I've been posting in a few threads with members asking about the best solutions playing videos/images on their TV and a NAS is often recommended. I can understand the advantage if the user wants be able to access the files with multiple devices, but is still viable for a single device? What am I missing?
Also, does a NAS have to be separate device or can I serve the files from my PC and consider that a NAS? Back in the early 2000's, there were devices like the HP Media server that ran Windows Home Server, was that a NAS just under a different name?
As I posted in another thread, my main viewing setup is two multi-bay USB hard drive enclosures connected to a laptop as my media player. My secondary setup is a smaller multi-bay enclosure (with select videos) connected to my PC. The primary purpose of the second setup is to view shows/series that have logos that cause image retention on my plasma within a few hours of viewing. If it weren't for the image retention issue, I'd view all my videos with the main setup. So in my case, I don't see any advantage and a possible disadvantage noted below to a NAS.
These are the points (I didn't post most of the text because the points are clear enough) I found on this site with my thoughts and comments. Please advise and correct me on my comments. Note: I know the article is poorly written, but the points are mirrored in other articles I've skimmed.
1) A NAS is relatively easy to set up
Okay, this makes sense.
2) A NAS offers peace of mind
"Most computer users can relate to losing data. Your computer was infected with a virus and you had to reformat and ended up losing everything. Your hard drive failed. The SD card with your not-yet-backed-up vacation photos vanished. It happens.
A NAS can ultimately help you to avoid these scenarios. Files are saved on the NAS and accessed by your PC, meaning you won't lose any data if your PC hard drive or OS fails. A RAID 5 NAS setup using four drives allows for a drive to fail completely without losing any data. Replace the faulty drive and get back to work; the volume will be rebuilt in a few hours and you can still access your data, albeit it slowly, during the process."
This I disagree highly with. A virus like ransomware can search for any storage, including cloud, accessible from the PC. Since a NAS is typically on 24/7, the drives will be infected in real time (factoring in the virus propagation time to write to all the drives). In my case, I keep my second set of drives in enclosures that are off unless I need to access them. Worse case scenario is that they'd be infected when turned on. I'd still have my other set of drives connected to my laptop. And of course RAID is not a backup solution and doesn't take "a few hours" to rebuild. A NAS still requires a second or better, third set of backup drives offline.
3) A NAS offers increased storage space
I agree. But so does adding to my multi-bay enclosures or adding another enclosure as needed. In addition, my enclosures are cheaper because they're non-RAID. The bargain is my 4 bay Probox that can be found for $100 or less. I factor in the cost the enclosure when I'm deciding between adding a new drive or upgrading to a larger one. It would cost me $100 to add another box versus $160 if I swap out a smaller drive for a larger one. Plus I can use the smaller drive as additional backup.
4) A NAS makes file sharing easy
This I can see. However, is it a plus for someone who only has a single media player? Of course it allows expandability if necessary.
5) A NAS isn't throttled by ISP transfer speeds
Neither is a drive connected by USB 3.0
7) A NAS usually has organization software
"Many NAS units come with software that makes setting up and using your network a snap. Some map your storage for easy access, while others allow you to set up a cloud for internet access anywhere. Most NAS units will include sync software, but these options will change depending on what NAS unit you buy."
Internet access isn't a plus or a minus if I just need the files locally. And file syncing can be done with external drives as well.
8) A NAS offers security features
Most NAS units feature some type of encryption for disk volumes. This adds another level of security on top of the fact that your drives can be, if you wish, kept off the public internet. If your laptop is stolen it won't have your files on it — they're kept secure and separate on your NAS. In an office setting, it's much easier to keep tabs on one centralized NAS rather than multiple computers. Users might give individual computers access that isn't exactly secure, and you could suffer from the vulnerability before it is noticed.
Geared towards multiple users and offsite access. Not relevant to single media player use..
9) A NAS will save you money in the long run
"The price of a quality four-bay NAS unit ranges from about $300 to $550, and the price of a 2TB hard drive is currently hovering around the $50 mark. If you were to create a badass four-drive RAID 5 setup with four 2TB drives, you'd have to spend about $500. Your storage capacity minus data redundancy would be 6TB.
Now consider the price of cloud storage services. If you're not already an Office 365 subscriber with 1TB of included OneDrive storage, you're looking at about $70 per year for just an eighth of the storage space provided by a NAS. You can see how a NAS quickly pays for itself."
This is just twisted logic. IMO, RAID-5 (striping & parity) is an unnecessary cost for home use. And Cloud storage is a different beast than the uses for a NAS
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Last edited by lingyi; 30th Nov 2019 at 00:58. Reason: Clarity
If you have solid wired network over household, NAS is a plus because it is centralized ad available for any devices, you can have it in the basement, not on the table, set up rights etc
It is a standalone device, with backups automated.
If you have NAS next to your laptop, than it is tied up to your laptop, you might as well use HDD, why not.
Also servers like plex and others. Again it is tied to a device. I never understood why it is used so much. Mostly because they use not player boxes but again laptop or PC for streaming, simple solution. Always looked at it as one user solution.
You got yourself solution using laptop instead of a player box and now , naturally, thinking why do I need NAS for? You probably don't.
If you have house with 5-6 different places where one can cozy up and watch something, stream something, not sure if laptop solution would work. You'd rather hook up whatever cheaper device you'd got, wdtv, Raspberry, android box or some amazon-spying-advertising-ehm-streaming-device, whatever is preferred in that spot by whomever.
btw my wdtv boxes , in a course of 10 years started acted up the same way, they tend to freeze if inactive, not sure if because of heating, they have to be always restarted, one is still in use like that. Now wandering if Netflix is still going to work in couple of days, after Dec 1st.
