Home Media Server

Edmond Hawila
Edmond Hawila used Ask the Experts™
Hi Everyone, I've been bustin my head for a couple of months for this and I just decided to take some advise :)
Looking for a Home Media Server.

1. LAN Connection (duh!) (Preferably Gigabit)
2. Web Interface - Ability to Connect Remotely!
3. HDMI 1080p Quality
4. USB (Preferably also able to be used as a Print Server)
5. SATA HDD 1T or more..
6. Torrent Client.
7. Remote Control.
8. Play ALL F***ing formats. Audio, Video, Images, Subtitles.

1. Silent!
2. Sexy Looking!
3. Ability to Connect and Record Satellite/TV.
4. Flexibility!! I would love it if it could be a DIY Box.. Linux-Based or something..(Too much I know..)

Just a couple of links to see what i've been looking at:
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I suppose the answer would have to depend on quite how DIY you wanted it to be?

For starters, there is a linux distribution called Mythbuntu (http://www.mythbuntu.org) that would provide most if not all of your software requirements.

From that starting point, you could buy all the parts you have listed in your requirement, and build it all together.  I would suggest that you check with that the Mythbuntu distribution supports any hardware you buy before you buy it.

Not knowing your level of ability with computers, it is quite difficult to answer, but there is nothing terrifically difficult to achieve within your list of requirements.  And it could be a long term project, where you get the basics working relatively quickly, i.e. a pvr that can record and play satellite, and then add on your other requirements bit by bit.
Hi XoRd,

I have been down the track you are going.   I too wanted a "box" that I could plug in and it would work with all my media.  I even bought one and then sent it back.  I found that many would not play the DVD structure and as you put it above in 8 they would not play all formats.

If you just want a solution then keep trying with a all-in-one device like you have been and accept some compromises along the way.

My suggested solution and the one that I am about to embark on is to build my own PC.

To get a feel for what I need I am using this thread here.  There are a number of suggestions here from quality, price and form factor.  To get "sexy" just get a sexy case.  There are some cool brushed metal cases these days that look great on the rack.


1. LAN Connection (duh!) (Preferably Gigabit)   ****this will be in your new PC
2. Web Interface - Ability to Connect Remotely!  *******I use Remotely Anywhere or VNC - provides a web interface
3. HDMI 1080p Quality      ************in the updated builds this is all there.  In the High End stuff you will also get HD sound as well
4. USB (Preferably also able to be used as a Print Server)     *******a given
5. SATA HDD 1T or more..    *****you can add as many as you like -  this thread also shows you how to build a dedicated box
6. Torrent Client.   ********Vuze with the WebGUI addon.  Then you can add/remove/ change the speed of your VUZE
7. Remote Control.    *******You can get them with the PC
8. Play ALL F***ing formats. Audio, Video, Images, Subtitles.    *****A PC will not be limited like a pre-bought box.  You can add your own codecs.

Edmond HawilaChief Operating Officer


So basically you are suggesting a Windows Media Center..

I haven't seen any here in the Cyprus Market in the past year and though they were abandoned or something...

I'll have to check that out... Thanx!

I changed my mind for the DIY thing.. it just seems too much hassle... :(

Any other Suggestions..?? That Verbatim I linked there is very attractive but I need some reviews...
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I used a DSM320 - but the two deal breakers were no dvd structure and it would not play all my files (codec problem).  I see it is discontinued.

I then battled through Media Centre - the AVS forum - ffdshow - CoreAVC codec - and the best little addon Media Browser.

I just looked at Dlink and saw this http://medialounge.dlink.com/home.aspx

I am pretty sure that the direction they are going is always dependant on Media Centre but I must admit that Media Centre is a great idea - BUT in Vista it is unbelievable that anyone could sell such crap.  I am really really hopeing that W7 has sorted out the problems.
i windows pc will always allow codec updates and you can get hd recording over component but you will be talking £1000 or more I am on my 3rd htpc so I know what I'm talking about
htpc= home theatre pc
Edmond HawilaChief Operating Officer


There seems to be no easy way out of this.. :p
It seems I need to compromise with the Windows Media Center...

Thank you all guys!!
Edmond HawilaChief Operating Officer


Thank you.

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