Network Attached Storage – Home Entertainment Redefined


It’s hard to believe that we are already well into 2015! The household is becoming more and more digitized. Smartphones, smart TV’s, home automation, home theater systems and even devices like air conditioners can be networked and controlled remotely. When you combine these increasing levels of integration with the shift to digital media consumption, then it becomes clear that a NAS is no longer just a souped up hard drive, but can become the center of a digital household. The size and volume of individual media files, the need for data portability, transcoding between different devices, security and backing up are not all within the capabilities of a standard external hard drive. With all the varieties of devices, operating systems, file formats and codecs, it becomes obvious that a device is needed to allow all digital content to be shared across the devices in the home. This is where a capable NAS shines. As we’ll show later in the article, once you integrate a NAS into your home network, you really will wonder how you got along without one.
For our article, Synology were kind to provide their DS214 Play NAS. This unit is perfectly positioned to be the multimedia center of the entire home. The Synology brand needs no introduction when it comes NAS, the company is a leader with units ranging from simple one bay home oriented units, right up to scalable server rack mount 10GbE equipped units.
Rather than provide an actual evaluation and review of the unit, this article will focus on the user experience. Since even the most inexperienced PC users will be familiar with external hard drives, we’ll try to give an overview of the capabilities of a NAS and how they are becoming more and more relevant in the modern network equipped home.
Hard drives aint Hard Drives

Before we get to the DS214Play itself, lets spend some time looking at the the other key ingredient of a NAS, that being the drives themselves! We give our thanks to Seagate for providing a pair of their 2Tb ST2000VN000 NAS drives for this article.Not all hard drives are created equal. Anyone who has ever lost critical data pays special attention to their storage and not everyone is aware that one HDD does not fit all usage scenarios.

Read more at: Network Attached Storage – Home Entertainment Redefined | Photography & Storage Guide