With the ever growing market for home networking, it makes sense that companies create media players that can replace the common PC for viewing pictures, playing video content and streaming files from NAS systems.
Kitguru recently looked several of these devices from Dutch company A.C Ryan and we felt that the Playon! and Playon! Mini systems were so good that they could easily take over a wealth of duties from a standalone PC system.
The Asus O!Play Air HDP-R3 we have on review today follows along the same lines as the A.C. Ryan Playon! Mini unit … that being very compact by design and with no internal storage system included.
The Asus unit offers a similar wealth of support for media files however it also offers built in Wireless N capabilities which is not included with the Playon! Mini unit – you need extra for the wireless transmitter. The O!Play offers options to play media on flash cards, USB and even eSATA drives. The latter option appeals to me very much as I have a 4TB eSata drive which I use for media storage.
The specifications look very promising indeed so here is a complete technical listing before we look at the player itself in more detail.
• DC Power In
• 1xUSB 2.0 Port
• 1xUSB 2.0 / eSATA Combo Port
• RJ-45 LAN Port
• CompactFlash, SD, MMC and Memory Stick Memory Card Reader
• Composite Video
• Composite Audio L/R
• S/PDIF Out
• HDMI 1.3
LAN: TCP/IP (DHCP or Static IP Address) 10/100Mbps Wired LAN
WLAN: 802.11n Wireless Networking
• AC Adapter
• Power Cord
• Remote Control
• Composite A/V Cable
• Quick Start Guide
• CD (User Manual)
181.0×125.3×47.7mm(W x D x H)
It’s also worth checking that the O!Play supports your filetype of choice, otherwise you could be left shelling out for a device that is useless to you. Here is a full list of supported filetypes:
Supported Video Formats
• Video: MPEG1/2/4,RM/RMVB,VC-1,H.264
• Video File Extension:.mp4, .mov, .xvid., .avi., .dvix., .asf, .wmv, .mkv, .rm, .rmvb, .flv, .ts, .m2ts, .dat, .mpg, .vob, .mts, .tp, .trp,.iso
• Audio: MP3,WAV,AAC,OGG,FLAC,AIFF
• Image: JPEG,BMP,PNG,GIF,TIFF
• Subtitle: SRT,SUB,SMI,SSA
Supported Audio formats
MP3, WAV, AAC, OGG, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, LPCM, WMA, Dolby Digital AC3, Dolby Digital Plus,
DTS – Dolby Digital & DTS Supports Downsample and pass through
Supported Image formats
JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF, TIFF
Supported sub-title formats
SRT, SUB, SMI, SSA