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post #1 of 13 Old 03-31-2017, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Advice on setting up new home with media server

Hi all-

I'm hoping to get some advice; moving from an apartment to my first house and I'm trying to plan/budget the best way to set up my media server.

My current situation is I have a mid-range Windows PC on my network running Plex server with 2 2TB USB 3.0 drives connected, with various movie files (1080p x264 mkv's 6-12GB, and 4k x265's about 20-40GB) I currently have 2 TVs - a Samsung 4K and an old Sony 1080p - but will be adding another 4K TV soon after moving. I haven't had many issues playing the 1080p content, but when I want to play 4K mkv files now, I need to attach the drive directly to the TV otherwise constant buffer issues.

What I would LIKE to do is just keep all my files on a NAS and stream through my network to the TVs. I'm just not sure what the best option is to ensure no buffering issues. Its doubtful both 4K TVs will be playing simultaneously, if that matters, but the 4k and 1080p likely will. I've looked at the Synology DS416play (and read some reddit posts about upgrading RAM to 8GB), heard some good things about Shield TV, where I could use that locally (connected to the TV) to stream files off the NAS (and could potentially go with a 'cheaper' NAS, and I've seen some QNAP devices that actually have an HDMI port on it. Havent looked too deep at the specs to know if its HDMI 2.0

Bottom line, are any of these options potentially viable for what I'm looking to do? If not, please steer me in the right direction before I lay out money and find out later I messed up. I'm looking at a budget of around $800, not including hard drives, if going the NAS route

Thank you.
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-01-2017, 06:02 AM
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Run Ethernet cable in your new house to a central location.

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post #3 of 13 Old 04-01-2017, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bryansj View Post
Run Ethernet cable in your new house to a central location.
OK I was already planning to do that. I know I could run Plex server on the Synology but I have reservations as to whether it would be powerful enough to be the only device.
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-01-2017, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jokaly View Post
OK I was already planning to do that. I know I could run Plex server on the Synology but I have reservations as to whether it would be powerful enough to be the only device.
I would have my doubts that the Synology will be able to transcode 4K h265 content on the fly. Just upgrade the current PC with a better CPU and maybe a case like this:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...-029-_-Product

Your other option would be boxes/sticks thatI am not sure what benefit having an HDMI port on the NAS would do for your particular situation.

You could always just get a cheap NAS and make the investment on the playback end with some streaming boxes like the Shield, Roku Premier or FireTV. Be careful, though the Sticks might struggle with the 4K h265. I know the FireTV sticks will playback 8-bit but will choke on 10-bit h265 encodes.
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-01-2017, 07:56 PM
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To my knowledge, no NAS supports true 4K which needs HDMI 2.0a/b... All the NAS units that support streaming has HDMI 1.4a which supports 4k/24Hz with no HDR...

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post #6 of 13 Old 04-02-2017, 01:29 PM
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You could look into unRAID, its a linux NAS solution you run on virtually any standard PC. You take a PC say with a decent i7 CPU, add 8GB of RAM, fill it with hard drives for storage and install Plex as a docker, done. Its very easy to configure and the unRAID forums are very helpful. If your TV's can run the Plex app natively you are good to go.

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post #7 of 13 Old 04-03-2017, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ash_man View Post
You could look into unRAID, its a linux NAS solution you run on virtually any standard PC. You take a PC say with a decent i7 CPU, add 8GB of RAM, fill it with hard drives for storage and install Plex as a docker, done. Its very easy to configure and the unRAID forums are very helpful. If your TV's can run the Plex app natively you are good to go.
So then the lag i'm seeing currently with x265 4K video is on the PC side, and not that of Plex app running on my KS8000? I've run a speed test on my TV and on wireless I'm getting approximately 30Mbps.
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-03-2017, 08:09 AM
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What is your KS8000? Plex is CPU intensive when its transcoding, you need CPU horsepower to drive it, the more you have the better x265 is brand new, not a lot of usage yet so not a lot user experience to draw from yet.

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post #9 of 13 Old 04-03-2017, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ash_man View Post
What is your KS8000? Plex is CPU intensive when its transcoding, you need CPU horsepower to drive it, the more you have the better x265 is brand new, not a lot of usage yet so not a lot user experience to draw from yet.
KS8000 is Samsung smart TV
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-03-2017, 08:47 AM
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I wouldn't think the TV is the bottleneck, its where ever plex is installed that would be the bottleneck, that is where the transcoding is happening and as long as you have a good fast network connection to your TV, it should be good. Are your tv's connecting to the network wirelessly or through a wired connection? Wired is always recommended.

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post #11 of 13 Old 04-03-2017, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ash_man View Post
I wouldn't think the TV is the bottleneck, its where ever plex is installed that would be the bottleneck, that is where the transcoding is happening and as long as you have a good fast network connection to your TV, it should be good. Are your tv's connecting to the network wirelessly or through a wired connection? Wired is always recommended.
Currently wireless ac; the Samsung line of TV for some ungodly reason do NOT have gigabit LAN. I could see the PC as being the bottleneck... i'm moving shortly and looking into a better setup in my new home. Exploring as many options as I can with keeping to about a $800 budget. May go the route of a basic NAS with Nvidia Shield TV consoles at each TV to handle the transcoding.
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post #12 of 13 Old 04-03-2017, 09:02 AM
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Wireless AC should do the trick. Remember, its where you run plex, so a basic NAS running plex won't have enough CPU power to deliver your 4K videos, you'll have to increase the budget and get a NAS with more CPU horsepower to handle it and depending on how many drives you want in the NAS they can get pricey. Building a PC on the other hand will cost you probably as much as the NAS but you'll have the flexibility to add more drives, upgrade the CPU, run virtual machines (if you go with unRAID) and do lots of other things.

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post #13 of 13 Old 04-03-2017, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ash_man View Post
Wireless AC should do the trick. Remember, its where you run plex, so a basic NAS running plex won't have enough CPU power to deliver your 4K videos, you'll have to increase the budget and get a NAS with more CPU horsepower to handle it and depending on how many drives you want in the NAS they can get pricey. Building a PC on the other hand will cost you probably as much as the NAS but you'll have the flexibility to add more drives, upgrade the CPU, run virtual machines (if you go with unRAID) and do lots of other things.
Any experience with Shield TV? Thinking I could go the route of a cheap(er) NAS to store files verbally and run the Shield TV with Plex locally at each TV.
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