NAS for Plex?

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afterburn999

New Around Here
So I am really new to this and not really sure what I need.

I have several 4-5 TB drives that I usually just plug into my shield TV and watch shows and movies on. Is there a way I can just toss these into a big enclosure so it shows as one big drive and I can plug into my shield?

I have the funds to set up NAS or whatever I may need but it's really only for the one TV and all I do is transfer files from my PC to the drive. There will be no transcoding to other devices or anyone streaming outside of the house.
 

degrub

Very Senior Member
what you have is the most simple approach and least costly, particularly if only one user. A NAS might benefit multiple user access and multi service at the same time like any other networked server..

Once you get a NAS, then you have to create adequate backup of the NAS - either duplicate hardware or additional disks to copy the NAS data to. A NAS, of itself, is not backup.
 

dosborne

Very Senior Member
I have several 4-5 TB drives that I usually just plug into my shield TV and watch shows and movies on. Is there a way I can just toss these into a big enclosure so it shows as one big drive and I can plug into my shield?
Generally, a NAS is the simplest way to accomplish this goal. However, if you want to use existing drives, they will have to be formatted in the NAS, therefore you will need to copy the data off at least one before you can start the process.

A 2-bay NAS is a great starting point and relatively inexpensive. It also allows for other future uses, backups, etc that may not be important now, but may be in the future.

Depending on the number of drives you have though you do have to decide what the best scenario for you is. A 2-bay NAS with a NEW higher capacity drive may be the same price, or cheaper, than a *big* multi-bay unit.

Keeping in mind that a NAS is a standalone device on the same network as your shield, this may not necessarily be what you are asking about. Assuming also that all these drives you care talking about are usb external drives already, if you are currently plugging them in to you shield. If that *is* the case, then a usb hub may be cheap and easy. However, someone else would have to answer if a hub is supported by the shield as I don't know, but suspect it is not.

As your needs are pretty minimal, a 3rd option, since the usb hub is likely not a valid choice, is something like a Raspberry Pi. Although it may be more work to setup and configured than a NAS, it would allow you keep the drives in the usb enclosures (up to 4 usb ports), assuming they are already, and create shares that the shield would access. This would be fairly inexpensive (sub $100), but wouldn't be my top choice to recommend.

I guess it comes down to how much effort and money you want to throw at the problem. A NAS would have the flexibility and power for sure, but is designed for internal drives. The Pi would require more setup but would allow you to use usb enclosures drives, but would not be as powerful.
 
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ddaenen1

Senior Member
You can basically even do that from a decent desktop with onboard RAID via Windows with the Plex app. Did that in the past, works perfect. To me, a slight better approach is a consumer NAS. Netgear, Synology, QNAP or the likes. All the major brands have the Plex app in their portfolio. I used a Netgear RN102 2-bay NAS for that in the past. Has it running without issue for about 2 years. Worked like a charm. Very easy to use and good GUI. Reason i changed is that i wanted a rackmount NAS which were very pricy imho so i chose to persue the root of bulding my own which eventually turned into a Supermicro server hooked up to a Dell MD1000 with 15 x 2GB SAS LFF Drives connected via a HBA card with FreeNAS installed with the Plex plugin. Talking about things going out of control. This works perfect too and i have way more capacity than i need and also needs a bit of tinkering so not to be advised if you want a hassle-free P&P experience.

So your drives are 2.5" USB drives or 3.5" USB drives? In my experience, some you can remove from the enclosure and just hook up to standard SATA connectors, some you can't.
 

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