Choosing NAS – for multi TV, laptops and photo backups

I would like a NAS for my home to consolidate all my data in 1 place so it is accessible to all our family devices. Videos to 2 TVs and Laptop, Photos from DSLR and other data would be safe and backed in case anything happens.

With regards to setup, I have 1 Sony TV that will always be receiving data over wifi. If I decide to go with Plex it supports it. 1 other TV doesn’t support Plex but I think I would be able to feed it via my RaspberryPi2 and Ras Plex. Do you know if, without Plex, QNAP would still be able to stream videos etc to tv’s? Or is it mandatory to have a software media server and client?

When it comes to Synology vs QNAP (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54nud-fm3yk) from this vid, I feel I identify more with QNAP.

The model I had in mind was the TS251A in fact, which has been reviewed as quite a good model. Some uncertainties I have:

2 vs 4 bay, I haven’t decided – I prefer a very good 2 bay than a 4 bay, but if the same version 4 bay is withing my budget I will go for that.

For the TS251A I have a feeling even if in 2018 it is still being featured in top 10 it’s kind of old? (processer from Q1 2015). Was trying to find something similar and was looking at TS251+ (but maybe its older..) and the TS253A  Difference between these is not exactly clear to me. Processor-wise I couldn’t find any one that jumped at me, and I am not sure about 2 points – What the impact of having 4Gb Flash on the TS251A has, and if it can be upgraded to 8Gb Ram (or only 4)

In 1 review I read that the TS251A had problems transcoding 4k, and sometimes even 1080p. Does this mean that if I have a 1080p or 4k file I might not be able to see it on one of the TV’s for example over wifi?At the moment,
4k is not a requirement but I would like to know clearly the limitations

There are only 2 options for you- TS-251A (or 451A) or TS-253B (453B). Bith NAS have memory card slot and direct connectivity. They also come with a remote and HDMI port for uninterrupted streaming even 4K files. They also work as DLNA server – so that all your home devices will be able to see media files and easily stream from it. They also support Plex media server if you decide to have it. About problems with 1080p or other file streaming depends on the test file, sometimes in order to push a NAS to its limits product testers use some really heavy files which you will never use in real life situation (you can make any NAS or computer struggle eb=ven with 460p video).

So if you want the latest model than TS-253B or 4 bay option is for you and do all you need with no problem. And you can also save some money and get older model TS-251A which also will do all these tasks but costs less because Qnap wants to sell new models to make money. Both NAS models can be upgraded to bigger RAM sticks officialy and even higher with crucial RAM.


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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.