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NAS and media player?

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New Around Here
Hi everyone.
I’m looking for advice on creating a home media network.

my wife needs a way to backup her work (Mac book sync to Dropbox) , and I have Several music libraries on old computers. And photos.
Ideally I want the files on Dropbox backed up to the NAS and vice versa.. and photos from ICloud Synced to NAS

my tv has hdmi but isn’t smart (or smart enough.. small hdd works) im using an talk talk box to view Tv and players. Unfortunately it’s a little old and can’t play amazon video... which I’m hopefuly can play from the NAS

music is blue tooth speaker at mo. But I have a little turbo sound 600w with an amp that I’d like to use in future. With a hdmi splitter thingy.

ive been looking at the Qnap 253d with hdmi. But I’ve realised it’s a bit complicated and involves monthly subscription.. Maybe..???
plus reports it doesn’t work as it should playing directly from the NAS like it’s a computer..

Mac book pro
Mac book pro 2011. Broken
Mac book pro 2007. Still working..!!
Microsoft surface 7
iPad mini 2
Samsung tv 1080
Fritz Box 7530 router
Bose Bluetooth speaker

Is there an obvious thing I’m missing. Better options?
Thanks for your input


Regular Contributor
Hi ...

I have in use a NAS as media server with more devices in the network then you right now. I read more then 6 months about all NAS devices to create such environment. I already buy also a NAS with HDMI out , Nvme and 2,5 GB lan ports and I throw inside NAS all my audio library ( over 2,5 TB ) ... and video only 4k UHD / Dolby Vision movies ( another BIG TB ), photos and personal video archive as well. Everything work perfect but I use direct streaming ...


If NAS is capable to stream on 90 MB/S movies over the network without a glitch ... for music is more then simple ... You don't have such a hardware pressure on audio transfer. The HDMI port you can use to connect direct to TV and play direct the movies via a specific app like PLEX ... NAS himself have a lot of apps like amazon prime / plex / Disney + and all you need to send images to your TV.
I prefer to NOT use NAS with those apps ( except DLNA / upnp apps for streaming installed on NAS ) , I use a big storage SERVER and I leave the final device as TV or PC or PS4 or Bluray player to use their native apps to handle the files video or audio. The key here is the hard drives speed inside NAS , recommended SSD ( much expensive ) and your network connectivity ( 100mbs / 1000 mbs or over - also cables quality and maybe switches ) and also a very good router to handle all the stuff if you have also devices how are connected to the internet for updates and streaming ...

What I say here , you have 2 ways to solve with same NAS

1. If your devices have apps to handle the audio video files use the NAS as a big SERVER backup and leave your devices to play the files ( what I use now )

2. Install al the apps you need in NAS ( if you'll find available from NAS developers and maybe a VM linux or Windows ) and via HDMI will connect with TV or some soundbar with multiple HDMI in and out to connect to TV and other players ( bluray / ps4 / PC ) and will have some apps to handle, video, also PLEX ( for video ) can help you here but you pay extra 5 bucks per month if you want to stream and transcode for a lot of devices.

For second choice you need a NAS capable to transcode and stream multiple files in the same time and here you need to spend around 500 USD and will be fine ( without Hard drives ) only NAS and no other upgrades ( like extra memory / Nmve for cache ). There are more NAS devices around to buy ..

I prefer right now ASUSTOR because they have more hardware then QNAP and Synology at the same price ... More or less they have same hardware inside ( Intel / DDR 4 ). The biggest point here had Synology because they have a special RAID configuration, named SHR .. in few words, can put inside NAS different sizes of hard drives and he can mix and match and you are more flexible in terms of upgrade and customization ... Very nice and friendly.

In other NASes you can choose one RAID over the other, but you cannot put inside different hard drives, because you will have all the time as base the hard drive with little capacity ... This is a big difference .. When you want to upgrade those NAses you need to change all drives inside ... It is a long story ...but if you buy from scratch biggest drives ... the next hard drives update could be between 5-7 years ... depends on hard drives errors. Also I read now you will find dropbox / drive from google / mail server / and all kind of apps who can be installed in NAS and to connect direct to your cloud or backup to be synchronized and updated / backup on NAS... Stay few days on youtube channel I recommend and find which NAS is for your needs and which apps you will find available for your demands.

