It’s not the buffering that’s the issue.*
(*Well…not really. Playing 2160p video on my Samsung TV, because the Samsung TV doesn’t have enough power to actually transcode the 2160p audio streams down from DTS:X to PCM, and therefore; requires the server to do it, but that’s a separate issue altogether.)
The issue is, for example, with TV shows (e.g. my own DVD rips), Plex now will do the thing where it will try to detect the intros of the episodes so that if you want to skip the intros, there will be a button that will pop up on the bottom right hand corner of the TV for that.
So that’s all fine and dandy.
The problem is the detection algorithm/task/process on the server side, results in a high CPU load, which whilst the Annapurina Labs ARM CPU can handle it, it isn’t the most performant for that task/process.
This problem was also exacerbated by the fact that the data itself (my entire media library) recently went through a data migration process (had to offload the data and then load it back onto the server again) because I was going to shrink the storage array volume, which, despite there being unused space (i.e. safe to shrink), to actually perform the volume shrink operation, you had to offload all of the data, delete the volume, and then recreate said volume with the new, smaller capacity. Again, not a Plex issue, but that was what happened which led to the data migration off and back onto the server, which is what led to the system now having to do the intro detections again.
In theory, once it goes through it now, it would only need to process the new media that’s added (e.g. any new shows that I am ripping).
But until it gets to that point, processing the existing rips is what’s taking a really long time, and this processing is what I would like to offload onto another system so that a) it would do it faster, and b) it would relegate the NAS back to just being a dumb, file/data server.
That’s the theory/the idea being this.
(I use Plex rather than Kodi and MariaDB because it requires less administration on my part. Linus (Sebastian) also has issues with Plex, but as he also stated, it works for his home theater and his wife/kids, and therefore; if it works, and it isn’t broken, then there is little reason to switch to something else.)
(On my local network, I have not problems connecting to it and playing media from it (generally, and broadly speaking, with the exception of trying to play 2160p media, but that again, is a bit of a Samsung issue (which causes the media to require transcoding), moreso than a Plex issue. And the Annapurina Labs ARM CPUs really isn’t that powerful for on-the-fly transcoding for 2160p content. But that’s also a bit of a sidebar issue/non-issue. (I have a mini PC to handle the 2160p playback. And I think that I might have tested it before and even an 8-core 5900HX wasn’t really able to do the on-the-fly transcoding any better (and for some reason, when I was testing it on my 6700k with a 3090, it wasn’t using NVENC neither. Again, sidebar problems.)
Right now, I am just focused on speeding up the intro detection (primarily).