How to Set Up a Media Server for Home Theater?

How to Set Up a Media Server for Home Theater?
How to Set Up a Media Server for Home Theater?

You can set up a media server for home theater with these easy methods. Its main function is to deliver digital media to the users in a collective way. It provides everything in media, i.e., from movies to games and television shows.

How to Set Up a Media Server for Home Theater? You can set up a media server for home theater by selecting a suitable NAS enclosure, install hard drives, connect NAS media to home theater, and install the apps.

A dedicated computer or NAS is used to make the system of media server work as a home theater. With the help of this system, you can watch the media content and play games on your connected television. You can also stream it on other devices from the home network.

Media Server Device

It is a networking device that works like a standard location for the viewers to get access to the data on the specified network. Media servers are mainly used to deliver the most popular videos to the viewers.

All the prerecorded data is conveyed over the internet right after recovering it from the storage. In the media server, the video file is fixed on the web page and stored on the same host.

It happens in a simple scenario. Moreover, if we look at the common cases of media servers like Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu, then media servers have to support a few or most of them.

It depends on which type of video player’s media server is going to support. Furthermore,(CDNs) which is a content delivery network used to deliver the videos to all the customers all around the world.

Components of Media Server

The media server consists of 3 main parts. Let’s have a look at them.

Server: This is a device that is used to deal with clients. It is also known as a smart device, it helps clients through the requested media files.

Storage device: This device is used to store all types of files like videos, photos, and computer files. That’s why it is known as a storage device.

Clients: Clients are the main component of the server because the server is based upon the clients. Therefore, these devices help to approach the end-users Like TV, Mobile phone, and Personal computer.

These components should be connected. Either they may be connected through local area networks or maybe through wireless methods. Thus it is important for them to connect so they could perform well.

How to Set Up a Media Server for Home Theater?

Setting a media server system for home theater is not a complicated task. All the process is given below with the required details and descriptions to avoid any complications. The step by step method is adopted to provide general guidelines

Either you have to buy a NAS, or you should have to organize the dedicated Computer. All the media files must be stored in the hard device. So don’t forget to install the hard drive.

Ethernet cable must be there so you could easily connect the server to the network. Install your applications the apps which you want to use and convert all the files to the hard drive. The media server also serves as a streaming service, and it also has a backup storage solution.

Get a NAS Enclosure or use computers as a media server

NAS is a mini-computer that has a hard drive in it. For setting up the home media server, you must have the network connected storehouse system, and for this purpose, NAS is the best option.

NAS helps to enclose all the media and join the home network. Through this, you can get an approach on all devices.

You can easily buy NAS not only from the old computer or hard drives but also from purchasing an enclosure system. But if you have a tight budget and you don’t want to go for long arrangement procedures, then you must try the off-the-shelf NAS system.

Furthermore, this system is very easy to use, and you can place it anywhere because it is small in size.

Installation of Hard drives

For installing the hard drive in a desktop computer, first of all, remove the case over. Then you will mount a drive into the 3.5 inches drive bays and will join the SATA and also the power cables. Installing a system of hard drive is very easy, and it takes only 5 to 10 minutes.

Connection of NAS media server to a home network

In this step, you will simply connect NAS to the home network. Supplying high-quality media to the various devices will demand the high speed. If your server has a low speed so it will create a problem when it delivers the media to devices.

Transfer of files, Apps installation and more

Your computer, hard drives will have lots of data so you can quickly transfer all the data to NAS. Delivery of data varies from system to another system, but if your NAS is correctly arranged on the network so you can easily see the data in the file manager.

Moreover, Most of the NAS has the facility of USB ports through which you can quickly transfer your data.

Installation of applications

By installing different apps, you will be able to access all files over the various devices. In short, you can enjoy all the facilities by installing different apps.

Creation of a sick MS with Plex: You can easily install the Plex on your NAS and can enjoy movies, music, and photos by keeping your own media server. Plex is the easiest server for setting up, and it is used for any type of device like Android to iPod.

Plex has apps for almost every type of platform; therefore, it has an easy approach to any device. Plex is used for QNAP and sinology, but sometimes it shows the old fashioned version. Plex is free of cost, but if you pay 45 dollars for a year so you can enjoy the facility anywhere and anytime.

