Best option for Plex transcoding

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martinav
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Best option for Plex transcoding

Post by martinav » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:43 am

I'm just a little confused about all of the QNAP/Plex transcoding options.

First of all, I was going to a good platform that would allow for a GTX1050. I found a TVS-1272XU. It sports an i3-8100 CPU. But, can take a GTX 1050, so I thought...

I found out that the graphics cards do NOT allow for "QTS" mode, which is required for PLEX. I had no idea... I have sent a ticket to QNAP, and they were going to see what it might take to have the BIOS updated to allow for that, since the TS-1283XU is the SAME platform, but supports "QTS" mode...

Then, I learn that transcoding with a GPU is not as good a quality. Sooo...

Am I better off off to upgrade my CPU to a i7-8700 (same thermal spec)?

THen, I learn of this CodexPack app. I'm not sure what and when I need to use that.

So, now I have three different things... CPU/GPU/App. I'm just not sure what is best, and when the app is or isnt used.

I've seen some posts on these matters, but not one that looks at all of it, and provides some full options. Basically, I targeted finding a NAS that supported the card, purchased it, now find its not really setup to use it. I would have hoped for different because this unit is a "TVS" as opposed to a "TS". I would think it would be setup for optimum video potential. It doesnt seem so.

Thank you!
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martinav
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Re: Best option for Plex transcoding

Post by martinav » Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:07 am

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Moogle Stiltzkin
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Re: Best option for Plex transcoding

Post by Moogle Stiltzkin » Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:53 am

with a nvidia gpu, if you transcode using the graphics card ( last i heard it was possible with the plex beta version that requires a plex pass or emby premium). Then the encoding will be in HEVC.

HEVC will be better than an Intel quicksync hardware acceleration. do a youtube search, there is a visual comparison.

With software transcoding, plex does x264, that is pretty good. I managed to do 1080p transcoding just fine on the ts-877 using ryzen cpu.

Transcoding you will lose quality, but anyone that transcode stream merely do so because

1. for wider device support for playback, for a device that requires it
2. bandwidth. makes the stream more smoother (albeit there will be an initial pause while it begins to transcode, but if for cpu passmark is decent it will take only a very short while. during the playback there is no pauses unless your cpu is having a hard time transcoding to keep up). If you are streaming your media remotely, it probably makes sense to transcode. But if you are just viewing locally, perhaps avoid transcoding (there is an option in plex for direct play).
3. space savings. perhaps you want to make a permanent transcode to reduce file space. I don't recommend this since you are murdering your media quality permanently. Plz don't do this :O

I don't have a plex pass so i don't have hands on exp with that. I did however reach out to the alternative app, emby, and the dev told me that with QTS 4.4.1, the app now detects the installed nvidia graphics card, meaning it should now be possible to transcode for graphics.

Minimum requirement is using qts 4.4.1

in the qts > hardware under graphics, there are 3 modes for graphics card

1. QTS
2. virtual station
3. container station

so for the plex and emby, presumably (i remind you i didn't get far to actually test this myself). you need it on QTS mode. whenever you switch between modes, a NAS reboot is required to apply the new setting.

I did test the native video station app for transcoding, it seemingly works.
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Re: Best option for Plex transcoding

Post by dolbyman » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:49 am

@moogle
hevc is supported by nvidia and intel

my tvs951x does hardware transcoding of hevc 10bit ..no problem

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Effi ... deo_Coding

martinav
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Re: Best option for Plex transcoding

Post by martinav » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:11 am

@Moogle,

Everything you say is true. However, while many NAS will regognize the cart, QTS mode is not available on all models. So I found out after the fact when purchasing my TVS-1272XU. A small but all important detail not evident unless you already know what you are doing. All I get are Virtual & Conatiner station modes.
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Re: Best option for Plex transcoding

Post by Moogle Stiltzkin » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:35 pm

i was referring in regards to this
A 2012 evaluation by AnandTech showed that QuickSync on Intel's Ivy Bridge produced similar image quality compared to the NVENC encoder on Nvidia's GTX 680 while performing much better at resolutions lower than 1080p.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Quick_Sync_Video

but maybe things have changed since then?
my tvs951x does hardware transcoding of hevc 10bit ..no problem
using quicksync? :' ooo i'll do more research on this.

@2:46 there is a quicksync HEVC option i see :'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PqOInmAlIo
Version 5 (Skylake)
The Skylake microarchitecture adds a full fixed-function H.265/HEVC main/8-bit encoding and decoding acceleration, hybrid and partial HEVC main10/10-bit decoding acceleration, JPEG encoding acceleration for resolutions up to 16,000×16,000 pixels, and partial VP9 encoding and decoding acceleration.

