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NFT: Home Media Server Questions

ImThatGuy : 2/10/2019 6:11 pm
Whats your setup like? Any suggestions?

My plan is to run a plex server, problem is I don't have any old computers that I can use and don't want to keep any of the laptops on permanently. I have an old android phone that I could use but that obviously has some space limitations, and I have some external hard drives but none are wifi enabled so I think I'm stuck. I'm leaning towards getting a NAS system setup. Thoughts?

Primary uses are to stream to tv players (roku/amazon) and i want to be able to backup photos from cell phones to the server.

Can anyone recommend a good/reasonably priced NAS? Is there something else I should be considering?
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The need for transcoding has diminished somewhat  
jcn56 : 2/12/2019 1:22 pm : link
but it's going to depend on your end devices and the formats you have your media in.

Truth be told - I find myself mostly not even using Plex, and just using the native devices accessing the NAS directly. When I do need Plex, it's because the end device doesn't support the media in question (the PS4 is a notoriously picky consumer of media), or because I'm doing something on the fly (I use HDHomeRun receivers for both OTA and CableCard cable access to get all the clients in the house TV access).
RE: RE: i still think  
FranchiseQB : 2/12/2019 2:48 pm : link
In comment 14294553 Gary from The East End said:
Quote:
In comment 14294417 FranchiseQB said:


Quote:


too much is being made of transcoding in this conversation. What are you playing the media on? Personally, getting a cheap android box ($50-$150) with Kodi or some other box (ie, wdtv) is the best solution because these boxes with very few exceptions play every format you throw at them. Am I missing something? If you do this, the processing power of a NAS to transcode is irrelevant and you dont have to spend extra money for a better processor. This is almost as cost effective as building a computer and a heck of a lot easier - I think.



I think this is correct. I have an Nvidia Shield and jailbroken Fire devices with Kodi installed. They all play media off my NAS with no issue. No transcoding required.


sounds like we have almost identical setups. I don't have the Shield but I have a more generic version of this style of box. Shield is the best Android/Kodi box out there (probably).
RE: The need for transcoding has diminished somewhat  
FranchiseQB : 2/12/2019 2:53 pm : link
In comment 14294564 jcn56 said:
Quote:
but it's going to depend on your end devices and the formats you have your media in.

Truth be told - I find myself mostly not even using Plex, and just using the native devices accessing the NAS directly. When I do need Plex, it's because the end device doesn't support the media in question (the PS4 is a notoriously picky consumer of media), or because I'm doing something on the fly (I use HDHomeRun receivers for both OTA and CableCard cable access to get all the clients in the house TV access).


I think Plex could depend on what you are serving. I use Plex for music only. And only in support of Sonos because Sonos has a file number limit. Plex bypasses the limit. Plex is also better for creating playlists. So I get Sonos to fetch a Plex playlist and play it on a Sonos device.

Movies usually don't require playlists. Mainly you want to get your one movie and watch. So what I need from the front end is a list and sometimes a bit of gui with info, which Kodi can provide. I mainly need a setup that pushes a load of data to the front end. As long as the front end can see it and play it, I'm pretty happy.
RE: Knineteen  
Knineteen : 2/12/2019 3:44 pm : link
In comment 14294071 ImThatGuy said:
Quote:
Can you share the computer specs? Or what I should look for that makes the PC energy efficient.

Wanna buy another pc? (Only half joking here)

Sure, specs are in the link.

This was built 2.5 years ago and cost me $227 for these parts.

CPU performance impacts the server the most:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i3-4170+%40+3.70GHz&id=2522

Obviously, you want the highest 'Average CPU Mark' you can afford, but this CPU works perfectly fine for my needs.

Also, review the 'Typical TDP' to determine power usage. I wanted to go with AMD because they are cheap but their power consumption is excessive.


CPU prices are weird. I bought that chip for $117 in 2016 and it's selling now on NewEgg for $169.
I usually try to find a decent balance between 'Average CPU Mark', 'Typical TDP' and price.
Plex Server Specs - ( New Window )
.  
Knineteen : 2/12/2019 3:58 pm : link
The entire purpose of my Plex Server was to eliminate the clutter of DVD and BluRay disks.
By digitizing everything, I can store away all these disks and I can watch my movies anywhere in my household with a few clicks.
In addition, I bought a SynologyNAS (DS216j) and placed all my family's home videos on it.
I created a share from the NAS and can play any of my home videos on-demand via Plex.

There is absolutely no way that NAS can transcode any of my media.

I tried building a dirt-cheap and massively energy-efficient Plex server using an AMD Athlon 5350 APU for $53:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+Athlon+5350+APU&id=2195

The thing failed terribly. Yet, it's significantly more powerful than most NAS chips.
So yes, you can have the NAS also perform the transcoding if you want to spend thousands of dollars.
Or, you can spend a few hundred dollars and build your own dedicated server that will seamlessly handle transcoding on all levels.
RE: .  
FranchiseQB : 2/12/2019 4:04 pm : link
In comment 14294706 Knineteen said:
Quote:
The entire purpose of my Plex Server was to eliminate the clutter of DVD and BluRay disks.
By digitizing everything, I can store away all these disks and I can watch my movies anywhere in my household with a few clicks.
In addition, I bought a SynologyNAS (DS216j) and placed all my family's home videos on it.
I created a share from the NAS and can play any of my home videos on-demand via Plex.

