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Synology Diskstation DS415play 4-Bay NAS Server
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Synology
Source: Synology
Purchase: Amazon.com
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 5 of 10 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ]
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August 22, 2014

In Use (continued):

Hardware Video Transcoding:

One of the key features of the DS415play is its ability to transcode video. Just about any NAS can serve up video files, but it is up to the client device to handle the stream. By having hardware that is capable of transcoding the video, you can effortlessly stream to your PCs, smart TVs, medias player, and your mobile devices with greater file compatibility and perhaps less resource consumption on the client device.

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The Media Server plugin must be installed inside of DSM (not so by default) to really unlock the potential, and from there you may see improved performance and compatibility on your devices accessing the videos on the DS415play. The screenshot below shows that I have installed the Media Server app, as well as the Audio Station and Video Station apps. The Audio and Video Stations allow you to connect to your mobile devices using apps available in the Android and Apple stores, so that you can stream your music and movie files. With Media Server and the Video Station installed on the DS415play, and the DS Video Android app installed, I will be able to stream my movies to my tablet and phone and access more formats and smoother streams given the extra work being done on the DS415play. With the right router setttings, you can make this media server access available anywhere you have an Internet connection.

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For comparison purposes, the two images below show the DMA Compatibility tab from the Media Server plugin. On the left we see it as installed on the DS414j, which only offers to transcode audio. On the right we see it installed on the DS415play, which offers the same audio settings, but also offers video transcoding options. There is a list of extensions that you can enable for inclusion, and by default it selects rm, rmvb, and mkv.

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I have a handful of Windows Media Center PCs in my home which handle live HDTV, playing movies from the storage server, streaming audio/video, and other entertainment features. To be honest, they are all over built with at least a dual core I3 processor and 8GB of memory, and just about every CODEC installed to play anything seamlessly. The ability for the DS415play to transcode video didn't do much for these systems as they can handle just about anything, and are all hardwired with Gigabit connections so that even high bit rate files get delivered with ease. What was easier is that instead of having to map a networked drive to the location of my media files on the DS415play and browse manually, as a media server the Windows PC can now see the device as such and you can readily browse that way, with files sorted by type, etc.

On my Android tablet, with a wireless N connection, before installing the DS415play and its Media Server, I had experienced issues with file compatibility and other bottlenecks. Some files were incompatible, and others struggled to play since the HD formats (which aren't quite necessary on an 1280x800 screen) had a bit rate of 35,000-48,000kbps. Compatibility is now greatly improved, as is the smoothness and clarity of the streams.

This type of improvement can be expected on other devices included smart TVs and media players, and because the DS415play is DLNA certified it can stream media effortlessly to compatible devices on your LAN.

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