Although definitely suitable for secure file storage, the DS416play is first and foremost a multimedia NAS, built for streaming content to any compatible device. As such it supports a huge selection of file formats but most importantly supports h.264 4K, so can stream 4K (4096x2160) at a maximum frame rate of 30. At the heart of the DS416play is a dual core 1.6GHz Celeron with a burst up to 2.48GHz and 1GB DDR3. There are four bays for up to 40TB of storage for your legally obtained media, and all of the bays are hot-swappable to minimise downtime if and when drives need to be swapped or replaced. Three USB 3.0 ports (one front, two rear) give ample room for expansion with external drives. Power consumption is nice and low as well, sucking down around 29 W when under load and only 12.5 W during hibernation. At 165x203x233.2mm the DS416play is a fairly compact unit that looks at home with a router sitting on top of it or hidden under a desk.
As with other Synology NAS, the DS416play utilises the DiskStation Manager browser-based OS, making setup extremely intuitive. After initial setup, during which the core apps are downloaded and installed, it only takes a few clicks to set up easy streaming with any DLNA device. The connection was tested with both a Sony smart TV and an Oppo internet connected Blu-ray player, and connecting to the NAS was an extremely simple process for both.
If used solely as a media server, the DS416play is of questionable value, as the base unit plus four HDDs will set you back around $1,000 (and for that price you would only be able to afford around 10TB storage), and simply streaming from a PC to a TV and other devices can be achieved with a cheaper device like a Chromecast. If, however, you are looking for an all-round solution for storage and streaming, ensuring that you can access your files anywhere you may be, the DS416play is an excellent NAS. It’s compact, extremely easy to use, fast and quiet.