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post #1 of 27 Old 05-07-2014, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there,

I'm new to this forum and by no stretch of the imagination technically savvy so please excuse me if I seem uninformed or vague. At present I currently use a WDTV-Live to play files on my TV via a external HDD connected to the player. I've researched some NAS units with HDMI outputs to try and eliminate the WDTV-Live but judging from a lot of people's experience this isn't recommended at present. In a technical sense most NAS units including high end products like QNAP etc are essentially designed to be file servers only and using the unit as an "all in one" media player is not ideal. I guess mainly because you will be driving the CPU too hard and secondly it has to transcode whatever video/audio codecs of the file you're trying to view.

I was looking at the QNAP-TS 269L or Pro models. But as good as the NAS may be people have still advised me against that for my purposes. In saying this my primary uses for the NAS would be for it to be a media player. As well as a private cloud and download station. I don't plan on using it for anything other than that at this point in time however May use other functions in the future.

If someone could please advise me on what a good NAS for my specific purposes may be. As well as advice on how I would go about getting it to connect/interface with my WDTV-Live. Due to the fact that I know the WDTV-Live unit transcodes everything I have it will need to be able to connect to whichever NAS I decide to buy. Thank you for your help & time.
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post #2 of 27 Old 05-08-2014, 06:53 AM
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I'm kind of in the same situation you are, except I have no current setup per say. From my research I'll probably go with a Synology, rather than QNap, and a Oppo 103 to act as the player. I can be overwhelming at times, and as you want to make the right choice.
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post #3 of 27 Old 05-08-2014, 07:08 AM
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A NAS's primary use is storage and you would use your WDTV as a media player which can connect to a network, to communicate with your NAS, which is also on the network. Once you have all your media on the NAS and you have setup a share and the WDTV and NAS are connected via the network, simply go into the setup of the WDTV and add the share on the NAS, you should then be able to see your files. From this point on its simple to play your media files off the NAS through the WDTV. Whether you go with Synology or QNap doesn't matter, I have both and they are excellent for this purpose.
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post #4 of 27 Old 05-08-2014, 12:32 PM
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My take is I would avoid using the NAS for (direct) file playback. I have never seen them go a good job at such. If you look at the difference you will have to spend on one of the higher-end models versus an entry level unit which is more than powerful enough as long as you aren't transcoding (which I would also not recommend doing) you could easily purchase a decent streamer.

 

For backup and file serving virtually any of the NAS units will handle what traffic you throw at it nicely. I use iSCSI for four recordings, several streamers, and general file access concurrently and I haven't found a unit yet that couldn't keep up... ReadyNAS, QNAP, Seagate Business Storage, etc.

 

Regarding selecting a certain NAS model be sure to see what hard drives are supported. Availability and pricing might play a big part in making your decision.

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post #5 of 27 Old 05-08-2014, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Cheers smile.gif
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post #6 of 27 Old 05-08-2014, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks you all for your advice. That helps a lot. Out of interest does anyone have any recommendations for an entry level NAS make/model ?
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post #7 of 27 Old 05-08-2014, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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ash_man would you mind explaining a little further the process for what I have to do to get the wd TV and NAS interfaced. So I have to log in to the WDtTV and create a share ? As well as on the NAS ?
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post #8 of 27 Old 05-08-2014, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aking79 View Post

Out of interest does anyone have any recommendations for an entry level NAS make/model ?

 

Entry level is relative... if you have a Fry's around I have seen these guys for $100 and $200 after rebate on several occasions...

 

http://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-ReadyNAS-Diskless-Network-Attached/dp/B00BNI4A90/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1399581414&sr=8-2&keywords=readynas

 

http://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-ReadyNAS-Diskless-Attached-RN10400-100NAS/dp/B00BNI4CVG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399581414&sr=8-1&keywords=readynas

 

Through today Fry's has two Qnap models on sale... $180 and $300...

 

http://www.frys.com/product/8022514?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

 

 

Also the Seagate Business Storage is now $150 and has been as low as $120...

