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NAS newb advice

754 84 December 8, 2017 at 10:02 AM
I've been using JBOD on an 8 bay Mediasonic for years pushing 4k UHD and lower bit rate content both wired and wireless to my Nvidia Shield (Kodi) and to my 'smart' TV's (Simultaneously) or Receiver.

Most content is x264, x265, and FLAC.

I don't like the idea of having to keep my PC on any longer and would like to explore options to have it off but still have access to all my media. I believe that means NAS. (?)

I would like to be able to push the 4k UHD stream wirelessly to any device in the house (my wifi speed is good and allows that now).

I keep all of my media backed up to other hard drives and want to continue backing up that way. I don't like or trust cloud. I don't know enough about RAID to say I would not use it but would likely not need the data redundancy that it offers.

I passed on the last 8 bay NAS SD offered because I had read the chip in it was too slow for x265 4kUHD. What's fast enough to 'push' all that I have and let my Shield's play it on the TV (etc).

Thanks for any help regarding this.

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#2
NAS is an option. The thing you'll need to be aware of is transcoding. If you need the NAS to do that live, you'll have to get something that will be pretty pricey. Most NAS on the market will be limited as far as the CPU.

I use QNAP and I am happy with it. At the same time, I don't do live transcoding.
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#3
If my Shield's can transcode (I know they have Plex but am not a fan) then that is not an issue. Kodi is by far my favorite program to use to watch my media files from the Mediasonic.

I'd like to know the minimum CPU that would easily allow streaming without transcoding and the minimum CPU that could transcode a 4k UHD file. Price may or may not be an option. If the CPU in a NAS is upgradable from one to the other (like on a motherboard) that would be great! But I wouldn't know what to look for.

Curious if you saw that last 8 bay NAS offered on SD. Would that have been OK for simply streaming a 4k UHD file to an Nvidia Shield?
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#4
I use a WD Cloud NAS and it streams to Kodi just fine. It does not do any transcoding.
Most of the new Synology NAS will handle transcoding if you need it. Since even a Raspberry Pi can handle 4K, I don't worry about my NAS having to do the grunt work. I just use it for a NAS.
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Thanks.

So would anyone think if this NAS that was on sale (linked below) would have been able to send 4k UHD to the Nvidia Shield's without issue (assuming that the Mediasonic I have can do it now....so all things being equal)?

I'll keep it in mind for the 'next time' it goes on sale....even if a year away.

Newb question: So....all I would need to do is move my NTFS media drives from my Mediasonic into the NAS....would that be with or without a need to format? And what RAID would I choose if I wanted maximum space without backup (cause I'll manually back up files as I add them to other hard drives) ?

https://slickdeals.net/f/10944719-b-h-qnap-ts-853a-eight-bay-nas-enclosure-649-free-shipping?src=SiteSearchV2_SearchBarV2Algo1
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Last edited by eoniverse December 8, 2017 at 11:35 AM.
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#6
Quote from eoniverse
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Thanks.

So would anyone think if this NAS that was on sale (linked below) would have been able to send 4k UHD to the Nvidia Shield's without issue (assuming that the Mediasonic I have can do it now....so all things being equal)?

I'll keep it in mind for the 'next time' it goes on sale....even if a year away.

Newb question: So....all I would need to do is move my NTFS media drives from my Mediasonic into the NAS....would that be with or without a need to format? And what RAID would I choose if I wanted maximum space without backup (cause I'll manually back up files as I add them to other hard drives) ?

https://slickdeals.net/f/10944719-b-h-qnap-ts-853a-eight-bay-nas-enclosure-649-free-shipping?src=SiteSearchV2_SearchBarV2Algo1
It will format your drives deleting all existing data.

From their spec page:
File System Internal hard drive: EXT4
External hard drive: EXT4, EXT3, NTFS, FAT32, HFS+

The box runs LINUX and thus it's not going to want to have internal NTFS drives.


