Could use Expert advise

Hi guys,

Sorry for first post asking a question. I was getting lost in all the information here so figured, while I browse, see if you all could assist me in clarifying if I am looking in the right direction.

I currently have a Synology NAS. I like the interface, but something is quirky about it so, decided to send it back and in doing so, wanted to move Plex off my PC and onto the new NAS.

Someone recommended the WD PR-4100 and I wanted to ask a few things about features:

1 - I am told it is pretty good at running Plex ‘right out of the box’. Is that true?

2 - I have like… I do not know, maybe 4 or 5 security cameras at my house. How can one monitor those with the NAS and record them? The SYN lets me have/monitor 2 for free (incl) but for each of the others it is like 50-60 bucks. What does WD use in the PR-4100 to allow security surveillance and can it monitor off-site cameras that are ONIVF compliant and have a good link to them (such as a ddns with port open etc)?

3 - I have 1 6tb drive so far. The Syn has SHR raid, so I can add them as I need them…on a budget here… heh. Does the WD allow this or do I need to add 2 or 4 drives at the same time?

4 - Lastly, and thank you all, what are some cool stuff you can do with your PR-4100 that makes it stand out, i.e. I have not even scratched the surface of what a NAS can do…heh… looking for useful ways to utilize it.

Thank you guys for any help. I know new folks come here and ask lots of questions, but I needed these ones asked specifically so I make the right decision this time.

Have a great day folks.

R

What makes the Synology quirky? They make good NAS devices,too, Maybe you are not operating it correctly. This happens all the time with new WD NAS owners and we hear about here in the foruns. i.e. “operator error”.

Okay, when I say quirky… I really mean I like it, but I want a WD that handles Plex. Trying to be nice and not say "I would prefer another model because the Synology models, in this price range, do not handle Plex like the WD PR4100 does.

Ya got me. No operator error, just operator wants something better.

So, any input on the questions that can help me figure out if the 4100 will do what I want it to do?

Thanks!

R

Why do you want to use Plex? I have it installed on my NAS but hardly use it. Most of my videos are not mp4, they are disk images files (ISO) or MKV files so I play then to my WDTV that does a great job. Even if you don’t have a WDTV there are other ways to play video files.

Why a PR4100; is a PR 2199 too small for you?

All to say do your research well before you buy anything.

Mike, with all due respect, I am posting a reply right now and it says, Does your reply improve the conversation in any way?

I appreciate your input, but “why” I do what I do, “what” I want to do, is not the topic, and frankly… annoying as heck to have you question me about it.

I bought something. I tested it. I am looking to see if there are better ways to do it.

I did my research. I have decided to look for a different solution. It is my right.

So, do you have answers, or are you going to ask why I type with spaces between the lines?

Thank you for taking the time, but please, answer the questions or do not answer the questions, but stop asking me why I am doing what I am doing and assuming I did not do my research. What the heck I do you think asking these questions is?

Sorry… but one post is one thing… two posts… a little annoying.

Look, I do appreciate you taking the time, but I am trying to learn about the pr-4100. Maybe it is not the right one, but until I get the answers I asked, and maybe more, I will not know, hence why I am asking.

Good day.

Russ

Well I have been an active member here for over 7 years (you, just over 11 hours) and I have helped a lot of people. Nevertheless, I can see when my experience and help is unwanted. So, I will leave this topic and go help others. Good luck with your post…

Mike, I get it. I just made an account, but I have been using WD products for a lot of years and, well… chances are I am a lot older than you and have been using the planet more than you.

So, what does this mean? Chances are, we have both helped people alot and both mean well.

I appreciate the fact you are trying to help, but I asked specific questions to understand the WD PR-4100. I have been reading and looking at it for years. I needed a WD person to explain a few things to me about it.

Re-read over what you answered and tell me how it pertains to anything.

Again, I am not mad, I am trying to be polite, but your answer, however intended, was not helpful…it was more, “so…you do not know how to use it and you did not do your research and… wait… you don’t need that hotrod… go get a VW bug”

My Synology works fine, I enjoy it’s interface etc… but, the version I have does not run Plex. I was attempting not to bash another product on this site, my mistake.

I needed to research, more in depth, competitor products that I had discounted due to price and the fact that WD does not have, in my research, the ability to add a single drive at a time to increase drive space on a “single drive”

i.e. if I want to do Raid, I need to add 3 drives or 4 drives.

See, the cost of a start-up system is the price of the pr-4100 and 4 drives, in the setup I need, vs Synology, 1 device and 1 drive.

Now, that being said, I am a DBA and work on … let’s call it a lot of servers on a daily basis, so user error is not the issue.

So “helping” while assuming it is user error, and suggesting I get something more “I can handle” was not helpful, it was just rude.

Now, I doubt anyone will assist and, frankly, sorta miffed with my initial “community assistance”.

You and your 7 years on this forum I am sure meant well, and please take this for what it is worth, I DO appreciate the gesture… I hope you also take my input for what it is worth also, never assume the person on the other hand is not a smart person and not able to operate the device they are asking about. It goes a long way to being a good support person and a good helper.

But, what do I know, only been doing this for 30+ years.

Russ

TLDR.

PR4100 rocks as a plex server (make sure you update to version 1.10+ though). Note that it doesn’t transcode x265 (hevc). But I’ve streamed up to 6 1080p x264 transcodes in parallel.

Direct streaming of x265 / x264 works perfect as expected, just make sure your network has the required bandwidth.

However:

  • the OS is outdated and only gets a few security fixes
  • not a lot of apps, I’d forget about those camera’s
  • limited options for volume management

I’m hoping to release a firmware alternative before the summer though… OMV and FreeNas…

1 Like

Outstanding info, TLDR… thank you. I assume that if it cannot transcode x265, the plex setting will direct stream it, or I could probably convert it if there is no quality loss.

Good info, bud… thanks!

Russ

I use my pr4100 at this point exclusively for Plex. It works well. As for security cams its awful. Specifically I wanted to use Milestone and the two free licenses however WD has dropped all support for the product, purchasing additional camera licenses is impossible.

My Plex setup which works very well for me includes MacOS, iVi Pro, ShowRSS and uTorrent. ShowRSS downloads the shows i tel it to when new episodes air, iVi grabs metadata and converts the files into a standard mp4 x264 format then adds them to the NAS shared drive for Plex to access

I love the dual power supplies. I have one plugged into a UPS and the other just into an outlet. Effectively this makes the PR4100 alert me of a power outage (when power drops on the one supply line), and allows me to either remote into the device or head for home.