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Old 21-10-2013, 03:08   #16
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Re: Media Server

KISS is always a good policy. A couple of spare 2Tb drives (you can even get these USB powered) and keep them in a different location.

A RAID hard drive is not a fantastic backup. On a boat there is always the risk of water ingress (say an undiscovered leaking deck fitting), physical damage or lightning taking out both drives.

A back up hard drive, disconnected and stored in a different location on the boat is a more secure option, even better keep another backup at home.

With music and film it is not as critical to necessarily have a current up to date back up. An older backup is generally fine. The loss of a few movies is not a disaster, but you need to make sure there is no chance of loosing the lot.
RAID drives are a much greater advantage with business, or even personal information where loss of a single days data can be critical.
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Old 21-10-2013, 03:58   #17
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Re: Media Server

After our NAS array failed for the second time (the backup drives didn't fail, but the electronics that allowed us to open the drives!), we gave up on keeping our huge collections of music and video's. Now, we have kept our music ('cause we do listen to them multiple times). Video's I store on a smaller usb drive. When we find a good free internet connection (there are lots of them in the Med), we download several seasons of our current TV series, or movies etc from torrent sites.

For a server, we use a $35 Raspberry Pi computer (cheap, and I carry a couple spare), plug the usb drive into that, HDMI lead into our LED screen. Run XBMC (free media server, great for movies, okay for music) which is a turnkey media server.

Cheap media server, replaceable, and not trying to store multi terabytes of data, has worked for us for the past year or so.

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Old 21-10-2013, 04:03   #18
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Re: Media Server

I'm going to recommend something more radical and high tech... a Drobo mini <http://www.drobo.com/products/professionals/drobo-mini/>

This little device can grow with your collection and provide a lot of storage for movies, music and photos. I would even recommend storing reading material and back-up digital maps and anything else of value during your time at sea.

I have a Drobo that holds 5 3.5" drives of any size... let me repeat that... ANY SIZE. It don't care what brand or size drives you have and you can mix and match. I currently have 3 Toshiba 2Tb drives and 2 WD 1Tb drives in my Drobo. If I want to upgrade I don't even have to turn it off. I can pull a 1TB drive out and replace it with a 3 Tb drive and it will not lose anything I've ripped from my DVD/BluRay collection.

RAIDs are nice but go beyond RAID... get a Drobo. You won't regret it.
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Old 21-10-2013, 04:32   #19
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Re: Media Server

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Another lesson on life, rather than technical help. Sigh.

To each his own, of course, but far from civilization and with - at last - some free time, a big video library is a great joy, for me. Not that I expect to see all of it, or even 5% of it, heavens no. But when at anchor, the after dinner flick is a treasured ritual on our boat. It's nice to have a wide choice of what to see. Despite a lifetime of loving Kurosawa, for example, I've only managed to see five or six in all these years. Well, today I ripped a dozen more - maybe I'll see a couple more on board next summer. Or maybe I'll just see Ran one more time . In any case, I've got the choice. But good storage is needed to provide the technical means for having this choice
Gee Dockhead, I just don't have this problem. After dinner, my wife and I sit in the cockpit and watch the world on widescreen, HD, Dolby. We open a bottle of wine, and look at the scenery. When it gets dark, we look at the stars. We converse and when we feel frisky we do other things that consenting adults do with great pleasure.

We do, on occasion, play some music, but we have about 100 CD's so they take up the room they take up. Don't have a TV on board.

Just never have gotten bored with watching the world. If none of the above tempts us, we read a book.
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Old 21-10-2013, 05:23   #20
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Re: Media Server

Just a little but important clarification of terminology here.

RAID 0 means NO redundancy. Very fast but if one drive in the group fails you lose everything. Not really what you need

RAID1 is simply a mirror. Ok but not an efficient use of drive space which will be a problem if your collection grows

RAID5 means a collection of three or more drives where one drive contains a parity bit for recovering your data in the event ONE of the drives fails. Better for your needs as it has the redundancy plus more efficient use of space. I.e. Three drives gives you 66% efficiency, four drives gives you 75% efficiency etc

There are some other odd RAID configs but mostly they are combos of the above and not needed for your setup.

Many mid range NAS boxes now include a media server on board. You might be able to get your tv/laptop/set top box to talk directly to the NAS if you choose right. Power use is not too bad if you leave the thing off when you are not using it, and most have startup times of less than a minute these days.

Finally, solid state drives might go some ya to reducing power use but given their smaller size and greater cost you are unlikely to find that an attractive path.

Matt
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Old 21-10-2013, 05:27   #21
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Re: Media Server

Confession. I never watch tv at home but I often watch tv on board. There is something really special about retreating to the cabin after the sun has gone down and watching Master and Commander for the tenth time. Or pirates of the Caribbean 1,2,3 or Kon Tiki or oceans 11...

I think I might need a media server too.

Matt
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Old 21-10-2013, 06:57   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve.garlick View Post
After our NAS array failed for the second time (the backup drives didn't fail, but the electronics that allowed us to open the drives!), we gave up on keeping our huge collections of music and video's. Now, we have kept our music ('cause we do listen to them multiple times). Video's I store on a smaller usb drive. When we find a good free internet connection (there are lots of them in the Med), we download several seasons of our current TV series, or movies etc from torrent sites. For a server, we use a $35 Raspberry Pi computer (cheap, and I carry a couple spare), plug the usb drive into that, HDMI lead into our LED screen. Run XBMC (free media server, great for movies, okay for music) which is a turnkey media server. Cheap media server, replaceable, and not trying to store multi terabytes of data, has worked for us for the past year or so. STeve
This! The raspberry pi and some USB hard drives - cheap, simple, and low power. A real no-brainer.
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Old 21-10-2013, 07:13   #23
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Re: Media Server

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Originally Posted by the_alpine View Post
This! The raspberry pi and some USB hard drives - cheap, simple, and low power. A real no-brainer.
How does the Raspberry pi cope with high resolution playback say 1920x1080?
A lot of people seem to us it for film playback, but its hard to believe it has enough grunt.
How does the Rasperry pi system compare to the android mini PC media boxes?
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Old 21-10-2013, 08:23   #24
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Re: Media Server

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I now just use WD My Passport 2TB USB drives. They are USB powered- no power adaptors. Mobile drives- so designed to be tougher moving around. Fast - USB 3.0. Small - Take up no room what soever. And Cheap.

