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Synology DiskStation DS216play

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External reviews of Synology DiskStation DS216play
  • Synology DS216play 2-bay NAS

    Plus

    • Price
    • Fast enough network transfer speeds (with non-encrypted files)
    • Low power consumption (thanks to the highly efficient CPU)
    • Good price/performance ratio
    • Enhanced multimedia and encoding capabilities (including 4K video streaming through Synology's apps)
    • Quiet operation
    • DSM OS
    • Support for up to 15 camera licenses (comes with two free licenses)
    • ErP Lot 6 compliant
    • USB 3.0 compatibility
    • Ability to skip disk checking during RAID setup
    • SSD caching and TRIM support

    Minus

    • Performance with encrypted files and external USB storage
    • Plex currently doesn't support the hardware-encoding capabilities of the STiH412 SoC
    • No eSATA port
    • No SD card slot
    • Missing a front USB port
    • Lacks an HDMI port
    • Cannot format external storage devices into NTFS
    • 2-year warranty

    Conclusion
    The new DS216play performs well enough, and its 4K streaming compatibility surely is a nice feature to have. However, I fail to see any significant improvements over the older DS214play. The amount of RAM remained the same, the NAS lost its removable trays, and Plex, a famous streaming application most users prefer nowadays, doesn't exploit the SoC it uses. The DS216play's advanced streaming capabilities are only available though Synology's apps. While not a problem for most since Synology's corresponding apps are easy to use, it would have been nice if such third-party apps as Plex were supported by the hardware-encoding capabilities of the STiH412 SoC. Synology is obviously targeting a different user group with their new play NAS, which is reflected in its much lower price than the DS214play at its launch day. For home use and streaming multimedia content to various devices, the DS216play looks to be worth considering, and its affordable price results in a great price-to-performance score. However, the most notable omission when it comes to its multimedia features is the lack of an HDMI port through which 4K content could have been reproduced locally. Given 4K TVs are now affordable, many users, including myself, want a NAS that cannot only stream but also physically connected to a TV or monitor. Combined with Kodi (ex XBMC), a NAS featuring an HDMI port can also completely substitute a media-player while fullfilling its role as a NAS, which provides many advantages in a home environment. An HDMI port is even useful in business environments, which this NAS isn't meant for, since it allows administrator to interact directly with the unit without the use of a client. An administrator would just have to connect a keyboard and a mouse to make necessary adjustments through the NAS server's web interface. Since most SoCs include support for HDMI ports, I simply cannot understand why Synology insists on not providing one with its offerings, even its multimedia-centric ones. I just hope they will look at this from a different angle soon.

    5 years ago
  • Synology DiskStation 216play review

    Conclusion The 216play will likely be a disappointment to 214play owners wondering about an upgrade. It makes sense only if you have - or will soon have - lots of 4K content that you need to transcode on the fly. Its performance is good, but if you don't need real-time transcoding, you may want to opt for a different DiskStation (or indeed another NAS entirely) which has the extra ports and SD slot which the 216play lacks.

  • Synology DS216play Two-Bay Consumer NAS Review

    Conclusion  The DS216play is one of the most unique NAS solutions I have seen personally from Synology. It is the first I have seen that requires you to open the unit to replace or upgrade the drives but with that it does offer a clean look. Build quality seems to be on par with higher priced units, and being powered by DSM, you get the same overall experience.  The performance of the DS216play was good for a consumer NAS system. We were able to reach 90 MB/s read and 60 MB/s write in RAID 0 sequential while RAID 1 reached 90 MB/s read and 52 MB/s write; this was a bit under marketing performance of 107 MB/s read and 91 MB/s write. In single client testing, this NAS excelled in video playback testing peaking at 108 MB/s in RAID 0 and 96 MB/s in RAID 1. Workload performance was rather good as well with RAID 1 proving to be a strong point with this appliance. DSM on this unit with the STiH412 SoC enables this unit to provide hardware accelerated transcoding with support up to 4K at 30fps with both H.264/H.265 codecs. Adding to this is the ability to stream your media via its DLNA media server via Video Station, the one downfall of which is the lack of Plex support. Overall, the Synology DS216play is a good entry-level solution for users that just want to manage their data with the occasional use of apps such as transcoding and DLNA streaming. For users that want to stream to multiple devices or run heavier workloads, it would be worthwhile to pick up an x86 powered unit like a DS215+ or the four bay 415+. With that said, the level of features you get with this appliance are top notch and with this unit carrying an MSRP of $249.99 with a two-year warranty, it's quite competitive in the market as well.