Just started playing around with 4K encoding. Picked up a TiVo Bolt+. Supports direct streaming playback of HEVC (H.265) locally. Have an "old" Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge CPU in my Windows Server 2012 R2 box. It takes nearly 4-5 hrs to encode a 1 hr. media file to HEVC 4K 3840x2160 resolution MP4/MKV using Handbrake with QuickSync support. Seems to be a common media requirement for Roku, TiVo, etc. else Plex will automatically transcode the video to 1080p. Excruciating to say the least.
Wondered whether anyone else has experience encoding HEVC 4K format. Not sure whether a CPU or CPU+motherboard/chipset upgrade on this server would be a drastic performance improvement. Else I'll just continue to batch process these media files.
Apple showed off the HomePod yesterday and I know it's early to compare these things but there are a few key points that we can look at in comparison to the other vendors. I would like to do this without bashing X vs. Y as I think Apple entering this market is key. Bring your facts.
They are obviously playing to their strengths first. Music. They announced that they have 27 million Apple Music subscribers. That is a very large number and they are also entering the market in typical Apple style. Make a good product (as in sound) and compete where they feel they are stronger. Looking at you Sonos. The Apple Home Pod will debut at the end of the year for $350.
It will also have Siri and touch controls on the top of it. I know, siri is a huge "hit and miss" product. I don't feel it performs as well as Google or Echo but it is improving. It also does home kit integration like turning on lights, etc. Basic stuff.
Where I think it will shine is when you couple it with another unit in the same room. They are supposed to recognize each other and balance the sound in the room. Equally impressive is multiple rooms. You can now sync audio on multiple units, in multiple rooms. Amazon Echo is now officially behind as Google Home will do this as well.
The size caught me off guard. It looks monstrous in photos but it's actually only 6.8" tall and 5.6" wide.
Earlier I said lets play fair but here is where I give you my opinions on the market and it's not favorable for all.
Apple - Mostly discussed already but they will enter the market and the sheeples will drop their Echos in mass and go to Apple. They will complain that it doesn't have "feature x" or feature y" but then go get a second one for another room and be happy in doing so. Prepare for a gluttony of used Echo tubes on the market come December.
Sonos - There will be huge debates on sound. Right? If you have invested all that money in Sonos you are probably going to defend that stance! These debates will rage. Sonos can win this one but I'm curious if they take new paths or just try to be the best speaker system and continue to partner with all the voice operated devices. That's a strong position. Output great sound and talk to siri, echo, AND google.
Google Home - Is Google going to stay in this game? Can they overcome the "we are creepy with your data" stigma? I'm pretty sure if I didn't already have a boat load of Echo's I would be a Google Home customer especially with calling and multiroom audio. Everybody will have these features by end of year though. They better!
Amazon - First in Wins? Echo Show better sound real good Amazon! In one of my recent #RESET podcasts I predicted that the sound would be amazing or at least 10x better than "Echo in a tube." It has to be since they designed the base the way they did. The screen is a differentiator. I think it is going to be a big deal. I have one on order and we will find out on Jun 28th.
Microsoft - Hey Cortana. Best name in the business in my opinion but I'm a huge Halo fan. I do fear that missing mobile has once again reared its ugly head in Redmond. I don't know if this tube can catch up or better yet, even be relevant in this market. It's so freaking behind and their Harman Kardon partner literally copied the Echo Tube design. Microsoft got to the puck, but as they did it's been smashed far beyond their reach but Microsoft fans will continue to tell you they are "skating to the puck!"
I do think Microsoft has a few feathers in its cap though. Skype and Surface. If they can get the Home Hub, Cortana, and Skype, into a design that mimics the Echo Show, and sounds like a Sonos they can compete. It has to be a device. You can't expect anyone but us geeks to design kitchen PC's. That is not mass market. Panos, you need a day one home run in this category. Surface Home anybody?
I have a friend that has an IMac with a large amount of media on ITunes. He has videos and music that must be moved from ITunes to Windows Media Player on his new PC running Windows 10. He does not want to use ITunes any more.
Would anyone have an easy way to do this?
I find myself at a fork in the road and unsure how I should proceed.
My current setup is 2 Synology 1812+ filled with 3TB Reds, both SHR2, and one DX513, SHR1, filled with 3x2TB and 2x3TB Reds. Prior to this I was running the HP Ex485 and after that a Norco build running WHS V1. With the dropping of Drive Extender and end of WHS I switched to a NAS. As I upgrade the Synology when storage gets tight, I end up with unused drives. This is how I ended up with the DX513 and then the second Synology 1812+. As it is now I have a mix of five 1 and 2TB WD Reds sitting unused in their boxes on a shelf, and storage is getting low again.
My old Win 7 build running the old i7-860 is serving as a Plex server and getting long in the tooth since I now find I have 3-4 streams at once rather than 1. As a result I am now looking to build a new Plex Server.
I figure I have 2-3 options.
1. Build a new Plex Server and buy a Synology 1815+ or 1816+ I plan on waiting for DSM 6.0 before buying the Synology.
2. Build a new Plex Server and opt for a case that holds 8+ drives. I would then run DrivePool and SnapRAID to take advantage of the older drives since it sounds like DrivePool can do what I want.
3. Build a new Plex Server in the old Norco 4020 case.
My biggest concern with option 3 is since it is old case hardware which hasn't been used in a few years. I only filled it halfway when I used it before before WHS went away so I don't even know if all the drive bays work. I did upgrade it so that I have the 120mm fan wall a community user on one of the WHS forums machined and sold, but I would need to probably replace the fans at this point. I would probably need to replace the AOC-SASLP-MV8 since it is the old card and may not even support 3TB drives or larger. The rest of the internals like the CPU, mobo, memory, and PSU would be a new build.
I also wonder if I could do a combination of option 2 and 3. Build a new Plex server in a case with plenty of space for drives. Then when I max the case out, expand into the Norco. I could leave the old PC components in there so the PSU powers on without having to mod the PSU and also use the existing mobo with old CPU to power any cards I need for the case. I don't know what it would cost to do this though and what other issues I would have to address.
Option 1 and option 2 combined might also not be a bad idea, but feels more like a band-aid. Build a new Plex server again in a case with preferably 8+ drive slots. Then when the case gets full pick up the latest Synology 8+ bay case assuming they still seem to be the best NAS option at the time. Of course once the Synology and Plex server are full, I run into the same issue I have now. Good drives being unused and nowhere to put them.
Any suggestions or ideas are appreciated.
This was reported via PC Mag Website on 7/3/2015.
"Media server Plex has revealed that its forums were hacked and certain user information compromised."
read about it here.