ATV 4, Plex and NAS

benny gsr

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 27, 2015
23
2
Australia
I have so far started ripping a couple of my BD's with MKV's and H264 codec audio.
I have tried to keep the Audio at max quality.

I'm looking at storing my 20GB approx Blu ray rips on an NAS and then streaming through the house to different devices. I have a music collection also that I have in FLAC and I'm looking to not completely tie myself to iTunes. I really dislike it.

Will Plex and an ATV 4 stream my Blu-rays if I store them on transcoding Synology NAS? My searching and reading is finding that
a) Atmos and 7.1 aren't supported on ATV 4 so is a ROku a better option? (AM I mistaken?)
b) The NAS maynot be powerful enough to transcode on the fly to a TV.

I'm trying to find a solution that won't require me using a Mac MIni to "serve" everything out, and keep it wife friendly.
 

ohio.emt

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2008
803
155
Ohio
Do you have a mini already?

You can keep the files on the NAS and use the mini as a plex server. Which is what I do, I haven't had any trouble with transcoding on my 2011 mini.

On the ATV or roku the user sees no difference on if you use a NAS, mini combo or just a NAS.
 

RB1959

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2015
99
111
My QNAP TS-210 NAS wont run Plex, so I run Plex on my iMac 5K instead. I set directories for movies on my NAS and TV shows on my Mac and they all play on my two ATV4's and IOS devices just fine. The only pain is, I have to have my iMac on and make sure the NAS and Plex server are mounted.
 

hamiltonDSi

macrumors 68000
Jul 29, 2012
1,540
247
Romania
My QNAP TS-210 NAS wont run Plex, so I run Plex on my iMac 5K instead. I set directories for movies on my NAS and TV shows on my Mac and they all play on my two ATV4's and IOS devices just fine. The only pain is, I have to have my iMac on and make sure the NAS and Plex server are mounted.
Same setup using a rMBP and a older Synology 5TB NAS.
I agree, I hate that I have to mount my NAS every time.
 

nebo1ss

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
2,772
1,462
if you get a NAS with enough Horse power to run Plex and do Transcoding you will have no problem. I run both a NAS and a 2012 Mac mini to do what you are attempting to do. However, I do not use the ATV i run a ROKU 4 instead.
[doublepost=1452172669][/doublepost]
Same setup using a rMBP and a older Synology 5TB NAS.
I agree, I hate that I have to mount my NAS every time.
You can set up the Mini to mount the NAS automatically on start up.
 

hamiltonDSi

macrumors 68000
Jul 29, 2012
1,540
247
Romania
if you get a NAS with enough Horse power to run Plex and do Transcoding you will have no problem. I run both a NAS and a 2012 Mac mini to do what you are attempting to do. However, I do not use the ATV i run a ROKU 4 instead.
[doublepost=1452172669][/doublepost]You can set up the Mini to mount the NAS automatically on start up.
Thanks for the tip. :)
BTW, I have a 15" Retina MBP, not a Mini.
 

SpinalTap

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2003
205
15
Bournville, UK
The newly-released QNAP TS-253A/453A/653A (don't confuse with the existing TS-XXX Pro/Mini), has a quad-core Intel chip - and is designed to feed 4K television. It has on-board 24bit audio DAC, plus 2 x HDMI output. It sports iTunes Server, PLEX, Kodi, AppleTV direct support, and JRiver. It has Windows and Linux virtualisation - and is IoT ready.

https://www.qnap.com/i/uk/product/model.php?II=212
 

benny gsr

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 27, 2015
23
2
Australia
Thanks for the info. I don't really like the idea of leaving a computer on all day - unless its a mac mini. My current mac pro is very power hungry!
That QNAP option sounds good -being able to do an NAS direct to TV's bypassing an ATV or a mac mini would be great - if powerful enough which it seems this x53A series might be.

The other thing I was thinking was ditch the NAS entirely? Run a Mac Mini with Plex and just connect external hard drives. However then I'll have to be a lot more involved with my backups and I am only slightly savvy and any security cameras I want to run will also be more involved.

MacFanBoi: Does your plex on the Synoolgy connect DIRECT to the TV - I'm assuming an ATV is between?
 

MacFanBoi

macrumors regular
Aug 29, 2009
128
78
Nope the synology is just a nas you still need the atv4 to play the media. With the qnap if your planning to plug it into the tv directly you will be limited to viewing in just that one room so if you wanted to watch it in multiple rooms you will still need another atv but i suppose that would at least cut down the number of atv4 by one.
 
Last edited:

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
I have a synology 1511 running a plex server, that's the good part.

The bad part , on large files , plex on Apple TV keeps stopping and buffering.... Unwatchable.

Bough infuse originally for DTS audio, and it plays the files without any issues.