There is absolutely no way that NAS can transcode any of my media.

I tried building a dirt-cheap and massively energy-efficient Plex server using an AMD Athlon 5350 APU for $53:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+Athlon+5350+APU&id=2195

The thing failed terribly. Yet, it's significantly more powerful than most NAS chips.
So yes, you can have the NAS also perform the transcoding if you want to spend thousands of dollars.
Or, you can spend a few hundred dollars and build your own dedicated server that will seamlessly handle transcoding on all levels.


dude, as I and others have said here. Stick the media on a NAS, network it to an android box with Kodi, there is no transcoding. Total cost $600-700
.  
FranchiseQB : 2/12/2019 4:05 pm : link
And Kodi will give you as much front end gui and graphics as you want. If Plex requires transcoding then it is a pain in the ass, though I am glad it works for you.
RE: Blanket statements like this are silly  
Knineteen : 2/12/2019 4:08 pm : link
In comment 14294086 jcn56 said:
Quote:
You can find plenty of NAS boxes that have more than enough processing power to transcode and do other things.

This suggests otherwise:
https://support.plex.tv/articles/201373823-nas-devices-and-limitations/

Quote:
By far the biggest limitation with most NAS is processor-based. Very few NAS contain powerful processors, which can have a significant impact on your experience using Plex.

Virtually every Plex App will need content to be transcoded at least some of the time.
RE: RE: .  
Knineteen : 2/12/2019 4:15 pm : link
In comment 14294720 FranchiseQB said:
Quote:
dude, as I and others have said here. Stick the media on a NAS, network it to an android box with Kodi, there is no transcoding. Total cost $600-700

I built my own Plex Server for $300...

And I'm guessing I would need a Kodi TV box for every TV, right?

Plex offers clients on almost every device for free.
RE: RE: Blanket statements like this are silly  
jcn56 : 2/12/2019 4:23 pm : link
In comment 14294728 Knineteen said:
Quote:
In comment 14294086 jcn56 said:


Quote:


You can find plenty of NAS boxes that have more than enough processing power to transcode and do other things.


This suggests otherwise:
https://support.plex.tv/articles/201373823-nas-devices-and-limitations/



Quote:


By far the biggest limitation with most NAS is processor-based. Very few NAS contain powerful processors, which can have a significant impact on your experience using Plex.

Virtually every Plex App will need content to be transcoded at least some of the time.



Again, grossly generalizing and not doing your argument many favors.

There are a ton of NAS devices on the market. Most of them are lightweight, low cost glorified routers that have squat for processor power. That doesn't mean there isn't a large selection of NAS units that do have strong enough processors to do the job, just that you have to be sure to select one for that purpose.
RE: RE: RE: Blanket statements like this are silly  
Knineteen : 2/12/2019 4:34 pm : link
In comment 14294746 jcn56 said:
Quote:
Again, grossly generalizing and not doing your argument many favors.

There are a ton of NAS devices on the market. Most of them are lightweight, low cost glorified routers that have squat for processor power. That doesn't mean there isn't a large selection of NAS units that do have strong enough processors to do the job, just that you have to be sure to select one for that purpose.

You are talking about enterprise-level NAS for home use. That's not an apples-to-apples comparison.
It's like arguing I should buy a Mack truck to transport my family places. Yes, that is a solution, but one that's not reasonable for the scenario.
RE: RE: RE: .  
FranchiseQB : 2/12/2019 4:37 pm : link
In comment 14294738 Knineteen said:
Quote:
In comment 14294720 FranchiseQB said:


Quote:


dude, as I and others have said here. Stick the media on a NAS, network it to an android box with Kodi, there is no transcoding. Total cost $600-700


I built my own Plex Server for $300...

And I'm guessing I would need a Kodi TV box for every TV, right?

Plex offers clients on almost every device for free.



well for my estimate that would be good for the NAS (can be lightweight), one or two Kodi boxes, and 8 to 20 tbs of storage. Now this is a wired solution. I haven't tried wireless with this config but I doubt it would work. So my 600-700 estimate is all in for a start-up. There is no subscription fee, I imagine the plex you are using is the premium edition. Yes? I also wonder about the transcode Plex is doing. How does it look? I am looking at native files and generally the results are good.

Yes in my config, as far as I know, I need a box with every monitor. However I have some old boxes that are working very well. Especially the old school wdtv boxes are marvelous and they handle full DVD rips with DVD folders better than any software I have tried on a pc. The wdtv boxes do not run on kodi, they have their own interface which plays just about anything. And these are old boxes that you could probably pick up used for 30 bucks or less. Point being there are cheap options if you want to put a box at every tv/monitor. And again no monthly subscription.

