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wazzzzzzzz

Transcoding; do I need it on my NAS?

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Hey guys! I've tried to read as many of the other posts here and figure out the answer myself, but I'm a little lost unfortunately.

I would like to buy a 4 bay NAS and 4 x WD red 4tb drives, configured in raid 5, to store photos, videos and music.

I have a plasma tv with hdmi in (but does not do DLNA), a desktop computer, an old media centre PC running XBMC (with a small SSD drive), an xbox360 gathering dust, a Sonos bridge & speakers, an ipad and an iphone. I travel for work and occasionally get to stay in hotels with decent internet connectivity ;) I invariably have a mix of files including flac, mkv, etc.

The NAS would sit next to the TV and I'd like to have it on 24x7, so I'd prefer something quiet.

I primarily want to use it as storage which I'd access from my PC, my Sonos system and to serve 1080p videos to the TV... and it's the later piece I'm not sure about.

I think I've three options (please correct me if I'm wrong)

1) purchase a NAS and play videos through XBMC on my media PC. Examples would be Synology DS414, or something a little slower but quieter would be the DS414j (is it fast enough?)

2) purchase a NAS with an HDMI out e.g. 4gb QNAP TS-451 (which is more expensive, seems to have less apps than a Synology model but is significantly faster). This would mean I could retire my media PC

3) purchase a NAS and somehow use the xbox360? (I've heard transcoding is not ideal and the xbox360 can only handle 480p? so was discounting this option)

I also will explore other uses once I get the NAS e.g. downloading TV shows, etc. (I've heard mention of Transmission and nzbdrone but not sure of what they are yet).

What are your thoughts and thanks in advance for the advice!

Cheers,

Warren

Edited by wazzzzzzzz

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On the NAS side, I'd probably build a solution around individual components, but honestly also sticking that NAS somewhere out of sight. Do you have any closets nearby that the NAS could sit in?

Case in point... I have a DS1512 that lived at my old house, which we sold and got an apartment while we looked to purchase another home. The original 3.5" WD Greens inside of it in RAID6 drove me nuts hearing them crunch all the time during activity. I ended up migrating my data to two 2.5" notebook drives that I placed in the Synology to get rid of just the HDD noise. The area the NAS was positioned under this one desk perfectly amplified the noise. Right now that same echo-chamber doesnt have HDD noise, but you still here a bit of fan noise.

In a living room near a HTPC environment, I'd really only stick with passive cooled devices. Get that NAS into an area where you dont need to even worry or think about noise coming into play.

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Thanks for the advice... I don't have a cupboard but might have to invest in one! Problem is I have cable, so naturally the router is next to the TV. I might try and find a shop in London that has one operating so I can check out how noisy it is.

Is the main noise from the NAS or the HDDs in the NAS? I was thinking of 4x WD Reds... will have to also look into how noisy they are.

Cheers.

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FWIW, the latest Synology and ASUStor NAS units seem to do transcoding decently well, at least for the nicer units. Unfortunately I don't have any hands-on experience with them so I can't say for sure.

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