With only a 50Mb upload I wouldn’t tell everybody to direct play, no. I would:
Use something like Tdarr to transcode all your media to HEVC, which should cut filesizes in half. This will probably take a month or more, depending on how many computers you distribute it across. The sooner you start it, the sooner it’ll be done.
Get a 5 bay synology (DS1520+) and put your media on five 8TB drives in SHR1 RAID. Install Plex in a docker and pass through /dev/dri etc for quicksync. Note the DS1522+ does not have hardware encoding as it has an AMD CPU.
If you do get the 1522+, drill through the Ryzen 1600 and wear it around your neck as an adornment, then put the 2700, PSU, RAM, and 1050ti in your case. Install proxmox. Create a Plex LXC. Pass through the /dev stuff for NVENC hw encoding. Install Plex in the LXC. If you really want to get fancy, setup one of those Plex request self-hosting apps and build a cloudflare tunnel for your users to get there.
It really is awesome. I have a 3-node proxmox cluster at home, comprised of small power-efficient 1L PCs purchased from eBay. Basically double the size of a NUC, but vastly cheaper and they can fit a 2.5" drive.
Each one was around $140 and came with a 7500T, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD. I popped another 16GB DIMM, a 500GB SATA SSD, and a 500GB NVMe SSD in all three of them, then installed Proxmox in a ZFS mirror on the two drives so everything is redundant.
It’s extremely slick, all my containers and VMs replicate across to the other two nodes, and if their running node goes down they start up on another one. If I need to reboot a node I just migrate its stuff to another node then do it. It easily backs up to my NAS too.
Hardware transcode works great in Linux, I’ve been doing it there for years. The $140 complete freakin’ computer I linked is quicksync-capable and I can personally attest it works. I have never used nvenc in Plex so I can’t speak to it.
Synologys are really expensive for the money, no doubt, but just like other overpriced companies like Apple and Sonos, their products are extremely pleasant to use. They don’t make me mutter “fucking piece of shit” frequently under my breath, as most devices do.
I’m a NAS person now! I bought a Synology DS220+ but only have a single 8TB HD in there right now. So far I’m just trying to replicate what I was doing with my little second PC server - Dropbox, Media, and iTunes server. It’s syncing everything now, but it seems like it’s going to do that just fine.
What other fun things can I do? I’m not a super pro at this, and I don’t think I want to run my own VPN or mail server, for example.