAs out; or a 3.5 mm socket, into a splitter to a pair of RCAs)??
2. Or via some sort of media player (hardware or software) should I stream the media from a NAS into a PC, then use its Video HDMI Out; and normal stereo audio out (probably from a 3.5 mm socket into a splitter to a pair of RCAs)?
3. Or just use a big hard drive?

* Key question: for its extra cost, what advantages would I get from using NAS and/ or a separate hardware media player?

Advice appreciated!

Two other things to consider:

Other things being equal, though one system isn't that great, it'd be preferable to have just one, really good stereo DAC (with a splitter to the 2nd system). Probably the Metrum Octave http://www.nosminidac.nl/Octave_English.html (Its inputs are S/PDIF, either optical or coaxial, and my M-Audio sound card has S/PDIF, so no converter is needed).

However while the main audio system is currently passive, but in a few months I’ll be resuming an active three way project. I was possibly going to use a mini DSP, but unless I win Lotto, the budget wont stretch to three Metrum Octaves! . . mm, what’s a poor man’s Octave?
 
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NAS or big disk?

Sorry about so many questions, I’m just learning


In the room that doesn't have a PC, while listening to music I might to browse the net, maybe on the TV. Do wireless keyboards and mice work through a wall of sheetrock (plasterboard)?

Looking into it, I just read that “entry-level NAS products with 20-50 Gb of storage can be purchased for $500 or less”

Other questions:
1. Can a NAS that is not expensive: have a Video HDMI Out, and an Audio Out (either a pair of RCAs out; or a 3.5 mm socket, into a splitter to a pair of RCAs)??
2. Or via some sort of media player (hardware or software) should I stream the media from a NAS into a PC, then use its Video HDMI Out; and normal stereo audio out (probably from a 3.5 mm socket into a splitter to a pair of RCAs)?
3. Or just use a big hard drive?

* Key question: for its extra cost, what advantages would I get from using NAS and/ or a separate hardware media player?

I solved a rather similar range of issues, but somewhat differently....

"NAS", Network Attached Storage is really a simple computer you can't use for much other than sharing the local disk. If you're at all handy, it's going to be cheaper to plop in a big disk into one of your systems. 1 terabyte disks are around $100 today...

If you've wired your place (network, that is), you can simply share that disk as needed, and instant network disk.

I'd spend the $$ and put something with computing power in the "room without a pc", even if an inexpensive laptop. That gets you what you need, and access to your files as well as the ability to use your TV and laptop to browse the 'net.
 

otto88

Member
2007-12-05 10:39 am
Sorry for my tardiness, been too busy - and researching this a lot

Jplesset
While there seems not a lot of benefit for me in a NAS, this (available for approx only $240) is great value HP ProLiant MicroServer G7 N40L server review . . I'll think some more . .

Beanbear
for controlling music in rooms beyond the main two rooms, which would difficult to run Ethernet into, Bluetooth could be the way to go . .

BTW, in the "other" rooms, music won’t run off the lounge room’s amp. Each will have its own stereo amp – I have a few spares.


But I should really focus on the software and interface. Then work “back” to the hardware needed to run it.

I recently got an iPad3, and just a few days ago was using YouTube in different rooms, like a jukebox. I found that for me a 10 inch tablet that I carry around is THE nicest way to control media.

I’ve just learnt of two great tablet controlled options: JRMC controlled by JRemote, and XBMC run by Yatse.

Currently JRemote being only for iPad, and Yatse only for Android. While I have an iPad, in the scheme of things I’d get an Android if XBMC – Yatse is overall better for my situation

JRemote was Computer Audiophile’s 2012 Software Product of the Year Computer Audiophile - JRemote The iOS remote for JRiver Media Center Review They mentioned that JRMC has multi zone playback, that every pc running JRMC can be controlled as a different Zone.

* Does that mean (subject to hardware) JRMC can play *different media on each PC in a network?
* Does JRMC’s multi-zone functionality run off multiple sound cards in one PC, or separate PCs??

* Display devices and media vary in quality, but do software media players??


Thanks
 
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quote "Media files growing exponentially..."This is the first problem that you need to solve.
What you describe could be classed as a virus. As an IT manager and I used to go bananas at my users trying to get them to manage their files sensibly. Literally 99% of the stuff in user files is rubbish blah blah blah.

My solution for myself is to only acquire hard copy - vinyl or CD and I ignore media as you call it.

