Unless you want to maintain separate storage for each Player/TV in the house, the NAS (Network Attached Storage) is the key element in actually distributing your media to each individual player.
There are almost limitless options when it comes to NAS, and as I was getting my feet wet I went with the least expensive option (a BT861 NAS). A generic NAS with no onboard storage, but two USB connections for external HDDs. It was found on Ebay for approximately $35CDN. The NAS doesn’t come with very reliable software, and needs to be reflashed to Snake OS (a painless and simple process) before you invest any energy in the crap it ships with.
Out of the box you can now share files across your network using Samba and network media tanks (like the Patriot Box Office and Egreat Media Tank) will be able to play videos off the NAS.
If you want to stream movies from the NAS to your PS3 however another step is involved, the installation of MediaTomb. This process is a little more complicated, but with a little perseverance you will be able to stream movies to any UPnP / DLNA compliant devices (such as your PS3 or Network Media Player).
An added bonus to Snake OS is that it comes with a Bittorrent client (transmission) which allows you to shut down your desktop or laptop and leave the NAS running in the background chugging away at your file list.
There are also FTP, Webserver and Dynamic DNS options, but I really haven’t mucked around with them as of yet.
(I have ordered a second NAS like this one, and will post detailed instructions and screenaps of the process of switching it to Snake and installing MediaTomb once it arrives in the mail).
From me and my family to you and yours, Merry Christmas!
So, I had hoped to get a new gaming system for Christmas. Maybe that elusive Xbox, dare I dream?
Nope, an early Christmas present was a new PS3, as my old one happily displayed the YLOD (yellow light of death) the PS3s version of the well known Xbox catastrophic failure.
I guess I can’t complain too much, my PS3 turned in years of trouble free service and was left running almost all the time.
I’m not happy about this, but it could be worse.
(I’ll see about getting the old one fixed, maybe the silver lining is that we end up with two PS3s in the house)
Edited to add: Turns out you can get your YLOD’D PS3 fixed for around $60, got my old one fixed here in a day, turn around time was about an hour and a half.
Still trying to figure out exactly what the YLOD indicates, but $60 beats the heck out of paying Sony $150.
So Yes, we now have two PS3s.
Edited to add: January 3, 2011 – YLOD returns to my PS3, going to see about getting it fixed again under warrantee (90 days), but this is troubling.
Setting aside the burglary detection features of our alarm system for a moment, let’s look at the fire detection/notification features of the alarm system in our home.
Our smoke detectors are hardwired, which means no battery changes (and no 3AM chirping noises to track down and identify) and the alarm system siren sounds if a smoke detector activates, which should draw a lot more attention to the alarm.
There are also false alarm reduction features in place. This system has been configured to automatically reset the detectors when they report an alarm condition. If the condition still exists when they come back on 20 seconds after the initial report then the system goes into alarm.
Finally the smoke detectors are monitored off-site as part of the alarm system, which means if we are not home and a fire breaks out then the alarm company will be able to dispatch the fire department and minimize the damage. If we are home then I can concentrate on getting my family out of the house, ignoring the telephone and the fire department will be automatically dispatched. If it is a false alarm I can answer the phone and cancel the response.
Altogether this entire arrangement falls under “peace of mind” and convenience. The expense was nominal (and as we are already monitored for burglary costs nothing extra in this regard).
Edited to add: I would prefer to have the CO detector hardwired as well, but haven’t really found an appropriate detector. Wireless (as usual) is not really the direction we’re going here.
$40 – Hardwired Smoke Detector X2
$45 – Hardwired Smoke / Rate of Rise Heat Detector X1
$0 – 4 hours my labour fishing wire.
$125 – Total Cost – Cheap at the price.