You can play back directly from devices connected via USB, though we found that at times these weren’t recognised until we restarted the Wyplayer. NTFS is supported, together with FAT, ext2 and even HFS for Mac users. If you’re going away on holiday and want to take a collection of films or music with you, you can also use the USB B port on the rear panel to plug the Wyplayer directly into a PC, and it’ll appear to be a hard drive, so you can load it up with content.
The minimalist remote won’t appeal to everyone
If you can cope with some of the GUI peculiarities you can actually move TV recordings off the unit. Simply find the file you want, press Mark, then navigate to where you want to copy it, press Action, and then choose Duplicate. TV recordings are saved as the raw transport stream, in .ts files, so you can play them – subtitles and all – with VLC or MPEG StreamClip and convert to other formats if desired.
As a twin-tuner PVR the Wyplayer works well, but it lacks polish for the UK market. You can create ‘favourite’ lists of channels, which you’ll need – with no number keys, there’s a lot of wheel turning to scroll through the list otherwise. We also found remote performance seemed a little sluggish when recording.
You can add padding to the start and end of recordings, and set repeat recordings for a specific number of occurrences, but there’s no support for the automatic series links of Freeview+, nor for its accurate recording triggers.
Does the job, but with some tweaks could be better still for UK buyers
Likewise, there’s no support for interactive services, and frankly the EPG navigation on the Wyplayer is pretty poor. It’s slow, and you can only see three channels at a time. Add to that the fact that Freeview HD won’t work with the DVB-T tuners in the WyPlayer and it’s perhaps best for UK buyers to consider having a standard definition Freeview tuner inside this media player is more of a useful extra, rather than the Wyplayer’s raison d’être.
The Wyplayer is rather let down by minimalist remote that will undoubtedly frustrate and the lack of support for Freeview+ programming features. Still, having the ability to record from Freeview will make it even more attractive to some, because, if just you want a media player that will handle most things you can throw at it, then the Wyplayer is actually a pretty good bit of kit. ®
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Archos TV+ 250GB
For the same money I got a PS3 with PlayTV (dual tuner) and swapped the HDD for a 320GB one. It does all of the above, plus blu-ray and gaming. Think carefully about this one, people!
As a dual tuner PVR with DVB-T, its definitely of interest. The remote is actually attractive- I nearly got tossed out of a Sony shop at the weekend when I went around counting the number of buttons on their latest remote (46)....... Why companies imagine their remote controls have to resemble a prop from the original 60s series of Star trek is beyond me!!!
Its a bit rough and ready- a little bit of software tweaking would go a long way.
If I didn't already have the Western Digital Media Player- I'd be saving my hard earned cash for one of these- unfortunately the price tag is a bit too rich for my blood as is.......
It's a shame it's not really suitable for the UK market and that there are problems with the GUI, because the box looks nice, the GUI looks nice, and would provide the exact functionality I want - dual TV recorder unit with media playback (mostly MP3s and DivX) functionality.
£350 is quite steep
For less than that I built a HTPC - it's a dvd player, twin tuner pvr (with the lovely windows media center or any interface of your choice), full internet access (not just youtube), will play absolutely everything thanks to VLC.
For little over £200 more I added a top of the range gfx card (ATi3870 at the time) and blu-ray/hd-dvd combi drive and now have a full HD entertainment centre capable of running high-demanding games.
It's so simple to use the girlfriend can manage it and thanks to S3 sleep support switches on in a matter of seconds.
Remote control isn't an issue either, if the windows media center remote isn't up to the task than the wireless keyboard covers the base.
Noise from the box is non-existent either due to cpu cooling using a 16dB rated fan and two 120mm case fans on the lowest of three rpm settings.
Of course if you want less functionality and zero upgradeability you could always buy one of these dumb boxes.