NAS or Media Jukebox?


Standard Member
I know this has probably been asked a 100 times before but I'm really new at this and an opnion from people who know would be greatly appreciated.

With the wife being 6 months pregnant, I've been given the order that I need to sort out the nursery sooner rather than later. The main problem being that this was where I kept my dvd collection! (about 1000 dvds/blurays + TV series).

I currently have a WD My Book World NAS drive (1tb) where Ive been storing my music, but this isnt going to be anywhere near enough space for everything I need and I'd rather not lose too much quality for the sake of space. Id rather not have to go down the route of turning on a laptop to stream a film everytime I want to watch something...Lazy I know!

I have spent days looking over various forums for a solution and it appears that I have a choice of 3 but was wondering what would be the best in my situation.

Should I go for:

1) Something like a QNAP Nas drive with 2x 2TB drives and a media streamer, or

2) A Media Jukebox like PCH C-300 with smaller PCH for upstairs in the bedrooms I like the look of the UI on these units), or

3) As I suspect, realistically I need all 3.

Im not too worried about online content, but I am limited by funds (Who knew babies cost so much!:eek:) and time as I've got to think of a way to convince the wife it was her great idea in the first place!

Any ideas?

Great Fandango

Novice Member
There are a million and one ways to answer your question(s).

Main points are:

- You can not go wrong with a purpose built NAS such as offerings from Netgear or QNAP.

- Suggest you'll want more than 2x2Tb if you're ripping that many DVDs

- It's a lot if work to rip DVDs. You'll want some redundancy to avoid major data loss. With this in mind your 2Tb x2 when working with redundancy will only give you just short of 2Tb in total. If you can stretch to it I recommend the 4bay or 6bay ReadyNAS systems.

- Rip only the main movie and forget the extras. MakeMKV is a great free software.

- Unfortunately, hard drive prices are still through the roof and probably will be for some while yet.

- Suggest a modular system whereby you have a player for playing and NAS for storing. Even cheaper sub-£70 players can stream well from NAS

- As long as you own the original media, you might consider possibilities of downloading your content? Slyck.com has a load of info concerning NewsGroups.


Distinguished Member
1000 dvds/blurays - you're going to need a lot more than 4TB. And then don't forget you'll, ideally, need double the storage you do go for to back up to. I know you'll have the physical discs as back up, but ripping 1000 films and TV shows, tagging, sorting and filing them is not something you'll want to go through again!


Standard Member
Thanks for that guys.

Im really starting to panic now....I knew it wasnt going to be easy but this has started to make me think I need to do something drastic.

So now Ive established that I need some serious storage for this to even start, Ive been looking at the 4 bay nas drives like the ReadyNas ,QNAP TS-410 Turbo or the Synology DS411J to get me started. Do you think that these would be a better option as a media server rather than a tower server full of drives in the loft (to simplify)?

Thanks for the heads up on the MakeMKV. Ive been messing around with that and handbrake trying to find which would be the best to get me started ripping until I can decide on a storage solution. Looks like im going to have to be ruthless with what I rip and what I just store in the loft as the space allows!

Unplanned doesnt cover the half of it!!


Distinguished Member
Personally, I like having a server simply for storage, then a player linked to it to play the media on the TV. In my case, a little 2tb Buffalo server upstairs next to the router, and an Apple TV (running XBMC) downstairs.

Now, depending on the level of storage you want, you may decide to go for a large capacity 4bay ready built NAS, such as the QNAP or ReadyNas, or Synology you mentioned, or you could go for a home build - basically a tower stuffed with drives and a server OS, such as Windows Home Server or other server OS (UnRAID, FreeNAS, etc)

As for ripping, you need to decide between quality and space. On the one hand, you can rip with MakeMKV and rip a carbon copy of your discs, but sacrifice storage space as a result (DVD's would be taking up 6 or so GB, BluRays getting on for 25gb in most cases), or you can compress with Handbrake to save space, but obviously lower quality. Now, the x264 codecs used in Handbrake is very good, and you can squash a DVD right down to 1.5-2gb before you begin to see much of a difference. BluRays, if you're happy to drop to 720p instead of 1080p, you can drop down to 6-8gb, keeping just the core DTS or DD (5.1), and still look good. Using those sums, lets say you have 500 DVD and 500 BR, you're looking at about a terrabyte or so for DVD and 4tb for bluray, so my advice would be to go for an 8tb set up...


Distinguished Member
There are also DAS to consider (direct attached storage) these are not a NAS but like a fancy external HDD and have RAID modes for multiple HDD's and connect via USB.

Or a whole bunch of standalone external USB drives, get GoFlex 4TB HDD's and use a Boxee Box to read all the various folders holding media across the drives to add to it's jukebox, it auto scans any folder added as a media source so you can span content across a large number of drives & have it all appear in one media library.

It will also work with USB hubs so as you fill up one 4TB drive you can buy another and so on. You can also share out the USB drive over the network when its plugged into the Boxee Box.
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How much do you have to spend on all this? You might have to rip some films now and save some for later. Although with a 6 month old myself they don't get any cheaper!

I would go for a dedicated NAS and then a media player. It's best not to use redundancy as if the worst happens and your NAS goes pop then you could lose everything.

If you go for 4tb the. Put a 2tb in your NAS and a 2tb in your pc. Keep a copy of all your films on both. Then if one blows up you have the other one still ok.

I have a 2 bay synology NAS and you can add extra bays at a later date so that could be an option If funds dont push to a 8tb NAS.

Use a media player such as wd tv live or Boxee to watch them on. Both are excellent.

I agree with the above post with keeping it modular, it allows for flexibility to add or replace various components in the future. it might be in two years you get another media streamer in the back room just for waybuloo..
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