Synology DSM 7 PLEX Driver Fix for your NAS Improve H.256 / HEVC Playback

How to Improve Plex Performance on your Synology DS920+, DS220+, DS720+ and DS420+ NAS in DSM 7

If you have been considering buying a Synology NAS for your home, then there is a half-decent chance that you are doing so to use the system as a multimedia centre for Plex Media Server. Plex has a long and established history now as a solid alternative to paid subscription streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime video, giving you the ability to watch all of your lovely movies and box sets, but still enjoy the slick graphical user interface and background polish (such as trailers, reviews descriptions, thumbnails, watchlists, recommendations and artwork) afforded to those online streaming platforms. The currently available generation of Synology diskstation NAS’ that arrived in summer 2020  (DS920+, DS220+, DS420+, DS1520+ and DS720+) are all solid solutions for use as a Plex media server NAS, however many users have identified a recurring playback problem on these recent Intel Celeron powered NAS’. Namely, the fact that they seem to be having difficulty playing H.265 (also known as HEVC) in even rather simple files even as low as 480p and 720p, despite the fact that the CPU and memory are not being hit very hard. This is a playback issue that is not apparent in the Synology Video Station app (happily playing and converting these files without issue). So, what gives? I am pleased to confirm though that it CAN BE SOLVED! Just follow the guide below, spare 5 minutes to go through the steps and you will be able to play those pesky H.265 / HEVC files, even at 8bit and 10bit.

What You Will Need to Perform this Plex Fix for Synology DSM 7 on your NAS

In order to action this fix for Plex Media Server on your Synology DS920+, DS220+, DS420+, DS720+ and DS1520+ NAS, you will need the following:

  • A Synology NAS (duh!)
  • Plex Media Server Installed on your NAS (video guide HERE and written guide HERE)
  • A Desktop PC/Mac system (or Laptop/MacBook). This CAN be done on a mobile, but you need both DSM GUI access and Command-line terminal access
  • A Telnet or SSH terminal tool. Mac users can use their in-built Terminal tool, or windows users can download and install PuTTy HERE.

So, all easy, free and/or accessible things! Let’s begin the guide.

Step 1 – Go into the Control Panel > Terminal & SNMP option, then enable Synology Settings for Terminal/ Enable SSH

Step 2 – Open Terminal on MAC, or if you are a Windows user, you can install and open the tool PuTTy HERE.

Step 3 – Switch to Root mode


Step 4 – Using Terminal or Putty, Connect to your Synology NAS

Step 5 – Using Terminal or Putty, Open the Plex Media Server Directory

Step 6 – Find and Open the ‘Preferences.xml’ file


Step 7 – Use the combination/button-shortcut ‘SHIFT + $‘ in order to jump to the end of the file. Arrow down to go down.

Step 8 – Press letter I on the keyboard to enable file editing mode and at the end of the file add: VaapiDriver=”i965″

Step 9 – Press the ESCAPE button on a keyboard to stop editing and then Press SHIFT + Z + Z to save the file

Step 10 – Finally, Type REBOOT and hit enter to restart the NAS server.

Synology DSM 7 NAS Plex H.265 Performance Fix – Solved

And that is it. If Plex Media Server opens in the next few minutes, then you know that it has worked and now you can go ahead and start playing those h.265 / HEVC files that you were having so much difficulty with ease, barely troubling your CPU and memory. A FULL video of the steps above is available HERE –


Just remember this fix allows your Plex media server NAS to playback h265 HEVC (8-bit and 10-bit too) media compressed files much more easily, however it does not necessarily mean that high-end 4K files and high bitrate will be in any way affected in their playback on your NAS. The new diskstation DSx20+ series features J4025/J4125 Celeron processors, which will typically only allow up to high-end 1080p playback and transcoding in Plex media server, so you will need to look at higher-end Intel core processors if you want to start dabbling with 4K Plex media server.

Still looking for ways to Improve your Plex Media Server Performance? Below are 11 ways to improve your Plex NAS (click below – Part 1 AND 2)







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      62 thoughts on “Synology DSM 7 PLEX Driver Fix for your NAS Improve H.256 / HEVC Playback

      1. Very recently it looks like PLEX came out with a update that fixes the issue of not using the hardware based encoding for older intel based CPUs.
        So it looks like this change might need to be removed manually from the preferences.xml file, after updating to their new fix (I used a DS920+ when testing this).
        And for users that didn’t do this method the update should just enable the functionality I think?

      2. Hi, i can get to ‘Plex Media server’ Directory in ‘var/packages/PlexMediaServer/home’ but i do not find the next directory “Plex Media Server”. When doing le -ai, it gives me drwx—— 1 PlexMediaServer, which is not accessible, and also drwxr-xr-x 1 root ?
        Any help ?

        1. (i can’t get to ‘Plex Media server’, and of course ls-ai) and i guess i am in root mode cause i have a # as a prompt

      3. Brand new user here, have the 920+ and installed plex and granted internal user access like the video.

        When opening plex though, it’s prompting me to create an account? (Which I did), once logged in, there is no option to Add/Show my NAS???

      4. As a new owner of a Synology DS 920+, your videos have been invaluable. I believe that I am pretty technically capable, but there are so many weird quirks in setting these systems up that I would not have been able to do it without your help. Keep up the great work!

      5. its weird, my library is set up and movies uploaded to my DS920+. i am able to stream, however, when I turn of my computer, the library is no longer available. is anyone having similar issue?

      6. error: “No soup for you.” I’m sure all my permissions are correct.
        In my case, PMS was never installed. Running DSM 7.0.1-42218 Update 3. That’s the the app I want the most, and that’s the only app that does not work. Thank you for all the tutorial sir. I bought the DS920+ thanks to you.

      7. Pretty much useless… here’s some actual, useful information for you. Plex only reads a couple of layers down, so don’t expect folders withonfolders to register. You’re going to have to move everything closer to the root for Plex to stand a chance

      8. On my NAS running DSM 7 there is no ‘Plex Media server’ Directory in ‘var/packages/PlexMediaServer/home’ ??

        There is a symbollic link to a directory I cannot access even if I am root.

      9. I had to give up before I smashed my laptop to bits in frustration. Plex refuses to organise my tv shows, and I have a tonne of them, almost 6tb worth. It’s organising all the episode ones together, all the episode twos together and so on, that’s when it sees them at all. Video station works so much better. I might have another go when I calm down a bit

      10. I am on DSM 7 (918+). This fix just killed my plex server: it stops, whenever I start the package… (says Manually stopped) I did make a backup of the file and copied it back. The same thing, it stops a few seconds after the package is started. I really would’n want to reinstall Plex… Any ideas? Thanks!

      11. Glad for anyone that this worked for, but I could not get it to work. For anyone with my problems, I ended up having to download the plex install for DSM 7 from their website, then do a manual install of it and use the claim token method when installing. I then had to open plex form anywhere BUT the NAS menu (just open it from a web browser works). That initiated the server setup for me

      12. Great video. I have just updated to DSM 7 & could not get Plex to find multimedia library, tried following a couple of other videos with no success, your video got me fully sorted, thanks – much appreciated.

      13. Can you help me? recently i reinstalled the plex. previously my ds918+ have a plex folder where i can sideload other plug-in. after i reinstalled the Plex folder missing. any idea where it go? i wanted to reload some plugin i’m using