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Progress on Windows NAS & Serviio Server

March 24, 2012

I dusted off — vacuumed out, actually — my old Dell computer (a 2.53 GHz Celeron with 512MB of RAM) today.   At this point I really just wanted to do a proof of concept — make sure that it could function as a DLNA server with video transporting and transcoding duties — so I took a minute to “install” an old SATA hard drive that I had on hand (a 500 GB drive that used to be in an external case) — I was in a hurry so the drive is just sitting in an empty bay.

I gave away my monitor (but had a spare  monitor cable, fortunately), so I had to hook the computer up to my TV to get things rolling.  I wasn’t able to find my restore disk (I think I probably threw it away when I cleaned out my basement a few months ago) so I was stuck using the OS as it was.  I started by uninstalling a bunch of programs that I didn’t expect to need any more — pretty much everything.  One nagging thing — there is no uninstaller for an old HP printer I no longer have, so I’ll have to kill the service. 

Turns out I already had TightVNC installed (for remoting into the box) so I moved the computer to the storage area in my basement and plugged it into my network.  I started the install for Serviio (DLNA server) and took a break to take my kids to a movie (Lorax).

Serviio installed with no issues (it did have to download Java 6) so I created a folder on my storage drive, added the folder to Serviio’s media library, and copied a couple of movies from my wife’s laptop.  I decided not to alter Serviio’s configuration file (which I had done on my wife’s laptop) because I think I messed up the Sony profile and am transcoding basically everything — and I know that with a lower-powered CPU I’ll want to remux as much as possible. 

So…  I fired up my BluRay player and tried to start a movie.   It told me the video was not valid (but plays fine from my wife’s computer — probably because it’s being transcoded).  I tried a second movie and it is working fine.  I am getting occassional stuttering, but so far only when I’m VNC’ed into the server doing “stuff” (i.e., installing iTunes).  

Next, I’m going to edit Serviio’s config file to match my other server (to force transcoding) and see how it keeps up.  If it performs reasonably well, I’ll move on to enabling RAID and pick up more storage (I plan on a 2x2TB RAID mirror).  The other thing I need to work out — and I’m not sure if it’s removed from Windows XP “Home” (which this server is running) are access rights.   I was able to copy to the NAS with no authentication whatsoever, and I’d like to conceive of some scheme to protect my data from accidental corruption.



From → Audio/Visual

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