Version 6 (Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake, Whiskey Lake)
The Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake microarchitecture adds full fixed-function H.265/HEVC Main10/10-bit encoding and decoding acceleration and full fixed-function VP9 8-bit and 10-bit decoding acceleration and 8-bit encoding acceleration.

Version 7 (Ice Lake)

The Ice Lake (microarchitecture) adds VP9 4:4:4 decoding, VP9 encoding (up to 10-bit and 4:4:4), HEVC 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 decoding and encoding,[15] HDR10 Tone Mapping[16] and Open Source Media Shaders.

nvenc seems to do a better job than quicksync
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRUvMo0Onlc
Then, I learn that transcoding with a GPU is not as good a quality. Sooo...
not quite. here i will explain.
In the event that you need to live stream to Twitch, Mixer, or YouTube Live, you’ve had two choices with regards to video encoding. You can set your CPU to do software encoding. You could then again choose your Nvidia GPU to deal with that task. Each of these has its advantages, however, your most solid option was to utilize your CPU. In any case, with Nvidia’s new RTX video cards, that may have changed.

CPU versus GPU encoding was generally about quality versus execution. Live gushing expects you to pack a video communicate into a little measure of transmission capacity. Twitch has the greatest transfer speed of 6 Mbps, which isn’t a ton when you have to encode 60 edges of 1080p video consistently. In any case, X264 is proficient at smushing visual subtleties into that minor space. The issue is that in case you’re running an amusement on a similar framework, CPU encoding is going to hurt execution.

On the off chance that you have a more established, slower CPU, in any case, you could utilize NVENC on the GPU. This choice infrequently harms execution. In any case, the issue in the past was that NVENC’s quality wasn’t practically identical to X264 at 6 Mbps or lower. It wasn’t unusable, without a doubt, yet NVENC used to eat a ton of subtleties

Yet, that is old NVENC. On the RTX cards, similar to the RTX 2080 Ti, Nvidia has improved its encoder. What’s more, it is currently possibly superior to X264 from numerous points of view.

So how do these two encoding models pile facing each other today? Generally, they’re quite even. X264 still improves, however, I think NVENC may have the edge with regards to what you need for live gushing video.

For this content, I set NVENC and X264 to record at a bitrate of 6 Mbps. Both likewise utilize the “High” profile and a keyframe interim of 2. Everything else is the default for OBS Studio. I additionally incorporated some HVEC H.265 4K film recorded at 160Mbps.

To see the most ideal examination, you should watch the video at the top in 4K. In any case, I’ll incorporate some screen captures beneath that show both encoders in real life.
https://savedelete.com/gaming/nvenc-vs-x264/203281/

so yeah, if you used the NEWER rtx, you could probably get a more developed NVENC. Also you are losing quality either way when you transcode. But in my opinion based on the transcoding quality, to me the performance is quite acceptable. I only managed to test with a nvidia 1080 and a 1050 so far, so my results are based on this slightly outdated hardware :ashamed:

but i did refer to other peoples reviews for reference :)

QTS mode is not available on all models.
wow really? i didn't know this. Is installing graphics card supported on your model? thats usually the main pre-requisite.
Last edited by Moogle Stiltzkin on Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
NAS
[Main Server] QNAP TS-877 w. 4tb [ 3x HGST Deskstar NAS (HDN724040ALE640) & 1x WD RED NAS ] EXT4 Raid5 & 2 x m.2 SATA Samsung 850 Evo raid1 +16gb ddr4 Crucial+ QWA-AC2600 wireless+QXP PCIE
[Backup] QNAP TS-653A w. 5x 2TB Samsung F3 (HD203WI) EXT4 Raid5
[Backup] QNAP TL-D400S 2x 4TB WD Red Nas (WD40EFRX) single disks.
[^] QNAP TS-659 Pro II
[^] QNAP TS-509 Pro w. 4x 1TB WD RE3 (WD1002FBYS) EXT4 Raid5
[^] QNAP TS-228
[^] QNAP TS-128
[Mobile NAS] TBS-453DX w. 2x Crucial MX500 500gb EXT4 raid1

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Re: Best option for Plex transcoding

Post by Moogle Stiltzkin » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:34 pm

one thing i like about using the nvidia graphics card for hevc hardware acceleration, is it frees up your CPU to do other things.

also the nvenc hevc is good enough when it comes to transcoding quality and performance.

