Plex and NAS

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Slevin, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. Slevin macrumors regular

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    Jul 1, 2007
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    New York
    #1
    I was looking at getting a Synology Disk Station 2-Bay Diskless Network Attached Storage (DS716+) to stream content to my AppleTV. Currently I use my MacBook to run the server and store the content for my Plex. I was hoping to use this NAS and And be able to shut down my MacBook and solely use the NAS to act as a server and stream content to the AppleTV. Would that be possible with this NAS or would I need something different to accomplish that
     
  2. Hermes Monster macrumors 6502a

    Hermes Monster

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    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    I've only tried Plex on a laptop, but I believe it works the way you need it

    You can also try a few other apps, I use Infuse which I love. There's also NAStify and I'm pretty sure there's an app specifically for Synology NAS' - DS Video or something?
     
  3. Stacheowicz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2016
    #3
    There's actually a plex media server app for the synology if you go to the package center. However, depending on your model of NAS and the processor speed and the size of your library, your results may not be great, especially if a lot of your media needs to be encoded on the fly for playback. It's worth giving it a try. I found on mine (4 Bay) it couldn't deal with my library well. However, my synology NAS is 3 or 4 years old at this point.
     
  4. Mac... nificent macrumors 6502

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    #4
  5. John_Hagan macrumors member

    John_Hagan

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    Feb 11, 2016
    #5
    I also use Infuse and I'm very happy with it. My movies are on a Western Digital My Cloud and Infuse plays them perfectly on Apple TV 4. The meta data for each movie provided by Infuse is a great feature.
     
  6. Helpfixit, Mar 24, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016

    Helpfixit macrumors member

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    Mar 31, 2015
    #6
    I own the DS716+ and highly recommend it. I think that PLEX have an app for Apple TV so you could use the Synology. Apps are available from Synology and PLEX for iPad , iPhone or Samsung TV Tizen. The device is DLNA compliant as such it's detected by my TV and I can browse through lists of music, video or photos without using apps. Some may advise that it's expensive and that you would be better of building a NAS with XPnology. I find the DS716+ a winner for hassle free use and for external access when away from home using Synology iPhone apps, also like the low power usage as my Synology runs 24/7. I have it set up RAID 1 with a backup disc stored away, also link aggregation is in use. Well worth the money for me. Family iPads, iPhones , iMac, MacBooks all have access to shared folders on the DS716+. The OS DSM Disk Station Manager is very intuitive, and gets solid updates. DSM 6.0 JUST BEEN released. It looks very promising.

    Go for it. It's a great device. I ditched a 2TB time capsule a while back in favour of Synology. I have not looked back. :)
     
  7. CTay macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    #7
    I own the Synology DS415play and I use it the exact way you are describing. I am able to run Plex directly on the Synology and feed multiple Tv's and even my family's AppleTV in other locations. You want to make sure you have a unit that is able to transcode to 1080p as some of the units max out at 720. I haven't had any issues with buffering for the most part but I don't believe the unit can handle streaming 1080 while running many more functions in the background. If this is going to be a straight streaming server, I think running plex full time is fine. However, if you plan to do other functions, IE>torrenting, nzb's or backup services through apps on the synology, you will need to schedule those around your streaming time to avoid buffering.
     
  8. jdag, Mar 24, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016

    jdag macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 15, 2012
    #8
    I would love a small NAS. But even time I look into off-the shelf NAS systems there are tons of IFS and BUTS around transcoding. So instead of a pre-configured NAS, I've begun to consider a full server with FreeNAS operating system. Specifically, the Lenovo TS140 gets rave reviews. It is a larger box, but can be run as a headless server with several hard drives, choice of RAID configurations, etc. Most notably, it can be bought with either i3 or Xeon processors, either of which is more powerful than the pre-configured NAS systems. Cost is relatively similar.