I just get them in pairs as my media grows. A "main" drive I keep with me. And a "mirror" copy of this I store somewhere else as backup.

Job done.
That is what we do. 2TB USB drives cost $80USD now. That was the price of 1TB drives last year, and that will be the price next year when 3TB drives are common.

Our TV has a USB port, and the drive simply stays attached to it so that everything is available whenever it is on.

NAS and RAID systems are over thinking this. First, they are power pigs and everything is dependent upon the weak point of the single electronics. But more importantly, once out cruising you are not continually adding to your collection to such an extent. Instead, movies etc are added all in one big batch as you "acquire" them or spend somewhere that you have a reasonable free internet connection. It is very easy under these circumstances to simply mirror the new additions onto your backup drive.

The suggestions to stick with optical media are insane. Besides taking up space, optical media never lasts more than a year or so on our boat before they self-destruct. We have had UNOPENED DVD's that were not playable when we finally got around to opening them after a couple of years.

Mark
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Old 21-10-2013, 08:29   #25
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Re: Media Server

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
How does the Raspberry pi cope with high resolution playback say 1920x1080?
A lot of people seem to us it for film playback, but its hard to believe it has enough grunt.
How does the Rasperry pi system compare to the android mini PC media boxes?
I think most people would use their normal computers, wouldn't they?

I use a Sony Z laptop with the docking station containing BD drive and super graphics card (that's my normal boat computer; the docking station is built in to my nav station with hard-wired 24v power supply). I connect that to the monitor and voila.

For my purposes, it is only storage which concerns me, and I suspect that will be the same situation as most people. I also don't really need any kind of media server software; just a simple file server a la ordinary NAS would be fine.

I am grateful for all the excellent information. I am leaning towards a nice big RAID5 box at home and a couple-three redundant 2TB WD Passports on the boat. Four 3tb drives will give me 9 tb of storage which so far is more than enough. I got the point someone made about on-the-fly redundancy of RAID5 not really being needed at home, but RAID5 has another advantage -- efficiency. You get failsafe storage of 9tb out of 12tb of drives; if you use simple RAID1 mirroring you only get 6tb of storage out of 12tb of drives.

The RAID5 box I might just make myself out of an old surplus PC -- all you need is the RAID controller card. Windows XP is fine as an OS for this purpose, as far as I can tell, so I wouldn't even need to buy any kind of OS license or futz around with Linux.
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Old 21-10-2013, 08:36   #26
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Quote:
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How does the Raspberry pi cope with high resolution playback say 1920x1080?
A lot of people seem to us it for film playback, but its hard to believe it has enough grunt.
How does the Rasperry pi system compare to the android mini PC media boxes?
The pi works well.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/vi...hp?f=35&t=9523

Distro available purely for use as a media centre.

http://www.raspbmc.com/about/
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Old 21-10-2013, 08:37   #27
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Re: Media Server

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The pi works well.
Thanks
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Old 21-10-2013, 08:39   #28
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Re: Media Server

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Gee Dockhead, I just don't have this problem. After dinner, my wife and I sit in the cockpit and watch the world on widescreen, HD, Dolby. We open a bottle of wine, and look at the scenery. When it gets dark, we look at the stars. We converse and when we feel frisky we do other things that consenting adults do with great pleasure.

We do, on occasion, play some music, but we have about 100 CD's so they take up the room they take up. Don't have a TV on board.

Just never have gotten bored with watching the world. If none of the above tempts us, we read a book.
More power to you!

As I said, I love the cinema, and other than times when I'm on the boat, have little time for it.

It's very much the same for me with books -- don't read nearly as much as I would like in normal life (hate to say it, but these last few years, participating in CF has eaten up a lot of time I used to spend reading); I keep a ton of books on board and read every chance I get. If I ever participate seriously in a race, the first thing to offload to reduce weight will be all the books!

We don't spend much time in the cockpit in the evenings on my boat at this latitude, except in summer. Other seasons, like right now, I like to sit below after dinner listening to the rain on the hatches, swinging gently at anchor, curled up with a good book or a good movie. That's when I'm not repairing or maintaining or cleaning something, of course
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Old 21-10-2013, 08:50   #29
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I think most people would use their normal computers, wouldn't they?
Probably, but building from scratch the Pi is well worth a look. Low power, tiny footprint and well up to the job. Hide it somewhere.

Looks like a remote is easy to sort as well if you're just a little geeky

http://learn.adafruit.com/using-an-i...-media-center/
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Old 21-10-2013, 08:53   #30
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Gee Dockhead, I just don't have this problem. After dinner, my wife and I sit in the cockpit and watch the world on widescreen, HD, Dolby. We open a bottle of wine, and look at the scenery. When it gets dark, we look at the stars. We converse and when we feel frisky we do other things that consenting adults do with great pleasure.

We do, on occasion, play some music, but we have about 100 CD's so they take up the room they take up. Don't have a TV on board.

Just never have gotten bored with watching the world. If none of the above tempts us, we read a book.
Stuck in pouring rain weather bound for days on end it's nice to have the option of half a season on game of thrones over a few days
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