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HTPC Help setting up home media server

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by BillytheKid, 6 May 2012.

  1. BillytheKid

    BillytheKid New Member

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    Hi,
    I am currently in the process of building my own house and I’m looking for some help in the home server set up.
    What I was planning on doing was having a central home server located in the middle of the house and run connection/network points from this to all the tv points around the house, study, lounge, kitchen, bedrooms etc. The central home server would run XBMC or similar and have plenty of hard drive capability to store all my files, music, movies etc.
    However I am unsure how to connect all this up so that any media stored on my network can be accessed around the house. How would I connect all the network points to the server computer? And the network points to the tv? (i had thought of using cat6?) And how do I access xbmc in each room?

    Any help or guidance on this would be much appreciated!

    Thanks
     
  2. Ataraxia

    Ataraxia <b>OOH BABY!!!</b>

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    It sounds like you want a fairly standard setup, but because you are building yourself it should be fairly simple to run network cables to a small patch panel wherever you decide to put the server.

    It's up to you where to put the network ports around the house of course, but most rooms will not need more than one double socket. One behind the TV, if it is wall mounted for instance, would be good for hiding cabling.

    Wireless technology advances are pretty good nowadays and 1gbps+ wireless is just around the corner so that is something to bear in mind.

    At the patch panel you just need a switch hooking them all up to the server and the broadband connection.

    For the server, you might want to look into Windows Home Server, it has the media streaming stuff built in (including streaming to your devices away from home if you set it up) and will keep your other PCs backed up automatically if you install the WHS connector on them.

    This of course is just a suggestion, there are many ways to achieve what you want to do!




    edit: run the best cable you can budget for, especially if you have to run them alongside power cables. screened is better than shielded etc.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twisted_pair . This may save headaches later as 10gbe comes in to the consumer level (still a few years away)
     
    Last edited: 6 May 2012
  3. Vetalar

    Vetalar *learning english*

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    Drop server at basement where You could run noisy fans and will be be more or less constant environment - HW likes it :) no need there for fancy case also and router/switch install in the middle of house: benefits to wifi signal and cable routing. For equipment - by good reliable stuff as suffering from lags and hiccups not worth the money IMHO.
    Just my 0.02$

    send from my BLADE via tapatalk
     
  4. Scorpuk

    Scorpuk Member

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    All horses for courses of course, but here is my setup:

    Server:
    • Compucase S411 Rackmount Case
    • Asus P8Z77-V LX Z77 MoBo
    • Intel Core i7 2600K
    • 16GB DDR3
    • 3Ware 9650SE 12ML
    • 6 x 2TB HDD's in Raid 5 (This give me approx. 9TB)
    • 2 x Hauppauge Nova-T 500's

    Running Ubuntu 12.04 and MythTV 0.25

    This gives me a PVR that can record between 4 and 8 Freeview channels at the same time and can serve up videos / music / recordings and images to the frontends. Plus more options I havent installed.


    For the frontends I use Acer Revo Aspires (R3700). Ideal for HD playback with their 2nd generation nVidia Ion's. Running Ubuntu 12.04 and MythTV 0.25. Quiet too.


    This is all run over wired network. Router with gigabit connections and a gigabit switch with 8 connections. I did try wireless, but at the time it was no use. The interference from walls etc would cause it to stutter severly on HD playback. The cable I have used it CAT 5E. I still dont see any need for CAT 6. When and IF they start releasing higher than Blueray quality films and electronic equipment, cheaply, then I might consider rewiring. I might be old and decrepit by then. :lol:


    I still need to run a cable to the garage, but until I can convince someone to go under the floorboards it aint happenin. Maybe another couple of years and my nephew might be old enough, if I can only convince his father. :eeek: :D


    The spec of the server is a tad overkill, but was looking to up my ppd on folding. :)
    Previous to this it was running on a Q6600 with 8GB memory no problem.

    The hardware raid gives me protection from drive failure unless two go down at the same time, but the probability of that is low. Also being hardware raid I can migrate to any computer or OS upgrade, so long as I take the card with it, with no loss of data. :thumb:


    I also have my own web server, FTP server, VPN server, and anything else I want to install on the server. A lot of stuff out there for linux.
     
  5. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    I have a mini-itx system for my home server now -

    i3 550
    4gb DDR3
    3 TB space

    Have a couple of 3TB external disks that I use for backups. I run this on WHS2011, and use login scripts on all the machines in the house to add network drives etc.

    This box has a few test sites running off ISS too.

    I love my little server, nice small form factor. when Disks come down in price a bit i intend to change the storage from how it currently is as a mix of drives totalling 3TB, to a 4TB RAID 5 array just need to get 3 2tb drives.
     
    Last edited: 9 May 2012
  6. BillytheKid

    BillytheKid New Member

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    Ok guys thanks for the help. At this stage i am still building the house so i just want to make sure i get the right cable in now.

    What i am intending to do is wire cat6 into every room then back to the plant room where my sever will be sited. From there i can sort out whatever i require in terms of hardware, once the property is finished.

    Is this right? My wireless router will be in the room directly below (so i can get a better signal around the house) am i right in saying that each of these cables will need to be connected to the server AND the router? or do you connect each to the server which is connected to the router?

    Also would you just run 1 cable or 2 to each point?

    I realise this is probably basic networking but i am a newbie at this.

    Many thanks.
     
  7. happysack

    happysack goodateverthinger

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    You run 1 cable into each point.
    There must not be any loops.
    All network cables go into a switch.(including 1 from server and 1 from router)
    Can do a diagram if this doesn't make sense but it's pretty simple.
     
  8. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    It's 1 cable to each point, so If you put 2 points in one room, you need 2 cables. These cables dont need to go to the server AND the router, you should just have it all going into a switch. 1 cable from all your points go to a switch and one cable from your server and one cable from your router.

    Advantage of having 2 points in rooms, is, if you are getting crappy wireless performance upstairs, you can plug a wireless access point into any of your spare points.
     
  9. happysack

    happysack goodateverthinger

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  10. dunx

    dunx ITX is where it's at !

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    I would run two cables into your living room, one for the TV etc., the other at the opposite side for a laptop or family PC, although a gigabit switch will sit behind the TV for more devices if needed...

    HTH

    dunx
     
  11. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    To keep it neat, where you have all the cables coming into your server room, connect them all to a patch panel (perhaps placed in a small rack or cabinet) and put the switch next to it. That way you'll have a female socket on the patch panel corresponding to each socket around the house.

    As for running the cable, if you can, try and install plastic ducting for it, along with a string, that way you can pull new cable through in later years, you never know, you might want fibre optics running to each room ;) Or more likely, you might want a phone line running between rooms, or an aerial or something. It's a bit of work that could save you ripping up walls and floors in the future.
     
  12. Gaming_freak_10

    Gaming_freak_10 Active Member

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    This ^!!!!! :rock::rock::rock:
     
  13. Jester_612

    Jester_612 "Jammy..."

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    Just put conduit everywhere, then it'll be easy to use just whatever cabling is required, rather than have to over provision now. Or if you want to be really crafty, you can put channels behind skirting boards so you can have access where ever you want, then you probably only need like 2 or maybe 3 conduit drops to get everything done.
     

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