    EDIT: In addition to FreeNAS, I am also considering UnRAID, OpenMediaVault, NAS4Free, and XPEnology. I am leaning toward UnRAID. UnRAID is the only one that is not free, it is $60. But even still, the overall cost of a TS140 w/upgraded RAM and the OS of choice is still "only" about $400, less costly and more powerful/flexible than most stand-alone 4-bay NAS units.
     
  9. Sajal macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    #9

    I currently own nPlayer, which cannot play movies directly to the Apple TV, have to mirror them.

    Can infuse directly AirPlay all types of files (including mkv)

    Edit: And I have an ATV 3, unless you are talking about the Infuse app on the ATV4
     
  10. John_Hagan macrumors member

    John_Hagan

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    Feb 11, 2016
    #10
    I currently use Infuse to play movies directly from my Western Digital nas. It plays them flawlessly. I am using it on an ATV 4 because it is an app that is downloaded onto the ATV.
     
  11. mcdj macrumors 604

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    Synology's "Play" models are purpose built to do on the fly transcoding. Lower spec models may not have the horsepower to play smoothly. What I did was rather than sink money into a dedicated media-ready NAS, is to get a NAS (DS415+) with a decent processor, then filled the 4 bays with lots of TBs, which I use to feed a headless Mac Mini running Plex. The Mac Mini runs circles around most any NAS for pure processing power, and it's more easily upgradable, especially an older model.
     
  12. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #12
    Like mentioned just make absolutely sure the Synology model you pick out is capable of transcoding your media to use as a Plex server.

    I have a DS216j solely for storage and it can't do much in the way of transcoding (nor is it designed to). It can play the MKVs without a problem however for me that's a bit unreasonable.

    You could always store the media on the NAS for your iTunes library but would still require iTunes running on a Mac so that may not help you out much.
     
  13. archer75 macrumors 65816

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    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #13
    Most NAS don't have the processing power to transcode files. I leave my PC on 24/7 and provide streams both in my home and outside my home to friends and family. I have a drobo connected to the PC for storage but any transcoding required is done on the PC.
     
  14. McScooby macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Location:
    The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
    #14
    The DS716+ can transcode 4K.

    Assuming you have a :apple:TV4 there's also a DS Video app in the store, besides Plex etc.

    I'm in the same boat, & TBH it's a feckin' nightmare trying to figure all of this out, Synology are similar to :apple: in more ways than I thought!

    Up until recently I had no knowledge of anything NAS, RAID etc, then the DS716+ was launched & i thought excellent time to buy, coinciding with rapidly running out of space on the DAS's I already have, so i started reading up on it.

    I like the 716 specs & that it's expandable with a DX513.

    After checking it out, RAID 5 appears to be best format, but this can't be done with only 2 drives, the last thing I want to do is start with the 716 & 2 8TB drives & then have to re-back up / reformat when I get a 513.

    The DS815+ is the most expandable (8 drives plus takes a further 2 x 513 units) but lacks the horsepower according to reviews on transcoding (although spec wise says it should be fine for 1080), combined with no 4K to 'future proof'.

    There is the models introduced this year to replace the 'play' versions, such as DS216, DS416 play, but these are no longer expandable like earlier versions, so what you buy is what you're stuck with.

    You also have the DS2415+, which although expandable (at 12 drives maybe take a while tho) with no 4K & a bit pricey to fill also.

    I know at some point there'll be an upgraded 1815, but if the past is anything to go by this won't be till next year, I could buy another couple of externals & hold out, but fear they may cripple expandability in the same way they've done this year, a 4-bay 716 would be an ideal alternative, but no idea if that'll come.

    I had dabbled with the idea of getting an external DAS / RAID enclosure & combining that with a mini to PLEX it up, as the only reason I'm looking at the Synology is to remote access on iOS via the app & i think this'd be the easiest option, but I am open to suggestions if anyone has any ideas?
     
  15. jdag macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 15, 2012
    #15
    I mentioned this earlier in the thread, and as I've done more research, UnRAID and FreeNAS seem like very strong alternatives to Synology and QNap boxes.

