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Synology DS218play 2 Bay Desktop NAS Enclosure - £185.99 @ Amazon
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Synology DS218play 2 Bay Desktop NAS Enclosure - £185.99 @ Amazon

£185.99Amazon Deals
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Posted 19th JulEdited by:"rheumatoid"

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This is supplied by amazon price.

  • 2-bay NAS with optimal multimedia solution for home users
  • 4K video transcoding on the fly with 10 bit H.265 codec support
  • Up to 112 MB/s and 112 MB/s sequential reading and writing
  • Powered by a 64-bit 1.4 GHz quad-core processor with 1 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Supports up to 15 IP cameras
About the best price its been but not sure if the 218 might be worth the extra £25
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22 Comments
"not sure if the 218 might be worth the extra £25"
Am I missing something here, this is the 218 isn't it? and the 218+ is more than £25 extra.
There is a plain 218 between this and the+
rheumatoid19/07/2019 13:11

There is a plain 218 between this and the+


Kinda weird that they swapped this about as they always used to be standard, play and then plus IIRC, where the play was the standard plus hardware transcoding!
TomScrut19/07/2019 16:08

Kinda weird that they swapped this about as they always used to be …Kinda weird that they swapped this about as they always used to be standard, play and then plus IIRC, where the play was the standard plus hardware transcoding!


So what is the difference now? Must admit this confuses me too.
Does anyone have experience of using these with a large and varied library of content via Plex? I am very nervous about relying on hardware transcoding, have been burnt by previous experiences of incompatible files - is a terrible UX, not knowing whether watching a film will work at all.
Kyrt19/07/2019 18:41

Does anyone have experience of using these with a large and varied library …Does anyone have experience of using these with a large and varied library of content via Plex? I am very nervous about relying on hardware transcoding, have been burnt by previous experiences of incompatible files - is a terrible UX, not knowing whether watching a film will work at all.


I understand that the Realtek processors are not supported by Plex. You need the + for that.
Kyrt19/07/2019 18:28

So what is the difference now? Must admit this confuses me too.


The play has less RAM and loses some features like hot swap I think but has more or less the same hardware
TomScrut19/07/2019 18:50

The play has less RAM and loses some features like hot swap I think but …The play has less RAM and loses some features like hot swap I think but has more or less the same hardware


As the vanilla 218 yes - but not the 218+
rheumatoid19/07/2019 19:01

As the vanilla 218 yes - but not the 218+


That's what I meant. Play Vs normal. 218+ is on Intel
rheumatoid19/07/2019 18:45

I understand that the Realtek processors are not supported by Plex. You …I understand that the Realtek processors are not supported by Plex. You need the + for that.


TBH if using Plex in any amount I'd say you'd want the performance of the + too
TomScrut19/07/2019 19:03

TBH if using Plex in any amount I'd say you'd want the performance of the …TBH if using Plex in any amount I'd say you'd want the performance of the + too


Have you found that there are files that won't play? I am wondering if there's enough grunt to software decode any old HD content that the hardware encoder doesn't like
Kyrt19/07/2019 19:22

Have you found that there are files that won't play? I am wondering if …Have you found that there are files that won't play? I am wondering if there's enough grunt to software decode any old HD content that the hardware encoder doesn't like


Are you talking about decode on playback device or are you transcoding on the server? If playing directly i.e. no transcode doesn't work then it may be the file format or the player itself. If direct play works but transcoding doesn't it could be the server, either compatibility of file or speed, although speed normally means stuff plays but badly.


I have a server running Ubuntu for mine so not comparable really. It GPU decodes (Quadro as they can do more at once supposedly) and CPU encodes (a limitation of the Linux Plex apparently, Windows can GPU encode and decode). Mine are all my own blu ray and DVD rips so not a broad variety of files either. I never need to transcode DVD quality stuff as the bitrate is low.
TomScrut19/07/2019 19:46

Are you talking about decode on playback device or are you transcoding on …Are you talking about decode on playback device or are you transcoding on the server? If playing directly i.e. no transcode doesn't work then it may be the file format or the player itself. If direct play works but transcoding doesn't it could be the server, either compatibility of file or speed, although speed normally means stuff plays but badly.I have a server running Ubuntu for mine so not comparable really. It GPU decodes (Quadro as they can do more at once supposedly) and CPU encodes (a limitation of the Linux Plex apparently, Windows can GPU encode and decode). Mine are all my own blu ray and DVD rips so not a broad variety of files either. I never need to transcode DVD quality stuff as the bitrate is low.


