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I would be very grateful if the experts on this forum could help me make some equipment decisions in my effort to network a Mac, iPad and a couple iPhones into a NAS that will connect with my home theater. My overall objective is to be able to access my picture, video and music collection on MAC and store on a NAS via Plex then run the NAS to an OPPO 205 Blu-ray player to a Yamaha 5100 preamp for viewing on a 75” Sony 4K HDR TV. I have an extensive collection of Blu-ray concerts and movies that I would like to rip and store. Don’t know much about Plex other than it will organize all of the media for easy access and playback. I’m running 7 higher end speakers and 4 subs so I’m not looking to lose anything sonically. Am I on the right track with a NAS and Plex, hooked up thru the OPPO Blu-ray? I was thinking 4 bay, fast CPU, 4 Ram, HDMI output, adequate Ethernet ports etc. Help???
 

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You're pretty much on the right track. I can't speak to the OPPO as your streaming player though since I don't have one. I use an AppleTV and an nVidia Shield for playback. For the NAS I'd recommend something from the Synology Plus Series. Which one really depends on how many bays you want and your budget. To me the more bays the better since you can fill them as you go and do stuff like go from one to two disk redundancy. Basically two drives can die at once and you won't lose data. I have one of the DS1819+ in my setup.

As for the server, Plex works well. I prefer and use Emby instead. They both do the same thing but I like the UI and how it works better. It's all personal preference. The good thing is that both are easy to set-up and configure so you can easily try out both and see which you prefer. I think all of the Plus series Synologys also support running either which makes it nice to have the media server right on the NAS. I'd also recommend giving Infuse a try on your iPad and iPhones for the media player. It's my favorite and works with both the Plex and Emby servers.
 

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For interfacing... what is good to approach RONN without RONN prices? Looking for large Album Cover and multiple search methods to quickly access a large collection. TIA.
 

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You need a Plex server and a Plex client. You can run the Plex server either on the NAS you get, but that requires a reasonably powerful NAS; or you could run it on your Mac. The Plex client would be an input to your pre-amp. The easiest would be use a Roku as the client. Note: if you used an nVidea Sheild as the client, you could also use it as the server; I've never done this myself, but from what I've read it's on the low end as far as Plex servers go, but it'll work. If you can leave the Mac on all the time, I'd use the Mac.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You're pretty much on the right track. I can't speak to the OPPO as your streaming player though since I don't have one. I use an AppleTV and an nVidia Shield for playback. For the NAS I'd recommend something from the Synology Plus Series. Which one really depends on how many bays you want and your budget. To me the more bays the better since you can fill them as you go and do stuff like go from one to two disk redundancy. Basically two drives can die at once and you won't lose data. I have one of the DS1819+ in my setup.

As for the server, Plex works well. I prefer and use Emby instead. They both do the same thing but I like the UI and how it works better. It's all personal preference. The good thing is that both are easy to set-up and configure so you can easily try out both and see which you prefer. I think all of the Plus series Synologys also support running either which makes it nice to have the media server right on the NAS. I'd also recommend giving Infuse a try on your iPad and iPhones for the media player. It's my favorite and works with both the Plex and Emby servers.
Thanks Desert dog, appreciate your input. I think my knowledge in this area is too limited to spec out the hardware I need. I’ve gotten good tech support from Crutchfield in the past for home theater purchases. Not sure if they carry this type of equipment. If not, do you know of another supplier that might be able to recommend equipment
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You need a Plex server and a Plex client. You can run the Plex server either on the NAS you get, but that requires a reasonably powerful NAS; or you could run it on your Mac. The Plex client would be an input to your pre-amp. The easiest would be use a Roku as the client. Note: if you used an nVidea Sheild as the client, you could also use it as the server; I've never done this myself, but from what I've read it's on the low end as far as Plex servers go, but it'll work. If you can leave the Mac on all the time, I'd use the Mac.
Thanks COrk, really appreciate your input. I planned to use OPPO 205 Blu-ray player as Plex client because it has audiophile quality sound processor (DAC) with 7.1 analog out jacks to connect with Yamaha AVR preamp.
 

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Thanks Desert dog, appreciate your input. I think my knowledge in this area is too limited to spec out the hardware I need. I’ve gotten good tech support from Crutchfield in the past for home theater purchases. Not sure if they carry this type of equipment. If not, do you know of another supplier that might be able to recommend equipment
I don't know of a supplier like that. Buying the NAS is fairly easy though. Get the Synology plus serious with as many drive bays that budget allows and then put Seagate Ironwolf drives in it. 4 and 8 TB are the best bang for buck drives. You don't have to fill all of the drive bays either if you get one of the larger units. If say you buy and 8 bay you can start off with 4 or 5 drives in it and add more drives as needed. This goes for drive size too. You can put in all 4 TB drives now and then replace them down the line as the larger drives come down in price.

