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Posts Tagged ‘synology’

Synology adds MKV transcoding support for PS3 with firmware 3.2-1922

September 9th, 2011 3 comments

I don’t have an HTPC at home. Back when I bought my Synology DiskStation DS410 NAS in May, it was either that or an ASRock NetTop ION 330HT.

I bought the NAS over the HTPC as I had more use for it thinking that the NAS would stream anything to my PS3 anyway. Boy was I wrong. It took me a while to find the settings to enable FLAC and APE transcoding for music files, but MKV support was simply inexistant.

I tried many different workarounds, PS3 Media Server and MediaTomb mostly, but these struggled at best and therefore nothing was watchable. I had finally found a working solution by converting all mkv files to m2ts files, but this was a pain to have to do. Built-in transcoding from the NAS was what I needed. And now I have it!

Synology have added this in their latest firmware and I have tested two mkv files, one 12GB and one 8GB in size. Although they are slighty slower to start than say, an avi, they both played nice and smoothly. The scene search thumbnails didn’t work but that doesn’t bother me at all as I only use scene search to skip to a time where I know I stopped watching something.

So if you are missing mkv support on your Synology, head on over to the Synology Download Center and upgrade to the latest firmware. Alternatively, login to your unit and upgrade via DSM Update.

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Synology – A customer service success story.

June 24th, 2011 3 comments

I’ve recently purchased a Synology DiskStation DS410 and stuck 8TB of storage in it. Although I am slowly coming to grips with it and all of the features and flexibility it offers, I did have an initial problem with it out-of-the-box. The unit would not power up properly either by means of pressing the power button on the front of the device or by WOL (Wake On Lan). WOL is used to send a magic packet to the device whilst it is in a low power state (1W) to make it start up, which can be done remotely from anywhere with an internet connection with properly forwarded ports.

The issue that I was facing is heavily discussed here and there are even youtube clips which demonstrate the issue here and here.

I was not so bothered at all about the unit not powering up by means of the the physical power button, but it really bugged me that the WOL would stop working altogether after some time after being shut down and left in the low power state. Apparently the problem lies in the factory shipped power supply to the unit.

For this reason, and as per the suggestions in the forum thread above, I decided to contact Synology to get this issue resolved. What followed was nothing short of perfect when it comes to talking about customer service which I will outline below.

  • Initial email sent to Synology support with reference to the problem and link to related forum thread.
  • Response from Synology (Tashi) politely apologising for the inconvenience caused and to check a few things on my setup and to provide a shipping address.
  • Response to Synology that I confirm the issue is still present.
  • Response from Synology (Tashi) thanking me for my confirmation that the problem is still present and for providing a shipping address and to wait for a shipping tracking number.
  • Response from Synology (Tashi) with a UPS tracking number.
  • Replacement power supply received 3 days later.

5 days later and after heavy testing, I am happy to announce that the issue is now totally solved and that I am extremely happy with the way Synology handled this, wishing that many more companies would treat their customers like this. On the same note, it was nice to be handled by a single support representative (Tashi) all along the whole process as opposed to having to exchange faceless emails with different people. It may not be relevant, and I can only compare the experience with calling my ISP’s (CytaNet) customer support line whereby you get to speak with at least 3 different people and need to explain everything from the very beginning each and every single freaking time – a highly frustrating thing to have to do in my book.

For the record, I will add that the replacement power supply was totally free including shipping.

Tashi, thanks!!!

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Categories: All, Technology

8TB of Seagate Barracuda Green ST2000DL003

May 15th, 2011 3 comments

Those of you who know me personally, will know that I am married. Those of you know me a bit better than others, will also know that yours truly lost all of the honeymoon pictures (and some) during the death of a hard disk.

8 years later, I am finally just a breath away from trying to make sure that the next honeymoon, well… won’t be lost.

Which is why I have finally taken the plunge, and invested in a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. The Synology DiskStation DS410 (bought from amazon.co.uk). More about that later.

This post, is about the hard drives which will go inside it, to form an 8TB RAID-5 array, which means that I will have the redundancy of 1 of the 4 drives. I’m guessing that this will give me 6.3TB 5.44TB of usable space which is plenty for my needs.

And so, here is a picture of the largest amount of Made in China space I have ever been near (in my house):

Seagate Barracuda Green ST2000DL003 2TB

In Cyprus terms, at time of writing, that’s EUR €338.57 of your cash, available from my friends at Singular in Limassol.

I must add that I chose these drives over the (more expensive) Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green drives, due to a widely talked about issue with LCC (Life Cycle Count).

EDIT: My decision was also very much based on this review which compares the two drives.

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On the price of consumer electronics in Cyprus.

May 13th, 2011 1 comment

An interesting article has just popped up in the Cyprus Mail regarding Sky-high prices across Europe, mainly when it comes to the importation of consumer electronics. It is funny how this would appear now, as I have only just had to buy myself a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device which costs roughly half of what I paid in the USA.

The article introduces a new initiative of a team of enterprising expats in Limassol who have set up a site with samples of the differences in cost to purchase the same item across the EU. Below is a screenshot of a sample price comparison.

eurodonkey.eu

Cyprus as you can see is paying a hefty overhead. Both articles are worth a read if you buy stuff online.

As for my recent experience, Cyprus has a single “distributor” of the product I bought. As is often the case, they did not bother to respond to my queries as to how I can buy their products in Cyprus. Knowing that it would still be cheaper to bring it from another country, I went ahead and bought it. Hey, if they don’t need my business… I’ll just take it elsewhere.

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