Help Choosing a NAS for streaming to Apple TV using Infuse

berkeley384

Well-known Member
Hello

Can anyone help me please.

I have a VERY old WD 2TB NAS that will let me stream 1080P and some 4K (HDR) .mkv files to my ATV which is running Infuse

Every now and again there is a 4K file that doesn't want to play properly, and I suspect that the NAS is at fault. These are not massive files and it may not be the NAS but I have a suspicion it is.

So Im looking for a NAS that can play large media files between 10-40 GB in size, it won't be used as a Plex server.

Ideally Id like to be able to plug my MacBook into the NAS directly so I can move files between the Mac and the Nas without going over the network, but then obviously other devices can stream the files over the network.

I don't need massive space, 4TB across 2 drives would do me for now,

Does anyone have any suggestions ?
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
If a NAS is not running Plex or some other Server that does real time trans-coding, then it couldn't care less what the file formats or sizes are and it has no bearing on it's ability to stream them.

The only bottleneck might potentially be the bus capacity of the bandwidth of the network pathway for media that is very high bandwidth.

So before throwing baby out with the bathwater, I'd suggest a bit of investigation into the bandwidth requirements of your media and the bandwidth of the network pathway(s) between source and sink.

A (free) tool such as MediaInfo should be able to tell you the bandwidth of the titles (whether it's SD/HD/4K etc. is not a very reliable guide) or for a Heath Robinson test, you could try copying the titles across the network, time it and do the maths and/or see how the copy time compares with playback duration. If copying is faster than playback, then the network pathway should be good enough.

If your client device can playback from anything locally, like a USB stick, you could try playing a troublesome title off that, taking the network pathway and NAS out of the equation, and check that there's no some issue with the title itself.
 
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berkeley384

Well-known Member
I think, and I could be totally wrong it’s actually an issue in transferring the file from my Mac to the NAS, I’ve got 28Gb 1080p old files that play fine, and 12Gb 4K hdr files newly transferred that don’t, the bitrate will be much higher on the 1080p file,.

The transfer speeds to the NAS are progressively getting slower, it’s very old. I’ve a suspicion that is reading ok, but writing is failing, I know the original file is good and I’ve no reason to believe the ATV / infuse is the problem.

But none the less I take your point, am thinking about a Synology 218 play ? Just something basic, and since there is nothing critical going on it, I might just put one bigger disk in it short term
 
Without understanding where you stream to it might be the Mac, tv or media player.

I’d try streaming the same file (one that has issues) from multiple sources to multiple destinations.

I’d try and see if there was any type of commonality in the failure and work from there.

At present it could be the encoding, source or destination device or a combination of them.

Once you have isolated the cause the solution will be easier to define
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
The transfer speeds to the NAS are progressively getting slower, it’s very old. I’ve a suspicion that is reading ok, but writing is failing, I know the original file is good and I’ve no reason to believe the ATV / infuse is the problem.

Solid state electronic devices don't "wear out" with age (at least not in human timescales.)

[ANECDOTE] My Atari 800 works just as well today as it did in 1982 when I bought it. Though truth be told, I haven't used it much in the last 30 years! [/ANECDOTE]

However, the hard disc drives are essentially mechanical devices and they all "die" in the end. Maybe it's the discs that are on the way out rather than the NAS per se. Perhaps there are some logs or S.M.A.R.T. stats available you could check. I think struggling to write is an indicator that makes one suspicious as most HDD's and/or OS's "verify" any data they write to make sure it got there intact and if not, mark the disc sector "bad" and retry somewhere else which starts to effect write performance (more so that reads.)

That said, even if it is the discs, the cost of replacing them might be such that it "isn't that much more" to buy a whole new NAS. And get the "benefit" of whatever funky new features are bundled with a replacement that the old one doesn't have. Of course, that's more of a value judgement than a technical one.
 
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berkeley384

Well-known Member
@mickevh @captain morgan

Thanks for your help, Everything in my system is hardwired except my mac, and I'm kicking myself.

It seems the issue was simply with the file transfer to the NAS over WIFI, even on a 5Ghz network with no other devices on that SSID and a capable transfer speed well in advance of what is / was needed, transferring the file over WIFI was slow and problematic ... "sometimes"

I have had no issues with some files, and others play back with picture breakup, stuttering etc.

I have just bought a USB C to Gigabit ethernet adaptor and moved a 13GB file from my mac to the nas over a gigabit switch in a little over 7 mins and its played back seamlessly. On at least 4 other occasions the same file when transferred over wifi would not play back without issues

Last week I moved a 20GB file from the same mac to the same NAS over the same WIFI network and it was perfect. In reality I have moved several files historically this way without issue.
 
It sounds like something else might be going on.

A 4K stream is normally around 25-30Mb/s as it’s your own rip and possibly encoded in a less lossy format you might want to check your wifi performance.

If you have another computer that can be wired download iperf3 and do some testing to see what kind of throughput you’re getting.

It’s also worth looking at the file size / duration in question to get a sense of the Mb/s needed to stream the file.
 

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