Playing HEVC videos via Syno Photo?

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Playing HEVC videos via Syno Photo?

484
97
NAS
DS220+, DS918+, RS1219+
Operating system
  1. Windows
Mobile operating system
  1. Android
How is this still an issue? Just from rough checking, it appears that 90% of my videos are of the HEVC variety whether they are .mov or .mp4. How did Syno release a photo/video management app that can't play a very common video codec? Are there any solutions? I have the Advance Media module installed, but it doesn't help.
 
h.265 (HEVC) is a modern codec that requires a decent CPU.
On the synology website you can find which cpu can play the h.265. So it is not the app, but the cpu that determines the compatibility. Remember most nas have low voltage cpu as they are designed to store date, not to be a media center.

Most smart tv's can play HEVC because they have dedicated chips that can decode hevc and more.
 
I'm trying to play the videos on an RS1219+. I don't recall having problems playing the videos previously, but I could easily be wrong. I have been searching on synology.com to find if mine supports the codec and cannot. Do you have a link to where I can find this info?

If what you sayis true, then why do other resources say that HEVC can be played on other syno apps using the Advanced Media module?
 
Last edited:


that should work, but not sure on limitations regarding resolution.

and you probably checked
 
My RS1219+ is not listed in your first link.

It is also not on the "not compatible" list in your second link. I'd think that this means the AME should fix my issue, but it doesn't?

I saw the 3rd link but that one's getting above my skill level.

I can play hevc clips using photoprism hosted on my NAS that won't play on syno photos. Is this because photoprism is somehow translating the hevc into a different codec? If this is the case, then it'd appear that the limitation is with the syno photos programming and not a hardware limitation.
 
I was about to post a new topic, but my issue is exactly the same as the OP (just a different NAS model). I can't understand why HEVC is "not supported" in Synology Photos. Its omission is a major usability issue as both iPhone and Android phones exclusively use HEVC for recording high quality video. Refusing to support a standard that rivals Apple and Google have settled on is as silly as not supporting .jpg or .mp3. Most video editing software also encodes anything 1080p or over in HEVC.

Back to the point, the fact that the same videos play in Video Station, as well as directly from File Station (Action > Play > opens in a new browser tab with a player that looks like the one from Video Station) tells me:
  • It's not a hardware limitation of the NAS.
    • (at least not for any of the + models)
  • It's not that Firefox, Chrome, and Edge on Windows 10 don't support HEVC.
    • (but interestingly Mac uses say that Safari CAN play HEVC directly from Syn Photos)
  • It's not that Synology doesn't have a license for the HEVC codec in DSM.
    • (Unless there's something about Photos that requires a different license? Hard to imagine and not an excuse.)
I've spent several hours searching and those three points keep coming up, but unfortunately they don't answer the question as to why Photos can't simply open HEVC videos in the player that File Station uses, or offer to open them it in a different app on the client machine (like their Android Photos app does - in fact Synology recommends MX Video).

Granted, HEVC videos don't play at Original Quality - that option is greyed out and the best you get is "High Bitrate FHD" at 30fps even if the original is 4K 60 fps. But they do play without buffering and are watchable for a quick preview. Maybe Synology thought the quality wasn't good enough to include it in Photos, but hopefully software updates can improve the quality and even as it is it is still way better than not playing them at all.

For now, I'm going to shift to looking for a workaround for browsing videos from Windows, and possibly installing alternative software on the NAS. I use digiKam to import and organize photos and it's also good for browsing/searching directly from the NAS, but it needs to open videos in an external app to play them smoothly. On the plus side, with the DS720+ I can open 4K videos straight from the File Explorer or digiKam and the play find in VLC, where my old NAS couldn't do that without buffering.

According to the datasheet for the OP's RS1219+, it has an Intel Atom C2538 quad-core 2.4GHz processor, for which cpubenchmark.net gives a CPU mark of 960 (the DS720+'s Celeron J4125 scores 3,021). That may not be enough for transcoding on the fly, but you can try opening videos from File Station and see what it gives you.
 
I was about to post a new topic, but my issue is exactly the same as the OP (just a different NAS model). I can't understand why HEVC is "not supported" in Synology Photos. Its omission is a major usability issue as both iPhone and Android phones exclusively use HEVC for recording high quality video. Refusing to support a standard that rivals Apple and Google have settled on is as silly as not supporting .jpg or .mp3. Most video editing software also encodes anything 1080p or over in HEVC.

Back to the point, the fact that the same videos play in Video Station, as well as directly from File Station (Action > Play > opens in a new browser tab with a player that looks like the one from Video Station) tells me:
  • It's not a hardware limitation of the NAS.
    • (at least not for any of the + models)
  • It's not that Firefox, Chrome, and Edge on Windows 10 don't support HEVC.
    • (but interestingly Mac uses say that Safari CAN play HEVC directly from Syn Photos)
  • It's not that Synology doesn't have a license for the HEVC codec in DSM.
    • (Unless there's something about Photos that requires a different license? Hard to imagine and not an excuse.)
I've spent several hours searching and those three points keep coming up, but unfortunately they don't answer the question as to why Photos can't simply open HEVC videos in the player that File Station uses, or offer to open them it in a different app on the client machine (like their Android Photos app does - in fact Synology recommends MX Video).

