I have a 2 bay Synology now that is really old (DS212J) used for photo backups and very little else. I’ve dabbled with DS Video etc but it’s too low powered to be of much use. Also tried hosting a website which was only half succesfull.
So looking to upgrade but I cannot afford to buy drives and the enclosure with a top budget of around £350. I would reuse my old drives for now with a view to replacing at a later stage.
I would like hardware transcoding and something I can keep for a number of years without obsolescence but don’t anticipate huge use.
I was thinking about the 218Play but your videos have put me off that, so looking at the 218+ or possibly (and it would be a stretch) the DS416Play. Aside from the 4 bay which I wont use initially, as far as I can tell performance is about the same, especially if I go for the expanded memory on the 2 bay.
In terms of media I currently use Kodi on an android box but am likely to switch to plex so I can access outside the house.
The cheapest option for Plex streaming is DS218j- but it won’t do any transcoding at all- so no watching from outside the home. The cheapest Plex NAS will be DS218+. It will do Full HD video stream transcoding and 4K playback. DS416play is old NAS – it will do a transcoding. If you find a good deal then take it. If you want Kodi then look for TS-253Be.
Find regulary updated NAS offers here
Of course I would prefer you choose AMAZON UKAMAZON USA
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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!").
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.
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.