Help with Nas setup

coto37

Novice Member
Hello,

I come for help again to this great forum. Not to long ago I got help here for choosing a TV, and now I seek for some help and advice in seting up a NAS for films.

So let me explain my set up:

I have 2 TVs.

My main sitting room TV is a Samsung q6fn. In my bedroom I have an LG uh850v.
My objective is to see 4k films and FullHD films, not compressed and with HDR. My TVs will send the sound signal to my stereo preamp with optical cable.

I am planing on having everything pluged with ethernet CAT 7A+ cable. (not a big wifi fan)

Right now I am using my computers for watching films, but I cant set 4k resolution becouse of my graphics card. I have to upgrade.

So my plan is getting a NAS for my films and playing them on my TVs with their smart systems. I do not need PLEX or something like that installed on the NAS. I just want it to be a simple HDD to access from everywhere in the house.
In the future, if I have trouble playing films with the TVs I will get a device like a Himedia q10 pro for playing films.

I was thinking about WD my cloud ex2 or WD my clould ex2 ultra. What are your opinions on these NASs?
Any other recomendations?

I like the 2 bay configuration for backups, 4 bay right now is a bit expensive I think.

I would like the NAS to be fast enough to stream 4k hdr not compressed films with no jerking or loading problems.

I also had in mind, maybe just get an external USB 3.0 HDD and move it around. But this is more unconfortable. And the Samsung q6fn only has USB 2.0, so I do not know if it will be enough to play 4k hdr films with no problems.

Thanks,

Isaac.

PS: Sorry about my spelling, I am from Spain.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Virtually all mainstream media formats are "compressed," even 4K ones, except CD's.

In and of itself, a NAS does not further compress any data (movies or otherwise) it serves out unless it goes out of it's way to do so (a la Plex.) All a NAS does is serve files, any files not just movies, and send lumps of them to client devices as the clients request them.

It is wise to opt for wired connections as they are much more reliable and deterministic that Wi-Fi. Gigabit ethernet has plenty of capacity - it could easily carry typical 4K streams, a dozen or so "HD" streams and hundreds of SD and low bit rate (e.g. music) streams.

I would not waste time and money installing cat7A if you have not already done so. Ethernet does not work any "better" because you install high cat infrastructure - cate5e is more than good enough for Gigabit ethernet and is reputed to be OK for 10Gig ethernet over short lengths. (I have not tried 10Gig over UTP, if I need 10Gig I use fibre optic links.)

To actually "be" cat7a, you would need to observe the most stringent of installation stipulations (such as all installed into proper "containment" and not just lashed to whatever is convenient) terminated onto some funky new connectors and certified with some very expensive test equipment. There is much more to it that buying cat7 (or whatever) cable.

Pretty much anything made in the last thirty years should be able to handle streaming a mere 2 video streams, even 4K ones, so whilst there's a choice to be made as to what to buy, I suggest it is more likely to be informed by cost and features analysis rather than concerns over whether X has the power to service 2 video streams - just avoid the cheapest of cheap such as a USB drive stuck in a port on your router and the like. Others here know the NAS market better than I and will doubtless venture opinion on particular bits of kit.
 
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Chester

Well-known Member
We're all fans of QNAP and Synology NASes here. They're very similar in models and features and pave the way forward. I wouldn't recommend anything else any more.

And Mick's right. Go with CAT6(a) if you want to future proof your cable installation for some time, or run HDMI over CAT, that sort of thing, but Gigabit Ethernet does not require it. Understand how to install infrastructure properly, you'll find that CAT5e is the most forgiving of the modern standards, as in the easiest to get correct.
 

BobA51

Standard Member
Hi Isaac,

This is what I replied to another forum user recently, much of which might help in your decision process:

"I'm on my 2nd Synology NAS, as Sloppy Bob said they are reliable and easy to set up, my only comment and the reason I upgraded was I found the 2 bay version limiting and after a couple of years went to a 4 bay model, which I wished I'd started with, leaving the spare bays empty until I needed them. Again I've always run mine from a remote location (Under the stairs) as there is no need to be in the same room as long as you can get network cables where you need them."

