The first NAS I ever tested had only one real feature. It held four PATA hard drives and could run RAID 0, 1 and 5. The redundant data function was the feature and in RAID 5, the NAS could have a drive fail, but still keep your data. The second NAS I ever tested added RAID 6 and the DLNA. Not DLNA with a revision number, but the very first DLNA that kind of worked with some devices and kind of didn't work with others.
Modern NAS products have evolved to the point where we rarely even talk about their redundant features or basic protocols that new features are built upon. Media Center features are the new 'it' feature for NAS products, and we're seeing HDMI on entry-level products as well as flagship models designed for rackmount enclosures.
While I don't see HDMI taking off in a rack, low-cost NAS products small enough to set next to a TV or receiver make sense. With entry-level processors sporting dual and quad cores, using very little power and strong enough to push pixels from redundant arrays that hold a lot of media files.
The first step in moving a NAS to the living room didn't start with HDMI, it starts now with remote controls. It's a familiar interface that dominates the coffee table next to the couch and there's a reason why we all have a pile of them.
We're glad to see ASUSTOR put forth the extra effort and bring control to the new media center NAS category.
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