Drobo 5N Plex transcode speed.

I have a Drobo 5N running the Plex App.
I have an AppleTV 4 running the Plex App.
Both using wired Ethernet.
Accessing a mp4 video file works fine.
When I access a file, that needs transcoding, there is a long pause before the video starts and often there is a pause, or several pauses, with the rotating ring, in the middle of playing the video.
It would seem that the Drobo 5N does not have the CPU power to transcode for playback.
Any thoughts?

You are correct, the 5N does not transcode well.


Set the allowed bandwidth to the maximum in Plex on the ATV4. This will reduce unnecessary transcoding.

Give “Infuse” a try. This does the transcoding on the ATV4 if you have direct network access to your files and it has even an option to use Plex Server as a data source.

Any NAS that is equip with ARM-based processor is not powerful to perform any form of transcoding. Plex website has published a checklist of all NAS in the market with their transcoding ability. You can have a look at it.

Would it be far better to simply run Plex on a MacMini and use the Drobo for storage? – I thought I read in the documentation that the Drobo app didn’t transcode at all? Based on this doc by Plex, it’s just audio: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MfYoJkiwSqCXg8cm5-Ac4oOLPRtCkgUxU0jdj3tmMPc/edit#gid=314388488

That is what I do…run Plex on a Windows machine and store my library files on the Drobo.

Unless you are sharing your Plex with someone using something other than an ATV4, the best way to “get around” the transcode problem is to reencode your video into mp4 containers with h264 and AAC audio and burned in subtitles. This will direct play without the need for any type of transcoding assuming you set the quality to “original”. (and preserve the original quality). If you’re a PlexPass member, check out those forums and look for Cayars post here: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/131308/cayars-setup-walk-through-and-some-tips-and-tricks#latest