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Streaming to TV NAS needed?

PST

Standard Member
Not sure if this is best in the network storage forum or here.

I have a Samsung LED tv which has HDMI and USB options. It's not, however, one of the Smart TVs which would, I'm sure, make this considerably easier.

I'm looking to move from hooking up a laptop via an hdmi cable to stream movies and music etc. to having a device attached to my television to which I can wirelessly send files for later viewing on the television.

At the same time, with a desktop, two laptops, a tablet coming and a new android phone in a month or two I'm thinking I need to set up some more organised home networking and storage.

In the first case, for streaming media to the television I know there are a number of options but have no idea how to go about finding the best option. Some time spent googling found reviews being hit or miss and usability often missed in place of technical specs.

Secondly, for network storage I'd want something which, again, allows easy backup of files and can also hook into whatever device I use for playing media on the television.

In essence I'm looking for some basic advice to build upon in order to come to some purchase decisions.
 
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graham.myers

Distinguished Member
As you say there is a plethora of options available to you.

If you want a central hub for your various devices to connect to and save data (not necessarily video content) then one of the streamers that can act as a hub (eg the WD TV Live hub) probably wont be good enough - I suggest you go for a "proper" nas

There is the 1tb or 2tb ReadyNAS duo that comes with a single disk or can have a 2nd disk adding that doesn't increase the disk space but mirrors the first one for resilience. QNAP and Synology also do 2 bay NAS but they can be either mirrored or all the storage available.

The NAS will plug into your network - I recommend wired not wifi. All your devices can still use wifi to connect however.

You then need a streamer for under the TV - pretty much any will suit, but the popcorns are very popular if your budget allows (~£200) as are the Dune Smart for a similar price. The cheaper ones should be adequate though starting from a very low price upwards. To recommend a streamer we'd need to understand what media you want to play as that will dictate which models fall by the way side

It all falls down to budget. It may be more economical to have a htpc with a few tb of space rather than a separate nas and streamer but space and noise levels are a factor
 

PST

Standard Member
Thanks for answering on this Graham.

While at some point, when I move house, I can see having various components hidden, in the short term the box would have to be in the living room next to my television and router so noise and form factor is a concern.

I'm unsure if it would be possible to stream divx and/or flash via a nas or the popcorn you mentioned or if everyting would have to be downloaded onto a hard drive. Other formats would be tv series via itunes and, probably, ripping our dvd collection onto the server over time. I'll confess to being far from a media expert, as most things seem to work via VLC which is my default computer video player.

My brief skim seemed to show players for under £100, I take it there are issues with those, hence you suggesting a popcorn?
 

graham.myers

Distinguished Member
it depends on what you want to play. the cheaper the unit there are more restrictions (and aesthetics)

The popcorns seem to be most things to most people. WD Live again seem to fit a lot of people's needs at half the price. ACryan a little bit more expensive the WD but similar

Its not just what they can play, its how they present it. A £50 sumvision may play all that you need but a £90 whatever may give a better video wall.

there are many machines on the market, as you say, all slightly different. Its the killer difference that usually decides.
 

tichtich

Active Member
Other formats would be tv series via itunes...
Excuse me butting in here, but I'm also interested in streaming TV series that I've downloaded from iTunes. However I've assumed this is impossible, since the files have DRM protection. But I'd be happy to be told I'm wrong.

Alternatively, this programme claims to legally remove DRM protection:
DRM Removal - DRM Converter, DRM Removal Software
But I'd prefer not to have to convert my files.
 

dwhite

Distinguished Member
Sounds like apple TV would be ideal for you, if your using itunes for your media. Its built for the groundup to integrate with itunes, as you would expect both being from apple. No need for DRM removal, incidentally we don't allow talk on here about that.
 

tichtich

Active Member
Sounds like apple TV would be ideal for you, if your using itunes for your media.
Thanks for that. But I have other stuff to play too, and unfortunately Apple TV doesn't support all the formats I have. It has some other limitations too, which are not critical to me, but off-putting, such as apparently not playing from attached USB storage devices, at least not without a hack. If money was no object I'd buy an Apple TV just for playing my itunes downloads. But I really want one media streamer that can do everything!
 

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