A Network Attached Storage(NAS) device can in many ways, be the ideal storage setup for you if you want a one-stop storage solution right at your very home.
Being able to access all your favorite movies, shows, videos, etc. on any device, at any time can be a breeze with a NAS device.
Nvidia Shield TV is one of the best streaming devices out there and so, streaming from a NAS will be a blast, especially in 4K resolution.
But there are a lot of NAS options out there, and how will you choose the right option for streaming to your Shield TV?
Fret not, this guide will help you find your ideal NAS device, which will be able to stream all your favorite content at the highest possible quality.
Before we get right into the thick of the matter, make sure of your internet connection. If you have issues with the internet connection, check out this article on Internet Issues on Shield TV.
The DS920 is a popular NAS choice on the market, not only for streaming applications but also for all its features.
It is a 4 bay NAS, meaning you can mount 4 storage drives(3.5" hard disk or a 2.5" SSD) and supports up to 64 TB of data. Using a Synology DX 517 expansion unit, you can further increase the storage up to 80 TB.
This is good considering a 4K movie can devour anywhere from 10-20 GB of space. More storage is always appreciated.
It has a quad-core processor(Intel J4125) which registers a clock speed of 2.0 GHz. This is more than enough to transcode a 4K movie to a suitable format and stream across multiple devices simultaneously.
This NAS houses 4 GB of DDR4 RAM which can be further upgraded to 8 GB, meaning you can easily support multiple devices and multiple applications concurrently.
The presence of 2 built-in M. 2 NVMe SDD slots is a bonus for cache acceleration purposes of your PC applications.
I/O includes two USB 3.0 ports. Sadly, there is no HDMI port.
One of the major drawbacks of this device is that even in this price range, it lacks a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port. Synology decided to provide this model with only dual 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Synology has a built-in PLEX server app and you can easily set up the software and stream your content to your Shield TV through the PLEX app.
It has a quick access feature that allows users to find their media and data embedded in the NAS without much ado.
You can set up your storage in Synology Hybrid RAID formats for better security and backup of your data.
It is one of the best 4K supported NAS for streaming with its extreme Hardware Transcoding features and an intuitive user interface. Synology provides 3 years of warranty for this model.
Even though the device is capable of transcoding 4K formats, it is best to stream the media directly without any transcoding, since 4K transcoding can make the system slow, and streaming to multiple devices may become cumbersome.
Makes use of the dual 1 Gigabit Ethernet connection to stream media to Shield TV from NAS and watch the video in all its glory, untainted by the harsh translation by the Server.
Another well-reputed and highly recommended NAS device is the AS 5304T form Asustor. One of the most unique selling points of this device is the presence of an HDMI 2.0 port.
This makes the transfer of data and files hassle-free, without the requirement of an external computer.
You can also connect the system to a display or TV and stream your media directly from the device using the HDMI port. You can also set up the NAS as a DVR for recording live TV content.
Coming to the NAS side of things, it is a 4 bay device with up to 64 Gb mounting capacity. There are no NVMe or SATA ports on this model for mounting an SSD, but that is not a problem when talking about streaming.
It has the new Intel Celeron J4105 processor that can clock up to 1.5 GHz with up to 2.5 GHz clocking frequency on boosting. It has 4 GB of RAM onboard which can be further increased to 8 GB.
It can easily transcode and transmit 1080p content to multiple devices and can even support 4K transcoding at an expense of limited accommodation of contemporaneous devices.
It has three USB 3.2 ports. Dual 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet ports make it even faster for direct file transfers and media streams.
It is one of the best PLEX servers for 4K transcoding purposes and the Shield TV can hugely benefit from its faster processing capabilities and multi-device support.
With its HDMI port, it can also be used as an HTPC(Home Theatre PC) device. 3 years of warranty comes as standard.
At this price tag, finding a better NAS than the Asustor AS 5304T, with all its features and value for money proposition, can become arduous.
Another great NAS from a reputed manufacturer, the TS-451D2 is an absolute beast in terms of streaming capabilities.
With seamless integration of PLEX media services, you can stream all your favorite movies and videos onto the Shield TV at blazing fast speed and crisp quality.
Even if you don't want to use PLEX, you can stream all your content to your Shield TV, thanks to the dual Gigabit Ethernet ports onboard.
4K Hardware transcoding is one of its strong suits because of the 2.0 GHz dual-core processor(Intel Celeron J4025) powering the system.
