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Are we wasting our time?


dschoemaker1
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I was describing my set-up to someone at work. I do use my server to back up all my home computers, but I'll admit its mainly an entertainment device. I have 460 movies and about 12 television shows with multiple seasons on the server. He asked me what that cost and when I told him he said I was nuts. His argument was that he pays $10.00 a month to Netflix and he can watch anything I have on my server at any time. With his netflix membership he can go over to his girlfriends house, log on her x-box and do the same thing. It would take him 10 years of "membership dues" to equal what I have in hardware, not to mention time.

 

I was a little stumped for a response for a while... I don't know enough about netflix because I don't belong and never have. But I think I have a decent response. Netflix doesn't allow you to watch what you want to watch all the time and with a Home Server I have 90% of my "favorite movies and shows" at my fingertips. Does Netflix allow that kind of access? Does it allow multiple streams like my WHS, with me in one room and kids in anohter? Can you sit on your patio with a laptop and watch a program, stop it and move to a TV inside and pick it up?

 

I have decent cable, its up 99% of the time so I can really argue access, and its a nice feature that he can go to his gf's house (of course I can grab a file on a thumbdrive and do much of the same).

 

Your thoughts?

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Some of us live in a remote enough area the we are lucky to get 1 Mb download which is not good enough for 1 Netflix stream much less multiple. Not sure a Netflix subscription entitles or allows you to watch multiple streams at the same time.

 

I guess I would say his argument is probably valid. But then again, I could watch TV on a 19" flat screen LED instead of a 58" Plasma. It's about personal preferences and the desire to mess with new technology.

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How is netflix with kids movies? I've never used it.

 

I bought a backup system and gained a media streamer. I bet his netflix won't save his data or restore his pc in an hour or less!

 

My boys can get to their DVDs in seconds rather than scratching and waiting for them to load. That was a major motivation. Lastly, when we buy a DVD we can view it anywhere. Car, zine, hotel, computer, iPad, etc.

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So I have the best of both worlds. I use the WHS and have a very fast connection with Netflix and steam movies often.

 

I could back up my movies on the WHS but CHOOSE not to. Right now it's still too much work to import and keep each and every movie I own on my Home Server. My kids are grown, so I don't have Dave's issues (eating Wall-E). So it works for us to either watch the DVD or stream from Netflix.

 

Netflix however, is still very limited on what can be streamed (my opinion) and watching them online is still not as good as streaming them locally or using the original media. They also don't offer a service that allows PC Backup or local file sharing. That's my WHS job. I would totally agree with Dave.

 

So for now, I am happy to do both.

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I would say it's all about ownership. With your setup, you own the movies and can do with them whatever you want. OTOH, he is renting with Netflix. I guess it all depends which side you'd rather be on - own a car or rent a car. (Is that a fair analogy?)

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His argument was that he pays $10.00 a month to Netflix and he can watch anything I have on my server at any time. With his netflix membership he can go over to his girlfriends house, log on her x-box and do the same thing. It would take him 10 years of "membership dues" to equal what I have in hardware, not to mention time.

 

 

Your thoughts?

He's kinda "right", but not "Right now". I have netflix in addition to 300+ DVD/Blu-ray on my server. At the moment, a fairly small percentage of the NetFlix library is available for streaming. If most of the NetFlix library (specifically, my favorites) were available for streaming, then I'd tend to agree that it wouldn't make very much sense to continue buying DVDs/Blu-rays for anything but a handful of my absolute favorite films.

A less important, but additional, point is that on the streamed netflix movies, you don't get the special features on the DVD (as far as I can tell).

I have not tested whether or not netflix will allow 2 simultaneous streams of content, but this point is something to consider.

 

Also, at risk of stating the obvious, your investment in your WHS does much more than stream your movie collection. Much of this functionality you would need even if Netflix had all movies/tv shows available for streaming.

 

Lastly...my experience in streaming from Netflix has been very good, but not perfect. On balance, I get better quality/reliability out of streaming from my server.

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First off, Netflix does not have surround sound and the quality is mediocre, especially if your connection is not up to snuff. Netflix benefits me for TV series more than anything on older showsand it just complements my connection. That being said, my homeserver does lots of hings besides serve up movies. The main reason I bought it was for a central storage location with duplication capability for all of my data. And it also backs up 8 PCs every night without a hitch.

 

So, if you factor all those things together the price is worth it in my honest opinion. I have many buddies like that guy and they say I am nuts, but when they bring their laptop over with a dead HD, and say "can I get my pictures back off of it" A homeserver seems very cheap at that point in time when I tell them "NO".

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I'm more like Jim. My WHS is mostly for backups and file sharing (photos, home videos, software distros and music). For my wife and I, our television viewing is limited to OTA Digital (~20 channels) and NetFlix. Streaming is so-so, but occasionally has some older movies and tv series that we enjoy. Rarely do I ever want to watch a movie and find it offered streaming. I typically end up adding to my queue to be delivered by mail.

 

If Microsoft ever builds better media streaming into WHS, I would love to be able to capture statistics. How many movies does one rip onto their WHS box never to be watched again?

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My opinion is that a bit different. I do not watch OTA or any form of TV (even thought I have two satellite DVR's) as only watch movies. That being said, we are years aways from having full HD films (actual HD with good bit rates) and with lossless audio from being able to streamed to the home as the internet providers or service providers can not handle 35-45mbs bit rates. Based on that, adding the home video aspect, photos, and of course the multi-system back ups, using WHS to store you media just make sense. I think we all agree that it a great for backup, however I want to have all my favorite movies in full resolution with no compression and loss of audio quality available to me anytime without putting in a physical disk and I want to play them in any room in the house. As time is limited, I do not want to wait to have anything delivered and remember that there is a 30 day delay on new releases of new films on netflix. So I guess you have to decide what your needs are to me, the fact that I scale storage means that as long as I planned out my WHS correctly I can scale overtime and add the storage I need to store my collection, and I want enable duplication to ensure that I am protected. I still periodically watch movies from a couple of years ago that are still in my collection. Just my thoughts.

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I have had Netflix for close to 10 years and we stream to the Xbox360 which is also my Media Extender for Movies that we have ripped and saved on the WHS. Here is a good example of availability for steaming on Netflix, my wife decided she wanted to Watch Grey's Anatomy (TV Series). Only 1 season out of 5 or 6 was available for streaming, the rest came on disc, so not what I would call "anything at anytime". We have decent cable and Netflix is will jump from HD to 1 notch below HD then back up. In 45 Minutes it would jump and buffer 2 times on average.

 

I have My Movies setup and I rip or DVD's to the WHS and then stream them off the Xbox and she much prefers that method. And like everyone else pointed out, it is not Apples to Apples, WHS does so much more. We use the Xbox to play Music and it slideshow our photos at the same time and everyone loves it.

 

If Netflix is an Apple then WHS is a whole Fruit Basket.

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