I am curious to hear a little more about your config. You use Plex on mobile device to send media to a selected monitor over lan?
RE: RE: RE: RE: Blanket statements like this are silly  
jcn56 : 2/12/2019 4:48 pm : link
In comment 14294756 Knineteen said:
Quote:
In comment 14294746 jcn56 said:


Quote:


Again, grossly generalizing and not doing your argument many favors.

There are a ton of NAS devices on the market. Most of them are lightweight, low cost glorified routers that have squat for processor power. That doesn't mean there isn't a large selection of NAS units that do have strong enough processors to do the job, just that you have to be sure to select one for that purpose.


You are talking about enterprise-level NAS for home use. That's not an apples-to-apples comparison.
It's like arguing I should buy a Mack truck to transport my family places. Yes, that is a solution, but one that's not reasonable for the scenario.


Again, you don't need an enterprise class NAS to do this either.

I'd suggest if you don't know what you're talking about, you should reconsider trying to give a lesson.
RE: RE: RE: RE: .  
Knineteen : 2/12/2019 4:51 pm : link
In comment 14294762 FranchiseQB said:
Quote:
well for my estimate that would be good for the NAS (can be lightweight), one or two Kodi boxes, and 8 to 20 tbs of storage. Now this is a wired solution. I haven't tried wireless with this config but I doubt it would work. So my 600-700 estimate is all in for a start-up. There is no subscription fee, I imagine the plex you are using is the premium edition. Yes? I also wonder about the transcode Plex is doing. How does it look? I am looking at native files and generally the results are good.

Yes in my config, as far as I know, I need a box with every monitor. However I have some old boxes that are working very well. Especially the old school wdtv boxes are marvelous and they handle full DVD rips with DVD folders better than any software I have tried on a pc. The wdtv boxes do not run on kodi, they have their own interface which plays just about anything. And these are old boxes that you could probably pick up used for 30 bucks or less. Point being there are cheap options if you want to put a box at every tv/monitor. And again no monthly subscription.

I am curious to hear a little more about your config. You use Plex on mobile device to send media to a selected monitor over lan?

I use the free Plex version.

The desktop computer (what I call my "Plex Server") has the Plex server software installed on it. I then install the Plex client software/ app on any device that I want to watch media.
So, I have the Plex app installed on my AppleTVs, Rokus, iPad, iPhone and Andriod table (full disclosure, you do have to pay for the iPhone/iPad app; something like $5).
Whenever you open a Plex client, it searches for all available Plex servers via LAN. Once a connection is made, you can browse all available media on the Plex server that is available within the library metadata.

My movies and TV shows are stored locally on the Plex Server/desktop. My home videos are stored on a NAS (because I want this data stored in a RAID 1 configuration for obvious reasons).

Most of my movies are bit-for-bit bluray dumps. I don't employ any compression. The video looks great.

With my setup, I'm not restricted to specific client devices. All major devices are supported.
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: .  
FranchiseQB : 2/12/2019 4:59 pm : link
In comment 14294771 Knineteen said:
Quote:
In comment 14294762 FranchiseQB said:


Quote:


well for my estimate that would be good for the NAS (can be lightweight), one or two Kodi boxes, and 8 to 20 tbs of storage. Now this is a wired solution. I haven't tried wireless with this config but I doubt it would work. So my 600-700 estimate is all in for a start-up. There is no subscription fee, I imagine the plex you are using is the premium edition. Yes? I also wonder about the transcode Plex is doing. How does it look? I am looking at native files and generally the results are good.

Yes in my config, as far as I know, I need a box with every monitor. However I have some old boxes that are working very well. Especially the old school wdtv boxes are marvelous and they handle full DVD rips with DVD folders better than any software I have tried on a pc. The wdtv boxes do not run on kodi, they have their own interface which plays just about anything. And these are old boxes that you could probably pick up used for 30 bucks or less. Point being there are cheap options if you want to put a box at every tv/monitor. And again no monthly subscription.

I am curious to hear a little more about your config. You use Plex on mobile device to send media to a selected monitor over lan?


I use the free Plex version.

The desktop computer (what I call my "Plex Server") has the Plex server software installed on it. I then install the Plex client software/ app on any device that I want to watch media.
So, I have the Plex app installed on my AppleTVs, Rokus, iPad, iPhone and Andriod table (full disclosure, you do have to pay for the iPhone/iPad app; something like $5).
Whenever you open a Plex client, it searches for all available Plex servers via LAN. Once a connection is made, you can browse all available media on the Plex server that is available within the library metadata.

My movies and TV shows are stored locally on the Plex Server/desktop. My home videos are stored on a NAS (because I want this data stored in a RAID 1 configuration for obvious reasons).

Most of my movies are bit-for-bit bluray dumps. I don't employ any compression. The video looks great.

