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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I originally bought a Seagate GoFlex Home NAS to backup all my content, and I used it as a media server, until it crashed on me. This is when I learned my lesson about having more than one backup. Right now I'm using an old WD My Cloud for the same purpose, but it's almost full so I'm now to the point where I'm ready to dish out the money and buy a NAS that has more functionality, redundancy, and speed, so I was looking at the QNAP TVS-871 setup using RAID10. My desktop has 2 SSDs setup in RAID0, and I'm using an M.2 PCIe SSD for my operating system, which is FAST.

My question is, and I'm hoping someone on this thread can help answer this for me. I want a NAS that I can use to backup my data from multiple devices (need about 12-15TB), and I want a NAS to use as a media server to stream 4K content and 1080P content to any device on my network . This QNAP I mentioned says it transcodes video on the fly and it's available with different types of CPUs, amounts of memory, has an HDMI port, and can be used as a stand alone system. The top of the line QNAP NAS comes with a quad core processor, but my desktop PC has double the processing power and A LOT more graphics power. Do I really want the NAS to be able to transcode the video or should I just get one to store all my data and video files since my desktop PC has an 8 core CPU and 2 Nvidia 780 Ti Superclocked GPUs running SLI? Wouldn't my PC transcode video much faster than the NAS? Is the whole idea of this NAS to let the NAS do all the work and free up my PC so I can do other things? The whole idea of the NAS being a stand alone device that can do everything on its own is appealing, but it's not as appealing if the things it claims it can do can be done 80% faster on my PC.

Advice explaining this would be greatly appreciated. Maybe I'm not understanding the benefits of this NAS correctly. Thanks.
 

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Everyone has their own take. Mine is...


  • Let a NAS be a NAS... network attached storage
  • Forget RAID and redundancy

Now in this day and age I break the rules on two counts...


  • Virtualization - QNAP offers such and it does a nice job. It offers a lot of flexibility in trying various operating systems and apps without dedicating an entire PC to them.
  • DVBLink - Native NAS DVR app. It replaced WMC for me and does a great job.

I think it's silly to purchase encoding power as it's always over priced and quickly under powered. As far as RAID and redundancy anything I value a copy of such rests offline. Forget OS, firmware, hardware and any number of other issues. User error itself would keep me up at night if I didn't. Sure I know recycle bins exists and whatnot but I prefer having a copy that can't be messed with without my full attention.

Of course others have completely different beliefs and they are almost as valid. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yea, of course the marketing for that QNAP with built-in encoding caught my eye, but I don't think there's any way it would be able to encode faster that my Asus X99-Deluxe MB, 16GB DDR4 memory OC'd to 3400Mbps, Intel i7-5960X CPU OC'd to 4.5Ghz, and 2 EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Superclocked GPUs running SLI., and everything it custom watercooled. I don't think anyone could make a NAS that would encode any faster than my PC.

I learned a hard lesson when the GoFlex NAS I was using died, and at the time, it also backed up data from my work server. Fortunately, I backed up the SQL database, which contains all the info that the SEC requires me to keep for 8 years, was backed up in 2 more locations, offsite, but I paid Seagate to open up my drive in their clean room and they were able to extract 95% of my data. So, after paying Seagate enough money to buy multiple NAS devices, I figured I would get a NAS that at least has redundancy. Installing the 2 SSDs in my PC setup in RAID0 increased the speed of accessing my data tremendously, but I never used only one SSD so I'm not sure how much of the speed increase came from just having SSDs and how much of it came because they're setup in RAID0, so my thinking was to get a NAS that does all that. Plus, the multiple LAN ports that I can team together will also be beneficial, inside my network.

So, do you agree with me about getting a NAS that encodes 4K video would be a waste of time since my PC can do that much quicker? Maybe I shouldn't worry about it being able to encode videos, save some money and spend it on extra storage, and encode the video files to 4K before storing them on my NAS. I know a lot of software out there will take advantage of my 2 NVidia GPUs. I just don't want to spend money on something that I can already do, and do it faster. I'm more concerned about storage (as you mentioned, having a Network Storage Device), and it would be nice to have multiple LAN connections (maybe upgrade to the 10Gbe adapter) since I have 45 devices on my network, most of which can stream video and audio.
 

