Help on Storage/Back-end

I should be receiving my Vero 4k+ in a few days but want to clear up some confusion that I have when it comes to the storage/back-end. I’m looking to invest in a rackmount NAS to store all the media that I play to play on the 4k+. I have a 4k projector and 7.1.4 audio setup in my basement/theater/media/lounge area, so naturally the 4k+ was the obvious choice so I could playback movies in UHD and Atmos. But every time I search for which NAS to purchase, every person says I would need a NAS that handles transcoding, which I don’t need (for now) as I assume everything will be direct played/bitstreamed to the 4k+.
With that said, do I just need a standard NAS/storage device? If I were to invest in a Synology, do I also need to install a Kodi server or Plex server? My head is kind of spinning when it comes to what I need to store all the media and have access to it. Do I need anything beyond a simple NAS loaded up with a lot of TBs? I assume I just need to give access to the 4k+ and it will load everything up on there, no?
I have a wired gigabit network, will NOT use wireless for these devices. I plan to only play the media off of the Vero 4k+, but possibly the Apple TV4k (located in family room) in the future, so no “outside” access.

Yes, in it’s most basic form you just need a NAS to serve files to your 4K +, you don’t need to install Kodi or Plex on it or anything if you don’t want to, just serve the files up. I use a simple USB hard drive for this purpose but if I had more media or had multiple devices accessing the data then a NAS would be sensible.

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I store all my files on a Synology NAS and just access these files from the Vero.
I don’t need any other software running on the NAS as the Vero plays them all directly (without Plex or any transcoding needed). You only need to transcode (or use Plex) if your streamer doesn’t support the file format, and in this instance the Vero does, so you’re fine.

It is a very simple and effective solution for me.

You have it correct.

You can buy a pre-built NAS (like Synology), or just buy the parts and install NAS software (like FreeNAS), and either should serve files to the Vero.

Thank you all so much for confirming what I thought. Call me crazy, but I don’t like dropping hundreds of dollars on just “well I think this should work”, so this was all very useful to know.
Now, after thinking this through a bit more, and say, down the line, I want to be able to have this media available to other devices in my household, say the Apple TV4k or an iPad/iPhone, my choices are either:

  1. Have a duplicate copy of said movie/tv show in a compatible format, i.e. A 4k/UHD+Atmos and a 1080p version. To be more technical, a HEVC/H.265 10-bit MKV copy and a H.264 MP4 (or MKV) copy. This obviously will take up more storage space, but allows me to pick a less powerful NAS.

  2. Get a NAS and install Plex Media Server. This NAS must have the ability to transcode the high file size/resolution/bandwidth version to play on an Apple TV4k (that is hooked up to a 1080p TV, i know I know, makes no sense I just haven’t pulled the trigger on a new 4k TV yet…). Or an iPhone, or an iPad, or another streaming device.

Am I thinking about this correctly as well? I mean, the Apple TV4k should be able to play back the high resolution file even though it is hooked up to a “lesser” display. The AVR in my family room should be able to decode the Atmos track and play it in standard 5.1.

If I go with #2, would the Vero 4k+ be able to utilize the Plex Media Server? Or should I just point it to the movie/tv show/etc. directory on the NAS? Or should I install PlexKodiConnect or the official Plex Kodi add-on on the Vero 4k+? My biggest concern is losing the ability to direct play the file in UHD+Atmos.

Thanks again everyone. Very helpful!

It is not an either/or situation. If you have a NAS that can support Plex transcoding then that is a feature that runs on top of its primary functions. The best experience you are going to get with Kodi is to run a normal library. If you are also getting a Apple TV (which does not support Kodi) then using plex there is a fairly pain free way to serve your media to that device.

There are also other options. I run Mezzmo on Win 10 with a Norco server chassis with 24 disk drive slots and a RAID controller with over 200TB of storage. I have numerous OSMC, LibreElec, Kodi and web clients all accessing with the same look and feel. I even have a whole house audio with a Raspberry Pi, and a small amplifier. I have all of my video, music, live Internet radio, OTA TV and more all being served.My point is simply that there are other options other than a NAS, Plex and/or file shares.

Good point, I guess I was so wrapped up on it being one or the other that I hadn’t thought of bypassing Plex Media server with a Kodi client.

Oh wow, your setup sounds pretty serious. I had toyed with the idea of building my own as it would definitely save some $$ but, one can assume by my questions that I’m not quite ready to take on that kind of project. I feel that I could do it, as I used to build my own computers, although that was over 10 years ago…

Building a computer now is really not much different than it was ten years ago. It also does not have to be as fancy or as expensive as you see in some of these YouTube videos and whatnot. A rack mount or NAS case with hot swap and RAID is cool and all but if you are just running your own personal media server that is very much optional and pricy upgrades. Running a storage pool is very much optional as both Kodi and Plex have zero issues dealing with multiple shares. I’m running both on Windows on an old third gen quad core i5 on a regular consumer motherboard in a Fractal Design R5 case with zero issues for many years now and I don’t think I would get much out of any upgrades. I backup my media manually with regular external drives. If I have a drive go down it takes longer to get the system back but that is not really the same problem as if it was being used in a business environment. Not running RAID also saves a lot of money on the extra hard drives.

Exactly. Any PC can be turned into a DLNA media server. With large drives like 10-12TB you can store a lot of media on a single drive or a couple of drives (RAID not required). The NAS option provides a dedicated solution but a PC an also be dedicated. With a PC you have a broader set of options for available DLNA software. I prefer Mezzmo due to their extremely flexible database which is important for me using a publish once and read many times. It also allows me to do things like create my own flexible playlists, share video viewing position across clients, parental / time of day controls and allowing web access. Tversity is another popular DLNA server software. Typically you can download DLNA software on a free trial without spending any money and then a purchase is less than $50. You can grow your hardware as your demands grow. I started out with a much smaller system than I have now.

There are versions of Kodi available on the AppleTV that can play pretty much anything OSMC can. Search for ‘MrMC’ on the Appstore. It works on iPad too. No need to transcode.

FWIW I’ve been running Openmediavault on an old HP microserver for years which works very well for serving files to OSMC and the AppleTV (when I still had one). You could probably achieve the same with OMV on a Pi with a couple of big USB disks. It doesn’t need to be complicated.

DLNA is a standard protocol that many devices support. Various DLNA server software vendors have clients for many different devices to add / standardize functionality. For instance Mezzmo has Kodi, Android, Roku, Samsung TV and Web. Here’s a list of client it supports.. Other DLNA servers will have similar support. You can also use Kodi as a DLNA server, it just won’t have the same featureset as a Mezzmo, Tversity, Plex etc…

Appreciate all the advice and information shared in this thread, it has given me a lot to consider. I am leaning towards the DIY route as my scope is now expanding (whoops…). Been reading some topics on r/JMD_WAAAT and they are very helpful on maximizing your dollar. Thinking I’ll model off of one of their NAS Killer builds and install unRAID with Dockers so I can also do backups for both my and my wife’s macbooks. Also the more I read, the more I may want to install applications such as sonarr+radarr+deluge… or something of the like.
Thanks again everyone!