Install Sonarr Application: After plex, you can easily install sonar and can enjoy the secure download system. Through this app, you can download any TV show at any time and watch it on your home theater system.

You can install BitTorrent: By this app, you can download all the new stuff. Also, you can approach to files and streaming media easily on your TV.

You can easily set the BitTorrent client on the NAS. Synology and QNAP are providing the app known as download station through which every user can download the files from BitTorrent, NZB, FTP, and many more.

Backup facility: It is one of the best solutions NAS is providing to its users. Mac users can use sinology and QNAP with a time machine. Also, if something wrong happens to your machine, then all data will be saved.

Benefits of a Home media server

Transfer of one file to another in less time: Home media server, which helps access all the media from different devices. It makes access easily within your house. Like if you want to watch the movies on your TV which are saved on your computer so you can easily watch those movies.

Storage of Files: Through a media server, you can easily store all of your data in the media files. E.g., Music, different movies, photos, etc

Make easy everyone’s access: Living in a house where you have to share your media, so the server makes it possible and easy. It makes the way possible in accessing the media file of different people and then arrange them accordingly. In this way, everyone can easily access the media. You can add a 3.1 soundbar with your system.

Thus, you have to clear the point that for arranging the media server, there is a different way as told earlier but if you don’t have a server demand so you can go for the media center as well.

A possible configuration for media server for a home theater

Everything has multiple ways to organize, like for skinning a cat, there are so many ways. Likewise, for setting up the media server for your home theater room, there are various ways. Setting up the media server in different can be good or can be confusing. If it connects according to your demand and settings, thus it will be a customize and good system for you. You can use the Samsung soundbar app to control a few features.

One more thing that should be a focus on that there is a difference between the media server and media center. They both are different from each other. Don’t confuse them with a single concept.

The media center does not need any type of connectivity to the various media files, while Media servers need connectivity.

Furthermore, the Media center used to connect directly with all devices like TV. Also, HDMI cable can be used for connecting the media center with the TV.

Most of the people used the TV as their computer, and for setting this up, they used media centers. This is why the media center is also known as Home Theater PC, or it can be known as HTPC.

HTPC can be used as a media server, but it happens sometimes. Although there is a difference between the media server and media center, they are usually interchanged. You can use your soundbar as a center channel speaker.

Different devices used in the setup of media server

There are various options for every component, and the arrangement of the media server is different, and it depends on the setup.


  • Windows, Linux PC or Mac that helps run the media server software by your PC on the home theater.
  • The committed server computer (This computer is the only method to work as a media server)
  • Network connected to the storage or NSA
  • PS3 or Xbox
  • NSA doesn’t have a media server install in it, and this is why they are not used to support except a few of them.


  • Hard drive along with the computer
  • A NAS (this is a network-connected storage device)


  • Smart TV
  • Tablets
  • Smart cell phones

Selection between Regular Computer and (NAS) media server

First of all, clear the point about the roles that how many roles should be there. And which type of tasks you want from your machine to attain. The second point is about time management about how much time you have. For how long you can go down into this project.

The third point is about the type of user you are. Either you are a superuser, or you are an initial one. The fourth and most important thing is the budget. You should manage your budget first.

Network-attached Storage (NAS) media user

Network-attached storage is a compound of different slots that is used for hard drives. These slots and bays can give out the files or media all around a network.

It is the best media server for distributing high-quality videos even without buffering. NAS server is used to supply the videos, not only one but also the different and unlimited sources. While using the NAS as a media server, you will have the processor or a RAM so you could achieve the best quality of a server.

It also performs the transcoding, which is used to distribute a single media to all types of devices. It helps in taking the only single file and then distributes it on so many devices like PC, tablet, smartphones, etc. You should properly secure the wires supplying the electricity to the ceiling-mounted projector.

But this system requires a proper quantity of processing power, and that’s the reason that NAS has the ability of RAM. Not only a RAM, but it also has the built-in processor. One more important thing should be kept in mind that if this server has a slow processor or a little amount of RAM, then it would be more vulnerable for buffering.