I'd recommend infuse over plex from my experience
 

Spankey

macrumors 6502a
Sep 30, 2007
757
237
NJ
I've recently converted about 200 movies to my NAS for Plex. Since the majority (if not all) the devices I use for Plex are Apple I converted everything to MP4/MV4 and high bit rate Dolby Digital so I don't have to worry about transcoding. On my 110" screen the video quality difference of my somewhat compressed files (about10-15GB) to Bluray is negligible. Audio is quite good as well. I'm using a Synology DS1515+.
 
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phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,313
747
I guess I am the contrary child here. I find that storage space is cheap enough that I rather have two sets of files - native playback (files that match the original disc) and a converted file for playback on IOS type devices. The idea of on the fly conversion of files is a nice idea but the overhead is high. Whether it is something we notice such as buffer issues, studdering and so forth or the fact that it requires heavy duty processing it just isn't worth it to me. The trade off is not just having additional storage space but the time it takes to do these conversions with software like Handbrake. In my case, there is only a handful of files/titles that I would view on a small screen and the rest remain full size with all the goodness of Blue Ray quality video and HD audio. The advantage of the 2nd smaller file is that you can get the correct audio stream format to match the devices.

As for those that might consider a Mac Mini, its not a bad idea and really doesn't require a NAS but rather DAS via USB connected drives. I'll just say that if one uses a Mac Mini and wants the HD audio (DTS-Master as example) then you wont be using OSX but require Windows or Linux. Apple chose to NOT support HD audio so even with Plex or Kodi, you'll get just the core audio (DTS-MASTER will play as DTS). Windows or Linux installed on the Mac Mini will be able to play the HD-audio streams.
 

benny gsr

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 27, 2015
23
2
Australia
I don't think I like the idea of having double versions of my files - but I certainly agree that storage is cheap these days. Right now, I don't watch much content on the smaller devices - but who knows about the future, I guess I can rip a second file down the track?

I can appreciate that certain NAS's just won't have the power to run plex properly with large files - unless I'm willing to spend big dollars and in that case, I could just get a "dumb" NAS and let the macmini do the heavy lifting.

Another thing that has me a little concerned is what I'm reading about the ATV's audio options and issues. Another alternative I've been considering is NVidia shield - especially because I don't want to be tied to itunes, but they are little dearer and maybe have their own shortcomings.
 

Spankey

macrumors 6502a
Sep 30, 2007
757
237
NJ
I think the advantages of using a Mac Mini to host the Plex server is for transcoding. Even while using Plex, the client will be the device that will ultimately decide if the audio stream needs to be transcoded. Apple TV will not pass DTS with Plex (for now). I believe the Roku and Nvidia Shield will. For handheld devices I always include an AAC track. For Apple TV I just encode with a 640kbps DD track. The quality is very good, even great. It is not Master Audio quality but most would be hard pressed to tell the difference. A second file really does seem like overkill to me. Large drives are a couple of hundred dollars. Better off just getting a server that can transcode without breaking a sweat for the difference.

Using Plex will not tie you to iTunes in any way shape or form. As far as devices having difficulty with large files, that is really only the case with transcoding. I have never had any buffering issues that were not network related.
 
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phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
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I don't think I like the idea of having double versions of my files - but I certainly agree that storage is cheap these days. Right now, I don't watch much content on the smaller devices - but who knows about the future, I guess I can rip a second file down the track?

I can appreciate that certain NAS's just won't have the power to run plex properly with large files - unless I'm willing to spend big dollars and in that case, I could just get a "dumb" NAS and let the macmini do the heavy lifting.

Another thing that has me a little concerned is what I'm reading about the ATV's audio options and issues. Another alternative I've been considering is NVidia shield - especially because I don't want to be tied to itunes, but they are little dearer and maybe have their own shortcomings.
I have the Nvidia Shield and rather like it quite a bit though I do have some challenges. Plex and Kodi will work with NVidia but neither (yet) handles HD audio but can transcode the audio - thus, DTS-Master plays back as DTS etc. The internal app for NVidia will however handle HD audio. I expect both Plex and Kodi will soon be able to handle HD audio streams natively. The other draw back is there is no Amazon Prime for now. I find the front menu a touch "clunky" and not elegant but does the job well. This is more about best hardware without best GUI. When I say best hardware, I am comparing it to the typical players - ATV, Amazon Fire, Roku and any other small set top box. If this item is of interest to you, you may want to venture into the forums on their site to see what's what in performance and lack of performance. Candidly, I wish that Amazon gave up their own offering and made the Nvidia Shield their player of choice.
 

