Next thing I would like to cover from the DiskStation is the Video playback function. One of the reasons for getting the DiskStation was to have all my DVDs/Blu-rays/HD-DVDs and home movies all stored in one place. The fact I can access them via my internet connection, is a real bonus.
Do be aware that there are strict copyright laws with most movies, and I would not recommend ripping discs unless it was a personal copy you owned and only for personal use (i.e. not for sharing, as that is illegal). As I will no longer be buying any DVDs or Blu-rays in the future, this was the best option available to me to consolidate all my collection together and declutter under the television; I did not want to rebuy these movies on iTunes, as it just does not make sense. But certainly for the future, I will be getting my movies from iTunes.
What is good about the DiskStation video?
1) It allows for viewing of videos in many different formats on the iPad, iPhone, Android devices, Sony Playstation 3, Samsung TVs (using Media server app), Roku and even Apple TV.
2) With Apple TV 3, I can use my iMac, iPhone or iPad to start the Airplay of the movie (i.e. direct streaming of video from DiskStation to the Apple TV) and then controlling this with the Apple TV remote control; the Video app on iPhone or iPad can then be closed and the devices freed to do other things.
3) It played my .mts home movies without any problems (the DS214play allows for hardware transcoding to allow playback on my television and iPhone/iPad).
4) Even with all my movies stored on the hard drives (stored in .mp4 or .m4v files), it has not taken up that much space – all in all I’ve only used just over 1 terabyte of my 8 terabyte storage space.
5) It allows for the information of movies, as well as the artwork posters to be automatically found for each movie.
6) Now I do not need any of the different disc players (DVD, HD-DVD or Blu-ray) in my AV setup – so I have managed to declutter.
BTW, the above Blu-ray is of the invisible world as presented by Richard Hammond – something that I am particularly interested in, as there is video footage in there in the UV-spectrum and references to insect vision.
What could be improved in the DiskStation video?
1) The transcoding works when streaming video but does not allow for it to convert files for download onto media devices. Hence my .mts home movies can be viewed on iPad and iPhone when connected to the internet, but downloading is not supported (which is why most of my videos are converted to .mp4/.m4v files which are compatible with Apple devices).
2) Sometimes the wrong movie data was found (poster, movie cast and description), and had to be amended manually. This happened less than 1/4 of the time for me though.
3) When playing media on my Apple TV 3, if I set the playback quality to anything other than Auto, it would say that the format is not compatible with Apple TV (even when it is .mp4 or .m4v file). So I would not recommend changing this setting.
All in all, I find this system works very well. The computer programs used to rip the discs were Makemkv to creat .mkv files – these were then converted to .mp4 or .m4v files to allow playback on my selected devices. My wife is now able to enjoy the Anne of Green Gables DVD box set I bought for her many years ago, by streaming it to her iPad.