Jump to content

Aze

Beginner NAS advice needed

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I'm wanting to get a NAS to put all my movies onto and be able to access from all displays in the house.  What is a good (not top of the line) brand/model to look at? Also what do you need to stream/view the movies on tv/projector/ipad? Is something like a chrome cast or similar required? Something that has a few slots so it can be expanded later would be good. Is $300 a realistic budget to get started? Does a better quality NAS get you better PQ/SQ, or is it quicker or easier to use?

Thanks, Aze

Edited by Aze

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Synology is a good brand. It has an app for iPhone, iPad etc called DS Video which you can use to stream to your devices using Chromecast or Apple TV etc. It also has an Apple TV app. Not sure about Android.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Synology makes great NAS. Their user interface is easy to use. But $300 isn't going to get you much.

 

You need to work out how much disc space you want (then double or treble it). Do you need data protection/redundancy? (RAID). This is where data is distributed across multiple disc drives so that if one fails you still have all your data.

 

What media do you want on there? I started with just my music and music concerts, then favourite movies and TV Series, then more favs, then why not whack everything on there? I no longer need a DVD, CD or Blu-ray player. Once you have instant access to everything you don't use discs.

 

I started with a 4 drive/bay NAS. Then added a 2 bay expansion, then started upgrading discs to larger sizes. Eventually ended up with a 12 bay NAS. It's expensive upgrading. Both drives and NAS.

 

If you have lots of optical media it will take many (hundreds) of hours to convert all to files so you also want to back it up. (I never want to do all my collection again!). So for every GB of NAS storage you need a GB of backup... (more $)

 

You can always start with a smaller NAS and add drives as needed. But whatever NAS you buy you'll realise "you should've bought a bigger NAS"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, I will read up on Synolgy. I'm not looking at getting rid of physical media, just allowing access on all screens without going to get the disc and firing up the blu ray etc. If $300 isn't enough, what amount would you suggest. I have 700 movies across dvd and BR and laserdisc, how much space is a typical movie with each format?

This will help me decide on how much drive space to aim for.  Obviously growing my collection is a constant problem :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Aze said:

 I have 700 movies across dvd and BR and laserdisc, how much space is a typical movie with each format?

This will help me decide on how much drive space to aim for.  Obviously growing my collection is a constant problem :) 

That does depend on the format whether you don't compress and what method you use Aze , if you want no loss you can store as an ISO or as a mkv which is popular . I use dvdfab to compress bd;s strip out subtitles and do the main movie only . I also compress movies to save space depending on the title ; some of my m2ts bds are 26gb uncompressed; lesser titles are 1/2 that but still retain a lossless soundtrack . A dvd can be 6 or 7 gb but use an efficient codec like mp4 and maybe 2 or 3gb is easily gettable .Laserdisc isn't high resolution either and a lot are only 2ch bitstream so even less should be fine :)

I have an enterprise NAS I was lucky to get but another to check out as well as Synology is Qnap which has been around awhile https://www.qnap.com/en-au/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aze,  how handy are you on computers.  You can custom make a great NAS running UnRaid on a HPE Microserver platform.

 

Infinitely more flexible/expandable than the OEM variants.  But requires build and config effort.

 

All my content 10TB streams via SMB through PLEX across my network.

 

If you are going to use Plex best to convert to H264 using handbrake.

 

Edited by zmacka

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All good advice here.  Synology all the way.  If budget an issue, start off with a 2 bay drive.  Down the track you will get the hang of it and will want more of just about everything - space, flexibility, performance etc.  I started off with a 2 bay and now have a 2+5 bay expansion running raid 5.  As for Hard drives, look no further than WD Red's for home use.  Best bang for buck.  The higher end Synology's allow you to upgrade your memory modules, so worth considering if you're going to be running a lot of NAS apps on the NAS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, zmacka said:

Aze,  how handy are you on computers.  You can custom make a great NAS running UnRaid on a HPE Microserver platform.

 

Infinitely more flexible/expandable than the OEM variants.  But requires build and config effort.

 

All my content 10TB streams via SMB through PLEX across my network.

