August 17, 2007

Data Robotics Drobo Home NAS Server


We are always on the hunt for bigger and better ways to store our data. Some say we have a problem, we say that we just like hard drives. We are always on the lookout for something new and different, something that we can bring home and add to our collection of storage servers.

Well we came across the Drobo from Data Robotics and we were intrigued. We love that they call the Drobo a storage robot. Anything with robot in the name peaks our attention. We started reading about the device and it got even more interesting.

Instead of subscribing to a standard RAID model( 0,1,5 ) they have some special, secret, hidden technology underneath it all that makes having multiple disks as simple as possible. With 4 SATA bays you can have up to 4TB at your fingertips or just use one of the bays and add a drive later if you run out of space. If one of the drives fails you can easily just pull it out and put another one in without effecting you data and that is something that not all NAS solutions offer.
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David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 6, 2007

New Lanner NAS Server with Media Playing Capabilities


Lanner is set to release a new NAS server to the market that should make a lot of people happy. With 4 bays that can handle SATA drives in either RAID 0,1 and 5 and with 750GB and 1TB drives not that uncommon these days you are looking at a very beefy storage system. Add to that the fact that it can be used as a media server and you might just have found what you are looking for if you need a central storage solution.

It seems that more and more people are realize just how frail hard drives are these days and the fact that they need a backup system for their home unless they don't mind losing their data every so often. We have had enough hard drives crash on us that we now have a dedicated backup server in the house so all of our movies, music and pictures are secure.

Here is the feature list from their site:

  • Marvel 88F5281 Processor : 30+ MBps read performance with minial power draw.
  • Large Storage Capacity : Four Serial ATA drives
  • RAID Data Protection : RAID 0, 1, 5 and JBOD
  • DHCP and FTP Server : Easy network integration
  • UPnP AV and iTunes Server : Stream music directly to iTunes or network media device
  • OS Support : Windows 2000/XP/Vista, Linux and Mac OS X
  • System backup and restore : Optional software package for business orientated clients

If you don't already have a storage solution and/or you are looking for a way to serve up media to your network without having your main computer on all the time this might work out perfectly for you.

No word on when it will be released, but we will keep you posted when it does.

via akihabaranews

David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 4, 2007

Planex Jack in the Box Multi-Function Home Media Server


Planex is set to release their new product, the "Jack in the Box". This is a home media server with some very interesting capabilities. This is the standard empty NAS server meaning you have to supply your own drives, but with the price of discount drives on the web we think this is a great way to keep the overall price of the unit low. It will support up to two 750GB drives in each of its SATA bays and can do RAID 0 and 1.

They have bundled in a home brewed BitTorrent client which is a trend we love to see develop. We love the idea of turning our power hungry computer off for the night and let our low power NAS server do all the work. They also claim to be able to support an iTunes server which would be a great addition to anyone wanting to stream music throughout their house and not have to leave their main computer on.

We are not sure when this will hit the states since as far as we can tell it is only out in Japan, but this is a device that anyone running a home media network should really consider.

via engadget.

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June 8, 2007

QNAP BitTorrent Enabled NAS: TS-109 Pro Turbo Station


QNAP is about set to release what could just be the best thing since sliced bread with their TS-109 Pro Turbo Station. For any of us that have struggled with the concept of leaving your main PC on all the time so that it can handle all of the networked devices you have in your house the TS-109 could just be the answer.

Currently we use our main PC for so many music streaming servers and BitTorrent clients that we can never really turn it off without bringing down just about every device in our house. What we have been trying to setup in the office is a low power device that we can offload some of services to so we aren't reliant on our PC so much.

The TS-109 is one of those all in one hard drives that we have been seeing more and more of lately. The TS-109 seems to have just about everything you could need in a small form factor. For starters it can handle up to a 1TB drive internally. While that is nice, with the way movie file sizes are growing with HD now that won't be enough for everyone. That is why the nice people over at QNAP have added USB and eSATA ports to the back of this bad boy. And with Q-RAID 1 support you can secure your data from drive failure also. It also sports the ability to act as an iTunes server for anyone that wants to stream iTunes music but again doesn't want to have to leave their PC on all the time.