Synology has advantage of raid SHR and apps developed inside company but in this range of you do not have HDMI out ... only expensive
QNAP is very close to Synology and they also have very good apps and HDMI also ... is kind between ... Synology and ASUSTOR
ASUSTOR is ASUS as company and they have strongest hardware then other two but with apps developed by third party, ands also are a lot, bittorent / docker/ hirez audio player / plex and a lot of apps created by other people to their needs and this was my choice. I prefer strong hardware capabilities bulletproof for the next 5-7 years because in the other two is some limitation on hardware upgrades and Synology as example use their memory to upgrade and it is very expensive also the PCiExpress use by Qnap to improve the NAS is very expensive for me and I prefer to have overall already all " in house " with minor upgrades ....in the future ... memory and Nmve ...

3. could be a solution also an BIG external hard drive via USB 3.0 connected to the Router, the place where you can download and put your files and see this hard drive around your network... ASUS routers have this features ... maybe you could find others brands ...but you don't have here the transcode or streaming to multiple devices in the same time... easy method, cheap but so reliable in time

Take a look at this channel and will learn a lot ....

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Regular Contributor

I write a lot and is a little bit confusing , what I wrote if you read for the first time

I do not use NAS apps because I already have those apps in the final players devices like in TV is already Netflix / Disney / HBO , for media players / bluray player / phone and others I use their app to play music and video ...
those NAS devices have their own apps like spotify / hirez audio player / video players like Plex and others who can be installed and use as NAS like media center already but you will have only one audio / video out via HDMI ....in this situation.

I prefer my apps because they are already very well configurated and calibrated to play files from network ( NAS is like an external shared drive who was seem in the network ). Another reason is if you have a lot of apps run in background in the NAS you need more resources like RAM and your CPU you need to have a lot of power, especially for video files. For audio and photos you don't need so much power, you can handle with default hardware.

What I installed to NAS, are some apps like UPNP and DLNA to make my way to see my NAS all around the network like an external hard drive load with audio / video and image files who are already copied over the network and I streamed direct ... NAS act as a server in my configuration.

It is possible in most cases ( depend on developer if he have in the library apps to you need - Disney / spotify / PLex and so on ) to install those kind of apps directly to NAS but NAS will be the player and you need to connect this NAS via HDMI to video / audio player device .. like your TV for video but you will miss the audio files because you will play on TV speakers .... and I think you don't want to ... hear audio hi rez files from TV.

If you want to stream video files in the same time to multiple devices you can use Plex ... like an example

I'm an audiophile also and I want to hear music at highest quality is possible ...but this is another story ...

Look at my link to learn a bit about configurations and NAS devices and you will find the perfect NAS for you, depend also for money you want to spend and NAS and hard drives ....I spend around almost 1300 USD in total but I'm happy with I achieve ... right now. I will spend some money in the near future to upgrade RAM and some Nmve, but it's stable and smooth run like it is now.



Regular Contributor
Synology at the same price as Qnap and Asustor Lockerstor do not have HDMI out
If you want HDMI out feature you should choose between Qnap and Asustor but you lose Hard drive flexibility from Synology -SHR raid
If you don't care about flexibility and want bulletproof hardware right now NAS you should take Asus also with HDMI out.
If you want good hardware capabilities in the future with a lot of money to invest in the future and very good apps also developed by third party like ASUS you shoul choose Qnap.

A lot of comparisons is used for surveillance cameras and software and if it is not the case , you can skip.
Also those companies develop a lot of extra software to arrange photos with magic filters ( face recognition/ food / cities etc) ... If you don't want too use some face software, also you can skip .... For me hardware capabilities is most important with minim software to load the NAS. If you want you can install in NAS via virtual machine your OS ) Windows / Linux etc ) and install your usual applications like in a normal PC but you need to invest more in RAM and NMve and to have from beginning a strong CPU ...

Look here to see some comparisons


TAKE a look and ... analyze. Hard drives also are important.
This guy from youtube have also online shop www.span.com and you could buy direct upgraded NAS with hardware installed and the prices are not in the sky.