Spankey

macrumors 6502a
Sep 30, 2007
757
237
NJ
What has been driving me nuts is the inability of Plex to add my music files. Infuse should play ALAC but I'd like to move my files into a folder under Plex. Every time I try to add music the server crashes on my NAS. I've only been able to add one album so far.
 

benny gsr

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 27, 2015
23
2
Australia
Plex and Kodi will work with NVidia but neither (yet) handles HD audio but can transcode the audio - thus, DTS-Master plays back as DTS etc.
I don't quite understand this? Plex and Kodi work, but only pass through the audio? THe nvidia then handles the DTS?


With an nVidia Shield, can it do all the heavy lifting with my blue ray rips and HD audio tracks?. Eg. NAS - plex server with possibly not enough power, then to the Shield which can do the transcoding of big files??
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,313
747
I don't quite understand this? Plex and Kodi work, but only pass through the audio? THe nvidia then handles the DTS?


With an nVidia Shield, can it do all the heavy lifting with my blue ray rips and HD audio tracks?. Eg. NAS - plex server with possibly not enough power, then to the Shield which can do the transcoding of big files??
My error if I was unclear. NVidia's native app can play a "blue ray" file with all of its HD audio glory pass through. Kodi and Plex are applications that cannot yet pass though HD audio but rather, can pass through the "core" of the audio. Thus, DTS-MASTER's core is DTS and that is what Kodi and Plex (as of now) can pass though. Both are working the HD audio challenge so that in 2016, HD audio will be a non issue for either of them when installed and used on NVidia Shield.

As for audio tracks that are just music (flac, aac etc.) Nvidia plays them just fine. It is the audio stream on a blue ray type of file that is problematic for Kodi and Plex.
 

Spankey

macrumors 6502a
Sep 30, 2007
757
237
NJ
I don't quite understand this? Plex and Kodi work, but only pass through the audio? THe nvidia then handles the DTS?


With an nVidia Shield, can it do all the heavy lifting with my blue ray rips and HD audio tracks?. Eg. NAS - plex server with possibly not enough power, then to the Shield which can do the transcoding of big files??
To be clear, the application that will be doing the heavy lifting is the Plex Server. The Client (Apple TV, Shield, Roku) receives the data from the server in a state that can be handled by the client. The Plex client on ATV 4 can't handle master audio files at the moment so the server needs to transcode.
 

Bl0ckHe1d

macrumors 6502
Nov 19, 2009
357
32
Caledonia
If you have a "smart tv" then you can set up the NAS to stream to the TV via DLNA. All you require is the smart tv IP address and set it up on the Synology NAS via the media server app.

Thus eliminating the requirement for an ATV etc.

I can also stream from my NAS to an old AppleTV1 which now runs on OpenElec (Kodi) in which is easily set up...
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,313
747
If you have a "smart tv" then you can set up the NAS to stream to the TV via DLNA. All you require is the smart tv IP address and set it up on the Synology NAS via the media server app.

Thus eliminating the requirement for an ATV etc.

I can also stream from my NAS to an old AppleTV1 which now runs on OpenElec (Kodi) in which is easily set up...
Great notion there. Others need to remember that not all smart TVs are equal and some work better than others. - Meaning that a STB (set top box like ATV or Roku or...) may actually have better quality output than what the smart TV provides or the smart TV does an excellent job that matches or surpasses some STB offerings.

In my case, I wont use the smart TV as my Blue Ray player, TiVo and HTPC/Linux+Kodi Mac Mini along with Nvidia Shield do a far better job than my Panasonic VT50 plasma TV.
 

benny gsr

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 27, 2015
23
2
Australia
If you have a "smart tv" then you can set up the NAS to stream to the TV via DLNA. All you require is the smart tv IP address and set it up on the Synology NAS via the media server app.

Thus eliminating the requirement for an ATV etc.

I can also stream from my NAS to an old AppleTV1 which now runs on OpenElec (Kodi) in which is easily set up...
This would be my absolute best option. But from everything I've read, not too many NAS's are powerful enough to handle full bluray rips. Additionally, I plan on getting a Sony TV - and their smart TV's are not so smart.
 

KennethS

macrumors 6502
Jan 4, 2011
264
305
UK
The newly-released QNAP TS-253A/453A/653A (don't confuse with the existing TS-XXX Pro/Mini), has a quad-core Intel chip - and is designed to feed 4K television. It has on-board 24bit audio DAC, plus 2 x HDMI output. It sports iTunes Server, PLEX, Kodi, AppleTV direct support, and JRiver. It has Windows and Linux virtualisation - and is IoT ready.

https://www.qnap.com/i/uk/product/model.php?II=212
Sorry if a bit OT. This NAS looks very interesting to me. Do people think this will be somewhat "future proof"? Any others I should be considering in the same price range? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

I basically want it for PLEX and some other basic data backup uses.

TIA!
 
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