Could you recommend me a rack-mounted NAS to install Plex on? I need full HD transcoding, and if possible, also 4k transcoding.
There is a perfect match for you – TS-453BU from Qnap. Its CPU is powerful enough to transcode Full HD and even 4K media files including both H264 and H265 encoding formats. That all is possible using Qnap media app Video Station. In Plex it will happily transcode FullHD and even some 4K. For better Plex performance SSD drives would be recommended, but HDD will work just fine for 1080p Plex streams.
If your TV or video projector is relatively close, you can utilize built-in HDMI port for uninterrupted 4K media streaming directly.
Rack-mount video transcoding on Video Station
Video station can access built in trancoding engine making it posible to transcode most of 4K video files.
Rack-mount video transcoding on PLEX
I will not do all 4K media files, but it won’t have any problem with full HD video. HDMI streaming will let you stream any 4K file without losing video quality due to transcoding.
If you need a NAS for 4K Plex trancoding you need TVS-871U .
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What can I connect to a NAS?
Wireless Speaker Sonos
The great thing about Sonos is that you don't need to pay for music subscription service. With the cheapest NAS at home like DS115j or any other, you can have your backups done for all of your devices and still use your network drive as a Sonos music library. Sonos will connect to your NAS via your network and let access your provided music library. If you have little more of IT knowledge, you can even set up your Alexa or Sonos with Alexa built in to play music on your voice commands ("Alexa! Ask DS Audio to Play Music!").
Nowadays it is so cheap to upgrade your old TV and make it smart. All you need is Google Chrome or EZcast alternative plugged into your HDMI port at the back of your TV. Now you have great functionality added to your TV to send a video file directly from your NAS to a TV. No need for wires and chargers and other mess. You can use your phone as a remote to go to your movies or family videos and cast that content on your TV during family or friend gatherings.
Amazon Fire TV
You may not have a smartphone, or you just simply prefer to control your content with a remote in that case Amazon Fire TV will be a great addon to get to your TV. It also plugs into your HDMI port and will play content from your NAS to a TV. No wires no mess.
nVidia Shield TV
It gets even better! If you want some more entertainment and all previously mentioned functions - nVidia TV is a great thing to get. You can use it for playing games and watching movies from your NAS. The greatest thing is - shield TV does video transcoding. So even if you have a cheap NAS with a weak CPU, in a combination of shield TV you can now automatically on the fly change video file size and format for a destination device. It is a great way to reduce network load and let older devices to play video content which normally was not supported on the device.
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