Getting rid of a HTPC - Options

Derkster

Well-known Member
Hello,

I currently have a HTPC and I want to scale it down as I its a bit bulky. I am looking at cabinets but due to the length of the case I would need to leave the back off the unit and pull the cabinet from the wall. I have got it like this currently as the cabinet is in the corner and at 45 degrees so I have loads of room but I am looking to move everything so I sit face on with the TV on wall and nbuy some different cabinets. Hope that briefly explains why I am changing but it leaves me with issues.

My HTPC currently has 5 drives

1 my movies ripped 6tb
2 another my movies ripped 6tb
3 my ripped music and photo 6tb
4 back up of 3
5 Small SSD Drive for operating software

Ideally I could do with getting rid of the PC case. Currrently i plug my HTPC straight into my TV and then use the ARC to a soundboard, I want to be able to play my movies and listen to my music in exactly the same way but without the case.

Does anybody have any recommendations or advice on the best way forward?

Thanks in advance

PS - Not sure if this is the right place for this post but it seemed the best.
 

cjed

Well-known Member
Sounds like you really want to move the storage away to another location and just have a mini-HTPC in the cabinet. A lot of us have the storage networked in another (out of the way) location and just a media player or mini-PC near the display (TV) which access the movies/photos via your network. You could even just keep the current HTPC and move it elsewhere, sharing the current storage (rather than setting up a new system for that). I have all my media on a Synology NAS located upstairs in my study and a Intel NUC in a fanless case as an HTPC in my AV setup by the TV.
 

Derkster

Well-known Member
Thank you

I could move it elsewhere in the house but to be honest I would be struggling on where to put it. One thing I don't have in my house is loads of storage space.

The NAS sounds like the best option but I would need to check the depth of one. Also the last time I looked they was quite expensive. However if that's the best way then maybe I should look into it.

The other way I thought of g was buying external drives with a NUC but I was worried about stuttering playback.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
If you're only using it for streaming media, then instead of a small HTPC or NUC then look at a dedicated media streamer.

Smaller and cheaper. Nvidia Shield TV, Vero4K, AppleTV 4K, Zodoo X?, Zappitti. Loads of choices and many of them, such as the Nvidia or Vero4K or will play anything you can throw at them, video wise (unless it's really weird) and audio wise.
 

Ruffuz

Well-known Member
You could look into deskmini, not much bigger than NUC and it fits one(a300 2) m.2 drive and 2 x 2.5"
And then maybe add few portable ones if needed.
 

Derkster

Well-known Member
If you're only using it for streaming media, then instead of a small HTPC or NUC then look at a dedicated media streamer.

Smaller and cheaper. Nvidia Shield TV, Vero4K, AppleTV 4K, Zodoo X?, Zappitti. Loads of choices and many of them, such as the Nvidia or Vero4K or will play anything you can throw at them, video wise (unless it's really weird) and audio wise.
Sounds like a plan but what about the media? Do I still need a NAS?
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
Sounds like a plan but what about the media? Do I still need a NAS?
A NAS or an external drive.

Something like a WD Duo external drive can hold up to 28TB. The only downside is if you want to stream to more than one device and you have to remove it to add new content.
 
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Ruffuz

Well-known Member
Do you think I would suffer would stuttering if I got external hard drives?
I had external drive connected to my Vero 4k+ and it worked without any issues.
Now I stream to it from hdd attached to my router and Vero on wifi, and never a single issue.

You could also use USB drives for backup and music/photos.
 
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Derkster

Well-known Member
So it sounds like I need to get a NAS or similar with an attached media player.

Storage costs then i am looking at:

2 new 16tb external £340
4 bay nas £450 keeping my drives
24tb WD Duo £480

Is that about right? Any cheaper way of doing it do you think?
 

John7

Well-known Member
Some NAS boxes (Like my QNAP 4-bay), have built in video/audio output via onboard HDMI.

Nothing extra required to serve media direct to AV receiver or TV/Projector via the internal HDMI connection.

I have to use an external media player (zidoo x9s) with mine though, as it's an older model and doesn't support 4K UHD/Atmos playback.
 

Derkster

Well-known Member
Thanks John

I think NAS maybe the way to go as I already have the drives but I know nowt about them.

If I buy a 2nd hand one do I need an operating software on there or do I just plug in the drives, connect it to a media psalter and away I go? Or is it not that easy?
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
Or is it not that easy?
It's never that easy.