As to RAID. "Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks"

RAID basically tries to protect you from a drive or drives having a physical failure. Note that RAID is NOT a backup.

Case in point: a RAID 1 puts an exact copy on both drives, should 1 drive Die, you are OK, but if you get a virus or decide to delete a file(s) then those files are altered or deleted on BOTH drives.

On our servers we run a RAID 10 as that gives decent performance and protection from drive failures. We back up our files to an entirely different hard drive array housed in a different cabinet. (for the geeks- A 4 node EMC Isilon)

So as to what raid level to suggest to you, what is your risk tolerance at?
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Quote from DC
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It will format your drives deleting all existing data.

From their spec page:
File System Internal hard drive: EXT4
External hard drive: EXT4, EXT3, NTFS, FAT32, HFS+

The box runs LINUX and thus it's not going to want to have internal NTFS drives.


As to RAID. "Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks"

RAID basically tries to protect you from a drive or drives having a physical failure. Note that RAID is NOT a backup.

Case in point: a RAID 1 puts an exact copy on both drives, should 1 drive Die, you are OK, but if you get a virus or decide to delete a file(s) then those files are altered or deleted on BOTH drives.

On our servers we run a RAID 10 as that gives decent performance and protection from drive failures. We back up our files to an entirely different hard drive array housed in a different cabinet. (for the geeks- A 4 node EMC Isilon)

So as to what raid level to suggest to you, what is your risk tolerance at?
My risk tolerance is it's OK to lose everything in the NAS since I have all data backed up to archived hard drives.

New Question: So when I create a new file and it's on my PC hard drive in Windows....how do I get it onto a hard drive on the NAS?
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Quote from eoniverse
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My risk tolerance is it's OK to lose everything in the NAS since I have all data backed up to archived hard drives.

New Question: So when I create a new file and it's on my PC hard drive in Windows....how do I get it onto a hard drive on the NAS?
A JBOD would net you the most about of space on the drives, but any drive that died would create a loss of that data, but since you have it in on another PC, you are protected that way.

As to getting your content on to the NAS, that all depends on how the NAS is set up.

Forget that it's not NTFS, you really don't care from a consumer stand point, there will be shares that you'll have to create or is already created when you go through the setup and you'll then copy the files to them. The NAS will handle any file conversions as needed. Note this is not transcribing/trans-coding from a video perspective, just simply using the native file format that the OS on the NAS uses. This should be completely transparent to you.
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So what you wrote made me think of another question: Is there an 8 bay JBOD Network enabled device that acts like a media server in a similar way that a NAS does (RAID excepted)?

I've been thinking about building a 'silent' 8 bay PC that uses a LOT less power than my workhorse PC. Something as small as possible. I thought a NAS would have been easier but perhaps not?

Building one is in my wheelhouse. Just attracted to how compact the NAS is compared to a PC 8 bay media server build would be.
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Quote from eoniverse
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So what you wrote made me think of another question: Is there an 8 bay JBOD Network enabled device that acts like a media server in a similar way that a NAS does (RAID excepted)?

I've been thinking about building a 'silent' 8 bay PC that uses a LOT less power than my workhorse PC. Something as small as possible. I thought a NAS would have been easier but perhaps not?

Building one is in my wheelhouse. Just attracted to how compact the NAS is compared to a PC 8 bay media server build would be.
Your QNAP that you linked to does.
Other than it, I haven't looked to see if there are other 8 bay boxes that do what you ask above.

You can get smaller PC cases, throw in a Celeron or similar chip devices and add your drives.

I bet if you looked, there is a Pi version of what you want to build.
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Your QNAP that you linked to does.
Other than it, I haven't looked to see if there are other 8 bay boxes that do what you ask above.

You can get smaller PC cases, throw in a Celeron or similar chip devices and add your drives.

I bet if you looked, there is a Pi version of what you want to build.
Appreciate the input. I may wait until the next 675.00 or so deal on an 8 bay from a reputable retailer with a return policy. Give it a spin and if it doesn't work build something smaller.