Those hard copy things I buy are readily sold and actually increase in value over longish times. As my music tastes change over time the titles that shuffle to the back of the shelf through lack of interest, I sell and use the funds to buy new interests.

Clearly there is a generation gap here but I find the whole premise of your questions redundant.
 

otto88

Member
2007-12-05 10:39 am
a generation gap?
how old do you think I am? an Oldie or pimply youth :rolleyes:

"a virus" ? :rofl:

> I find the whole premise of your questions redundant

Crikey. Is file management "redundant"? - have you had a bad day?

Anyhow, enough with the joking - back to the issues:

How is files growing exponentially a problem?? Maybe 15 years ago, but you'd know that HD space is cheap. I dont need 000s of TB, just 1 or 2

> My solution for myself is to only acquire hard copy - vinyl or CD and I ignore media

I have heaps of hard copy, but it's harder to eg search. It sounds like you haven’t used a PC based music system?

As I said just before your post, I am focussing on the software (and interface)

As you’re an IT manager, would you know if software media players, for a given resolution eg 1080p might vary in quality of output?
 
Actually it is still waiting on my desk for transport to my sister's where it will serve as a central backup for her home office business. I will put 2 drives into RAID1 (and still have 2 bays available). A third drive will go to an external eSATA bay for offline backup (third component of the same RAID1 array). OS debian stable. For backup I want to use backuppc BackupPC: Open Source Backup to disk as it is my favorite one.

Sorry, not much into audio storage now but the requirements are the same - reasonably silent relatively low-consumption reliable 4bay system.
 
I don't know if this will be helpful.

Upstairs on the tv room (loft) I have an old G4 Mac mini, 1gbRAM connected by wire to the home wireless router, the tv (monitor), a 500gb HD and a 2tb RAID HD (4tb). The smaller HD is only for playing music, the RAID drive backs everything up twice.
I then have an old intel MacBook on the living room system and a new MacBook Air in the "listening room" (or more like "listening closet"). These, and my wife's iMac, all connect wirelessly to the Mac mini using apple file sharing and screen sharing. Built in and easy.
I use PureMusic for playback, which uses iTunes, and with a memory play option so there is no streaming lag. Since it is data streaming and not music streaming, there is no loss of resolution or compression. I can still play at full lossless and even high resolution recordings. PureMusic and Airport express can also each stream directly, but there are limits that may or may not be important.
I can screen share all the computers an control any music with apple remote on my iPhone or iPad. Cool!
Anyway, it works well, but I benefited from having too many old computers lying around. Buying all this gets expensive, and I would have better responsiveness if the old Mac mini was upgraded, but it doesn't effect the sound/fidelity so no worth it.
FWIW
 
quote "Media files growing exponentially..."This is the first problem that you need to solve.
What you describe could be classed as a virus.

As a past IT manager myself, I cringed when you said 'virus' but I know what you mean..........

Users are their own worst enemy.

It feels like some-one is busy amassing a massive collection.

Proper 'data' management is a virtue!


Perhaps, rather than focus on ever increasing direct [hard-drive] data storage, you might consider archiving: moving 'never' watched material off the hard-drives to ..............say DVDs, or such.

Another point. What happens when your hard-drive fails?

and finally - how well are all your files organized? Given a title, without doing a 'search', how long does it take you to find it?
 
Do wireless keyboards and mice work through a wall of sheetrock (plasterboard)?

Other questions:
1. Can a NAS that is not expensive: have a Video HDMI Out, and an Audio Out (either a pair of RCAs out; or a 3.5 mm socket, into a splitter to a pair of RCAs)??
2. Or via some sort of media player (hardware or software) should I stream the media
[

To the best of my knowledge, most wireless devices, are only designed for very short range. I very much doubt they would work well through a barrier. You need a WiFi hub, or cable. [Even WiFi has trouble with concrete walls.]

I really got lost in all the detail. While the details are great, I lost the 'big picture'

I am NOT being .......rude, but it does seem like you are uncertain as to what you really want [you mentioned being able to control every node using a tablet]

For me, at least [and what I would personally do] a diagram of what you have, and what you want [and a list of concise objectives] would be the first step.

How badly am I wrong..........you have a few PCs around the house. You want MASSIVE data storage. You want to be able to play [not stream][streaming is different IMHO] 'any' media file on any of the nodes[PC, or media device].

