I just bought a NetGear ReadyNas Duo to connect hard drives to my home network, to stream movies and the like to our fabulous Xbox Classic media center. In the process of researching, I was wondering whether the kind of hard drive connection matters. I mean, if you plug USB hard drives into a device like that, does it run fast enough to stream one or more movies simultaneously? How many simultaneous movies or audio streams would your average home ethernet carry? My first stab at answering these questions are below.
On the left are various network and hard drive connection technologies. On the right are various uses to which I might want to put them. You can't use a slower connection (eg. bluetooth) to drive a faster usage (eg. blu-ray quality movies). Centre column is the data rate in megabits per second (Mb/s):
EDGE mobile phone 0.23 0.3 cd audio bluetooth1 0.7 1.3 minimal video bluetooth2 2.1 wifi 802.11b 4.5 5.0 dvd mpeg-2 quality ADSL1 8.0 ethernet 10baseT 10 USB1 12 15 hdtv video (from 8 to 15) ADSL2+ 24* cable modem 30 40 blu-ray disc wifi 802.11g 54 firewire800 act 65 ethernet 100baseT 100* PCI 133 USB2 actual 240 firewire 400 theo 400 USB2 theoretical 480 wifi 802.11n 600 firewire 800 theo 800 Seagate Barracuda 960* ethernet gigabit 1,000 SATA-150 theo 1,500 SATA-300 theo 3,000 * = my setup
I'm assuming that I don't have gigabit ethernet, because I've never paid it any attention in the past. Judging from the above, my 100BaseT should be more than adequate, but will be the weakest link. So that'll be the first thing I look at if streaming seems sub-par. Coolio!
Update: Everything works swimmingly. I've had no problem with streaming speeds. Problems *have* occurred with some .avi files which appeared to have invalid interleave cross-stream differential parity (or something) and efforts to reverse their polarity were to no avail (transcoding software generally wouldn't even read the files!) A quick visit or two to MiniNova fixed all that.