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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 2016-02-07, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Advice on Media Server system

HI All,

I need some advice on my Media Server system. My system is as follows:

- 70" Vizio M70-C3
- Denon AVR
- Roku Stick (installed in AVR)
- WD Mycloud Mirror NAS. (connected directly to the router and router connected directly to the TV)
- Running Plex Media Server.

Problems:

- IMHO the Plex app running on the Vizio is a POS...I was hoping to get rid of the Roku Stick as the Vizio has both Plex and Netflix, which is all I ever use. The Plex app on the Vizio does not have the same settings options as the one on the Roku Stick. It hangs up all the time and when I change certain settings it tells be the source processor is not powerful enough to process the file (movie).

- When I use Plex on the Roku Stick, it works much better, but still hangs up about 3 or 4 times during the movie playback.

Questions:

- Do you think it is the NAS that is the issue?
- Do I need a more powerful NAS?
- would getting a Roku 3 with direct wired connection help?
- do you think is I get a more powerful NAS, that the plex app on the Vizio would work better, therefore avoiding having to but a Roku 3 all together?

Any answer or advice would be much appreciated.

Vizio M70-C3, Denon AVRS710W, Energy XL25, XL15, & CR10, Mirage Centre, Yamaha Subwoofer, Panasonic BD35, Bell 9242.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 2016-02-07, 03:08 PM
 
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It's complaining that your Plex server (the nas) is not powerful enough to transcode your video for the TV. the Roku probably supports a format easier to deal with than the TV


if you want to try it out, just install plex on any pc you have that's got more horsepower than the NAS, and see how much better performance is that way


Almost everyone that tries to run plex on a NAS eventually has problems, unless you spend $$$ on a really high end NAS (but then, imo, you might as well have gotten a decent little windows box to function as a server anyway)
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 2016-02-07, 03:25 PM
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Which device is running the Plex server? There's a new option on the Plex server to optimize any media files. Optimizing can help to pre-transcode into something the server can better serve on the fly. I've had MKV files that my tiny server couldn't handle well and optimizing solved it all the time.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 2016-02-07, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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I assume by "running the plex server" it would be my NAS (WDMYCLOUDMIRROR).....as the Roku and Vizio are only the apps.

Vizio M70-C3, Denon AVRS710W, Energy XL25, XL15, & CR10, Mirage Centre, Yamaha Subwoofer, Panasonic BD35, Bell 9242.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 2016-02-07, 04:19 PM
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Plex has a faq admitting that NAS devices are notoriously poor at transcoding. While they make Plex Server to run on a few NAS devices, those don't typically have strong processors. I ended up buying a fanless mini PC that handles Plex and other things. The Plex server is doing all the heavy lifting of transcoding.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 2016-02-07, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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so what do you recommend for a mini server...I suppose I could use my 2 WD 2TB hard drives that are in the my cloud mirror and build my own....can I just run windows 7 with Plex on it?

So in other words, the issue is the source (NAS) not the Roku Stick of Vizio App. I figured as much.

Appreciate all the advice

Vizio M70-C3, Denon AVRS710W, Energy XL25, XL15, & CR10, Mirage Centre, Yamaha Subwoofer, Panasonic BD35, Bell 9242.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 2016-02-07, 05:01 PM
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I bought a Zotac mini PC on Amazon. It didn't come with RAM and hard drive so I bought 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. And my NAS (an old D-Link DNS-323) is still on the network to hold the big files. The machine is showing signs of age, though. Once in a while I'll get a file that it can't keep up with and using the optimize feature was the solution. However, I'll be looking for an upgrade soon as well. My main players are a Roku3 on the main floor and Chromecast in the basement.

I don't have any specific suggestions other than I suspect your NAS is not strong enough to run both Plex and handle the NAS activities. Those things are typically spec'd to handle their core functions and very little else to keep cost down.

https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/art...nd-Limitations
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 2016-02-07, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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so I could get a mini PC and attach my NAS via USB for storage capacity i guess. Can plex access all the drives on the NAS/Mini PC?

Vizio M70-C3, Denon AVRS710W, Energy XL25, XL15, & CR10, Mirage Centre, Yamaha Subwoofer, Panasonic BD35, Bell 9242.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 2016-02-07, 05:23 PM
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My mini PC access the NAS via the network and all media files are on the NAS. It's not USB attached, but I can't see why not. Plex has no issues on my end. I once had a big HTPC by the TV and I got tired of the eye sore. Now the Zotac is tucked behind a desk and all is by the TV is the tiny Roku 3.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 2016-02-07, 05:38 PM
 
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It may cost more, but I currently run Plex on a Mac mini, which is small and virtually silent. My media is on drives connected to the Mac via USB 3. For a Mac, transcoding is a breeze, so I can use the Mac as a PC at the same time. My NAS is only used for backup as it is too slow to be of any real use. My Windows PC's are used as backups but also run Plex server with no issues.

For clients, I've used many different devices (Samsung TV, Roku 2/3, Android box, Apple TV 3/4), my Roku 3 ran flawlessly, and my current Apple TV 4 does the same.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 2016-02-07, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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I was thinking of a Mac Mini...I like the power and they aren't any more expensive that a comparable PC. So could I connect my NAS as storage or would it be better to connect a large USB drive?

Does it matter that all my media files were on a PC....do i have to convert them for MAC?

Vizio M70-C3, Denon AVRS710W, Energy XL25, XL15, & CR10, Mirage Centre, Yamaha Subwoofer, Panasonic BD35, Bell 9242.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 2016-02-07, 06:17 PM
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Your existing NAS drives are fine as long as they're formatted using a filesystem the Mac can access (should be). And media files are platform agnostic as long as they're not encoded using some obscure proprietary codec.

--
Neil
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 2016-02-08, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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I have been reading that if I attach the NAS directly to the Mac Mini, it will not necessarily work as extended storage. There may be come conflict with the NAS firmware in mounting and unmounting. I would prefer to have the server (mac mini) have all the storage needed and not have to mess with 2 separate pieces of equipment. I am thinking of the following options:

- Mac Mini, with 2 x 2TB usb drives.
or
- Taking the 2x2TB WD Red drives out of the NAS and buying a case for them and connecting that to the Mac Mini.

Which do you think is faster?

Vizio M70-C3, Denon AVRS710W, Energy XL25, XL15, & CR10, Mirage Centre, Yamaha Subwoofer, Panasonic BD35, Bell 9242.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 2016-02-09, 09:14 AM
 
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I don't think either option would be vastly different. Connecting any drive directly to a PC (Windows or Mac) is going to be much faster than a NAS. I have a two WD 4TB USB 3 drives hanging off my Mac Mini (one media drive and one backup drive). They are virtually silent and fast. Actually, I have a boot backup drive connected as well. My NAS is used to backup the media drive.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 2016-02-09, 12:10 PM
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i ended up buying a used dual core tower with 4 gb of ddr3 ram for $50, installed my 2 spare drives, and hard wired to my router. 0 issues since, although the tower has 3 fans,so leaving it running 24/7 is not a real option, wakes up as soon as i hit a key or the mouse.
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