Network Area Storage/External Drives for Movie/TV collection.

Discussion in 'Geek Emporium' started by Daxi, Oct 28, 2018.

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  1. Daxi

    Daxi Fearless Leader

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    I have two 8TB external drives, they're slowly starting to fill out and I'm down to ~1TB of space. I've ripped a significant portion of my physical Movie & TV collection. I also have a large iTunes collection of ~3 TB that I back up by putting on each of the 8TB drives.

    It's nice to have access to hundreds of shows and movies in a small portable device I can hook up to my computer and laptop.

    Would moving up to a planned Network be my next step? Should I pick up another (maybe higher capacity) external drive instead?

    I'm looking at network storage because it consolidates. 2 drives already feels like a bit much. There are only so many USB connections to use when keyboard and mouse are USB, phone cable is USB, headphones is USB. It can also be a bit of a pain to plug and unplug as needed because my desktop computer is up against a wall and desk.

    Reason I'm looking into it now is we have Black Friday/Cyber Monday coming up in November and then Boxing Day in December. It's an opportunity to get stuff on sale.
     
  2. SniperHF

    SniperHF Premium Administrator

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    Some routers can accept external storage attached via USB so that might be another option to somewhat consolidate your current externals.

    I have a Buffalo NAS, it's quite handy. Don't have much experience with other brands. Interface is kinda pokey but once set up it runs pretty well. Timers for shutdown/startup based on time and day so it's not sitting there banging away all the time.

    Actually come to think of it, the Buffalo NAS will also accept an external USB storage to further help consolidate.

    Outright replacing 2x8TB drives + more space via a NAS will not be inexpensive. So I think keeping the current USBs and adding a NAS on top of it is probably the better way to go.

    I'd think you'd probably need a 4 disk NAS minimum, even if you only use 2 to start. Also need to think about if you want RAID or not.
     
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  3. Daxi

    Daxi Fearless Leader

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    Yeah it will be expensive for sure. I'll keep the external drives even if I go with network storage. The drives will provide portability with the laptop when I'm not at home. I was thinking ideally I could put everything into the new network storage drives and then cycle stuff on and off one of the portable drives while using the second to backup stuff (the iTunes downloads, some physical media where I can't seem to find the discs for aynmore).

    Would you recommend getting a bay with nothing in it and then buying the hard drives?
     
  4. Osprey

    Osprey Registered User

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    Why don't you buy a NAS device that's empty (or with a cheap, low capacity drive) and then put your current 8TB drives into it to see how you like it? If you do like it, you could expand the capacity by adding another drive (assuming that you got a NAS with room for 3 or more drives).

    BTW, there are also USB-attached devices that can take up to 5 drives, like this. That could be an option if it can connect to your router or a computer that you always have on.

    Also, I can't imagine lugging heavy, 3.5" drives, plus their enclosures and power supplies, around with me while away from home. I greatly prefer 2.5" portable versions like this, since they're small and USB powered. They don't give you quite as much space per drive, but they're so much more portable. I'd much rather travel with two of them than one 3.5" drive.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  5. Daxi

    Daxi Fearless Leader

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    I guess yeah. I've never really used the smaller portable version hard drives. I don't have a reason why.

    Would setting up the network storage not try to wipe the 8TB external drives after I've extracted them from their casing? Or is it as simple as inserting them and all the stuff on there will be accessible?

    What I'm trying to achieve: something to watch the movies/tv shows off of from various computers/devices. So reliable and can play a movie while transferring a file or something. Would doing 2 8TBs then 2 drives of a different size be a bad idea? The online answers I'm seeing say it's doable but it would be preferable to do uniform hard drive size.
     
  6. SniperHF

    SniperHF Premium Administrator

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    On my NAS they would require formatting. Mine only allows XFS drives internally. I think this is true of most lower/mid level devices.
    This Synology is the same:
    Products | Synology Inc.

