48TB PLEX NAS to stream the movies 4K SDR, 4K HDR

So, I’m looking to finally make the move to a proper NAS as all my IT buddies have been suggesting for YEARS, and consolidate the mess of data that is spread across 10 externals that could probably fail any day. Between years and years of digital photography (all RAWs), a re-ripping project of my 2000+ CD collection to FLACs to replace MP3‘s, and tons of movies, I’ve got 28-30TB already stuffed. So I’m looking at a starting point of 48TB volume (5 x 12TB Seagate IronWolf Pro‘s is what I’m looking at… perhaps you have an opinion on these to share). I like using PLEX to stream the movies around the house and the music files. And would like to be able to access them remotely without them being decimated for quality in the process. So from what I’ve learned from your videos, I need a NAS with a powerful CPU.

My best friend is a long-time Synology guy and has a few of them around his house and office and suggested them. But the ones I looked at are all either Atoms or Celerons. I looked at the DS1618+ and the DS1517+ but when I checked their PASS Marks, they barely cross 2000, which means 1080p yes, 4K no right? I have quite a bit of 4K content from my cameras and some movies and would like to watch them after all. How much weight do you put into the PASS MARK guidelines for content types? Is 4000 PASS Mark truly necessary to handle 4K SDR? How much is needed for 4K HDR?

So I started looking at the QNAP pages and I am overwhelmed. I am interested in the QNAP TVS-873e-8G? What are your thoughts on this model given my needs? Could you recommend a better model? My hardware environment is primarily Windows.

One last question.
Both of my friends who use Synology warned that they try to not keep all their eggs in the same proverbial basket when it comes to disk manufacturers/build lots as a way to cut down on disk failures (from bad lots) and because of Synology’s SHR, they are able to maximize the space even if they mix disk sizes (not just manufacturers). If I’m going to go with QNAP and start with 12TB disks, and later add say (I dunno) 15TB disks (which can’t be that far off), QNAP (and Btrfs in general) just ignores that extra space?

And if you add expansion units to your NAS, at what disk count is 1 disk for parity just NOT ENOUGH? Does QNAP allow more than 1 disk for parity without going down to 1:1 configs?

Synology, unfortunately, doesn’t offer spacious 4K multimedia NAS this is why many people buy Qnap instead. There are only two options from Synology: DS918+ and DS3617xs. Both models very much opposite on the price range. You can install Plex and stream 4K media on your local network on the Plex or DS Video app. But if you want to stream transcoded 4K remotely- you have to use DS video app instead of Plex in those occasions. For more capacity, you can add extra 5 bays with an expansion unit. If you are happy to give app on the fly remote streaming, then you can look at ds1618+ which will stream 4K locally and you can manually transcode specific videos you want to be able to stream remotely. Or simply use offline streaming mode when a video is copied to your mobile device before you leave the home. DS3617xs is Xeon option which is powerful to stream locally and transcode on the fly remotely, but it comes with a pretty high price tag.

Qnap alternatives are TVS-1282 i7 which feature transcoding engine and HDR HDMI connection. Or you can look at Ryzen CPU option with a TS-1277 which will let you install additional graphics card for transcoding those most demanding videos.

For best 4K transcoding performance pass mark should be around 10K if not more.

Synology SHR is indeed more advanced RAID system then Qnap options. On Qnap you cannot mix different size drives. On both- Synology and Qnap you can choose 1 or 2 drive redundancy (how many drives can fail without effecting accessibility).


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