Also agree with the other comments re network standards Cat5e, cheaper, easier to install and on the short runs normally within a normal size domestic premise ample headroom:

Bob


WebPage Extract :
10GBaseT – Can this be run over Cat5e?

10GBase T is a standard that provides 10Gbit/s connections over unshielded or shielded twisted pair cable over distances of up to 100 metres.

Whilst you need to use Cat6a or Cat7 cable to reach the full distance potential, the goods news is that if your data centre already has Cat5e or Ca6 cabling installed, you may not need to upgrade just yet.

Distances:
  • 100m on Cat6a and Cat7 cable types
  • 55m on Cat6 cable which is already deployed in many data centres
  • 45m on Cat5e, the most commonly installed UTP cable types
Note: these distances are for solid core cabling, not stranded as typically used in patch cables.
 

coto37

Novice Member
Hello,

Thanks for your answers.

Virtually all mainstream media formats are "compressed," even 4K ones, except CD's.

In and of itself, a NAS does not further compress any data (movies or otherwise) it serves out unless it goes out of it's way to do so (a la Plex.) All a NAS does is serve files, any files not just movies, and send lumps of them to client devices as the clients request them.

It is wise to opt for wired connections as they are much more reliable and deterministic that Wi-Fi. Gigabit ethernet has plenty of capacity - it could easily carry typical 4K streams, a dozen or so "HD" streams and hundreds of SD and low bit rate (e.g. music) streams.

I would not waste time and money installing cat7A if you have not already done so. Ethernet does not work any "better" because you install high cat infrastructure - cate5e is more than good enough for Gigabit ethernet and is reputed to be OK for 10Gig ethernet over short lengths. (I have not tried 10Gig over UTP, if I need 10Gig I use fibre optic links.)

To actually "be" cat7a, you would need to observe the most stringent of installation stipulations (such as all installed into proper "containment" and not just lashed to whatever is convenient) terminated onto some funky new connectors and certified with some very expensive test equipment. There is much more to it that buying cat7 (or whatever) cable.

Pretty much anything made in the last thirty years should be able to handle streaming a mere 2 video streams, even 4K ones, so whilst there's a choice to be made as to what to buy, I suggest it is more likely to be informed by cost and features analysis rather than concerns over whether X has the power to service 2 video streams - just avoid the cheapest of cheap such as a USB drive stuck in a port on your router and the like. Others here know the NAS market better than I and will doubtless venture opinion on particular bits of kit.

We're all fans of QNAP and Synology NASes here. They're very similar in models and features and pave the way forward. I wouldn't recommend anything else any more.

And Mick's right. Go with CAT6(a) if you want to future proof your cable installation for some time, or run HDMI over CAT, that sort of thing, but Gigabit Ethernet does not require it. Understand how to install infrastructure properly, you'll find that CAT5e is the most forgiving of the modern standards, as in the easiest to get correct.

Hi Isaac,

This is what I replied to another forum user recently, much of which might help in your decision process:

"I'm on my 2nd Synology NAS, as Sloppy Bob said they are reliable and easy to set up, my only comment and the reason I upgraded was I found the 2 bay version limiting and after a couple of years went to a 4 bay model, which I wished I'd started with, leaving the spare bays empty until I needed them. Again I've always run mine from a remote location (Under the stairs) as there is no need to be in the same room as long as you can get network cables where you need them."

Also agree with the other comments re network standards Cat5e, cheaper, easier to install and on the short runs normally within a normal size domestic premise ample headroom:

Bob


WebPage Extract :
10GBaseT – Can this be run over Cat5e?

10GBase T is a standard that provides 10Gbit/s connections over unshielded or shielded twisted pair cable over distances of up to 100 metres.

Whilst you need to use Cat6a or Cat7 cable to reach the full distance potential, the goods news is that if your data centre already has Cat5e or Ca6 cabling installed, you may not need to upgrade just yet.

Distances:
  • 100m on Cat6a and Cat7 cable types
  • 55m on Cat6 cable which is already deployed in many data centres
  • 45m on Cat5e, the most commonly installed UTP cable types
Note: these distances are for solid core cabling, not stranded as typically used in patch cables.



