new nas for plex

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Chuck_IV
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Re: new nas for plex

Post by Chuck_IV » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:24 am

Moogle Stiltzkin wrote:
Chuck_IV wrote:
I have used the the Shield as a server and it is great for in the home direct streaming. By far, the best Plex client out there, as the streaming works well and it also streams HD audio, even Atmos and DTS:X. BUT, it can be a bit wierd at times and it always tells me it is not powerful enough to do the transcoding on something like my phone(my daughter sometimes likes to use it).


just wondering but what media type were you trying when that happened? 10bit? hevc? h264 (which profile, 5.1, 4.1 ? )

is that problem also for 1 stream, or were there multiple streams at the same time?

what networking setup? wireless? what router are you using.


I usually use my John Wick mkv file to test with, as that has a 33.5mb bitrate. It is an AVC 8bit file. Even my Samsung TV's Plex app can't handle it with direct stream(my NVdia Shield and Rokus have no issues though).

I was finally able to get my Plex server set up(took 18 hrs to copy all my BluRays to the QNAP) and tested. With the production version 17, Plex works great at home with everything I tested. It is fast to load the files too(much faster than loading from my old WD Live drives). However. streaming to my phone was a struggle at 1808p for the high bitrate files and often paused. The CPU load on the QNAP shot up to near 100%.

So, I loaded the alpha/beta version 16 Plex server qpkg with hardware encoding and WOW, what a difference. Everything in the home continues to work great and now streaming to the phone is fantastic. The same John Wick/Avatar files now stream smooth and the QNAP(451+) doesn't even break a sweat at about 20%. BIG difference.

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Re: new nas for plex

Post by Moogle Stiltzkin » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:44 am

Chuck_IV wrote:So, I loaded the alpha/beta version 16 Plex server qpkg with hardware encoding and WOW, what a difference. Everything in the home continues to work great and now streaming to the phone is fantastic. The same John Wick/Avatar files now stream smooth and the QNAP(451+) doesn't even break a sweat at about 20%. BIG difference.


thx for your feedback, i'll keep this in mind.

though if in future you do come across 1080p for either

- x264/h264 profile Hl5.1
- x265/hevc 10bit
*ideally with SSA subtitles

please test it out on plex and share the result. i'm wondering if the hardware acceleration will make a difference or not on that unit.

Trexx wrote:You either have a CPU with HW Accel built into the embedded GPU that supports HEVC/h265 AND SW that leverages that HW Accel, or a REALLY fast CPU that deals with it via shear brute force.

Currently the public versions of Plex are using shear brute force (with a couple exceptions like Nvidia ShieldTV).

There is a PlexPass (beta) version that is supporting HW Accel (don't recall if supports h265 or not) but it doesn't support the GPU in the TVS-x73 families right now for example. So here is a case with the HW has it, but the SW isn't supporting it yet.

As for AV1, I thought I had read where the h265 group was rethinking their "licensing fee" structure recently due to AV1, so will be interesting to see how that all shakes out in the long run.



By the way do you need a plex pass to use that beta version?
https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articl ... w-Releases

*update

i found this
1.7.5.4035-313f93718
June 28, 2017

https://www.plex.tv/downloads/


i'll test that out for my ts-653a, haven't in a long while. will see if things improved :) then report back.

*update

got it installed but it's gonna take a while for my anime collection to be added. not sure is good idea to test while the library is still doing the intensive task of indexing. i'll wait that's done before i do a proper test.


*update

i don't see any hardware accelerated option in the transcoder setting :shock: hm....


*update

plex hates ssa. it will immediately force a transcode if you insist on using SSA subs.



tests performed

- 1080p with 3199 bit rate, 8bit, h264 profile hl4, aac, SSA (pass)
Image

*plex is also indexing my anime same time, so not sure that this resource monitor is of use. regardless even under load the video played fine.
Image



The first test i ran at default, however at this point i modified the plex player and server testing for fastest performance at expense of quality. cause point of the test is to ensure it will play back smoothly first and foremost ideally at original.
Image

Image



(BDRip 1080p AC3 10bit) main 10 profile, 3465 bit rate, SSA (failed test) *some preload stutter every 5-15 or so seconds for 1-2 seconds each time
Image



1080p with 9074 bit rate, 10bit, h264 profile level 5.1 high10, FLAC, SSA (failed test) *some preload stutters similar to hevc but slightly less worse off perhaps but still not good enough for serious viewers.

