Over Wi-Fi performance dropped to 0.99MB/s, 0.96MB/s and 0.35MB/s for reads, and 1.41MB/s, 1.60MB/s and 0.78MB/s for writes. For some reason, Ethernet read performance was consistently worse, scoring 0.32MB/s, 0.38MB/s and 0.15MB/s respectively. Write performance was slightly better, coming in at 2.38MB/s, 2.35MB/s and 0.64MB/s respectively.
Data Transfer Speeds in Megabytes per Second (MB/s)
Longer bars are better
If you've got a large amount of files to transfer onto the MediaPlayer II, you're probably better hooking it up to a PC by USB, although Ethernet or Wi-Fi are reasonable if you just want to add the odd file now and again.
The MediaPlayer II also has a BitTorrent client built in, so you can pull down files directly to drive and you don't need to leave your PC switched on while it's downloading.
We found its file support a little lacking. It failed to play any of our test QuickTime H.264, MKV H.264 or WMV 9 files whether they were 480p, 720p or 1080p. It could handle both standard definition and HD DivX and Xvid files without a problem and would play these back from either the internal drive or stream them over Ethernet or Wi-Fi without dropping frames.
Standard definition MPEG 2 also proved no problem, both local and streamed, and it can play DVD VOB files without issue. If you've ripped any of your DVDs into ISO format, then it will also let you navigate the menus as well. MPEG 2 files at 720p proved more problematic, with some files playing but not showing on screen and those that would dropped frames when streamed. MPEG 2 1080p had similar problems as well. It will also play MP3 music files and you can view JPEG photos too.
The MediaPlayer is about the size of a large desktop hard drive
The TV interface is extremely basic and slow - we found we frequently overshot the menu item we were aiming for. Having a display does make setup easier - you can see what you're doing to enter Wi-Fi passwords and things like that. On the downside, it appeared to occasionally forget the Wi-Fi settings after unplugging the adaptor and rebooting, which was annoying. The MediaPlayer also got quote hot in operation, so it needs to be placed somewhere were there's good ventilation.
While the MediaPlayer II tries to be both a network drive and media streamer, it's not particularly adept at either. Its USB performance is adequate, but its network transfer speed it poor. As a media streamer, the interface is slow and frustrating and the file support limited. You're probably better off buying a dedicated Nas drive and media streamer and connecting the two together. ®
More Network Media Player Reviews
Freecom MediaPlayer II 500GB
I have a Freecom Mediaplayer 450 (I guess the same thing as what Gordon861 is talking about) sitting abandoned on the shelf, and this seems to be basically a repackaged version of that - same pathetic network performance, and same pathetic codec support. I bought the 450 because I wanted a way to output 1080p content on my full HD telly, but I did not realize that it can't actually play the formats that the vast majority of HD content is distributed in. So you have to convert to DivX on a PC, then transfer it over the painfully slow network interface, or physically carry it around to use USB. So much for casually viewing anything. I'm actually kind of shocked that Freecom are trying to flog this without having improved the technology at all from where it was when I bought my 450, it's junk.
"You can't network stream or be a NAS without GBit"
Oh no!! I better tell my media player attached to my TV via HDMI that regularly streams 1080p content from my PC over 10/100, I'm sure it will stop doing it as soon as it finds out you say it can't!!! Oh and it will stop downloading via bittorrent at the same time as streaming too I'd guess!
I'll be sticking with
my WD-TV for now. Best piece of kit you'll buy for £75 this year.
I'm also with MarkOne. I've got a Netgear ReadyNAS that streams over some 100mbps PowerLine adaptors to my PS3. No problems there at all. It also wasn't too bad before the PowerLine setup when the PS3 was on g (upto) 54mbps wifi, though admittedly there was some buffering needed here and there.
It sounds like a stripped down version of the old WLAN450 that they used to do. It also had problems with copying files via the ethernet due to only allowing a single FTP connection that is also throttled. The old version also had wi-fi built in.
I'll stick with the older version.