I was thinking about the cat7a+ becouse I think it is quite cheap to get. 25m for 30€, and I will be future proof. Doing the conectors does not seem dificult, maybe I am wrong. I even thought about CAT8 but that is too expensive. But I will check out Cat6.

Why do you prefer Synology and Qnap? I thought WD is a good reliable brand. I do not think I need all the options and apps that come with the Synology and Qnap. (Correct me if I am wrong) That is why I was thinking about WD, becouse it is cheaper and easy to use.
I know what you mean about having more bays in the NAS, I will consider it, but they are over doble the price in Spain. I have to check the second hand market.

Any specific models you would recomend?

So playing up to 100gb 4k films from a NAS should be fine?

Also, a bit off topic, but maybe you can help. I wanted to try out the SmartTv player with 4k hdr mkv files.
First I tryed on my Q6FN on a usb 2.0 port. Worked fine but I could not change the language.
Then I tryed on my older LG, worked fine. And I can change the audio track to select the language I want.
Is this an issue with samsung tvs? or am I doing something wrong?

EDIT: I found the answer, Samsung does not decode DTS ¬¬. Oh boy that is crap. Well I do use my pc conected to the samsung, and soon I will upgrade my graphics card so that would not be a big problem for now, but now I think I would need Plex on the NAS and TV to play the films, or get an external player.

Is it possible to use something like the Himedia Q10 pro also as a NAS? If so, any good?

Thanks.
 
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mickevh

Distinguished Member
My (our) point about the cabling is your cat7 deployment will not actually be cat7 just because you procure cat7 cable. It will almost certainly work fine for Gigabit ethernet, but it may be some years into the future when you actually need cat7 that you find out it is not working to cat7 specification. But it is your dime, if do not mind spending the extra money for little or no extra benefit there is no reason to think it will not work for Gigabit ethernet unless you do a spectacularly bad job of the installation (poor termination is usually the biggest culprit.)

I do not have a smart TV, but one reads that many of them have somewhat limited format support in their built in media players and you are at the mercy of the vendor as to if they will ever update them (one tends to think not - why would they bother, they are in the business of selling hardware not developing software updates which generates them no revenue.)

For such reasons, many of us prefer to have our media streamers as separate (to the TV) devices so that we can replace them relatively cheaply (compared to buying a new TV) and if you opt for one with a good enthusiast and/or after market support, (Kodi for example,) you may find updates and fixes issued regularly and on a fairly ongoing basis.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Hello,

Why do you prefer Synology and Qnap? I thought WD is a good reliable brand. I do not think I need all the options and apps that come with the Synology and Qnap. (Correct me if I am wrong) That is why I was thinking about WD, becouse it is cheaper and easy to use.
I know what you mean about having more bays in the NAS, I will consider it, but they are over doble the price in Spain. I have to check the second hand market.

Any specific models you would recomend?

So playing up to 100gb 4k films from a NAS should be fine?

WD sell very basic home user NAS.

You will want a QNAP or Synology instead, especially when it comes to streaming media, a lot more control over what happens and how, all those settings & alternate DLNA media servers are not available on WD NAS.

QNAP/Synology can also use DLNA media servers that will transcode audio solving your DTS problem. Third party media servers like Serviio and Plex can also be installed.

However if your still set on the WD NAS or anything cheaper I would buy the Apple TV 4K set top box as it would be an ideal pairing as it shifts all the work to the ATV box, no media server software required.

Get the InFuse media player which can scan network folders for media and will auto transcode any audio into Dolby 5.1 (which is the best you can get given your setup). It will play H.265 4K HDR movies with automatic switching into HDR mode. Very easy with low maintenance.
 

coto37

Novice Member
Hello,

My (our) point about the cabling is your cat7 deployment will not actually be cat7 just because you procure cat7 cable. It will almost certainly work fine for Gigabit ethernet, but it may be some years into the future when you actually need cat7 that you find out it is not working to cat7 specification. But it is your dime, if do not mind spending the extra money for little or no extra benefit there is no reason to think it will not work for Gigabit ethernet unless you do a spectacularly bad job of the installation (poor termination is usually the biggest culprit.)

