|and am concerned about my ability to be able to set up some of the managed switches, or more complicated routers. It has been recommended to me that we use at least a slightly managed switch so we can set up VLAN's, which he said benefit this type of system the most, being able to keep the lines going to these devices separate from the rest of the home network. |
The real advantage of a managed switch is not (in this case) VLAN tagging but QoS (quality of service). Certainly you could use VLAN tagging to isolate a portion of the network from another but this could as easily be accomplished with a SOHO router and using different subnets.
The thing is about this (VLAN tagging or subnetting) is, all the data is still going to be travelling through the switch and if the switch is uplinked to any other device (such as a router) you still have the issue of all aggregate bandwidth on the link.
So I repeat, VLAN tagging in a small environment is NOT the answer to your problem.
QoS on the other hand allows you to tag the video streaming with a higher priority than all other traffic. These means it gets the lion's share of bandwidth, even on an aggregate link such as an uplink port the highest priority traffic goes through first.
I suspect no matter what, any switch you buy that will be QoS capable will also be managed and therefore more expensive than a basic switch. A managed switch will also require you to learn about them and how to use QoS and/or VLAN tagging.
I would definately start looking into QoS if I were you and I would definately check into different available methods of deploying it (ie: software driven/hardware driven etc).