airplay directly from NAS (Diskstation DS214play)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Nozuka, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. Nozuka, Nov 1, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013

    Nozuka macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    Has anyone tried the DS214play yet?

    The Package "Video Station" has had the ability to do Airplay (Video) for months now, but since my current Diskstation is too old, its too slow to transcode the videos in realtime and thats why it only works with files supported by the Apple TV.

    The new DS214play got a hardware transcoder and should be able to do FullHD in realtime.

    How it works: You get an app that lists all your movies and TV-shows. There you can choose "play on apple tv" and it will directly stream it from the NAS to the Apple TV. You can close the App on the Tablet/Phone afterwards. (also works with wdtv and others)

    Already ordered it, was just wondering if anyone had the chance to try it and maybe awaken the interest of other apple tv users.

    Too lazy to convert all files into a Apple TV compatible format.
  2. Nozuka, Nov 6, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013

    Nozuka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    Even if this topic didnt exactly get much response, i'm still going to talk about my experience a little bit.

    Switching from the ds211j to the ds214play was no problem. Just took the harddrives of the old system and put them into the new one. went with a new configuration, but kept the raid with all my data. (mirroring - dont trust those old discs anymore :p )

    sadly wasn't able to test airplay to the Apple TV yet, because transcoding somehow doesnt work while the harddiscs are being checked for consistency.
    but it worked on my iphone this morning, with several different movies and tv shows in a .mkv container - after that check was done.

    but obviously the same result could be reached with plex and the plex app.

    the really interesting part will be: how good does it work with airplay and the apple tv. (directly from the NAS to the Apple TV - not playing it on the phone/tablet and airplaying THAT to the apple TV)

    why: i dont want my limited wifi bandwidth getting crippled by video streaming. twice. (from NAS to phone and then the airplay stream to the apple tv). and also dont want to waste the battery on my iOS devices.
  3. Nozuka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    airplay seems to be working perfectly so far, even in 1080p.
    and the NAS doesnt even break a sweat, thanks to the hardware transcoder.

    couldnt find a file it wont play yet. guess i can finally get rid of my wdtv and only use the apple tv (3) from now on. :D

    seems to be one of the first products that supports airplay video.
  4. keigo macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2006
    from my understanding if you airplay using DS video, then once you airplay it will be direct from nas to apple tv instead of via idevice.

    You can close the ds video during airplay and I think it will still continue to play the video.
  5. Nozuka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    Ah found its weakness. DTS Audio cant be transcoded.
    They had to remove it because of licensing problems.. but they are working on a fix.


    yes thats how it works. which is great.:cool:
  6. psxp macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2008
    dang... DTS support would be great. Still, no reason yet to replace my mac mini working as a plex server i guess
  7. Nozuka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    i hope they will fix it eventually.

    but i only got 2 movies with it anyway. will probably just convert them.
  8. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Are there any kind of watched/unwatched flags in the app, and does that transfer to other devices? As in, if I start a movie and only watch half of it, will my wife be able to resume from where we left off via her phone?
  9. outie2k macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2010
    Watched/unwatched flag does transfer over. The data seems to be saved on the Diskstation side.
  10. darkslide29, Nov 7, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013

    darkslide29 macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2011
    San Francisco, California
    Just wanted to let you know that I use the DS212J this way. Whenever I have a video in mkv format or whatever, I use the program: MP4Tools for Mac to convert to what I need it to.

    Since mkv is just how it is packaged, the goal is to get it to m4v. And since how it is packaged is the only issue (potentially the audio, but never the video), I always leave the video as is (pass through). It's only the audio that may or may not need to be re-encoded.
    If the audio is already in AC3 format, I can leave that as is too! Set both to pass through, all it does is re-package the video, and in a few minutes I have an .m4v file that can be used from my box to apple tv, no worries about the NAS re-encoding.

