Synology Diskstation and my setup

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Falcoholic, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Falcoholic macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2013
    I am trying to centralize my media collection within my home in order to be accessible from all my Apple devices as well as stream it all through Apple TV. Few people have recommended the Synology Disktations in order to accomplish both, my media in one place, and act as a Time Machine server for my Macbook Pro, iMac, etc...

    However, after emailing Synology tech support before I was about to purchase, they stated that their NAS drives can't transcode in a manner that will allow me to watch 1080p on my Apple TV, even if the file itself is full high def. I'm not sure what to do at this point since I would like to watch all of my collection at their highest resolution possible.

    Here is my setup so far:

    - iMac (mid 2012)
    - Macbook Pro Retina
    - iPad 4
    - 2 iPhones
    - All connected via Airport Extreme and 2 Airport Express'

    What do you guys recommend as far as NAS drives? As I mentioned above, my main objective is to have a complete home media setup where my wife and I can have all our media stream to our TV, have access to our files even while away from home, and a Time Machine capable device preferably with Raid 1 in order to mirror everything into another drive for extra security.

    Looking forward to feedback from everyone. I apologize in advance if this has been asked before. This is my first post on MacRumors, still in the learning phase.
  2. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    First of all - I don't get the transcoding talk at all. Provided your movies are in H.264 format (no matter if in MP4 or MKV files), there's no need to transcode the stream. Just to repack from whatever container it is, into AirPlay stream. Which is not CPU intensive task.
    From what I understand, Synology Video Station is able to AirPlay from NAS-s web interface. As of format support, you need to research yourself.

    Synology DiskStation 4.2 update directly streams AirPlay video, dramatically improves Time Machine/AFP

    You might want to check other Synology vs iTunes related topics:
  3. Falcoholic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2013
    Essentially what you're saying is that with Synology's Video Station, I should be able to have all my movies on the NAS drive and AirPlay them via my Apple TV with the NAS drive being able to handle it easily...correct?
  4. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    'Coz I have no Synology myself, I'm not familiar with it's features first-hand, but several people on this very forum have confirmed that it is so.
  5. whsbuss macrumors 68040


    May 4, 2010
    SE Penna.
    Simply, yes.
  6. Pyromonkey83 macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2009
    The other thread explains it nicely, but put plainly and simply, if your videos are in an H.264 format (which they absolutely should be) and use AAC or AC3 audio in an .m4v container, you can play it straight to your Apple TV with no problem whatsoever.

    If you prefer to have them in a .mkv file format, you can still stream them but will need an extra third party program to assist with the streaming (PLEX is the most popular, but will not work with the Apple TV without a jailbreak or a lot of finicking).

    I have an enormous range of movies in multiple sizes and of vastly ranging qualities from 1GB-30GB and up to 1080p. I keep everything in a .m4v (itunes friendly) container, H.264 video codec, 2 Audio streams (One 2ch AAC, One 6ch AC3), and a pre-muxed .srt format subtitle. I have never had an issue with playing any of these files with my Synology NAS to my Apple TV, or streaming to my Phone/Tablet.

    The downside to using your NAS as the complete central hub, however, is it does not have the processing power to TRANSCODE in real time, meaning you can not have the NAS unit itself downgrade the quality of the video in order to stream it somewhere with a lesser connection. A good example of this is wanting to watch a video from outside of your home on a phone. My 1080p streams run with a bitrate of about 10mbps including audio, and as a result I would need a beefy upload connection from my ISP, and an equally beefy download on the other line. Sometimes this is not possible, and as a result you will end up with a buffering screen for 99% of the movie. Programs like PLEX can re-encode the stream on-the-fly to reduce it to 2-3 mbps which is in line with many ISP's upload rates, but the Synology cannot handle this alone.

    Hope this answered your question.

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