Cheapest NAS Option


You could also try a refurbished off-lease like this:

The 7010 was a good machine. These go for $150-250.


I picked up one of these a few months ago for $199 and attached a 4TB USB 3.0 drive that I had laying around, works wonderfully.
Much cheaper than a NAS with drives and all.


A self built PC with HDD with a linux/BSD OS can be the cheapest option but you will have to a) build it and b) install the OS and then the Channels DVR. A Windows PC adds cost due to the license but can be easier to set up due to familiarity. An Mac doesn’t cost for the OS as macOS is now free but the hardware is usually more expensive.

However the Channels team really have a strange predicament - they are selling an app/service that is designed to replace a system we take for granted with basically no technical know-how - the cable/OTA commercial DVR - which is usually a box that you plug in, turn on and away you go.

Building a PC is probably something the current Channels DVR subscribers are okay with BUT Fancy Bits are trying to attract so called “cord-cutters” who may be entirely computer naive. For these people a NAS plugged into their router with a simple set of instructions to install the DVR is the only real solution (and even that will be too much for some). As such if you are someone like that I would suggest you look on this forum for the list of supported NAS devices rather than look to build your own PC. WD MyCloud devices will run the DVR but do not usually transcode (if you want to view recordings remotely over the internet). QNAP and Synology devices tend to be more flexible but more expensive.


If you do fancy building your own PC I would happily walk you through setting it all up with a linux distro.


I plan to play the DVR recordings on the Channels app on my AppleTV’s. I have no need to watch anything remotely - just a couple of OTA broadcasts on my TV at home. When you say ‘transcode’, does that mean it won’t work on the AppleTV and can only be watched on some proprietary MyCloud system, or can’t be transcoded to work on an ipad or phone away from the home network?
Sorry if these are dumb questions guys, but i am for sure in the cord cutter brigade who need a fairly straightforward plug and play option without sinking hundreds of dollars into it. At $200 already for the antenna, HDHomerun and the $25 Channels app, I am getting towards the end of my budget for this little project. I’m actually pretty proud of my techy ability to get this far. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Thanks for the response.
Can you explain why the WD MyCloud won’t work, please?


Transcoding is only required for away-from-home viewing.

There are several MyCloud models available and they all have different caveats.

The newest offering is called “MyCloud Home”. We’ve written an app for this version, but users don’t have any way to install it at the moment since WD is still working on QA and release stuff. It’s taking them forever and I have no idea when it will become available.

The older versions were called just MyCloud, but there are actually two generations of them. The gen1 units from several years ago ran firmware 4.x and cannot run custom apps. Most “MyCloud” drives you can find now (as long as they are not MyCloudHome) run firmware 2.x, and can run custom apps including Channels DVR. However the installation can be tricky. The instructions are outlined in WDMyCloud Single Drive


Because I was frustrated by it when I first started. I have a WD my cloud 2TB (gen 2)I could send you. It’s just sitting in a box (PM me). I like watching a show timeshifted , and then just a couple minutes after it’s recorded all of a sudden the commercial indexes show up and I can skip right through.

i also bought a WD mycloud Home for my daughter in hopes that it will be supported too. i think that the $140 price point is perfect for a OTA dvr solution.


I’m using an Acepc also with an external drive attached. Works great and very quiet. Only problem is I can’t get the newest windows update due to limited 32GB eMMC. Just something to be aware of. Gave up on adding a SSD for now. I was having problems. Will try again when I have time to tinker.


The two Channels features which require a higher powered (very basic) NAS setup ~ $350 for Qnap or Synology - base + at least 1 disk drive are 1. Transcoding - as defined above and 2. ComSkip (IMO one of Channel’s top features). OTH, a Win 10 mini PC + USB3 disk drive would probably cost a bit less but have the CPU to provide both 1 & 2 above. IMO, for the cost, the latter gets you the best bang for the buck.

If neither is important to you then @tmm1’s suggestion of the later model MyCloud would probably be the cheapest solution.

A further suggestion: see if you can run Channels on your current PC (24/7) + an inexpensive WD USB3 portable 1-2TB drive (like the Passport) to test these features and setup…so you can determine what is important for your use case. This is what I did for about 2-3 months until making a final decision. In the end, I chose to add a NAS…however, only due to other requirements…if it was just for Channels DVR I would have gone with the mini PC + USB3 disk.


Yes that is a limitation, but I just install most of my programs to the attached drive and leave as much room as possible to the built in drive. Plenty of room for Windows updates, perhaps delete other update installations that would be using up your space there?
I don’t use this pc except for Channels, and very very light internet use.


I have explored NAS solutions and small PC’s myself. I have come to this conclusion…

If you ONLY want DVR, you are better off with a small PC, than a NAS. Reasons being…
-DVR involves the storage of non-critical data. It records a tv show, you watch it, you delete it. You don’t need the redundancy or additional disk performance that any RAID volume has to offer. If a disk goes bad, and you lose your recordings, paying for them over iTunes or Amazon Video would be cheaper than maintaining disk redundancy in a NAS solution.
-CPU performance is key. Hosting DVR means you need a good CPU to be able to transcode, upload and stream on demand. If you want multiple users to be able to stream off of your DVR solution, that takes a larger toll on the CPU.

Long story short…for strictly DVR, RAID is not necessary, CPU is everything. Therefore, a small PC is in your best interest.

PLEX is a different story. With Plex, you would do DVR, as well as host pictures, videos and other things that you may not want to lose. Redundancy has its benefits here, but that is because with Plex, you are doing more than just DVR.

I hope this helps.


I purchased a Synology NAS DS716+II, installed two 4TB drives running in hybrid RAID and upgraded the RAM to 8g.
It has enough power to run PLEX, Channels DVR, four 4MB security camera surveillance, etc. and enough memory to hold all my saved movies, TV and music for use as a home theater server.


You’ve pretty much just described a Tablo.


IMO the least expensive reliable option is probably a 3TB WD MyCloud Personal, at a bit under $200 on Amazon.

No remote viewing with that, though. And commercial detection might be a bit on the slow side.