Question Nas Noob - Need advice for a 4 bay Nas Enclosure for Kodi/Plex

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by nero0410, May 22, 2018.


    1. nero0410

      nero0410
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jan 5, 2004
      Messages:
      12,380
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      Weston Super Mare, UK
      Ratings:
      +4,810
      I have never owned a Nas Storage device in the past at all, and have been using a HTPC for my media player with Kodi, but it's on the blink, thankfully the drives containing all my blu, dvd, cd rips are all fine.

      I have two 3TB Drives and two 8TB drives containing the rips for all my music, film, tv and photos. I am hoping to be able to buy a diskless Nas enclosure for use with either Plex or Kodi (either on PS4 or nVidia Shield. I may even upgrade to the lifetime Plex thingy so I can still watch movies whilst away, unless it's possible to setup the Nas as a 'portable HDD' containing all my drives?

      All my movies, tv show's highest resolutions are 1080p and I run everything through my Denon amp. I'd like all the video to run smoothly and the newer had audio streams to work. DTS/MA, DolbyTrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS: Neural X.

      I'm guessing the hardware I'm streaming the files to does the encoding?
      With passthrough for the hd audio?
      Unless I'm streaming to my tablet/phone?


      I'm honestly clueless as to how it all works.

      All my content is ripped to .mkv format/container.

      Is Nas storage what I need or would it be better for me to just get a 4 bay hdd enclosure?
      I would guess that a nas would be better, as I can have it set up and almost always on then and be able to have it in one place in my home to watch anything anywhere in the flat.

      My budget is £300. I would really appreciate some advice as to what enclosure would best suit my needs.

      Cheers

      tris
       
    2. awentford

      awentford
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Nov 18, 2016
      Messages:
      110
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      18
      Location:
      london
      Ratings:
      +22
      If you use plex then it will be the NAS that does the transcoding, if you use Kodi then it won't need to transcode, there is also a plex add-on for kodi to get the best of both worlds. The best method is to use a playback device that means you don't need to transcode. I like the vero 4k but the NVidia shield is also a favourite around here.

      As you have different sized disks then a synology will be your best bet unless you're happy to build your own. It has a plex app so that's easy to install.

      In terms of plex, I don't think you need a plex pass to do remote streaming but you may do to 'sync' content which basically means download it to your device to watch later.

      As with anything important, make sure you have back ups as discs will eventually die. When ripping your own discs, that original physical item counts as a copy as well. It's more something to consider when it comes to family photos etc. if you decide to save these to the NAS.
       
    3. nero0410

      nero0410
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jan 5, 2004
      Messages:
      12,380
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      Weston Super Mare, UK
      Ratings:
      +4,810
      I intend on using a nVidia Shield TV or similar device (Vero 4k is an option that I didn't know about) for playback (PS4 for Plex), so I presume that does the encoding and audio passthrough of Atmos tracks for example? :)

      The Synology I found, above my £300 budget but 'do-able', doesn't seem to have Plex which is a shame, but would it be good for Kodi?:
      https://www.amazon.co.uk/Synology-DS418-Bay-Desktop-Enclosure/dp/B075D98BF8/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1527002154&sr=1-1&keywords=4+bay+synology&refinements=p_76:419158031

      Don't worry about backups, I have a few portable 5TB drives that I also have all my movies and tv rips backed up on as I lost a drive before and spent a month re ripping. Of course I have all my discs too, they are safely stored on bookshelves taking up a whole wall :)

      I'm not too hung up on plex as I love kodi, so would this be a bit overkill maybe or just about right?
      (Though it would be nice to have it there as an option as it's available on all my devices)
      Are there any you can recommend?

      Cheers :)
       
      Last edited: May 22, 2018
    4. awentford

      awentford
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Nov 18, 2016
      Messages:
      110
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      18
      Location:
      london
      Ratings:
      +22
      If you are using kodi then practically anything will suffice for a NAS as it's just sending the media to the player, very little power needed. sinology has a package manager (app store type thing) which should have a plex app on it if you require it.

      There is also the ds418j which is less then £300 and may be suitable. I don't know the models in detail.

      If I was in your situation, I'd buy the cheapest 4-bay synology and then a good media player like the NVidia shield or vero 4k and you should be fine. It'll play to more than 1 device at a time if needed as well.
       
    5. bubblegum57

      bubblegum57
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Jan 5, 2010
      Messages:
      1,864
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      86
      Ratings:
      +297
    6. Sloppy Bob

      Sloppy Bob
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jul 6, 2009
      Messages:
      3,665
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +2,715
      Note you can't just chuck your drives with all your data into the NAS and it will read them.

