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I am going to buy my first NAS and leaning toward Synology. Everyone talks about transcoding on the NAS, but why not just point a Plex, Emby, or Jellyfin server installed on a PC, ZImaboard, etc. to the NAS where your media is stored? The PC would need to be capable of transcoding of course. This does not hog the NAS CPU with transcoding. I am doing this now as I have a Win 10 PC with Drive Bender (no longer in business) where my media is stored and I have PLEX and EMBY server installed on another Win 10 PC. I have tried to get my Nvidea shield to be the server but have not been able to get it to connect to my storage on my media PC yet. I don't see any downside to to doing this. Maybe someone can tell what the downside to this could be. Thx for any input!!!!!!
You can do. There's essentially 2 approaches

1) Thin client, fat server
2) Thin server, fat client

In essence you can have a low powered NAS and have the client (PC / Shield Pro etc) do all the heavy lifting.
Or you can have a high powered server (core i9, bags of ram), and keep the processing away from any low powered clients (phones, tablets) etc.
Hey there! It's great to see your interest in setting up your first NAS, especially with Synology. Your approach of using a separate PC or device to handle transcoding while pointing Plex, Emby, or Jellyfin servers to the NAS for media storage is definitely a valid strategy.

One advantage of this setup is that it offloads the transcoding workload from the NAS CPU, allowing it to focus primarily on storage and other tasks. This can be particularly beneficial if you have a large media library or anticipate heavy transcoding needs, as it ensures optimal performance and responsiveness from your NAS.

Another benefit is flexibility. By decoupling transcoding from the NAS, you have the freedom to upgrade or replace the transcoding hardware separately from the NAS itself. This means you can easily scale your transcoding capabilities to meet changing requirements without having to replace your entire NAS setup.

Additionally, using a separate server for transcoding allows for more customization and optimization of the transcoding environment. You can choose hardware components specifically tailored to transcoding tasks, ensuring efficient and reliable performance.

However, it's essential to consider potential downsides as well. One drawback is increased complexity and potential points of failure in your setup. Managing multiple devices and ensuring seamless integration between them may require additional effort and technical expertise.

Furthermore, relying on a separate device for transcoding means introducing an additional point of dependency into your media streaming setup. If the transcoding server experiences issues or downtime, it could impact your ability to access and stream media from the NAS.

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