Home Sharing USB Attached Content
Hey folks, long time visitor, first time poster.
I would really appreciate some advice here, as I’m not getting much help from my local tech shops. I’ve been struggling with this conundrum for 6-years, revisiting it every couple years, without any real solution.
I hope I’ve posted in the right forum.
I’m looking for suggestions on how to share content located on 12 (or more) external USB HDD’s between 5 (or more) televisions over a home network. My vocabulary may be wrong here, but to do this I’m looking for advice related to:
-HTPCs or Media Servers
-Router Upgrades (currently have a Linksys E3000 Wireless-N Router)
My 12 hard drives contain a lot of different types of media, mostly DVD rips and 720p MKV encodes, but there are some Blu-Ray rips and 1080p (or better) encodes.
Currently I connect my media to a single TV using a PCH C-200 and USB hubs. It’s great for playing content, but I’ve never been able to configure it properly in order to allow access to the content attached to the C-200 by other media players over WiFi.
If I can get it to work, my ideal setup would be some type of computer / server connected to HDD’s through USB hubs. My server knowledge is almost non-existent. This server(?) would connect to the network by an ethernet cable, and each TV would connect to the content on my USB HDD’s through WiFi enabled media players.
I’m confused by the NAS hub options; as I need to attach 12 (really more like 15) HDD’s, I think I’d be spending more on the hubs than I would otherwise need to spend on a barebones server that I attach my USB HDD’s or hubs to USB HDD’s.
I don’t need the server to connect to a TV, which is why I’m hesitant to look at an actual HTPC. I would like to be able to connect to this server (via Macbook or desktop PC) in order to add/delete/modify content on my HDD’s.
I’d rather save money on a server and/or media players in order to spend it on additional HDD’s. Beyond Netflix, I don’t imagine I’ll care ‘what else’ my media player can do beyond allowing me to view HD media files over a WiFi network. It would be very rare that I would ever stream media to more than 2 TV’s at once.
Does anyone who uses USB attached external HDD’s for media storage have any recommendations for the type of setup I am going for?
Thank you so much for your advice or suggestions.