I had a recent scare with my main home computer; one of my internal drives appeared to fail and I thought I lost all our digital media (pictures, video, MP3s) since I didn't have a backup (I know, bad me).
I was able to recover the drive and immediately made backups to a second internal drive, an external drive, and I'm currently backing up on-line via MozyHome.
I don't want to be in this position again, so what I'd like to be able to do is:
Centralize all my digital media to a single device, preferebly one with a RAID 5 or RAID 10 config so I don't have to worry about individual disk failures.
Stream the digital media over my home network to my Linux (Ubuntu) and Windows (XP, Vista and Windows 7) PCs, as well as my home theater.
Backup my digital media on-line, where it's secure and easily recoverable in the event of a disaster.
I'm leaning towards a DLNA-compliant NAS with a RAID 5 or RAID 10 config. Would this be better than getting a Windows Home Server (WHS) machine? What advantages does WHS have over a NAS?
If I go with a WHS, I'd probably look at specing one out myself and having a custom build rather than use an off-the-shelf WHS like the HP MediaSmart; would this be a good idea, or should I just go with a vendor's system? If a vendor, which vendor and system?
If I go with a WHS, how would I stream media from the WHS to the home theater? Would I have to use a Windows Media Center Extender device, or some other kind of device?
From what I've read, MozyHome isn't able to backup WHS servers, NAS devices or network drives; I'd have to "upgrade" to MozyPro at a greatly increased cost. Are there any on-line backup services that can handle WHS servers or NAS devices at a reasonable price? If I have a RAID 5/RAID 10 config do I even need to backup on-line, or would a backup to an external drive be enough?
I'm leaning towards getting a PS3 to use as a streaming media client for the home theater, so that I get a blu-ray DVD player, gaming console and streaming media all in one package (my home theater is just plain DVD at the moment). I do have my Vista laptop currently configured with Windows Media Center to take advantage of streaming NetFlix movies along with the other media. Would I be able to stream NetFlix movies with the PS3 as well? Should I be considering any other devices? I'd like to have a device dedicated to the home theater, so we can still use the laptop while streaming media. A device with a blu-ray player would be a big plus.
I'm going to get my daughter a ZuneHD this holiday as a gift; what impact does that have on my decisions above (if any)? Would some kind of an iPod be a better choice?