    If the audio is in DTS, then I select passthrough for the video and ask it to re-encode the audio to AC3. It takes a little longer (maybe 15 min), but not too long since the video is never being re-encoded.
    Since the video isn't being re-encoded, no worries about video degradation. I've never had any audio sync issues either.

    Easy streaming for me, straight playback from my NAS, no re-encoding on its part needed.
  11. Nozuka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    would be too much work for me.. i watch alot of tv shows we dont get in our country every day.

    not any problems with those so far, guess none of them got dts audio ;)
    i'm really happy with the purchase. its working great and ironic in a way, that i'm starting the tv shows/movies on my nexus 7 to watch on the apple tv ;) apple should just open up airplay to everyone.

    and yes, you can resume watching where you left off on another device.

    the NAS is below 10% CPU usage while transcoding, thanks to the hardware transcoder.
  12. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    The DS214play isn't available here in Toronto yet. I'm very interested in upgrading my DS212j and the hardware transcoder sounds quite handy.
  13. Mromberg macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2010
    ds214play f/u questions

    I apologize for any newbie-like questions, but that is where I'm at currently.

    My wife and I are building a house and after a meeting with an AV guy last week he suggested multiple Apple TV's vs. a distributed video (costly) system. I currently add movies to my iTunes library using Handbrake's ATV 2 preset, which enables us to (a) stream them to our ATV and (b) copy on to multiple iPhones/iPads as needed for trips out of town. My sources, to date, have only been DVD's.

    Once in our new house I would like to start using blu-ray as sources, adding true HD videos to our library. Hence my interest in the DS214play. We'll have as many as 4 or 5 HDTV's, each with an ATV attached probably. And again, some iPads around that may access a video sometime while in the house. It seems like the DS214play makes sense, as the original post suggested, keeping single albeit large files on the NAS, and using its transcoder to send an appropriate stream to whatever device is requesting the video.

    My question relates to the fact that since all my "players" are Apple devices anyway, should I just (a) rip via Handbrake to say an ATV3 preset and (b) store them on the computer or attached RAID instead of using the NAS? I'm assuming a rip from blu-ray to ATV3 preset is fairly compressed, but will it look comparable to a less compressed rip being transcoded by the DS214play on the same TV?
  14. Mjlcannegieter macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2014

    I am new on this forum but i've been looking for a topic on the subject of the ds214play together with an atv3. I've got a noob-question about transcoding: does this only work for apple compatible video formats or does it automatically convert every type of videofile so it will play on the apple tv3? I've read the synology website on this topic but this couldn't answer my question.

  15. monsieurpaul, Jan 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014

    monsieurpaul macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2009
    Once the video are remuxed, how do you play them on the Apple TV?
  16. darkslide29 macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2011
    San Francisco, California
    So once I have it in a format I know plays, as I explained above...

    I open up my DS Video app on my iPhone. From the main list of all my videos, I select the video I would like to play. This takes me to the detailed info of the video. On this screen, on the top right corner there is a little TV icon with a play symbol in it. This will let you select the Apple TV as the player. And you hit play and that's all there is to it!

    It is NOT using your phone as a pass-through or middle man. It is playing directly from the Synology NAS to the Apple TV. Your phone is just a controller. Feel free to exit out of the app and what not, because it is not being used. You can use it to fast forward, pause, etc. But it is not actively being used.


    I believe the DS214 is not capable of automatically transcoding on the fly (my DS212j isn't either). It's just not powerful enough to transcode in real time to the Apple TV. Therefore, you need to have your files already be in a Apple TV friendly format. I posted a couple posts above above how I achieve this myself (turning an mkv into an m4v with software, passing through the video, and re-encoding the audio to AC3).
  17. Lord Hamsa macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2013
    This is news (and welcome news) to me - I had been avoiding this whole package (I have the 411j, I believe) because I thought it was pointless if I had to tie up a device to be the middle man, since I could just Airplay directly from the device in the first place. I'm not worried about transcoding, because all of my files are encoded for ATV and iOS in the first place.