Granted, HEVC videos don't play at Original Quality - that option is greyed out and the best you get is "High Bitrate FHD" at 30fps even if the original is 4K 60 fps. But they do play without buffering and are watchable for a quick preview. Maybe Synology thought the quality wasn't good enough to include it in Photos, but hopefully software updates can improve the quality and even as it is it is still way better than not playing them at all.

For now, I'm going to shift to looking for a workaround for browsing videos from Windows, and possibly installing alternative software on the NAS. I use digiKam to import and organize photos and it's also good for browsing/searching directly from the NAS, but it needs to open videos in an external app to play them smoothly. On the plus side, with the DS720+ I can open 4K videos straight from the File Explorer or digiKam and the play find in VLC, where my old NAS couldn't do that without buffering.

According to the datasheet for the OP's RS1219+, it has an Intel Atom C2538 quad-core 2.4GHz processor, for which cpubenchmark.net gives a CPU mark of 960 (the DS720+'s Celeron J4125 scores 3,021). That may not be enough for transcoding on the fly, but you can try opening videos from File Station and see what it gives you.
I too can play videos via file station that will not play in Syno Photos. I can also play the same videos in Photoprism via docker hosted on my NAS, so I also strongly feel that it is not a hardware limitation, but rather a boneheaded omission in the programming for Syno Photos. I'm not 100% sold on either photoprism or syno photos, but I cannot use syno photos because it won't play half my videos.
 
I was just watching a Youtube video that compared using Synology Photos with Photoprism via docker. I'm going to try Photoprism, especially now knowing that it can handle video, although it doesn't seems to have the sharing features or UI to make it wife and kid-friendly. Both the Android and iPhone apps for Syn Photos are the best experience I've had browsing NAS photos from a phone.
On a Windows web browser, you can "Download" the video from Syn Photos, and then choose to Open in it a player app. from your browser's dialog (instead of saving). It seems like you have to download the whole thing before it starts playing, so this is only practical for short videos. That got me thinking maybe they should make a browser extension as a compliment to their mobile apps. I've seen other extensions that try to send HEVC straight to VLC, but you need to right click on the video and that doesn't work in Syn Photos.
I did write to Synology support about all of this, and they said there isn't any workaround now other than converting the videos (not realistic for me). I also suggested they make a way to stream videos to a player app on a Windows client from Photos, and as second approach connect the File Station Player to Photos to handle formats Photos doesn't play.
They said they'd pass on the suggestion to the product development team and that they're considering ways to make Photos better in the future. I hope they're able to work this out. In the meantime, I'll keep looking for workarounds.
 
I really like most of photoprism. The auto-tagging (face, place, event) isn't as nice as the syno options, but it isn't horrible. My biggest hangups are the sharing aspect isn't nearly as nice, and the interface is a bit repetitive without any real reason that I can tell. Professional photographers probably understand it better. The one thing that I really like is that I can use whatever folder structure I want. I absolutely hated that the Syno options wouldn't let you choose how you want your folders organized (year, year/month, year/month/date, etc) Syno's insistence on using the Home folders for each user also gets annoying when you just want to dump all your photos together. I realize you can dump them into a shared folder, but it takes training to remind people to do that. I wish you could disable the home folder by user and application so that they could be forced to use a specific shared folder every time.
 
If you're uploading from a phone, you can make photos all go to the shared /photo space. My solution for enforcing my preferred (more like required) folder structure is...
1. Make a folder for each user in /photo (a.k.a. the shared space), and any other folder you want.
2. Use the Photosync app on iPhone and Android to automatically upload photos and videos to the phone owner's folder in /photo, following the auto-organization subfolder pattern you set. I use yyyy/mm but you can make it whatever you want.
3. For photos from my camera and other sources, I upload from my computer manually, keeping the same folder structure. For example I made a folder under /photo for kids-only photos from daycare, etc., and another one for photos from extended family. This isn't too much work.
4. Once the photos are in there, Syn Photos shows them in Timeline or Folder view. We can open the app and see all our photos, just like with Google Photos.

The Syn Photos app will automatically put photos in a sub-folder pattern yyyy/mm/, but only if you're uploading to the default folder which is /Shared Space/MobileBackup/(username)/(phonename). I don't need all those extraneous sub-folders. I wish they let you customize that path. Photosync, especially the iPhone version, is expensive but we had already bought it to use with our old dirt simple NAS so I just added a new SMB destination for the Synology NAS and it's working fine. I think it's the only iPhone app that copies photos automatically wihtout the user (wife) having to do anything, which is critical.

I did tell her she'll need to move out photos to her Personal Space that she doesn't want in the Shared Space (for work, etc.), but those are by far the exception and that can be done any time at you leisure.
 

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