What NAS drive to run Plex smoothly 1080p + 5.1?

finbarqs

Diamond Member
Feb 16, 2005
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#1
So I was thinking about the synology DS213 or DS213+. But reading online, it's not enough juice to power the MKV files. What would be a good NAS that can do this, and sustain good xfer rates?
 

dagamer34

Platinum Member
Aug 15, 2005
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#2
Why wouldn't it be enough? It's just reading data off a drive at 8-10Mbit/sec, which is WAY under the 80-100MB/sec reads a hard drive should be able to do.
 

finbarqs

Diamond Member
Feb 16, 2005
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#3
I think the key here is probably the media player. I'm using the PS3. It cannot stream MKV's @ 1080p for the life of me! Even PS3 media server sucked @ 1080p. Mind you, I'm using Powerline Ethernet... my PC should be more than sufficient to decode it? or to translate it?
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
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#4
So you're not just streaming, you are alos transcoding. That's a whole different ball game and very CPU intensive. At that point you may want to start looking at a build your own.
 
Nov 20, 2005
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#5
The PS3 is a TERRIBLE frontend. All the transcoding in the world won't make it not suck as soon as you hit some Cinavia.

Just get a WD Live or something for actual playback.
 

XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
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#6
The PS3 is a TERRIBLE frontend. All the transcoding in the world won't make it not suck as soon as you hit some Cinavia.

Just get a WD Live or something for actual playback.
I've had zero issues streaming HD (720p and 1080p) content from my NAS to my PS3.
 
Nov 20, 2005
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#7
I've had zero issues streaming HD (720p and 1080p) content from my NAS to my PS3.
With enough power you can get it to work until you hit a file with that evil baked in (unless you unplug the internet).
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
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#8
The PS3 is a TERRIBLE frontend. All the transcoding in the world won't make it not suck as soon as you hit some Cinavia.

Just get a WD Live or something for actual playback.
This 100%. Not only that, but it doesn't support .mkv playback without transcoding or remuxing.
 

finbarqs

Diamond Member
Feb 16, 2005
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#9
yeah, I figured... even a roku would work better. I just don't like too many devices... The new xbone is pretty attractive, as I can even plug in my fios tv into it (supposedly) and record DVR, as well as being something to receive streaming video... (probably will transcode as well)
 

smitbret

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Jul 27, 2006
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#11
I think the key here is probably the media player. I'm using the PS3. It cannot stream MKV's @ 1080p for the life of me! Even PS3 media server sucked @ 1080p. Mind you, I'm using Powerline Ethernet... my PC should be more than sufficient to decode it? or to translate it?
Had a little time to look at this. You're at the point I was about a year and a half ago. Transcoding a 1080p file is tough to do for all but the beefiest CPUs. I think an Intel 2500k might be able to do it in realtime. I know my AMD FX-6100 will only transcode a BR rip at about 17-20fps which is about 5 frames too slow for doing it in real time. No off the shelf NAS is going to have the power to do this. So, you're gonna have to build your own, get something besides the PS3 or you could remux the .mkvs into .mpg or .mp4 files. The codecs aren't the problem with the .mkv files, just the container. You could use a couple of programs to convert. If you are never going to use them with anything other than the PS3 then go with

http://www.digital-digest.com/software/mkv2vob.html

It'll remux the .mkv to an .mpg file that is completely non-standard and may play back on some other bizarre devices but is really only good for the PS3. It only takes a bout 4 minutes to remux an HD movie and you can do 'em in batches.

Personally, I prefer to us this

http://www.videohelp.com/tools/tsMuxeR

Choose file type of .m2ts and it will remux your .mkv to a standard .m2ts (same as the file type on a BR disc). It'll be a little larger than your original .mkv file but that's normal and it will be standard compliant. Also gives you some options for dumping unwanted audio tracks and subs, etc. Can't do batches but you'll end up with "clean" .m2ts files that the PS3 loves and will playback on most other devices that are BR capable.

But, you'll still have Cinavia to deal with and no amount of transcoding or remuxing will solve that. I dumped my PS3 (and everything else Sony in my house) for a WDTV Live Hub 18 months ago and now I don't worry about transcoding, remuxing, Cinavia, etc. Just smooth streaming. You could probably go with Plex and a streaming Plex channel with a Roku if online services are important.

Hope some of this helps.
 

lockdown571

Junior Member
Aug 29, 2012
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#12
Just FYI, an Intel 2500k can easily transcode 1080p in real time. I built a Plex server with an Intel i5-3570k (which is only slightly faster) and I was able to transcode 4 blu-ray rips in real time with no frame drops.

The problem with transcoding arises when you want to fast forward and rewind. It tends to choke up the server regardless of how powerful the server is. Ideally, for viewing your media you should use a device that can handle many media types without the need for transcoding (and that also doesn't have cinavia). My personal preference is an HTPC, but that's too much work and $$ for many people. Interestingly, cloud media just released a Plex app for the Popcorn Hour a400. Sounds like it would be an excellent Plex client. http://files.syabas.com/press/130604 PLEX App for Cloud Media.pdf
 

finbarqs

Diamond Member
Feb 16, 2005
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#13
okay, I have an i7-930, one gen down...
 

Wreckem

Diamond Member
Sep 23, 2006
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#14
okay, I have an i7-930, one gen down...
I believe a 2500k can technically transcode up 5-6 streams simultaneously. A 930 should be able to do 3-4.

