Drobo

3-in-1 (questions)

Hey folks,

I figured I’d just do a 3-in-1 and ask all my questions I’ve been running into in one email. Feel free to answer in short-format…assuming it’s enough to help. :wink:

  1. Should the Drobo be able to handle playback of blu-ray level video to a Mac/PC? If I try to play off of the Drobo, a movie skips horribly (in 1080p) – if I copy it to an old 400gb Seagate drive (eSata), or even a 2.5" FW800 drive (7200rpm), it plays back perfectly. I’ve tried connecting via USB2, FW400, and FW800 – no luck with any as far as playback goes.

  2. The Drobo does seem to get pretty darn loud, whereas it USED to be quite quiet. I can hear it like a jet right now, and it’s not even being used – transfers or otherwise. It’s not the drives, it’s the fan in the back…which I know some fan activity is expected pretty much always…but this is sounding like heavy-fan-power – all the time.
    This happens even under small or idle reads/writes. As far as ventilation, the area it is in is not warm. Any suggestions on this? The only time it’s not loud…is when it’s disconnected (and therefore in standby).

and lastly,
3) When I shut my macbook pro (to sleep), when I boot it back up, it says I “unsafely removed a drive” (or whatever the message is when you don’t eject properly) – should this be happening? It’d quite a shame if I can’t even put my macbook to sleep (to save electricity at night, etc) without having to completely eject the beast. :slight_smile:
This happens whether I go up to the Apple --> Sleep, or simply shut the lid.

If the above have been answered elsewhere, I apologize. I’ve look around on several places, and honestly I’d really appreciate just knowing – and then hopefully this thread can help others down the road.

Thanks so much for your help!!! :slight_smile:

John

Honestly sounds like a drive issue. I would recommend opening a support case so we can get a diagnostic to look at those drives.

Depending on what you mean by “blu-ray level video” then I would say yes the drobo should be able to handle it just fine. I have a 2nd Generation Drobo connected via FireWire 800 to my MacBook Pro and stream videos over gigabit ethernet to my HTPC running Boxee. The videos I play right now are all 720p blu-ray rips to .mkv averaging 8GB/movie. usually around 8 or 9Mbps. I have tested a 1080p mkv rip before and that played back flawlessly as well as long as the computer playing it can handle it.

If you’re in doubt of the Drobo being fast enough you could run a hard drive benchmark and see that way.

720 will skip if the drobo is doing something else at the time.

Hi there, and thank you for the prompt response (and from my other fellow forum posters). :slight_smile:

I sent an email/‘question’ through:
http://support.datarobotics.com/app/ask
and my Question Reference is:
#091016-000079

I attached a newly-generated log file, too. :slight_smile:
Please let me know if I can be of any more help in getting you the information you need!

Thanks again everyone!

John

At first I had the same problems with the Drobo not being able to reliably playback 1080p H264 Video (which I assume is what the OP meant by Blu-Ray quality). I noticed that certain codecs/players are more efficient when it comes to the playback of certain video codecs/containers. While this was never an issue when playing the files directly from the internal HD of my desktop, after installing the Drobo I needed every spare FPS that I could get. Here are a few observations that I made.

  1. Quicktime is generally the best when it comes to playing back MOV H264 files.
  2. While being a great media player VLC does an unbelievably crappy job when it comes to playing back MKV files. Therefore, if you have an MKV file that stutters, try downloading the CCCP Codec pack which comes with MPlayer classic http://cccp-project.net/
  3. For non MKV or MOV HD files (mp4, Xvid, AVI) I stick to VLC (except for WMA HD files.
    Hopefully that should help with the HD playback issue.

I’ve played ~18Mbps 1080p H.264 mkvs off my FW800 Drobo using Plex on Snow Leopard 10.6.1 with no stuttering issues, haven’t tried a straight up uncompressed BluRay yet tho.

Thanks for all the replies, gentleman!
A new Drobo is being sent my way, due to the fan issues (and possibly a bay that isn’t working correctly).
However, all of these suggestions are very helpful!

I will head on over and download that OCCP Codec Pack. When I use that, do I still use VLC then?
Oh – and I did forget to mention – I’m on a Mac…doesn’t seem that pack is cross-platform?

I’ve had stuttering on compressed 1080p blu-rays, and even 720p (I think), though more recently I’m just going for uncompressed (the compression process for a blu-ray is too lengthy for my backup purposes).
I’ve never used Plex…something I should look into?

Plex is a fork of XBMC for Mac OS X (www.plexapp.com… if your primary platform is Windows, I would give the mainline XBMC a look, it’s a GREAT media player. http://www.xbmc.org.

Although, if you use Windows your best best might be Windows 7’s Media Center coupled with a codec pack like CCCP.

I’m on a Mac. :wink:

The CCCP Codec pack is windows only. For OSX I suggest you get perian http://perian.org/ which will let you use quicktime for pretty much everything.

Just as a quick update (and hopefully resolve!):

The replacement Drobo arrived, and was an easy 1-2-3-4 drive swap out / change from unit-to-unit.
Since then, everything seems to run fine.

As far as the stuttering of blu-ray-level video, I’m not sure if the stuttering was due to the new Drobo, or how I’m playing them; as per your wonderful suggestions, I’ve been using Plex, and it handles things wonderfully. It seems that it slightly buffers the video, and I think that’s what has fixed that issue.
Beyond that, however, it’s just a very attractive front-end for HT.

Thanks so much, everyone…and especially to Jennifer in guiding me to the right place to have the problem remedied with the Drobo unit itself! The quality of support by DR has gone up exponentially; in the past, to be utterly honest, it was horrid.

Thank you again, to all of you!

John