With my setup, I'm not restricted to specific client devices. All major devices are supported.


Sounds like a good solution if you are talented enough to build a $400 computer, which I don't think I am. I am handy with a PC, and I have built a few high end computers, but I have another guy put it together. I have two more questions:

1) Do you have a different plex account on each device or only one account on your server and then log in with same account on other devices.

2) how do you choose which screen to stream to?

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Blanket statements like this are silly  
Knineteen : 2/12/2019 4:59 pm : link
In comment 14294768 jcn56 said:
Quote:
Again, you don't need an enterprise class NAS to do this either.

I'd suggest if you don't know what you're talking about, you should reconsider trying to give a lesson.

I'd suggest you actually try implementing this stuff and stop taking the manufacturer at their word.

The DS218play has a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor which the manufacture claims to support 4K transcoding!

I have 4.0 GHz quad-cores that can't even handle such a task.
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Blanket statements like this are silly  
FranchiseQB : 2/12/2019 5:02 pm : link
In comment 14294768 jcn56 said:
Quote:
In comment 14294756 Knineteen said:


Quote:


In comment 14294746 jcn56 said:


Quote:


Again, grossly generalizing and not doing your argument many favors.

There are a ton of NAS devices on the market. Most of them are lightweight, low cost glorified routers that have squat for processor power. That doesn't mean there isn't a large selection of NAS units that do have strong enough processors to do the job, just that you have to be sure to select one for that purpose.


You are talking about enterprise-level NAS for home use. That's not an apples-to-apples comparison.
It's like arguing I should buy a Mack truck to transport my family places. Yes, that is a solution, but one that's not reasonable for the scenario.



Again, you don't need an enterprise class NAS to do this either.

I'd suggest if you don't know what you're talking about, you should reconsider trying to give a lesson.


I'm a NAS user as well. I think his general point is that a NAS can never have the power of a cheap PC, which is accurate. But I also agree with your general point that for just a few dollars more you can get a very powerful chip in a NAS that can do a lot of work. Whether it can transcode and stream full Bluray, I'm not sure. I kind of doubt it would be reliable. Though I do know from experience that any NAS can stream full BD without transcoding.
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: .  
Knineteen : 2/12/2019 5:05 pm : link
In comment 14294778 FranchiseQB said:
Quote:
Sounds like a good solution if you are talented enough to build a $400 computer, which I don't think I am. I am handy with a PC, and I have built a few high end computers, but I have another guy put it together. I have two more questions:

1) Do you have a different plex account on each device or only one account on your server and then log in with same account on other devices.

2) how do you choose which screen to stream to?

I use one account for all devices, but I'm not sure if you need to log-in in order to connect to the server. Some of my clients might connect anonymously.

I don't understand the "screen to stream to" question.
The client requests the content and the server supplies it in the correct format (insert transcoding).
I open the Plex app on my AppleTV, it connects to my Plex Server, a Plex UI is displayed on the AppleTV, I select the media to play and it plays.
It's incredibly simple and intuitive.
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: .  
FranchiseQB : 2/12/2019 5:07 pm : link
In comment 14294783 Knineteen said:
Quote:
In comment 14294778 FranchiseQB said:


Quote:


Sounds like a good solution if you are talented enough to build a $400 computer, which I don't think I am. I am handy with a PC, and I have built a few high end computers, but I have another guy put it together. I have two more questions:

1) Do you have a different plex account on each device or only one account on your server and then log in with same account on other devices.

2) how do you choose which screen to stream to?



I use one account for all devices, but I'm not sure if you need to log-in in order to connect to the server. Some of my clients might connect anonymously.

I don't understand the "screen to stream to" question.
The client requests the content and the server supplies it in the correct format (insert transcoding).
I open the Plex app on my AppleTV, it connects to my Plex Server, a Plex UI is displayed on the AppleTV, I select the media to play and it plays.
It's incredibly simple and intuitive.


so you need a box (like an apple tv) at every television?
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Blanket statements like this are silly  
Knineteen : 2/12/2019 5:17 pm : link
In comment 14294781 FranchiseQB said:
Quote:
I'm a NAS user as well. I think his general point is that a NAS can never have the power of a cheap PC, which is accurate. But I also agree with your general point that for just a few dollars more you can get a very powerful chip in a NAS that can do a lot of work. Whether it can transcode and stream full Bluray, I'm not sure. I kind of doubt it would be reliable. Though I do know from experience that any NAS can stream full BD without transcoding.

But it's not just a few dollars, it's hundreds to thousands of dollars!

Below is a comprehensive list of NAS devices that can support transcoding.

Any of them that can fully support "HD 1080p" START at $800. And a lot of them aren't even available for purchase.

If jcn56 can provide any substance to his claims, I'm more than willing to review; but he keeps replying with empty, passive-aggressive responses.
NAS transcoding list - ( New Window )
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Blanket statements like this are silly  
jcn56 : 2/12/2019 5:21 pm : link
In comment 14294779 Knineteen said:
Quote:
In comment 14294768 jcn56 said:


Quote:


Again, you don't need an enterprise class NAS to do this either.

