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Evaluating NAS devices for use with Tivo/streambaby?

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by atomarchio, May 26, 2012.

  1. atomarchio

    atomarchio Member

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    Sep 24, 2006
    I am looking to purchase a new NAS device for streaming HD content via streambaby to Tivo?

    How do I evaluate various NAS devices (other than capacity) to determine the best model for me?

    I have a Tivo Premiere on wired network with DIR-655 router.

    If you can provide any suggestions/advice, please let me know.

    Thanks.
     
  2. jcthorne

    jcthorne Active Member

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    Houston
    I have been very pleased with the support and features of my Synology 1511+

    I currently have it serving up music, photos and video to 2 tivos, a kindle fire and a logitech squeezebox radio.

    It also does file server duties for our home. Currently at 16TB of RAID 5 storage and plenty of room for further expansion.
     
  3. atomarchio

    atomarchio Member

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    Sep 24, 2006
    How would this product compare to a Windows Home Server (currently using HP LX195) in terms of speed with streaming HD video? And does it have a plug-in to Tivo like WHS?
     
  4. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    I had an NAS and also a WHS. My WHS v1 is getting long in the tooth and so i need to get another alternative.

    Being not that technically proficient, honestly I can't imaging getting "just" a NAS box. The WHS OS costs just 50 bucks (Maybe that's the cheapest version of windows one can get?). It gives you a whole computer that can run anything you want it to do. With a NAS box it may or may not run what you want- you might have to wrestle with what it will run. If you aren't a windows guy and are good with linux then I'd get a computer and do it with linux.

    before i had windows home server i used the NAS just for files. Now i can use it for files but it also worked out that i use the box to run MS groove (to pull duplicates of my office server files in ~real time), i run pytivo, i run tivo desktop at times, I use the box to be a google cloud print server, I can easily backup all my files offsite with idrive, it's an always on repository of for the photos i take anytime, anywhere with my eyefi cards, I've run home automation stuff on it, I've used it to rip and transcode DVD's, etc ,etc

    There's probably a million other ways to do everything above but it's just easier on a 'real computer' with a full OS. And there's so many more options if it's running windows (or if it's a complete linux PC.)

    You can get an HP n40l with a windows home server disk for ~$400

    The only major flaw is that the stupid borg in redmond removed drive extender so you have to wrestle with RAID if you want duplication.

    If you are more technically adept then myself and wouldn't feel like you need to "wrestle" things to work then the more advanced boxes like synology may work- you would need to check with folks who have those for more.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  5. atomarchio

    atomarchio Member

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    Sep 24, 2006
    While I like the LX195, it's very slow. Should I purchase WHS 2011 and add another 1GB of memory instead of buying the N40L?

    I am not interested in RAID just looking for faster performance/streaming for the best price.

    What do you think I should do?
     
  6. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    NJ
    adding memory to my ex470 made a much faster in general (but not sure if it mattered for streaming- it was also "good enough" for that.

    myself I dont think there's any reason to "upgrade" the OS from WHS v1 to WHS2011 unless you are having problems with V1 but I'm really just a "user" and not a technical sort of guy like others here may be.

    (Me, I've looking to upgrade my V1 basically because i run so many things on it that it's choking on the stupid default configuration of just 20GB on the "C" drive.)
     
  7. lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Very slow at what?

    If by "performance" you mean file transfer speeds, then you are talking about RAID. Streaming / copying to the TiVo, however, is going to be limited by the TiVo. Recoding the content to be transferred to h.264 in a .mp4 container will allow the fastest streaming via Streambaby or "pushes" via pyTiVo.

    Clarify your needs.
     
  8. atomarchio

    atomarchio Member

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    Sep 24, 2006
    I did not realize streaming via Streambaby is limited by the Tivo. I thouight that could be improved by better/faster server.

    I would like to get the main console screen when logging in much faster than it currently takes now.

    I find the LX195 quite slow when moving from screen to screen and would like the unit to work faster.

    Sounds like I should just upgrade the memory. If so, is replacing the 1GB for 2GB of memory the only option or can I go higher than 2GB of memory?
     
  9. jcthorne

    jcthorne Active Member

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    Jan 28, 2002
    Houston
    Not sure what you mean on comparing speed. The NAS has no trouble streaming multiple HD video feeds simutaniously. Has dual gigabit ethernet ports. I can transfer pc to/from NAS at greater than 100Mbps on more than one machine at a time. Tivo is far slower than that.

    As for software for integration to the tivo, yes. I use pytivo and vidmgr and the integration with full artwork, metadata etc is very nice indeed.

    The Synology solution also uses MUCH less power than a WHS server. Approx 60 watts with 7 spindles active, down to less than 10 when no demand and the drives spin down.
     
  10. atomarchio

    atomarchio Member

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    Sep 24, 2006
    By speed I am referring to the amount of time it takes when I login with ID/password though the console which takes several minutes. While I like the LX195, everything moves slowly from logging in, screen to screen, etc.

