Dan's NAS/media server stuff

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Ekona
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Dan's NAS/media server stuff

Postby Ekona » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:27 pm

Thought I'd chuck this in here, save butchering any more of the RPi thread.


Something I've been meaning to do for a while, but time and cash haven't allowed, is to do a proper media server for everything I've got. Right now my setup looks like this:

Main PC upstairs has an external 2TB drive attached with all my music on. PC stays on 24/7
PC is wired to Netgear 10/100 switch, which in turn is wired to BT HomeHub
Airport Express is also on the switch, and has an optical connection to my AVR
I use Airplay to stream stuff from the PC to my AVR, using the Remote app on the iOS devices
iMac connects to the music wirelessly via the Home Hub.

This setup works a treat, however it's very limited. It will never play any video files as there's no way to get them to the TV, and as such I've had to re-plan everything. Going forward, this is what I propose to have running:

Main PC will separate from the 2TB drive
I will build a NAS that will remain upstairs
This will utilise UnRAID as the controller
An RPi running Raspbmc (XBMC from here on for brevity) will replace the Airport Express downstairs, and will connect straight to the AVR
XBMC will then take over the Airplay duties as it's built in, and will stream all films & TV series in 1080p with 5.1 sound
PC and iMac will have full access to everything on the NAS


There will be no compromise on the quality of the videos. If it's not as good as putting a BD in a drive, it's a pointless exercise.


So far, test results have been promising. A TestNAS running the same setup has been borrowed and integrated successfully, which proves the theory. I've managed to breathe new life into my old PC (i7 940 w/12GB RAM, somewhat overkill for a NAS box!) by replacing the cheapy PSU with a decent one, or at least it's running Ubuntu with success so far. I've got a couple of 3TB drives which will be installed once I'm happy with the stability of this rig, and UnRAID 5.xRC will be installed. I have to use a RC and not the proper 4.7 release as I'm running 3TB drives, and the older version won't see them which is a shame. That said, I've not checked if my old rig can see them either yet...

Eventually I'll be using my main PC to rip and convert my BDs, DVDs and I may re-rip my CDs too (they're 128 atm, would prefer lossless), then transfer them to the NAS. I'll need to shuffle a few files around as I'll want the full 500GB capacity of my spare internal drive on this to rip stuff to, and at the moment it's full up with other crap. They'll need to sit on the external 2TB drive, and be damned with the slight speed drop. All my good programs are on the SSD anyway.



I'm not entirely convinced the RPi will have enough grunt to pass the full BD rips on, as it's only got a 10/100 port and not gigabit sadly, however if it only buffers a bit at the start I can live with that. If not, then I'll bin it and build a new media box for the living room, and then I'll bin the PS3 as it won't be needed any more.
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Re: Dan's NAS/media server stuff

Postby Sam » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:32 pm

100mbit seems fine for streaming blu-ray quality stuff over LAN, at least using a windows PC anyway

I had a bluray rip of a show which was 19mbit (17.5mbit video, 1.5mbit DTS Audio) and it streamed perfectly with no buffering at all, only when you skip forward far it pauses for a few seconds.
:-)

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Re: Dan's NAS/media server stuff

Postby kingweed » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:18 am

My set up is a 8tb nas system that's up stairs and on all the time, connected through a 1gbit switch.

I built myself a mini media pc for the livingroom.

I got myself a mini itx case (ebay is the best bet as antec etc are very pricey), it's bloody small about the size I'd the Xbox and came with a psu.

I done a good bit of research on the best set up purely for media and found that the best APU to get was an AMD a6 or a8. As there was little difference in the price I got the a8. I was on a budget of £200-250 so I got an asrock board (a few don't have hdmi ports, so watch out) rather than an asus board and threw 8gb of decent ram in there as well. I had a spare 60gb SSD so that got used as well.

I installed win7 but put an xbmc shell over it so it boots into that.

Got xbmc commander for my iPhone/ipad and everything is controlled via that.