Image

Image





Bottomline

h264 1080p hl4 no issues. However the story is different with h264 1080p 10bit hl5.1 :shock:

for me still had some issues for hevc 10bit 1080p (not as bad as it was long time ago when i tried, but still stutters enough not to be pleasant for me to watch even if the stutters are short). Maybe if i opted for the option that transcodes ahead of time this is no big deal. But i'm the type of user that rather just play watch now than wait later.



I don't have access to the hardware transcoding plex app so i cannot test myself if that would make a difference, only rely on others feedback :( But i feel that my tests are pretty spot on with qnaps own *"limited 1080p" foot note which is probably referring to HEVC 10bit and h264 HL5.1 10bit judging by my result :shock:

hevc is better for 4k content, whereas quality 1080p is better with h264. but reason why i use hevc for 1080p is for space savings. Also my collection i usually keep if i barely notice the difference in quality as long as i'm getting good bang for my buck so to speak :mrgreen: (most of it is encoded direct from BD)

for power user like myself either skylake, kabylake or ryzen would have best performance transcoding
Decoding you'd want to do on the GPU anyway, no quality loss there. That's why no one is testing it. Playback on the CPU/software is going to be dependent on how well the player is written. Ryzen is going to be as fast or better than Kabylake at software decoding from similar IPC and sheer core count, it's going to crush the i7 on % CPU utilization. Will be happy to compare with anyone's i7 come Tuesday when my 1800X is put together finally. Just let me know which playback software you want to use.

The 3-5% CPU utilization is using the IGP hardware decode to achieve that. There's nothing special about Skylake to Kaby and both are half as capable as an R7.



What i like about plex
- convenience. you toss whatever you want and it will play it back either direct or transcode.
- very sleek cool sleek cinematic type interface. i give their UI a 10 out of 10 * rating :mrgreen:

what i don't like about plex
- it may do directplay however i find that most often than not, it will force a transcode. Transcoding lowers quality, so you wouldn't go out of your way to use that if possible, hence why directplay is preferred. It only makes sense to transcode if your watching remotely using html5 player, or when playing to a mobile device which has limited specs or support for media type so you transcode for compatibility to justify it's use. If your merely watching on your local lan, i prefer directplay, which kodi seems to be better at compared to plex. that said i don't think most people would mind as much as i do.

specifically in their own directplay option
Allows the player to play compatible media without any conversion. In most browsers, direct play supports MP4 videos with h264 video and AAC audio. Videos with subtitles cannot be played directly.

- transcoding is a cpu intensive task. so unless your NAS has a good cpu, the 1080p and above resolution content may have playback performance issues (might not necessarily be a problem with hardware transcoding feature however).
- SSA subs are sufficient in sense it burns them to video to be able to watch, however i doubt it's as good as say me playing a video on my win10 desktop using MPC-HC megamix lav filter which uses either ASSfilter or XYsubfilter for SSA subtitles for crisper looking subs and effects. Not to mention using SSA subs will force transcoding as far as i'm aware, which ** if your video support directplay but you can't watch it unless you use your subs which then messes that up :(



*re-tested still same result :(

PS: when i tried using 1080p 10mbps just to test instead of original, i get a not enough bandwidth error message, then it wants to skip video because it can't play it using that setting.
Last edited by Moogle Stiltzkin on Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:13 pm, edited 13 times in total.
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Trexx
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Re: new nas for plex

Post by Trexx » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:13 am

Yes you need plexpass for the beta hw accelerator version for Qnap. It is based on the older 1.6.x codebase at this point and not the newer 1.7 codebase.

