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HD media streaming NAS: a few questions

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ashrob

New Around Here
Hi there,

I've got a QNAP TS209II and it's good for backup but not for media streaming as it's processor and RAM just don't seem to be up to the job. Although I'm rather puzzled about that as I've read on here that most NAS's should be up to the job but mine isn't and it's definately the NAS as I can stream from my pc with no stuttering whatsoever.

So...I've looked at the QNAP TS239 which may be up to the job but is quite expensive Vs DIY.

The problem is that I can't decide on the components and also can't find a mini-itx case that's able to take two disks, so I was wondering if anyone has come across one available to the UK market? I saw the Atom NAS article on here and the case looks quite nice but it's not available in the UK.

So my specs are - a mini m/b with gigabit lan, not really bothered about onboard graphics as it can be headless, or sound but I do want it to be able to take a Core 2 Duo processor and up to 4GB of RAM. Also the case fan/s needs to be quiet.

Here's what I'm looking at so far -

Intel Fly Creek iG45 Socket 775 mini ITX Motherboard - £96.72

Intel Pentium Dual Core E5200 2.5GHz Socket 775 800FSB 2MB Cache £57.75

Corsair 4GB Kit (2x2GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 XMS2 CL5 1.9V £37.99

That comes to about £195 from eBuyer UK, with a case and PSU will probably be a total of £250 at most and the performance will beat the TS239 by a mile.

Any help with the case or faster/better components would be much appreciated or just any thoughts or observations. Failing that, if this thread is more than a few days old and its had zero replies then please feel free to throw your Grandma's apple pie recipe on it.
 
The problem is that I can't decide on the components and also can't find a mini-itx case that's able to take two disks, so I was wondering if anyone has come across one available to the UK market? .

OPTION 1: CASE
Silverstone SUGO SG05
http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?p=13970779
This case wil fit a one 3.5" HDD + one 2.5" HDD internally as standard. It also has a slim DVD slot that I suspect if you arent using that and you tinker, you might be able to shoehorn 2 x 3.5" HDD in there

Are you just serving the 1080p file from the NAS or are you trying to literally have it play/process the file and stream a video? If it is just to serve the file to a media player I know the QNAP 209 does not have the transfer speed, but a decent Atom-based NAS with 2GB of RAM can serve the files fast enough. The QNAP 239 also can definitely do it. If you want to go the atom route then see below:

OPTION 2: Barebones NAS from Tranquil
You can avoid building by buying one of these quiet models at www.tranquilpc.co.uk and adding Ubuntu or Ubuntu server.
Tranquil is based somehere around manchester I think. They offer courier delivery in the UK for 9 quid.
- I just ordered their BBS2 model for 309 quid including 2GB RAM, it holds 5x 3.5" HDD and the case is tiny at at 213mm (W) x 221mm (D) x 195mm (H) - incl feet
http://www.tranquilpc-shop.co.uk/acatalog/BAREBONE_SERVERS.html#a15
- for 199 pounds you could aslo buy their T7-330 model which will hold 2 x 2.5" or 1 x 3.5" drives
http://www.tranquilpc-shop.co.uk/acatalog/T7-330_Barebones.html

OPTION 3: PC from Aleutia
Aleutia is based in Battersea, London. The will ship almost anywhere worldwide for dirt cheap and will also let you pick up in ther London office in person.
http://www.aleutia.com/products
- They have a B1 model that is certified for 1080P, it runs an AMD X2, but it costs 449 quid and it only takes one drive.
- you could also go the Atom 330 route with their F5 model for 299 pounds. It holds 1 x 3.5" drive, buyou can simply ask them to outfit it for 2x 3.5" hdd as well.
- why they dont have a unit that holds 2 x 3.5" HDD, I have no idea. I actually suggested it to them before, but they didnt seem to take the suggestion seriously

When I looked at it all the Tranquil barebones unit with 5 bays, 2GB RAM and the atom was tough to beat for overall value, which I why I got it. You dont really need more than the atom to get very healthy file transfer speed for HD videos so that seemed to be the sweet spot to me, beating both self-build and the mass market NAS units.

Also....
OPTION 4: The left-field thought
COuld you take your QNAP 209 and cannibalise it somehow, cutting the case to make it fit your board? It already has the drive bays wired and all, as you need. So the challenge is fitting board into case, cutting it to your needs if necessary and hooking up to the outputs. Maybe using an external power supply?


Additional throughts:
http://www.logicsupply.com/categories/cases/mini_itx
Worth looking here as well, they DO ship to the UK, as per policy stated here:
http://www.logicsupply.com/international
 
Last edited:
Hi Osamede,

At first I tried to stream the file straight from the QNAP, without transcoding, then I tried to transcode it via Twonkyserver on the QNAP and then I tried PS3 Media Server, all without success.

The thing with the QNAP is that it can do one thing at a time but if I try to download something and, for instance, play music through my Squeezebox then it can't cope, which is how I worked out what I wanted from a NAS, I want it to take the place of my pc on the streaming and storage jobs but didn't take into account how much RAM and processing power I'd need.

I've looked at Tranquil and for the money they're certainly miles better than QNAP from the looks of them, so I may go down that route but I still want to explore the DIY build. I may even design my own case, there seems to be a gap in the market for NAS cases, like you I don't understand how something can cost £450 and only take one drive.

The cannibalisation option isn't one for me as I'm hoping to use it as a backup for my main NAS.

Lastly, I love the Chenbro cases on there but the price of them puts up the build cost quite considerably, to around the price of the NAS you bought if I included it in my build, but then the processor and RAM would be more and I could upgrade the unit in the future.

Thanks for taking the time to reply Osamede, there are some real alternatives there to my DIY build plans, they're much appreciated. :)
 
Hi,
Why not go m-atx then the prices tumble.
A motherboard by gigabyte is very cheap, the GA-G31M-ES2L at under £40
A case you could use could be a Compucase 7628 MEDIA CENTER with 250W psu. It has one 3.5" and one 5.25" drive bay so you could fit 2 drives in.
To load the op sys you could use a USP cd/dvd drive. IF you don't have one, usb converters/cases are very cheap.

I priced these items with the other parts you specified at about £180.
 
Chenbro case looks very good. The only downside is the price at £90 ($135).

Yeah the price..

I took a Morex Venus case and I have installed the two 3,5 HDD in the 5,25 bays. with a hdd expansion kit from lian li.
Afterwards I have exchanged the 80mm fans of the PSU and from hdd expansion kit, because they were too noisy.
 
Some great suggestions here, the cases are interesting, the $54 Chenbro will only take 2.5" drives, which I haven't even thought about. Also need to have a look at that Gigabyte board, thanks very much for the replies everyone, much appreciated. :)
 
NOT in the UK!

Bye the way I don't think the GigaByte board has any Raid capabilities. Otherwise it looks fine.
As stated in my first post:
" they DO ship to the UK, as per policy stated here:
http://www.logicsupply.com/international"
 
Chenbo Case $54 plus Shipping to UK $70.91 adds to $124.91. Add VAT @ 15% = $143.65 ( £99 ).
I rest my case!!
 
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