This will enable you to stream and transfer files across multiple devices with ease and make streaming in 4K a piece of cake.
The TS 451D2 is a 4 bay NAS that supports up to 64 Gb of data and has three USB 3.1 ports available. An HDMI port is also available on the back which makes a direct connection to a TV or a display possible.
Do note that you may have limited performance while streaming concurrent 4K streams, try 1080p transcoded streams which the NAS cuts through like butter.
Even though the user interface is not as intuitive and easy as the Synology NAS, you will get used to the Interface after some time. Support for iOS apps is another distinguishing feature of this NAS.
With the presence of an HDMI port, you can also turn it into a DVR for recording all your live TV shows, news, and sports streams.
You may want to limit the usage of 4K hardware transcoding for simultaneous transmissions since it houses a dual-core CPU which may cause the device to heat under heavy load.
The TERRAMASTER F5-422 is a powerhouse of a NAS with it 5 bay storage solution and a beefy quad-core processor.
Being one of the premium products on the list, it has the new Appolo J3455 quad-core 1.5 GHz CPU with 4 GB of RAM onboard. The RAM can be further upgraded to 8 Gb of memory.
The 5 bay slot can accommodate up to 90 Gb of data(18*5 configuration).
The quad-core processor is capable of transcoding 4K files and is designed to cater to the needs of Home or Small office applications.
With support for a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port and dual 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, the device will be able to stream content at lightning-fast speeds across multiple devices without breaking a sweat.
TERRAMASTER lays utmost importance on the safety of the data and files stored in the NAS by giving it multilayer protection and proving its proprietary Btrfs file manager which further elevates security.
Due to the absence of an HDMI port, DVR capabilities may be limited.
All of these top-notch hardware components come housed in an Aluminium Shell which also has an intelligent temperature control mechanism with a quiet fan.
Buyer's Guide: What to look for when selecting a NAS for Streaming
When shopping for a good NAS device for using it with your Shield TV, you have to keep in mind certain aspects to look out for.
Here are some of the features and specs pertinent to the said application.
1. CPU Capabilities
One of the most necessary spec to look out for is the computing power of the NAS. Selecting an inferior CPU may be a deal-breaker.
Look for quad-core CPUs that can clock upwards of 1.5 GHz if you want to stream 4K content to multiple devices at the same time.
Most quad-core CPUs allow 4K hardware transcoding which may be necessary especially since your Shield TV supports 4K streams.
A dual-core processor may do the job, but check the specifications and make sure it clocks speeds north of 1.5 GHz.
2. Number of Slots (bays)
As the saying goes, the bigger the better, make sure you select the right amount of storage for your needs.
NASs are classified mostly based on the number of bays available. Entry-level NAS devices have 2 bay solutions, even single-bay NASs are available.
You may want to select a 4 bay NAS since our application is video and media storage and transmission. Lesser storage may get eaten up fast if storing higher bitrate and higher resolution movies(4K) and media.
If you decide to set up RAID storage, you may want to look for a NAS with more than 4 bays.
3. Transfer Speeds
Whether streaming transcoded media or unmodulated Remux(lossless) 4K movies, a high-speed transfer is always appreciated.
Look for a NAS with Gigabit Ethernet ports. This makes the transfer of data very fast and efficient, unlike the traditional Ethernet port transfers.
You may also want a Gigabit port if you strive for multiuser connections and transfers.
1 Gigabit and 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet ports are the most common network ports available in consumer-level NAS devices.
Some manufacturers offer 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports on their NAS devices but at a premium price.
4. Port Selection
Another spec to look out for is the selection of ports available on the device.
Check for the type of USB port available in the NAS. If it has USB 3.0 ports and above, you are good to go since they provide superior connection and data transfer rates.
If an HDMI port is available, you have hit the jackpot. The presence of an HDMI port will enable you to not only stream content directly to the display of your choice, but it will also negate the need for a remote computer to transfer files.
An HDMI port will also help you use the NAS as a DVR for capturing and storing all live TV content on your Shield TV.
There you have it, a guide that will help you choose the right NAS for your streaming needs.
Make sure to check out all the products and compare them likewise before zeroing in on one.
The buyer's guide will help you select your ideal NAS if the above-mentioned products don't meet your needs.
Plex is the recommended service for all your NAS needs on the Shield TV. If you are having issues with PLEX on the Shield TV, check out this article on PLEX issues on the Shield TV, especially for AI upscaling related issues.