What dedicated media server do you use?

I am thinging about investing a HP Media Server to server iso, mp3 and photos to the WD TV Live. My reason for this is because I have tried to push this content over my network using a Netgear powerline adapters and it shutter real bad. The content was coming from a desktop that was hard wired into the router. I also tried serving the media from a Dlink 321 NAS and it shutter as well. Adding the server would allow me to turn the pc off and let the server do the work. Is this a good idea or not?

I use a custom built PC (Sempron LE1100, 3GB RAM, 4x500GB 2,5" in RAID 0+1 - idle consumption 35W) with Windows Home Server and streaming my media via plain network shares because the built-in media sharing does not unveil my mkv files.

I don’t know the hdd setup of the HP machine but it looks like there is only one harddrive - I would suggest buying a machine using a hdd mirror setup to prevent data loss by drive failure. But using a Home Server or NAS instead of your PC for serving the media is always the “greener” solution :).

Keep in mind that as long as you connect the new media server to the same crappy powerline adapters your situation will not change at all! I suggest to buy propper LAN hardware instead.

@Rocket Chef Green is one of the things I am going after. I am also trying to eliminate lag when serving files.

@ Ignite I don’t plan to using the powerline adapters. I plan on going wireless to the media server which will be wired in to router.

I ran a old PC with FreeNAS installed. Worked just fine, 2 GHZ AMD with four 250GB drives.

However it was burning 130 watts and even though its “head less” and requires no monitor you WILL end up plugging one in to see what’s up every now and then.

Last week it died, motherboard I think, its Christmas the kids are home, I needed this fixed ASAP. The wife has an Acer Netbook with a dead mouse pad and she got a new laptop for Christmas.

So I now have a windows XP NAS which means I can run any service I need, its the size of a book, has built in monitor and its own UPS. $150 later I had a 1.5 TB drive plugged in and everyones happy.

I have loads of room in the basement utility room now ! Seems to work okay and I have seen netbooks for $250, I have not run a stress test yet, It does not have Giga bit Ethernet which is fine for standard divx stuff and two extenders, once you get into HD I don’t think it will handle two movies at once.


Your netbook solution should be fine for streaming 2 HD movies (even 1080) at the same time providing the two movies don’t have the same peak rate (could be as high as ~7MB/s depending on the compression rate and complexity of the frames) at the same time, then the 100Mbps (~12.5MB/s) connection from the netbook to the router/switch should be ok.

Don’t forget the WDTV Live does all the decoding and processing. The netbook only needs to stream the raw data, the performance depends mainly on the network speed and disk speed, and in your case the USB interface to the netbook as well (which is more than enough for USB2 at 400MB/s).

Get a My Book World - The WD TV Live was designed with it in mind, and it works flawlessly. I have 2 of them running on my network (one for TV recordings, and one for movies) and haven’t had a problem yet. Set up time was ~3 min. and you can simply buy more if you need more space. I’m looking into getting a sharespace (I have one in the office- it’s the big brother to the MBW) as my next drive so I can fit 8TB on a single drive.


I will give it a try and let you know.

* Update *

Yep, streams 1080p mkv to both WD Live boxes at the same time with no problems