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How to Set up Your Own Media Server?

It may sound a complicated proposition, but building up a media server for home use is a comparatively simple task because a home structure is not that complicated than a bigger commercial building. The cost of setting it up can vary as the complexity increases. Here we will look at two popular methods that are simple and economical to set up.

What is a media server?

Put into simple terms, a media server will allow you to store all your media files in the same centralised location and access them from various devices around the home. The main advantage of this is that your files are not duplicated on PC’s or tablets and, as a media server has just one task, accessing the information is faster.

media server

Definition from Wikipedia:

By definition, a media server is a device that simply stores and shares media. This definition is vague, and can allow several different devices to be called Media Servers.

What can be stored?

Virtually any type of data can be stored including digital music collections, films, photographs, and home movies. In fact, anything that you may wish to access in more than one place in the home.

The hardware

There are no special requirements for a simple home media server set up but a number of minimums are suggested.

  • The processor should be a dual core as a sensible minimum with 2 GB of RAM available. Better RAM makes the process smoother so it’s always good to have more RAM but you can keep it 2GB at the primary level.
  • Current media server standards suggest hard drives should be 2 TB (Terabytes). If you intend to spend any money on your server then this is where you should spend it as the hard drives hold all your valuable data.
  • Ethernet adaptor. A gigabit adapter will allow you to stream to multiple units without freezing.
  • The Power supply unit should be capable of starting up all the hard drives simultaneously. This may become an issue if you are using an old computer as a base for the media centre. A quick rule of thumb is: A hard drive consumes around 5 Watts of power at idle and 30 watts on start up.

The software

A variety of companies offer software to run your media centre, some are free and some will cost, but do come with online and telephone back up. The choice here is down to you and your budget. If you afford you can get a premium software which surely be better as free ones come with some limitations.

The alternative

With the advent of Fibre optic broadbandStreaming information into the home has never been faster. There is a simpler way of sharing this information if you don’t wish to go down the dedicated server route.

All major operating systems offer file sharing option which will allow you to set up one of your PCs as a media server. This allows you to stream information to other points e.g. television, laptop or tablet. The advantage of this is that you are not investing time and money in purchasing or building a dedicated media server. The main disadvantage is that it will be slower and less efficient at streaming information. Plus it will also be necessary to leave the dedicated PC on permanently.

Final words

Setting up your media server at your home is a very good idea specifically when you know the affordable way. Steps are mentioned in the post are quite easy. Isn’t it?

So stop waiting and get your own media server installed into your home and enjoy accessing the media from the centralised system by sitting anywhere in your home.

Comments (6)

  • Avatar

    Hello Atish,

    Love this, I’ve been thinking the same to build own media server at home but stopped thinking due to lack of instructions. I guess this article is super useful.

    Reply
  • Avatar

    Thanks for sharing artish…!

    Honestly, I’ve got no plan for preparing media server but I’m really glad to learn about what I don’t.

    You know..? It was a really nice building media service.

    Reply
  • Avatar

    Loved this post. It’s a cool idea to make a media server for the personal use. Gonna try it. Thanks for sharing such a helpful post.

    Reply
  • Avatar

    really nice concept to create media server at home. personally at my home we are using several laptop and tablet for different person like me my brother and my wife and sister also. so we are facing problem to transfer data and photos collection also. its cool to centralized my data to use for all in single access

    Reply
  • Avatar

    Hi..
    Thank you for posting this article and sharing this information how to set up your own media server and create media server at home .its cool to centralized my data to use for all in single access .

    thank you

    Reply
  • Avatar

    Great tutorial Atish 🙂
    Setting up a media server is bit tricky task but its awesome when you finally set it up.

    Reply

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