I used to be a big fan of Network Attached Storage device before I upgraded to a dedicated server. Synology have always offered some of the best products out there with the DSM interface being great and fool proof as possible.
This week they launched the DS416play, which is part of their home orientated line of NAS servers that is specifically designed to handle media transcoding. This allows users to store all their video files on the NAS and stream them to any device even if the device may not have the processing ability to play such files. It does this by handling the processing on the server side of things then streaming it to the device, in a similar manor to Netflix. This traditionally was done via DLNA, but more common nowadays is users having Plex server installed, or the increasingly popular Emby.
The DS416play can handle transcoding 4k files due to its beefier than standard processor a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Celeron N3060 with 2.48GHz Burst Mode support. It also has 1GB of DDR3, and two gigabit Ethernet ports which can be configured in failover or link-aggregation mode – the latter giving it 2Gb/s of bandwidth to the switch.
For the play-suffix functionality, the CPU includes a hardware transcoding engine supporting transcode of H.264, MPEG-2 and VC-4 at up to 4K30 resolution.
Cooled by a pair of 92mm fans in the rear, Synology claims that the new model offers a mere 19.4 dB(A) noise level and draws 29W during hard drive access and 12.5W when the drives are asleep.
It can support hard drives of any size, so has a theoretical maximum of 32TB storage, though we would strongly advise using some form of RAID which makes 1 drive a parity, leaving 24TB of maximum storage.
Details on the device are available from Synology's official website, with UK pricing yet to be confirmed – but expect to pay a small premium over the earlier DS415play.