      The first thing it will do is wipe and format them.
      Also you're looking at a 4-bay. Will you be using any form of RAID? As that would only give you 3 useable disks.
       
    7. nero0410

      nero0410
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jan 5, 2004
      Messages:
      12,380
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      Weston Super Mare, UK
      Ratings:
      +4,810
      I've honestly no idea about raid and how it works. Was hoping to use all 4 disks.
       
    8. limegreenzx

      limegreenzx
      Banned

      Joined:
      Feb 9, 2006
      Messages:
      2,018
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      86
      Ratings:
      +336
      You really need to decide if you want to access your media away from home or not before choosing the NAS, and if you are going to invest in Plex pass or not.
      Plex pass allows you to use hardware transcoding but you need to get a compatible NAS (generally Intel based).
      Having Plex pass makes a big difference in the power of the NAS you need for transcoding with Plex.
       
    9. mickevh

      mickevh
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Apr 30, 2007
      Messages:
      7,083
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      133
      Location:
      West London
      Ratings:
      +1,674
      Wiki's articles on RAID are quite good.

      Mostly when people talk about using RAID, they are referring to using one of the RAID variants that avails continued access to your data when a disc fails. Typically that involves duplicating the data in some fashion across multiple discs so that when one dies, the data can still be read (without any impact on users) from another whilst you get around to replacing the failed disc. The "penalty" of such technology is that you get less storage for your money.

      To cite an example, using RAID 1 (often called "mirroring") using 2 discs, each disc contains a block-for-block duplicate of the other. Viz; if disc A dies, you can still read the data from disc B. But, having bought (say) 2 x 2TB discs, you "only" have 2TB of usable storage instead of 4TB. Other versions of RAID (they all have numbers) avail different permutations of redundancy, performance and "overhead" of lost capacity.

      Whether or not one views this as worthwhile is a value judgement. In a business, we could not afford to be without our data for some period of time just because a disc died, so businesses often use RAID (or something similar.) Many argue that for a media tank in a SOHO environment, "RAID is not worth it." Because you have all the data on shiny silver discs they were originally purchased on, not being able to access you movies for a few days whilst you procure a new disc is hardly the end of the world - though you will have to re-rip them when the replacement disc arrives. Thus, one might forego RAID and maximise storage capacity (using the exemplar I cited earlier, you'd get the full 4TB usable capacity from your 2 x 2TB discs) - this is often called JBOD ("Just a Bunch Of Discs.)

      For completeness we should state that RAID (whichever version) is NOT in any way shape or form a "backup." Due to the nuances of how RAID works, if one writes corrupt data to a RAID array (e.g. accidentally delete a file, suffer a virus attack, record Trumpton over the wedding video) RAID will not save you. RAID is all about uninterrupted availability of data (in the versions most often used - some RAID versions don't even offer such redundancy.)
       
      • Thanks Thanks x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • List
      Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
    10. Sloppy Bob

      Sloppy Bob
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jul 6, 2009
      Messages:
      3,665
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +2,715
      For a media streamer I wouldn't bother with RAID for a 2 disk NAS. Just go with external backups.
      For A 4-bay.... not so sure.
      If I was considering a 4-bay and thought I'd want some kind of RAID on it, it might tempt me to buy a 5-bay and use a single disk RAID such as RAID 5 or Synology's own SHR-1 if I bought a Synology.

      Regardeless of RAID or not, you do need a backup of all your important data and a full backup of all your media, unless you don't mind ripping it all again.





      *Note- I have an 8-bay Synology and use Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR-1) and a full backup of all my important data.
       
      • Thanks Thanks x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Useful Useful x 1
      • List
    11. nero0410

      nero0410
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jan 5, 2004
      Messages:
      12,380
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      Weston Super Mare, UK
      Ratings:
      +4,810
      Thank you for the explanations guys, that's brilliant :) I guess I'm more for Kodi, so the device I'm streaming to will be able to decode the files themselves, eg, another pc, tablet, phone, or console, so no decoding should be needed on the NAS it's self.. it just needs to act as a file server if those are the right words?

      As for raid, I won't need that from the sounds of it, JBOD sounds the best solution to me as it'll utilize all the space.

      I've lost a drive of films in the past and had to re rip all the disks from that drive, that took some time and a lesson learned. So I bought three 5tb externals and have them all backed up on those so I wont need to re rip if a drive fails.... and if the worst happens and a drive and it's backup external drive fails, I've of course got all my discs :)

      So leaving plex out of the equation, are there any recommendations?
       
