NAS, not the NYC hiphop artist

I have a mediacenter with the brilliant EyeTV sitting in the center which accumulates a lot of video. We are also collecting quite a lot of HD video material shot with our Sony HD camera. At this moment, all the content is stored at the hard disk of my iMac and space is running out. So, I thought it was time to start looking for a centralized solution for storing and sharing the multi-media content in our house.

My wish list:

  1. Sharing of music, video and photo across devices simultaneously
  2. Possibility to backup both Mac and Windows systems automatically
  3. Possibility to add more hard disk memory later in the future

I was thinking about an Apple Time Capsule or another dedicated NAS system. The Time Capsule is basically a wireless router and hard disk combined in one box. The great thing about it is the ease of use and the possibility to make backups of your laptop and other machines attached to the network using Apple’s Time Machine backup system. The drawbacks are that you cannot change the hard disk setup yourself so you’re limited to the 1 or 2 TB version you buy. And that content is piling up in the meantime… Furthermore, it doesn’t work as an iTunes server, which means you cannot play music on different devices simultaneously. And this is what killed this option for me. I want to be able to attach a SONOS system to my collection of music in the near future.

After doing some research I decided to go for a Netgear ReadyNAS NV+ 4TB (thanks @owisscha!) This machine does all the stuff I want to as described above. It also works with Mac and Windows based computers at the same time. And, very nice, it is also Time Machine compatible.

readynas nv+

One thing it led to is the need for a new wireless router. Currently I have a 5-year old Linksys WRT54G running the old 802.11g standard. I recently noticed that it choked now and then when used heavily by multiple clients. The newest routers pack the new 802.11n standard  which is way faster. This comes in handy when transmitting HD video, for example. What to look for in a wireless router? Check out this article. Basically what I need is 802.11n, simultaneous dual-band, and ample 1GB ethernet ports for the different devices (modem, NAS, VOIP phone, PC and a future game machine). I went for the D-Link DIR-825.

Looking forward to the delivery of the goodies and will let you know how it works out.