NAS for centralised CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays storage and Streaming

I have a bunch of CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and digital images that I’d like to digitize, and centrally locate on a local computer (home based) that I can access from anywhere in the house, and remotely on laptops, cell phones, tablets, etc.

On the software side, I’ve read about PLEX and XBMC and think that might be what I want/need to accomplish my goals. I have a bunch of boxes in the garage that I’d love to get rid of to free up space (CDs & DVDs).

The hardware side is where I’m completely lost. I understand the need for a NAS, storage for all of my digital media. I’m also thinking RAID for redundant backup. Some of the data is priceless to me. I also understand that I will have a need to rip/transcode(?) the data from the discs to the NAS. That requires a media server(?), or if I have a strong enough NAS, everything could be done on the NAS?

End goal is to be able to consolidate all my Smugmug data, Dropbox data, local data, CDs, and DVDs all to one NAS with a backup. I’d like to be able to access that data from any TV, laptop, cell phone, or tablet within the house. I’d also like to be able to stream/access the data remotely on my portable devices.

If you want to keep the blue-ray video in size of 4K then I would recommend TS-x53B series (253b,453b,653b). This NAS comes with HDMI port for direct connectivity to a TV for heavy 4K file streaming and better video quality. You can link all your cloud backup accounts together and keep a backup on the NAS. The 53B series also features transcoding engine for automatic video conversion function on the fly. This will allow you to watch videos over the internet on different playback devices. It will also enable some devices to play video in the format they would normally not allow you.

An alternative to this NAS would be DS918+ from Synology if you like simplicity and don’t need extra configuration options. It doesn’t come with HDMI, but you can still stream 4K as long as you have your TV and connected with LAN cable. Mobiles devices will receive transcoded video files on the fly.


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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.