Help setting up XU4 NAS + PLEX

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Help setting up XU4 NAS + PLEX

Unread postby veveaucent » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:16 pm

Hello,

Just a quick rundown of my experience and planned project. I have zero experience with Linux. I did some programming in University 10 years ago (Java) and quite enjoyed it. I've started this project with the intent of learning more about computers and getting bakc into programming. I just purchased an Odroid XU4 and should receive it in about a week. I have some questions specifically about the Odroid XU4 so I'm posting those questions here. For the more general stuff I can probably follow a guide.

First what I'm hoping to do is create a NAS capable of automatically storing all my pictures and videos. My wife has just lost her phone for the 3rd time in 2 years. We have 2 children under two and want to safeguard all our photos and videos of them. Fortunatly this time around we had a recent backup on file. I would much rather have a 100% backup done automatically than a hit or miss system where thing get backed up every 3-4 months. From what I've read openmediavault seems to be a popular program. Is there a way to have it store photos automatically from several devices. (Either each phone/tablet syncs when they get on home wifi or have a protocal where all devices are synced once a week. I'm not sure which is more feasible to implement)

Second I would like to store my movies/music and other files on this device. I would like to be able to play them back 1 stream at 1080P. Can this chip handle 1x 1080P transcode via PLEX (Assuming PLEX is the best option). From what I understand you can encode your media in advance for the barious devices you want to watch it on. Would this be hard to setup? Could I have the XU4 do this automatically while idle?

Third I will have my primary TV hooked up to it via HDMI and would like to watch movies directly through there. Would I be able to watch a movie directly and stream another via PLEX at the same time?

Fourth, specifically regarding the XU4 I would liek to connect a 1TB Barracuda 2.5" HDD via USB 3.0 to SATA connector. Will the standard power supply be able to power an internal HDD via USB? Or do I have to do SDD/self-powered external?

Fifth, not that I've laid out my projected needs what would be the recommended Distro to run off of? Does anyone have links to some good beginner guids to help me get started?
Last edited by veveaucent on Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help setting up XU4 NAS + PLEX

Unread postby memeka » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:34 pm

Hi,

Here are some quick thoughts:

PLEX only does hardware transcoding on Intel and Nvidia GPUs, and ONLY if you have the paid subscription to plex pass. For others, software transcoding. In software, I am not really sure the XU4 can handle on-the-fly transcoding of 1080p - depends on several things like bitrate. But there are a few things you can do:
1. transcode offline. this means, you convert beforehand the files, and then you do just streaming from plex (direct play). You could do this while XU4 is idle with some scripting I guess.
2. use a device/player combination that won't require transcoding. for example, avoid HEVC H265 files if you don't have a HEVC-capable device.
You want it to use it on the TV, then be aware XU4 does not to 4K and HEVC. I also recommend using a more capable player than the official plex player. Myself, I am using Kodi + official plex plugin for kodi. Kodi can do hardware decoding on the XU4. You can see here plex server + kodi with plex addon running with hw acceleration even on older XU1:


With this, if you do direct-play (just streaming), you can have as many clients as your connection supports :) on gb ethernet, let's say at 10mb streams => you can have almost 10 users at the same time.

Alternatively, you use EMBY instead of PLEX. Emby uses mainline ffmpeg (not a private one like PLEX) and can use hardware transcoding provided by the XU4. But again, if the format is not supported by the XU4, only the encoding will be fast, the decode will be done by the CPU slow. I think you should be able to barely do on-the-fly transcode of 1080p HEVC files for 1 user.
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Re: Help setting up XU4 NAS + PLEX

Unread postby mad_ady » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:00 pm

Regarding automatic backup - I used to have tasker on my phone start a rsync session every night and upload the files to my nas - so it's doable, but depends on your phone.
You can use any distro. I think omv is best suited for nas if you are a beginner, but I'm not sure what media player capabilities it has.
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Re: Help setting up XU4 NAS + PLEX

Unread postby veveaucent » Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:29 pm

So it seems like OMV is the most popular package for NAS. and Kodi the best bet for streaming from an XU4. Has anyone compiled a ready to go image with both of these packages working together? Can you get both to work on the same XU4? Is there a comprehensive guide anywhere for doing this? I've also read that some people have one XU4 for their NAS and another for their HTPC. Is this a better option? How would you set this up?
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Re: Help setting up XU4 NAS + PLEX

Unread postby rooted » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:41 pm

I think on DietPi you can install OMV and I know you can install Kodi.
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