HDD for media(Plex) External or Internal

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Psiwentyl, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. Psiwentyl

    Psiwentyl Notebook Consultant

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    Hi,

    I know this was brought up many times, i’ve read a lof ot posts but still cant figure out what to pick.

    So far i’ve been using my internal ssd and 2 external portable hdd drives(connected when needed) to stream media files from laptop to my TV. I’ve been having a lot of issues with buffering. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not. I am waiting for a new top router, bought Ax88u, had ax68 so far, so i hope this will fix all the issues but anyway i also think about getting one bigger storage for all the media.

    I dont think i need NAS type of thing as i use it only for home media. I could set up one of old laptops but also whats the point to have it work 24/7 or even take space somewhere if i’m gonna watch movie like once every 2 days or sth.

    Now main question. I am basically considering getting either WD Elements or WD My book drive that will be connected to my laptop but will have external power or just get internal 1TB that will be enough for my needs like Samsung EVO. Will still use other smaller portable hdd drives for stuff that is only needed time to time.

    I have gaming laptop, dell alienware. It works as a desktop and basically working 24/7.

    What would you recommend? WD external option or Internal SSD? I’ve read some things that this Elemenets/My book are very slow with writing files.

    Also will my laptop work in full power when something from external hdd drive will be streamed or thats the problem only with internal hdd drives?

    Thanks a lot for all the help
     
  2. Padraig O Cuinn

    Padraig O Cuinn Notebook Consultant

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    From my experience with streaming videos. Internal is always better as the external draws much more power. Also from an external hard drive you still need to stream it from the drive into the laptop and then down the line to your tv. Streaming will never be very satisfying unless it's with specific high end equipment that pushes very very high speed data at large chunks per second.

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
     
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  3. custom90gt

    custom90gt Doc Mod Super Moderator

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    This issue with buffering, are you transcoding the videos or is it just streaming the videos to the other system? What are you playing videos on? A faster external drive should be plenty fast enough for streaming, but transcoding may be a different story (then again your old laptop me be the problem there too). The video files themselves also make up a big portion of the performance in streaming/transcoding videos. My 1700x with RX570 struggles to transcode more than a couple 4k h.265 video files at the same time.
     
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  4. Psiwentyl

    Psiwentyl Notebook Consultant

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    Not sure what you mean with transcoding. But this is what i basically do -> Lets say i have a movie *.mkv 5GB. I put it into folder that is added to plex library and i watch it via plex app on TV. Thats it. Sometimes it works fine but sometimes its buffering every minute which makes it impossible to watch. There is one big wall between router and TV and distance of about 8 metres. I have Asus ac68u, but as mentioned i just bought more powerful Ax88u. Still 68u should easily handle that i think

    If it doesnt matter if its external desktop hdd like WD my book, or external portable one or internal SSD than i would probably just get internal 1TB SSD of Samsung EVO, but really want to finally make it work without any issues. Thought that SSD will be faster, but will require laptop work at full power while stream is on. If its same with My book desktop than i dont see any reason i think to buy it. It will just take some space.

    I cant even count how many times my wife was waiting to watch movie while i was basically trying to fix this buffering issues for 20 minutes and had to transfer it to portable hdd and connect it directly to TV to make it work at the end...
     
  5. senso

    senso Notebook Deity

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    If you only watch a movie so seldom, why did you even bother with Plex?

    Connect an HDMI cable to your laptop and use MPV.

    Also, using Plex on a TV there might be indeed transcoding problems, what is your CPU/GPU utilization when you watch something?

    Are you sure your TV is able to access your local storage that is shared by the laptop, or is the video file being streamed to Plex servers and then back to the TV, if your internet connection isn't decent it will cause the stuttering..

    If you dont want high power usage, grab an Odroid HC2, and a 4/8TB HDD, set it up with OpenMediaVault and run the Plex server in the Odroid .
     
  6. Chastity

    Chastity Company Representative

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    What type of connection does the TV use? N, AC, 5GHz or 2.4GHz?

    If you bought the AX88U, did you also buy a Wifi6 (AX) Wifi module for your laptop? Like say the AX200 from Intel.

    @Psiwentyl
     
  7. custom90gt

    custom90gt Doc Mod Super Moderator

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    There are two main ways of playing movies with Plex. The first is the device directly plays the movie with its own internal hardware doing the work of decoding the video (basically Plex is a file server). The second way is to have your plex server (your old laptop) convert the video into something that your TV can display. If you want to see what your plex server is doing when playing a video, you can log into the Plex web app, click on the activity button in the upper right corner and then it will show you under "now playing" what it is doing (direct stream vs transcoding). I would look into this as your TV is likely having your laptop transcode the video and it is your laptop that is slowing things down (vs the network). I stream 4k videos with my AC68/AC5300 mesh network all the time without issue. I would try videos that work well for you and videos that don't to give you a good idea of where your limitation is.

    If you want some more help with Plex, I am happy to help. My server in the sig is strictly my Plex rig basically. Having hundreds of movies on hand to stream to everything is fun.
     
  8. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    External shouldnt have any issues with Plex. I use a 5400rpm 5TB drive via USB 3.0 (5Gbps)

    Now with AX50 router and AX1650 WiFi module streaming to another laptop over Ethernet (havent installed AX1650 in it yet), I have no buffering at all and have seen up to 550Mbps being sent from my "server".

    Its worth noting however that the android app does have trouble keeping up though, if I get a little impatient with it, it tends to crash the app.

    I suppose I could try a higher bitrate 4k video but would need to obtain one first lol
     
  9. Psiwentyl

    Psiwentyl Notebook Consultant

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    I watch it via plex on tv's in completely different room, cant be connected via cable. that Cpu/GPU you mean for laptop? My laptop which is used as a desktop is connected to router with lan cable and its streamed from it into plex apps on Tv's.

    Also i always liked Plex because i can just put all my movies into folder and have a nice looking library on my TV without need to transfer movie into external hdd and connect it to tv every single time.

    No i didint buy that wifi module, what for is it? I guess it can let me use Ax, but to be fair i have home office and laptop and work office are connected via Lan to the router. That module would only work for ax on the laptop right? The problem with buffering never occured on the laptop though, but with TV in the living room.

    Also Wanted ac86u and connect my older one via air mesh to increase signal, but i found a nice deal for Ax88u so just went with this one

    Its this model UE75H6400AW and its using 5GHz. Router settings are on auto, not sure if thats N or AC :)


    On tv it says Direct playing - "title of the movie". Couldnt find anything else or the option for direct stream/transcoding. On laptop i have never had issues as dont watch anything via plex but on the top right corner its always "original"

    Also i have problems with regular 4-5GB movies sometimes. I am sure i wouldnt be able to watch 4k without any issues
     
  10. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    It looks like that TV has Ethernet though, might be worth to get it hardwired?

    Ah just saw your post and how it cant be hardwired.

    The Samsung site doesnt mention what WiFi standard is used on their site. Maybe you can look on your router?
     
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