I'd suggest if you don't know what you're talking about, you should reconsider trying to give a lesson.


I'd suggest you actually try implementing this stuff and stop taking the manufacturer at their word.

The DS218play has a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor which the manufacture claims to support 4K transcoding!

I have 4.0 GHz quad-cores that can't even handle such a task.


I have implemented - using cloud instances that run inside of a ThinkServer that's running a ton of other stuff, as well as on two different Synology devices.

Of course, I - like most other people - have no need for 4k transcoding.

The OP asked a question and basic fit for purpose, limited effort solutions were presented to him. Low cost, from both an equipment and power utilization perspective.

You want to run an old Optiplex you have lying around? Fantastic - just expect that the electricity costs in the first year will exceed whatever you saved on the NAS, there won't be any out of the box redundancy for any photos stored, and it'll be more effort to maintain.
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: .  
Knineteen : 2/12/2019 5:23 pm : link
In comment 14294785 FranchiseQB said:
Quote:
so you need a box (like an apple tv) at every television?

Correct. Unless you have a Smart TV that supports a Plex app. I've had mixed-results with Smart TV Plex apps.

Any non-smart TV is going to need an external device in order to stream. This isn't unique to Plex.
The real benefit is that Plex doesn't restrict the type of external device; all major devices are supported.
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: .  
FranchiseQB : 2/12/2019 5:28 pm : link
In comment 14294793 Knineteen said:
Quote:
In comment 14294785 FranchiseQB said:


Quote:


so you need a box (like an apple tv) at every television?


Correct. Unless you have a Smart TV that supports a Plex app. I've had mixed-results with Smart TV Plex apps.

Any non-smart TV is going to need an external device in order to stream. This isn't unique to Plex.
The real benefit is that Plex doesn't restrict the type of external device; all major devices are supported.


ah ok so the cost of boxes is almost a wash. For three tvs you're buying three boxes, I'm buying three boxes.

Are you using external drives for your server or internal? Have you ever had the problem of internal drives over 3TBs disappearing and not coming back without a restart? I have found large internal drives to be unreliable. It is one of the reasons I bought the NAS in the first place. I must say in terms of reliability, in my experience, the large drives in a NAS has been better than in a PC.
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Blanket statements like this are silly  
jcn56 : 2/12/2019 5:28 pm : link
In comment 14294786 Knineteen said:
Quote:
In comment 14294781 FranchiseQB said:


Quote:


I'm a NAS user as well. I think his general point is that a NAS can never have the power of a cheap PC, which is accurate. But I also agree with your general point that for just a few dollars more you can get a very powerful chip in a NAS that can do a lot of work. Whether it can transcode and stream full Bluray, I'm not sure. I kind of doubt it would be reliable. Though I do know from experience that any NAS can stream full BD without transcoding.


But it's not just a few dollars, it's hundreds to thousands of dollars!

Below is a comprehensive list of NAS devices that can support transcoding.

Any of them that can fully support "HD 1080p" START at $800. And a lot of them aren't even available for purchase.

If jcn56 can provide any substance to his claims, I'm more than willing to review; but he keeps replying with empty, passive-aggressive responses. NAS transcoding list - ( New Window )


The very first cheapo NAS I thought of that didn't have an ARM processor was on your list - the QNAP 251. Does 1080P hardware accelerated transcoding, costs less than $300.

Do I need to keep doing this, or do you feel like reading the stuff you yourself are linking?
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Blanket statements like this are silly  
Knineteen : 2/12/2019 5:36 pm : link
In comment 14294799 jcn56 said:
Quote:
The very first cheapo NAS I thought of that didn't have an ARM processor was on your list - the QNAP 251. Does 1080P hardware accelerated transcoding, costs less than $300.

Do I need to keep doing this, or do you feel like reading the stuff you yourself are linking?


The SOFTWARE TRANSCODING requirements need to be satisfied.

An Intel Celeron J1800 @ 2.41GHz doesn't have nearly the required processing power:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Celeron+J1800+%40+2.41GHz&id=2167

Try again, please.
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: .  
Knineteen : 2/12/2019 5:46 pm : link
In comment 14294798 FranchiseQB said:
Quote:
Are you using external drives for your server or internal? Have you ever had the problem of internal drives over 3TBs disappearing and not coming back without a restart? I have found large internal drives to be unreliable. It is one of the reasons I bought the NAS in the first place. I must say in terms of reliability, in my experience, the large drives in a NAS has been better than in a PC.

Internal SATA HDDs...I think 2 @ 4TB each.
I haven't had any HDD issues. I think once or twice the server didn't recognize them, but a hard-reset fixed the problem.