The other option again would be to use your Nvidia shield as your Plex server and then the Qnap as your storage for it.


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Model: TS-877-1600 FW: 4.4.3.x
QTS (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 1TB WD Blue m.2's
Data (HDD): [RAID-5] 6 x 3TB HGST DeskStar
VMs (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 500GB Evo 860
Ext. (HDD): TR-004 [Raid-5] 4 x 4TB HGST Ultastor
RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 64GB DDR4-2666
GPU: EVGA GTX 1060 6GB
UPS: CP AVR1350

Model:TVS-673 32GB FW: 4.4.3.x Test/Backup Box
Model:TS-228a FW: 4.4.3.x Test/Backup Box
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Moogle Stiltzkin
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Re: new nas for plex

Post by Moogle Stiltzkin » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:19 am

Trexx wrote:Yes you need plexpass for the beta hw accelerator version for Qnap. It is based on the older 1.6.x codebase at this point and not the newer 1.7 codebase.

The other option again would be to use your Nvidia shield as your Plex server and then the Qnap as your storage for it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


ok that bit got me confused earlier (cause i did not know that at the time). i thought higher numbering meant it (hardware transcoding) got committed apparently not :shock:

dang... will this ever become public to non plex pass members :( xd


hardware accelerated transcoding *i did not test this myself but these are facts found online :X

pro - can transcode on lower powered cpu
con - x264 software encoding is superior quality (but requires good cpu)
NAS
[Main Server] QNAP TS-877 w. 4tb [ 3x HGST Deskstar NAS (HDN724040ALE640) & 1x WD RED NAS ] EXT4 Raid5 & 2 x m.2 SATA Samsung 850 Evo raid1 +16gb ddr4 Crucial+ QWA-AC2600 wireless+QXP PCIE
[Backup] QNAP TS-653A w. 5x 2TB Samsung F3 (HD203WI) EXT4 Raid5
[Backup] QNAP TL-D400S 2x 4TB WD Red Nas (WD40EFRX) single disks.
[^] QNAP TS-659 Pro II
[^] QNAP TS-509 Pro w. 4x 1TB WD RE3 (WD1002FBYS) EXT4 Raid5
[^] QNAP TS-228
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Re: new nas for plex

Post by Trexx » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:13 am

Moogle Stiltzkin wrote:ok that bit got me confused earlier (cause i did not know that at the time). i thought higher numbering meant it (hardware transcoding) got committed apparently not :shock:

dang... will this ever become public to non plex pass members :( xd


hardware accelerated transcoding *i did not test this myself but these are facts found online :X

pro - can transcode on lower powered cpu
con - x264 software encoding is superior quality (but requires good cpu)


Right now the last Plex post I saw stated it is still an "experimental" feature with no definitely release schedule so the only access is via Plex Pass. At some point if it does come out of experimental stage, it will become incorporated into the release Plex build.
Paul

Model: TS-877-1600 FW: 4.4.3.x
QTS (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 1TB WD Blue m.2's
Data (HDD): [RAID-5] 6 x 3TB HGST DeskStar
VMs (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 500GB Evo 860
Ext. (HDD): TR-004 [Raid-5] 4 x 4TB HGST Ultastor
RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 64GB DDR4-2666
GPU: EVGA GTX 1060 6GB
UPS: CP AVR1350

Model:TVS-673 32GB FW: 4.4.3.x Test/Backup Box
Model:TS-228a FW: 4.4.3.x Test/Backup Box
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAS RAID Rebuild Times | Live QTS Videos | | QNAP NAS Guide | Information needed when you ask for HELP | QNAP Links, Tutorials, etc.
2018 Plex NAS Compatibility Guide | QNAP Plex FAQ | Moogle's QNAP Faq

ianmacd
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Re: new nas for plex

Post by ianmacd » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:08 am

Trexx wrote:Right now the last Plex post I saw stated it is still an "experimental" feature with no definitely release schedule so the only access is via Plex Pass. At some point if it does come out of experimental stage, it will become incorporated into the release Plex build.