 

http://www.frys.com/product/7662627?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

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post #9 of 27 Old 05-08-2014, 02:00 PM
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You simply need to make a share through the NAS's web interface, usually its an SMB share, you can setup username/password or just make it public and open to anyone. Once the share is setup, it should be visible and accessible from any computer and your WDTV on the network. Then you go into the WDTV interface through your TV (which is connected to the WDTV via an HDMI cable) and access the share, the WDTV will be plugged into the network as well and will see the share, once the share is accessible you will see your files and be able to play them.
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post #10 of 27 Old 05-08-2014, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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ash_man & Charles R thanks very much for your advice. It's been great smile.gif
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post #11 of 27 Old 05-09-2014, 08:01 AM
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As an aside, I also have a WDTV Live (first generation) and an older Synology NAS.  It is amazingly simple to have them coordinate via DLNA. 

 

The only time I've really 'needed' to use a network share between the NAS and wdtv is to access a DVD .iso -- in which case you can get full dvd menuing, etc.  ...but on the other hand, I'm not trying to get to the audio / video files from various PCs, etc.

 

DLNA works great for music, photos, and video (at least in my case, having not ripped anything better than dvd quality).

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post #12 of 27 Old 05-09-2014, 10:51 AM
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Hi, I am new to this forum, I don't know if you have considered the Asustor range of nas's, 

 

I'm in the UK, I assume this forum is mainly US, so check this link out, http://www.amazon.com/Asustor-AS-302T-1-6GHz-USB3-0-Server/dp/B00E1BTO38

 

This has a HDMI output, with an XBMC app. 

 

You could also consider Thecus 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Thecus-2-Bay-SoHo-CE5315-N2520/dp/B00CCIKL5M/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1399657576&sr=1-1&keywords=thecus+n2560

 

I think Synology & QNAP have products with HDMI outputs, not sure about XBMC apps.

 

One issue with using the hdmi ouput plugged straight into a TV is that fan noise could be an issue. 

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post #13 of 27 Old 05-09-2014, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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PigInAPoke thanks for explaining your situation. If it's not asking too much would you mind explaining specifically the commands for getting my wdtv to interface with the synology. I really don't have that my much technical prowess at all. I understand DNLA basically but if you could explain the commands in greater detail that would be awesome. Thanks very much.
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post #14 of 27 Old 05-09-2014, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Bubblegum57 I have looked at both those products and from my research have decided against a NAS with HDMI for the time being. Most forums seem to be full of people advising against them as transcoding uses up a a lot of the CPU and also quality issues arise. Thanks for your suggestion smile.gif
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post #15 of 27 Old 05-10-2014, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aking79 View Post

Bubblegum57 I have looked at both those products and from my research have decided against a NAS with HDMI for the time being. Most forums seem to be full of people advising against them as transcoding uses up a a lot of the CPU and also quality issues arise. Thanks for your suggestion smile.gif


As far as I am aware, if you plug them directly into a tv they won't need to transcode, the asustor is a media player in itself, but it can also be a network device, for storage.

 

So either plug it directly into the tv & you have an XBMC app, or use it as storage & let the WDTV be the media player.

 

If you compare costs versus specs the asustor are better value than the Synology. (I have a Synology DS212j)

 

I have just joined this forum, but have been watching http://www.avforums.com/forums/streamers-network-media-players.332/  for sometime, & I would recommend you have a look at that. (no disrespect to this forum)

 

Now if you were going to use Plex, transcoding would be a problem for most NAS's

 

For info, Synology has a Videostation app which can be used if you have a Samsung tv

 

Synology also have a plex app, as does the Samsung.

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post #16 of 27 Old 05-10-2014, 06:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi bubblegum57,

Thanks for your recommendation. I did seriously consider the Asustor. I believe the programmers are mostly ex-Synology staff apparently. The features of the Asustor and firmware appear to be much similar to Synology so it makes sense. The reason I've decided against is that I have an older LG HDTV that predates TV transcoding done by most newer model TV's. On several forums I read similar accounts of people stating that the Asustor had several issues with freezing multiple times during movies. Also with physical noise due to the unit working harder while playing movies etc. I actually was advised of a similar issue from a guy with a more expensive qnap ts-269 pro. It seems as though NAS functionality as a media player as well as being a file server is still in its infancy. Possibly in a year or 2 it'll just become the norm. But as it stands I don't have the technical ability or patience to be trying to perfect my system. Realistically I just wanto to be able to get a somewhat easy to setup NAS such as a Synology or Asustor as my file server/cloud. And use my existing WDTV-Live as the media player. I'm not really in a position to be replacing all my equipment. I can't justify buying a new TV as my current one is still working. If you have any basic technical advice or suggestions I'd really appreciate it. Cheers smile.gif
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post #17 of 27 Old 05-10-2014, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aking79 View Post

