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 Post subject: NAS advice for a newbie
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:39 am
Posts: 26
Location: Buckhorn, ON, CA
Hi all, you guys are very helpful so perhaps you'll indulge me one more time?

Old guy here looking to move all my music CD's and DVD/ Blu Ray movies from the physical disc to some kind of digital storage so I can play them on my TV via wifi. The laptop SSD hard drive got full pretty quick when I burned about 20 regular DVD's onto it using HANDBRAKE so that's why i'm looking for an alternate solution. I have about 300 movies in regular DVD and blu ray with the odd 4K movie mixed in. These are all legit copies i bought from stores...no downloaded and burned copies.

So, i've discovered these NAS things (late to the game i know but i'm old!) and they seem to be able to hold lots of TB's worth of data and actually make duplicate back-ups of the data at the same time which seems great to me. Correct me if i'm wrong here but my understanding is if I buy a NAS, i then also have to buy some storage units to go in the bays of the NAS. So ok, i buy a NAS and put some storage units (WD Reds?) inside them.

How do I then transfer my music (currently on the laptop) and blu ray DVD's (unburned, still on 300 physical discs) to the NAS? I know I need to buy a blu ray external drive since my laptop doesn't have one (suggestions on brand would be appreciated) but after i've done that, what do i do?

I'm unclear how the files go from the blu ray external drive to the NAS (do i plug the NAS into the laptop or is it wireless and if it's wireless how do i get my laptop to find the NAS?) I have a wireless router for my internet connection and plugging cables into these devices won't really work because the router and TV are in different rooms. I suppose I could plug the NAS into the router as long as the NAS could then use WIFI to hook up to my TV about 50 feet away down the hall.

If anyone has a NAS and uses WIFI to connect everything i'd appreciate some advice/tips on how this works. Eventually i'd like it to be all hooked up to some KEF LS50 wireless speakers but that's another story.

I never had this problem back in the day playing Joust on my Atari 2600!

Cheers!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 4:58 pm
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Location: Montreal, QC, CA
Hi Captain

First off, you'll need to determine how much disk space you plan to use. As you realized, your laptop filled up pretty quickly after transferring a few DVDs. Plan for the future. Secondly, disk failures do happen, so you also need some kind of protection, such as a back-up plan. NAS come in different sizes, the most basic being a 2 drive unit. This will only offer disk mirroring (RAID level 0), so you may require 2 huge drives of the same size to hold all your data and one will be a copy of the other. This can have its shortcomings if a drive gets corrupt and you end up with a copy of a corrupt drive as your back-up. A four disk unit allows for RAID level 5 to be implemented, which offers a higher level of protection. Basically this allows for redundancy, as your data is split amongst all the drives used in the array, while one drive is used to keep track of where the data resides. In this scenario, if one drive fails, you only need to replace it with another similar drive and the data is automatically reconstituted on that new drive.

Your NAS will attached to your router via an ethernet cable which will then allow its content to be accessible and shared over your network. From your laptop, this will be accessible by adding a network drive. Once that is done accessing and moving your data is done with a click of a button, or drag and drop. Your NAS will not only act as a storage unit but also as a server. The NAS is a computer with an O/S and apps. The most common ones are made by either Synology or QNAP. Both offer a multitude of apps, or you can download and install your preferred apps to manage and serve movies and music.

There is a bit of a learning curve to adapt to, but once you've gone through that process, you'll start reaping the benefits and I'm sure you'll be very happy with the results. I know I am and I'm not looking back.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:10 pm 
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Location: victoria, BC, CA
How do you play your ripped DVDs/CDs on your TV? Is your laptop connected via HDMI to your TV as an external display?

A NAS is only worthwhile if you need to get the data to multiple devices on your network. If you only need access to your music & DVD files onto your laptop then I would be tempted to just buy a large capacity external USB hard drive. This will be the simplest and cheapest option by far.

However, if you plan on having multiple devices that need to access to the same data then sure, a NAS is a convenient option. Alternatively, any data that's on your laptop can be shared through your network to other devices (in essence just like a NAS but your laptop will have to be powered on to access the data). So a USB external HDD connected to your laptop would work in the same way, it just has to be powered on when you need access to your files.

Whatever you decide follow gandalph's advice above and make sure you backup your data to an external drive. No version of RAID is a suitable backup solution, and is not intended as such.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:52 pm 
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Location: Buckhorn, ON, CA
bg74vic wrote:
How do you play your ripped DVDs/CDs on your TV? Is your laptop connected via HDMI to your TV as an external display?