I do not have a smart TV, but one reads that many of them have somewhat limited format support in their built in media players and you are at the mercy of the vendor as to if they will ever update them (one tends to think not - why would they bother, they are in the business of selling hardware not developing software updates which generates them no revenue.)

For such reasons, many of us prefer to have our media streamers as separate (to the TV) devices so that we can replace them relatively cheaply (compared to buying a new TV) and if you opt for one with a good enthusiast and/or after market support, (Kodi for example,) you may find updates and fixes issued regularly and on a fairly ongoing basis.

I will check out Cat6, and probably go for it.
Yes my plan was to get a separate device in the future, right now I can use my computer.

WD sell very basic home user NAS.

You will want a QNAP or Synology instead, especially when it comes to streaming media, a lot more control over what happens and how, all those settings & alternate DLNA media servers are not available on WD NAS.

QNAP/Synology can also use DLNA media servers that will transcode audio solving your DTS problem. Third party media servers like Serviio and Plex can also be installed.

However if your still set on the WD NAS or anything cheaper I would buy the Apple TV 4K set top box as it would be an ideal pairing as it shifts all the work to the ATV box, no media server software required.

Get the InFuse media player which can scan network folders for media and will auto transcode any audio into Dolby 5.1 (which is the best you can get given your setup). It will play H.265 4K HDR movies with automatic switching into HDR mode. Very easy with low maintenance.

Any sugestions on what synology or Qnap nas to look at?

I also reed that WD nas can be a problem if the NAS dies I would have to get another NAS to get the data out of the HDD becouse it is encrypted. That can be a pain. Does this happen with Synology and Qnap?

What do you think about Asustor and Zyxel NAS?


Thanks.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
I'd note a couple of things.

I have 2 TVs.

My main sitting room TV is a Samsung q6fn. In my bedroom I have an LG uh850v.
My objective is to see 4k films and FullHD films, not compressed and with HDR. My TVs will send the sound signal to my stereo preamp with optical cable.

Neither of your TV's is really capable of displaying an HDR signal bright enough to benefit from the UHD. Yes, they have HDR, every newer 4K TV does, but only the higher end models have the brightness to display it properly.
How large are they and how close do you sit to them as if they're not 55" plus and you're sitting close then you won't benefit from the 4K either.
The reason I say this is because 4K disc rips are huge. A 2 bay NAS will get filled in no time at all and there's no point in using the extra space if you don't benefit from it over regular Bluray.

So my plan is getting a NAS for my films and playing them on my TVs with their smart systems. I do not need PLEX or something like that installed on the NAS. I just want it to be a simple HDD to access from everywhere in the house.
In the future, if I have trouble playing films with the TVs I will get a device like a Himedia q10 pro for playing films.99

You'll possibly have to do that, TV's can be very picky over video and audio formats and codecs. They might not work at all without some kind of streamer.

I like the 2 bay configuration for backups, 4 bay right now is a bit expensive I think.

This is the AVF NAS owners mantra. repeat it 500 times in your head.

RAID isn't backup, it's redundancy.
RAID isn't backup, it's redundancy.
RAID isn't backup, it's redundancy.

If your NAS fails, if it gets stolen, if your house floods, if, if, if. You have nothing as it's all on the same unit. A redundant drive is so when a drive fails the NAS can continue working. I wouldn't bother with that on a 2-bay NAS but you need a separate backup or be prepared to rip all your discs again.

I would like the NAS to be fast enough to stream 4k hdr not compressed films with no jerking or loading problems.

Any NAS can do that, it's just serving data. The issue comes when you're using an app like PLEX and need to transcode data, then the NAS needs to be powerful.

As to what NAS, I'd also suggest you go for a 4-bay, especially if you're set on 4K as you'll fill it in no time.
 

coto37

Novice Member
I'd note a couple of things.



Neither of your TV's is really capable of displaying an HDR signal bright enough to benefit from the UHD. Yes, they have HDR, every newer 4K TV does, but only the higher end models have the brightness to display it properly.
How large are they and how close do you sit to them as if they're not 55" plus and you're sitting close then you won't benefit from the 4K either.
The reason I say this is because 4K disc rips are huge. A 2 bay NAS will get filled in no time at all and there's no point in using the extra space if you don't benefit from it over regular Bluray.



