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Media Server Novice

standleystandley Posts: 7Members ✭✭

Hi all, i am seeking some really basic advice as i am a complete novice.
I would like to upload all my media onto my plex account so my son can just use the tv app to watch what he wants.

I managed to create the playlists ok, however it seems i must have my laptop on at all times in order for him to watch the media on the playlists.

So my question is this , is there a program or piece of kit i could buy to work as my plex media server so i dont have to leave my laptop on?

I have read alot of answers and questions but unfortunatly i just dont understand the jargon being used.

any help would be really apreciated but please dumb it down for me.

Many Thanks

Best Answer

Answers

  • standleystandley Posts: 7Members ✭✭

    Thanks for a speedy reply and yes it makes sense thankyou.

    Becasue i work away alot my laptop will not always be active so if i were to buy a NAS then this could remedy my problem and i wont have to have the laptop on at all times.
    is that right?

  • AmazingRando24AmazingRando24 Posts: 1,121Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    That is correct. Most NAS devices are designed to run 24/7. Do some research before just running out and buying one. Depending on your files and compatibility, you might want one with a processor that can handle transcoding.

    A little background... and the miracle of Plex... Transcoding happens when your file isn't compatible with the device that's trying to play it. This is where Plex runs some magic, and it converts the file on the fly to make it compatible. As you can imagine, this takes a bit of processing power to perform. Most modern laptops and PCs can perform this process without your ever knowing. An underpowered NAS could easily choke under pressure, as they're mostly designed to only handle files for the most part.

    I know that some QNAP and Synology devices are considered on the better end for this purpose. Some of the more popular Western Digital devices may not be. The easy way to tell if they're higher end, is that they probably contain a processor normally associated with a PC... such as an Intel chip or the like.

    I'm not an expert in NAS devices that can run Plex. I have three NAS that can, but I never run it on those as they're incredibly underpowered. I'm sure if I went through all of my files and converted them, I'd be ok... but I really don't have that kind of patience or time. I just let the PC do the work.

    PMS Server: Intel i7-6700 16gb RAM Dedicated Windows 10 PC
    DVR Lineup: Dual HDHomeRun Extend Tuners
    NAS: Drobo 5n2-15tb / Drobo B800fs 24tb

    "It's amazing what replacing one faulty network cable will do for your Plex performance!"

  • standleystandley Posts: 7Members ✭✭

    i cant thank you enough.

    thankyou very much for taking the time to answer my questions.

    (and for dumbing it down for me)

    I'll be online most of the night now trying to source a NAS at a reasonable price.
    thanks again

  • AmazingRando24AmazingRando24 Posts: 1,121Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    No worries at all. Don't limit yourself to a NAS if you're on a budget. You could just as easily pop a capable used PC off eBay and throw some USB drives on it and get by. There's a huge audience for running PMS on the NVidia Shield Pro as well.

    Lots of options... but if your budget is semi-flexible, and you want to press the "Easy Button" then the all in one NAS solution may work best. Another advantage there... is expansion. =)

    PMS Server: Intel i7-6700 16gb RAM Dedicated Windows 10 PC
    DVR Lineup: Dual HDHomeRun Extend Tuners
    NAS: Drobo 5n2-15tb / Drobo B800fs 24tb

    "It's amazing what replacing one faulty network cable will do for your Plex performance!"

  • standleystandley Posts: 7Members ✭✭

    i am definitly going to be looking into a NAS but dont really want to spend a fortune .
    i have no idea what im looking for tbh but ill do some internet research and hopefully pick one up reasonably priced.

    ive been looking on ebay and they range from £120-£400

  • AmazingRando24AmazingRando24 Posts: 1,121Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Hit this area of the forum and read what people are saying about each:
    https://forums.plex.tv/categories/nas

    That might help as well.

    PMS Server: Intel i7-6700 16gb RAM Dedicated Windows 10 PC
    DVR Lineup: Dual HDHomeRun Extend Tuners
    NAS: Drobo 5n2-15tb / Drobo B800fs 24tb

    "It's amazing what replacing one faulty network cable will do for your Plex performance!"

  • Elijah_BaleyElijah_Baley Posts: 5,050Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @standley said:
    i am definitly going to be looking into a NAS but dont really want to spend a fortune .
    i have no idea what im looking for tbh but ill do some internet research and hopefully pick one up reasonably priced.

    ive been looking on ebay and they range from £120-£400

    Most of the NAS devices in the price range you have stated will be incapable of transcoding so either look at more powerful machines (I have been running an I7 PC with USB drives for years) or get all your media in a format that direct plays on whatever client(s) you choose.

    According to Plex the processor needs to have a Passmark of 2000 for each 1080p transcoded stream but you usually can get by with a bit less. (1000-1500 or so)

    I have, many times, looked at various NAS devices and I have yet to find one that was as cost effective as a PC with external drives.

    BTW: for redundancy and safety I run StableBit's DrivePool to pool all my drives and keep duplicate files in case of drive failure.

    The only issue I have is the combo of computer and drives and UPS and all the wall wart power supplies for the drives becomes a bit messy and bulky but I solved that problem by getting a small footprint vertical shelf system for the entire server system.

    My system has been running for several years with no major problems and only one USB drive failure that resulted in no data loss. I have 11 drives of various sizes totaling almost 54 TB. It is a good, solid and easy to manage system and will transcode up to (tested) 6 1080p streams. But I only usually use 1 most of the time and rarely 2.

    “The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.” Philip K. Dic*k (This STUPID forum software does not allow a perfectly valid last name, hence the unusual looking formating)

    From a High School paper on Greek Philosophers:
    "Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock."

  • standleystandley Posts: 7Members ✭✭

    Thanks for the advice Elijah, i would only be using about 1tb at the very most so storage isnt really the issue tbh.
    I just thought that maybe if i had some sort of storage device up and running with maybe an external hdd attached that maybe i could just tuck them away in our spare room somewhere and just upload new movies etc when required.

    Its all a bit daunting tbh, i have no idea what im looking to buy.

    i'll get there .

    thanks for the reply
    much apreciated

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