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Synology adds hardware video transcoding and more to consumer NAS

At Computex, Synology previewed a number of updates to its consumer network-attached storage lineup, with three key new models on show.

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Synology is one of the leading brands in consumerised network-attached storage (NAS) devices, making it simple to set up and manage your own redundant home storage thanks to Synology's DSM operating system. We covered DSM 5.0 in detail in March; it's the slick browser-based desktop-style operating system that makes managing your Synology NAS a breeze. A lot of add-on applications are available to make your NAS act as a Web server, a home media server, or connect to online services like Google Drive or Amazon Web Services.

Here at Computex, Synology showed three of its new updates expected to arrive during Q3 this year: the DS415play, DS215air, and DS414slim.

The DS415play adds hardware video transcoding for a new level of multimedia streaming performance. Seamus Byrne/CNET

The most exciting to see is the DS415play, a media-streaming focused update to Synology's four-bay series. Already a good-quality NAS for local network media streaming, the big addition here is hardware Full HD video transcoding to greatly improve performance when streaming files to various devices. The box is also DLNA-certified.

The DS215air: Three extra Gigabit Ethernet ports for full Wi-Fi router capabilities. Seamus Byrne/CNET

The DS215air updates Synology's wireless series, this time including four Gigabit Ethernet ports (one in, three out), giving the NAS router capabilities. This lets you blend the device to act as both central backup and storage as well as a Wi-Fi router to bridge your hard wired and wireless devices on the network. It also now supports 802.11ac wireless as well as letting you plug in a USB connection to a 3G or 4G/LTE dongle to share that connection across your locally networked devices. USB 3.0 is also now supported (1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0).

The DS414slim offers full-featured NAS performance for four 2.5-inch drives. Seamus Byrne/CNET

Finally, the DS414slim is an update to its super-compact four-bay 2.5-inch line, giving full-featured performance in a tiny chassis. This latest version adds USB 3.0 support and a 1.2GHz processor, along with support for 2TB of storage per bay.

If you're in the market for a new NAS right now, check out our best network attached storage list.