But anyway, martinav did you reach out to helpdesk? what did they say about your issue? just curious
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NAS
[Main Server] QNAP TS-877 w. 4tb [ 3x HGST Deskstar NAS (HDN724040ALE640) & 1x WD RED NAS ] EXT4 Raid5 & 2 x m.2 SATA Samsung 850 Evo raid1 +16gb ddr4 Crucial+ QWA-AC2600 wireless+QXP PCIE
[Backup] QNAP TS-653A w. 5x 2TB Samsung F3 (HD203WI) EXT4 Raid5
[Backup] QNAP TL-D400S 2x 4TB WD Red Nas (WD40EFRX) single disks.
[^] QNAP TS-659 Pro II
[^] QNAP TS-509 Pro w. 4x 1TB WD RE3 (WD1002FBYS) EXT4 Raid5
[^] QNAP TS-228
[^] QNAP TS-128
[Mobile NAS] TBS-453DX w. 2x Crucial MX500 500gb EXT4 raid1

Network
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Guides & articles
[Review] Moogle's QNAP experience
[Review] Moogle's TS-877 review
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martinav
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Re: Best option for Plex transcoding

Post by martinav » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:21 pm

@Moogle Stiltzkin,
QTS mode is not available on all models.
wow really? i didn't know this. Is installing graphics card supported on your model? thats usually the main pre-requisite.
It was not evident until I went to set it up. That drove me to dig further. I posted a ticket to QNAP. I asked them what the deal was, since my video card is in the compatability list. Its just not in the compatability list for TRANSCODING! So, then I asked what model WAS compatible with transcoding, and they sent me an example. THis is how the ocmpatability screen differs:

Mine: (TVS-1272XU):

Recommended
GPGPU for TVS-1272XU-RP
Note: A dual-slot expansion card will take up the space of two PCIe slots.
Brand
Brand Model Supported feature(s) Special requirement(s) Note
EVGA GT1030 2GB DDR4 64bit Passive Low Profile Container Station / Virtualization Station
ZOTAC GeForce® GT 1030 Low Profile Container Station / Virtualization Station
GIGABYTE GV-N1050TOC-4GL Container Station / Virtualization Station
ASUS GT1030-SL-2G-BRK Container Station / Virtualization Station
MSI Geforce GT1030 2G LP OC Container Station / Virtualization Station
GALAX GT1030 EXOC White 2GB GDDR5 Low Profile Container Station / Virtualization Station
GIGABYTE GV-N1030D5-2GL Low Profile Container Station / Virtualization Station

One that does support transcoding: (TS-1283XU)

Recommended
GPGPU for TS-1283XU-RP
Note: A dual-slot expansion card will take up the space of two PCIe slots.
Brand
Brand Model Supported feature(s) Special requirement(s) Note
EVGA GT1030 2GB DDR4 64bit Passive Low Profile HD Station / Linux Station / Container Station / Virtualization Station
ZOTAC GeForce® GT 1030 Low Profile HD Station / Linux Station / Container Station / Virtualization Station
GIGABYTE GV-N1050TOC-4GL HD Station / Linux Station / Hardware Transcoding / Container Station / Virtualization Station
ASUS GT1030-SL-2G-BRK HD Station / Linux Station / Container Station / Virtualization Station
MSI Geforce GT1030 2G LP OC HD Station / Linux Station / Container Station / Virtualization Station
GALAX GT1030 EXOC White 2GB GDDR5 Low Profile HD Station / Linux Station / Container Station / Virtualization Station
GIGABYTE GV-N1030D5-2GL Low Profile HD Station / Linux Station / Container Station / Virtualization Station

Note the difference above. I was VERY surprised that not even HD station nor Linux station used the card. Especially since the only difference between these two models is that one is a Xeon, the other an i3. Same motherboard. They said that they were asking the developers regarding a BIOS option. I wouldnt think this would be difficult. Its funny, because the one is alsot a "TS" model, not a "TVS" model. I would have figured the "TVS" would have the better video options. However, at the same time, the "TS" model does not have a GPU (Since this Xeon does not) so perhaps they are providing an option for them. Regardless, it doesnt seem like they should have a different BIOS just for that difference. Other modtherboards support both Xeon and standard CPUs.
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Re: Best option for Plex transcoding

Post by jaysona » Sun Apr 12, 2020 1:35 am

You should not be transcoding at all, transcoding occurs because the plex player is unable to natively decode the video/audio, consider getting a better/updating plex player.

If you are going to transcode, then use Intel QuickSync (you will need a plex pass, purchase the lifetime plexpass - it's the best value) and run plex as a qpkg, don't bother running plex in a docker/container station - that's a needless waste of resources.

There was at one point a limitation with the number of concurrent transcodes that could be done with the NVIDIA GPU - this was a NVIDIA driver imposed limitation, iirc. You would have to check the QNAP specific Plex forum for details.
https://forums.plex.tv/t/qnap-faq-read-me-first/109942

I have Intel QuickSync hardware transcoding enabled on my plex server, and I have never seen CPU usage go above 5% with a dozen concurrent streams playing, most being hardware transcoded.
PlexTranscodes.png
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