The Eminent HD Media Player EM7195 is a good product in its own right, but unfortunately with the customised AC Ryan products it faces stiff competition. We were initially very disappointed by the drab and dreary graphical user interface which pales beside the AC Ryan Playon! HD 2. It does however run faster than the AC Ryan interface, so perhaps many people will be willing to live with the reduced eye candy. While we appreciate the faster speed right now, we know that AC Ryan will get speed improvements ramped out in the coming months.
As a networked product for the home, the EM7195 certainly is impressive. It can handle a plethora of media files, such as OGG files and even unusually encoded MKV containers. There wasn’t a single file that the Eminent failed to play, even ISO files, and DVD and Bluray folders stored on networked drives. On this level it won’t fail to impress.
This player doesn’t have gigabit lan support however it does appear to be slightly better than models from the last generation. It had no issues in streaming 1080p content from NAS systems on the same network, but when copying directly to an internal hard drive, it is still painfully slow.
Our 1.4GB test file took much longer copying across the network, than to a gigabit enabled PC, often 10-15 times slower. This might seem acceptable, but if you are moving 10GB files on a regular basis you are left with hooking the EM7195 up to a PC to use the USB 3.0 connection. If your PC is in a different room, this can be annoying.
The Wireless connection is also very slow and has a trouble streaming 1080p content, often hitching and stuttering when the bitrate climbs during active scenes. We would recommend the use of high quality networked cables for 1080p content.
As with the AC Ryan product we reviewed last week, the product generates very little noise and it consumes around 18 watts of power under full load, which is very efficient.
- Interface is fast
- Hard Drive tray mechanism is great and works well
- Runs quiet
- Remote is the best of the bunch, and is backlit
- Easily upgradeable storage
- Wireless connectivity options
- Interface looks rough and isn’t customised to the same level as the AC Ryan product
- Wireless struggles with 1080p streaming
- wired networking support needs a speed boost
- AMD and Nvidia discrete cards offer better image quality and more fine tuning options.
KitGuru says: A solid High Definition media player, but it faces stiff competition from AC Ryan who customise their products and offer regular firmware updates.