January 18, 2013
QNAP HD Station/XBMC Review
QNAP Systems, Inc., as its brand promise “Quality Network Appliance Provider”, aims to deliver comprehensive offerings of cutting edge network attached storage (NAS) and network video recorder (NVR) solutions featured with ease-of-use, robust operation, large storage capacity, and trustworthy reliability. QNAP integrates technologies and designs to bring forth quality products that effectively improve business efficiency on file sharing, virtualization applications, storage management and surveillance in the business environments, as well as enrich entertainment life for home users with the offering of a fun multimedia center experience. Headquartered in Taipei, QNAP delivers its solutions to the global market with nonstop innovation and passion.
About the HD Station
A cinema-grade entertainment experience at home has never been easier – now featuring the Turbo NAS. The addition of an HDMI port and QNAP’s new HD Station turns the Turbo NAS into an amazing multimedia player. By installing the free HD Station application and connecting the Turbo NAS to a big-screen TV via HDMI, you can easily enjoy the vast video, music and photo collections stored on the Turbo NAS, surf the web, even control the entire experience from your mobile phone or tablet. Enjoying Full HD experience is just that easy!
Closer Look at the HD Station
We will be using QNAP TS-469L NAS along with ASUS 27″ LED Display which supports HDMI Port . Note that the you will need firmware 3.8.1 or later in order to install HD station on your NAS . and Also HD station is only available for TS-x69 series, including TS-x69L and TS-x69 Pro models .
First of all you have to install the HD Station/XBMC from the administration panel of the NAS , Just enter the IP address of the NAS along with the port and then enter the user/pass to gain access to administration panel . Locate the HD station under the applications menu and install the HD Station/XBMC .
Select the XBMC in order to enter the HD station . You can select VIA remote control , keyboard or mouse .
After , entering in to XBMC , similar screen would be opened on your display . You can browse through menu if you want to watch movies or picture or you want to listen to the music .
The environment is very user friendly and it looks quite clear and sleek as the below picture is taken with digital camera thats why the picture is distorted a bit .
After entering into the Movies section , You can see the list of the various movies which we have stored in our NAS . One thing to note that there is SD/HD written right next to the movie name which shows that whether the movie is High Definition or Standard Definition . We tested the HD station by playing HD Ice Age Continental Drift .
And i must say we really enjoyed watching movie . There was no LAG or any other kind of problem , the movie just played so smooth that we were amazed by the performance of the NAS .
You can also view your pictures on the HD station . Below is the example of the SSD picture shot with digital camera having resolution of 4096 x 3072. Again the quality is reduced due to picture taken of the screen of the LED .
Also you can listen to the various tracks and songs , when you are using chrome on the HD Station . The sound track keep on running in the background . Again the experience with music playing was very great , There was no kind of distorting noise or anything else .
In the end , we wanted to check the consumption of the hardware when were testing all these things . We were very surprised to know that the 15% of CPU was used along with 512MB RAM . This is still very good thing as you will be having around 350MB RAM for other work or downloading running in background .
In the end all we have to say , the QNAP has done very well in making the NAS into Home Theater , We Really enjoyed testing the NAS as HD station . Also we would like to thank you QNAP for sending the Remote Control for testing . We hope that there will be more updates regarding the HD station to improve the performance and add more features