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htpc/server hybrid

velis

Senior member
Jul 28, 2005
600
14
81
I'm doing it with an i3 3200, 4GB RAM and an MB provided RAID-5 of 4 disks.
The software is Windows 7 + MediaPortal.

Yes, it's doable.
 
Feb 13, 2014
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I'm doing it with an i3 3200, 4GB RAM and an MB provided RAID-5 of 4 disks.
The software is Windows 7 + MediaPortal.

Yes, it's doable.
I actually decided to do it proper and build a standalone system for my htpc only.

The specs are:

Core i5 2320 (non-K, sandy bridge)
AsRock Z77E-ITX motherboard
Rosewill Legacy V6-B
FSP SFF 300w 80%+ PSU
8gb Crucial Ballistix VLP DDR3 1600 (9-9-9-24 @ 1.35v)
Corsair GT SSD 120 GIG

Now I'm debating between 2 x 4 TB WD Green HDs or 2 x 4 TB WD Red HDS, the Red only because of the 3 year warranty factor.

Software will be Windows 7 for OS and then Media Browser 3 Server & Client for library.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,209
38
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That's a huge waste of components... unless you are going to be ripping DVDs or something. Standard streaming is hardly taxing on the CPU. Have you bought this stuff yet, or is that your shopping list?

I would take the Reds over the Greens myself... in fact, I have.

FWIW... W7/WMC/MediaBrowser is the way I went, it works pretty well for what I want it to do. I know a lot of folks swear by XMBC, I never saw any advantage over it based on my use. That isn't saying it isn't a good frontend.
 
Feb 13, 2014
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That's a huge waste of components... unless you are going to be ripping DVDs or something. Standard streaming is hardly taxing on the CPU. Have you bought this stuff yet, or is that your shopping list?

I would take the Reds over the Greens myself... in fact, I have.

FWIW... W7/WMC/MediaBrowser is the way I went, it works pretty well for what I want it to do. I know a lot of folks swear by XMBC, I never saw any advantage over it based on my use. That isn't saying it isn't a good frontend.

Yeah all items are purchased, I bought them used and got a great deal!

I've been tweaking Media Browser on my gaming pc just to get a feel for it and I really like it. It does everything I want as far as displaying things nicely and making it easy to make a selection.

The only issue I am having with it is trying to scrape the info for my tv series. Regardless of how the files are named on certain series it works perfect and on others it completing screws the pooch.

Besides that I got all 400+ of my movies nicely organized and they're displaying properly so I'm happy.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,209
38
91
Right on... My system boots right into MB, it's great.

Yes, I have a few series that won't scrape correctly, and I still haven't figured out how to properly label movies with 2 files (from 2 disks, for example.) Assassin's guide helped out enormously on that... I probably need to go back in and reread that section.
 
Feb 13, 2014
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For 2 part files I just name them Part 1 and Part 2.

Example Batman Begins (2008).part1.avi
Batman Begins (2008).part2.avi

I then place both in Batman Begins (2008) and MB hasn't had an issue detecting them.

What are you using to scrape the info?

Amazon increased the 4 TB WD reds by $10 each those punks!
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,209
38
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You know... I don't know what MB is using to scrape, and I can't find it either in the configurator or MB itself. I set it up via Assassin's guide, so it's in there... I remember doing it, I just don't remember where it is, specifically.

Yea... I've tried almost every combination of file labeling for multiple files, one of these days I'll stumble upon the proper format... I'm obviously doing something wrong.

The 4TB drives are not very economical right now, I just sticking with the 3TB drives for now... in fact, I'm due to upgrade one of my 2TB drives to a 3TB.
 
Feb 13, 2014
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For scraping Movie files I've been using Media Center Master and it works really well. I cannot find a good guide for use with TV shows though which is a pita. Media Center Master does not play nice with my TV shows unfortunately.

What I did was I loaded my movies folder in Media Center Master and sorted all the metadata for each movie and then set it to rename the folders & files to show as "Movie Name (Year)". Then I added the main movies folder to MB and all is well. I also like that Media Center Master allows you to group things by collections such as my dark knight triology and james bond movies.


Right now I have 1.5 TB x 2 for my storage and that is over 50% full and thats not including the 500 gigs of tv episodes I have on my 1 TB HD. In addition I plan on ripping a bunch of blurays so I think the 4 TB would be my best option. I may just settle for the 3 TB and if it becomes an issue upgrade later down the road.

