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I never thought I’d ever become a Network Attached Storage evangelist, but it’s all I can do to keep from recommending it to everyone I know since I got my Synology DiskStation last year. DiskStations not only act as a reliable and speedy home file/backup server, but they also provide a wealth of other features and apps for iOS and Android. On the server side, you can install just about any service you’d put on a Linux box (iTunes Music Server, WordPress, etc. The list is seriously impressive)—but in an easy, reliable, speedy GUI.

Synology updated its DiskStation firmware to 4.2 today (the Beta was released at CES), and, while its servers are still being slammed, you can automatically update your DiskStation. The big update here for Apple users is the ability to play videos from your DiskStation directly to Apple TV over AirPlay. If you’ve ripped a boatload of DVDs and Blu-rays like me and want to play them on your Apple TV, this is now the easiest way to do so.

Other highlights of DiskStation Manager 4.2 for iOS and Mac users:
-    QuickConnect bypasses port forwarding for the upcoming DS Cloud, as well as DS photo+, DS file and DS audio.
-    DS Cloud is introduced as the dedicated app for Cloud Station, allowing you to share the latest version of a file while on the go.
-    Video Station – no longer requires a plug-in to play in the browser.
-    Cloud Station 2 – Sync nearly unlimited shared shared folders for file sharing, for files up to 10GB.
-    DS Photo+- now you can automatically upload your photos from your mobile device to your DiskStation.

And some more for business features

-  Now providing support for Amazon Glacier for affordable backup to cloud.
-  Synology High Availability (SHA) is now available on all x86-based models Mail Server Enhancements.
-  LUN Clone and LUN Snapshot help increase Admin productivity.
-  Now x86 models are now VMware® vSphere™ 5 VAAI certified, as well as certified for Windows Server® 2012.
Full details, a screenshot of the new Package Center, and press release follow.
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 Video Station

A Home Theater Designed Exclusively for You

Video Station lets you browse and organize all video contents stored in your DiskStation conveniently. Select any folder and index it as movies, TV shows, or home videos, and everything can be neatly categorized. Enjoy movies with more convenience and less effort.

  • Your video library: organized collection of movies, TV shows, and home videos
  • A TV set for all: Video Station supports multi-channel TV streaming and recording (DTV dongle required)
  • Customizable settings: offers localized movie and TV show information, favorite video watchlist, and schedule TV show recording

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Your Centralized Movie and TV Showroom

Whether it’s movie or TV show, Video Station helps you categorize them into an organized collection. All information is displayed neatly on the user interface. You can start a video whenever the mood strikes, or pick up where you’ve paused from last night and finish the episodes from the watch list.

  • Mount subtitles during movie playback
  • Multilingual metadata support
  • Resume a video from where you stopped last time
  • Customize movies into watch lists, such as “super hero films”, “cartoons”, or “vampire series” to find movies quickly

Watch & Record Live TV, At the Same Time

Do you often get off late from work and thus miss watching your favorite talk shows? No worries, a DiskStation along with USB DTV tuners are all you need to stream and record live TV simultaneously. So no matter where you are, as long as you open a web browser, everyone can get their own TV sets right on their computers. You won’t be missing any chance to enjoy a great laugh from a talk show or good stories from documentary channels.

  • Intuitive interface: effectively browse through different channels with TV programs nicely displayed
  • Multiple dongle streaming support: users can watch and record different channels without time conflict. USB DTV tuners with DVB-T standard and HD HomeRun are supported.
  • Recording: set up one-time or repetitive recording schedules and have the TV programs automatically recorded

Stream Media with AirPlay & DLNA Devices

Video Station brings you a new dimension of living room entertainment. Stream with AirPlay and DLNA devices and send the epic action movies or suspenseful episodes from DiskStation to your widescreen TV and high-end speakers. You can now control the playback from the comfort of your couch, single-handedly with your mobile device, leaving you with a free hand for popcorn and chips.

To be released March 5th, 2013

Synology Officially Launches DiskStation Manager (DSM) 4.2

Bellevue, Washington—Synology America Corp. today announced the official release of DSM 4.2- the latest advancement inSynology’s award-winning NAS operating system.  The new DSM version brings improvements for both home and business users at no additional cost.

DiskStation Manager 4.2 upgrades Quick Connect, which now includes more apps than ever before.  In addition to Cloud Station and DS file, Quick Connect has added support for DS audio, DS photo+, and the new DS cloud apps.   This allows users to remotely connect apps through their DiskStation without the need to forward ports in their router.

Home and small to medium business users will find many improvements to appreciate:

·       Quick Connect adds support for DS audio, DS photo+, and the new DS cloud apps for remote access with no need for port forwarding making it easy to access your data remotely

·       DS cloud is launched to allow iOS users to sync files from their mobile device

·       Package Center is revamped to organize applications

·       Cloud Station 2 allows nearly unlimited  accounts and folders for synching, and allows for files up to 10GB each

“With usability enhancements across the board, the DSM 4.2 has something for nearly everyone for both home and business users,” said Jason Bonoan, Marketing Manager at Synology America Corp.  “DSM 4.2 will show Synology continuing to add increased value for both new and existing users.”

Home users can take advantage of DSM 4.2’s multimedia enhancements for both workstations and mobile devices:

·       DS video is now available for iOS, Android, and Windows phones, and offers support for MKV subtitles

·       DS photo+ can now be set to automatically sync photos from iOS devices

·       Video Station’s new player allows streaming video to a browser without the need for browser plugins

·       Audio Station now supports streaming to Bluetooth speakers

DSM 4.2 also includes a number of offerings catering specifically to business users:

·       Synology High Availability (SHA) is now available on all x86-based models, allowing even smaller businesses to minimize the risk of downtime

·       Support for Amazon’s Glacier service for a more affordable backup to the cloud

For more information on DiskStation Manager 4.2 go here:  http://www.synology.com/dsm/index.php?lang=us