I've been asking around, trying to get an answer to this, but I've had no luck. Hopefully someone here can help me out.
I have an old iMac as both my Plex server and for my library storage. I play my plex media exclusively on the Smartcast on my Vizio M-series TV. If I attach a hard drive to my router (Netgear Nighthawk AC1750), and store my library on that hard drive, while still using my iMac as the server, how would direct play and direct streaming work:
(a) when there is no transcoding and
(b) when only audio (but not video) is transcoded?
Does the TV/Smartcast reach out to play the media immediately from the NAS (at the prompting of the iMac server), or does the data transfer/access between the TV and the NAS get mediated through the iMac? What about when the video is directly streamed, but the audio gets transcoded?
Since my iMac is 10 years old, it is a weak video transcoder, although it is fine with audio. This is okay I think, since I can directly play or stream (the video) on most things, even my 4k stuff (~20,000kbps), so I never do actually transcode video (although audio is often transcoded). I only have 1TB of space on my iMac (I swapped out the optical drive for a bigger hard drive many years ago), and I was wondering if I could attach a big hard drive to the router and use that for storage instead without any new difficulties emerging.