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This includes whether you should use a NAS enclosure or a regular computer, what type of hard drives you should use, connecting the device to your home network and how it should be configured, what apps or programs you should use and how to transfer your files. How many roles do you want the machine to fulfill? How much time do you have to sink into this project?

Its purpose is to provide high-quality video to one or even multiple sources without buffering. If it has a slow processor or small amount of RAM, then it will be more susceptible to buffering or lag. The NAS can perform transcoding to deliver one type of media to any type of device. Keep in mind that not all devices use the same type of file.

Transcoding usually uses a significant amount of processing power. The QNAP has a quad-core 2. So, the QNAP is a bit faster but is barely more expensive. I suggest either one of these units as a NAS enclosure option! A computer set up as a NAS media server is basically a computer that is specifically being used to distribute files and media.

How to Build Your Own NAS Media Server - Over The Air Digital TV

Generally, a computer set up as a NAS media server should be dedicated to this task, and maybe a few smaller tasks. It should not be bogged down by other processes such as web browsing and everyday typical computer uses. The nice thing about using a normal computer as a media server is that you have a ton of flexibility!

Between the hardware, operating system, applications, etc.


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All NAS enclosures and almost all desktop computers will use 3. There are many different types of hard drives out there. They are usually designated with a color such as red, blue, green, black, purple, or gold. Each of these colored drives should be used in a certain area. NAS drives are designated with the color Red. They are slotted to fit inside a NAS enclosure. Red drives also support RAID redundant array of independent disks configurations. Without getting too complicated, there are two raid configurations applicable to most NAS enclosures and computers for media servers.

Any RAID configuration should use identical hard drives. This means you are able to use the full capacity of both drives and should achieve twice the read and write performance. However, with this RAID configuration, if one of the drives stops working, you will lose the data on both drives. It is not very reliable and typically not recommended. But this means you sacrifice half of your total storage amount. In the event that one drive fails, you will still have an exact copy of that data. For more info on RAID configurations, check out this video. Realistically, you should get a fairly large amount of storage.

Get more than you expect that you will need. Realistically, you should get as much storage that will fit in the NAS enclosure or computer and that you can afford. For an average user, 4TB will probably be plenty. Installing hard drives is very simple. NAS enclosures have drive trays that can be removed from the enclosure. To install a hard drive into a desktop computer, remove the case cover, mount the hard drive into one of the available 3.

The process of actually installing the hard drives should take no longer than minutes. Next, you need to connect the NAS media server to the home network. Delivering high-quality media to different devices will require a high network speed.

Keep in mind that internet speed is different than network speed. You will notice a pretty significant increase in performance with higher transfer speeds. Once the media server has been connected to the network, we can now transfer the media and other files to it and install any necessary applications. For a NAS enclosure, the manufacturer will provide pretty specific instructions for initially setting the unit up.

How to Build A Media Server (EASILY!)

Simply follow these instructions, and transfer your files to it through the preferred method. You can transfer files directly from your computer or external hard drive. The Plex Media Server application is very advanced with its transcoding and file management methods. If you prefer to use a different service then there are plenty of options available. It has access to many applications to make it more than just a simple media server. For a Computer NAS, set up and configuration is a little more complicated, but there are a plethora of options available for everything!

Just install the Plex Media Player or other media viewer on your device you wish to view the media on.

How Software Turns Your Computer Into a Media Server

You will be able to view the media on almost any device from anywhere in your home, as long as you have a decent network connection. This is a great way to amplify your home entertainment experience! Leave this field empty. Sorry, I am sure this has been asked a million times but most of the posts I am finding are at least a couple years old. I am a web developer and for the past few years I have been running a plex media server off an old Dell PowerEdge T, it was meant to host a couple websites but I re-purposed it after I was done with it.

I have actually been pretty impressed with how it has worked, up until a few days ago when I went to move it. I consider myself technical but not so much when it comes to hardware, like I said, I am a web developer. That is all I can think of so if I missed something just asked. I posted about my NUC-based build back in I will look into this a bit more.

Make sure you download and install the bit version of Plex which will enable hardware transcoding and optimal performance I think the bit one is the default in the Synology AppStore. The base enclosure will use about half the budget, and you can then spend the rest on disks. Most stuff DirectPlays, and anything that needs to transcode does so without issue. The Synology will be very quiet, and has a ton of backup options. For Backup, depending on what you need to store, Google One works well - and Syno have sync clients which will push all your stuff to the cloud as an off-site backup.

Best NAS for Plex Options: Plex NAS Devices

Again, really easy to set up. I have about TB of photos, so I store mine in Amazon Prime Photos which gives you unlimited original-res storage for free if you are already a Prime Subscriber. Total cost at the top end of your budget BUT it works perfectly, and is super easy to set up.

How to Build a Budget Plex Media Server

I previouisly ran Plex on an i7 8gb ram Windows 10 PC. I now have about 3TB of media on it, nearly movies, almost 2, episodes of TV, lots of photos and family videos and over 20, music tracks. The video is a mix of H and H 10 bit, all of which stream perfectly to all devices. All streams ran perfectly. Plex on IOS is lovely, if a bit fiddly to find your way around it initially - I use it a lot as all of the above is available on it.

If you go for this option, be aware that these machines are very sensitive to ram choice. I installed a matched pair of Hyper X 4gb modules and had issues with them, ended up putting the original 4gb ram back in and returning the Hyper X.

Types of NAS Software

Also, make sure that you follow the guidance to the letter when setting it up: Synology FAQ's Read This First! Thank you for the replying. Is it really worth the extra money? For example.

Play photo, video, and music files on other devices on a home network

Or would it be better to get smaller drives and fill all the bays? This is a bit concerning, I would probably want to max out the RAM to 8gb, I guess just because its fairly cheap. If they are sensitive to RAM choice how would I pick? What is that process like for this NAS?