New Around Here
Thanks @cristake

Main objectives

1) backup content from Dropbox

2) backup photos from iCloud (and view them)

3) hold all my music to be played via something.. lol

4) backup important stuff from NAS to cloud (Dropbox)

5) time machine backup.. with restricted size..

6) play video and stream Amazon prime to tv.

I was going for a 2bay. But only use one 4T seagate iron wolf drive. Relying on backup to cloud for rebuild.
expand later with second drive.. still unraid I guess


-does Synology(any other than qnap) backup app do individual folders from Dropbox? And backup my music to Dropbox?

-Does Synology do time machine easy way?

-expanding with second hdd on qnap has to be the same size? Ir is that only with raid?

Budget would be around £600 including Ups and cables

Only thing putting me off the Qnap is that I hated windows before I got a Apple. But that was before windows xp.. And it kept braking..

the reason I like qnap is high specs for future proofing.. and I know the backup is very flexible

Sorry. I’ve been watching videos and reading for two weeks now.. still so many unknowns


Regular Contributor
We already narrow to specific questions ... Nice
First part of the answers are on QUOTE ....

1) backup content from Dropbox
All NAS have backup apps to create this communication and sync with Dropbox / icloud / google drive

2) backup photos from iCloud (and view them)'
All NAS have own apps to classified photos COPIED as backup to NAS from different devices / cloud

3) hold all my music to be played via something.. lo
This is the way how every NAS work ... make backup and be server for what do you want ( video / audio / photo ) from which device or devices you want to play or view also in the same time

4) backup important stuff from NAS to cloud (Dropbox)
All the NAS do this

5) time machine backup.. with restricted size..
Here at backup can handle different solutions ... You can do a full backup of a PC included OS or only some folders ...
You can sync some folders with PC and when some files are added or deleted, instant those actions are working in both directions ( NAS and PC )
You can do also a backup of files or folders who are already copied to NAS... another backup of backup folder ....
Are a lot of apps on all NAS devices, each can do different actions

6) play video and stream Amazon prime to tv.
Here I don't know if Synology or Qnap have this feature ( but I think they have - you need to ckeck ) but my AS6604 have amazon prime as app available ...


Regular Contributor
does Synology(any other than qnap) backup app do individual folders from Dropbox? And backup my music to Dropbox?

-Does Synology do time machine easy way?

I don't know this because I don't have Synology or Qnap but I presume they do this , separate folders.
My NAS have also app to do sync and backup with Dropbox but I didn't use yet because in my dropbox is a real mess, and I need to clean a lot of files. Of course I could do direct backup and sync with NAS and what I delete from NAS could be deleted from dropbox ... but I need some time, also with google drive ... same situation

As Time machine you have in mind ... your MAC backup ... I know because I use MAC and WIN 10 every day and I know this feature. The idea is you can make time machine as normal , only destination file will be on the NAS ... and I THINK depend on the write speed of your hard drives and your network speed. ... and other factors ... like what RAID do you create in your NAS !!! This will be another thing to speak about.

When you expand the drives even if you buy a bigger hard drive to replace old one your NAS will have in the end same space available like in the past with the old hard drive who already changes.
If you want to use the new extra capacity, you need to replace both hard drives with new bigger ones, not in the same time but one after each other ....

This is the tricky part who is "bad" to the other brands in front of Synology ... In Synology , YOU CAN put different drives and he will remix the available capacity every time ....but Synology do not have hardware capabilities of others and is very restrictive to upgrade ( memory and Nmve ) ... from other brands .. you need to buy from their store ...but are some who will work . You are from UK and could buy direct from span.com already upgraded ... or in the next future if you buy from them, I think will help you to upgrade your NAS with "no brand" components...

Synology also is restricted to network speed 1gbe VS 2,5 gbe like qnap and asus ... but they are very strong on RAID flexibility and some apps ... depend of your needs.
If you choose to use only 2 bay NAS you don't have much RAID options, at all.
If you buy 2 hard drives you can choose only 2 type of raid.
Raid 0 or RAID 1.
Raid 0 you combine all 2 drives in ONE ... big drive with no possibility of recovery .. if one drive fail , you will lose everything !!!
RAid 1 ... You have 2 drives but you will use only capacity of ONE drive ... the second one is only backup of the first one. You buy 2 drives and use one.