    I am likely to go with a Lenovo TS140 with an i3 processor, and use UnRAID. The only thing to then decide is the size/quantity of drives. But all told, with 4x4TB Red drives, you are at about $800.
     
  16. normanfox macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    #16
    I have both Synology DS 713+ and Qnap TS-453. I would recommend Synology for its ease of use. Qnap is definitely better with hardware spec.

    why bother with Plex which requires running server? running server consumes energy and requires more powerful NAS. Infuse app uses Apple TV power to decode any codec and requires no server.

    Infuse + a NAS is a great combo.
     
  17. DNichter macrumors 68020

    DNichter

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    Apr 27, 2015
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #17
    I have been interesting in purchasing an NAS as of late, but I can't seem to justify the purchase or find something in my range. I don't need a ton of space so 1 bay would be fine. Just looking to have the ability to stream in my house and a few family members and friends remotely. Ability to transcode 1080p would be needed. Any suggestions in the $300-$400 max range would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  18. archer75, Apr 6, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016

    archer75 macrumors 65816

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    Jan 26, 2005
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    Oregon
    #18
    To transcode for your own local library and stream to friends and family you're going to need more power. A NAS isn't gonna cut it for all of those streams. Assuming those are simultaneous streams. At least not at that price point.
    I bought a midrange mac mini last summer to test with for this purpose but it could only handle transcoding 1 stream at a time.
    I'd just use a cheap PC.
     
  19. jpcarro macrumors 6502

    jpcarro

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    Mar 13, 2009
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    On your nine
    #19
    I use a NAS to run Plex for streaming at home and a few remote friends/family. In order to transcode 1080p, I had to step up to this NAS: NETGEAR ReadyNAS 214 (RN21400-100NES). I was already a ReadyNAS consumer, so I stuck with the line. Although this NAS is above your price range, it works well. I stocked it with four 6TB drives.
     
  20. DNichter macrumors 68020

    DNichter

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    Apr 27, 2015
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #20
    Yea the one I was looking at that can stream remotely to a few different people was around $500 with a 3TB disk and 8GB of ram. Looks like that's probably the cheapest I am going to get. My friends and family may not be worth that haha.
     
  21. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #21
    I would say get the Synology DS214play and add two NAS hard drives. Since it'rpts you digital library you want to have at least RAID 1 in case of disk failure. Plus with Synology add-ons you could install a VPN plugin for remote logging into it!
     
  22. DNichter macrumors 68020

    DNichter

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    Apr 27, 2015
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #22
    I finally caved in an purchased the QNap TS-251+ NAS. Really great so far. Easy to set up and get Plex media server working perfectly. Was able to have 6 simultaneous 1080p transcodes going at the same time (6 different devices/screens), while downloading a torrent, and transferring a 10GB of pictures to it all at the same time. Didn't even break 60% CPU usage and 20% ram usage (8GB). Really impressed with this. So much so I don't think I need anything more than an iPad any longer.
     
  23. Spankey macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #23
    I'm running a DS1515+ and doing my own encodes with makemkv, handbrake, and MP4 Tools. It runs flawlessly for one reason. I'm not transcoding. I'm fine converting all movies to MP4 with high bit rate AC-3. The movies are so close to Bluray quality that only trained eyes can see the difference and I have better quality than digital downloads from iTunes or VUDU.
     
  24. Slevin thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 1, 2007
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    New York
    #24

    How do you set up the NAS to download torrents after you install the client application?
     
  25. DNichter macrumors 68020

    DNichter

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #25
    Once you have the NAS set up (and this is specific to the QNap TS-251+), you can download an app called Qmanager which allows you to view resources, adjust settings, and there is something called Download Station, which has a BitTorrent search button. You can search for a torrent there (I think it pulls from kickass) and then save the file directly to the NAS. You can do this from anywhere. Then I use an app called Qfile to rename the file, move it to the folder that I want, and then my plex updates automatically. It's really one of the easiest processes I have managed to put together, allowing me to finally go iPad only.
     

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