I do store my home videos on a NAS because I want RAID 1 protection, but there is a noticeable delay when trying to stream such content to Plex.
For my movies, RAID 0 or 1 isn't required, so it's easier and more energy-efficient to put those HDDs inside the plex server directly.
Bit of advice...  
Dan in the Springs : 2/12/2019 6:04 pm : link
make sure to get enough hard drive space to save all your Giants games as well.

Best thing I ever did with my Plex server.
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Blanket statements like this are silly  
jcn56 : 2/12/2019 8:44 pm : link
In comment 14294806 Knineteen said:
Quote:
In comment 14294799 jcn56 said:


Quote:


The very first cheapo NAS I thought of that didn't have an ARM processor was on your list - the QNAP 251. Does 1080P hardware accelerated transcoding, costs less than $300.

Do I need to keep doing this, or do you feel like reading the stuff you yourself are linking?



The SOFTWARE TRANSCODING requirements need to be satisfied.

An Intel Celeron J1800 @ 2.41GHz doesn't have nearly the required processing power:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Celeron+J1800+%40+2.41GHz&id=2167

Try again, please.


Really? Why, when you have hardware capable of transcoding natively, would you fall back to software transcoding?

Do you really think that Celeron processors aren't capable of transcoding 1080p?
thanks all  
ImThatGuy : 2/12/2019 9:49 pm : link
i do have an Amazon Fire TV already loaded with Kodi

Can I just get a WD Easystore drive, put all my movies on that and run the server off of my Kodi? Easy to setup? Can I still access my library through kodi from outside my network?
RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Blanket statements like this are silly  
Knineteen : 2/12/2019 10:23 pm : link
In comment 14294938 jcn56 said:
Quote:
Do you really think that Celeron processors aren't capable of transcoding 1080p?

Correct, they can't.

An AMD Athlon 5350 couldn't handle such a task and it has a much better benchmark scores than an Intel Celeron J1800 (2,605 vs. 1,027).
You see, I actually built a rig with an AMD Athlon 5350 and it couldn't keep up with 1080p source material. I wish to hell that it would because it's a super efficient CPU, but it couldn't.

I don't think you understand what transcoding true 1080p source materials entails. It's not a DVD. No one is streaming 640480 content, it looks like garbage on a 55" TV.
No, you're just plain wrong.  
jcn56 : 2/12/2019 11:16 pm : link
I know because I've done it. I don't know what kind of shitty boxes you're building, but I've built at least 3 low powered (N3050) based NUCs that do a variety of transcoding and I've never had an issue. And that's without getting into tailoring down an Ubuntu build to the barebones to get it done.

For fuck's sake, I've got an ancient Synology box that does a passable 720P transcode after installing FFMPEG, and that thing cost peanuts years ago.

Of course, considering you're new to the concept of hardware acceleration in transcoding, I'm not surprised.
RE: thanks all  
FranchiseQB : 2/12/2019 11:22 pm : link
In comment 14294990 ImThatGuy said:
Quote:
i do have an Amazon Fire TV already loaded with Kodi

Can I just get a WD Easystore drive, put all my movies on that and run the server off of my Kodi? Easy to setup? Can I still access my library through kodi from outside my network?



The Easystore is a drive and not a NAS I believe. So if it is a drive you cannot access the media on the drive on your network without connecting it to a computer first. If it is a NAS you can connect directly to your router and you should be able to access the media from your kodi box, as long as that is also wired to your network. The difference between a drive and a NAS can be googled but a drivbe needs to be connected to a computer or other compatible media device and a NAS can stand alone on your network and serve files.

I think Kodi has the capability to allow access to media from outside the home network but i think it is complicated. That is why people pay for Plex, I believe. Plex has similar functionality to Kodi but I think accessing media away from your network is one of the big premium features and probably works better than Kodi. I'm guessing here as I don't have a need to access movies away from home. I'm sure this can be googled and you would get a better answer, but it's a start.

and one more thing  
FranchiseQB : 2/12/2019 11:25 pm : link
if the fire box has a usb input (many android boxes do) you can connect your drive directly to it and watch on the tv it is connected to, and it might be visible elsewhere on your network.
RE: No, you're just plain wrong.  
Knineteen : 2/13/2019 11:58 am : link
In comment 14295039 jcn56 said:
Quote:
For fuck's sake, I've got an ancient Synology box that does a passable 720P transcode after installing FFMPEG, and that thing cost peanuts years ago.

Fair enough, I didn't realize we were talking about outdated resolutions. Yes, a NAS could probably support a 720 file; but I like to live in 2019, not 2005.
Another note...  
Dan in the Springs : 2/13/2019 12:36 pm : link
I wish I'd remembered to put this here before. Plex has changed a bit over the years. I have the Plex Pass version. It's pretty cool, but by default now it requires an internet connection. This is a serious problem, because I often want to watch my digital library when the internet is down for whatever reason. Admittedly that's not a common occurrence, but it actually happened to me twice since September, and the second time was over the holiday break when we were hoping for more home entertainment.

When I say that it requires an internet connection, I mean even the server itself cannot start up Plex Pass, let alone anything on the LAN being able to access it.

