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my husband and I are looking for a solution of storing files and backing these up, and sharing songs in our iTunes Library and films we buy online. We are going to purchase a projector so we want this to also have access to these files so we can view films on the projector. Would this set up work:

  • Buy a Drobo FS (or a Mac Mini although I think we will need more storage than this can give) which both my husband and myself can store all our files on and which we can both have access to on our separate laptops

  • Buy external HDs that can daisy chain and connect to the Drobo to back up all the files on there

  • plug in an HDMI cable from the projector into Drobo/Mac Mini and access the files to watch movies

Would this set up work well and does anyone have a preference between a Drobo FS and a Mac Mini or can anyone recommend a better solution?

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Unless the projector has its own OS (which I doubt), then to my understanding you won't be able to play videos/music from the Drobo as it does not have that capacity. You can stream videos from the Drobo but you need a device to decode the audio/video streams for playback. This necessitates another device between the Drobo such as the aforementioned Mac Mini, Xbox, PS3, etc.

The Drobo does look to have some plugins/modules, but none so far as I can tell have the capacity to do what you need. Your best (read: cheapest) option is probably to build your own HTPC with a RAID1/5/10 setup and a specially-purposed HTPC OS such as Windows MCE or one of the popular Ubuntu variants (e.g. ElementOS).

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