I done a bench mark test with a bluray remux that was a 30gb file and the system handled it perfectly. Skip, pause, rewind etc with no delay or buffering.

You can also use air play to stream videos or pictures from your phone or just use the app for YouTube that you get with xbmc.

Another positive thing about the set up although I don't use it, is that iplayer, 4od etc is instant and no a pain to navigate like it is with VM/sky.

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Re: Dan's NAS/media server stuff

Postby kingweed » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:32 am

On my ipad so bit of a pain to do a decent Linky list.

Case £40
Apu £70
Ram £30
cheap SSD - £30
Mobo £65

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Re: Dan's NAS/media server stuff

Postby Ekona » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:23 am

I had a play ripping a BD via MakeMKV last night, took 45mins to do a disc which isn't too bad. I've ended up with a load of files and I have no idea which does what as I don't have a player for them on Win7 yet, so that's the plan of action for tonight.
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Re: Dan's NAS/media server stuff

Postby Tinlad » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:35 am

My one tip for when you're setting it up is to use the NFS protocol to share your media with the RPi, as it has much lower CPU overhead than SMB/CIFS (which matters for something like the Pi!).

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Re: Dan's NAS/media server stuff

Postby Ekona » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:38 am

Someone else has just said that, being an utter noob at stuff like this how do I set stuff up for NFS? Is it all done via the software on the NAS box?
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Re: Dan's NAS/media server stuff

Postby Tinlad » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:33 pm

Should be, yes (I think that's referring to an older version of UnRAID, but it should be similar on the version you're going to use).

IIRC, NFS doesn't use user/pass authentication, rather it just knows which IPs are allowed to connect and what permissions they should have. So if your RPi has the IP 192.168.0.200, and your NAS 192.168.0.100, you should be able to set your NFS exports on your media folder to 192.168.0.200(rw) and point your RPi at nfs://192.168.0.100/mediafolder and it should just work. I think.

I've never used NFS or UnRAID, so this is a case of the blind leading the blind. :lol:

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Re: Dan's NAS/media server stuff

Postby Ekona » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:49 pm

:lol:

I've read that FAQ so many times and I still have fuck all idea of what half of it means! :oops: That seems like a pretty good explanation though, thanks. :)
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Re: Dan's NAS/media server stuff

Postby Ekona » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:09 pm

So today I've done some more towards this.

I've confirmed that the old PC is stable enough so have fitted the 2x 3TB drives to the box, pinching SATA cables from my decent PC 'cos I forgot to order some more like a numpty, and have started installing UnRAID on the NAS following these incredibly handy instructions to the letter. I'm running 5.0-rc9a, so still very much beta software which is either extreme bravery or extreme foolishness, depending on your POV.

At the moment I'm pre-clearing the drives, which I guess isn't strictly necessary on brand-new drives however it's also a good test to make sure they're not fucked before I start. Which would be bad. In 10 mins it's done 2% of the pre-read before the actual clearing starts, so I don't expect this to be done much before Saturday.


I've had to open up a second command window in linux via the alt+F2 command, anyone know how I close or switch windows? And if I close a window, will what is happening stop?
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Re: Dan's NAS/media server stuff

Postby Matius » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:24 pm

Alt + F-key changes shell. Whatever activity you have in the shell at the time will remain whilst you use another shell. Once you're finished with a shell just log out. It's a throwback to when Unix was used on mainframes and allowed multiple active users.

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Re: Dan's NAS/media server stuff

Postby Ekona » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:35 pm

Legend, cheers mate. How do I log out? :oops:
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Re: Dan's NAS/media server stuff

Postby Blak » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:48 am

type:

exit

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Re: Dan's NAS/media server stuff

Postby Ekona » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:14 am

Ah, the blindingly obvious, ta.

Update on the preclear after running overnight: 32%. Better than I though, might be done by the time I get home tonight.
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Re: Dan's NAS/media server stuff

Postby Blak » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:57 pm

It's only obvious if you know the answer ;)


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