The first thing the NAS will do, when you insert your drives with all your media on them, is wipe them.

Also, depending upon how you wish to use the drives, such as do you want any form of RAID, you may not see all the space.
 

John7

Well-known Member
No, the OS for the NAS is stored on one of the drives. The OS is downloaded online.

As soon as you put a drive in the NAS, it will format to it's own system so will wipe any data. If you want to use your existing drives, you would need to backup the data to another drive, install that drive in the NAS and copy the data back. You have to do that for each drive.

One way to do it without losing existing data is to buy a cheap USB external drive and copy the contents of one drive to that. Install and format the drive in the NAS and copy the data back. Repeat the process for the other disks. Simple, it 'aint! Time consuming it is!

I don't use raid as it's wasteful of disk space and I have sufficient "spare" drives from previous upgrades to backup all my data (important data has multiple backups).

Just noticed you have backup drive. You could use that temporarily instead of a USB drive. You will lose your backup files but it will enable you to populate the NAS.
 
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Derkster

Well-known Member
It's never that easy.

The first thing the NAS will do, when you insert your drives with all your media on them, is wipe them.

Also, depending upon how you wish to use the drives, such as do you want any form of RAID, you may not see all the space.
LOL.... Nothing ever is when I do something.

Didn't know the NAS wiped them, glad I asked
 

Derkster

Well-known Member
No, the OS for the NAS is stored on one of the drives. The OS is downloaded online.

As soon as you put a drive in the NAS, it will format to it's own system so will wipe any data. If you want to use your existing drives, you would need to backup the data to another drive, install that drive in the NAS and copy the data back. You have to do that for each drive.

One way to do it without losing existing data is to buy a cheap USB external drive and copy the contents of one drive to that. Install and format the drive in the NAS and copy the data back. Repeat the process for the other disks. Simple, it 'aint! Time consuming it is!

I don't use raid as it's wasteful of disk space and I have sufficient "spare" drives from previous upgrades to backup all my data (important data has multiple backups).
Thanks John

I can use the music and photo back up drive for getting started.
 

Ruffuz

Well-known Member
Some NAS boxes (Like my QNAP 4-bay), have built in video/audio output via onboard HDMI.

Nothing extra required to serve media direct to AV receiver or TV/Projector via the internal HDMI connection.

I have to use an external media player (zidoo x9s) with mine though, as it's an older model and doesn't support 4K UHD/Atmos playback.
Did you ever test those?

in the past I had my eyes on Asustor with HDMI built in but never tried, as I thought they'll never get as many updated when it comes to media as dedicated media players.
 

Ruffuz

Well-known Member
Hello,

I currently have a HTPC and I want to scale it down as I its a bit bulky. I am looking at cabinets but due to the length of the case I would need to leave the back off the unit and pull the cabinet from the wall. I have got it like this currently as the cabinet is in the corner and at 45 degrees so I have loads of room but I am looking to move everything so I sit face on with the TV on wall and nbuy some different cabinets. Hope that briefly explains why I am changing but it leaves me with issues.

My HTPC currently has 5 drives

1 my movies ripped 6tb
2 another my movies ripped 6tb
3 my ripped music and photo 6tb
4 back up of 3
5 Small SSD Drive for operating software

Ideally I could do with getting rid of the PC case. Currrently i plug my HTPC straight into my TV and then use the ARC to a soundboard, I want to be able to play my movies and listen to my music in exactly the same way but without the case.

Does anybody have any recommendations or advice on the best way forward?

Thanks in advance

PS - Not sure if this is the right place for this post but it seemed the best.
As a side note, what is your current HTPC case?
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
AVF Mantra.

RAID isn't backup, It's redundancy.
RAID isn't backup, It's redundancy.
RAID isn't backup, It's redundancy.

Repeat 97 more times.

I have an 8-bay NAS with 1000+ movies on it and many complete TV shows. I don't fancy ripping them all again due to a single failed disk, so I use SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) which has a lot of advantages for a media NAS over traditional RAID.

I also have a backup.

RAID isn't backup, It's redundancy.

in the past I had my eyes on Asustor with HDMI built in but never tried, as I thought they'll never get as many updated when it comes to media as dedicated media players.
I remember (IIRC) there was an issue with a QNAP one, where Kodi was removed from their marketplace and wasn't supported for a while.

The other issue I have with a NAS as a media player is that they're quite noisy things, clicking, whirring and fans going. I don't want one near my TV. Mine is in a large ventilated cupboard.

