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Update Plex Module on Any Thecus NAS - Printable Version

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Update Plex Module on Any Thecus NAS - SirNASaLot - 08-02-2018

The following process should work with any Thecus NAS. My NAS is a model N7510.
Note: These instructions assume the user is familiar with connecting to the Thecus NAS web interface and optionally via Terminal session (linux). These instructions have also been cross-posted to the Plex Forum https://forums.plex.tv/t/update-plex-module-on-any-thecus-nas/290883 . I recommend viewing the Plex Forum as well as the Thecus forum in getting information on Plex for Thecus.
  1. 1. Check the Plex NAS compatibility Spreadsheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MfYoJkiwSqCXg8cm5-Ac4oOLPRtCkgUxU0jdj3tmMPc/edit#gid=1274624273
If your NAS is not listed, just check another NAS with the same processor. Transcoding abilities should be similar.
Note: You can visit the NAS Devices section on the support site: https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/sections/200286217-NAS-Devices
Thecus specific info here:
The Thecus N7510 has an Intel® Atom ™ Processor D2701 (2.13GHz Dual Core) (64-bit). I found the processor model on the specs page on the Thecus website. I confirmed 64-bit by executing “uname -a” via terminal access (e.g. PUTTY)
Plex compatibility spreadsheet says that this processor can software transcode in SD 480p/576p and some HD 720p (higher bitrates may produce buffering or playback failure). This is in line with my experience, so I’m not surprised.
  1. 2. Download Thecus packages for plex here (in my situation was “intel 64-bit”):
  1. 3. To install a new Plex Media Server update, simply load the downloaded app file (e.g. PlexMediaServer_1.13.4.5271-200287a06_x64.app) in Thecus’s “Manual App Installation” (via the web interface) and click “Install”.
It takes about 20 minutes. It gave me an app success message after 17 minutes but only gave control of the window to click the “OK” button after another 3 minutes.
Once done it will show the updated version # in “Manual App Installation” section.
It does not delete the old plex database (e.g. where users left off in their shows).
For Plex modules from Thecus directly it did delete the old Plex database. If you want to be extra careful this posting discusses how to backup the data:
The plex installation is located in the following path:
The database is located in:
/raid/data/module/Plex/sys/Plex Media Server
Settings->Help->”Download Logs” and read “Plex Media Server.log” with word to format correctly and search for applicable logs. I think the log lists the CPU model in it…
/raid/data/module/Plex/sys/Plex Media Server/Logs/Plex Media Server.log
  1. 4. You will need to re-enable the Plex module (it runs the update and then disables the module). It takes about 2 minutes to “enable” and start responding to network requests. 5. (optional) Optimize your Plex settings for poor NAS transcoding abilities (like on the N7510):
Transcoding (simultaneous video sessions and quality) is set on the server. I set to “Transcoder quality” of “Prefer higher speed encoding” (default is “automatic”) and “background transcoding x264 preset” to “ultra fast” (default “very fast”, faster is less CPU intensive). These both prioritize fast transcoding while sacrificing quality. The effects on all devices was immediate.
Note: Bitrate/quality is set on player – so you set 480p or 720p, etc on the player device (e.g. smartphone, SmartTV, etc). I also suggest setting the players to poorer quality/faster image delivery.  In advanced settings on the player, I set “local quality” to 10 (out of 12 max) and “auto transcoding”
If quality is important to you, then I’d expect that you have one of the better NASs on the Plex list. But as Plex suggests, pre-built NASs aren’t the way to go. If you want superior NAS ability to handle Plex, you’ll probably need to build your own NAS from scratch.
FYI: Troubleshooting transcoding settings:
Note: I tested this upgrade (Plex Media Server version on my smartphone with Plex app version 7.x. My smartTVs are Samsung UN46EH5300FXZC (2012) and Samsung UN46H5203 (2014) which have 2.x and 1.x Plex app version respectively as I think Plex has discontinued app development on these older TVs. (yes, my older TV has a higher version; the CPU board got warranty replaced. Netflix wasn’t playing properly and it turned out I had a bad board – so I think that’s the reason…)
  1. 6. Optional; if it’s been a long time since you’ve upgraded Plex. Run “analyze” and “refresh all metadata” on all libraries.