Advice before I spend (more) money for media storage/streaming

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs & Equipment' started by PTRMAN, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. PTRMAN

    PTRMAN Limp Gawd

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    My current setup is a repurposed PC (i5-3570K, Win 10) with both PlayOn (to record from various sources like Xfinity, Netfix, Hulu, etc) and Plex (to stream). I've got a pair of 8TB drives set up through Win10 as mirrored drives (which I guess is really jsut Raid 1). I have two places to watch (home and business apartment) about 100 miles apart. The media pc is in the business apartment.

    When trying to stream from the apartment to the home I've had some buffering problems, so I'm thinking about swapping out the 3570K for a 4790K (which is sitting on a shelf after a recent upgrade). This solution is good because I already have all the hardware, it is just a matter of swapping out parts. Plus it will let me record with PlayOn and stream with Plex.

    I'm wondering, though, about a home NAS device for streaming (like Synology or Qnap). Some people rave about how great these are, but my concern is that these NAS boxes seem to have less powerful CPUs than what I already have, so am concerned that they can't possibly out-transcode an actual PC (either the 3570K or the 4790K). Plus the NAS box won't help with the recording side - I'd still have to use a PC for that.

    My thought is to first set up the 4790K to see how that works. Then think about storage / NAS. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?
     
  2. Kwaz

    Kwaz Whine & Cheezy

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    Are you sure it isn't a network issue with upload speed?
     
  3. PTRMAN

    PTRMAN Limp Gawd

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    No, I'm not sure that isn't the problem.

    I've had some issues with the 3570 board (the network adaptor sometimes needs to be disabled, then re-enabled, scanned for hardware changes to get it working again), so I'm thinking I need to make that change anyhow.

    If, after the upgrade, streaming/transcoding from apartment to home is still a problem, I could copy media to an external HDD, then attach that to an Nvidia Shield at the home. That just means every so often I need to move any new stuff from the media PC to the external HDD.
     
  4. LordGardenGnome

    LordGardenGnome [H]Lite

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    Do you run just one nic? The cool thing about some NAS boxes is they run a teamed NIC, so you use both ports. You could buy a dual port NIC 1gb, and set up NIC teaming essentially getting double the bandwidth to the computer.
     
  5. PTRMAN

    PTRMAN Limp Gawd

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    I'm looking at a Synology 1517+ that a member is selling now on these forums, plus some other items that would go in (HDDs, SSDs, etc). Really itching to pull the trigger and set one of these up, but tough to justify the expense of a NAS when I have a second-hand 4790K set up already.

    What is the advantage of a dedicated NAS over a PC with a similar set up?
     
  6. Trimlock

    Trimlock [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Size, power consumption
     
  7. Vengance_01

    Vengance_01 [H]ardness Supreme

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    To me it sounds like a network related issues. That cpu can do a 1080p transcode. I would look into Plex and playon and set your internet speeds to a 720p resolution. Slowly increase your streaming bitrates till you hit an issue. What's your upload of the internet your streaming from? If you suspect your onboard nice go buy a single pic-e Intel based 1gb nic. Your 8tb hdd should be plenty fast even in raid 1
     
  8. gobnu1

    gobnu1 [H]Lite

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    You need to see what % your cpu is running at when Plex is running. If it's not high then changing cpu's won't help and points to the network not being able to keep up. Even the slowest drives are fast enough for Plex
     
  9. PTRMAN

    PTRMAN Limp Gawd

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    Good point, and fair enough.

    Originally the Plex PC was kept in the business apartment (since I'm there 4 to 5 days a week) on the first floor right next to the modem (hard wire connection). It started acting up a bit (the TV to which it was connected would no longer show anything onscreen - no input from either the graphics card or the mobo) so I moved it to the second floor, right next to my primary work PC. It works great there (no problem with dedicated monitor accepting input from the graphics card).

    All the second floor PC stuff is connected through a Netgear wireless extender. Download speeds are still terrific (150-200 Mbps), but upload speeds are definitely on the slow side (1-5Mbps). I'll have to move the Plex PC back to the first floor and restore a hardwired connection to the modem - that might help.

    Plus, next time I'm trying to watch plex from home I'll have to jump onto my teamviewer and check the Plex PC CPU % usage. I suspect that it is likely the internet connection, and not the CPU, that is the bottleneck.

    I've also just purchased some HDDs and a Synology NAS that I'll keep at home. I'll set it up as a second Plex server, which should meet all the home needs, while keeping the Plex PC in the business apartment to record and act as the primary Plex server. The only real issue I'll have then is to ensure that the NAS and the Plex PC both have updated data. Since I don't record all that much TV/Movies in any given week, it shouldn't be too large an issue. I can always upload from the Plex PC to Dropbox, and then update the NAS, or carry any updates from business apartment to home on an external HDD.

    I'll update this post once I've moved the the Plex PC back to a hard wired connection, I've set up the NAS box, and I've had a chance to test things out.

    As always, I'm much obliged to the [H] community for the helpful feedback and commentary.
     
  10. Machupo

    Machupo Gravity Tester

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    The % usage will tell the tale, but for another data point, I can concurrently transcode multiple 1080p feeds with an avoton plex box. Granted, that is LAN/local, so I am not pushing through my boundary device or my craptastic WAN/upload (like 2mbps).
     
  11. gyuce

    gyuce n00bie

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    But it seems that the model you mentioned doesn't support hardware transcoding(Atom C2538), a feature needed for streaming which only presents in models with integrated graphics (like DS 918+, with a J3455 CPU therefore supports HEVC hardware transcoding up to 4k)