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NAS for file server - Laptop for Media Server?

Posted on 2013-06-01
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Last Modified: 2013-06-02
Hi,

Researching a NAS purchase and discovered they are not transcoders and as such would make poor media servers for a library with a wide assortment of formats.

My question then is can I set up an "old" laptop as a dedicated media server using the NAS as the source of the content?

Currently my desktop has 4 TB and I run Samsung AllShare to stream to my Samsung TV. The desktop is also hosting 4 IP cameras using Blue Iris. I'd like to get all that off the desktop and play more video formats than AllShare can handle. I'd also like to gain some of the features of NAS boxes such as remote access, personal cloud, web server, torrent DL, etc.

The "old" laptop is an i5 4 GB W7 32bit that I could update to 64 bit...

Thanks,

swjtx99
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Question by:swjtx99
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 39213751
Not sure if you're wanting a solution for the above, or advise on transcoding. The new QNAP models DO transcoding, so would work for both ?
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Author Comment

by:swjtx99
ID: 39213809
Hi Woolnoir,

According to the Plex FAQ, for a NAS to transcode it would require an X86 processor and the only 2 bay NAS I see from QNAP is the TS-269L which is an Atom processor. Other sites say an Atom processor is barely adequate. Hate to pay $450 for a barely adequate solution.

That's why I was thinking of going with a Synology DS213 or QNAP TS-219p II and let something else (my laptop) do the media server job including transcoding. It could get the content from the NAS and do the transcoding part.

Am I way off here?

Thanks,

swjtx99
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 39213814
The ATOMS will JUST transcode 720p 'JUST'
You could build your own using consumer grade bits and pieces, and use FREENAS - there are a large amount of articles around doing just that.

You're on the right tracks for sure. im just a fan using the least number of devices as possible. DO you have a budget ? or do you want to reuse your laptop ?
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Author Comment

by:swjtx99
ID: 39213851
Hi Woolnoir,

Well, it just seemed the best all around solution to use the i5 laptop for transcoding if it can get the content from the NAS. The NAS would have all the other features and I could back up my data off the NAS instead of off my desktop. I can't use the laptop as a NAS as the HD is too small.

I could build my own but for the price, the apps and functionality of the Synology or QNAP seem pretty appealing. Only problem is the cheap ones won't transcode.

So would it be a functional solution to use the laptop as a media server and transcoder, getting the content (actual video files) from the NAS? Seems like it the NAS could be mapped like any other drive but I don't know. That's the question.

Thanks,

swjtx99
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Accepted Solution

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woolnoir earned 1500 total points
ID: 39213852
Yes your solution would work yeah, the NAS would work like any other drive. Could be mapped as SMB or iSCSI (so it's seen as a local drive even)
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Author Closing Comment

by:swjtx99
ID: 39214308
Thanks,
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