When one hears terms such as DNLA, home networking, multimedia streaming devices, etc one usually gives up in the first few seconds into the conversation unless he/she is a tech-savvy person. However, building a DiY home entertainment network is surprisingly cheap and easy!
Here, I’m going to tell you how you could go about creating a home entertainment network wherein you could dump all your movies, sitcoms, photos, documents, etc. on a network linked storage drive and access all of this content on ANY TV screen/mobile device/computer in the house or even from outside the house in some cases. This whole thing can be set up in your existing entertainment ecosystem at an additional one time cost of about 5-10k Rupees only!
How do I know? Because I’ve set one up at my own home and now all of us in the family members can view our own favourite content on different TV screens at the same time! Ain’t that awesome?
So let’s get to it.
First, things you will need (if you already don’t have):
So, let me tell you what exactly a NAS drive is and how it works. It’s basically just a hard drive but with a LAN output (like the internet cable out on your laptop) instead of the traditional USB port.
Unlike the regular hard drives a NAS drive isn’t portable; it works on power and is to be kept connected to your wifi router at all times so that all the devices connected to that network can access the content stored on the NAS drive.
How to set up the NAS drive?
STEP 1: Connect the NAS drive in one of the 4 output slots on your router using a LAN cable.
STEP 2: Join your home wifi network using a laptop/computer.
STEP 3: You’d see the drive magically appear in your ‘My Computer/Finder’ under network devices.
STEP 4: Copy all your content to the NAS drive.
STEP 5: You’re all set! Now seamlessly access all of your content from the ‘source’ menu on your smart TV (connected to your wifi network) or from your mobile device via an app.
Note: If you live in a big house you might want to install two wifi routers instead of one to ensure smooth functioning on all TV screens. Also, you’d be able to view the stored content only on those devices that are connected to that particular wi-fi network.
A NAS drive takes home entertainment to another level. Over weekends, you could have family movie nights in Blu-ray print (downloaded from the web) right on the TVs without any of that buffering or attaching pen drives etc. It also lets you keep your laptops/computers decluttered at all times by storing all your data on the NAS drive. You can even set new downloads to be directly saved to the NAS drive instead of your computer. Not only that, you can remotely access all of this data too from anywhere in the world. It’s like a personal cloud!
There are some great NAS drives on the market today with some of them also usable directly as media players. They range from 5-10k depending on the capacity. In my home, I’m using a WD 3TB NAS which cost around 10k. It works wonders!
Let me know in the comments section if you have any queries and I’d be happy to help 🙂