    See "internal drives"

    I assume it will vary model to model. Probably would require a higher end model to use an NTFS drive internally. Most of the ones I've encountered use an embedded Linux or BSD so they likely will all use XFS/EXT/JFS or something along those lines.

    There are NAS you can get that are basically small Windows servers, but if you're gonna do that I'd just build a small box myself.
     
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  7. Daxi

    Daxi Fearless Leader

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    Alright well last night I bookmarked a few NAS 4 bay systems.

    One from Buffalo, one from Synology and one from QNAP. I also bookmarked some 8-10tb drives with NAS in their description. Now I'll wait to see if anything goes on sale.
     
  8. Zodiac

    Zodiac Registered User

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    i picked up a Western Digital MyCloud Mirror NAS a few years ago to store my movie collection. it has two 2tb hdds that i run in RAID 1 mirror mode. it has various apps that you can install on it, with PLEX being one of them ...which is great for the movie collection.

    it streams the movies without any problems, but one thing that caught me off guard in the beginning was that the movies had to be in .mp4 format to stream. at the time, i was used to converting DVDs into xvid/divx ...but it wouldn't stream that format because the NAS wasn't powerful enough to transcode and stream those formats on the fly. at the time, i discovered that most of the NAS setups weren't able to do that ...with the exception of a few really expensive ones.

    so after converting all my movies to .mp4, streaming works perfect with PLEX. just something to keep in mind ...be aware of the format of your movies ...mp4 should be fine ...the other formats, be aware.
     
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  9. Daxi

    Daxi Fearless Leader

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    Yeah I'm kind of hoping for something a little more free where I can stream ISOs (for the Bluray/DVD menus) and MKVs.

    I'm slowly reading up on them and think Synology DS418play NAS Disk Station, 4-bay, 2GB DDR3L might be the one I'll go with. From the reviews it's not powerful but good enough for 1 user playing 1080p

    So I'll wait a few months, check out the Amazon, Newegg and other places to see if it goes on sale before 2019.
     
  10. mouser

    mouser Business of Hockey

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    I've done a lot of research on different NAS solutions. My current 4-bay HP NAS has been getting long in the tooth, so at some point I'll be replacing it.

    Have pretty much locked down on buying one of the Synology 4-bay models. The OS and apps they have available are very appealing. In general you don't need too much CPU horsepower on the NAS systems unless you're transcoding video, or running some other CPU intensive app on the NAS.

    Synology upgrades most of their model lines every 1-2 years, so there may be a window to get a discount on an older model if you follow their release cycle.
     
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  11. IslesNbeer

    IslesNbeer Registered User

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    I was doing it with USB enclosures for a while, then a nas and quickly out grew that. Now I've built a 60TB server and use drivebender to pool the drives. I built a pretty beefy server as it runs 3 vms as well as network storage. If you are only using it as network storage you dont need a overly powerful PC and gives you more flexibility in the future if you decide you want it do more
     
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  12. Daxi

    Daxi Fearless Leader

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    Nice, I'm not really there yet. I'll probably be moving homes in a few years after I finish up some professional qualifications building a server sounds like a long term plan for me so something compact, smaller and cheaper like the prebuilt brand NASes seem best to me. I'll also need the next ~12 months to pay off my student loans completely.

    Maybe a few years down the road where I'm more settled and in a slightly higher paying job I'll try to build a crazy set up including a full server.

    Ultimately right now I'm just looking for a bit more space (my collection shouldn't expand too much further from where it is now). I'd like to be able to play stuff off it like mounting an ISO directly from the NAS instead of transferring an ISO on to the computer and then playing it.

    And @mouser I checked out the release schedule, looks like they announced new Synology models in the summer for some time in 2019 (hopefully early?). I guess I'll check for any big sales on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day in particular and if nothing big is announced I'll continue to wait for the new models. I'm going back and forth between the DS418play and the more expensive but newer DS918+.
     

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