Valued at $639, the DS416play is network storage for media fanatics, letting you enjoy the HD quality of your video and movie collections on multiple screens, from TVs to mobile devices. The DS415play features 1080p full HD video transcoding via Synology’s built-in Video Station software. So who won?
Thanks to everyone who entered and apologies we weren't able to post winner details before the Easter break. The winners do have their prizes, however, so stay tuned for their full road test experience here on Gizmodo.
The competition challenge: Tell us How would you supercharge your home media and storage with the DS415play?
Winner #1: @nickbeck
Having used my DS213 for a couple of years now, I'm looking to upgrade to a NAS with more storage and better suited to my needs. I now use my NAS as a central multimedia centre and while the DS213 is coping well, the Synology DiskStation DS415play will work so much better.
First off, the ability to transcode video on the fly in full HD will be greatly appreciated. No longer will there be a need to convert videos into different formats depending on what device I want to watch it on. I can keep all my videos in one format in the highest quality (thanks to the large storage capacity) and watch them whenever I want on any device I want. Not only that, it will mean other people in my household can transcode a different video and watch it on their device at the same time.
The USB 3.0/2.0 ports could be used to backup the NAS, providing you with all 4 bays for storage. No need to sacrifice 2 of the bays for a RAID 1 setup. Alternately, what I would probably do is use my DS213 as a backup NAS of the DS415play.
The multi-platform support is fantastic. In the household at the moment, we have Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows phone 8.1, OS X, iOS, Android and Linux. It can be a real pain sharing files, especially music and video, but with the Synology DiskStation DS415play, file sharing will become simplified. All up, the Synology NASs in my experience so far are easy to set up and use, but also provide you with the flexibility to let your imagination be the limit. I’m very keen to explore the DS415play in all that it can do, from it’s read and write speed to it’s multi-platform compatibility and it’s ability to keep me mobile.
Winner #2: @feral
My place of residence has 30 plus networked devices if you count the phones, tablets, security cameras, consoles, laptops and computers. (It is a bit of a nightmare to manage let alone backup)
I guess I've been lacking a proper backup and file storage solution for quite some time, resorting to having snapshots of the photo directory at various stages of its existence on various removable drives and memory sticks which you can find scattered though the house, most commonly found being carted around the kids bedroom by Thomas or one of his friends. On almost every drive the photo library fights for space with the media library, who knows what is where. It can be a pain in the neck when the kids are in tears requesting Frozen and I'm trying to compromise with 80's cartoons.
So I know the Synology is capable of much more than just backups and media streaming; what really excites me is the add-ons you can get running on it. I have screeds of documents and text files and code examples that would fit nicely into the Mediawiki addon and I'd also love to set up Photostation to deal with the mess of photos we have. I've also got my eye on the mail server component as a solution to 20 years plus of e-mail archives. (Not everyone uses Gmail!) But most importantly I'd set up the proxy server addon because it looks like it may help me block my wife from Dr Phil and the kids from other weird internet stuff.
It would be almost a crime not to go out and grab 4x6tb reds, A sneaky little withdraw from the line of credit, disguised as jewelry or travel... maybe just 2 drives to start with.
Perfect for first-time NAS (Network Attached Storage) users, the Synology DiskStation DS415play has FOUR hard drive bays supporting your own 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch hard drives — up to a massive 24TB total storage.
Slot in your hard drives, connect the DS415play to your network (via Ethernet or optional wireless dongle) and you’re set.
Enjoy your content across your computers, DLNA devices, TVs and mobile devices. With support for TV streaming across Samsung TVs, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast, the DS415play also makes it effortless to stream digital content to your big screen TV.
You can even sync files between Google Drive and Dropbox — plus use Synology's mobile apps to access your multimedia collection and work files on the go. As a backup device, the DS415play also supports Windows Backup and Apple Time Machine.