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I originally bought a Seagate GoFlex Home NAS to backup all my content, and I used it as a media server, until it crashed on me. This is when I learned my lesson about having more than one backup. Right now I'm using an old WD My Cloud for the same purpose, but it's almost full so I'm now to the point where I'm ready to dish out the money and buy a NAS that has more functionality, redundancy, and speed, so I was looking at the QNAP TVS-871 setup using RAID10. My desktop has 2 SSDs setup in RAID0, and I'm using an M.2 PCIe SSD for my operating system, which is FAST.

My question is, and I'm hoping someone on this thread can help answer this for me. I want a NAS that I can use to backup my data from multiple devices (need about 12-15TB), and I want a NAS to use as a media server to stream 4K content and 1080P content to any device on my network . This QNAP I mentioned says it transcodes video on the fly and it's available with different types of CPUs, amounts of memory, has an HDMI port, and can be used as a stand alone system. The top of the line QNAP NAS comes with a quad core processor, but my desktop PC has double the processing power and A LOT more graphics power. Do I really want the NAS to be able to transcode the video or should I just get one to store all my data and video files since my desktop PC has an 8 core CPU and 2 Nvidia 780 Ti Superclocked GPUs running SLI? Wouldn't my PC transcode video much faster than the NAS? Is the whole idea of this NAS to let the NAS do all the work and free up my PC so I can do other things? The whole idea of the NAS being a stand alone device that can do everything on its own is appealing, but it's not as appealing if the things it claims it can do can be done 80% faster on my PC.

Advice explaining this would be greatly appreciated. Maybe I'm not understanding the benefits of this NAS correctly. Thanks.
I have a 28TB FreeNAS server with a E3-1245 v3 @ 3.40GHz and 32GB of ECC ram. My entire house has gigabit ethernet and I store my videos and music on it and use it to backup various computers. The server itself is also backed-up, which may be overkill, but it's piece of mind. Now there's pluses and minuses going with something like FreeNAS, but that's a deep discussion. I use FreeNAS with KODI and each of my KODI boxes is essentially a PC. I'm not streaming 4K yet, but I can stream multiple 1080P streams and KODI does the rest. I'm not sure what local network bandwidth requirements there will be with 4K blu-ray's and that could be a factor. However I have 2 NICS on my NAS and I could buy a new router for link aggregation.

FreeNAS has plugins for MediaServer and Plex. If you use either of those they'll decode on the server pretty much any device you have, which will make it work hard, so get something beefy. If you go the other route it won't matter as much, but that depends on your network as well.
 

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The fact that your PC can transcode faster than a NAS isn't really relevant to the question. All that matters is a) can you get a NAS that is fast enough to transcode 4K video for display on all of your devices, or, b) are you willing to leave your PC on 24/7 so that it can do the transcoding, allowing you to focus on just using the NAS as storage rather than a media server.

I'm not sure that a QNAP (even the quad core) is powerful enough to transcode HEVC/VP9/AVC encoded 4K video. So, if you actually have much 4K video and have plans to play it back on anything other than your PC (i.e. any device that would require the video to be transcoded) then you will likely have to use your PC as the transcoder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If I'm trying to decide between buying a NAS that transcodes 4K video to one that doesn't, I think it does make a difference. If I pay extra money for a NAS that transcodes 4K video, but 80% slower than my PC, then I think it makes a difference because that means I shouldn't waste the extra money to buy a NAS that transcodes 4K video. I think these NAS devices made by QNAP that they market as being able to encode 4K content is more of a marketing issue. It may, but it might be painful. Building a NAS is an option, but I just spent the last 6 months building my PC and I'm not really ready to jump back in it.

Currently, I stream 4K content to 3 different devices in my house, about to be 4. Most of the streaming services that currently offer 4K streaming content (the very few who exist) use H.265. Google's VP9 requires the same amount of bandwidth, but VP9 escapes the royalties of H.265.
But, to answer the question of bandwidth, Netflix needs 15.6 Mbps to stream 4K video, and most provider of 4K content will fall into that category since it's all compressed. My internet connection is 150Mbps download and 30Mbps upload.

When I use my Nvidia Shield Tablet to stream 4K content from my PC to my TV (streaming a game, not a movie) I'm pretty certain it requires much more bandwidth than what a video requires. My house is wired with CAT6 and it's running a 1Gb network connection (also running wireless AC at 1.3Gb). When streaming a game from my PC to my TV in 4K, it struggles. My new motherboard has 2 1GB network connections, wireless AC, and supports link aggregation, but I don't have anything else in my house that supports LAG except a switch, but that's going to change soon.
I'd like to transform all my movies to 4K, store them on the NAS for other devices to stream, and I can still use my PC for other things. It already runs 24/7, so having it transcode a movie overnight is no problem.
 

