I’ve been thinking of using a NAS as my Plex server for a while now, and the ability to use hardware transcoding has definitely opened up options. My criteria? 4-bay, with the ability to transcode at least two 4k streams. I narrowed down my choices to the Synology DS918+ and WD PR4100, but some of your articles now have me considering Asustor. Lack of info has me unsure on what models to consider, or if Asustor gets enough attention to be considered as problem-free a solution. Maybe the AS6404T? Which Asustor model comes closest to the DS918+ and PR4100? For Plex, quality 4k transcoding, is there a clear “winner”? And as a side question, do all 3 platforms have a Netflix app?
The DS918+ will transcode two 4k streams on DS video app which is quite impressive. On the Plex – the story is very different. If you are paying Plex user then hardware transcoding is enabled. But it will not be enough to actually transcode 4K. Plex is just too demanding. For 4K Plex transcoding you need i5 processor or i7. Only Qnap will offer NAS like that (x82 series or x71 series).
The PR4100 have a special relationship with a Plex. This is only NAS which will perform hardware transcoding even without paid Plex pass. This is keeping CPU free for other tasks. But again 4K files it could transcode will be very limited.
AS6404T would be an alternative for DS918+ NAS. It has the same processor which is the most important thing for transcoding (if there is no dedicated GPU). Netflix will be available only on Qnap and Asustor. Asustor is a great choice for streaming 4K (not transcoding), because it comes with HDMI 2.0 connection. This is new standard allowing you stream super high-resolution video files directly to a TV.
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