Tuesday, September 13, 2011

MKV transcoding on the fly with Synology NAS

Have a Playstation 3 or DLNA enabled Sony TV and also happen to have some kind of networked storage / NAS in your home?
If so, you might have wondered when will there be an easy way to play MKV files on PS3 directly from the NAS. If it happens that your NAS is branded Synology, you're just in luck! The latest firmware release (3.2) supports on-the-fly transcoding of MKV stored on the NAS to Playstation 3 and DLNA enabled Sony TV's.

This means that the full workflow for having a movie ready to watch is:
1. find a torrent (~2 mins)
2. login to the NAS's web interface and submit the torrent to be downloaded (~1 min)
3. some time later, depending on your bandwidth and torrent # of seeds, you receive an e-mail that your movie is ready to be watched (0 mins)
4. turn on PS3, browse to the title, and play (~2 mins).

Steps 1-3 do not require you to be home, you can do it anywhere you have an internet connection, like at a traffic light, so that when you get home, the download is ready.

Except for the actual downloading time, which varies with your internet connection and which can be as low as 7 minutes for a 5GB title over a 100Mbps link, I think the ~5 minutes required to begin watching a movie are pretty close to the iTunes / Netflix experience, which are not available worldwide anyway.

The latest firmware can be found here: http://www.synology.com/dsm/index.php