With the everyday advancements in technology, you can now access your favorite videos and movies on your mobile phone on the go, even if it is not stored in your phone.
How you may ask, well, the easiest answer is by using a server-client-based app on your phone.
Through such an app, you can stream the content stored on a storage device connected to the internet in a remote place, like your home, while you are at work or in transit down the subway.
This storage system can be a regular hard disk connected to your computer or an independent network-based storage device that has an independent CPU, called a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device.
I have a Synology DS 920+ set up as the NAS on which all of my favorite media is stored, and I use the PLEX media software to access the NAS anytime, anywhere.
Ever since the Nvidia Shield TV came into existence, I have been an active user since it is the best streaming device on the market.
Apart from being a killer streaming device, the Shield TV is also an excellent client device for connecting and streaming content from the NAS.
You can connect the Shield TV to your NAS device using a number of methods. The easiest and the most reliable one is by employing the services of a server-client app like PLEX or Kodi and connecting the Shield TV as the client to a NAS server (or any other device like a PC as the server).
Other methods include directly connecting the NAS to the Shield TV or making the Shield TV both the server and the client.
Here is a comprehensive guide on how to connect the Shield TV to a NAS device.
Requirements to Use NAS with Shield TV
First, let's take a look at the basic requirements you will need to make the whole thing work. Let's begin with the Shield TV requirements.
You will need your Shield TV to be running on the latest version of the firmware. Running on an outdated version can have implications with the proper working of the Shield TV.
To check and update the firmware, follow these steps.
1. On the Home screen, click and open the Settings tab.
2. Next, navigate to and open Device Preferences.
3. Click on About and then select System Upgrade to manually check for updates and install them.
The same applies in the case of your NAS, make sure you have updated your OS to the latest version.
Now let's talk about the internet. As you may already know, network connectivity is crucial for making the whole ordeal work.
Having a high-speed connection is essential for both uploading content from the NAS and streaming on your Shield TV.
Sure, you can stream from the NAS even if you have slower internet, but your resolution and quality will be reduced/compensated accordingly.
Streaming requires at least 2 Mbps for SD-quality streaming. 4K content requires a minimum of 15 Mbps speeds.
Even if you have adequate speeds for streaming on your Shield TV, the quality may vary if you don't have proper internet on the NAS side.
Also, it is recommended to use an Ethernet connection (wired) when streaming using a NAS for uninterrupted, lossless transfer of data at stable latencies.
If you are having issues with the internet, check out this article on Internet issues on Shield TV.
Choosing the Right App
Next, let's talk about the app you choose to stream content on your Shield TV. Depending on the method you adopt to connect and stream content, you have several options to choose from.
If you are simply relying on a server-client operation, apps like KODI, PLEX, and Emby are the most recommended and widely used.
If you choose to mount the NAS on your Shield TV (direct connection) or even try NFS (Network File Sharing), simply select a media player app such as the VLC app, MX Player, or the Archos media player app.
Choosing the Right NAS
Make sure you choose a NAS for your shield TV having the right features and specifications.
It is recommended to have a CPU based on the x86 bit architecture or a comparable ARM chip, but make sure it has hardware transcoding features.
The most recommended NAS devices are by brands like Synology, Qnaps, and TerraMaster.
WD also provides NAS devices but is considered inferior to most other NAS brands.
How to Connect Shield TV to NAS as a Client
Assuming you have fulfilled all the requirements, here is how you can connect and stream content on your Shield TV from a NAS device using a server-client app.
In this setup, you need a Server ready to connect to (NAS itself or a dedicated server device), and your Shield TV will be accessing that server through a client app.
Make sure you have the server app of your choice installed and set up on your server device.
Depending on the choice of your app (for example, PLEX, which will be already preinstalled on your Shield TV), download and install the app on your Shield TV.
Then, open the app and follow the instruction to set it up as a client successfully.
If asked to set up as a server, decline the option and continue. Accept all the permission required to set up the app.
You may have to log in/create an account via a browser and link the Shield TV as a client to access the files and folders containing the content of your choice.
How to Mount a NAS on Your Shield TV (Direct connection)
In this method, we will be looking at how to connect your Shield TV to the NAS without any server set up, i.e mounting the NAS onto your Shield TV.
Make sure you have set up your NAS by making a user account and securing it with a password. Also, connect the Shield TV and the NAS to the same network.
Follow these steps to mount a NAS on your Shield TV.
