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Discussion Starter #1
I think I am switching gears and wondering what u think about using a 4 to 6 Bay QNAP NAS with HDMI for media serving using Plex. This will be located in my theater and I will be ripping 1:1 1080P Blu-ray copies with best audio possible . My question is I can't seem to find info on what exactly the specs are for audio output via HDMI. WORST CASE, I think I can use a Nvidia in theater area to achieve best results , however utilizing the hdmi on the qnap would be most desirable. This NAS will only be used for media and nothing else. Full quality audio / video is not important outside of theater and I will be running Plex on smart TVs and tablets. It's my understanding that the qnap is set up for the transcoding needed for my other devices . Please correct me if I'm wrong. Also wondering if Atmos sound is supported or if it's smarter to go with the Nvidia pulling from the NAS as I understand this is a great option as well. If this is a viable option, I believe I would like to steer away from a true HTPC. Please advise.. thanks
 

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I doubt the QNAP client will be able to direct-play or the server transcode H.265/HEVC... so if you're doing any 4K UHD rips, you may not be able to use the QNAP client, but the Shield (or AppleTV 4K or Roku Ultra/Premiere+/Premiere or Fire TV 2017, etc) should be able to directly play those just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have yet to upgrade projector to 4k so that's not an issue at the moment. I can always get the Nvidia later. For now I'm hoping this is a good setup for my needs. Are there any other issues I may have.
 

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QNAP will bitstream HD audio via its HDMI port (on the models I used). However I found local playback not usable. The native Kodi app was frozen in time (it's a QNAP port which can't update through normal channels) and had numerous bugs that had been resolved with later releases nor did it support numerous Add-ons. If you used Virtualization to run Kodi there would often be buffering/freezes and other performance issues if the NAS was doing anything else such as running DVBLink (natively). Some found/find it acceptable and it varies I'm sure with the high-end models performing better. Although there isn't a lot of bang for your buck as the higher-end models get much more expenssive and you could easily spend less for a "decent" client. It may have improved however I concluded just cause I could doesn't mean I should... and punted.
 

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I used a QNAP 2 bay NAS for awhile as my Plex server but just recently switched back to my desktop computer. The QNAP was alright, but anytime I tried to stream 2 movies at once it would buffer constantly. The limit is in the lower power CPU's they use in the NAS. So if you are only ever going to have 1 stream at a time, it would work out alright. Otherwise stick to a PC or custom NAS box or something with a better CPU.
 

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I have the QNAP TS-853A and TS-453 Pro NAS units. If you can use DLNA, the devices will work fine with compressed videos. But the Celeron CPU is definitely inadequate if you plan to do any transcoding. I get constant buffering when converting videos on the fly from 1080P to 720P. if you are planning to transcode, an Intel i5 CPU would be the recommended minimum.

I can stream two videos at once with no issues, but I should note that all my video files are compressed to 3-8GB file sizes. I have not been able to stream uncompressed video files successfully because my network is Wi-Fi and the bandwidth between devices is pretty limited.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm really wanting to steer away from a PC . MY setup is mainly for my theater but could stream to my bedroom or kids rooms. The hdmi out was going to go to my receiver. Assuming I am using uncompressed files on one stream would this work for me? Also my kids will be running Plex on fire 4ks . The computing power looks pretty stout in this model but could an Nvidia client in the kids rooms take care of buffering issues since it is such a powerful device in it's own ? I'm a little green on this subject if u couldn't tell
 

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I'm really wanting to steer away from a PC . MY setup is mainly for my theater but could stream to my bedroom or kids rooms. The hdmi out was going to go to my receiver. Assuming I am using uncompressed files on one stream would this work for me? Also my kids will be running Plex on fire 4ks . The computing power looks pretty stout in this model but could an Nvidia client in the kids rooms take care of buffering issues since it is such a powerful device in it's own ? I'm a little green on this subject if u couldn't tell
Yes, the shield would do all the transcoding so the NAS barely needs any cpu power. You could also use the Shield as the Plex Server and use the NAS for storage. That's what I do.

Something else to keep in mind, the J3455 Celeron will be a lot more capable if you have a Plex Pass and enable HW transcoding. I had no problems with multiple 1080p streams that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I really don't want to invest in a lot of clients. Do u think the qnap unit could do the transcoding for my kids android TV's and I could get the Nvidia for my theater ?
 

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I really don't want to invest in a lot of clients. Do u think the qnap unit could do the transcoding for my kids android TV's and I could get the Nvidia for my theater ?
No. You could get a Shield Pro and run it as the Plex server and have the NAS only store media. The Shield should be able to transcode a couple streams at a time to the cheap clients and direct play to your theater.

I'd still recommend unRAID and using a decent CPU. It's not that difficult to build.
 

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It's my understanding that the qnap is set up for the transcoding needed for my other devices . Please correct me if I'm wrong. Also wondering if Atmos sound is supported or if it's smarter to go with the Nvidia pulling from the NAS as I understand this is a great option as well. If this is a viable option, I believe I would like to steer away from a true HTPC. Please advise.. thanks
Advice...
  • Let Nvidia pull from a server
  • Ditch the QNAP idea altogether
  • Build a powerful unraid box
  • Ditch the HTPC concept
  • Profit
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Do u have any info/advice on components to build one? 1500 total budget. 6 Bay would be fine for now
 

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I doubt the QNAP client will be able to direct-play or the server transcode H.265/HEVC... so if you're doing any 4K UHD rips, you may not be able to use the QNAP client, but the Shield (or AppleTV 4K or Roku Ultra/Premiere+/Premiere or Fire TV 2017, etc) should be able to directly play those just fine.
What he said. I tried the PLEX route on QNAP, but it was unreliable with DTS-X and ATMOS. Likely more to do with the NEXUS boxes I was using as client.

1. Grab an Nvidia Shield and connect via LAN (not wifi).
2. Mount a NAS drive share in the Shield (in settings).
3. Install (free) SPMC (with settings in audio to enable pass thru) on the shield, and use this to direct play the files from your NAS. That works 100% and will do music and photos as well.

That's the only setup that just works, and does it with pretty much zero delay. As an IT analyst, I tried quite a few options out there.

For your kids and content via IOS from the QNAP, you need first to install an AC class wifi access point. I'm using the EX7000 from netgear in access point mode. Qnap's "Qfile" app is free and actually very good for streaming NAS content. I've also found Infuse Pro excellent. Transcoding in general introduces a lot of delay (unless you're transcoding all your content offline) which I just avoid.

Btw, my editing PC is connected to the theater via HDMI..and I have a QNAP NAS that could be direct connected, but I use the Shield 99% of the time as it passes DTSX and ATMOS correctly to my AVR.
 

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The Shield as a Plex server and Client works pretty well also, and can transcode H.265/HEVC files down to H.264 for other clients around the house that can't handle H.265/HEVC.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
With that being said is the Nvidia capable of multiple streams areound the home? What are the best options to ensure the whole family can enjoy content without lag or considerable buffering
 
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