If I build smaller just have to be sure the case either holds 8 3.5 HDD's or the esata on the MB it has comes with port multiplying.... and of course (if going that route) I'd like 4k HEVC.

Have not looked into Pi much. Windows has been my comfort zone, but you have me looking into it now. Happy Holidays!!
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#12
Questions:
Will it be your Shield that plays the content, and not your smart TVs? If so, which app on your Shield? If it's 100% Kodi, for example, it should play everything under the sun natively. If it's Plex, your Plex server would need to be somewhat powerful - an Intel chip, say a dual-core i5 - for the odd formats that the Shield couldn't play natively.

You mention wheelhouse, so I'm assuming you've got a pretty unique setup and you don't need to worry about sharing your media with others (via Plex or some other solution).

Question: What's the downside to keeping the PC on and serving your media? The 8 bay NAS at $700 or so will offer less than what you have now, even if you don't care or don't notice, in many ways. Yes, they'll have a customized OS and yes they remove the dependency with having a working PC, and they won't be impacted by Windows updates and such, but if you aren't sharing with anyone, is this an issue? Is it worth $700?

I have a Synology 414. I understand the benefits. I also question why, if this setup has been working for you, you'd need to change. What you have is paid for. Unless you're outside of CONUSA it seems unlikely you'd recoup electrical costs anytime this century... so -- can you explain 'why' a bit more?

https://www.qnap.com/en-us/how-to...celeration --- the QNAP you linked to will not (hardware accelerated) transcode H265. In the next year or two that will become a big deal. H264 is the current major format, but H265 is coming. The Celeron N3150 in the QNAP is otherwise anemic and, if it's not one of the formats it can natively transcode, won't fare well when transcoding at all. This only matters if you're Plexing or using some other client-server or DLNA mechanism; if Shield / Kodi just pulls from the SMB shares, it doesn't matter - all that matters is what Kodi/Shield can play natively.

So what can Kodi/Shield play natively? MPEG-2, H.264, HEVC (H.265), and VP9 codecs for video playback, as well as Dolby Digital (DD) and Dolby Digital Plus is the answer - from http://kodi.wiki/view/NVIDIA_SHIELD_TV. But make sure audio isn't one of these, else bitstreaming: HD audio including DTS-HD MA, DTS:X, Dolby True HD, Dolby Atmos can be all be passed-through (bitstreamed) on Nvidia Shield TV, but this currently only works with the native video player. Pass-through for HD audio is currently not working in Kodi and is a work-in-progress.

So - it's a mess. If it works great for you now (particularly audio, without an attached receiver) then you're in business, and you have nothing to worry about - you're likely accessing the share via simple SMB, and it will continue to work just fine. Verify that, and that you're not using Win10's DLNA & Kodi's DLNA playback.

I solve this with Plex on the client side, Plex Server on an ESXi micro PC (Intel i5-6500 based) running Windows Plex server, and then the Synology with a bunch of disks hosting simple SMB storage with a mapped drive letter on the Windows Plex Server box. Handles anywhere from 4-10 clients, but I've no practical experience with 4k yet.
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Last edited by dclive December 13, 2017 at 08:44 PM.
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Quote from dclive
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So what can Kodi/Shield play natively? MPEG-2, H.264, HEVC (H.265), and VP9 codecs for video playback, as well as Dolby Digital (DD) and Dolby Digital Plus is the answer - from http://kodi.wiki/view/NVIDIA_SHIELD_TV. But make sure audio isn't one of these, else bitstreaming: HD audio including DTS-HD MA, DTS:X, Dolby True HD, Dolby Atmos can be all be passed-through (bitstreamed) on Nvidia Shield TV, but this currently only works with the native video player. Pass-through for HD audio is currently not working in Kodi and is a work-in-progress. [/I]
As best I can tell, it works in SPMC -- as that's the biggest reason I chose that over Kodi.

I'm essentially trying to do the same thing as the OP -- NAS --> Android Shield --> Receiver/home theater setup.
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