You'll possibly have to do that, TV's can be very picky over video and audio formats and codecs. They might not work at all without some kind of streamer.



This is the AVF NAS owners mantra. repeat it 500 times in your head.

RAID isn't backup, it's redundancy.
RAID isn't backup, it's redundancy.
RAID isn't backup, it's redundancy.

If your NAS fails, if it gets stolen, if your house floods, if, if, if. You have nothing as it's all on the same unit. A redundant drive is so when a drive fails the NAS can continue working. I wouldn't bother with that on a 2-bay NAS but you need a separate backup or be prepared to rip all your discs again.



Any NAS can do that, it's just serving data. The issue comes when you're using an app like PLEX and need to transcode data, then the NAS needs to be powerful.

As to what NAS, I'd also suggest you go for a 4-bay, especially if you're set on 4K as you'll fill it in no time.


Hello,

The LG is 49" and it is for the bedroom so I am not really bothered with 4k there.
My q6fn is a 65" and I sit at about 2.6 metres. I have tested 4k content and I do notice the difference, even on the 49" but not as much.

I will not have all the films on 4k, just my main favorite ones. The rest will be full hd.

I know about the hdr, but even if I can not get the full hdr expirience with the tvs I have now, but I can notice a difference when hdr is on, and it is nice to have the capability for future updates.

So maybe best to have just a normal NAS, nothing too powerfull to work as an hdd and use what I have now to wach movies untill I need to upgrade to a new device to view them.


And maybe its best having the NAS with no Raid for redundancy, just extra space and have everything backed up on an external hdd or my pc for example?

I thought if I used a mirror Raid it will be backup, so if one fails, I just replace it and it mirrors to the new hdd? I know it is not fail safe for other ways of data loss, but I am gonna use it just for my films. No crucial important backup. But maybe more space is more important.

Thanks,
Isaac
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
I thought if I used a mirror Raid it will be backup, so if one fails, I just replace it and it mirrors to the new hdd?

That is how RAID 1 ("mirrored") works, but its purpose is to facilitate continued access to data in the event of a disc failure, not "backup" in the proper sense.

For example, if you put a your wedding video on your RAID1 volume, then the kids record Trumpton over it, the wedding video is gone from all discs, RAID does nothing to save you. Likewise any other event that causes corruption to stored data (virues, crypto locking, accidental deletion, etc. etc.) as well as the physical risks (flood, fire, theft, etc.)

"Backup" means maintaining a (often "point in time") replica of the data "somewhere else." How often to create such instances, how many to retain and where to keep them depends on the risks you wish to mitigate and cost you are prepared to bear.

For example, if you rip a load of DVD media, there's almost no point in backing it up elsewhere as you have the original media and can simply re-rip it. Albeit, that it will cost you some time and not being able to watch Star Wars (again) this week is hardly the end of the world.

Whereas for a business, it's lifeblood is it's data and they cannot afford to be without it for any amount of time, so buisneses are willing to spend lots of money on things like RAID and lots of backups to mitigate the risks.
 
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coto37

Novice Member
That is how RAID 1 ("mirrored") works, but its purpose is to facilitate continued access to data in the event of a disc failure, not "backup" in the proper sense.

For example, if you put a your wedding video on your RAID1 volume, then the kids record Trumpton over it, the wedding video is gone from all discs, RAID does nothing to save you. Likewise any other event that causes corruption to stored data (virues, crypto locking, accidental deletion, etc. etc.) as well as the physical risks (flood, fire, theft, etc.)

"Backup" means maintaining a (often "point in time") replica of the data "somewhere else." How often to create such instances, how many to retain and where to keep them depends on the risks you wish to mitigate and cost you are prepared to bear.

For example, if you rip a load of DVD media, there's almost no point in backing it up elsewhere as you have the original media and can simply re-rip it. Albeit, that it will cost you some time and not being able to watch Star Wars (again) this week is hardly the end of the world.

