First, my infrastructure: 1 HTPC, 1 Desktop, 1 Laptop. Also: 2 smart phones, lots of consoles. Possibly a tablet and additional desktop in the future.
I'm (still) looking at putting up a NAS in order to centralize content, do backups and provide scratch space, etc.
When it comes to DLNA, Network Shares and iSCIS I think I understand the basics of what these three technologies do, but I'm not sure that I "get" them, as in do I really understand how they're used practically, and which ones to select for what, etc. Anecdotes, real-world experience and general education all appreciated.
What I sort of understand:
1. Good old network shares. - Probably what I'm most familiar with. Share a directory structure on the NAS, and then I can map it as network drive for quick and dirty organized access.
2. DLNA - Media streaming - The main benefit I see to this is that it will allow just about anything to (semi) easily get the music and movies I've placed on the NAS. Xbox, PS3, HTPC, even the phones. Also guests bringing tablets or notebooks over too. Finally, +100 to geekdom if set to allow tablet/phone selecting a movie, and having it play e HTPC/TV.
3. iSCSI - Allows me to mount a directory (or is it a whole volume?) to a PC on the network as if it were a physical drive. I think it's neat, but its the hardest for understand the benefits of, since I don't see a clear use case.
A jumble of use-thoughts :
With regards to media consumption, the HTPC is currently the biggest consumer. Being that it's a full-fledged PC, I'm wondering whether going DLNA is worth it. Why stream when I can access the file directly? This means I could potentially get around picky standards/codec restrictions--but do I lose out on things like DXVA acceleration?
Of course, they're not mutually exclusive. Seems to me I could provide the HTPC full file access via network shares, but have the content organized for DLNA streaming so that other equipment can play along. Does this make sense?
Also, what would I do with an iSCSI target? I read up on one person trying to use an iSCSI target so that his Media Center could record TV straight to that drive over the network (but I believe 7MC supports recording to network shares?). Also, I thought it might be great if I built the new laptop thin on storage and just used the NAS to store bulk content (like media)--but again, I can do this with a network drive instead of iSCSI.
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