 

If you are going to use Plex best to convert to H264 using handbrake.

 

Ummm....I know how to turn one on and navigate around :P We have Mac's if that makes it different? Whatever I end up doing needs to be fairly easy or else I would give up and continue fetching a disc each time I want to watch something! Is it a good time to ask what PLEX is and H264?!?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, cwt said:

That does depend on the format whether you don't compress and what method you use Aze , if you want no loss you can store as an ISO or as a mkv which is popular . I use dvdfab to compress bd;s strip out subtitles and do the main movie only . I also compress movies to save space depending on the title ; some of my m2ts bds are 26gb uncompressed; lesser titles are 1/2 that but still retain a lossless soundtrack . A dvd can be 6 or 7 gb but use an efficient codec like mp4 and maybe 2 or 3gb is easily gettable .Laserdisc isn't high resolution either and a lot are only 2ch bitstream so even less should be fine :)

I have an enterprise NAS I was lucky to get but another to check out as well as Synology is Qnap which has been around awhile https://www.qnap.com/en-au/

 

I would want to keep it uncompressed, but happy to remove trailers and subtitles etc. Does Synology use a particular file format or you can choose?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, katattack74 said:

All good advice here.  Synology all the way.  If budget an issue, start off with a 2 bay drive.  Down the track you will get the hang of it and will want more of just about everything - space, flexibility, performance etc.  I started off with a 2 bay and now have a 2+5 bay expansion running raid 5.  As for Hard drives, look no further than WD Red's for home use.  Best bang for buck.  The higher end Synology's allow you to upgrade your memory modules, so worth considering if you're going to be running a lot of NAS apps on the NAS

I would be happy to start with 2 bay and go from there. Is there a drive size limit with Synology? Also can you daisy-chain expansion bays or is it limited to the one expansion? Thanks for the tip on WD Reds. What sort of apps are available for NAS? I figured it was just a storage and stream thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Aze said:

I would be happy to start with 2 bay and go from there. Is there a drive size limit with Synology? Also can you daisy-chain expansion bays or is it limited to the one expansion? Thanks for the tip on WD Reds. What sort of apps are available for NAS? I figured it was just a storage and stream thing.

I dont believe so, just remember that with a 2 drive, you're limited to Raid 0, 1 or SHR.  Best to set it to SHR as the first instance, when building the raid.  Go with the largest capacity you can afford.  You can buy a 5 bay drive as an add on later but its not cheap as the unit is about $500+ plus additional hard drives.  As most people stream services for video, music etc, the days of ripping music and blurays are numbered and time consuming.  Forget about installing Plex *ON* the Nas itself as performance will be an issue.  Most NAS units have low powered cpus, which doesnt have enough grunt to transcode across multiple streams.  

 

I run a plex server on my laptop (which is on 24/7) and just keep my files on the NAS as storage. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Aze said:

Ummm....I know how to turn one on and navigate around :P We have Mac's if that makes it different? Whatever I end up doing needs to be fairly easy or else I would give up and continue fetching a disc each time I want to watch something! Is it a good time to ask what PLEX is and H264?!?

 

PLEX is a media server and player,  fetches all clip-art and tiles/summaries around media content it sees on the NAS.  This is the front end I see on all my media capable devices.

 

H264 is a compression standard,  the best for compatibility for streaming.

 

 

Plex.jpg

Edited by zmacka

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, katattack74 said:

I dont believe so, just remember that with a 2 drive, you're limited to Raid 0, 1 or SHR.  Best to set it to SHR as the first instance, when building the raid.  Go with the largest capacity you can afford.  You can buy a 5 bay drive as an add on later but its not cheap as the unit is about $500+ plus additional hard drives.  As most people stream services for video, music etc, the days of ripping music and blurays are numbered and time consuming.  Forget about installing Plex *ON* the Nas itself as performance will be an issue.  Most NAS units have low powered cpus, which doesnt have enough grunt to transcode across multiple streams.  