My recommendation would be to get get either the Synology DS1621+ or DS1821+ (6 vs 8 bay) and at least 4 4 TB drives to start if budget allows. That will give you 2 drive failure safety and 8 TB of usable space to start. (5 drives = 12 TB, 6 = 16 TB, etc). Both units can run the Plex/Emby server directly on them. Since you asked for a supplier, Newegg.com seems to have the best pricing on them from a quick search. I've bought plenty off of them in the past but I've never used their support for questions like you did with Crutchfield.
 

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I don't know of a supplier like that. Buying the NAS is fairly easy though. Get the Synology plus serious with as many drive bays that budget allows and then put Seagate Ironwolf drives in it. 4 and 8 TB are the best bang for buck drives. You don't have to fill all of the drive bays either if you get one of the larger units. If say you buy and 8 bay you can start off with 4 or 5 drives in it and add more drives as needed. This goes for drive size too. You can put in all 4 TB drives now and then replace them down the line as the larger drives come down in price.

My recommendation would be to get get either the Synology DS1621+ or DS1821+ (6 vs 8 bay) and at least 4 4 TB drives to start if budget allows. That will give you 2 drive failure safety and 8 TB of usable space to start. (5 drives = 12 TB, 6 = 16 TB, etc). Both units can run the Plex/Emby server directly on them. Since you asked for a supplier, Newegg.com seems to have the best pricing on them from a quick search. I've bought plenty off of them in the past but I've never used their support for questions like you did with Crutchfield.
Excellent advice, thanks! Will check out the Two NAS units you recommend. Any idea when the 2021 models will hit the market? Some of the Synology NAS do not have HDMI outputs which I think I need to connect to my Blu-ray player.
 

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Excellent advice, thanks! Will check out the Two NAS units you recommend. Any idea when the 2021 models will hit the market? Some of the Synology NAS do not have HDMI outputs which I think I need to connect to my Blu-ray player.
Those are the 2021 models, they just came out in like November. You don't connect with HDMI. It's networked. You connect your OPPO to your home network for it. The media playing on the OPPO will stream the bits over the network, decode, and send out of your TV/AVR.
 

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Plex is great. I’ve been using it since the beginning when it was called OSXBMC. I have had all sorts of custom built Plex servers over the years. There are lots of ways to do this. My current simplified setup is running on an always on Mac Mini connected to a Datatale 4 bay thunderbolt enclosure (discontinued). It’s loaded up with western digital reds in a raid array. Read /write time is fantastic over thunderbolt. The Mini is hard wired into the router over Ethernet.

The beauty of Plex is how many different kind of thin clients it supports. I use Apple TV 4k streamers in both the family room and dedicated theater. Also have a Plex client on Shield Pro in the theater. We have Fire TV Plex clients in kids rooms. Roku smart TV connects in guest room. Our Android phones and iPhones and iPads all have Plex clients as well. You can sync movies to tablets for offline viewing on road trips. There is even a web client. It even works with my Oculus Quest where I use it to serve up VR videos. On the quest, I prefer the Skybox DLNA player to connect to Plex, but there is a native Plex app too. I haven’t tried the Oppo but I understand it has a pretty basic interface. The Apple TV interface is very nice. I’ve heard of audiophiles connecting ATV to Oppo for best of both worlds.
 

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Those are the 2021 models, they just came out in like November. You don't connect with HDMI. It's networked. You connect your OPPO to your home network for it. The media playing on the OPPO will stream the bits over the network, decode, and send out of your TV/AVR.
Forgive my ignorance here, this is new to me. If I have movies, music, pics, etc stored on NAS via Plex how do I get that content to OPPO for processing before it it sent to AVR and TV? My OPPO is currently connected to my router.
 

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You just need to enable DLNA in the Plex settings then the OPPO should find it on the network and provide a basic interface with a list of titles.

Alternatively you could run Plex client on ATV for album art, synopsis, trailers, thumbnails etc and connect to OPPO over HDMI for Handling audio.
 

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Plex is great. I’ve been using it since the beginning when it was called OSXBMC. I have had all sorts of custom built Plex servers over the years. There are lots of ways to do this. My current simplified setup is running on a Mac Mini connected to a Datatale 4 bay thunderbolt enclosure (discontinued). It’s loaded up with western digital reds in a raid array. Read /write time is fantastic over thunderbolt. The Mini is hard wired into the router over Ethernet.

The beauty of Plex is how many different kind of thin clients it supports. I use Apple TV 4k streamers in both the family room and dedicated theater. Also have a Plex client on Shield Pro in the theater. We have Fire TV Plex clients in kids rooms. Roku smart TV connects in guest room. Our Android phones and iPhones and iPads all have Plex clients as well. There is even a web client. It even works with my Oculus Quest where I use it to serve up VR videos. On the quest, I prefer the Skybox player to connect to Plex, but there is a native Plex app too. I haven’t tried the Oppo but I understand it has a pretty basic interface. The Apple TV interface is very nice. I’ve heard of audiophiles connecting ATV to Oppo for best of both worlds.
Way over my head CinemacDaddy. I do have an Apple 4K in my system but wanted to take advantage of the audiophile class DAC in the OPPO to process the sound of music, ripped Blu-ray movies, concerts etc. I live in a rural area so depend on forums like this talk connect with experts for advice. Too bad you weren’t nearby to educate me further 😊
 

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You just need to enable DLNA in the Plex settings then the OPPO should find it on the network and provide a basic interface with a list of titles.