One thing of note is the case that came with the PC only has spots for 4 HDS, it is a mini-itx case so I'm sure that will be CRAMPED. In addition the motherboard has only 2 x SATA3 and 2 x SATA2.

My understanding is that even modern day HDs have trouble maxing out SATA2. I plan on putting the WDs on the SATA2 and my SSD for OS on the Sata3. I think that will give me the best performance and is the best setup.

I am excited to have a dedicated HTPC now just for the stuff to come in and get my butt in gear :).
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,209
38
91
Media Center Master... THAT's IT! That's what I use. doh.

We don't watch TV at all, we don't even have cable, so the TV thing is a non-issue with me.

Correct, HDDs can't approach SATA2 speed, so whatever SATA ports you have will suffice. If you only have 4 total ports you might hold out for at least 1 4TB drive. I have 2x 2TB drives as my primary storage (the single 3TB is the backup drive) and they are about 75% full, each. If I had your board, all the SATA ports would be full... 1x SSD, 3X HDD. Hmmm...
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,488
450
126
I cannot find a good guide for use with TV shows though which is a pita. Media Center Master does not play nice with my TV shows unfortunately.
I'm pretty sure I used Media Center Master back with XBMC, and it scraped TV shows without any problems. I had mine setup like the following...

TV Show\Season #\TV Show - S#E#.ext

The actual filename can use dashes, periods or whatever to separate it. They scrapers are usually based on scene conventions.
 
Feb 13, 2014
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Hmm 1x SSD, 2x 4TB drives will be a good start for me.

For me to fill up 8 TB of space will prob take quite awhile, worse comes to worse I just scrap the mobo and case and do a larger build if needed.

My main box now the case is a corsair 900d, if needed I could make that my htpc and have enough space for a lifetime.
 
Feb 13, 2014
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I'm pretty sure I used Media Center Master back with XBMC, and it scraped TV shows without any problems. I had mine setup like the following...

TV Show\Season #\TV Show - S#E#.ext

The actual filename can use dashes, periods or whatever to separate it. They scrapers are usually based on scene conventions.
Just saw this post lol and I figured it out beforehand too after lot of testing :$

I do TV Show \ Season # \ S#E# and it seems to be working fine :) thanks though, wish I would've seen this sooner.
 

SolMiester

Diamond Member
Dec 19, 2004
5,331
17
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I certainly hope your not using green drives in RAID with parity.....

I am using a W8 VM hosted on a ML350 with RE Enterprise drives....The VM runs Plex Media Server.
 
Feb 13, 2014
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Ordered the following for the build :)

Samsung 840 PRO 128 GB SSD
2 x 6" 4 PIN Molex to SATA power
3 x 3 TB WD RED HDS
2 x 16 GB PNY flash drives (windows 7 & windows 8 installs)
8 x 18" SATA cables (new build & replace current)

Wheew my debit card is smoking.
 
Feb 13, 2014
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ugh I won't be able to do raid 5 with the HDs since my controller only supports 2 hds on each channel and you cannot combine them.

I think I'll do RAID 0 on the HTPC and then just keep the files backed up in my main box. DOH!
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,209
38
91
Just FYI... I don't see any reason to add the complexity of RAID0, it will not improve any aspect of streaming and if you lose one drive (as I did... my first 2TB Red came with bad sectors) you lose everything with RAID0. As it is now, I just spread everything out across 2 drives and back up the essential files to the 3rd drive. Even if I drop a primary drive I still have the other primary's data intact, making recovery that much less complex.
 
Feb 13, 2014
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I like the aspect of raid 0 that it makes all 3 hds show as 1, is there a way to trick windows to do that anyway?

Thanks for all your advice I appreciate it!
 

velis

Senior member
Jul 28, 2005
600
14
81
You can mount a drive as a folder in another drive in Computer Management / Disk management. That way it looks like there's only one drive. You still have to take care to fill the drives separately though.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
I like the aspect of raid 0 that it makes all 3 hds show as 1, is there a way to trick windows to do that anyway?

Thanks for all your advice I appreciate it!
What you want is called Drive Pooling.

StableBit Drive Pool will let you do this.

Or you could find a way to do JBOD.
 

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