If you buy 4 buy .. you have the oportunity to expand capabilities to RAID 5 or 6 or 10 ....
RAID 5 - capacity of 3 drive in total and only one for backup
RAID 6 - capacity of 2 drive in total and 2 drives for backup
RAID 10- capacity of 2 drives but only 1 for backup with some extended in some special cases 2 drives ( depend which drive will fail ) - this is the raid I use because is the fastest RAID in read / write and it is for multiple access in the same time with hi speed access then RAID 5 or 6 who are slower then 10 ....

I have few years ago a 2 bay NAS ( you know the brand LAcie - is use a lot o MAC world and is expensive also ) who have big failure in one drive and I can't recover almost anything and now I choose 4 bay ... for HOME ...
Also are some reasons to try to buy not the last generation of NAS ... instead to buy old one who are cheap right now and to upgrade to 4 bay ...The differences are in CPU power and memory DD3 instead or DDR4 ... and could be for summarize are the main.

I have also XP machine who is working right now and it is in the best shape ( 20 years and still count ) ... but in this year I upgraded all may 7 pc from house to Win 10 who is another story ... is very very stable and good if you take some time to clean and so ... I respect MAC because I work a lot, but is restricted to me also in playing hirez music ... or movie capabilities ... Win is more flexible in this regard by far ... but in terms of working stuff is perfect :)

Contact www.span.com and because is near you and will find a solution. This guy from store is more to Synology / Qnap guy because of surveillance apps and friendly apps of those brands. Also he admit as ASUS have by far the most advanced hardware by default without any upgrade and you will find a lot of apps developed by ASUS or third party to fulfill your need. I prefer reliable hardware and few apps for my needs. It's like android google play store style then Apple store, even I have IPHONE as my usual device every day ...

Now after tweak my Router and network cables, I can watch IN THE SAME TIME with the other users in house, video direct stream 4k UHD / Atmos - 90mbs to TV and soundbar / different Hi rez files music to 2-5 devices / netflix 4k to another room / netflix to ipad / PS4 online gaming / Voip streaming for 2 kids with video / audio and max quality and no glitch / 8-9 wifi devices connected and working perfect with NAS .. email server / word apps / downloading 24/24 files from peer to peer direct to NAS with NAS app and streaming over the internet / OIT devices around home plus voice control and scheduling to start and stop and now I want to start a IP video camera with recording 24/24 for surveillance ... to see how it's working ...and I dont buy the most fast ands expensive hard drives on the market and I have also a lot of space for futures files to backup ( video / audio / photo ) ...

Also you can access your files over the internet even you are in the country or abroad, or check email from your server and work direct with your daily files who are in NAS or you can see transcoded movies from your NAS or downloaded to your NAS from internet when you are in holiday to the beach ... in one box.

The only thing I don't have now is UPS, but in the near future I will achieve one ... right now I have good power but I prefer to invest in the main unit NAS rather then power control and backup, but is good to have. For sure



Part of the Furniture
Don't depend on the cloud storage to rebuild a raid array. Too slow (days to weeks) and vulnerable to internet issues.


Regular Contributor
I don’t need 4K video.
Is the 253d qnap Overkill?

Yes and No ...

For 100-200 bucks you avoid in the future to spend money to another NAS even you can manage to connect "old"NAS with "New" NAS and to work together ...
and I leave this video to find more reasons why ...

( 920+ will be on same level as AS6604T )... this video in not only for Synology ...

Also be aware of this

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Regular Contributor
Also if your main feature is for backup, audio streaming and some apps using HDMI out and don't want to have more power under the hood to process video or to have multiple processes in the same time , money wise is to choose OLD generation, now a little bit cheaper then the new entries. That's why I put here some comparison videos to have an idea about NAS capabilities in this area. Some prices on the video are high because the prices are 5 months / 1 year ago ... now are cheaper .. I presume in UK.

Note : Synology do not have HDMI out on those models ( video ) , but to have the whole picture when will decide to buy one ....

Also the OS and GUI interface could be a decisive factor for you in terms of day by day access ands easy way to handle settings and apps.

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