Alternatively you could run Plex client on ATV for album art, synopsis, trailers, thumbnails etc and connect to OPPO over HDMI for Handling audio.
So I do need an HDMI output capability from the NAS to connect with OPPO to get maximum audio, art & so forth?
 

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Plex server NAS and OPPO just need to be on the same network to watch via DLNA. Ideally connected with Ethernet.

Cover art and metadata such as synopsis is downloaded automatically from the Internet by Plex Server based on file name for Plex clients. DLNA clients don’t benefit from this.

ATV can connect to network via WiFi or Ethernet where it pulls movies and metadata as raw data from networked server. HDMI connection would be from Apple TV to OPPO so you can leverage ATV interface with OPPO DAC for audio.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Plex server NAS and OPPO just need to be on the same network to watch via DLNA. Ideally connected with Ethernet.

Cover art and metadata such as synopsis is downloaded automatically from the Internet by Plex Server based on file name for Plex clients. DLNA clients don’t benefit from this.

ATV can connect to network via WiFi or Ethernet where it pulls movies and metadata as raw data from networked server. HDMI connection would be from Apple TV to OPPO so you can leverage ATV interface with OPPO DAC for audio.
Thanks again, exactly the information I was looking for. I’m assuming my Apple 4K has this capability referred to in the link you attached but will have to look further into that. It’s 2-3 yrs old so maybe not
 

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Plex server NAS and OPPO just need to be on the same network to watch via DLNA. Ideally connected with Ethernet.

Cover art and metadata such as synopsis is downloaded automatically from the Internet by Plex Server based on file name for Plex clients. DLNA clients don’t benefit from this.

ATV can connect to network via WiFi or Ethernet where it pulls movies and metadata as raw data from networked server. HDMI connection would be from Apple TV to OPPO so you can leverage ATV interface with OPPO DAC for audio.
I checked my Apple TV device and it is 4K 64 bit HDR capable & will work with 7.1 multichannel sound so it will work for me. Now all I have to do is buy a NAS. Looking at either Synology DS920+ or DS1621+. Other than 1621+ having two extra bays, is there any advantage over the 920+ model for running Plex from a performance standpoint?
 

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I checked my Apple TV device and it is 4K 64 bit HDR capable & will work with 7.1 multichannel sound so it will work for me. Now all I have to do is buy a NAS. Looking at either Synology DS920+ or DS1621+. Other than 1621+ having two extra bays, is there any advantage over the 920+ model for running Plex from a performance standpoint?
In addition to the 2 extra bays the 1621+ has a faster processor. This will mainly come into play if you need to transcode a video to play it. This won't matter for playing in your home theater but if you eventually set it up so that you can stream to something like your phone when not at home. I'd go with the 1621+ if its in the budget since it gives you more potential space especially if you set up so that 2 drives can fail at once. Something I'd highly recommend for safety. You don't want to have to re-rip everything again.

The AppleTV 4K works perfectly for it. I use one in my set-up for titles that aren't Atmos or DTS:X. I use my Shield for those. I'd recommend looking at using Infuse on it for your media player. It works with the Plex server on the NAS. I like the UI and the performance of it better then the Plex player.

One other piece of advice when you go to buy. Don't buy all of your drives at once from the same place. Order like 2 of them from newegg, two from amazon, etc. They're basically the same price everywhere. It sounds funny but it's so that you'll most likely get drives from different manufacturing batches. It adds a little bit of drive failure safety in case there's a common defect in the batch.
 

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In addition to the 2 extra bays the 1621+ has a faster processor. This will mainly come into play if you need to transcode a video to play it. This won't matter for playing in your home theater but if you eventually set it up so that you can stream to something like your phone when not at home. I'd go with the 1621+ if its in the budget since it gives you more potential space especially if you set up so that 2 drives can fail at once. Something I'd highly recommend for safety. You don't want to have to re-rip everything again.

The AppleTV 4K works perfectly for it. I use one in my set-up for titles that aren't Atmos or DTS:X. I use my Shield for those. I'd recommend looking at using Infuse on it for your media player. It works with the Plex server on the NAS. I like the UI and the performance of it better then the Plex player.

One other piece of advice when you go to buy. Don't buy all of your drives at once from the same place. Order like 2 of them from newegg, two from amazon, etc. They're basically the same price everywhere. It sounds funny but it's so that you'll most likely get drives from different manufacturing batches. It adds a little bit of drive failure safety in case there's a common defect in the batch.
Thanks again for excellent advice! The folks on this forum are great and the input I’ve gotten from you and others has been incredibly helpful. I hope to one day have enough Knowledge to help others on this forum.
 
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