LOL.... Nothing ever is when I do something.

Didn't know the NAS wiped them, glad I asked
Another thing to think about before you take the plunge, if you're not already, is how you're going to connect it all up.

A NAS is a networked device and if you're planning on wifi to handle streaming media, unless it's small files or you have a MESH system installed I;d say that unlikely. You need either everything wired up with ethernet and that to the from the router to the NAS and the streamer or possibly, Homeplugs, which can be hit or miss.

Another thing to consider is what software were you using on your HTPC. If it was Kodi, you're all set for most of the streaming devices as that's what they use.
If it wasn't I'd consider downloading it for your PC and having a play with it as it doesn't matter if you end up using it on a NUC, and Android box or a Linux box. It's the same on all of them bar a few things.
 
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Ruffuz

Well-known Member
AVF Mantra.

RAID isn't backup, It's redundancy.
RAID isn't backup, It's redundancy.
RAID isn't backup, It's redundancy.

Repeat 97 more times.

I have an 8-bay NAS with 1000+ movies on it and many complete TV shows. I don't fancy ripping them all again due to a single failed disk, so I use SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) which has a lot of advantages for a media NAS over traditional RAID.

I also have a backup.

RAID isn't backup, It's redundancy.



I remember (IIRC) there was an issue with a QNAP one, where Kodi was removed from their marketplace and wasn't supported for a while.

The other issue I have with a NAS as a media player is that they're quite noisy things, clicking, whirring and fans going. I don't want one near my TV. Mine is in a large ventilated cupboard.
I use router as a NAS as 1 drive is enough for me. It works great and it serves whole house with data.
And then have another drive for backup that I update manually every few months.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
I wouldn't bother with any form of RAID for a 2-bay, maybe for a 4-bay, definitely for anything larger.


Something to also consider. It was significantly cheaper for me to buy a larger 8-bay NAS and use some smaller drives I had around the house and buy a couple of drives that were best price per GB than it was to buy a 4-bay and buy the largest drives I could get at the time, the largest always being the worst price per GB.

If I had bought the 4-bay, I'd have ran out of space years ago and had to replace it anyway.

It just depends upon your media collection size and how far you see it growing. With 4K, mine is far from done and needs further expansion this year or I need to go on a mass cull and delete a pile of stuff.
 

Derkster

Well-known Member
The other issue I have with a NAS as a media player is that they're quite noisy things, clicking, whirring and fans going. I don't want one near my TV. Mine is in a large ventilated cupboard.



Another thing to think about before you take the plunge, if you're not already, is how you're going to connect it all up.

A NAS is a networked device and if you're planning on wifi to handle streaming media, unless it's small files or you have a MESH system installed I;d say that unlikely. You need either everything wired up with ethernet and that to the from the router to the NAS and the streamer or possibly, Homeplugs, which can be hit or miss.

Another thing to consider is what software were you using on your HTPC. If it was Kodi, you're all set for most of the streaming devices as that's what they use.
If it wasn't I'd consider downloading it for your PC and having a play with it as it doesn't matter if you end up using it on a NUC, and Android box or a Linux box. It's the same on all of them bar a few things.
Everything will be in living room and local to each other. So I will connect it all via ethernet. I am using Kodi to play everthing so upto speed on how it works etc.

I have to the conclusion that I need a 4 bay NAS drive connected to an Nvidea Sheild. Does this sound right or have I missed something out?

Also if i buy a used QNAP 4 Bay drive and it says 4x2tb, I take it I can just swap out the drives for my 4x6tb ones and sell on the 2tb ones?
 

Ruffuz

Well-known Member
Everything will be in living room and local to each other. So I will connect it all via ethernet. I am using Kodi to play everthing so upto speed on how it works etc.

I have to the conclusion that I need a 4 bay NAS drive connected to an Nvidea Sheild. Does this sound right or have I missed something out?

Also if i buy a used QNAP 4 Bay drive and it says 4x2tb, I take it I can just swap out the drives for my 4x6tb ones and sell on the 2tb ones?
Both NAS and Nvidia will connect to modem/router, you don't connect them directly.
And then you will access, probably NFS, share from NAS in Kodi.

Also remember seeing that Nvidia Shield TV didn't work perfectly for media, so aim for Pro version unless this was sorted.
Vero 4k+ is cheaper with excellent support from devs, I can highly recommend it.
 
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