Last weekend I probably had to be the most unluckiest person as far as losing everything on my hard drives. I have two computers, one with a two disk RAID & the main computer with SSD for programmes and SSD Hybrid for storage. I had to format the storage drive so I backed up everything to my RAID storage only to have one of those fail during backup. Sadly it is mechanical so not much hope of recovering anything and the singular drive had been partially written to and didn't recover much.
Moving forward I want to review how I store my data. Not just being media but everything. I have seen it suggested in threads here to invest in NAS by Synology. That's a great idea but it is the viewing experience too. I used to have Emby server on both computers (watching with Emby classic) so that I could have the one for the viewing and the other for stuff that was still downloading. IE, I collect TV stuff until the season ends. For me it keeps it tidy and (I don't have to show all of those folders on the viewing pc)but the meta data is still being updated.
I would like to move away from having two computers if possible without losing the experience. I also want to be able to use a remote control for whatever I decide to go with.
I have a Samsung Smart TV but see that the software for that is still being developed.
Could anyone advise what could be options for me? I am open to any new ideas.
The key firstly is to have a solid storage system which I guess would be a NAS network but I don't want to spend thousands on this.
Any ideas for the viewing experience will be much appreciated.
I had the same issue (drive failure) about a year and a half ago. I was using MS dynamic disks and one of them died causing me to lose a ton of data (fortunately I had one set of disks for TV series and one for movies so it wasn't a total loss.) At that point I transitioned to Windows Storage Spaces.
Storage spaces certainly has its ups and its downs however it has been working well for me since I started using it in Dec 2013. Using the Party layout in 4 columns I have 8 disks of data giving me 6 disks worth of storage and single drive failure coverage. I had a drive fail in the summer 2014, where I got a notification that a drive failed so I picked on up on my way home and popped the new one in and viola it started rebuilding the drive. This seemed like an ideal solution since it has minor start-up costs in that you just need a computer with a lot of sata ports (or PCI/PCI-E ports to add host bus adapters) to be able to keep expanding as things fill, and it offsets the issue of expensive raid hardware and if your raid card dies later you would be equally screwed if you cant get the same one (or one that is directly compatible). Its also nice since you can just take the drives and pop them in any windows computer that has storage spaces support (windows 8, server 2012 and up).
Currently I am in the process of changing the entire layout of my storage to be more space efficient and provide better redundancy. For me this means adding 4 drives (bringing the total to 12) then rewriting all the data to a dual parity virtual disk with 12 columns. As everything is thin provisioned this means that I can literally just move things from one virtual disk to the other and it will shrink the old one and expand the new one as it moves stuff. At the end I will have 12 disks of storage with 10 being usable the remaining two providing me with two full disk failure redundancy.
It is very important to note the following though, the parity storage spaces has TERRIBLE write speed. I typically get an average of 15-30 Mbyte/s so when moving 10 TB its quite painful however its read speeds have always been great (I often get 400+ MByte/s) for the first 15 gb then it drops off to around 50 Mbyte/s) while all these speeds seem alarming it hasn't really been an issue for me even when I have had as many as 5 or 6 streams going at once. And I don't typically add a TB at a time or anything (usually max of around 50GB a day with the average being much lower than that) and everything seems to be pretty quick.
I do also have an additional 1.5TB green drive that I store high-value information from the array in a 1:1 (mirror) arrangement VIA a nightly backup that is scheduled. Things that get backed up are personal pictures accounting data, anything that is ultimately irreplaceable. While it would be a shame to lose my video collection it is all replaceable.
While NAS devices might seem like nice little packages I find that they are extremely limited for expansion and processing power, (not to meantion they cost an arm and a leg) and therefore I avoid them. Raid cards could work out well however you should always buy two in case one fails and you run into a similar issue of having more drives than your controller can support. I also looked at ZFS but it seemed that the RAM requirement was pretty substantial (this can be cut down with deduplication off) and I am not super familiar with the systems that use it.
Ultimately I think you would be happy building a computer that has lots of drive bays with Windows and Storage Spaces at it's foundation.