Hisense 1080p Media Player
Link HDDs, Nas boxes to your TV, cheaply
Review The world isn't exactly short of devices designed to get audio-visual content from your Nas box, USB stick or external hard drive and onto your telly. The trouble is, many of them are three-legged nags let down either by grim UIs, lacklustre codec support, cheap and nasty remote controls, a simple lack of expected functionality, or all the above.
Hisense's 1080p Media Player: does exactly what it says on the box
The latest media player to land of Register Hardware's desk comes from Hisense, a Chinese company we haven't encountered before and not a name to automatically moisten our nethers. In the UK, the unit is available exclusively from online retailer Expansys.
The player is nicely understated bit of kit being little more than a shiny plastic box with a slightly domed top. At 210 x 170 x 32mm, it's small enough to be easily sited, and its 315g weight isn't going to strain whatever other bits of AV kit you sit it on. The unit itself is wholly devoid of controls and the only indication it is doing something is the standby/power LED that changes from red to green when the unit powers up.
The unit is operated entirely with its remote control, which isn't a bad of kit either. It looks like an old-style Apple Remote with ideas above its station, but unlike the Mac-oriented model, it's not too small. The buttons are logically laid out and all the controls all have a pleasant action. Batteries, however, are not included so make sure you have a couple of AAAs to hand.
For connectivity, the player has two powered USB ports and an 10/100Mb/s Ethernet socket. Happily the former have been given one whole side of the machine to themselves ensuring there is plenty of room to easily connect or disconnect two sticks or drives at a time, daft USB or cable connector designs notwithstanding.
Straightforward port array on the right (top) and left sides
Along with the Ethernet socket, the other side of the device houses an HDMI port, component-video and stereo analogue jacks – both of which Hisense supply cables for – an S/PDIF digital audio port and the 12V power socket. Some CRT owners may bemoan the lack of a Scart connector, or composite-video, but with HDMI-equipped flat-panel TVs becoming ever more common it's not a deal breaker in our view.
1080P and no GigE?
Unit arrived yesterday...very happy with it. However it can't handle 1080P content over UPnP or over direct network access. I blame the 100M ethernet port. You need to transfer the content onto a USB stick to be able to playback hidef. Not a train smash, but how much more expensive is a GigE chipset?
Hi to all who own one of these
I have a Terastation live running Buffalo PCast (am avoiding Twonky after having to recover this NAS from a bricking) and am looking for a cheap, good quality streamer for the music and vids on the TSLive.
Has anyone tested something similar with this?
iPlayer through TVersity
Has anyone tried streaming iPlayer to this box through TVersity. This software claims to be able to stream iPlayer and other media to any DLNA device. I believe it uses the web flash iPlayer as opposed to iPlayer Desktop. I'd be interested to see someone give it a try, the software is free...
Also, regarding @michael mackey's post, does anyone else think this has a noisy fan?
From the review it sounds like it may meet my needs. Essentially I'm looking for a media streaming box that I can connect to my Dad's TV that I can remote copy content to. There's broadband in the house and the router is just by the TV but there's no computer in the place to act as a server (I had broadband put in for my own benefit when I visit).
The UI needs to be simple enough, just select a file and play (I bring my AppleTV back home when I visit and he can just about handle using it).
Just a question for those who've already got one of these, is it possible to connect directly to it via an IP address/port? (my Dad's connection has a static IP).
DTS? BR ISO? +1
I too would like to know whether this thing can actually decode the DTS stream rather than just pass-through to an amp. The reason is I have a wdtv, and it does everything I need except dvd menu's, and dts decoding. I was planning on just getting the new Live, but I'd rather save a bit of cash, and try this for £60 instead.
The dvd menus arn't such an issue, but the dts decoding is the only reason I'm upgrading - so if it can't do that it's pointless me buying one.
If it doesn't do dts decoding then if anybody can recommend another box that does do dts decoding and dvd menu's... doesn't even need to be networked, I just copy video from my macbook to a 2.5 hdd anyway, at a sub-£100 with a half decent interface would be awesome. :)