Hi folks. First post here on the HTC forum, hoping you all can give me a little guidance. Over the past couple years I've been upgrading from your pedestrian TV+cable DVR+DVD player type setup into a modest home theater with an AV receiver, 5.1 speakers, and a DLNA blu ray player. The blu ray player I've used only sparingly for network playback because I've only had a few movie files, most of them low quality AVIs, which I have stored in a little 1TB MyBookLIve (which I bought to hold my music for my Sonos). Now I've made a couple of new acquisitions though that are go blow up my library of video files and fast: an external blu ray drive that I'm using to rip all my movies on disk, and a Tivo that I'm using to transfer my shows over and save them after I edit out the commercials. So far I've been using a USB HD (also new) to save my rips and .tivo files prior to editing and then backing up to the NAS only the converted H264 MKVs (the only reason I haven't run out of space already).
So anyway the next thing on the shopping list is obviously a new NAS and I've been doing some research over the past couple weeks on that. But at the same time I'm also realizing the limitations of my blu ray player as a DLNA client and have been starting to think about upgrading that too. It's not as pressing a priority because it actually plays the files just fine (outside of a few skipped frames from time to time on the files recorded from Tivo, which I haven't tested yet but I assume happened in their transfer or conversion to H264 and is not any reflection on the player), and it supports DTS too. Little things though do bother me. I can't chapter forward or back on MKVs even though I know the chapter marks are there. Limited subtitle support. And most important to me, a UI that only allows you to navigate through your folders to find what you want (no search even by title much less by any metadata tags). As the library grows, I'm already imagining my wife click click clicking slowly through the folders and I already know how that's going to turn out. She's going to exit back to the apps screen to find a movie to stream off Netfix instead.
Now enter into my NAS shopping the QNAP TS-469L. A 4 bay NAS with a 2.13 GHz dual core Intel Atom and HDMI port that runs "quiet as a mouse" according to smallnetbuilder (and at the same price point as the equivalent Synology DS412+)? Hmm. Why couldn't I put that right next to the receiver and above my TV? The HD Station that includes XBMC is a new offering for this line of QNAPs and perusing their forums it appears there are still a couple kinks to work out (specifically a GPU driver update they're waiting for from Intel to avoid stuttering, etc. on MKV playback). But that's to be expected when anything new rolls out, right? (BTW, apparently Thecus and ASUSTOR have models out now trying to play in this NAS-as-HTPC space also but I take it that none of them have been out for longer than a few months yet). Anyway, what do you folks think of this idea for my particular situation? The wife and I only watch on our one TV and have no need to transcode to any mobile devices (why anyone would want to watch a movie on a tablet much less a freaking phone is beyond me, but to each his own I guess). We don't need HD audio. We can program our Logitech Harmony to control it. Seems kinda perfect to me, killing 2 birds with one stone.
The alternative would be a cheaper NAS now + a new media player later. But for a NAS I'd still want something with an x86 processor at minimum, the cheapest of which w/the same 4 bay capacity (a Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4) is only ~$150 less than the QNAP. And if I spend the difference on a media player then what does that gain me except the clutter of another box? Plus other than a XIOS or similar XBMC device would anything else give me the same quality UI and searchability? I already have Netflx and Amazon both the blu ray player and Tivo, and VUDU on the player too, so I don't need anything else to give me streaming apps. So I'm not seeing why it would be better to go that route. Unless there's some reason that asking a NAS to perform this function is an inherently bad idea even if it has the CPU/GPU capabilities to do it, or anything else that I'm missing? Would appreciate feedback from those of you who have HTPCs (would you have considered something like this if it was available when you first got started?) Also any feedback on XBMC vs. dedicated media players (though I'm sure there are plenty of threads I can search on that already). Thanks!