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I going to create a central file server to store all my media files (music, HD video, etc.). This server will be accessed by multiple HTPC around the house. I plan on all the PCs and the router to support gigabit ethernet. What I would like input on is how would I be able to have stream all the files to my vairous nodes with output any choppy video and/or audio. Is there any hardware tricks I could use to ensure that there will be no lag if I am streaming five 1080p files w/ (5, 6 or 7).1 audio to five nodes.

Also this is a little off topic but can two media players type programs play the same file on two different PCs.

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Last Post by Talguy
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Welcome to Daniweb.

You need to cover a few bases here.

#1 You have to make sure everything is gigabit compliant. I would purchase a fully gigabit switch (doesn't have to be Cisco, though if you have the $$$ not a bad idea). You also have to make sure that your PCs have gigabit networking cards.

#2 Are you considering an actual server, or a desktop-turned-server setup? Either would work, you just need to ensure your processors are adequate... though don't over compensate. Network streaming isn't extremely processor intensive, I don't think. A single Quad-core will do fine.

#3 Is this a home project? How much $$ are you willing to put into your setup? Have you planned on future expansion (it's better to spend an extra $1,000 now than buy a whole new system next year)?

#4 If you can in fact afford a Cisco switch (or any managed switch) you could setup an EtherChannel, essentially coupling two network interfaces into one large one (e.g., turn two 1-gb links into one 2-gb link). This would require an extra networking card and an extra port on your switch.

The key is to avoid a bottleneck.
Hope this helps :)

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I was considering in building a 16 terabyte system that would be running a single quad core processor desktop or server grade. This system would be rack mounted with the rest of my audio/video equipment. The motherboard I am looking at has dual ethernet ports

I thought if you had two NICs on a windows system it would only use one of those cards and the other would just become a dead unit.

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If you don't mind me asking, why so much space? What will this system be used for, more specifically? That is enough space for 1,500 1080p quality movies (at roughly the typical 8GB each).

And absolutely not. You can purchase two networking cards, and use LACP or PAgP to logically tie them together. You have to make sure they are the same manufacturer (and preferably the same model). This gets into a bit of configuration on the switch IOS, but it's nothing too bad. Would only take about 15-20 minutes to setup.

Here's a little info on LACP.

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This server is going to host all my DVDs and music files for a house wide audio and video distribution system. Plenty of companies make nice pre-made systems but I would like to make my own that would be able to do more then those and is upgradeable over time. Also I would like to use this server to store backups of the various computer around the house. But primarily it will most my music and DVD collection that will stream these files to the various computers throughout the house.

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Ok, if you need help with setting up an Etherchannel or if you have any more questions, just let us know. :)

You might look into purchasing some HDMI-out cards for your PCs, so that they could stream your videos straight to the television located in that room (assuming the TVs are relatively new and have HDMI ports).

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Thanks for all the help

Yea I am already looking at HDMI cards that ouput audio over the HDMI also

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