Plex and NAS

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by gugy, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. gugy macrumors 68030

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    #1
    can you recommend a good NAS to work with the new ATV and Plex?
    I want to not use my iTunes and Mac to be able to watch or listen my library. I have a MacPro and don't want to keep it on at all times in order use my ATV. Also I think a bit overkill to get a Mac Mini just for that.
    I heard Plex can read media from NAS.
    Thanks for any feedback.
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #2
  3. MacFanBoi macrumors regular

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    #3
    I have a synology ds1515+ and so far its working perfect running plex media server streaming to my atv4. Haven't had any issues with playing anything up to 23gb+ 1080p dts movies so im very happy with the way its been going so far.

    I couldn't say how some of the lower spec nas units go with transcoding but this model is going good so far.
     
  4. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Thanks, I heard great things of Synology but I am looking for a 2 bay unit. I don't have that much media. Total something like 3TB
     
  5. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #5
    There's plenty of 2 bay options on the link I posted with good notes on what each unit can achieve.
     
  6. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

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    #6
  7. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    #7
    As others have indicated synology has many devices that will support the PLEX server. However, you should be aware when you first install the app you need to give it time to gather metadata for the media that you add to the system. Do not expect great performance until all the media has been tagged.
     
  8. fpnc macrumors 68000

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    #8
    If you need to do HD transcoding it might be cheaper just to buy a reconditioned Mac mini rather than a dedicated media server. Media servers that can handle HD transcoding can be fairly expensive (even before you add the drives).
     
  9. dugbug macrumors 65816

    dugbug

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    #9
    Just a stupid question: can symbology stream iTunes protected movies to apple tvs ok? I believe they can but want to make sure
     
  10. GarrettL1979 macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Would it work to attach a hard drive to an AE and use that as the server? I have a MBP as well and don't want to have to open it up all the time either
     
  11. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    #11
    No it will not, you need some sort of processor running an operating system to run the Plex server. The server will run on just about any operating system.
     
  12. DavoteK macrumors 6502

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    #12
    No unfortunately. You need a computer running iTunes to do it. It can host everything that you have in iTunes but still needs the computer running iTunes.
     
  13. DNichter, Nov 17, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015

    DNichter macrumors 68020

    DNichter

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    #13
    Very interested in this as well. Looking for a simple all in one solution around $300 max. Really only need 2TB. Any suggestions would be great? I checked out that spreadsheet, but I don't know much about what it all means.

    Edit: I would also like it to be able to transcode 1080p movies for watching on my ATV4. Any help here would be great.
     
  14. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Look for a 2009 or 2010 Mac mini if you want to do transcoding. You should be able to pick something up for between $250 and $300. I sold a 2010 model two months ago in that price range. I updated to a 2012 mac mini quad core server
    because i had other video processing that i needed the HP for. The 2010 was used for a PLEX server for many years and had no trouble doing transcoding.
     
  15. DNichter macrumors 68020

    DNichter

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    #15
    Yup, I was just doing some research and realized a mac mini is probably the way to go. I am going to start looking for something in that range. My roommate has one he never uses so I was going to see if I can have him sell me that. Thanks for the advice!
     
  16. DavoteK macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Got a Synology NAS unit, was a big fan of it initially, but after going down the Plex route in the last 6 months or so and the fact that it doesn't have the grunt to cope with being a full blown media server or a proper iTunes server (and the fact that I think it just died on me on the weekend, not having a chance to look at it in great detail yet), I'm now going down the route of changing my idle Mac Mini in to a Plex & iTunes server. Doubt I'll bother with the actual server software, overkill, and OSX pretty much covers any use case. Just a matter of finding a suitable Direct Attached Storage unit. More than likely a thunderbolt 4 bay.
     
  17. felt. macrumors 6502a

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    Canada
    #17
    I have a synology but the latest update won't be providing me with the new features since I don't have a quad core model. Thank god I found XPEnology, which allows you to install synologys DSM on ANY system. also Rockstor is great as it supports btrfs and is free.
     
  18. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #18
    Sorry for the ignorance. Why do I need to transcode it? Most of my movies are already 720p/1080p MP4s.
    Is transcoding necessary if I have different formats?
    I like the MacMini idea but I wonder if this is too overkill for my needs. I am trying to find the simplest and easier to use solution.
     
  19. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

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    #19
    If your media on the server can be played by the client in the same format then Plex doesn't transcode anything, it will just Direct Play which requires little processor power. Where it can't be played in the same format (e.g. video or audio codecs not supported on client, insufficient bandwidth, subtitles to be added, etc.) then the Plex Media Server will try and transcode to a format that will play. Depending on what needs transcoding, this could require a little or a lot of processor power, and is where many of the cheaper off the shelf NAS devices fall down.

    I've tried a few (ReadyNAS & QNAP) and ended up building my own server which will transcode multiple streams effortlessly, as well as doing all sorts of other stuff (owncloud/web/dns/vpn/vm servers) although it's not really a 'simple' solution.
     
  20. fpnc, Nov 17, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015

    fpnc macrumors 68000

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    #20
    Crazy Badger explained it. However, another advantage to using a Mac mini is that it will be able play protected content from iTunes, which can't be done if you rely exclusively on a NAS (without an iTunes client running on a Mac or PC).

    In any case, the simplest and easiest to use solution would be a dedicated, always on, Mac mini or PC running both iTunes and Plex (or software of your choice). That might cost a little more than a low-end NAS, but it would allow transcoding and play just about anything you could throw at it.
     
  21. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #21
    Oh that's good to know. I have quite a few tracks from iTunes so I guess they won't play on a NAS. Thanks!
     
  22. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #22
    Thanks for the input.
     
  23. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

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    #23
    My iTunes library of around 25,000 tracks is stored on my iMac and backed up to my NAS. Plex scans the backup folder on the NAS so I can stream all my music through either iTunes or Plex, depending where I am or what client I'm using.
     
  24. bhall110 macrumors regular

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    Jun 11, 2012
    #24
    I would build my own and use free nas. You would get the best bang your buck that way. I just built my own but it is by no means a $300 machine (intel xeon, 64gb ecc memory, 58TB in storage, ssd boot drive) Its a beast, but my needs are different from yours. Best of luck PM me if you would like some help picking things out
     
  25. mcdj macrumors 604

    mcdj

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    NYC
    #25
    I can't say if it's the best, but I'm pretty darned happy with my Synology DS415. I store my movies and TV shows on it, run a Plex server on a Mac Mini pointed to it, and watch via Apple TV.

    The NAS has the space, the Mac has the power to transcode and stream, and the Apple TV makes it wife friendly.
     

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