Hi bubblegum57,

Thanks for your recommendation. I did seriously consider the Asustor. I believe the programmers are mostly ex-Synology staff apparently. The features of the Asustor and firmware appear to be much similar to Synology so it makes sense. The reason I've decided against is that I have an older LG HDTV that predates TV transcoding done by most newer model TV's. On several forums I read similar accounts of people stating that the Asustor had several issues with freezing multiple times during movies. Also with physical noise due to the unit working harder while playing movies etc. I actually was advised of a similar issue from a guy with a more expensive qnap ts-269 pro. It seems as though NAS functionality as a media player as well as being a file server is still in its infancy. Possibly in a year or 2 it'll just become the norm. But as it stands I don't have the technical ability or patience to be trying to perfect my system. Realistically I just wanto to be able to get a somewhat easy to setup NAS such as a Synology or Asustor as my file server/cloud. And use my existing WDTV-Live as the media player. I'm not really in a position to be replacing all my equipment. I can't justify buying a new TV as my current one is still working. If you have any basic technical advice or suggestions I'd really appreciate it. Cheers smile.gif


If you intend to use the WDTV, then transcoding won't be needed, so, I would go for the Asustor, mainly because of the better specs, I understand you have reservations, but if you get the asustor with hdmi, you might find future firmware updates make it more stable. Also, XBMC app might get better.

 

Anyway, if you intend sticking with the WDTV have you heard or used thumbgen?

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post #18 of 27 Old 05-10-2014, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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No I haven't heard of or used thumbgen. I'll check it out. If I decide to go with Asustor I'll be sure to keep you posted. Also after checking out the link you posted I may wait for the Lenovo Beacon to be released. That looks pretty capable as well. Any thoughts ?
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post #19 of 27 Old 05-10-2014, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aking79 View Post

No I haven't heard of or used thumbgen. I'll check it out. If I decide to go with Asustor I'll be sure to keep you posted. Also after checking out the link you posted I may wait for the Lenovo Beacon to be released. That looks pretty capable as well. Any thoughts ?

 

Thumbgen, is only a way of creating thumbnails to show on your WDTV.

 

I haven't heard of the Lenovo Beacon.

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post #20 of 27 Old 05-10-2014, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Just looked at thumbgen. That's a really great suggestion. Thanks heaps wink.gif
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post #21 of 27 Old 05-11-2014, 09:31 PM
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Have you consider of making your own server rather than spending money on a NAS, which a lot of them have slow CPU power. I made my own UnRaid server with an Intel i5 CPU. I currently have about 15 TB of media in it, and about 3 TB left. I will be adding a few more hard drives soon. I also used Plex Media Server to stream to my kids and wife's iPads. I can also stream out of network with Plex.

I used to have a WDTV, but ThumbGen is really slow when you have a large media library. I currently use a Dune D1 for the main HT with 10Muse jukebox+ 10Muse iPad app.
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Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8599

 

Home Theater Set Up:

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8597

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post #22 of 27 Old 05-11-2014, 10:49 PM
 
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Keep the wd tv, any nas will do but like previously stated, frys has newgear rn104. Search my name is did a brief writeup on its performance. 4bay is way to go. The nas dosent require pc to be running. I can watch movies and my newtwork receiver can access music library, no pc needed. Also most nas have torrent software that will let you dwnld while pc is off although I could never to get to work properly.
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post #23 of 27 Old 05-11-2014, 10:51 PM
 
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Synology are top line units but so is thier prices. Power saving was major selling point for me, I dont have to power on my pc just to watch a movie or listen to music
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post #24 of 27 Old 05-11-2014, 11:50 PM
 
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post #25 of 27 Old 05-12-2014, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
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pdasterly thank you for your help smile.gif
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post #26 of 27 Old 05-15-2014, 04:51 AM
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The asustor NAS has been mentioned in a few posts above.

Does anybody know if these can be connected to an avr and play Bluray iso files? With 1080p video and lossless sound codecs (eg DTS HD MA)?

Cheers
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post #27 of 27 Old 05-17-2014, 05:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm sorry Blairy I don't know the answer to your question
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