A PC can be a NAS, but you need to install software to communicate with DLNA devices (examples for Samsung TVs), which you probably don't want to do, given DLNA sucks, but if your TV supports it, DLNA can eliminate the need to connect a PC via HDMI as a media player. At least until you want to play a file type it doesn't support. If you already have a PC connected there's probably not much point to a NAS as such. Wouldn't simple file sharing be enough for transferring files from one PC to the other if need be?
We have two TVs with built-in media players here, although one of them is connected to my PC. The other has a hard drive connected to it's media player via a USB dock. It's easy enough to carry the drive to the next room when I need to add or delete video though.
Could I ask about the second setup for video with logos? Do you remove them or do you watch video with logos on the PC monitor? I'm just trying to understand the need for both a laptop and a PC for viewing. What media player do you use? You should be able to move the video around on the screen or zoom in etc. I just move the picture now and then to prevent logo burn-in on my Plasma. Moving the picture once every 30 minutes is plenty, or even just minimising the player for a few seconds before going back to running the video full screen. Of course you do have to remember to do it, but there's usually an ugly logo on the screen to remind you. .
As an example, the logos on these two Korean shows I watch weekly are huge and can't be cropped away. Each of these shows are an hour and a 1/2, and the logos on the left take hours to wipe out after viewing. Even the SBS logo alone will leave an image. I currently use PotPlayer because I like the interface.
[Attachment 50992 - Click to enlarge]
[Attachment 50996 - Click to enlarge]
FYI, as I've said in other threads, streaming doesn't work work for me because I need full subtitle support of formats like .ass because sometimes there's positioned subtitles under or over the written clues in the second image.
Edit: The logos are there throughout the show. The text in the top image is dynamic and isn't always there.
Last edited by lingyi; 1st Dec 2019 at 12:56.
I love my plasma, but considered switching to OLED until I read that they still have minor image retention issues. Hopefully when I'm forced to give up my plasma, the issue will be resolved or LCD or possibly QLED sets will catch up to OLED's quality.
Last edited by lingyi; 1st Dec 2019 at 13:13.
I'm certainly in no hurry to replace my Plasma either.
If Potplayer is the same as MPC-HC, you can zoom in with the "9" key (on the numeric keypad), zoom out with the "1" key and reset with "5". In combination with the Ctrl key the number keys move the video up and down or side to side. "5" still resets. In combination with Alt they rotate the picture. Alt+6 would put the logo on the other side, with the picture being a "mirror image". I'm not saying it's ideal but you can at least move the logo around or even zoom-in and move the video until it's off the edge of the screen. It mightn't work every time because you do have to sacrifice some picture if you want to move it off the screen completely, but it's very easy to do. At least for MPC-HC. The key assignments might have changed but Potplayer should do much the same. Just a thought.....
Ugly logo vs the logo moved off the screen.
Last edited by hello_hello; 1st Dec 2019 at 13:42.
Great post, and interesting points you found in that article.
As you pointed out in your rebuttal to some of those points, the advantages of NAS are either offset by disadvantages that are far worse than the advantage, or the argument is simply bogus.
I've installed and fixed a few NAS devices. I also briefly considered installing one here in my home/office. In the end, based on my experience, I ended up not buying or installing one. The reason? The only advantage I could come up with is the saving in power from not having to have a PC running to act as a server for the hard drive. Everything else favored simply turning on a PC and sharing your files from that.
The thing that really got me running in the other direction was when I had to service someone else's NAS and found that his unit (and possibly all of them) use a non-standard file system. I couldn't do recovery with the tools I had in my kit. I'm sure files can be recovered, but not using simple recovery software. You also don't have the almost infinite configuration flexibility that you get with a standard server configuration.
You also pointed up the other major reason to forget about NAS: cost. You end up paying a LOT more for the same amount of storage.
Since PCs have become a lot greener in the past decade, you can configure the server to use very little power, so even that advantage is no longer a big deal.
So, as far as I am concerned, I would never recommend a NAS device for home use.
We're getting off topic from why I don't use think a NAS is useful for me. But I'll answer the questions above.
I'm familiar with the zoom function in various media players, but while cropping removes the 'ugly logo' it ruins the image (chopping of the head of the guy in my first pic) and degrades the image since it's no longer pixel perfect. Also, Running Man, the show in the second clip, often revolves around finding clues and they often aren't centered in the screen. Too much would be lost with cropping.
Also, especially in variety shows, I love watching what's going on the background as it's sometimes more interesting than what the camera is focusing on. It's often interesting and funny to see what the cast and guests do when they think they're not on camera. [Edit: It's especially fun to see their 'real' expressions, especially when they're competing in a game. On an old episode of Running Man, a female guest was all smiles when she knew she was on camera, but really gave the eye to another female guest when she was in the background. I'm surprised that it wasn't pointed out by the highly critical South Korean viewers, but it was quick.]
I do use zoom out for some low quality videos (the only ones available) to make them watchable*. I [sit] ~4' from my 40" secondary setup and always watch in a near pitch black room, so [a] zoomed out image isn't really distracting (I can't see the bezel of the TV in the dark).
*I'm a completionist when it comes to some TV shows, directors and actors/actresses.
Last edited by lingyi; 1st Dec 2019 at 15:01. Reason: grammar