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Old 09-08-2011, 21:04   #1
Jonny G
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Advice needed - what tech will I need?

I'm pretty new to the idea of streaming but in my head I think I get the basics.

So I'm putting together a shopping list of a equipment I think I need. But I could really do with the blanks filling in and any flaws in my plans pointing out.

Fancing the look of the Acer 5472 to replace my current aging laptop. An i5 with 6gb RAM and a 500gb drive should suit most day to day surfing needs. We don't really want a desktop and this spec seemed to come at the right kind of price.

I see there's a pretty cheap, 2Tb Buffalo LinkStation at Play which I'm figuring should cope well enough with holding the majority of the media files I'd stream. Never had a NAS before, but assuming that the laptop would connect and transfer wirelessly to transfer everything to it? Also assuming that there's some way of accessing the file management on the NAS to keep everything in its place?

I'm also contemplating an iPad 2 for bedroom/living room use as a portable screen at some point. A wifi only 32gb should be able to cover the apps and music/film that I'd need to transport once out of the house. However in the interim, the ability to stream to iPhone and iPod Touch would be good too.

I've a PS3 and 1080p TV in the living room so just need to be sure that everything would "talk" to that too.

However, I'm unsure what to do about boosting the wifi signal upstairs (we have a Sky router, if that matters) and I would ideally need to replace the WD HDTV media player I have hooked up to the bedroom (older school, so SCART only) TV to make complete use of the NAS drive.

Also, would the router and NAS drive need to have a physical connection?

So am I miles off with my shopping list and a would this set up be close to a working, out of the boxes solution? Or would there be much more to add?

What would be the suggestions/solutions around the upstairs issues I have?

Any help/pointers would be appreciated
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:51   #2
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NAS is definitely the way forward, this would need a wired connection to the router, then the laptop and other devices could see it wirelessly through the router.

If the NAS can do UPNP and DLNA that covers the main streaming standards, keeping things organised can be done through Windows Explorer on the laptop and control of the NAS is through a web browser to it's IP.

PS3 has wireless, so that connected to the TV makes a good streamer, the iPad the same and the laptop too.

To get a boost in wifi upstairs, you have a few options;

1. Move the router so the wireless 'stretches' enough if possible
2. Connect a more powerful (dual antenna, MIMO etc) wireless router or turn of the wireless on the router and connect a wireless access point with better range
3. Cable from the router to somewhere upstairs via CAT-5 and connect an access point on the end of it
4. Using homeplugs (ethernet via power cables) you could do the same as 3
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:28   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just View Post
NAS is definitely the way forward, this would need a wired connection to the router, then the laptop and other devices could see it wirelessly through the router.

If the NAS can do UPNP and DLNA that covers the main streaming standards, keeping things organised can be done through Windows Explorer on the laptop and control of the NAS is through a web browser to it's IP.

PS3 has wireless, so that connected to the TV makes a good streamer, the iPad the same and the laptop too.

To get a boost in wifi upstairs, you have a few options;

1. Move the router so the wireless 'stretches' enough if possible
2. Connect a more powerful (dual antenna, MIMO etc) wireless router or turn of the wireless on the router and connect a wireless access point with better range
3. Cable from the router to somewhere upstairs via CAT-5 and connect an access point on the end of it
4. Using homeplugs (ethernet via power cables) you could do the same as 3
Thanks for the reply.

Not sure I understand the UPNP and DLNA part. What does that mean?

So I would connect to the NAS via an Explorer window using the NAS network address to organise and move files around on the drive?

Would probably have to look into the homeplug solution as we're currently in a pretty under developed property. So very little room and only one telephone socket would mean I suspect this would be the easier solution.

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Old 11-08-2011, 13:51   #4
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You're welcome, probably easiest to google UPNP and DLNA and see what can be done but they are essentially methods/standards for streaming data off data stores.

Yes, you'd open Windows Explorer, type in the IP address and all of your folders etc would be there for access just like your C: drive. Apps for the iPad can be had to stream from a NAS too now, again see DLNA etc.
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Old 11-08-2011, 16:59   #5
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UPNP = Universal Plug'n'Play

Basically all devices that are UPNP can "discover" each other's existance on a network without your having to do anything other than, err, plug them into it!

DLNA = Digital Living Network Alliance

In essence DLNA compliant devices make things like streaming between them easy, it's kinda like UPNP but for getting your media, like music, video etc around

Many devices have UPNP and DLNA now.

Using a NAS is easy, you just plug it in and it acts like file storage that's attached to whatever device you're using so long as you know it's address


These things make building a home network and streaming audio/video around really easy. You can build some very flexible and powerful systems these days quickly and easily.

Last edited by Nebiroth; 11-08-2011 at 17:02.
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Old 20-08-2011, 10:59   #6
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[QUOTE=Jonny G;9472391]Would probably have to look into the homeplug solution as we're currently in a pretty under developed property. So very little room and only one telephone socket would mean I suspect this would be the easier solution.
QUOTE]

I'm a tad confused with homeplugs

Would I have to physically attach the router to plug #1, NAS to #2 and then have the streamer in the bedroom attached to #3? The PS3 downstairs would still "see" everything via the router I assume, but how would the situation upstairs work and also how would this improve wifi connection upstairs?
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Old 20-08-2011, 17:29   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny G View Post
I'm a tad confused with homeplugs

Would I have to physically attach the router to plug #1, NAS to #2 and then have the streamer in the bedroom attached to #3? The PS3 downstairs would still "see" everything via the router I assume, but how would the situation upstairs work and also how would this improve wifi connection upstairs?
Or would I need another router/access point connected to homeplug #3 in the bedroom?

Either way, am I looking at having a wired connection to each plug?
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Old 22-08-2011, 12:50   #8
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[QUOTE=Jonny G;9479306]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny G View Post
Would probably have to look into the homeplug solution as we're currently in a pretty under developed property. So very little room and only one telephone socket would mean I suspect this would be the easier solution.
QUOTE]

I'm a tad confused with homeplugs

Would I have to physically attach the router to plug #1, NAS to #2 and then have the streamer in the bedroom attached to #3? The PS3 downstairs would still "see" everything via the router I assume, but how would the situation upstairs work and also how would this improve wifi connection upstairs?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny G View Post
Or would I need another router/access point connected to homeplug #3 in the bedroom?

Either way, am I looking at having a wired connection to each plug?
I recently done this, but not for streaming or any thing like NAS. It's to get On demand stuff (iplayer etc) via my tv / freesat box / or bluray player

These plugs have different variations ranging from a single LAN connection to XX?? how ever many. The ones I have are 3 LAN connections.

You need a minimum of 2 Home plugs for this to work. First plug goes next to the router, so would need a spare mains point. You would then connect the router to this with a standard LAN cable. The Router would still need to be plugged in to a separate mains point for power. You then plug the second Homeplug into a mains socket where your device is located and you would then connect your device to this second plug with another LAN Cable.

From what I can make of your need, but would need some one more knowledgeable to confirm, this would be sufficient for your needs. The NAS would now be connected to your network and any thing that has wireless should be able to see it.

In my place when I switch on the bluray it can see the laptop, which is wireless.

Depending on location of units / sockets I guess it could look messy with the LAN wires, but I'm lucky in that my current set up the mains points are behind the TV so are essentially out of site.
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Old 22-08-2011, 19:55   #9
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The possible downside to all this is the fact it would be tricky get a homeplug into an actual socket and not an extension chord, so to attach the router. I'd read that extension leads don't give good results??
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