QNAP is also pushing the idea that this is a "no noise" device which means you could( and we stress could ) keep this device in your media cabinet and you wouldn't be able to hear the whine of the drive as you download season one of CHiPs while you sit on your couch and your PC is turned off.

So basically what we are trying to say is that when this comes out it will be a great addition to anyones array of storage and network streaming devices.

When this becomes available you can be sure we will pounce on it and give you a detailed review.

via engadget

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May 22, 2007

Planex MZ-04G Media Router


The Planex MZ-04G Router is a new breed of routers that does more then just route your traffic around your house. Typical routers only allow you to create a home network from just the one incoming connection you have to the internet. The new trend now is to build more functionality into these devices allowing you to do more with them then ever before.

One of the big new additions to these new routers is an embedded BitTorrent client. One of the pains about using BitTorrent to dowload media from the net is the fact that you have to leave your computer on all day to do it. We hate wasting energy and wish we could have another low power unit do all of our BitTorrent downloads for us. Well enter the MZ-04G.

By hooking up a USB hard drive to the to one of the 2 USB ports on the back of the router you can save all your downloads right to that, again keeping the main PC off for the night. Even if you aren't big into downloading BitTorrents you can still take advantage of the USB ports to add some NAS to your home network.

We can only assume that we will be seeing more and more of these types of products this coming year. There is no release date yet, but we will be sure to update you once we find out.

via engadget.

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April 2, 2007

Review of MythTV


For those of you with some technical know-how and that are looking for a product that not only does it all, but does it all and then some, you should think about MythTV. MythTV is an open source software package that can do just about anything with your home media. It can act as a PVR, video viewer, photo viewer, mp3 player, game emulator, RSS feed reader, weather viewer, and a dvd player. And if it can't do something you want, odds are someone has already written a plug in to do it.

The reason we say that you need some technical know-how is that this is a Linux based software package, and the installation, depending on which flavor of Linux you install on, can be challenging. We played around with this about 3 years ago and then again just a few weeks ago and the improvements blew us away. First off the install is fairly simple now following a pretty standard install script that most computer users have seen before. The interface is very smooth and responsive and the themes that come bundled are gorgeous.

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March 13, 2007

Mvix MV-5000U Multimedia Player


MvixUSA's MV-5000U is a new approach to networked music and one that we think you will come to love. Usually the products that we cover deal with being hooked up to the network so you can keep your files in once place and play them over your entertainment center.

Well the MV-5000U takes a different approach. Basically you hook this up to your PC via USB 2.0 and transfer all of the files you want to the internal hard drive( not included with purchase ). Once you have all of your music, photos and videos on the device just move it down to your entertainment center and hook it up to your TV and stereo.

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March 6, 2007

MvixUSA MX-760HD Review

The MX-760HD from MvixUsa is their latest offering in the networked digital media market. The Mvix 760HD is basically an external hard drive that has built in media playing capabilities. Hook this up to your TV and you can, via the on screen menus, browse the media that is backed up on the internal hard drive ( up to 750gig can be purchased and installed by the user ) or another location on your network. This is a very stylish device that offers what a lot of people have been looking for, an attractive unit that can easily display their media on their TV. Very few people want to sit at their computer to watch movies or look at sideshows of pictures. Hook this up to your TV and you won't have to. Once you have the hard drive set up to work with the Mvix, whatever you put on it will be accessible either via the front control panels or the remote control. ArrowContinue reading: "MvixUSA MX-760HD Review"

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February 28, 2007

New Airport Extreme

Apple has released a successor to its very popular line of Base Stations the new Airport Extreme. This is everything you would want in a main router for the house. It has a very friendly configuration interface that makes it easy to setup and maintain your home network. We have been using the previous model in our house for over a year now and it has served us well, from having top notch security to making it easy to keeping our wireless devices connected. The wireless strength has been great even in our hold home which normally defeated all of our attempts to introduce a wireless network. With this new model Apple has stepped up to the plate and has seen the oncoming onslaught of HD and streaming HD so they have introduced the draft standard of 802.11n. This mammoth speed boost from what we all thought was super fast 802.11g is amazing. Basically we are talking somewhere in the range of 100-200Mbps!! Even on the low end that is some insane speed for your wireless network. ArrowContinue reading: "New Airport Extreme"

David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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