Asus Eee Box B206

HDMI-equipped budget media centre

Upping the resolution further, it could just about handle 1080p H264 content – although not all samples we tried played flawlessly. As expected, WMV9 format 1080p files proved to be too much for it, with many dropped frames, and QuickTime playback was still poor.

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Asus Eee Box B206

Longer bars are better

Asus also includes its own media player application called Eee Cinema, which gives you a Windows Media Center style interface that you can navigate from the sofa using the remote control. However, Eee Cinema is particularly picky about the types of files it will play, refusing point blank to even acknowledge the existence of MKV, MP4 or QuickTime files, while content to replay WMV and AVI. It could handle up to 720p WMV9 files, but 1080p was too much, resulting in dropped frames.

So, while it's true that the B206 can decode high definition video, it's much more temperamental than a more powerful machine. Match the right content with the appropriate player and it's fine, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of flexibility.

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