Review of Synology DiskStation DS415play NAS


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A couple of years ago I looked at the DS214play, Synology’s network attached server designed for multimedia playback. Since then Synology has updated their Play line with the DS415play – a four-bay NAS capable of housing 32 TB total storage. That’s a lot of media capacity!

The DS415play features an Intel Atom1.6 GHz dual core processor with one gigabyte DDR3 RAM, three USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports. It is capable of video transcoding within the NAS box itself and then serving this media to DLNA compliant devices within the home network.

While it looks almost identical to its bigger more powerful brother the DS415+, the DS415play is designed more for multimedia then power usage. However, this does not mean it cannot function as a standard NAS either.

It offers read speeds of 112.35 MB/sec and write speeds of 98.58 MB/sec which are slower than the business oriented DS415+ but capable for daily use as a home based NAS.

Like all their devices the “brains” of the DS415play is Synology’s award-winning DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system. This software focuses on making the user experience both simple and intuitive while offering advanced features for those who require more options.

Some of these features include QuickConnect to skip port forwarding and to access the NAS remotely in a simple manner, the ability to sync folders between devices using Cloud Station, to use the Synology NAS as a private cloud for storing data and the ability to use links and user accounts for sharing multimedia files with friends/family and.


Unboxing

 

Our DS415play sample arrived in a reviewer’s brown cardboard box without any graphics found on the consumer packaging. The box just had the Synology and DiskStation names printed on the front and back. Besides showing their commitment to being Green by using RoHS compliant parts Synology also ships their devices using recyclable packing materials. This is always something nice to see from a technology company.

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Opening the box reveals the DS415play protected by two large foam inserts along with a cardboard box containing a Welcome Note, Accessory Pack, AC Power Adapter, AC Power Cord and RJ-45 LAN Cable X 1

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At first glance you would be hard pressed to identify the DS415play from the DS415+. The DS415play measures 165 mm X 203 mm X 233.2 mm and weighs just 2.03Kg sans hard drives. These measurements are almost exactly the same as the DS415+ model.

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The main body it Is composed of a matte black plastic with a piano black plastic face plate on the front with the model number listed on the bottom left corner. This shield protects the drive bays and is held in place by rubber grips.

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Looking at the front on the right-hand side we see five LED lights – one for Status and the others serving as disk indicator lights for drives 1-4. Below these lights is a USB 2.0 connector along with the Power button.

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Removing the faceplate reveals the four drive bays that are held in place using screwless drive trays. Each slot can accommodate a 2.5 hard drive, 2.5” SSD or a 3.5″ hard drive. The maximum storage capacity for the DS415play is 32 TB.

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On the sides of the DS415play are two vents cut out with the Synology name for providing airflow to the inside of the unit.

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A look at the back reveals two 92 mm fans along with two USB 2.0 ports, a LAN input, a Kensington lock slot, two USB 3.0 ports and the power input.

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Turning over the DS415play reveals four rubberized feet and some additional ventilation ports towards the front and right side.

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The guts of the DS415play house a dual core Intel Atom CE5335 1.6 GHz processor which is the same processor found in the DS214play. This Atom processor is capable of transcoding coding H.264 (AVC), MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2 and VC-1 video formats. For memory it has one stick of 1 GB DDR3.

Since the DS415play is primarily designed for media playback it can function as a DLNA Certified DMS (Digital Media Server), offers 1080p Full HD video transcoding on the fly, and supports TV streaming via Samsung TV, Roku players, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast.

Using the available Synology packages — Photo Station, Audio Station and Video Station provides convenient access and organization of the users media.

The DS415play advertises an average 112.35 MB/sec reading and 98.58 MB/sec writing speed under RAID 5 configuration in a Windows environment.

 

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