    12. mickevh

      mickevh
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Apr 30, 2007
      Messages:
      7,083
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      133
      Location:
      West London
      Ratings:
      +1,674
      That is exactly the right words :D In it's simplest (and original) form, NAS is a file server - nothing more. Other IT platforms can also serve files - pretty much every *nix, Windows and Mac Operating system can do it too.
       
    13. Ross L

      Ross L
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Oct 29, 2009
      Messages:
      807
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      43
      Ratings:
      +186
      I've recently gone from using a HTPC with my drives in, to a HP Microserver Gen 8, running Emby as an alternative to Plex. OS wise I'm running Windows Server Essentials and I find it all works without a hitch.

      I only went the Windows route as the other routes seemed to require some understanding of Linux, which is above my simple mind. Seeing that the licence was £4.99 on eBay, it swayed me to stick with Windows.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Useful Useful x 1
      • List
    14. mickevh

      mickevh
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Apr 30, 2007
      Messages:
      7,083
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      133
      Location:
      West London
      Ratings:
      +1,674
      Nothing wrong with a paid for OS, especially if it's cheap. Though I'm a little skeptical about a 5 GBP Windows license off ebay. :D That said, I once managed to get a copy of Office for 10 GBP thanks to a deal my then (educational sector) employer had with MS.
       
    15. Ross L

      Ross L
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Oct 29, 2009
      Messages:
      807
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      43
      Ratings:
      +186
      Got to admit I was a bit sceptical about it too, but with PayPal protection had nowt to lose. So far 3 months in and no issues whatsoever. Now I've said that all hell will break loose tomorrow.
       
    16. Supersonic

      Supersonic
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jan 5, 2005
      Messages:
      1,101
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      Surrey
      Ratings:
      +181
      FWIW I was happily running Full HD media (blus and HDDVD rips) from my Synology 212J out to Kodi HTPCs for ages. In 2016 I bought a DS916+, but that was to make use of the other things the NAS can do like encryption/RADIUS server, syncing folders etc.

      Pretty sure you could find a two-bay J model for a good price that would fill the role as your media server.

      Just bear in mind that the J models are slow CPU-wise relative to the other units, and has an effect on pretty much everything it does. For example, I put an SSD in my 212J last month (just to run it up and check out what firmware was on it, try out a newer DSM) and the file transfer over gigabit ethernet from PC maxed out at 60MB/s - this is a NAS bottleneck (CPU - or possibly its network interface) not the drive or the network.

      I usually set long NAS jobs going and leave them to run overnight. Things like formatting or parity checking a new disk, transferring files from one volume to another etc. If you're in a hurry don't get a J model! But if you're happy to leave it you don't need more.

      Be careful which DSM you put on a NAS - for example my 212J won't really run versions 5 or 6 with any zip. But then they're not needed just for a media server, and the unit came with (IIRC) DSM 2.something, which ran very snappily.

      One really cool thing you can do is run a MySQL database on your NAS - this way you can have a centralised media library. For example you can start watching something on one client and pick up from the same point on another. It also means all the artwork/media info etc. is the same across your clients. It's pretty easy to set up, check out the Kodi wiki.
       
    17. nero0410

      nero0410
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jan 5, 2004
      Messages:
      12,380
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      Weston Super Mare, UK
      Ratings:
      +4,810
      It's looking as though I don't really need NAS then, as, although it'd be nice, I think it's more a case of consolidating the four drives into one as it were.. I presme JBOD does this?

      I've just got an Xbox One and noticed it has the Kodi app on it. 'Awes.... I won't double post, so:
      https://www.avforums.com/threads/ne...ome-storage-questions-general-advice.2173751/

      Any thoughts? Well, you can answer in that thread if you like, might be a little neater.
       
    18. nero0410

      nero0410
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jan 5, 2004
      Messages:
      12,380
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      Weston Super Mare, UK
      Ratings:
      +4,810
    19. limegreenzx

      limegreenzx
      Banned

      Joined:
      Feb 9, 2006
      Messages:
      2,018
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      86
      Ratings:
      +336
      Your first post states that your HTPC is on the blink. If you're thinking of buying an external enclosure does that mean it's now fixed? You have another PC?
       
    20. nero0410

      nero0410
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jan 5, 2004
      Messages:
      12,380
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      Weston Super Mare, UK
      Ratings:
      +4,810
      No, it means I have a Xbox One S now which I have Kodi installed on which I'm planning to use in place of it :)

      So far in the thread in my previous post I've learned that only 3 drives can be connected to the Xbox One S, even with a hub, so I've updated my questions there :)
       
    21. limegreenzx

      limegreenzx
      Banned

      Joined:
      Feb 9, 2006
      Messages:
      2,018
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      86
      Ratings:
      +336
      In that case I would say using an enclosure would be a mistake.
      The original advice of a DS418J would make a far better solution to sharing media files.
       
