QNAP's latest two-bay NAS looks more like a set-top box than network-attached storage and that's no accident. It's becoming more common to see NAS devices replacing entire HTPCs, which makes it more practical for a design that can blend in with the kind of electronic gear you typically find around a TV. With a capable processor and the right features, a NAS could easily serve as the heart of your home theater experience.
Recently, Asustor (yes, it's affiliated with Asus) introduced the AS-202TE specifically for multimedia tasks and its HDMI output can be connected directly to your TV.
Before that, QNAP did something similar with the HDMI-equipped TS-269L. And not to be excluded, Synology has started offering the DS214play which touts 1080p transcoding on the fly, but its usefulness as an HTPC replacement is limited because it doesn't have an HDMI port. Instead, it relies on DLNA and AirPlay to pipe content where you want it. Granted, it's relatively easy to find devices that support those standards, but HDMI is more common, and certainly common enough to include in a media-oriented box we would think.
With that being the case, we're surprised another outfit has taken the same approach. The QNAP HS-210 we're reviewing also lacks HDMI, but it hopes to sit in your living room anyway...
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