Synology DS214play worthwhile NAS? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-25-2014, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Synology DS214play worthwhile NAS?

I really need a reliable data server for my home network. Redundancy and ease of backup along with the reputed great apps of the Synology NAS's have me looking at them. Making a choice is challenging because every offering has major tradeoffs.

The DS214play has my interest but I absolutely don't know if the central feature, video transcoding, will be useful to me. I don't have a smart TV, what I have is an Epson 8700U 1080p projector and a switch where I can throw the content to my 23" computer monitor instead (or both if I like). I have a Sony BDP-S390 BD player, which is ethernet connected to my router. I have ~5.5 mbps (middling) DSL internet, have never done any streaming over the internet. So far, I've just used the Sony player for DVD's and occasional Blu-ray movies. However, I'm curious about streaming and ripping DVD's and BD's to store on the NAS.

So, my question is can the DS214play's video transcoding feature benefit me? I suppose that might depend on what formats the player supports. Sony's website says this:

AVCHD
Disc Format
Folder
BD/DVD/CD/
USB/DLNA
- -
MPEG-1
Video/
PS (.mpg
.mpeg,
.m2ts, .mts)
BD/DVD/CD/
USB/DLNA
- -
MPEG-2
Video/PS,
TS ( .mpg.
mpeg,
.m2ts, .mts)
BD/DVD/CD/
USB/DLNA
- -
MPEG-4
AVC (.mkv,
.mp4, .m4v,
.m2ts, .mts)
BD/DVD/CD/
USB/DLNA
- - - - - - -

Does this mean that the Sony supports everything I might rip or stream and I don't need transcoding? Thanks for demystifications for a streaming video noobie.

Edit: I know that this NAS's transcoding feature does not support DTS, it's evidently a licensing issue. I know that DTS is a superior audio format, however I typically watch my movies using quality earbuds (my hearing isn't great and that helps, also don't have to worry about disturbing my neighbors), so multi-speaker surround sound isn't something I'm even dealing with (have 5.1, but don't use it).

I have computers in my media room, one with an HDTV card in it (MyHD 130), but the computer is underpowered and I plan to replace the mainboard, processor, RAM and OS. My computers are all Windows computers.

Last edited by Muse; 07-25-2014 at 07:23 PM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-26-2014, 04:06 AM
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Transcoding is only a necessity when the client media player on the other end cannot play the media.

When ripping the media to the NAS you will either be ripping raw using MakeMKV giving you a variety of MPEG2/MKV, VC-1/MKV or H.264/MKV videos at BD specs or converting into x264 video using something like Handbrake to convert the output from MakeMKV giving you x264/MKV videos.

Converting into x264 will not only save space but will also likely enhance compatibility and make it more certain the videos will play on the Sony without the need for transcoding, Handbrake can also re-do the audio into more friendly Dolby or stereo AAC/MP3.

If you dont plan on compressing/converting with Handbrake, then the raw videos above may or may not play on the Sony which is were transcoding comes into effect. This article covers the limits and your under media server group 1 so you would be covered but it's still hard to say exactly how well it would work in practice, on paper it should.

Your best results would likely be gotten by ripping with MakeMKV and only ever taking regular Dolby audio, never take HD audio formats or DTS. The transcoding engine built into the DS214Play should be able to handle that. It may also get by with DTS if the Sony supports that over DLNA so server doesnt need to transcode.
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-26-2014, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you, I was hoping I'd hear from you, I read some posts by you about the DS214play and related stuff in this forum yesterday.

Well, I read and reread your post, trying to suss out the nitty gritty! I just downloaded the MakeMKV installer, it's evidently free, at least while it's in beta (haven't looked closely at that). What I'm thinking is that you're hinting that for me the DS214play makes more sense than the DS214 in that there's a some reasonable chance I'll benefit from the hardware transcoding capabilities. I know, there's a lot of "depends" going on there, things that depend on how I rip files and how the Sony handles them. It's just an extra $50, so not a giant thing. The DS214 does have hardware encryption while the DS214play does not. But the DS214play has a much better processor and twice the RAM, but it will use more electricity. Possibly, I'm thinking, the more powerful processor will mean it runs hotter and will reduce the life expectancy of the HDs, another thing to consider.