I actually had to direct connect one of the hard drives on my home media server to our Roku just to be able to watch anything at all. Really sucked.

It's a reminder to me that this summer I have a project planned to replace Plex with something NOT internet dependent. Not sure what that solution is yet.
RE: RE: No, you're just plain wrong.  
jcn56 : 2/13/2019 1:06 pm : link
In comment 14295466 Knineteen said:
Quote:
In comment 14295039 jcn56 said:


Quote:


For fuck's sake, I've got an ancient Synology box that does a passable 720P transcode after installing FFMPEG, and that thing cost peanuts years ago.


Fair enough, I didn't realize we were talking about outdated resolutions. Yes, a NAS could probably support a 720 file; but I like to live in 2019, not 2005.


Of course we weren't - we were talking about how a Celeron processor can easily handle 1080p transcoding since this is 2019 and CPU instruction sets now including specific instructions to enable hardware acceleration. That a 9 year old NAS that cost a few hundred bucks back then is capable of doing close to that entirely in software was just pointing out how ridiculous what you're claiming is.

But keep at it - assuming you stop including information that proves your own point wrong, maybe one of these days you'll sound accurate.
RE: RE: RE: No, you're just plain wrong.  
Knineteen : 2/13/2019 3:04 pm : link
In comment 14295601 jcn56 said:
Quote:
Of course we weren't - we were talking about how a Celeron processor can easily handle 1080p transcoding since this is 2019 and CPU instruction sets now including specific instructions to enable hardware acceleration. That a 9 year old NAS that cost a few hundred bucks back then is capable of doing close to that entirely in software was just pointing out how ridiculous what you're claiming is.

But keep at it - assuming you stop including information that proves your own point wrong, maybe one of these days you'll sound accurate.

You do realize transcoding load scales with bitrate, right? A lossless blu-ray rip is going to have a bitrate in the 30K+ kbps range. That is going to require significantly more CPU resources to transcode than a blu-ray that has been compressed to a bitrate of 30K+ kbps.

I shouldn't have to tell you this, because you built "3 low powered (N3050) based NUCs" and "cloud instances that run inside of a ThinkServer".
Here's some advice, superfluous devices and technologies don't mean you know what you're talking about.

I'll just have to deal with my $300 dedicated desktop media server that streams my entire 30K+ kbps bitrate library to all devices in my household.
Watched a 40,116 kbps movie last night without issue; but hey, I'll just have to struggle with not knowing what I'm doing.
Yes, Einstein, I'm familiar with variable bitrates  
jcn56 : 2/13/2019 3:14 pm : link
and that higher bitrates take up more resources.

What you seem to be unfamiliar with is that streaming has become so popular, more and more of the load has been implemented in hardware, resulting in devices streaming at higher bitrates much more efficiently.

That's why you can pick up a networked wifi cam that streams at 1080p for next to nothing, and 'stick' devices are ubiquitous, and how you can pick up OTA transceivers that receive signal, encode and flip it back onto a wireless network for a hundred bucks. You don't need that much processing power any more, because the hardware implementations are much more efficient and cost effective than ones that rely on software alone.

Yet you charge forward cluelessly with some point about needing to do software transcoding as an excuse for looking past the requirements you yourself linked here.

When that doesn't work, you try a lesson on bitrates. Impressive.
And the ultimate irony is that the OP  
jcn56 : 2/13/2019 3:16 pm : link
was asking specifically about the NAS devices, and his requirements look to be exactly in line with what one of them at the entry level would be able to provide, along with some failover/backup should he decide for his photos.
man  
ImThatGuy : 2/13/2019 3:56 pm : link
Never knew that a post about home media servers could lead to an argument, BBI never ceases to amaze.

Thank you all for the info, although now I'm debating htpc vs NAS. Argh

Now all of you please hug it out
Networked wifi cams? OTA transceivers?  
Knineteen : 2/13/2019 5:08 pm : link
Enough already. Again, superfluous technologies...
RE: man  
FranchiseQB : 2/13/2019 5:56 pm : link
In comment 14295859 ImThatGuy said:
Quote:
Never knew that a post about home media servers could lead to an argument, BBI never ceases to amaze.

Thank you all for the info, although now I'm debating htpc vs NAS. Argh

Now all of you please hug it out


such an entertaining thread but there is a lot of useful info here too. I think an out of the box htpc solution is going to cost you more bucks. If I'm not mistaken the cost is more than a NAS alone and you still have to get some mega storage. Seriously, check out the synology boards. A lot of people are doing this and you can get insight whether you can go with an ARM processor or something more powerful. If you have Kodi on a front end box you won't need to transcode. good luck!
RE: Networked wifi cams? OTA transceivers?  
jcn56 : 2/13/2019 6:14 pm : link
In comment 14295933 Knineteen said:
Quote:
Enough already. Again, superfluous technologies...