 

I run a plex server on my laptop (which is on 24/7) and just keep my files on the NAS as storage. 

just curious, what is the benefit of storing all your media on the NAS but using the laptop as the server for plex? I understand that the NAS may not have the processing power to transcode media files that need transcoding, which is why you use the laptop as a server. Why not just store all your media on a normal external hard drive? Wondering what the benefit of using the NAS is in your case?

thanks

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, swervyn said:

just curious, what is the benefit of storing all your media on the NAS but using the laptop as the server for plex? I understand that the NAS may not have the processing power to transcode media files that need transcoding, which is why you use the laptop as a server. Why not just store all your media on a normal external hard drive? Wondering what the benefit of using the NAS is in your case?

thanks

 

I just thought a NAS is what you do? I don't know anything about PLEX etc, I just thought a NAS was to store all your movies so you can watch them on different displays without getting the disc out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A external hard disc can't be accessed by many users at the same time.

NAS can included mirroring of data (if a disc dies you haven't lost everything)

A NAS can hold many times more data than an external drive.

Never have to swap external drives to find something (it all on one NAS)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its not just the data redundancy that you need (NAS) a Media Server buffers/transcodes fetches clip art so your media is available in a graphical as outlined above.

 

You can nominate a computer to act as the Plex web server,  I have used my NAS in the past,  but if you have heavy transcoding overhead it will struggle most likely in a relative sense against an i5 CPU's upwards.

 

Executing a file on a remote (NAS) drive is a very basic functionality.  After all Plex is free..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, swervyn said:

just curious, what is the benefit of storing all your media on the NAS but using the laptop as the server for plex? I understand that the NAS may not have the processing power to transcode media files that need transcoding, which is why you use the laptop as a server. Why not just store all your media on a normal external hard drive? Wondering what the benefit of using the NAS is in your case?

thanks

2 hours ago, HomerJ1503560906 said:

A external hard disc can't be accessed by many users at the same time.

NAS can included mirroring of data (if a disc dies you haven't lost everything)

A NAS can hold many times more data than an external drive.

Never have to swap external drives to find something (it all on one NAS)

 

 

Homer explained it well :)  I dont use my NAS specifically for just media sharing.  It also stores my home security camera recordings :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Aze said:

I would want to keep it uncompressed, but happy to remove trailers and subtitles etc. Does Synology use a particular file format or you can choose?

You can choose ; an ISO is everything that's on the disc including menus and all subtitles . A mkv can be trimmed of subtitles and secondary audio files ie dolby digital when a dd truehd track exists . I don't use plex or another server on a pc but a separate media player that covers a plethora of different file types from the old avi ;mpeg to bd type h264 ;mp4 and mkv downloads ; everything but the latest h265 UHD files ; a new box is around the corner ;zappiti can put a media player in every room but its not cheap  :aww:

 

This enables me to run the system without having the pc on but of course plex is free and its not hard to setup your pc to share the files ..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, katattack74 said:

 Most NAS units have low powered cpus, which doesnt have enough grunt to transcode across multiple streams.  

 

I run a plex server on my laptop (which is on 24/7) and just keep my files on the NAS as storage. 

That's the limitation with low powered CPU NAS. Whilst Synology is good, their range don't consist higher end CPU. Having a laptop on 24 by 7 just to serve the functionalities of  NAS. That defeats the purpose of having a NAS in first place.

 

Either OP has to learn how to build NAS such as unraid/freeNAS or purchase a multi bay NAS with an i3 and above spec CPU. Both will cost more than 300 bucks. Stay away from cheap NAS if you want steaming capability whilst using Plex. Info here.

 

Yes Plex will allow you to stream from a networked share to just about any devices in your network across different resolution screen. Limited to CPU, and bandwidth. Hell, you can even stream across the internet to another part of the world provided you have a fast uplink!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, HomerJ1503560906 said:

A external hard disc can't be accessed by many users at the same time.

NAS can included mirroring of data (if a disc dies you haven't lost everything)

A NAS can hold many times more data than an external drive.

