4K and Raspberry Pi



Greetings all. I am currently running my media server on a Mac Mini, and while I don’t hav Le any complaints, I am doing several tech upgrades around my house leading to this thought/question: can I use a Raspberry Pi 3 to run my Plex Media Server AND have it support 4K and HDR without lag/client slowdown? What if the media is stored on a NAS? Would that cause any slowdown? (For the record, I have Ethernet run to most devices, and most of the rest are using 802.11ac, so there shouldn’t be any bandwidth issues.)

Pretty self explanatory there, but thanks for any responses and help.


We just discussed this in another thread. If we are talking about 50GB remuxes you will run into bandwidth issues with the RPi3: Only 100 Mbps Ethernet and only 220 Mbps shared bandwidth for USB and Ethernet. Only Direct Play would work reasonably. Even Direct Stream would cause issues. And with 4k/HDR you will require video transcoding at the moment, so this also disqualifies the Pis. And remember that HDR transcoding is still broken in Plex (missing tone mapping).


You might overcome the bandwidth problem by choosing a bananapi instead, as it offers 1 Gb/s ethernet and separate access to the CPU for ethernet and USB. It also has a SATA port for a HD drive. I would not put the data on a separate NAS. Make the bananapi your NAS.

But as uglymagoo said on-the-fly transcoding 2160p/HDR will require a high performance CPU/GPU. Any Pi will not have that performance, nor do I think the Mac Mini will make you happy.

Prepare the data beforehand offline.

I run a bananapi, but have not tested any of that discussed above.