Synology DS213J

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mattyb240, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. mattyb240 macrumors 6502a

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    May 11, 2008
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm thinking about going virtually computer less and getting the above NAS. It would be used to stream MP4 files (1-10GB) to my iPad mini and host all my files. I will still have a PPC Mac Mini.

    Am I correct in thinking the NAS and my iPad won't need to transcode any of the content? Thus not needed something like the 214? I don't tend to download any files unless they are mp4 or m4v.

    Using the Synology apps I would look to airplay the content to my tv. Would this work?
     
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #2
    The iTunes media server doesn't work with Homesharing/Apple TV. You have to use iTunes and access the media, and play it to the Apple TV via airplay. if you're okay with that, it's great.
     
  3. mattyb240 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 11, 2008
    #3
    That's fine, I don't use the home sharing function and most of my music is done through spotify. Do you think the NAS is capable of what I need?
     
  4. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    #4
    Get the DS214Play instead http://www.synology.com/en-global/products/overview/DS214play with this one, you can AirPlay direct to the Apple TV. It has a hardware transcoder that does all the heavy lifting. All you will need is an app to control the ds214play.
     
  5. pgbin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    #5
    I have the 213j.

    If you can afford the 214play, it's better, but the 213j works just fine. Here's a table comparing the transcoding capabilities of all the DiskStations: http://www.synology.com/en-global/support/faq/577

    One thing to note: the 213j doesn't run Plex Media Server. I use VideoStation (developed by Synology) and they have a companion iOS app (DS Video) that you can use to play the videos in your iOS devices, or have the DiskStation directly stream to an Apple TV via AirPlay, which frees your iOS device (you can quit the app and the video will keep playing).

    Synology's support is amazing. My volume broke a few days ago, and they logged in via SSH to fix it within hours.
     
  6. mattyb240 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 11, 2008
    #6
    Can you airplay directly with 213j to the Apple TV? How does it perform with videos in supported iOS formats. I can't really see why I need the transcoding feature as all my stuff is iOS ready.

    It will be housing my photo library how is the performance for thumbnails and rendering?
     
  7. afd macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #7
    I recently bought a DS213J and stuck 2 3GB WD red drives in it. I looked at the DS214play, but since I already had a GB or so of iOS friendly video and mostly because I couldn't afford it, went for the DS213J.
    My videos are a mixture of EyeTV recordings and DVD rips, most of them I can either watch on iPhone or iPad with the DS Video app or use the app to zap them straight to Apple TV. The DS Video app doesn't like ac3 audio tracks though, even if the videos play happily on the native Videos app, DS Video seems to like aac.
    The other issue I have is with the Photo Station, I can't get that to work at all and can't find much documentation about it either.
    Overall I'm happy with it though, videos that can't play via the mobile app play via home sharing if I leave my iMac on. Maybe the 5.0 update will improve things.
     
  8. mattyb240 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 11, 2008
    #8
    So I have all my movies are enconded with mp4/m4v most have AAC & AC3. Will that be an issue in the DS Video app?
     
  9. Calvinator666 macrumors member

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    Jun 3, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #9
    Yes you can stream all mp4 contents to your iPad Mini. Either through the Synology DS File app or the DS Video app.

    In fact, you can stream just about any format that you wish to by using the GPlayer and/or VLC app. Everything works flawlessly with AirPlay to the Apple TV.
     
  10. mattyb240 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 11, 2008
    #10
    Hmmm, as I will be going practically computer less I'm wondering if I should spend the extra £100 to get the 214 play for longevity as it will be managing my photo library as well?

    ----------

    Then I'm only a couple of hundred away from a Mac mini set up. But this whole exercise is to try and free up funds.
     
  11. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #11
    I've got a 214play, it's very snappy but I had no problems streaming from a 212j. I've yet to dive into the transcoding feature but I hope there's a shell command to get it converting AVI in the background vs transcoding.
     
  12. Calvinator666 macrumors member

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    Jun 3, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #12
    Then it really depends on your needs. I still cannot afford to go computer-less, but the NAS does provide me with the luxury of not having to switch on my iMac for days on end sometimes, depending on my workload.

