NAS Recommendations

For the best Channels DVR experience, we recommend a NAS with an Intel CPU. Intel makes best-in-class CPUs, and most modern software (such as our DVR and commercial detector) is optimized to run on Intel CPUs. Intel also offers Quick Sync video encoding, which will let you use your DVR to watch TV away from home.

NAS are generally sold without hard-drives, so prices below are base-cost before HDDs. Entry-level models have two drive bays, so you can insert up to two drives. You can start with one drive and add another later to increase capacity. Or you can start with two drives and set the second one up as a failover.

Synology, QNAP and WD are considered the top three NAS manufacturers, in that order. Synology and QNAPs NAS platforms are the most feature-rich, offering many apps that let you run servers, virtual machines, backups, photo storage, vpn servers, etc etc.

Recommended 2-bay NAS

Synology DS218+ (J3355 dual-core 2GB): $299

Synology DS718+ (J3455 quad-core 2GB): $400

QNAP TS-251B (J3355 dual-core 2GB): $285

QNAP TS-251B (J3355 dual-core 4GB): $309

WD PR2100 (N3710 quad-core 4GB): $360

TerraMaster F2-221 (J3355 dual-core 2GB): $250

Asustor AS6302T (J3355 dual-core 2GB): $270

Recommended 4-bay NAS

WD PR4100 (N3710 quad-core 4GB): $450

Synology DS918+ (J3455 quad-core 4GB): $548

Synology DS1019+ (J3455 quad-core 8GB): $640

Non-Recommended NAS

Some NAS are still being sold with the Intel J1800 and J1900 CPUs. While these are pretty good, they're over 5 years old now and not worth the price being charged for them. If you find a really good deal on one of these (and only plan to record a couple shows at a time) it might make sense for you.

The vast majority of NAS use underpowered ARM-based CPUs which are not suitable for Channels DVR. If you don't need Away From Home access and don't care about commercial detection, then an ARM based NAS might work for you. If possible, look for a newer ARMv8 CPU like the RTD1296.

Build Your Own

The main advantage of a NAS is that it requires very little expertise to setup and maintain. All NAS use Linux, but each vendor packages everything up into an easy point-and-click interface and also takes care of software updates to keep your system up-to-date and secure.

If you're comfortable installing and running Linux or Windows yourself, often times it is much cheaper to buy a new or used PC/laptop which will likely have a better CPU and more RAM than a similarly priced NAS. Popular DIY options include the Intel NUC and similar Mini PCs.