    To paraphrase the great Phineas Fletcher, I know what I'm going to do today!
  18. ericavi8tor macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2013
    Orlando, FL
    Are you re-encoding the file from mkv to m4v (handbrake) or are you remuxing it (subler)?

    Also, do you know of any way to remux the file directly on the NAS instead of having to copy it to a mac and then back to NAS?

    I'm trying to find a Subler type of remuxer that can be run directly on Synology diskstations. Possible even run directly from NZBGet as a script.
  19. darkslide29 macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2011
    San Francisco, California
    I don't use handbrake. I use MP4Tools on my Mac. This allows an mkv file to simply be repackaged as an M4V file. The video stays the same, as I select the option to pass through. If the audio is AC3 I also pass-through and it's a quick and simple re-package. If the audio is DTS, I convert the audio to AC3. It doesn't take too long since in either option the video is being passed through.

    I do this on my Mac. I haven't really experimented with doing it on the NAS itself, but I like your idea of finding something running directly on the NAS. That would be very convenient.
  20. ben5576 macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2014

    DS214play arrived today and 5 hours into the usual 'quick setup' for a complete numpty like me, I can confirm that you can definitely stream non supported media content directly to your ATV from the NAS. But it is not immediately apparent how.

    Putting aside that actual setup of Video Station (on your mac) and DS Video (on your iphone) all I can do is reinforce Darkslide's comments on how to do this because it took me a fair few goes and a lot of swearing to get it right.

    What you must do, is what Darkslide says. Don't do what I think is intuitive, which is to press the big play icon on the image of the video you have selected (on the detailed film information page he refers to), then go to the next screen (with the expected play/pause controls etc) then see the airplay icon on the right and click that. Doing this streams the movie to your phone and from your phone to the ATV as discussed above. You can test this by exiting the app and the playback stops. The same thing happens when following the same process on your mac.

    But.... If you finally spot that there really is a *tiny* icon (and it's not an 'airplay' icon either) at the top right hand corner of the detailed movie information page and press this rather than the big play icon on the poster of the movie you want to play, then you will get a different screen with a play/stop control. If you get this, then you are streaming direct from the NAS to the ATV. As before, you can test this by switching off your phone and the playback continues.

    I'm happily watching a .mkv being transcoded and streamed directly to my ATV as I type this.

    Apologies if this seems to merely repeat what has been said previously, however I found this a really helpful thread in setting up my network and actually getting the DS214play to actually do 'what it says on the tin'. Thanks for all of your help.

  21. coops macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    That would be excellent... A Sickbeard add-on to look at and process any dts/ac3 audio to aac.
  22. afd macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2005
    I have a DS213j and can't get ac3 audio to work? The DS video app tries to send the video to VLC or ace player.
  23. antiwindows macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2010
    More questions???

    I'm trying to wrap my head around this unit and playback to Atv3.
    I started this past weekend downloading my DVD's (150) to iTunes, using Handbrake and Subler. So far so good.
    My next adventure is for a NAS to store the iTunes library. During my investigation I came across this thread. I have more ?'s
    1. Darkslide: Ben5576 Are you guys using iTunes with your library housed on the
    2. Does the ATV see the movies via the Video software from Synology?

  24. mattyb240 macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008

    I can answer question 2 without owning it. The DS Video station app allows you to use as a remote and airplay the content direct from the NAS to the Apple TV leaving your device free to do whatever you want.
  25. hoss-vw macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2014
    Is the 214play needed to stream from the NAS to the AppleTV?

    Or is it only needed if you are attempting to stream files not native to the AppleTV?

    I'm trying to figure out if I need the 214play or just the 214.

    Right now I am using a MacMini with iTunes running to stream movies to the AppleTV, but would like to migrate this all to a NAS if possible and add TimeMachine capabilities.


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