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Asus O!Play HDP-R3 review

David Ludlow
1 Feb 2010
Asus O!Play HDP-R3
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
123
inc VAT

The card reader and wireless network adaptor make the HDP-R3 more flexible than the original, but we don't feel that they're quite worth the price difference.

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Specifications

It's only been a few weeks since we've reviewed Asus' diminutive streaming media player, the O!Play HDP-R1, but the company is already back with an update, the HDP-R3.

The main difference between this version and the old is that HDP-R3 has built-in wireless networking, making it easier to connect to your network, and a card reader, so that you can play music, videos and photos from memory card. Connecting to a wireless network was incredibly easy. The HDP-R3 automatically scans for networks to join and prompts you to enter a password using the remote control and on-screen keyboard.

As with the HDP-R1 the best way to connect to your TV is via the HDMI output. The streamer can output a 1080p signal at 50Hz, 60Hz or a Blu-ray movie-like 24fps. If you've got an older TV, there's also a composite video output, while an optical S/PDIF connection for audio lets you output sound to an AV receiver.

The O!Play HDP-R3 has a large, simple interface. There are simple icons for the three types of media it can play back: audio, video and photos. Selecting either of these lets you choose where you want to stream content from: a UPnP server, a network share, memory card or attached storage connected to one of the two USB ports (one doubles as an eSata port).

It's a little disappointing that you can only browse music by artist, album and genre on storage connected to a USB port; all other supported sources force you to navigate to a specific folder and manually select track names. It would have been better if you could simply select a source, such as a network share or UPnP server, and then have the options for album, artist and genre. Music play back is also a little disappointing, as you can't create playlists and there's no album art.

For movies and photos you can view files by date created and recently played, but, again, only for directly attached storage. Otherwise, it's back down into the folder structure of the device you're looking at.

Photo viewing is elegantly handled, with plenty of slideshow options. There's even the 'Ken Burns Effect', where a still image is panned across to make it more interesting.

Video support is top-notch, with all of the formats supported that you'd expected to find. One bonus is the ability to play DVD ISO files complete with support for menus. Blu-ray ISO files are also supported, although the menu can't be displayed and video is simply played in order. We had no trouble streaming HD video over the wireless link, thanks to the built-in 802.11n wireless adaptor.

The card reader makes it simple to quickly view files you've shot on your camcorder or digital camera, while the wireless adaptor makes the streamer easier to connect to your wireless network. Both are minor upgrades over the original and not quite worth the £30 price difference. If you're after a decent budget media streamer, the original O!Play HDP-R1 is a great choice; if you don't need DVD ISO support, the Western Digital WD TV Live is even better and supports online content from Flickr and YouTube.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
Media Streamer typestreaming multimedia receiver

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playbackYes
Audio WMA playbackNo
Audio WMA-DRM playbackNo
Audio AAC playbackYes
Audio Protected AAC playbackNo
Audio OGG playbackYes
Audio WAV playbackYes
Audio Audible playbackNo
Other audio formatsAIFF, FLAC
Internet radio stream compatibN/A

Video Compatibility

Video MPEG-1 playbackYes
Video MPEG-2 playbackYes
Video MPEG-2 VOB playbackYes
Video MPEG-4 AVI playbackYes
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playbackYes
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD supportYes
Video H.264 supportYes
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio supportYes
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio supportYes
Video WMV playbackYes
Video WMV-HD supportYes
Other video formatsMKV
Internet video stream compatibFLV, RM, RMVB

Image Compatibility

Image BMP supportYes
Image JPEG supportYes
Image TIFF supportYes

Network Interfaces

Wired network ports10/100
Wireless networking supportYes
128-bit WEPYes
256-bit WEPNo
WPAYes
WPA2Yes

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs0
Minijack headphone outputs0
Stereo phono outputs0
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs0
Optical S/PDIF outputs1
Total SCART sockets0
HDMI outputs1
Component outputs0
S-video output0
Composite outputs1
Other connectorsUSB, CompactFlash, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, Microdrive, MultiMedia Card, SDHC

Physical

Size48x181x125mm
Antennas1
Internal/external antennasinternal
Upgradeable antennaNo
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption on7W

Server Compatibility

Software includednone
UPnPYes
iTunesNo
SlimServerNo
SMBYes

Buying Information

Price£123
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.oyy.co.uk
Detailswww.asus.com

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