Whereas for a business, it's lifeblood is it's data and they cannot afford to be without it for any amount of time, so buisneses are willing to spend lots of money on things like RAID and lots of backups to mitigate the risks.

Oh I see what you mean.

Do you have any expirience with Asustor or Zyxel Nas?

Thanks,
Isaac.
 

tich77

Active Member
Your problem is not going to be ethernet, or wired, or what brand of NAS.

It is going to be "how do I play 4K content on my TV from my NAS?"

A NAS will simply send a stream of bytes to a device that has requested that stream of bytes. What device is going to request the film?

I use a Popcorn Hour Box (PCH-A300) as a media player - it logs into the NAS, I select a film, the PCH then plays the film from the NAS and outputs to the TV. The keypoint, it is the PCH that requests the file (a film), is sent a stream of bytes, and decodes them into a picture and an audio track.

The TV cannot log into the NAS. It relies on the NAS running Plex to advertise a video, and the NAS then trasncodes that video stream into a format it understands. Frankly, it rarely works. The NAS processor is optimised to store data on disks and present a simple web front end for management. It struggles to transcode 720p video in real time and push that over a network to the TV. Forget 1080p, it freezes, breaks-up, distorts. To serve 1080p, I would have to let the NAS transcode it to a local file at least 24hrs in advance.

I wouldn't even try 4K.

Then of course, how are you going to get your source material onto the NAS? It takes me an hour to rip one 1080p from BD to NAS, using H.264 encoding. 4K requires the H.265 codec; not just more data to copy and compress, but an even slower encoding codec.
 

coto37

Novice Member
Your problem is not going to be ethernet, or wired, or what brand of NAS.

It is going to be "how do I play 4K content on my TV from my NAS?"

A NAS will simply send a stream of bytes to a device that has requested that stream of bytes. What device is going to request the film?

I use a Popcorn Hour Box (PCH-A300) as a media player - it logs into the NAS, I select a film, the PCH then plays the film from the NAS and outputs to the TV. The keypoint, it is the PCH that requests the file (a film), is sent a stream of bytes, and decodes them into a picture and an audio track.

The TV cannot log into the NAS. It relies on the NAS running Plex to advertise a video, and the NAS then trasncodes that video stream into a format it understands. Frankly, it rarely works. The NAS processor is optimised to store data on disks and present a simple web front end for management. It struggles to transcode 720p video in real time and push that over a network to the TV. Forget 1080p, it freezes, breaks-up, distorts. To serve 1080p, I would have to let the NAS transcode it to a local file at least 24hrs in advance.

I wouldn't even try 4K.

Then of course, how are you going to get your source material onto the NAS? It takes me an hour to rip one 1080p from BD to NAS, using H.264 encoding. 4K requires the H.265 codec; not just more data to copy and compress, but an even slower encoding codec.

Hello,

I do not know if my samsung can access the nas, but my lg can with the webOS system. Actualy there is a youtube video that explains how to access with lg. Both TVs are DLNA compatible and I think I can access with that. (correct me if I am wrong).

My father for example can access his nas with his panasonic TV and the TV deals with reading the file and playing the film with no other third party program. But his smart tv got a bit old and he had to get an external device and works no problem.

Plex I am going to give it a miss. I prefer the TV to do the job, and in the case of my samsung, I will use my computer to do the job because of the DTS decoding that my Q6FN can not do.

Later on when I run in compatibility problems, or want to move my computer to another room, I will get something like the Himedia q10 pro, Dune or popcorn hour box. But I think with what I have right now, I can play everything no problem and I am covered. LG has been able to play everything on my USB drive and for the Samsung I have my computer becouse of the DTS.
Later on, when the new H266 codec comes out for example, I will get an external device if needed.

So becouse I am not going to use plex, I do not need the NAS to do the transcoding. And I know I can play even the 4k hdr files direcly from the NAS, I do not need one of the very powerfull ones to transcode.
I just need it to be a Network HDD for everything on my network.

I am new with this stuff so I do not know much, maybe I have missed something.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
It takes me 20-30 mins to rip a Bluray, about double that for a UHD.

There's no encoding going on, you're just reading and copying data and muxing it into a container.

If you were encoding it, it would take many, many hours.
 
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