I am referring to occasions when the client cannot direct play/stream and requires the server to transcode to either a different codec or bitrate. Just looking to hear if people experience that it will happily transcode every file you've thrown at it or not. I use shields for playback mostly, one of which is the server. They can direct play most things (although there is some content they cannot play without buffering for some reason), but it's the other devices where I would need transcoding, like TVs with poor network speeds (my LG TV seems to max out at 30mbps even over gigabit ethernet) and Chromecast. I find that the shield does not live up to the transcoding promises and is not hardware transcoding quite a lot of content when it serves it to another device, which leads to buffering even on some HD content.

It could be partly because the shield is having to pull the data from a server, transcode and then serve to the client, i.e. two network hops, which is why I am considering swapping out from my low power Linux microserver to a NAS with Plex itself. I used to run a Plex server on the microserver but it cannot transcode at all (struggles to even remux) which is why I switched to the Plex server on shield.
Kyrt19/07/2019 20:14

I am referring to occasions when the client cannot direct play/stream and …I am referring to occasions when the client cannot direct play/stream and requires the server to transcode to either a different codec or bitrate. Just looking to hear if people experience that it will happily transcode every file you've thrown at it or not. I use shields for playback mostly, one of which is the server. They can direct play most things (although there is some content they cannot play without buffering for some reason), but it's the other devices where I would need transcoding, like TVs with poor network speeds (my LG TV seems to max out at 30mbps even over gigabit ethernet) and Chromecast. I find that the shield does not live up to the transcoding promises and is not hardware transcoding quite a lot of content when it serves it to another device, which leads to buffering even on some HD content.It could be partly because the shield is having to pull the data from a server, transcode and then serve to the client, i.e. two network hops, which is why I am considering swapping out from my low power Linux microserver to a NAS with Plex itself. I used to run a Plex server on the microserver but it cannot transcode at all (struggles to even remux) which is why I switched to the Plex server on shield.


Is the shield acting as server on wifi? If cabled the network speeds shouldn't be an issue at that end. Does Plex definitely hardware transcode on the Shield?
TomScrut19/07/2019 20:24

Is the shield acting as server on wifi? If cabled the network speeds …Is the shield acting as server on wifi? If cabled the network speeds shouldn't be an issue at that end. Does Plex definitely hardware transcode on the Shield?


Na, everything is wired except chromecasts.

No I don't think it is hardware transcoding, though not 100% sure, to be honest when it happens we are trying to watch something so I am not able to dig into it at the moment it happens, then always forget to go back and test later. So it could be the decoder compatibility, but the network thing does add complexity which is generally not a good thing for IT. Which is why getting a server that can reliably transcode everything is probably the best option.

What I don't get about the shield though is, I expected it to be capable of software decoding anyway, which it apparently cannot. I just find the architecture a bit odd, in the sense that even when playing back locally, it reports that it is 'transcoding' the file. I mean, if the server component is able to decode the stream and then encode it again, only for the client component to decode it for playback, why can't the client just decode it in the first place?
Kyrt19/07/2019 20:42

Na, everything is wired except chromecasts.No I don't think it is hardware …Na, everything is wired except chromecasts.No I don't think it is hardware transcoding, though not 100% sure, to be honest when it happens we are trying to watch something so I am not able to dig into it at the moment it happens, then always forget to go back and test later. So it could be the decoder compatibility, but the network thing does add complexity which is generally not a good thing for IT. Which is why getting a server that can reliably transcode everything is probably the best option.What I don't get about the shield though is, I expected it to be capable of software decoding anyway, which it apparently cannot. I just find the architecture a bit odd, in the sense that even when playing back locally, it reports that it is 'transcoding' the file. I mean, if the server component is able to decode the stream and then encode it again, only for the client component to decode it for playback, why can't the client just decode it in the first place?


Yeah if the server is transcoding for itself something either is wrong or if you are using subtitles (as I think it has to decode to insert them)
digz19/07/2019 13:09

"not sure if the 218 might be worth the extra £25"Am I missing something …"not sure if the 218 might be worth the extra £25"Am I missing something here, this is the 218 isn't it? and the 218+ is more than £25 extra.


No, this is the play version...

synology.com/en-…s=2
FYI If you wish to run Docker, only the + version with Intel processor will work (apart from some long winded work arounds using old versions).
now 185.99!
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