Hi Paul.

Quick question if I may? Your link in your sig about NAS performance running plex transcoding suggests that the tvs-x73 'may' struggle with 1080p content. I see you run a tvs-673. Is that your experience running that setup live as I had read that the CPU in the TVS-x73 was ranked somewhere between an i5 and an i7 in performance?

Thanks.

Ian.

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Trexx
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Re: new nas for plex

Post by Trexx » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:04 am

ianmacd wrote:
Trexx wrote:Right now the last Plex post I saw stated it is still an "experimental" feature with no definitely release schedule so the only access is via Plex Pass. At some point if it does come out of experimental stage, it will become incorporated into the release Plex build.

Hi Paul.

Quick question if I may? Your link in your sig about NAS performance running plex transcoding suggests that the tvs-x73 'may' struggle with 1080p content. I see you run a tvs-673. Is that your experience running that setup live as I had read that the CPU in the TVS-x73 was ranked somewhere between an i5 and an i7 in performance?

Thanks.

Ian.


I have been very happy overall with x73 and how it performs on Plex. I don't recall running into any issues in terms of Transcoding 1080p. The current HW transcoding beta does NOT work with the x73's AMD GPU (at least as of 1.6 B3 release), but it still performs well. I primarily use it when I am remote as I use KODI when local, so I don't use it nearly as often as KODI overall.
Paul

Model: TS-877-1600 FW: 4.4.3.x
QTS (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 1TB WD Blue m.2's
Data (HDD): [RAID-5] 6 x 3TB HGST DeskStar
VMs (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 500GB Evo 860
Ext. (HDD): TR-004 [Raid-5] 4 x 4TB HGST Ultastor
RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 64GB DDR4-2666
GPU: EVGA GTX 1060 6GB
UPS: CP AVR1350

Model:TVS-673 32GB FW: 4.4.3.x Test/Backup Box
Model:TS-228a FW: 4.4.3.x Test/Backup Box
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAS RAID Rebuild Times | Live QTS Videos | | QNAP NAS Guide | Information needed when you ask for HELP | QNAP Links, Tutorials, etc.
2018 Plex NAS Compatibility Guide | QNAP Plex FAQ | Moogle's QNAP Faq

ianmacd
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Re: new nas for plex

Post by ianmacd » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:44 pm

Trexx wrote:
ianmacd wrote:
Trexx wrote:Right now the last Plex post I saw stated it is still an "experimental" feature with no definitely release schedule so the only access is via Plex Pass. At some point if it does come out of experimental stage, it will become incorporated into the release Plex build.

Hi Paul.

Quick question if I may? Your link in your sig about NAS performance running plex transcoding suggests that the tvs-x73 'may' struggle with 1080p content. I see you run a tvs-673. Is that your experience running that setup live as I had read that the CPU in the TVS-x73 was ranked somewhere between an i5 and an i7 in performance?

Thanks.

Ian.


I have been very happy overall with x73 and how it performs on Plex. I don't recall running into any issues in terms of Transcoding 1080p. The current HW transcoding beta does NOT work with the x73's AMD GPU (at least as of 1.6 B3 release), but it still performs well. I primarily use it when I am remote as I use KODI when local, so I don't use it nearly as often as KODI overall.

Thanks Paul.

Ian.

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Re: new nas for plex

Post by Trexx » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:15 am

Just an FYI for you Ian, and others who may be following this thread. I just got a quick email from QNAP tonight that Plex has updated their rating regarding the TVS-x73 transcoding performance (see link in my signature).

In Plex’s testing, they found that the x73 in most cases should be able to handle 2 simultaneous high-bitrate 1080p transcodes (depending on source material, codecs, etc.)