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If I'm trying to decide between buying a NAS that transcodes 4K video to one that doesn't, I think it does make a difference. If I pay extra money for a NAS that transcodes 4K video, but 80% slower than my PC, then I think it makes a difference because that means I shouldn't waste the extra money to buy a NAS that transcodes 4K video. I think these NAS devices made by QNAP that they market as being able to encode 4K content is more of a marketing issue. It may, but it might be painful. Building a NAS is an option, but I just spent the last 6 months building my PC and I'm not really ready to jump back in it.
Have thought about putting a raid 5 in your computer and just using that as you storage server. My friend does that and it works fine for him. He even lost a drive and was able to rebuild it with relative ease. That might be the simplest solution while being able to take advantage of your hardware. I don't know what you're using for streaming, but I know many people like Plex and it converts to the proper format for tablets etc on the the fly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Actually, I've never even tried Plex, but I've heard a lot about it. I think I've seen it on just about every smart device, TV, media player, game console, tablet, phone, Roku, etc that I've always seen, but I've never taken the time to actually read what it does or try it out. I don't use anything in particular to stream the movies on my network. Every device I have, I guess uses the Samba, DLNA in my routers, and every device scans my network and picks up any device it sees and then I can select the device and browse the folders for the file I want to play.

Sometimes, like if I'm using my projector, I'll plug in a Chromecast and then use my phone or one of my tablets to stream video to it.
I'm not sure if I have enough room in my PC since I'm using an M.2 PCIe SSD to hold my operating system, I have 2 Samsung 840 Pros setup in RAID0 which is where I install all my software, and then I have 2 older drives (a 2TB Hybrid Seagate and a 1TB Hitachi) holding all my data.
Asus just released a USB 3.1 PCIe card I could install and make something external, or I could use the Thunderbolt connection (which I've really never seen anyone use), but even if I do it this way, wouldn't it slow down my desktop if one of my daughters want to watch a movie stored on my PC while I'm trying to work?

I'm definitely going to look into Plex though.
 

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Plex server is free, so I'd download it to your PC and give it a go. I think you'll really enjoy it and it's not something that'll take much time to get your head around. You'll setup everything in a browser and then you can access it form other PC's via browser or an app on other devices. You can uninstall it no problem, but at least you can see what it's capable of and that may steer you decision on what NAS you buy, if you decide to buy one.

The QNAP TVS-871 is a nice unit and it has VMware, so you can have all types of different setups.

Here are NAS devices that are compatible with Plex. I don't know how often this list is updated and you device may be compatible.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...-Ac4oOLPRtCkgUxU0jdj3tmMPc/edit#gid=314388488
 

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If I'm trying to decide between buying a NAS that transcodes 4K video to one that doesn't, I think it does make a difference. If I pay extra money for a NAS that transcodes 4K video, but 80% slower than my PC, then I think it makes a difference because that means I shouldn't waste the extra money to buy a NAS that transcodes 4K video. I think these NAS devices made by QNAP that they market as being able to encode 4K content is more of a marketing issue. It may, but it might be painful. Building a NAS is an option, but I just spent the last 6 months building my PC and I'm not really ready to jump back in it.

Currently, I stream 4K content to 3 different devices in my house, about to be 4. Most of the streaming services that currently offer 4K streaming content (the very few who exist) use H.265. Google's VP9 requires the same amount of bandwidth, but VP9 escapes the royalties of H.265.
But, to answer the question of bandwidth, Netflix needs 15.6 Mbps to stream 4K video, and most provider of 4K content will fall into that category since it's all compressed. My internet connection is 150Mbps download and 30Mbps upload.