1. On the Settings menu, click and open Device Preferences.
2. Click on Storage and select Mount Network storage.
3. Here, you will be able to see the available storage devices.
4. Click on the NAS device.
5. In the next window, you will be prompted to select from 2 options. Select Connect as a registered user if you have a user ID and password setup, else select the Connect as guest option.
6. If you have selected the former, you will have to enter the user ID and password you have set up.
7. If you have successfully connected to the NAS, it will appear under the My Network Storage tile under Network Storage.
Now you can use the app of your choice(VLC, Archos player, etc.) to watch the content on your NAS.
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Setting up Shield TV as a Server
Despite being the best streaming device on the planet, the Shield TV is also one of the best standalone server devices on the market.
It offers superior computing capabilities as compared to several NAS devices and has hardware transcoding features that are very limited in other server devices.
Make sure you have mounted the required NAS onto your Shield TV for accessing the content.
Enable Remote share on your Shield TV by going to Settings> Device Preferences> Storage & reset> Transfer files over network to share the content.
The Shield TV comes preinstalled with the PLEX media server app, which you can use to set up the Shield TV to be a server to share all your favorite content with other devices in your inventory.
To set up Shield TV as a server, follow these steps(in the case of PLEX).
1. While setting up PLEX on your Shield TV, you will be asked if you want to set up Shield as Server, make sure you have enabled this option.
2. Next, you will be asked to create libraries or create default libraries. Choose accordingly.
3. Accept all the permissions.
4. The rest of the process is fairly self-explanatory. Wait for the process to complete and voila, you have set up the Shield TV as a server.
Now you can watch your favorite movies from the NAS and at the same time share the content to another device, all through the Shield TV.
Common Problems with NAS and Shield TV - How to Fix
Even though the process is a bit tedious, the result is very pleasing and so when you have a roadblock along the process, you will get as much infuriated.
If you have problems with the connection or establishing a connection try these troubleshooting steps.
Unable to Mount the NAS
If you have difficulty mounting the NAS, you may want to check the settings on your NAS.
Messages like "unable to connect" or an indeterminate amount of time loading the connection are all prime examples of a failed connection.
Make sure you have your DLNA/SMB settings set to default.
Setting a relatively simple password might be ideal since complex passwords can get a bit buggy while configuring the connection.
Setting up a sharing account other than your admin account might help.
Disable any VPN services you have enabled on the Shield TV or your network.
Make sure you have updated the OS on your NAS.
If you have problems with audio and video while streaming from NAS, try checking for the network speeds.
Use a speed testing software on your phone or PC and check the speeds.
If it is unstable, try refreshing the connection by restarting the Router. Unplug the router/modem and plug it back in after a few seconds.
It is also necessary to maintain stable speed on the server side if you are streaming from elsewhere.
Try checking the Audio and Video formats on the app and check if changing them affects streaming. Sometimes, transcoding settings may get a bit bumpy and cause problems.
Try going to settings>video quality>Adjust automatically>On to see if it solves your problem(Not the exact path).
Try turning OFF transcoding altogether if you have issues with color space and frame rates.
Reset Shield TV
A final and definite solution to any predicament you may have is to reset your Shield TV.
This will remove any disparities and make the system clean, like new.
You will have to mount the NAS again and reinstall the apps you have installed since it will all get wiped out.
To Factory reset your Shield TV, follow these steps.
1. On the Settings tab, click and open Device Preferences.
2. Scroll down and click on Storage & reset.
3. Click on Reset and then Erase everything to start the process.
Wait for the process to complete and set up your Shield TV again.
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Now you know how to stream content on your Shield TV from a NAS. You may also benefit from the troubleshooting guide I have mentioned for a possible fix for your problem.
You can use a file manager to access your NAS and manage file transfers between your Shield TV and the NAS, once you have mounted the NAS.
If you are having glitchy video and out-of-sync sound, check the HDMI connection. For more info on the topic, check out this article on HDMI issues on Shield TV.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do I expand Storage on Nvidia Shield TV?
If you are running low on storage, you can add an external storage device like a USB drive or a hard disk to compensate for the lack of storage. After connecting the storage to the Shield TV, go to Settings> Device Preferences> Storage & reset> drive name> "Set up as internal storage".
What is the difference between PLEX and PLEX server app?
PLEX is a server-client-based app that uses a local device, on which the data lies, to be set up a server and uses the client app to access the data over a network. The PLEX Media Server app on your Shield TV is issued to configure and set up your device as the Server, while the normal client app, PLEX, is used to access and watch the content from the server.