Cheapest NAS Option

I want to use this for my Apple TV. I don’t own a computer. Just an iPad and iPhone. What would be the cheapest NAS option that I could get to run the server?

What hdhomeruns will you be using?

Do you want something powerful enough for advanced features like commercial detection, or something bare bones to just record and playback from?

I’m open to both depending on the price. Since I will be using this solely for the DVR, I don’t want to get too pricey but commercial detection would be nice

I’m going to be using the Homerun prime

I bought a QNAP TS-251+ for $239 over the holidays and am very happy with it. Of course you need to buy some drives to put in it too.

How well would this work?

How well would a cheap windows PC work?

The DS216se doesn’t have a lot of RAM or a very good CPU.

What about the WD EX2 Ultra?

Would you recommend the same NAS for running 2x connects? I’m waiting to see if you guys do a UK release of the DVR, but it would be nice just to price things up, incase you did.
It’s either that or a secondhand Mac mini in order to keep costs down.

The MycloudEX2Ultra does not have enough CPU to do transcoding for playpack on the web interface, and commercial skip takes a while… It is ok for recording or use as an iSCSI target. It also cannot do plex transcoding either.

Do you have any old computers (even laptops) that are just sitting in a closet?
Do you have any internal hard drives or external USB hard drives already?
Would you use storage for things other than the DVR, such as photos or other general storage?
Do you have interest in setting up a Plex server or anything that could make use of the additional capabilities?

The reason I ask these questions is that you can certainly get a NAS for the HDHR + Channels DVR setup. But, with a little advanced thought, a similar spend could get you many additional capabilities

In general, if you are going for a low-end pre-built NAS, with the big names being Synology, QNap, and Western Digital, you will have a great storage device, but not great processing power. Unless you are stepping up to $500-$1,000 units, you likely will be better off with a small computer and adding hard drives.

And remember, the HDHR + Channels software is going to set you back somewhere around $150 to begin with. That being said, if you are able to save $30-$50/mo on your cable expense, it will be very much worth it very quickly.

If you only have a NAS you will still need a computer to set it up and install the software on the NAS as well as updates to the software. None of that can just be done through the Channels app on AppleTV.

A post was split to a new topic: Seagate Central

I have a computer I can use for set up. I just don’t own one that will always be at my house

Just snatched this from Craigslist for $150. Will this work well?

I posted this for you on your macrumors thread and I am making a copy here just in case someone else wants to correct me to add more:

I am not that familiar with the WD My Cloud EX2 (2 bays) or EX4 (4 bays). But I think it uses a ARM CPU instead of the recommended INTEL CPU (for hardware assist).

You can find comments about them on the Channels Forums. I found a couple.


  1. I must say I’m really impressed, I’ve had the software for quite some time and retired my old Media centre. Yesterday I installed the public Alpha with my WDmycloud EX2 Ultra. The install went flawless with the NAS, and also a prompt email for the TVOS app. I played around and set some recording schedules, it all works so effortlessly. Congratulations to the developers, again for producing such a beautiful unified app for us Media Centre Crazys.

  2. WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra - Everything works just fine. Comskip definitely takes time (75 minutes for a 60 minute HD Show). Otherwise everything was fine. Recordings made from my HDHR Extends played back on the Alpha ATV clients w/o issue. I haven’t stressed it with a bunch of concurrent recordings yet.
    “Mike’s note about HDHR Extends - They are used for OTA and not cable cards like Prime. Also, you have the Extend to the Transcoding from MPEG2 to MPEG4 so you have smaller file size and maybe other things will run faster. But I do not have one since I use PRIME’s which is only MPEG2”.

So it appears your NAS should work for normal recoding and playback. But not that great for the COMSKIP and the Transcoding Feature.

I read someone else (but could not find it) that the Web UI would not work for streaming because it requires Transcoding and the CPU does not have enough power. This would be the same for remote access. The INTEL CPU Helps with the Transcoding is my understanding.

COMSKIP should take about 5-10 minutes per 1 hour video. This was the point we were making. For light use it should work but some of the advanced features will not work that well or at all. Some of the features require more CPU power and an INTEL CPU for transcoding helps.

So the ex 2 ultra which is more affordable should work for recordings the right? If I watch a show the next day, that should give the NAS plenty of time to run through the commercial skip right?

Also I don’t care about the web UI. Just TVOS

I have not used it but based on the other report that seems to be correct. However, I might disable COMSKIP on that NAS. If it takes longer to do the COMSKIP then it does to record the show then my guess is the NAS will be using a lot of CPU power for the COMSKIP Process. So, depending on how many shows you are recording at the same time (PRIME supports 3) or back to back and also if you are trying to play back a recording it might struggle. But since I have not tried it I could be wrong. But it sounds like normal recording and playback should be fine.

Also, I do not use the WEB UI. Only tvOS and iOS. At this time transcoding is not that important to me. But I could think of some features that I would use that would require transcoding but the developers have not indicated that is near term so I do not expect to use it. But I like the idea that I could use transcoding if I wanted to.

Please let us know your experience.