ransom UltraDork
3/12/13 1:38 p.m.

As I sit here listening to my 85%+ full Seagate Free Agent make nasty seeking noises, I contemplate my next storage solution.

The USB external drive works okay for me, but PS3 Media Server on this Kubuntu installation is... okay, but not too polished. I mean, I'm glad it exists, a lot. But it's not perfect, and it seems like there ought to be a better way.

Also, I never seem to have Samba working correctly enough for long enough for my girlfriend to regard the drive as available storage.

What I would like, ideally, is a couple of TB of storage, accessible from all the computers in the house, and capable of streaming video to the PS3 via DLNA over ethernet, compatible with a full variety of video formats (I don't know what all codecs get used in mkv files; I'm annoyed enough at having had to learn enough to state that).

I half suspect this'll be expensive enough that I'll just get another USB external drive, but it'd be awfully nice to have a better solution...

GameboyRMH UltimaDork
3/12/13 1:40 p.m.

A NAS could do the job, or you could set up a Linux box with Samba and a DLNA server which is what I've always done. Samba is tough to set up but it's become a lot less troublesome over the last few years.

...which is basically what your PS3 Media Server setup is, BTW. So +1 for adding storage to your current setup. It may not be perfect but it's a lot easier to improve than a NAS. With a NAS box you're generally stuck with whatever problems you run into.

ransom UltraDork
3/12/13 1:52 p.m.

That's nice. I guess I get more out of my computer. I hate to think it, but I'm wondering whether I need to start thinking about upgrading the hardware... So far, I haven't been able to get the buffering issues out of my 720p WRC coverage this seasson, though I've been able to stream other 720p stuff.

I hate having to get into transcoding stuff manually. PS3 Media Server is really pretty good about transcoding stuff on the fly and automatically, but there are times where I think I need to know a lot more than I do to get the occasional rocky parts smoothed out. Unfortunately, I'm just not that interested in the nuts and bolts of digital A/V...

Of course, apart from having a dual-core, 64-bit AMD processor and 4GB RAM, this desktop's been chugging along with the same stuff so long I don't even remember what the specs are...

Anyhow, thanks for confirming that the simplest and cheapest solution may also be the best way to go. Gotta like that...

pres589 SuperDork
3/12/13 1:53 p.m.

This is what I've got at home;


An inexpensive NAS with a non-horrible web interface for management. It supports all sorts of streaming such as Apple's Bonjour and similar so I'm fairly certain your PS3 would be supported as well. I've got a pair of 2TB drives installed, I think they're Samsung jobs I picked for lower heat and power usage because I don't care about insane speeds for this use. Their mirrored drives and I have error reporting turned on so if it starts having issues or I hear clicking, I have a good shot at rebuilding the array. Using a Gigabit wireless bridge I have these files available for streaming to other corners of the house, and my desktop PC that is connected via cable moves data in the 30 to 40 megabytes per second range.

mkv is a file container type and does not determine what codecs are used. Separate issue. If I were trying to target a specific device for playback, I would choose that preset in Handbrake, which is what I use for such things. I know this stuff gets discussed on the web a lot so there should be some good info out there somewhere. I use VLC for all playback so I can't help there.

PHeller UltraDork
3/12/13 3:12 p.m.

I don't know anything about this but I'll ask this question:

Don't some routers allow you to hook up a USB Storage device and access that?

ransom UltraDork
3/12/13 3:33 p.m.

In reply to PHeller:

Honestly, I don't know... Either the router or the device itself would have to provide a means of accessing what was on the device; that is either the device would itself have to be a simple computer (like a NAS), or the router would have to have enough computer in it to use a simple external hard drive...

If it was the former, it would essentially be another means of doing something like what pres589 has, just connected via USB rather than Ethernet.

dj06482 Dork
3/12/13 3:38 p.m.

I've run a D-Link D-323 for a few years now with no complaints. I shopped deals on Amazon for the chassis, and for the drives (I think they're Samsungs). Fatwallet is a great place if you're shopping HDs, many users will jump in with pros/cons for each model so you know what you're getting into.

GameboyRMH UltimaDork
3/13/13 8:25 a.m.
PHeller wrote: I don't know anything about this but I'll ask this question: Don't some routers allow you to hook up a USB Storage device and access that?

Yes many higher-end models do, you can then access the storage with DLNA and/or Samba/CIFS(Windows file sharing).

Tom_Spangler Dork
3/13/13 8:41 a.m.

I've been using this for a couple of years: http://www.amazon.com/Personal-Cloud-Storage-Share-Photos/dp/B0047FL85U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1363181880&sr=8-2&keywords=wd+mybook+live

I have to say, I'm puzzled by the bad reviews. I don't use mine as a backup device, I use it as a remote hard drive where I keep all my data, then just access it from all the computers in the house. It streams DLNA perfectly to my WD TV Live boxes (go figure). No complaints whatsoever from me.

slefain SuperDork
3/13/13 8:41 a.m.

Get a NAS, you'll love it. I've got a little HP Media Vault on my network:

Currently rocking 1.5TB of storage. It rocks. Anything that takes up space on our laptop or HTPC just gets parked on the NAS. We stream HD movies from it, music, and I keep all my video game backups on it. Heck, I even created a TimeMachine partition on it and backup my Macs to it.

ransom UltraDork
3/13/13 9:34 a.m.

For the folks who have a NAS setup with DLNA, what are you streaming to? We're using a PS3 as a renderer, and I believe it's not the most universal thing in the world.

The streaming software I use, PS3 Media Server, transcodes a broad variety of formats to mp4 on its way to the PS3 (I think).

I'm thinking if there isn't a flexible and readily updated transcoding facility on the NAS, it isn't going to work reliably...

fastEddie SuperDork
3/13/13 11:29 a.m.

I've got this guy with (2) 1TB drives currently.


I like it and it streams decently (1080p can stutter depending on the file format type) over Gigabit LAN to my Win7 HTPC running Media Center, Media Center with Media Browser, VLC, and/or ArcSoft TMT6.

ransom UltraDork
3/13/13 12:21 p.m.

Hrm... I'm thinking that a NAS might be a good way to go at some point, but that point will have to be when I'm ready/willing/able to use a more capable media device than the PS3 as the renderer.

But then I'm adding two more computers, however basic (NAS unit and media player) into the house to get similar functionality (with the addition of RAID and hopefully better video reliability).

I've just ordered a new external USB drive for now. It mostly works, and after changing some bandwidth settings on PS3MS last night I got sooo close to being able to watch my HD WRC stuff... (720p and not 1080, but the same is true of our TV)

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