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post #4 of 9 Old 07-27-2014, 12:39 AM
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Hardware encryption is pointless on a pure media server NAS and will just slow things down when copying files to the NAS.

Go with the DS214Play if you can afford it anyway as Synology do not typically put x86 CPU's in their NAS line up which perform much better. If you wind up using more advanced media servers like Plex the DS214Play will run Plex server far better than other Arm/PPC CPU based Synology models.

The x86 CPU in the Play series is a low power CPU it wont have any effect on heat and the increase in electricity is negligible.
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-27-2014, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you! I will order the DS214play today. Two 3TB WD Red drives are already on their way.

5 minutes later: Placed my order.

I really need a primer on Video. Am going to hunt for that online. My head just spins when I read most specs and technical descriptions. I need a demystification. Even so, I'm fairly confident in my purchases. I've been limping along using a 2TB USB HD hanging off a laptop for a couple of years or more for a file server. Tried the drive hanging off my router recently, that was an improvement in some ways but I started getting file corruption. Hopefully, the Synology NAS will trump those experiences.

Last edited by Muse; 07-27-2014 at 07:21 AM.
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-27-2014, 07:41 AM
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Basic break down

DVD = MPEG-2 video along with Dolby or DTS audio, DVD's use a VIDEO_TS structure on the disc with all the bits of the video/audio scattered among various .VOB files.

Blu-ray = MPEG-2 video (rarely used these days) VC-1 (less commonly used) and H.264 video (most common) along with Dolby/DTS, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD (also known as DTS-MA) and occasionaly LPCM. Like DVD's Blu-ray discs have a disc structure called BDMV and the various video/audio streams are in .M2TS containers on the disc.

Now DLNA the system Synology and Sony talk to each other with does not play VIDEO_TS or BDMV disc structures, DLNA was designed for digital video files like your MP4, AVI, WMV, MKV and so on.

So that's why you must extract the video/audio from the disc to a standalone file, MakeMKV does this with no quality loss it simply copies the video/audio from the disc and reconstructs it as a single movie.mkv file.

When you get the Synology, download Synology assistant and latest firmware, power on NAS, run assistant and wait for it to find NAS, it will then hold your hand through the rest of the set up process, once your into the Synology DSM (disk station manager OS) go to the app portal and find media server Synology's own in-house one and install that, it will auto create a few folders like video, photo etc then copy your files/folders into this. The Sony will connect to the media server and get those file listings.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-27-2014, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you! I was wondering how the Sony would find my files, you cleared that up. The other info is all great too, clarifies things a ton for me.

Questions:

Are there other rippers of DVD's and BD's than makemkv? Makemkv, when I installed it, said it would work for 60 days and then I'd have to download another and install again. My impression is that at some point soon they will supersede beta and charge for the program. I do pay for software sometimes, but generally get by with freeware. Of course, if it's worth the money I'll pay.

I think I saw a post where a guy said he ripped movies to MP4 and put them on the smartphone I have, a Nokia 520. Would makemkv be the app to use for that?
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-28-2014, 01:58 AM
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You just replace the beta key with the next one and you can keep on using it for free for as long as dev wants to keep doing it. You can purchase MakeMKV and that serial key never runs out, it's worth buying.

There are other tools which work similar to MakeMKV but simply not as good, Pavtube and DVDFab also have a copy media to mkv mode but it's buried within their GUI's somewhere as they do video conversion by default.

MakeMKV + Handbrake (which is free) is a better combo than those programs.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-03-2014, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alx330 View Post

When you get the Synology
, download Synology assistant and latest firmware, power on NAS, run assistant and wait for it to find NAS, it will then hold your hand through the rest of the set up process, once your into the Synology DSM (disk station manager OS) go to the app portal and find media server Synology's own in-house one and install that, it will auto create a few folders like video, photo etc then copy your files/folders into this. The Sony will connect to the media server and get those file listings.
I'm there.

I don't see "firmware" up there, I think maybe you mean the latest DSM? There's a find.synology website and it seems to run the assistant from there, but I stopped it and will run the assistant EXE instead, I'm sure it doesn't matter, but will do it that way because that's what it said in your post. Well, is there a separate firmware?
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