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Philips HMP2000 review

David Ludlow
12 Apr 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
60
inc VAT

Page 3 of 3Philips HMP2000 review

High quality Netflix streaming and a neat, quiet box, but the attractive interface is slow to respond and the remote control small and uncomfortable

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That's the good news, but the HMP2000 can be frustrating to use. We found the tiny remote, which looks more like the type of model you'd get with a video camera, a little uncomfortable to hold and use. A larger model with regular buttons would have been preferable.

Then there's the interface lag. Press a button and the HMP2000 waits for a bit before responding, if it does at all. It can lead to frustrated button pressing, ending up with a rapid burst of action, as the streamer catches up.

In particular, this lag is annoying when you're trying to use search in Netflix, as navigating through the on-screen keyboard is fraught with possible errors.

Philips HMP2000

The interface lag can make it difficult to do simple things, such as searching for content

Then there's the slightly inconsistent interface. Using the HMP2000's main menus, the back button does exactly what you'd expect; in Netflix it asks you if you want to quit the application. Instead, you have to use the cursor keys to navigate back.

A media streamer shouldn't just be about one service and the HMP2000 also has YouTube built in. We're rather taken with the interface, which presents the most popular videos as a strip of thumbnails. You can also browse by category and search for content. It still suffers from the same old laggy interface, though. That's it in terms of internet video services and the only other item of interest that you'll find is a Picasa app. It's a real shame that there's no catch-up TV service, such as BBC iPlayer.

Most people will have a collection of content stored on their network, so it's a little surprising and disappointing to find that the HMP2000 will not work with UPnP servers or even view the content of network shares. Instead, you can only play other content through a storage device connected to the player's USB port.

Only FAT32-formatted disks are supported and NTFS-formatted storage will not work. Once you insert a storage device, it's automatically scanned and its files catalogued, so you can click the relevant icon and view just supported files. At least, that's in theory, as the HMP2000 decided that some of our PostScript (.ps) files were videos.

Alternatively, you can just browse your storage by folder and pick the files that you want to play. Format is really varied. On one hand, it will play .mkv files and even a Blu-ray ISO, but DivX and Xvid files aren't supported. As the player will only decode Dolby Digital soundtracks, you need to be careful of those that contain DTS soundtracks.

Ultimately, the HMP2000 isn't really a media streamer, but a small and relatively cheap box for playing Netflix. Despite the laggy interface it does that job well, producing high-quality video and sound from a small and quiet box. If you just want something to use your Netflix subscription on, this is a decent choice, but if you want a device that can play pretty much any format over your network, and can stream iPlayer and Netflix the Western Digital WD TV Live is only around £25 more expensive. It's the better choice by far.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Media Streamer typestreaming multimedia receiver

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playbackYes
Audio WMA playbackYes
Audio WMA-DRM playbackNo
Audio AAC playbackNo
Audio Protected AAC playbackNo
Audio OGG playbackNo
Audio WAV playbackNo
Audio Audible playbackNo
Other audio formatsnone

Video Compatibility

Other video formatsMPEG1, MPEG2, H.264, MKV,VC-1, WMV

Image Compatibility

Image BMP supportYes
Image JPEG supportYes
Image TIFF supportYes

Network Interfaces

Wired network portsnone
Wireless networking supportYes

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs0
Minijack headphone outputs0
Stereo phono outputs0
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs0
Optical S/PDIF outputs0
Total SCART sockets0
HDMI outputs1
Component outputs0
S-video output0
Composite outputs0
Other connectorsUSB

Physical

Size50x90x100mm
Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on4W

Server Compatibility

Software includednone
UPnPNo
iTunesNo
SlimServerNo
SMBNo

Buying Information

Price£60
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.philips.co.uk

Page 3 of 3Philips HMP2000 review

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