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Asus O!Play HDP-R1 review

Asus O!Play HDP-R1
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 90
inc VAT

Not our outright favourite media player, but its support of DVD menus in ISO files makes it a decent choice for some.

We only recommend updating a PC’s firmware (the BIOS) when something isn’t working properly. It’s a very different situation with media player firmware though, as extra features are often added after release. A good example is Asus’s bizarrely named O!Play HDP-R1, which couldn’t even stream content from UPnP media servers when we first received it. Fortunately, this huge omission has now been corrected, and this review refers to the 1.17P update.

The player itself is little to get excited about, being compact and fairly inoffensive looking. As with most current media players, there are two USB ports for attaching local storage devices. One of these though also doubles as an eSATA port, so you can connect high-speed storage devices – we can’t see any great use for this but it could be handy for some users.

There’s the usual HDMI output, plus composite video, stereo phono and an optical S/PDIF. It supports HD resolution up to 1080p and there’s support for 24fps to match the frame rate of HD movie content.

An Ethernet port lets you connect the HDP-R1 to your network, so you can stream files to it. There’s no wireless networking provided, for that we’d recommend the Xtreamer (see What’s New, Shopper 262) with its free bundled adaptor. As mentioned, you can now stream files from UPnP media servers, or browse through shared folders on Windows PCs attached to your network. There’s no support for online services like YouTube or Flickr, as on the Western Digital WD TV Live.

Access to media content is though the garish main menu – with huge icons for the Music, Photo and Movie segments. Each section then makes you select between any storage devices you have attached or media streaming. For movies and photos you can view files by date created or recently played. Otherwise you have to dig down into the folder structure to find what you want. There’s no aggregation of content from various sources, such as multiple storage devices, into a simple list of all the available files.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Media Streamer type streaming multimedia receiver

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playback Yes
Audio WMA playback No
Audio WMA-DRM playback No
Audio AAC playback Yes
Audio Protected AAC playback No
Audio OGG playback Yes
Audio WAV playback Yes
Audio Audible playback No
Other audio formats AIFF, FLAC
Internet radio stream compatib N/A

Video Compatibility

Video MPEG-1 playback Yes
Video MPEG-2 playback Yes
Video MPEG-2 VOB playback Yes
Video MPEG-4 AVI playback Yes
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playback Yes
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD support Yes
Video H.264 support Yes
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio support Yes
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio support Yes
Video WMV playback Yes
Video WMV-HD support Yes
Other video formats MKV
Internet video stream compatib FLV, RM, RMVB

Image Compatibility

Image BMP support Yes
Image JPEG support Yes
Image TIFF support Yes

Network Interfaces

Wired network ports 10/100
Wireless networking support No
128-bit WEP No
256-bit WEP No
WPA No
WPA2 No

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs 0
Minijack headphone outputs 0
Stereo phono outputs 1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs 0
Optical S/PDIF outputs 1
Total SCART sockets 0
HDMI outputs 1
Component outputs 0
S-video output 0
Composite outputs 1
Other connectors USB, eSATA/USB

Physical

Size 48x181x125mm
Internal/external antennas N/A
Upgradeable antenna No
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption on 7W

Server Compatibility

Software included none
UPnP Yes
iTunes No
SlimServer No
SMB Yes

Buying Information

Price £90
Warranty one year RTB
Supplier http://www.play.com
Details www.asus.com

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