    For example, if I just needed to watch and stream my movies for most part of the day, then the NAS is the perfect solution. I just simply fire up either the DS File or DS Video, and I can Airplay the contents straight to the TV.

    Do you need remote access for the most part?
     
  13. mattyb240 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Remote access isn't really something I would use frequently but would be nice to have. Prodomently it would be a movie streamer to my iPad Mini/ATV, photo dump/viewing and somewhere to store my documents.
     
  14. pgbin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    #14
    It works great. It can do some audio transcoding (if the video is h.264 MKV, for example, and the audio is AC3), and if you have SRT subtitles it can also add them from an external file.

    I personally prefer to convert the videos using Subler or iFlicks to m4v, so I can leave them in a compatible format with subtitles and both 5.1 and stereo audio in the same file.

    ----------

    If you want to invest for longevity, you better invest in a 4 drive NAS instead of a 2 drive. While the 214play has more transcoding features (through a more powerful processor) you are still capped at 2 x 4TB space.
     
  15. mattyb240 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 11, 2008
    #15

    That's good to know! I don't need that much space even in the distant future. My concern is mainly around performance. I don't want to feel in 6 months time I should've spent the extra money on the 214 for performance. But if my content doesn't need transcoding will I even notice a difference?
     
  16. Calvinator666 macrumors member

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    Jun 3, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #16
    Have you considered using your Mac Mini PPC to hook up to the TV? To be honest, I had the idea to doing something like that in the future, since Mac Mini these days are real powerful machines.

    Although I must say, having a NAS does feel pretty secure too. Especially with the WD Red Drives, they can basically run 24/7 all year round without much to worry about. One very nice feature that I like is the Synology DS Download, I can download torrent files remotely and download speeds are plenty fast. Once the file downloads, it goes right into your configured directory folder. Even indexes by itself, so your downloaded files are right where you want them to be.

    ----------

    You will do fine even with just the 213j. I have the 213 for almost a year now, and almost experienced no hiccups. I do stream movies remotely on my iPad when I am out from time to time, and there are no lags but it also depends on the network connection (4G or wifi). Or else, you can download your stuff onto the iPad in advance and view them offline afterwards.

    There is a recent update on DS File where zipping / unzipping files is now possible. Very nice indeed.
     
  17. mattyb240 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I've thought about Mac mini, but I think I want something a bit more turn key to get going and my needs are quite basic.
     
  18. mattyb240 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    I've decided to spend the extra and get the 214play. This way I know I'm all set and sorted and hopefully not disappointed by its performance.
     
  19. afd macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #19
    Update to DS video app

    There has been an update to the iOS app, ac3 video now plays happily on all my iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.
     
  20. mattyb240 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 11, 2008
    #20

    I saw! It helped me pull the trigger along with Synology's prompt email replies to questions.
     
  21. Calvinator666 macrumors member

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    Jun 3, 2011
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    Singapore
    #21
    Congratulations on your 214play purchase! You will be very pleased with your new toy, I am sure.
     
  22. kemosabi1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    #22
    Matty - what were the thoughts on the DS14Play? Must admit I'm in similar position, I have a smart TV which is DNLA enabled and fancy a Synology NAS to house music, photo's and films for streaming to iPad, iPhone, Macbook etc. The transcoding feature isn't key to me but maximum performance is, particularly with the photo's and music I want to be able to shift from track to track and to feel the NAS is responding without delay (via Wifi at least, appreciate via 3G, 4G might be different).

    Would DS214play best suit my needs or is DS213j sufficient?

    Finally, anyone heard if a DS214j is likely?
     
  23. mattyb240 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 11, 2008
    #23

    Hey, I really like it. It responds fast enough for my needs. I've used it heavily for transcoding when I've been away from home and it's worked a treat. The only thing as I'm now iPad only, is the touch screen web interface has a tiny lag. It's not the unit itself just how the OS responds. The iOS apps are great and convenient. Support is also excellent.

    I think if you don't need transcoding then go for the cheaper model, however that old saying buy cheap buy twice.
     
  24. thaifood macrumors 6502

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    Jun 8, 2011
    #24
    Does anyone know if there is a 4 bay alternative to the 214play? Or perhaps rumours of such in the works?
     

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