We would like to thank QNAP for supplying the review sample.
The inclusion of so many features a home user will hardly take full advantage of make the TS-x69 Pro QNAP servers suit SMB (Small to Medium-sized Business) enviorments best, but many enthusiast users could still make it their next purchase. Setting up QNAP’s custom-tailored operating system to exploit the capabilities of even this NAS is, after all, a relatively easy task, and QNAP recently even decided to take full advantage of the HDMI port all their Pro models have with the release of the HD Station. The application can easily be installed through the administration interface and transforms this business-oriented NAS into a fully featured media player through XBMC. A free and open source media player application developed by the XBMC Foundation, it is currently also one of the best software packages in its category. However, there is a catch. The NAS doesn't have any audio output ports and QNAP states that there is, for now, no HDMI audio pass-through support, so you can't pass HD sound to your home cinema amplifier for further processing/reproduction, but QNAP will hopefully provide a fix to this problem in the near future.
Now, many of you will start to wonder what the ability to act as a standalone media player could mean to an SMB NAS. Well, there is possibly no gain at all for hardcore system administrators, but many enthusiast users will find this feature very interesting because it allows them to get rid of their HTPC/media player by exploiting both the NAS server’s networking- and multimedia features.
Besides the HD Station software package, QNAP also provides an optional IR remote control; it is currently being sold at a pretty stiff price. You can, however, also control the NAS through your Android or iOS device if you download and install the corresponding application, so you don't have to buy QNAP's IR remote control, although it is definitely more convenient. As many of you probably have figured by now, this won’t be a strict NAS review, but a hybrid NAS/media player one. We want to show you the full capabilities of QNAP’s new HD Station application.