1 bay NAS for 4K media streaming

Considering buying a NAS for my home needs. I will only use it for some personal files (1 Tb), and mostly for video consumption, from only one source: my TV (i.e. no simultaneous users).

I need a NAS that can manage torrent downloads, and be able to stream 4k movies to the TV (a Panasonic Viera). With this usage, what’s the best way to do it? Plex? DS Video or QNAP video players? Chromecast? my PS4 Pro?
I’ve read that some people install the players in different sources so that it’s easier to watch, and they just keep the files in the NAS because some of them are not powerful enough for 4k streaming.

I hope you can help me with this. I’ve been looking at a Qnap TS128A and Synology DS218Play (this one is to big for me, as I believe I just need one bay, so I’d prefer to spend more money on a 1 bay NAS that has a more powerful hardware).

The best 1 bay solution would be DS116 (discontinued now) or DS118. For 4K content streaming, you will need to connect it using LAN cable, because WiFi will be too slow for this file size. Your TV will see all video content on your NAS so you can easily play what you like. You can also cast specific video file on your TV using a mobile phone as a remote. If you prefer using PLEX media player, then you will need to consider some more expensive NAS models, or try to get DS116 which will let you install Plex (hard to find as it is discontinued). If you prefer HDMI connection then TS-251 seems to be cheapest (but its 2 bay).

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What can I connect to a NAS?

Wireless Speaker Sonos

The great thing about Sonos is that you don't need to pay for music subscription service. With the cheapest NAS at home like DS115j or any other, you can have your backups done for all of your devices and still use your network drive as a Sonos music library. Sonos will connect to your NAS via your network and let access your provided music library. If you have little more of IT knowledge, you can even set up your Alexa or Sonos with Alexa built in to play music on your voice commands ("Alexa! Ask DS Audio to Play Music!").

Casting devices

Nowadays it is so cheap to upgrade your old TV and make it smart. All you need is Google Chrome or EZcast alternative plugged into your HDMI port at the back of your TV. Now you have great functionality added to your TV to send a video file directly from your NAS to a TV. No need for wires and chargers and other mess. You can use your phone as a remote to go to your movies or family videos and cast that content on your TV during family or friend gatherings.


Apple TV

Amazon Fire TV

You may not have a smartphone, or you just simply prefer to control your content with a remote in that case Amazon Fire TV will be a great addon to get to your TV. It also plugs into your HDMI port and will play content from your NAS to a TV. No wires no mess.

nVidia Shield TV

It gets even better! If you want some more entertainment and all previously mentioned functions - nVidia TV is a great thing to get. You can use it for playing games and watching movies from your NAS. The greatest thing is - shield TV does video transcoding. So even if you have a cheap NAS with a weak CPU, in a combination of shield TV you can now automatically on the fly change video file size and format for a destination device. It is a great way to reduce network load and let older devices to play video content which normally was not supported on the device.


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