CONFUSED ABOUT 'The server is not powerful enough to convert video'



Up until 2 days ago I was running my Plex Media Server as a Windows 10 application from my main disk drive and the library of movies, music and images were held on my Seagate NAS drive. I was able to play movies on my PC and from my Amazon Fire TV app but not from my iPad or my Android phone as I did not have a Plex Pass then....of course I had to keep my PC powered on to allow this.

After updates to the firmware on my Seagate NAS drive I was able to install the Plex Media Server on the NAS drive, which I did and pointed the new empty libraries to the locations on the NAS drive that I had used when running from Windows. The libraries all populated and everything appears OK. So I have uninstalled the Plex server that was installed to the Windows 10 main drive.

I can watch a movie, listen to music and see photos from my Amazon Fire TV. So connections to/from the NAS Plex server are working - I assume because it's Linux to Linux?

I now have a lifetime plex pass and expected to be able to watch movies from the iPad and Android phones - but cannot. I can listen to music and see the photos however. I assume that the movies issue is because it needs to convert from Linux (the Seagate NAS) to iOS for the iPad and whatever the Android phone uses?

I also realise that I am no longer able to watch movies from the PC that the NAS drive is connected to and I assume again that this is because it needs to transcode from Linux to Windows?

If my assumptions are correct is there a way around this? If not I appear to have wasted my money on the PlexPass?


You didn’t waste money on Plex Pass, you changed Plex server strength.
If you used your Windows machine as the server, its CPU is likely much more powerful than your NAS.
This would be true with or without Plex Pass.
Plex Pass would still allow you to use Android and IOS without additional ‘one time per device account’ fees.
NAS CPUs are usually MUCH weaker than desktop computers.
Though you’re totally mixing up the definition of “transcoding”, you are correct in the reasoning.
Transcoding of video/audio streams has nothing to do with operating system they are stored on.
The format of the container (avi, mkv, mp4, etc) and streams within containers must be transcoded to be able to be played on different devices. It’s possible the Firestick has different capabilities than your Android and IOS devices.


OK, so there is no way around it? My NAS server can’t convert the mkv format of the stored movies to play on my PC, or on my iPad or on my mobile…which, to me, kind of makes the Plex Pass useless. You can’t play movies on iPads, iPhone or Android mobiles without Plex Pass but as my NAS server is inferior there is almost zero reason to have a Plex Pass. I appreciate that there are other benefits/features of a Plex Pass but I got it to specifically play movies on my iPad and mobile.



Yes - ways around it -

  1. Buy a NAS with a much more powerful processor
  2. Go back to using your (likely more powerful CPU) desktop machine as your server.
  3. Encode everthing manually (using your PC) to a format that will play on all your devices (if you’re going to do this, Plex isn’t for you - one of the features Plex was created was so people wouldn’t have to do that - but it requires good CPU to do it real time)

Plex Pass has little to do with whether or not you could play on IOS or Android. You could have paid the $5 purchase fee for IOS app store Plex and $5 purchase fee for Android app store. (Unless something changed since my spouse bought her IOS copy so she wouldn’t have to use my Plexpass account)
You would STILL need a reasonably powerful server for conversion.
Plex Pass just gives you the benefit of not worrying what app or client you want to use with your Plex account - they’re all included no additional charge (not counding data/hardware/etc)



Suggestion #1 is the only real option and I’ll consider that for the future.

I beg to differ on the Plex Pass - it DOES have a significant role in being able to play movies on iOS and Android devices because you cannot connect to your Plex Server from these devices without a Plex Pass. I had my previous Plex setup running for over a year and was never able to connect my iPad or Android phone because the Plex Server never allowed it. As soon as I bought the Plex Pass I was able to connect. I agree that whether I bought a lifetime pass or a monthly pass makes no difference as both would be wasted with a Seagate NAS drive.

I think Plex themselves agree with me as I copied my original Forum post in an email to them and without any discussion they refunded my Plex Pass payment and downgraded me.

So, next is to look at what media server options are out there …


Im not talking plexpass 5 bucks. You can do a one time purchase of plex for android or ios that will allow connection to servers past the limited trial time. My spouse has on her iphone using her own account, and is not using my pass account.
You can still do same w/o a pass


VicarageWay , I don’t see any specifications listed on your NAS, Processor, Memory or other details… I’m somewhat in a similar situation where the NAS drives I have will not transcode and I knew that going in so I am going the other way, I am using my windows 10 workstation with lots of power and capability as the Plex Server rather than going out and buying a new NAS. I plan to use the NAS I have just as a storage set up for the Server. It would be nice to buy a $$$$ NAS set up with lots of power and not have to use a desktop… but looking at it, I can buy one heck of a Window 10, I5 system to run about everything I want with no blips… but, that’s just my thought… I looked at the WD PR4100 NAS and that with 4 6TB drives run close to $1,000 dollar it just didn’t make sense since I already have a few NAS systems for storage.