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Synology DiskStation DS214play

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External reviews of Synology DiskStation DS214play
  • Synology DiskStation DS214play review

    This terrific NAS enclosure uses hardware transcoding to help stream all media with ease

    7 years ago
  • Synology DS214play

    Plus

    • Strong enough for a home NAS
    • Highly efficient CPU
    • Fast network transfer speeds
    • Enhanced multimedia/streaming encoding capabilities
    • Low CPU utilization while streaming 1080p content
    • Very low power consumption in all operational modes
    • Intuitive, windowed operating system
    • Quiet operation
    • USB 3.0 compatibility
    • ErP Lot 6 compliant
    • Ability to skip disk checking during RAID setup
    • Surveillance Station transforms NAS into a fully featured security system
    • Up to 8 IP cameras are supported
    • Optional application packages boost functionality
    • SSD caching and TRIM support

    Minus

    • Price is on the high side
    • It should be equipped with an HDMI port and, ideally, audio in/out ports
    • You cannot format an external disk into NTFS
    • HDD trays are not numbered
    • RAM is not upgradeable
    • No front USB 3.0 port

    Conclusion
    I would like to see an HDMI port included in the DS214play because its CPU supports it, although streaming media is the way to go since most homes nowadays have more than one DLNA-compatible device. That aside, this NAS left a very good impression on me. Transfer speeds were fast for its category, the DSM operating system does wonders and can easily be considered one of the best operating systems for NAS servers today, and the DS214play's multimedia-streaming abilities are fantastic since its Evansport CPU even allows HD content to be streamed seamlessly and with minimal CPU usage due to the embedded hardware H264 transcoder. The DS214play also consumes very little energy, which is a tremendous asset for a NAS that will most likely operate around the clock. Its fresh DSM OS even fully supports SSD drives and, more specifically, TRIM and SSD cache; that is, if you have the money to buy large SSDs or your storage needs aren't high. A great feature of modern NAS servers, including those by Synology, surfaces after you take a look at the available applications you can install, since these NAS servers are like small PC systems. These applications create a ton of flexibility, which greatly enhances the NAS's usability. Synology's Package Center delivers as you can choose from a rich variety of applications that cover every user's needs. One of the most interesting is the fresh Surveillance Station 6.1: It transforms the small DS214play into a fully featured NVR (Network Video Recorder) and packs many security features that will meet even the demands of professional security applications. Home users will surely also install Media Server since it allows you to browse and reproduce multimedia files located on the DS214play on DLNA/UPnP devices. But enough about the many positive aspects of this product as it is now time to mention some of the downsides I spotted. Its price is, for starters, a little higher than that of the direct competition with an HDMI port. I also don't like the fact that both USB 3.0 ports are located at the rear, and I would like it to provide the option to upgrade its RAM total, which would make the DS214play more future proof. Another two minor cons are the lack of numbering on its HDD trays, which I point to in every Synology NAS review because Synology hasn't added any yet, and the inability to format external disks to the NTFS file system. While FAT32 has been included, the much newer NTFS option has not.

    7 years ago