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Old 16-07-2014, 18:59   #1
thetope
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ways to set up a cheap plex/home media server/storage?

I have recently discovered Plex, and love it. I had it running on my 8 year old desktop (a dell inspiron 530, which only has a 300gb hard drive and is horrifically noisy). I also have limited backup storage and wanted a solution to store all my photos, files, music, etc etc.

I was going to add some more storage to the inspiron, then I saw a deal on a 2tb buffalo linkstation NAS and bought that, naively thinking because I'd seen an option on the plex website to install the server software on a NAS it would be a case of stick on the software and bob's your uncle.

so now i find that the linkstation doesn't run plex (well not for a non-programmer like me, anyway)

I had planned to use a chromecast or a nowtv box to "smartify" my non smart toshiba 32 which is currently the only fancy telly we have (plan is to also upgrade a large 4:3 crt in our living room to a smart tv when it dies... but it Just Won't Die) and would use plex to watch the kids' films, our boxsets etc.

But since the linkstation isn't the solution out of the box that i thought it was, I'm now not sure what to do? Is there a cheap, low energy bolt on to the linkstation that will run the plex server? Something like a raspberry pi?

or should I return the linkstation and get something more suited to the job? Or should I upgrade the inspiron, get quiet fans and a new power supply? I used to be quite capable at building pcs and stuff back in the day but haven't done this sort of thing in about a decade and have zero programming capability so need something i can just "install"
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Old 16-07-2014, 21:18   #2
alsemail
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Can you not still use your desktop as the server?

The problem is your cheap(ish) NAS doesn't have the grunt to transcode the video on the fly whereas your PC does. It can be setup to run as the server doing all the hard work in another room, connected to the NAS which all the media is stored and then use a cheap device such as a Roku 3 to use as the client next to your TV to view the media.
Note the Roku won't let you do it straight from the NAS as again it doesn't have the power.
Alternatively you can do a mild overhaul on your PC to make it quieter and still use the NAS for storage and continue on like that.

Last edited by alsemail; 16-07-2014 at 21:22.
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Old 16-07-2014, 22:39   #3
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Maybe look at something like this;

http://forums.thedigitalfix.com/foru...d.php?t=602683
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Old 17-07-2014, 11:51   #4
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As an alternative you could take a look at XBMC which can be installed on a number of OSs or Openlec which turns a PC into a XBMC client (no OS required). To run Plex I think you you need a NAS solution powerful enough to transcode files to a client or have a client powerful enough to play the source media file. With XBMC / Openelec you would need a PC powerful enough to play the source media file. I run my Openelec box (low power AMD CPU but capable of HD graphics) with a connected USB drive.

You can operate Openelec using a RPi.

Last edited by wkc; 17-07-2014 at 12:28.
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Old 17-07-2014, 12:25   #5
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Started looking at a barebones NUC which you can pick up for £90 plus storage and ram (£50 for a 60gb ssd, £30 for 4GB ram, free OS). Problem is the most reasonable one , the intel nuc 2820 , is awaiting stock depletion before they release an updated version with a 2830 processor with various bugs ironed out but the nuc retains the 2820 name so you won't know when this will occur grrrrrr
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Old 17-07-2014, 13:09   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian turner View Post
Started looking at a barebones NUC which you can pick up for £90 plus storage and ram (£50 for a 60gb ssd, £30 for 4GB ram, free OS). Problem is the most reasonable one , the intel nuc 2820 , is awaiting stock depletion before they release an updated version with a 2830 processor with various bugs ironed out but the nuc retains the 2820 name so you won't know when this will occur grrrrrr
alternatively this is on offer at the moment
http://www.ebuyer.com/654664-gigabyt...e-gb-bxbt-2807

should do 1080p
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Old 17-07-2014, 13:17   #7
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Should do 54 C on the vga socket apparently plus issues with finding drivers for the wireless/bluetooth card for linux variants apparently
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/26-hom...bt-2807-a.html
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Old 17-07-2014, 20:17   #8
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thank you all, plenty of food for thought here, I will take a look at all your suggestions and have a ponder
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