    I am hoping to speed up the general operation of the server overall.

    The LX195 works fine it's just painfully slow and frustrating to wait for the screens to move.
     
  11. lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Probably not. How are your videos encoded?

    That box is pretty underpowered, and on top of that it is saddled with Windows.

    That may help.
     
  12. atomarchio

    atomarchio Member

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    Sep 24, 2006
    All of my videos are in MP4.

    I am considering 3 options.

    1) upgrade memory in LX195 to 2GB or higher?
    2) get rid of LX195 and purchase HP N40I
    3) Go with a NAS device instead.

    Which one should I pick?
     
  13. jcthorne

    jcthorne Active Member

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    Jan 28, 2002
    Houston
    Really? several minutes? WOW. Guess I am just spoiled. My Synology login and screen updates are fractions of a second. Nearly real time screen updates including system resource displays/graphics.
     
  14. atomarchio

    atomarchio Member

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    Sep 24, 2006
    So you can install/run the pytivo and/or streambaby service on the Synology 1511 itself?

    If so, that would probably accomplish what I want without the hassle of WHS.

    Please clarify. Thanks.
     
  15. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    Feb 4, 2008
    WHS is pretty easy overall, I use it with pytivo. I can use my portable devices to send/pull content from my server to my TiVos. Awesome.

    If you were to go the WHS route, skip the add-in. Go with pytivo installed as a service instead.
     
  16. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ

    Using the WHS "connector" or whatever it's called is slow as a dog. (basically there's an icon on a client pc's task bar with the WHS logo and when you click it, it starts up a modified remote desktop connection that is just for the WHS "Console/dashboard" app.

    If that's the big "beef" then ignore that POS wrapper thing.

    *****WARNING YOU CAN FUTZ YOUR MACHINE BY REMOTING IN WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE CONSOLE AS BELOW since you can change things that aren't available in the 'console's sandbox' ***********

    Just use Remote Desktop connection itself. Look in start-> programs-> accessories. Run that app. it will prompt you for what computer to connect to- type the IP adress of your WHS box (if you gave it a "static" IP from your router this will be easier)- something like 192.168.1.2

    It will open the WHS's login screen- the user name is administrator with the password you gave your WHS when you set it up.

    Now just dont log out- when you are done with the server to to it's start menu-> windows security -> lock computer. (you can google and place a lock icon shortcut on your task bar or desktoip to save a click). Next time you want to use the server then remote desktop in and it will be basically instant. This way the WHS will be "always on" similar to how you can leave your desktop on and when you walk away it locks itslef and you just need to unlock it to get using it again.

    If you need the "dashboard" It's in programs on the server (maybe even has a shortcut on the dekstop) - called "windows home server console"- you can leave that running non-stop too so it's there fast also.

    If you install pytivo and the like- you can set them up to run from the startup folder (google for how to have the machine bootup and login the "administrator" automatically so that the stuff in it's startup folder just goes) If you do that then rather than 192.168.1.2 - put /admin after the IP address so it looks like this:
    192.168.1.2 /admin
    that way you will be logging into the same instance (it's complicated but actually the machine will be running 2 differnt desktops for "administrator" otherwise.)

    You can install tivo desktop, galleon, pytivo, pretty much anything in the remote desktop as above)


    Try that out. If you like it then just see if you can't maximize the memory in the thing- that will help also.
     
  17. lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Yes. The 1511 is Linux based, and it supports modifications.
     
  18. jcthorne

    jcthorne Active Member

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    Jan 28, 2002
    Houston
    I use pytivo, vidmgr and jukebox. I do not use streambaby due to its rebuffering problems with HD media files. Vidmgr does a great job of presentation and making all my media available from the tivo menus.

    Yes, pytivo, vidmgr and jukebox all run on the linux based Synology 1511+ along with a logitech squeezebox DLNA server for our android devices and a squeeze box radio.

    All that said, getting python, pytivo, vidmgr and jukebox running on the server is not trivial unless you are familur with linux.

    The logitech DLNA server was super easy as there is a ditribution package for Synology servers. just a few clicks in the GUI had it running and indexing.
     
  19. atomarchio

    atomarchio Member

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    Sep 24, 2006
    Sounds I like should try one of these Synology products? Are they availble in local retail stores? (i.e. Best Buy, Microcenter, etc)
     
  20. jcthorne

    jcthorne Active Member

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    Jan 28, 2002
    Houston
    I bought mine from Amazon. Have not been in the over priced B&M electronics stores in ages.

    While all the Synology units run the same OS and RAID managment software, the various models differ in the number and size of drives supported, CPU and memory capacity, hot swappable vs not and some allow expansion chassis.

    The 1511+ (and the newer 1512) are at the top end of home use NAS boxes or lower end commercial use. I found the limitations of the lower models for future expansion too limiting and the higher end models out of my budget. Let me know if you have any questions when looking at them.
     

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