So even without HW based acceleration support in the plexpass beta, I am trying to get that changed btw, the x73 has plenty of horsepower to handle Plex transcoding needs.
Paul

Model: TS-877-1600 FW: 4.4.3.x
QTS (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 1TB WD Blue m.2's
Data (HDD): [RAID-5] 6 x 3TB HGST DeskStar
VMs (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 500GB Evo 860
Ext. (HDD): TR-004 [Raid-5] 4 x 4TB HGST Ultastor
RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 64GB DDR4-2666
GPU: EVGA GTX 1060 6GB
UPS: CP AVR1350

Model:TVS-673 32GB FW: 4.4.3.x Test/Backup Box
Model:TS-228a FW: 4.4.3.x Test/Backup Box
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAS RAID Rebuild Times | Live QTS Videos | | QNAP NAS Guide | Information needed when you ask for HELP | QNAP Links, Tutorials, etc.
2018 Plex NAS Compatibility Guide | QNAP Plex FAQ | Moogle's QNAP Faq

slickie
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Re: new nas for plex

Post by slickie » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:31 pm

Just following up on this thread as I am also looking for NAS that would mostly need storage to host movies/series, the power to transcode for plex & run a couple of VMs.
I am looking at the 8 bay options and currently in doubt between 2 models: TVS-882BR-i5 and the upcoming 877 Ryzen series.

The CPU performance, # CPU cores and probably the vfm would be in favor of the 877.
Eventhough the Ryzen is - from a benchmark perspective - the stronger CPU, I am very tempted by intel i5 because it has integrated graphics. The plex beta versions include hardware transcoding capabilities for quicksync CPUs (not included in the AMD Ryzen platform.) HW transcoding would allow me to transcode a lot more streams in parallel - yet not impacting the CPU massively.
Given that I watch with subtitles, plex is transcoding almost all my media when watching.
Yes, I do have the option to install a passthrough GPU in the x77 platform, but the current plex beta versions seem to have a focus on quicksync. Some users reported that Nvidia GPUs were working with the plex beta as well, but there is a hard limit of maximum 2 transcoded streams when using non-quicksync GPUs for hardware transcoding.

Another element that got me interested in the 882BR, is the fact that it has a Kaby Lake CPU. One of it's main advantages are the media capabilities for HEVC 10bit in HW. This would also allow plex beta versions to do HW transcoding of 10bit HEVC media.
The only other NAS I found with Kaby Lake, is the 1282T3, which is quite a lot more expensive due to the Thunderbolt capabilities.

Looking at all the above, I will probably go for the 882BR-i5, unless I missed something in my analysis.
Any feedback is welcome!

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Re: new nas for plex

Post by Trexx » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:20 pm

Here are my thoughts:

- How many simultaneous transcodes will you need? You want subtitles on yours, but who else will be using it and will they need it or direct play. If you only need 2 transcodes, really doesn't matter if the system can do 2 or 6.

- HW transcoding is still beta and may/may not come out in a final version. That being said, Plex is definitely supporting Nvidia GPU's for it which QNAP is also supporting in 4.3.4 for HW transcoding (AMD is supported right now only for VM GPU passthrough, so must go NVidia GPU). My understanding is that once the 2 Transcode limit is hit on the GPU side (silly nvidia limitation if you ask me), then Plex will switch to CPU transcoding for any additional simultaneous transcodes. I have also heard some say that HW transcoding quality is not as high right now as the SW transcoding, but I haven't tested that to verify.

- Ryzen definitely has the advantage for the $$. You likely will be able to buy a TS-77 and an NVidia GPU (1050ti for example) for probably the same or even a little less than a TVS-x82BR w/i5 that is comparable CPU performance. Plus if you are running something like comskip for commercial removal in post processing on Plex, the faster Ryzen performance (entry level 1400 @ 8474 passmark w/8 threads) will help you there vs. the i5 (8000 passmark w/4 threads) for example.