    22. nero0410

      nero0410
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jan 5, 2004
      Messages:
      12,380
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      Weston Super Mare, UK
      Ratings:
      +4,810
      Thank you. Though if I do go for a NAS (since I've just got £100 quidco bonus :D) I have a little more budget and could go for the DS418Play and that would enable me to watch stuff remotely too with onboard transcoding (If I ever need it).

      Before I do anything else, I'm going to look into an audio issue with Kodi I seem to be having on the Xbox. Maybe it's just my ears, but the Atmos and DTS HD tracks just sound, odd. I'm not sure it's 'passing through' audio at all.

      I'm going to have another look at my htpc too and see if I can figure out whats wrong with that too since it's playing up. Of course, I'll be coming back with my findings.. probably late evening to early hours as I don't sleep much. Just borrowed another psu, gpu and memory.

      I'd been having problems with my gaming rig.. and it's down to windows updates. It's been installing them in the background and restarting my machine without asking. Been doing it a lot since the April update.
       
    23. AndySmith

      AndySmith
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Nov 24, 2009
      Messages:
      107
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      31
      Ratings:
      +36
      I was running an old 2Tb Buffalo LinkStation NAS box for several years, and it did a reasonable job (one disc so no RAID, no plex, local BT client, reasonably fast but struggled with high bitrate content). Anyway, it blew up at the start of the year so I was going through the same process as the OP here - which NAS box will I want to replace it? I thought about all of the things I needed (just files, on my network) and nice-to-have extras (Plex, BT client, Raid, DLNA server) and priced it up and it just didn't seem worth it.

      In the end, I just bought a 2Tb USB 3.0 drive (£80 iirc) plugged it into my router, and shared it. I already had a Vero 4K as my main streamer, my other smart devices can read the share and pick up the media, and I moved the other features I wanted (BT client was the main one) off to a Raspberry Pi I already had kicking around on my network somewhere.

      This certainly doesn't match a proper NAS box for features, but as a simple solution it works (and the Vero 4K has no problem playing UHD content in this setup).
       
    24. nero0410

      nero0410
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jan 5, 2004
      Messages:
      12,380
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      Weston Super Mare, UK
      Ratings:
      +4,810
      Your router has a usb socket?

      For an update, I found out that my HTPC's gpu and psu had issues, so just awaiting on new ones to replace them.

      It's a shame that Kodi doesn't really act as a file server for other rooms/devices, as well. That'd be perfect :)

      Been playing around with Kodi on an xbox one, and plex media server on my rig with plex on xbox one too.. the problem seems to be that the xbox one does not allow audio passthrough from 3rd party apps such as kodi and plex, so no 'true' had audio at all there. Not sure if thats the case on the PS4, will have to have a look, though it's limited to plex on the ps4.
       
    25. AndySmith

      AndySmith
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Nov 24, 2009
      Messages:
      107
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      31
      Ratings:
      +36
      Yeah, my router is an Asus RT-somethingorother. It's got one USB3 port (keep the media on there) and one USB2 port (got another USB drive plugged in there, overnight job on Raspberry PI backs up important stuff from the media drive to this one).

      Like you say, Kodi can't do much for file sharing, but the hardware it runs on might be able to. As an example, you could get a Raspberry PI (£30ish?), install OSMC (free), plug a USB hard drive into it. In OSMC you can activate Samba and setup file sharing on the Pi. This means other devices on your network should be able to see it. So you'd be using the Pi as the file server, and as a Kodi client at the same time, while other kodi clients (or smart tvs, or whatever you have) could browse and play back things on the USB hard drive. Or have one Pi as a dedicated file server (could have a BT client on there as well, if you wanted to), and another as the playback device (although you could use anything on the local network that can run Kodi I suppose).

      This is a particularly cheapo way of doing it, and I'd be concerned about how well the Pi would cope with sharing files while simultaneously playing something back as well (and a normal Pi3 can only do so much with Kodi as well - no 4k playback, no HDR, no Atmos, struggles with X265 above 720p, and so on). So you could replace the Pi with something more powerful like the Vero 4K - more horsepower to cope with multitasking, and does all of the above stuff.

      These kinds of options are basically you building your own infrastructure to replace what the NAS box would do. It's cheaper, more flexible, but more work of course. A good learning experience, if you're into that kind of thing.
       

    Share This Page

    Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice