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post #1 of 6 Old 04-10-2017, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Basic questions about NAS devices for Plex

So I am trying to use Plex and the HDHR Viewer plugin to be able to watch my channels remotely.

I have a MacBook Pro and a Shield Pro (2017) set up as Plex servers.

To use the HDHR Viewer, you need to install the plug-in in the server's Plug-In folder, which I've done with my MacBook but it's not possible to do on the Shield without rooting it (which I don't want to do yet).

My MacBook has other problems, as it sleeps when it's not being used and can't be woken up by network commands.

So that leaves me with not a working option to use HDHR Viewer, which I'm trying to solve by adding an always-on NAS device, and adding HDHR Viewer to the Plug-In folder on that device.

Could any of you recommend a NAS for that purpose? I possibly would also use it to store DVR'd TV shows.

I see that there are wireless NAS devices which cost more, but I'm not sure I'd really need that, as the device will be stored right next to my router and will be connected by ethernet. If the NAS is going to be wired with ethernet, is there even a benefit to buying a NAS that has wireless capabilities? I can't think of any, but I don't want to buy a NAS without that feature and then kick myself later for not buying one with it.

Some of the NAS brands that I think are compatible are QNAP, Seagate, Synology, Asustor, and Western Digital.

Thanks.

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post #2 of 6 Old 04-11-2017, 07:31 AM
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I'm very happy with my Synology NAS, but I can't speak to the specific Plex feature you are referring to, I use Synology's Video Station and DS Video app instead.

I will say that you should not bother with wireless capabilities for your NAS. The NAS serving needs to be consistently stable, and you will get that with Ethernet. Wi-Fi can always have interference and drop out issues, these might not be a big deal if you're a client device, but a server (NAS) should be hard wired.

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post #3 of 6 Old 04-11-2017, 07:44 AM
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I would second the recommendation for looking into Synology. I know they have a ton of apps. I use mine as a basic NAS but it has been ultra reliable and easy to configure.
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-11-2017, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmjb View Post
I'm very happy with my Synology NAS, but I can't speak to the specific Plex feature you are referring to, I use Synology's Video Station and DS Video app instead.

I will say that you should not bother with wireless capabilities for your NAS. The NAS serving needs to be consistently stable, and you will get that with Ethernet. Wi-Fi can always have interference and drop out issues, these might not be a big deal if you're a client device, but a server (NAS) should be hard wired.

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Originally Posted by Charles J P View Post
I would second the recommendation for looking into Synology. I know they have a ton of apps. I use mine as a basic NAS but it has been ultra reliable and easy to configure.
Thank you to you both. Being able to eliminate wireless capabilities definitely helps narrow my choices. Also, your comment about apps was a huge help as I didn't know that they even had apps, nor would I have thought that there would be a difference in availability of apps between NAS devices.

I started to read a web article on NAS devices, and the story said "Finally, this guide is not for people who want a NAS that can support 1080p on-the-fly video transcoding via Plex Media Server. Almost every NAS we recommend supports Plex, and many can manage on-the-fly transcoding with their own apps, but Plex transcoding currently requires a lot of CPU power. NAS boxes that can manage 1080p on-the-fly transcoding through Plex are too expensive to be worthwhile—you’re better off running Plex Media Server on a computer or on an Nvidia Shield TV and using the NAS only for media storage."

I'm not sure if I will need 1080p Plex transcoding, as I don't even know what that even means. I know I want to use Plex, and I want to setup the NAS device as a Plex server, but I don't know if I would need the NAS device to do 1080p transcoding.

I want to store DVR'd TV shows, and possibly Blu-Rays to the NAS device, and if I want to watch them via my Shield Pro or Apple TV 4, must I have a NAS device that is capable of 1080p transcoding?

I was thinking that Plex on the NAS just organizes content and provides a way to access that content, and then that content would be available via the Plex app on my Shield Pro and Apple TV 4 and those devices would do the transcoding. Is that correct?

If I wanted to access Blu-Rays or DVR'd TV shows on my iPhone via the Plex app, would I need the NAS to transcode? Sorry for asking so many questions. I just don't understand when I would need NAS to transcode.

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post #5 of 6 Old 04-11-2017, 02:37 PM
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The Synology Video Station and DS Video app combo does what you describe you want Plex for, and on certain models like my 2014 DS14play it also does transcoding, since Synlology's apps use the built in hardware transcoder. You could check more on the Synology website.

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post #6 of 6 Old 04-12-2017, 11:23 AM
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I have a QNAP... It is connected to my router and that sends the wi-fi signal throughout the house... there is no need to get a wi-fi NAS. Note that if you decide to use transcoding (converting resolution on the fly, e.g. 1080P to 480P), the CPU in the NAS plays a big factor. QNAP recommends an Intel i3/i5 processor if you transcode 1080P videos. If you are streaming the video in its native resolution, then a Celeron processor is adequate. Slower processors such as the Atom or AMD can have stuttering in the video with large files. For that reason, I would forego WD or Seagate NAS units as the processors are too slow.

Remember that when using Plex, you must name the videos in a specific format, otherwise the information may not be accurate.

I considered using Plex but decided to go with DLNA. Almost all new smart devices support DLNA. DLNA will show you the contents of the NAS and you can just select the file and it plays. If you do go with DLNA, I suggest you categorize your videos, e.g.

videos
- animation
-- anime
-- Disney
-- Misc
- Documentaries
- film
-- American
--- Action
--- Comedy
--- Drama
--- Romance
--- Sc-fi
---- Star Trek
---- Star Wars
--- War
--- Western
-- Foreign
--- Asian
--- European
--- Others
-- Television
--- Series
---- Game of Thrones
---- Seinfeld
etc...

This makes sorting a lot easier...


On a side note, if you do go with a NAS, I strongly suggest you buy a six-bay unit at the start. You can start with only three drives in a RAID 5 array and add more drives as needed. You may find a four-bay NAS expensive as it is limited to only three data drives. If you run out of room, you will have to replace all the drives. Adding drives to a six-bay NAS is more economical in the long run.

Remember, a NAS, while it is resistant to data loss in a RAID 5 configuration, is not 100% fail safe. If the NAS fails, you could lose all the data. If your system gets infected with malware or worse, ransomware, you could lose all your data. That's why you should back up your data to another device as a precaution. You could use a USB external drive for this. You would connect it only when needed so if there is a catastrophic failure, you still have the data on the external drive.
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