What do I need? NAS? Shield? HTPC - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-02-2019, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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What do I need? NAS? Shield? HTPC

It’s been ten years since I did my last home video setup and I am lost as to what is the best way to setup my new home. I want to have all my 1080p and 4K videos (.mkv) stored on the device (NAS or HTPC) and I have Cat6a cable running everywhere in the house, the primary setup will be an LG OLED Smart TV with a Denon AVR-S940H receiver with HDMI connections to a PS4 Pro, internet router, and TV. I’ve looked at the Qnap TS451 NAS box as a possibility to store the media and run Plex, don’t know if it should be hooked up to the receiver by HDMI or just rely on the Ethernet and eARC to play videos off it. There would be two large TVs in the house along with several computers that would pull from the drives, don’t know how high grade I really need to go to support this....anyand all suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-03-2019, 05:12 AM
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Over the long run, a 6 or 8 bay NAS is going to be a better value than a 4 bay. I made this mistake years ago. The extra bays will give you some flexibility when the inevitable drive failure occurs or you need to grow the volume(s) quickly. You'll probably be better off letting the NAS do storage only and adding some sort of client like a Pi or Shield at the display. Depending on the client you might not even need to install Plex if it can direct play your files.
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-03-2019, 05:51 AM
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I have a QNAP TS-453A NAS device which stores all of my 4k mkv files. I have it in my office and it connects to a gigabit switch (has multiple ethernet ports). I don't run Plex off of it but I could. I am using a separate, dedicated Gigabyte mini pc running Linux as my Plex media server, which is also located in my office and connected to the same gigabit switch. I stream mkv's via Plex over local ethernet from either my Nvidia Shield in my home theater or from my Roku Ultra in my living room. Typically, bandwidth required to stream these mkv's is about 80mbs/sec or less, so a decent 100mb connection will suffice, but of course gigabit is better if you have it.
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-03-2019, 08:07 AM
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I have a QNAP TVS-882 for my media server and it's running Plex (along with other duties). It's only connected via ethernet cable to the router and streams to a Roku or Shield as the Plex clients. The setup works well for me. One thing to keep in mind with Plex and a NAS, if you need to transcode videos from 1080p to 4k, you'll need a decent processor to handle it. An i3 is the minimum, based on my experience, but an i5 can handle the job without issues.
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-03-2019, 11:35 AM
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Keep in mind that some players (you didn't mention which device you'd be using for playback. PS4? Smart TV? Something else?) but not every device can play an mkv file with TrueHD audio.

Make sure whatever you're planning can do what you want. I have an nVidia Shield specifically to play 4k MKV files with Atmos. My 4k disc player (Panny 420) can access the network, but only play in stereo.

Also, consider a synology. They have a great OS. But I'd use it just for storage and not to run a Plex server. They can, but they aren't great at it.

Video: Epson 5050 / nVidia Shield / OPPO-103
Audio: Marantz 7010 / MartinLogan Motion 40 (LR), 50XT (center), M2 (surrounds)
Streaming: nVidia Shield / Roku Ultra / Chromecast Ultra
NAS: Synology 1515+ Server: Ubuntu 18.04, i7-8700 CPU
HTPC: Win10 Pro 64-bit, i5 750 Radeon HD 5850
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-04-2019, 05:49 PM
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I bought a QNAP TS-453 Pro, a four bay NAS and can confirm that it is a pain to buy all new drives to expand the capacity. You would be better off buying an eight bay NAS and just add more drives. I ended up buying a QNAP 853A NAS with populated with 4TB drives. That gives me a capacity of about 22TB when the NAS is fully populated with a RAID 6 config (two drives for redundancy minus 10% after formatting).

I have my NAS connected to my WiFi router and all my devices access the NAS through their built-in DLNA clients. That way, I can access the files throughout the house. Make sure that you do NOT have the NAS open to the internet. I did it for a bit but shut it down because I was getting a ton of unsuccessful login attempts (several times a minute) from IP addresses in China.

If you do go with a NAS, make sure you buy hard drives that are NAS certified. Non-NAS drives have different timings for error correction and will show errors even if there is nothing wrong with the drive.

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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