Advantages of NAS Enclosure MS

Features: NAS has the facility of various applications and all the utilities. These applications and services are available in the featured pack.

Support system: It has the best support system like it gives a natural approach to the customer via the processor.

Easy to arrange: It has the ability to organize with the use of GUI or operating system easily. It does not need any long and tough procedures.

Dedicated grounds of a NAS: NAS cannot be used to run any web browser; neither it is used for the backup procedures. Backup procedures that slow down the typical computers.NAS is used to tackle the media, processing power, and all the files.

Low profile: It has the ability of smaller compounds than any other desktop computer.

Availability: The availability word shows the importance of switch on the server. It should be on every time, and in this way, you can easily make sure that it is on access to media.

Disadvantages for NAS Enclosure MS

Low power of processing: It has less processing power as if you have a more user stream, especially at the same time, so it will fail to perform.

Rates of a server: The rates of media servers are quite high. Its prices are like 300 plus dollars, which is expensive than a desktop computer.

Restricted upgradability: You will not be able to upgrade the processor in these types of units as few NAS will have 1 or others will have 2 slots facility of RAM. If you need to add the more RAMs so you will upgrade it but it will also be limited and will depend upon the motherboard of a unit.

Limited features: Some NAS has structured with inadequate software and features. With this ability, the users who have a wide variety of customization they feel uncomfortable with this type of server.

NAS server in a typical computer

When we use the server in a typical computer that is used to give out the files and media and computers with the NAS server is used to dedicate to this task. Also, other quite small tasks will be included in it. After using the server on the typical computer, I must not be used for daily use, either web browsing.

The primary purpose of a server is the storage of files and media. It stores them on hard drives and then distributes or transcode them on demand. This typical computer serves as an average computer and makes life more comfortable and flexible. It has the ability to the customization of hardware, operating systems, applications, etc.

High processing power: It will show the higher processing power, and this ability will depend upon the motherboard. Like if you have slow speed and quite an old processor so you can easily buy and install the high-speed processor in it.

Upgraded Hardware: While using the NAS in a typical computer, you can update any hardware like RAM, processor, motherboard, network card, etc. Moreover, this system will be serving as a laptop motherboard, and it will be limited in upgradability.

More options for operating system: Linux based NAS, Amahi, NAS4Free these types of systems are available in markets free of cost. These systems make the NAS server easier to use.

Cheaper in case of a reused computer: Mostly people switch for the PC to a laptop, and this system can be easily installed in it if it has the proper amount of RAM, processing system, and hard drive.

Drawbacks of using NAS in typical Computers

Less support: This system shows less support for arranging all the systems. It will be a complex task for you to search out the support channel so you could arrange the system easily.

Difficulty in the configuration: Hardware, software, and operating systems are time taking systems. Arranging these systems on a normal computer is quite difficult and time taking.

Costly while upgrading elements: If you are using an old computer, so it will make our pocket empty while up-gradation. Any type of computer’s elements up gradation needs more money. Especially high-end PC’s elements will be more expensive when we upgrade them.

Need a huge space: Normally, desktop computers need more space because of their sizes. You want more space for them than any other typical NAS.

Use of Hard drives

Which type of hard drives one should use, let’s have a look at it. As we all know that all desktop PC and NAS enclosures need a 3.5-inch internal hard drive. There are various types of hard drives along with different colors like red, blue, green, black, gold, or purple. Each of them has multiple uses according to their color differentiation.

For NAS, we use red color drives. NAS drives are different in function than from other typical drives. These drives are fit inside the NAS and work 24/7 along with the bigger read rate facility. These red drives are also used to hold up the RAID (redundant array of independent disks).

There are two RAID configurations, which are most appropriate for the NAS and computers for media servers. RAID 0 uses to stripes the data over two various drives, and it is also using identical hard drives.

While using this setup, you can use both drives. This set up can use the full capacity of drives. But it is not reliable as if one of your drives stops working so you will lose all data from both drives.

RAID 1 mirrors, this system has the capability of copying the exact data on each drive. In this system, if your one drives fails to work so you will have the exact copy of your data. Also, for this setup, you have to compromise over half of the total amount of storage.