27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Works well, although their Android and iPhone apps are not great, 13 Mar 2011
I bought the QNAP NAS primarily for it's uPnP and DLNA support to stream video, photos and music to my PS3, Android mobile, Android Tablet (Xoom on order) and my wife's iPhone.
Setup is pretty quick and straightforward of the NAS once the 3.5" SATA disks have been put in. The NAS 'Twonky server' was picked up straight away by the PS3 and I could play video from it pretty much from the off.
Less successful were the android and iPhone apps (QMobile). They work after a fashion but the QMobile video calls the standard Android and iPhone media players to play it which basically means that it's very limited in what it will play.
For Android, after about a week of trying out lots of different uPnP apps and video players, I found that the best app combination from the android market is PlugPlayer to talk to the QNAP (via Twonky server) and VPlayer to view the films. This actually works really well. PlugPlayer has settings that allow it to use non-standard video players and VPlayer has settings to trade off quality vs speed, thus allowing even high definition films to be viewable on a standard HTC Desire with audio in sync (albeit with lots of pixelation/blurring of pixels). It was the biggest success with the collection of TV that I'd recorded with PlayTV which rendered very well. Now mum can watch waybalou with our child and I can watch Topgear on my android device :)
I haven't had the same success yet with the iPhone and this needs further investigation. Sadly though the iPhone market doesn't allow refunds so I feel less inclined to install everything I can find to figure out what works (Android market generally does and I went through around 14 apps before finding the two that worked the way I needed it to).
QNAP could definitely do with putting some more work into their android and iPhone apps.
I have my QNAP in my lounge under the TV because basically the modem and router are there and I wanted to keep speeds on the wired part of the LAN as fast as possible. It fits in reasonably well and looks a bit like a double width WII. I'm less convinced by the lights up the front which flicker and flash like a Christmas tree and can't be turned off, but it's a small thing. There is no sound deadening as such within the unit, so the disk noise is more noticeable than with the PS3 or usb external hard drive I've got. In all, if you can hide it away, I would, but it's not aweful to look at and the missus hasn't complained.
There are a lot of other things that the QNAP will do, not all of which I've tried out yet. These include:
- A web server
- MySQL installation
- Support for multi-media access from the internet
- BitTorrent / FTP download center
- Network support for Microsoft, Linux and apple networks (I've tried the windows support and it works)
- support for video IP surveillance cameras (not tried)
- iTunes integration
There is quite sophisticated user/role management as well in line with a professional product and integration with active directory (although I've not tried this yet).
The configuration of the device does talk about transcoding (the ability to stream video from one format held on the QNAP to a uPnP client in a different format). The reality is that the QNAP TS-210 does not support transcoding. The processor is just not up to the job.
Overall I'm pleased with the purchase, but unimpressed by the claim about their own application that supports android and iPhone.