Personally, I would have a decently powered server for transcoding and streaming to mobile devices but on my tvs I'd have something that can play most things without transcoding. Its going to be hard to not transcode for mobile devices, especially if you have a mix of them. For tvs its easier to find a device that plays most everything.
 
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finbarqs

Diamond Member
Feb 16, 2005
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#15
shoot, i'm just doing 1 stream... to my ps3!
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
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#16
Just FYI, an Intel 2500k can easily transcode 1080p in real time. I built a Plex server with an Intel i5-3570k (which is only slightly faster) and I was able to transcode 4 blu-ray rips in real time with no frame drops.

The problem with transcoding arises when you want to fast forward and rewind. It tends to choke up the server regardless of how powerful the server is. Ideally, for viewing your media you should use a device that can handle many media types without the need for transcoding (and that also doesn't have cinavia). My personal preference is an HTPC, but that's too much work and $$ for many people. Interestingly, cloud media just released a Plex app for the Popcorn Hour a400. Sounds like it would be an excellent Plex client. http://files.syabas.com/press/130604 PLEX App for Cloud Media.pdf
What kind of quality is being transcoded? Is it transcoding or remuxing?

I'm gonna have to play with Plex a little bit over the next couple of days.
 
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lockdown571

Junior Member
Aug 29, 2012
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#17
What kind of quality is being transcoded? Is it transcoding or remuxing?

I'm gonna have to play with Plex a little bit over the next couple of days.
All were straight blu-ray rips (remuxed into mkv's using makemkv) that were then transcoded (not just remuxed) on the fly into various qualities on phone, tablet, and two web browsers.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
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#18
All were straight blu-ray rips (remuxed into mkv's using makemkv) that were then transcoded (not just remuxed) on the fly into various qualities on phone, tablet, and two web browsers.
Sorry, but it's about this time that I call bullshit. Unless your destination resolution for all of those devices was 320x240 it didn't happen. I guess there's also the possibility that you may have been transcoding to a codec that was not x264, maybe a simple MPEG-4 L2 stream at SD resolutions. But no, you were not simultaneously transcoding 4 BR rips to any kind of HD quality.

Not only that, but OP was having trouble just streaming 1 HD stream over powerline and you're saying you were simultaneously streaming 4. Did you find a way to wire your 2 phones and tablet via Gigabit to your router?
 
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lockdown571

Junior Member
Aug 29, 2012
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#19
Sorry, but it's about this time that I call bullshit. Unless your destination resolution for all of those devices was 320x240 it didn't happen. I guess there's also the possibility that you may have been transcoding to a codec that was not x264, maybe a simple MPEG-4 L2 stream at SD resolutions. But no, you were not simultaneously transcoding 4 BR rips to any kind of HD quality.

Not only that, but OP was having trouble just streaming 1 HD stream over powerline and you're saying you were simultaneously streaming 4. Did you find a way to wire your 2 phones and tablet via Gigabit to your router?
*Sigh* I don't know what to say. I didn't test it extensively, and like I said I was transcoding to various qualities, some probably SD, but it worked smoothly without any stuttering. I was just doing a quick stress test. In the real world I would never need to transcode four movies at a time, maybe 2 max. Also, why would I need the phone and tablet on gigabit? It doesn't take much to send a 8-12 mb/s stream over wifi.

Btw, here's assassin doing something similar, although I have no idea what quality the streams are or what his CPU is.
 

finbarqs

Diamond Member
Feb 16, 2005
4,057
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#20
I caved in and made my synology DS213 over the DS213+ (since it's power PC) and the DS213 has more GHz (though single ARM CPU). Since PS3 has the protection, I'm thinking perhaps maybe I should get myself something else... which sucks since I really don't want another media station... I really like to condense things down..
 

finbarqs

Diamond Member
Feb 16, 2005
4,057
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#21
well, I knew this wouldn't work on the PS3, but didn't know it wouldn't work on the web apps as well! Not even iOS! So apparently, iOS doesn't support mkv as well, so transcoding is required (for the Plex app that I shelled over 4.99 for!)

Anyways, what's a format that is universally supported? I don't really wanna leave my pc on to do the transcoding... I have 1080p HD mkv videos in both DD and DTS 5.1. They're all 5.1!
 
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
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#22
I think a 720p mp4 with an AC3 track is most compatible. Maybe AAC is better I don't know.

Open Handbrake and hit the AppleTV setting. I think that works on PS3 (and of course iOS).
 
Aug 30, 2000
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#23
Or just cut to the chase, save yourself a headache, and implement a real HTPC.
 

finbarqs

Diamond Member
Feb 16, 2005
4,057
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#24
that's too much... I don't want too many devices, the less the better. I already have a PS3 and a STB from fios. If I can, I'd only have 1 device...
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,376
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#25
For best compatibility across most devices:

1 - .m4v container
2 - 720p resolution
3 - x264 codec
4 - baseline profile with no b-frames and 4 reference frames
5 - 2 channel .aac audio as your 1st audio track, you could leave a multi-channel in as the 2nd track but it must be the 2nd.

These might be a little over aggressive settings but they'l make sure that it'll still work with older devices like ipods, etc. If most of the devices are newer, you can probably use 3 b-frames and a main profile.
 
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