You will find the ASUSTOR Portal app in App Central. Use this app to fully exploit the NAS server's multimedia capabilities since it offers access to the KODI (formerly XBMC) application. It also allows you to browse the Internet through its built-in Google Chrome browser or log into ADM to manage the NAS, watch YouTube clips, or monitor live feeds through Surveillance Center. All of the above can directly be done on your TV and without a client PC.
This is ASUSTOR Portal's main screen, and you have three options to remotely control ASUSTOR Portal:
- The ASUSTOR remote
- The AiRemote app for mobile devices
- USB keyboard and mouse
Plex Media Server allows you to stream media to numerous devices. These include smartphones, tables, notebooks, etc.
We weren't able to do much with the Plex client over WiFi because CPU utilization was constantly at 100%. The Plex app is obviously not up-to-date as it doesn't support the server's CPU and its transcoding capabilities properly. Instead of Plex, we suggest LooksGood to stream multimedia content to other devices.
Remote Center can be installed via App Central. You have to install it in order to control the NAS with Asustor's remote control or the AiRemote app for iOS or Android devices.
Kodi is probably the best media player application around. It can be used to play all popular audio and video formats and allows for network playback should you want to stream multimedia on the NAS to a TV or monitor through the bundled HDMI port. We suggest you use a multimedia keyboard to control Kodi, but you can also use any device that is compatible with Asustor's AiRemote app.
With Kodi, we were able to handle 4K multimedia content; however, CPU utilization was very high. In addition, we weren't able to take any screenshots with the resolution set to 4K. Any time we tried to do so, CPU utilization peaked, which had the system freeze for a while without taking a screenshot. This is definitely a problem with the Kodi application and not the hardware's fault.
SoundsGood is a Web music player that enables you to listen to music stored on the NAS via a Web browser. It supports browsing by artist, album, or folder and supports keyword searches. It even allows you to create playlists, and if you connect speakers to the NAS via HDMI, USB, or S/PDIF, you can use SoundsGood as a local music player.
Use LooksGood to stream videos from the NAS to a client, through a web browser. It supports high-definition multimedia content, subtitles, and different audio channels. You will find a brief introduction to LooksGood here.
The LooksGood app, combined with an Asus DSL-AC68U router located around five meters and two moderately thick walls away, managed to stream 1080P content (MKV format) of up to 20 Mbit/s bitrate smoothly. We noticed frame drops and breaks during playback with higher bitrate files. As you can see in the corresponding graph above, CPU utilization was normal since LooksGood fully exploits the capabilities of the server's Brasswell CPU. We were also able to watch 4K multimedia content in a browser window over a wired (Gigabit) connection, which shows that Intel's N3050 CPU can handle 4K content properly so long as the software exploits its capabilities well.