I intend to buy a NAS to use as a Plex server with the Nvidia Shield as my Plex client. It’s primarily for my home cinema. I’m thinking of the WD PR4100 and the Synology DS418Play. I read man reviews and comments on both, but find it at times confusing as some of these materials have become outdated.
I was doing some more reading and came across these sites regarding 4k transcoding on the DS918+/DS418Play and PR4100.
https://nascompares.com/plex/wd-cloud-pro-pr2100-pr4100-transcoding-4k-1080p (March 2018)
https://nascompares.com/2017/12/19/transcoding-4k-media-on-the-ds918-nas-server (Dec 2017)
What surprised me was that the PR4100 was able to transcode the H265 files and the DS918+/DS418Play not. Can I assume that the results for the DS918+/DS418Play are outdated?
Also what is confusing is that the NAS compatibility list on the Plex side indicates that the DS418Play/DS918+ is able to decode a 4K SDR 2160 with hardware accelerated transcoding and the PR4100 not whereas the links suggest the opposite.
I would probably suggest you use Nvidia shield TV as Plex server and NAS as a connected storage. But if you want to use NAS as a server and Shield just as a player, then PR4100 is going to be a better choice. I am not sure Plex compatibility sheet is very accurate. We have run tests with a sample 4K files and WD NAS performed better. You also don’t need to pay for a Plex pass to enable hardware transcoding function.
The other thing is, you might not need to transcode anything. If you want to enjoy best 4K video quality you need to stream original file format. And the is no problem to do that using either of NAS – DS918+ or WD PR series.
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