If the above is true, then a networked system [with WiFi for your tablet] with a file server [it's just a PC setup to 'serve' files] is the solution. The file server can be 'any' PC - the CPU speed, etc is not critical - however, in your case, it must be capable of handling massive data storage.

On the massive data storage side, I am weak on the Windows side of things. We use/used UNIX as the server - and yes you CAN easily and transparently use Windows [work stations] off an UNIX server.
 

otto88

Member
2007-12-05 10:39 am
I don't know if this will be helpful.

Upstairs on the tv room (loft) I have an old G4 Mac mini, 1gbRAM connected by wire to the home wireless router, the tv (monitor), a 500gb HD and a 2tb RAID HD (4tb). The smaller HD is only for playing music, the RAID drive backs everything up twice.
I then have an old intel MacBook on the living room system and a new MacBook Air in the "listening room" (or more like "listening closet"). These, and my wife's iMac, all connect wirelessly to the Mac mini using apple file sharing and screen sharing. Built in and easy.
I use PureMusic for playback, which uses iTunes, and with a memory play option so there is no streaming lag. Since it is data streaming and not music streaming, there is no loss of resolution or compression. I can still play at full lossless and even high resolution recordings. PureMusic and Airport express can also each stream directly, but there are limits that may or may not be important.
I can screen share all the computers an control any music with apple remote on my iPhone or iPad. Cool!
Anyway, it works well, but I benefited from having too many old computers lying around. Buying all this gets expensive, and I would have better responsiveness if the old Mac mini was upgraded, but it doesn't effect the sound/fidelity so no worth it.
FWIW

An interesting collection of gear

Actually I have an old Mac mini, if one of the systems used that (instead of eg Apple TV) I could do also access the net in that room

Cheers
 

otto88

Member
2007-12-05 10:39 am
As a past IT manager myself, I cringed when you said 'virus' but I know what you mean..........

Users are their own worst enemy.

It feels like some-one is busy amassing a massive collection.

Proper 'data' management is a virtue!

Perhaps, rather than focus on ever increasing direct [hard-drive] data storage, you might consider archiving: moving 'never' watched material off the hard-drives to ..............say DVDs, or such.

Another point. What happens when your hard-drive fails?

and finally - how well are all your files organized? Given a title, without doing a 'search', how long does it take you to find it?

(Your last point first, fairly quickly, but I see your point)

The thread title was intended to attract attention, but is not the main issue. I'm using just one 1.5 TB drive, so far.

I'm glad you mentioned disc failure, I could better address back-ups as part of the design of the network. Probably should include a bluray burner for its high capacity per disc
 
Backups? To Blueray?

Probably should include a bluray burner for its high capacity per disc

Even blueray isn't large by hard disk standards. I back up to another hard drive on a second system. Fast, easily ported, and I'm unlikely to loose both at the same time. Burning 15 or 20 blueray disks for a back is a pain....
 
Here is my system, growing all the time.
NAS, Switches, and Modem

DSC_0060_zps702d7382.jpg


Router, VoIP, baby switch
DSC_0061_zpsb0f587c6.jpg


Start with the NAS If you notice they are all in pairs! (except for one, that is a scratch area for temp storage) That is because they are mirrored. So I have my files stored twice, redundancy in case of failure. Hard drives fail... not if, when. Disks are really cheap these days, what are your files worth? The NAS consists of those 4 white boxes, they are Seagate Dockstars, they have four USB ports each. I got them for $15.00 US each, they still sell them on eBay. They are SMB compatible so can be seen as a share on the network, they are also pogo plug, a bit of a pain, but handy in some respects.
The switches are 8 port Gigabit managed switches cheap on ebaybut fast and reliable. The SOHO stuff just did not cut it. So that's my storage.
My media is music, and videos. All of my CD collection is ripped into flac files I also have a large Grateful Dead and live music collection. I have my DVD collection ripped and stored and I have a dual TV tuner, use Media Center to record TV shows, MCEbuddy to remove commercials and shrink the files.
I access the video with Western Digital TV Live Plus boxes on my three TV sets. They allow me to play all my media as well as HULU and Netflix. I can play music too. For music I have a little atom based PC running Win 7 and Foobar. It has SPDIF and I also use USB.
SO with my setup I can watch a movie or TV hsow from all of my TVs and play music with my "music box". I also have this available on all the laptops my iPad and iPhone as well as my wife's androids.
I have built this system over the last few years and it is fairly bullet proof, works well and has a high WAF!