A NAS is only worthwhile if you need to get the data to multiple devices on your network. If you only need access to your music & DVD files onto your laptop then I would be tempted to just buy a large capacity external USB hard drive. This will be the simplest and cheapest option by far.

However, if you plan on having multiple devices that need to access to the same data then sure, a NAS is a convenient option. Alternatively, any data that's on your laptop can be shared through your network to other devices (in essence just like a NAS but your laptop will have to be powered on to access the data). So a USB external HDD connected to your laptop would work in the same way, it just has to be powered on when you need access to your files.

Whatever you decide follow gandalph's advice above and make sure you backup your data to an external drive. No version of RAID is a suitable backup solution, and is not intended as such.


I watch the dvd's right now with a dvd player hooked up to the tv directly via hdmi. I'd like to have all the movies burned onto a storage device and then watch them via wifi. I think the NAS will not only connect to my living room tv via wifi but also my upstairs tv wifi too so we could watch the movies upstairs if we wanted without having to get another dvd player.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:15 pm 
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I store all my media on a home built Linux server. I wouldn't recommend a DIY NAS unless you are a keener like me though. ;)

Someone already mentioned using a standalone NAS device like Synology or QNAP. I also have a tired old Synology that just stores photos right now. Newer Synology models offer better speeds and quicker response time on your remote screen. I recommend Synology for its simplicity and ease of use for Newbies. There are many Wizards built in that walk you through every step of setting your NAS up.

At minimum, look for a NAS that will allow you to install Plex Media Server. Synology offers this as an Add-In App. Most smart TVs have Plex media player apps that will play back content from Plex Servers (on your NAS). Or simply buy a ROKU media player for an easy integration into your media system. I used to try playing back content on Home Theatre PCs but got tired of endless settings and tweaking of the software. ROKU is dead simple and works fantastic.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:39 pm
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Once you plug your NAS into your router then any DNLA enabled devices (like a smart TV or Roku) will be able to see it, as will your computer. You can also use a DNLA enabled Blu-Ray player to access the network. I mainly use my Oppo BD105 to do access the NAS.

Your TV, computer, etc do not connect to the NAS directly either wirelessly or wired. They connect to your network. Since the NAS is on the network, they can all see and access the NAS. One benefit of having a NAS is I can keep it out of sight. Once the NAS is plugged into your router, the TV being in a different room will not be an issue (I'm assuming your TV can do wireless and is a "smart" TV).

I have a Synology DS418 NAS as my media server, both video and audio & find it to be user friendly. Once it's set up, there's a step by step tutorial so that you can map the NAS so that
your computer will be able to see the NAS via the explorer window. Essentially it will be like an external hard drive and you'll be able to transfer files, etc onto the NAS just like normal.

My Samsung smart tv and laptop are not wired and there are no issues with wireless viewing. Your place might be different of course but it should be fine unless you already have signal issues within the house.

You can do quite a bit with the Synology NAS' but I have mine set up pretty simple.

Some other considerations...

Capacity - You're going to have to do some thinking on how much space you'll need. Not sure how big of a file you're getting with your Handbrake rips but it will soon add up and you really need some extra space for growth if you intend on ripping more movies. In my experience, any number you come up with will be too low and you'll be buying bigger drives sooner than you planned :D

I use WD Red Pro's. There are two Red models, the regular Red and the Pro Red. Used to be only one RED but I guess they felt it wasn't confusing enough.

Backup - You're going to need back up. So whatever number you got in the process above, double it because you need the same amount to back up your drive (some will say you should have two copies but since you have the original discs still you can get away with only one as long as you don't mind having to rip everything again). The Synology NAS has back up software built in. So you could attached drives via USB to the NAS and back up directly to them. For back ups you don't need Red drives so that helps with money. I'd just get an enclosure with multiple bays and throw any decent WD drive in there.

RAID - this will come up for sure. Personally, I do not think a RAID configuration is necessary in a home set up as long as you have proper backups. However, there are some benefits should a drive fail. First, you won't have to re-rip all those discs. Second, the rebuild will be faster than if you are restoring from back up. If you're going to consider RAID configurations then you have to look at NAS's with more than two bays. You could do it with a 2-bay NAS but it limits your expansion and capacity options to a certain degree. But it does depend on how much storage space you need. If you only need say 8TB then you can do it in a 2-bay NAS quite easily. But if you are going 8, 10tb+ you'll need a bigger NAS. Also, no matter what anyone else tells you, a RAID configuration is not a replacement for proper back ups.


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