I currently own a WD Sharespace and I am not too happy about it. It will freeze constantly and its rather slow. I've been thinking of replacing it. I also own a WD HD Live, and it works like it is supposed to, but recently I've seen XBMC in action and I was quite impressed.

I've been wondering lately about the possibility of replacing both products with one new device: a fast reliable nas which I can install XBMC on and is capable of rendering video and has an HDMI out.

Do any such devices exist for sale or is the only way to build one from scratch?

I've seen HTPC's for sale but I've never seen any of them with a raid setup. I've also read about building your own NAS with freeNAS but those setups dont allow you to run XBMC. Does anyone have experience with this?

2 Answers 2


I run XBMC on a couple of Zotac mini-ITX ION PCs as clients to a Linux server that stores the files in my basement. Instead of trying to bundle everything into one HTPC, I think it is much better if you run a separate NAS box in your closet or basement and then a quiet client. I'm upgrading my Linux server to a Synology DS1511+, but their two-bay DS211j (about $200) would take a couple of identical disks and do a great job for you. Depends on how much you want to store.

FreeNAS is also very cool. I'm just not certain how it performs network-wise and your power consumption for an old PC is going to be higher than a specialized NAS, so you may pay more in the long-run. The primary reasons I'm moving from my homebrew Linux fileserver to Synology are power consumption and speed.

  • I do the same thing here. >4TB media server lives in the office, serves content out to an Xbox 360 and Zotac MAG Downstairs, and a second Zotac upstairs. The biggest problem with a do-all box is that you can make it as fanless as you want, but hard drives and power supplies are still noisy. My next file server will most likely be an HP ProLiant Microserver. It was like they were reading my mind when they built that thing...
    – peelman
    Mar 3, 2011 at 0:44

Even though this question is pretty old it is still getting quite a lot of views so I'll contribute what I actually ended up doing.

I got a Drobo 5N and installed Plex on it. I'm actually quite happy with both the Drobo and Plex on it.

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