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Preface: Not too long ago I purchased a subwoofer from a forum member here. During my visit to his home he demoed the unit in his home theater. He used, what I later learned, Popcorn Hour to view all of his movies.

I now also want to build a similar system that allows me back up all my movies to a hard drive and access them via a media player. As I have mentioned, I have little to no knowledge on this subject. With the little research I have done, I think I have narrowed it down to the below equipment.
1. ReadyNAS 516 (or Synology DS415+ / DS1515+)
2. PCH VTen
3. couple internal HDs
The reason I chose a NAS is for simplicity. From what I understand it is mostly just plug-in-play. I originally was looking for cheaper NAS alternatives than the models I have listed, but according to the Plex site, the ReadyNas 516 appears to be the cheapest model that will transcode in 1080p. At this point, I don't even know if I would be using this feature, but if I understand correctly I can stream to my tablet/mobile device remotely with Plex. If so, this does seem to be a neat feature I'd use.
For the media player, I'm thinking of the VTen. Mainly since I saw the seller use Popcorn Hour and I really liked the interface. I would prefer the A-410 model instead, but that one seems to be out of stock with no indication of a restock date. The VTen appears to be a good alternative.

Now the questions I have regarding this... Are the above mentioned items solid performers and worth the price? Are there better combination within this price range? Is this combination even usable or am I forgetting anything else, lol?

If I do end up purchasing these, how will the NAS connect with the VTen? Would it be via an ethernet connection?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Transcoding is a difficult subject. The Synology units you list have Intel Atom processors which might be able to handle some light duty transcoding, preferably single stream. The ReadyNAS unit you listed has a low end Core i3 which is a bit beefier and should be able to do some transcoding. These units are definitely tweeners, though - they aren't inexpensive low end NAS units and they aren't transcoding powerhouses. They're overkill if you don't need transcoding, and they could get swamped if you need to do a lot of it. The ReadyNAS 516 you listed has decent specs. 6 drive bays, decent RAM, and a decent little processor. Based on your requirements it sounds like a good choice, though as someone who builds my own it pains me to see someone pay $900 for it... Nice looking unit though.

If you can commit one way or the other, though - transcoding or not - you could either spend a lot less on a smaller unit or upgrade to something capable of more transcoding. If you're comfortable with the posture - I might want to do some transcoding but not a lot - I'd get the ReadyNAS over the Synology units (even though I like Synology) because it has a better processor.

Regarding connections - you will plug your new NAS into your home network via Ethernet. Your media player will also be plugged into your home network, with the strong preference for wired access over wireless. Access will be over your network. You might want to list your modem/router/switch situation - you'll need enough open ports for these new devices.
 
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