When I use my Nvidia Shield Tablet to stream 4K content from my PC to my TV (streaming a game, not a movie) I'm pretty certain it requires much more bandwidth than what a video requires. My house is wired with CAT6 and it's running a 1Gb network connection (also running wireless AC at 1.3Gb). When streaming a game from my PC to my TV in 4K, it struggles. My new motherboard has 2 1GB network connections, wireless AC, and supports link aggregation, but I don't have anything else in my house that supports LAG except a switch, but that's going to change soon.
I'd like to transform all my movies to 4K, store them on the NAS for other devices to stream, and I can still use my PC for other things. It already runs 24/7, so having it transcode a movie overnight is no problem.
Ok. I see where the misunderstanding is. I thought you already had a decent amount of native 4K content (or were trying to future proof for the day when you would) and wanted to know if it made sense to buy a NAS that could transcode that 4K content on-the-fly for playback on devices that either didn't support the original format (e.g. transcoding MKV to MPEG4) or for devices that don't support 4K resolution (e.g. transcoding from 4K to 1080p). It seems that you aren't looking for something to transcode on-the-fly. It sounds like you want to upscale a bunch of 1080p and below content to 4K and then store the upscaled version. I'm not really sure why you want to do this seeing as how almost all devices that can currently play back and display content at 4K resolution have built-in upscaling. It seems to me that all you are accomplishing by upscaling and then storing the upscaled version is taking up more space and increasing the bandwidth you need to play the content. Unless your upscaling software is vastly superior to the upscaling in your 4K displays and it can't be used to upscale on-the-fly, I don't see the purpose. Be that as it may, for what you are doing (transcoding/upscaling during downtime and storing the transcoded/upscaled version for future playback), you are correct. In that scenario you can utilize every ounce of performance that your PC gives you as the speed of the transcoding/upscaling is not limited to merely needing to keep up with the speed of playback. The faster you can transcode/upscale a file, the sooner you can begin transcoding/upscaling the next file. For what you are doing, I would definitely use the PC rather than rely on the NAS as your transcoder/upscaler. Then again, if you could get a NAS that could handle it, it might be worth having both the PC and the NAS transcoding/upscaling different content simultaneously.
 

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He also wants a NAS to backup files, from what I read in his original post.

I want a NAS that I can use to backup my data from multiple devices (need about 12-15TB), and I want a NAS to use as a media server to stream 4K content and 1080P content to any device on my network .
and then he said:
So, do you agree with me about getting a NAS that encodes 4K video would be a waste of time since my PC can do that much quicker? Maybe I shouldn't worry about it being able to encode videos, save some money and spend it on extra storage, and encode the video files to 4K before storing them on my NAS.
Don't waste the time and resources and upscale and transcode your standard or HD content to UHD. It'll most likely be a waste of time and take up a ton of space unnecessarily. Most people use HandBrake to shrink the file size to store on their NAS, not the other way around.

since I have 45 devices on my network, most of which can stream video and audio.
Holy ()#*[email protected]#!!!

Referring to using his PC to transcode.
wouldn't it slow down my desktop if one of my daughters want to watch a movie stored on my PC while I'm trying to work?
Depends what you're doing for work, but transcoding to multiple PC's would make your computer work hard.

I think it boils down to a few options.

  • You can use the NAS to transcode the video and stream it to your various devices (processor intensive for the NAS, but an i7 should handle it, but not to 45 devices at once and not in 4K).
  • You can stream the file from the NAS and let the devices do the decoding. (Pending they can read the file type)
  • You can attach a RAID to your PC and let it do the decoding.
  • You can attach a RAID to your PC and let the devices do the decoding.

You can use any of these options for backup, but I think the NAS is the more elegant solution.

One benefit of transcoding on one machine is that it can deliver the content in a readable format to whichever device you're streaming to. Some devices, such as TV"s, do not recognize a lot of file formats. If you have a standardized format and you know everything can read it, then it's not an issue.

In my setup I do it both ways. My OpenElec boxes decode for my TV's and Plex does it for any handheld devices. They use the same libraries for music, moves and TV shows, but Plex resides on the NAS since it's an click install on FreeNAS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the advice. Obviously, there's no RIGHT answer because of all the variables. Ideally, I would like to stream raw .r3d files, but considering that the output from a Red Dragon filming at an 18:1 ratio at 75fps creates a 500GB file for 17 minutes of footage, it's highly unlikely I'll be buying that much storage capacity. Plus, it's unrealistic for me to have this at home.

If you can view this, http://www.red.com/learn/red-101/upscaled-1080P-vs-4K
you'll see a night and day difference between upscaled 4K vs native 4k, but I'll only be getting my hands on a very few raw 4k, 5k, and 6k files from a Red Dragon.

For now, I'll just focus on getting the NAS for storage and look into the Plex software for streaming files, but keeping the files in whatever format they're in. Streaming video to a tablet, I won't see a difference between all the resolutions anyway. 4K just needs more time before all the hardware manufacturers comes to an agreement about the best way to distribute content.
 
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