No, examples of how devices can encode video on the fly with minimal resources using hardware assisted encoding. To the clueless, superfluous.
RE: man  
jcn56 : 2/13/2019 6:50 pm : link
In comment 14295859 ImThatGuy said:
Quote:
Never knew that a post about home media servers could lead to an argument, BBI never ceases to amaze.

Thank you all for the info, although now I'm debating htpc vs NAS. Argh

Now all of you please hug it out


This one's pretty simple - you're either on the hook for a prebuilt HTPC (which will run you more) or you're building your own.

A NAS is an out of the box solution. Add a drive to it and off you go.

If you're not sure the NAS is the way you want to go, then try picking one up from somewhere with a generous return policy (like Amazon). Try it out for a week, see if it does what you need it to do. You don't have to spend a ton of time setting it up, all you'll need is a few media files to throw on there to test it out and see if the performance and UX is to your liking. If it doesn't cut mustard, return it and build a HTPC.
So...  
Johnny5 : 2/13/2019 9:47 pm : link
... is anybody doing DVR to NAS?

Uggh, now I'm all confused on which route to go... lol. I may just put together a gaming / DAW and keep the home files on a NAS. Would be cool if I could get the DVR to use the NAS.
RE: So...  
jcn56 : 2/14/2019 7:40 am : link
In comment 14296203 Johnny5 said:
Quote:
... is anybody doing DVR to NAS?

Uggh, now I'm all confused on which route to go... lol. I may just put together a gaming / DAW and keep the home files on a NAS. Would be cool if I could get the DVR to use the NAS.


I am, have two devices that are configured to drop to NAS, one is a MythTV instance and the other is a HDHomeRun DVR. My situation is a little unique though, and the MythTV box was built a long time ago when it was the best solution. What were you looking to do exactly?
RE: RE: So...  
Johnny5 : 2/14/2019 9:17 am : link
In comment 14296324 jcn56 said:
Quote:
In comment 14296203 Johnny5 said:


Quote:


... is anybody doing DVR to NAS?

Uggh, now I'm all confused on which route to go... lol. I may just put together a gaming / DAW and keep the home files on a NAS. Would be cool if I could get the DVR to use the NAS.



I am, have two devices that are configured to drop to NAS, one is a MythTV instance and the other is a HDHomeRun DVR. My situation is a little unique though, and the MythTV box was built a long time ago when it was the best solution. What were you looking to do exactly?

So, that's a good question. I was trying to kill 17 birds with one stone basically... lol

Initially I was going to set up a simple NAS for file storage for the wife and kiddies. Eazy peazy. But then I started thinking, get rid of the cable box and add a home media server, and get rid of the cable box/DVR. Oh and while I'm at it, I won't mind doing a little gaming (I am jonesing to try the new RE2) and you can get RE2 free with a home PC or AMD Radeon card. And did I mention, I want to attach some speakers and run a DAW and transcriber software like Reaper, and rip some audio files from the USB port on my looper? LOL

And all for under $500 bucks!
So here's what I'm thinking for myself...  
Johnny5 : 2/17/2019 9:59 am : link
... looks like I can get a decent gaming PC for about $350 bucks with these specs:

Case Micro-Atx
Intel Xeon X3440
NVIDIA GT 630
8GB dual channel DDR3 memory
Intel LGA 1156 motherboard
1TB HDD
GENUINE WINDOWS 10 PRO
5.1 Channel surround HD audio
Realtek Ethernet controller, WiFi ready
HDMI, DVI Connectors
802.11 a/b/g/n Wireless (WIFI) Adapter
Mid Tower case or a Small Case

Then I can load PLEX, and my DAW software. The only thing I need to decide on is storage for serving pics and home movies... do I want to build out a RAID subsystem in the PC (or as external hard drive system) or just spend the money on a NAS like Synology DS218...

Any thoughts from fellow geekers here? lol
This thread definitely took an interesting turn!  
Bockman : 2/17/2019 10:07 am : link
There's many ways to skin the home server / cordcutting question.

My choice has been a full windows "server" made with leftover parts that I've collected over the years. Win10, 6x 3TB HDDs, Stablebit Drivepool to pool them all together. Is it the most elegant solution? No. Is it the easiest for my situation? Yes.

Emby is my go-to choice for media library management.

Now for the "client" devices, I have a mix. I have 2x FireTVs for the bedroom and the office - I don't need anymore horsepower for those. Then in the living room and the finished basement, I have full HTPCs. Partially due to video game emulation w/ LaunchBox (which needs a lot of resources) and partially because when I'm entertaining at the house, I want the system to be nice and zippy. All the clients run Kodi.

Are the HTPCs a bit overkill? Yeah. I could see in the future migrating to something like an nVidia Shield. But for now everything works without any hiccups.
Gah!  
Johnny5 : 2/18/2019 1:59 pm : link
Those specs I listed are apparently not enough to run RE2 remake. And that is a must... lol. Damn this is harder than I thought figuring out a PC to cover everything w/o costing a ton of dough.
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