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Readynas 516 with HDMI output

Axel PetersAxel Peters Posts: 17Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

Hi all,


I was wondering what is holding us to use the HDMI output straight to a TV and use the NAS also as a client to run for example Plex Home Theater, etc. on it.


I mean it would make sense, the device has a fast processor.





  • codycookcodycook Posts: 226Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    The HDMI port on the unit was supposed to be for content but hasn't been implemented yet. There's a way to get it to console through HDMI, but I am not aware of how to do it at this current moment. If you do get it to output to HDMI, put back your findings here.

  • Axel PetersAxel Peters Posts: 17Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    OK, I just cannot believe that nobody is interested into this.

  • mdgmmdgm Posts: 261Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited June 2014

    I've been interested in this for some time as well as a number of others. I've run PHT for Windows on a 516 and it outputs fine, so the hardware is definitely good enough for running PHT.

    It should be possible to make a client, but the ReadyNAS does run customised Debian Linux. It could take a lot of work to make a PHT client for the ReadyNAS for all I know.

  • Axel PetersAxel Peters Posts: 17Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @mdgm: Sorry, do not understand what you mean by run PHT in windows on 516.
    I assume you have PHT on a windows system and run as everybody else the server on your NAS (516)

    I ask because it sounds like exactly what I want - running PHT on a 516
  • mdgmmdgm Posts: 261Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited June 2014

    I installed Windows 7 on a 516 unit for fun and ran PHT in that Windows install. I connected a HDMI display. What I did proves that the hardware is good enough. Even if it weren't good enough for direct play you could use transcoding rather than direct play to play from another server.

    There are some big downsides to running Windows on a 516:

    1. Not supported
    2. Would need to try to get fan control to work

    3. The display on the front of the NAS never turns off

    4. ReadyNAS OS is a much better OS for use as a file server than Windows.

    5. If you don't know what you are doing try to install Windows it's possible you might brick your system. I'm not going to provide instructions.

    So a PHT client for ReadyNAS OS 6 (customised Debian Linux) should be possible to make, but I don't know how hard it would be to make one.

  • Axel PetersAxel Peters Posts: 17Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Got you there - Thanks
  • SebastianVSebastianV Posts: 3Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited February 2015
    mdgm wrote on June 18 2014, 6:43 AM: »

    5. If you don't know what you are doing try to install Windows it's possible you might brick your system. I'm not going to provide instructions.

    mdgm is correct in saying "this is dangerous", so beware.

    Having said that, I'd like to report that I've had success in installing Windows 2012 R2 Server yesterday.

    I connected a monitor and usb keyboard and mouse. I also connected a USB DVD-drive with the installation DVD. Most likely it would have work from an installation usb, but I didn't try that.

    Then I started the machine, and entered BIOS -> press escape or delete during the normal BIOS screen, you have 1 second to do it.

    Then I fiddled in bios and asked it to start from my USB DVD-drive.

    It started installation as usual and installed without a hitch. All basic drivers were there, included on the installation DVD.

    Almost everything works beautifully so far, except one thing. You have to set the harddisk as a boot device every time you boot/reset.

    The bios resets what device to boot from. It defaults to the "SMI USB DISK 1100", which is a built-in usb drive, soldered on the motherboard. It cannot be removed (I opened and looked at the motherboard).

    That's the tiny built in Linux OS that you'd normally use as a preboot environment, to load the real ReadyNAS OS 6.

    So that's it, have fun installing if you go down that road.

    The workaround is to increase the timeout in bios and then select the harddisk as boot media, on every restart. So you have to be there when you restart windows.

    UPDATE: I just ran Windows 8.1 to go from a USB disk and everything just worked out of the box.

    For laughs, I even ran 3DMark to see if that worked. It did! The Intel 2500 HD gave me:

      Fire strike: 179

      Sky Diver: 920

      Cloudgate: 2581

      Ice Storm: 27807

  • mdgmmdgm Posts: 261Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    You can solve that problem by chainloading.

  • SebastianVSebastianV Posts: 3Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited February 2015

    I could indeed... and did after sometinkering  :)

    It now boots to windows every time. 

    Thanks, mdgm :)

    Speed fan from http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.phpworks for fan control, at least when using windows 2012 R2 server.

    Just adjust the SYS fan. When I turn it down from 50 % to 35%, I can't hear it anymore (at least not from 1 meter away)

    Make sure to watch temperatures, as running at low fan speeds might make your cpu too hot, possible causing crashes and/or damage

  • bhelgesonbhelgeson Posts: 7Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    How did you chainload another OS on this ReadyNAS I am looking to do this on a 516. Thanks for the help.

  • SebastianVSebastianV Posts: 3Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I don't remember the details, but if you look up Syslinux and http://www.syslinux.org/wiki/index.php/Comboot/chain.c32you should find some guides.

    With that said, I don't recommend going the Windows route any longer.

    I keep having problems with the network cars under windows 2012 R2. They disabled themselves after some time, but I figured out it was due to powersaving fetaures letting them go to sleep.

    After I fixed that, I thought everything was okay for a while. After 3-4 days the main network card just disappeared! Gone, no trace. A reboot helped, but that's no way to have a server.

    So in short, various incompatibilities make the Windows 2012 server unreliable. I'm going to re-install the standard ReadyNAS and just live with it's shortcomings.

  • frogbearfilms@gmail.comfrogbearfilms@gmail.com Posts: 1Members

    Hello everyone,

    I'm coming back on this very intresting topic maybe a little bit late, but want to try my luck.

    I have a 516 too which was my plex server for some times and i was happy about it, but then for some reasons it sadly ended up in a cave almost forgotten but now, i want to go deeper in the machine, and i am quite sure it could do a lot for me !

    I would like to install linux CentOS on it as a default boot to be able to use it with btrfs file system, but also install nextcloud, postgreSQL database and other usefull little apps for my job, the hdmi output and of course a plex server ;)

    i found some intresting articles on the web talking about replacing OS on readynas pro or Ultra duo

    Those 2 articles might be usefull but they both start with getting a special VGA cable to plug to the motherboard. So my first question is can we use the hdmi output to get to the console directly (at the moment the 516 is stored far away from any monitor and this question is scratching my head) if not natively is there anything to do to activate it and get to the bios ?

    After that i "just" need to plug the centOS usb key installer and i'll be able to install everything or is there some other tricky parts ?

    thanks and have a nice day !

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