Never have to swap external drives to find something (it all on one NAS)

 

 

This is what I dont get

 

I have my movies on an external hard drive (4tb)

I already use plex

Just now as a test I have a movie playing on the tv via the plex app on 4k BD player (cat 6 cable)

I also have a different movie playing on the server (pc)

I also have a different movie playing on an android tablet (wifi)

One movie is transcoding AC3 audio to AAC, the video is direct stream

The second movie is transcoding video and the audio is direct stream

The third movie is transcoding video to H264 and audio DCA to AC3, all playing at the same time

So it is quite possible to access for different users

An external hard drive can be mirrored to another external hard drive

You can plug as many hard drives in as you have usb ports or get a usb hub

Plex stores all data and is accessible from any folder you nominate as your library folder, also accessible remotely

 

So what can a NAS do for me that a pc based Plex server cant do? Especially if a NAS cannot transcode files that are not in its preferred native format?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also using the free version of Plex btw apart from having to pay about $6 for the android app which was limited to 30 second playback time before buying

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, swervyn said:

I am also using the free version of Plex btw apart from having to pay about $6 for the android app which was limited to 30 second playback time before buying

6 bucks to unlock 30s playback limit? Are you sure? Plex client on Android?

Quote:

The Plex Media Server is free to use and includes the Plex Web App. ... These include Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Plex Media Player, Roku, Smart TVs, TiVo, and game consoles (PlayStation and Xbox). Our mobile apps (Android, iOS, Windows, Windows Phone) can be used for free, but have limitations

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Sirmorebeer said:

6 bucks to unlock 30s playback limit? Are you sure? Plex client on Android?

Quote:

The Plex Media Server is free to use and includes the Plex Web App. ... These include Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Plex Media Player, Roku, Smart TVs, TiVo, and game consoles (PlayStation and Xbox). Our mobile apps (Android, iOS, Windows, Windows Phone) can be used for free, but have limitations

 

yep, on android tablet, server is on pc,  4k bd player has Plex preloaded

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, swervyn said:

yep, on android tablet, server is on pc,  4k bd player has Plex preloaded

Plex is definitely free, no limits in playback. Server is free but anfroid client is not but one time activation.  Full membership - Plex pass unlocks all features like trailers, artists bio, access to other platform clients. More info here.

Edited by Sirmorebeer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Sirmorebeer said:

That's the limitation with low powered CPU NAS. Whilst Synology is good, their range don't consist higher end CPU. Having a laptop on 24 by 7 just to serve the functionalities of  NAS. That defeats the purpose of having a NAS in first place.

 

Either OP has to learn how to build NAS such as unraid/freeNAS or purchase a multi bay NAS with an i3 and above spec CPU. Both will cost more than 300 bucks. Stay away from cheap NAS if you want steaming capability whilst using Plex. Info here.

 

Yes Plex will allow you to stream from a networked share to just about any devices in your network across different resolution screen. Limited to CPU, and bandwidth. Hell, you can even stream across the internet to another part of the world provided you have a fast uplink!

So on reading some more on the plex info you linked you can broadly say that a $300 nas will require a laptop to provide the processing power to transcode, and a more expensive nas will be able to do it as a stand alone unit? I can't imagine wanting to stream more than two different movies at once, what sort of cpu speed and number of cores would you recommend to have a stand alone nas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By generichs
      Item: Synology DS214play NAS
      Location:  Melbourne
      Price: $90.00
      Item Condition:  Good
      Reason for selling:  No longer required
      Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, COD Only
      Extra Info:  Does not include HDD.  NAS 3TB HDD is around $150.  RRP for similar NAS is $419.00.   
      No original packaging held, therefore I don't think this is suitable for posting.  Suitable for pick up only.  
      The front has a plastic fascia which I have not pictured.  Two bays.  
       
      Pictures:
       
       


    • By dreamz
      Circumstances change, I am in need of some money, the only i thing I can think of selling and get the sort of amount I am in need is to sell my Audio gears thats been less used in house.
      Selling
      Two months old paradigm studio 100V5 - Rosenut
      &
      Five months old Jamo S608 HCS10_SUB660 home theater package - Dark Apple. (its a 5.1 pack comes with 12" SUB happy to split if I find buyers for other stuffs.) Surrounds are not used yet, so still on the plastic wrap.
      &
      Ultracube 12V1. bought it as secondhand so dont know how old exaclty, previous owner said 3 years
      &
      Yamaha RXV1071 Receiver bought from JBHIFI - 6 months old.
      &
      Pioneer VSX920 Receiver - 2 years Old which i might keep as not expecting any good offers on it
      &
      Netgear Ready NAS 4bay with 4*1TB drives - NAS is 3 months old, drives are more older, dont know the exactly. NAS comes with my Bluray rip(720P and 1080P) Movie collection, almost full (Selling because i got a hp micro server with full movies)
      &
      Harmoney 1100i Remote - 3 months old
      Everything in good condition as I well looked after my stuffs.
      Only selling the ultracube12 and yamaha receiver if I can find a buyer for the above speakers. So thats the last priority.
      Dont know how much I can get for these, but i thought put it here first instead of listing it on ebay first and get an idea about the price. Will only accept serious offers, please no stupid offers. Will sell it if I got a good offer soon or else will keep it and find other ways to make the necessary finance.
      I got the boxes for both everything, but need to look for the receipts as I moved house recently and dont know where did i kept those. I am sure I can find those. Everything bought locally and i am located in Melbourne, but happy to post it anywhere on buyers expense or drop it of if the buyer is in Melbourne as I got an SUV. PM me.
    • Guest
      By Guest
      Okay time to jump on board and get myself a NAS, had a good chat with Matt today and he said Synology is pretty good, just wanting to start simple with maybe something that with take a couple of drives up to 6 to 8tb.......
      will use the Oppo as my media player and just looking for something simplistic that I can copy my BR's to and playback without hassle along with some music about the only other thing it will be used for is to store some RAW photo images, no TV and I pretty much don't use the torrent sites.........
      look forward to some suggestions please but once again let's use the K.I.S.S. theory..........
    • By Tivoli Hi-Fi
      Item: Trade In Bluesound Vault Gen 1 in Black 
       
      Location: Tivoli Hi-Fi 155 Camberwell Road Hawthorn East VIC 3123
       
      Price: $750 Including Shipping anywhere in Australia
       
      Item Condition: Trade in item in good condition. We don't have the original box, but can be shipped safely. 
       
      Payment Method: Direct Deposit, Paypal, Cash - Pickup in store, Credit Card including AMEX with no fees or penalties.
       
      Extra Info:  2TB CD Ripper that can rip your CD's as FLAC, WAV or MP3 (if you so desire) and Storage Unit that can playback files up to 24/192 and MQA files as well. Bluesound offer Tidal MQA in app as well. Can be plugged directly into an amplifier using RCA outputs or connected to a DAC via Optical output. The Vault will need a hardwire ethernet cable from your router. This is a deadset bargain, the Vault Gen 2 is $2200! This Gen 1 can be yours for $750! Unit is in excellent condition and comes with 3 month warranty. Unit will ship with latest software on board.
       
      PM Tivoli Hi-Fi staff member @jimsan after hours for prompt response.
       

    • By Demondes
      Item: Lacie 5Big Pro NAS 
      Location: Richmond, Victoria
      Price: $220 (including 2 x 3TB HDD) or with all 5 HDD ( 2 x 3TB and 3 x 4TB drives in device $420).   Note: HDD are not new
      Item Condition: condition is in excellent condition, and is 2.5-3 years old
      Reason for selling: no longer required as i have 2 Synology NAS
      Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal
      This is a very well finished product from the hardware side, and is much quieter than the Synology NAS products.  Where Lacie is let down is on the software GUI.  But if you don't need to run lots of applications on the NAS but just store files then this is for you.  Or for a second copy of your files.
      It has 5 3.5" drive bays 
       
      It has 2 x ethernet port, Multiple USB.  Lacie USB key for rebuild.   No box
       
      Note the drive has been often switched off, when on it is in power save mode, with disks turning off
       
      Product support page  http://www.lacie.com/as/en/support/network-storage/5big-nas-pro/




×