Again it all goes back to how many simultaneous transcodes vs. direct play streams will you need. I would also keep in mind what else you will be using the NAS for. That is where CPU power could also play a big factor if you are also running docker containers, VM's, etc. while your Plex transcodes are running as well.
Last edited by Trexx on Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Paul

Model: TS-877-1600 FW: 4.4.3.x
QTS (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 1TB WD Blue m.2's
Data (HDD): [RAID-5] 6 x 3TB HGST DeskStar
VMs (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 500GB Evo 860
Ext. (HDD): TR-004 [Raid-5] 4 x 4TB HGST Ultastor
RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 64GB DDR4-2666
GPU: EVGA GTX 1060 6GB
UPS: CP AVR1350

Model:TVS-673 32GB FW: 4.4.3.x Test/Backup Box
Model:TS-228a FW: 4.4.3.x Test/Backup Box
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAS RAID Rebuild Times | Live QTS Videos | | QNAP NAS Guide | Information needed when you ask for HELP | QNAP Links, Tutorials, etc.
2018 Plex NAS Compatibility Guide | QNAP Plex FAQ | Moogle's QNAP Faq

slickie
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Re: new nas for plex

Post by slickie » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:27 pm

Thanks Paul. Great to hear your thoughts.

Even though I assume all plex streams require transcoding due to subtitles (non EN speaking country), you are probably right that I will not be hitting that many parallel transcodes.
I assume 4 streams in parallel would be the max. Leaving 2 streams to the GPU, then the Ryzen would only need to handle 2 in software - still avoiding impact on my VM.
The decrease in quality when doing HW transcoding is confirmed on the plex forums, but my eyes hardly can see the difference.

I'll wait until the TS-x77 hits the store. Hopefully soon.

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peelos
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Re: new nas for plex

Post by peelos » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:38 pm

Trexx wrote:
- HW transcoding is still beta and may/may not come out in a final version.


As of yesterday, Hardware transcoding has now been enabled for all Plex Pass holders using version 1.9.1 or higher :DD I can confirm this is working on my 1282 with i7 6700K and latest 1.93 version.. link to the plex forum here: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1530030#Comment_1530030

More info on HW transcoding: https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/115002178853-Using-Hardware-Accelerated-Streaming

Trexx wrote:That being said, Plex is definitely supporting Nvidia GPU's for it which QNAP is also supporting in 4.3.4 for HW transcoding (AMD is supported right now only for VM GPU passthrough, so must go NVidia GPU). My understanding is that once the 2 Transcode limit is hit on the GPU side (silly nvidia limitation if you ask me), then Plex will switch to CPU transcoding for any additional simultaneous transcodes. I have also heard some say that HW transcoding quality is not as high right now as the SW transcoding, but I haven't tested that to verify.


Interesting - so for my understanding if 4.3.4 supports Nvidia GPU HW transcoding then Plex should automatically support this too, or it will require some Plex media server upgrades? I understood that currently only Intel QuickSync HW transcoding was supported by PMS.

If Nvidia GPU transcoding is really supported I will be very interested to see if CPU HW transcoding will be used as a backup. Also if HW transcoding of HEVC 10 Bit content will be supported (only 8bit supported with skylake currently)
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Re: new nas for plex

Post by Trexx » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:31 pm

Plex will still need to support NVidia, this just makes the GPU “visible” to Plex from an “QTS OS” view.

From what I saw in the Plex forums recently, 10-bit HEVC is problematic currently as they are having trouble finding an accurate way to determine if the GPU has support for it or not.


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Paul

Model: TS-877-1600 FW: 4.4.3.x
QTS (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 1TB WD Blue m.2's
Data (HDD): [RAID-5] 6 x 3TB HGST DeskStar
VMs (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 500GB Evo 860
Ext. (HDD): TR-004 [Raid-5] 4 x 4TB HGST Ultastor
RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 64GB DDR4-2666
GPU: EVGA GTX 1060 6GB
UPS: CP AVR1350

Model:TVS-673 32GB FW: 4.4.3.x Test/Backup Box
Model:TS-228a FW: 4.4.3.x Test/Backup Box
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NAS RAID Rebuild Times | Live QTS Videos | | QNAP NAS Guide | Information needed when you ask for HELP | QNAP Links, Tutorials, etc.
2018 Plex NAS Compatibility Guide | QNAP Plex FAQ | Moogle's QNAP Faq

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