HDI Dune BD Prime 3.0 Blu-ray media player
One box, plays all?
Review There is no denying that the idea of one-box Blu-ray player, media streamer and HDD storage is a good one but, to date, we have not come across an example we could wholeheartedly recommend. Popcorn Hour's C-200 Media Tank came close, but the price – which doesn't actually include a Blu-ray player – the slight whiff of DIY and the persistent on-line chatter about firmware problems, all stacked up against it.
Mixed media: HDI's Dune BD Prime 3.0
American manufacturer HDI has now taken up the baton with its BD Prime 3 Blu-ray media player. The essential idea is the same as the C-200 but HDI supplies a Blu-ray drive already installed. The machine is also being pitched as a media hub for everyman, rather than the technically accomplished hobbyist.
Certainly, the Prime looks the part and resembles many other pieces of low-to-mid-range AV kit from Japan or Korea with its black brushed aluminium and plastic case, discreet fluorescent display on the left of the fascia and a slimline footprint of 420 x 262 x 50 mm.
We say low-to-mid-range, because the disc tray and door actions aren't the most refined we have encountered and the drive makes a fair old racket until the disc has settled down to play. Fascia controls are limited to basic media navigation buttons, the disc tray control and an on/off switch.
The Dune certainly doesn't want for ports and sockets. With three USB 2.0 ports – one on the right side and two round the back – an eSata port, Ethernet that is switchable between "experimental" Gigabit or 10/100 Mbps, an HDMI 1.3 socket, optical and coaxial S/PDIF, 7.1 and 2.0 analogue audio outputs, plus component and composite video.
Hooking up an external drive is supported, format permitting
Unlike Popcorn, HDi doesn't expect prospective users to go poking around inside these machines with screwdrivers to upgrade it. So if you want a built-in HDD, you need to specify it at the time of purchase. In the USA, HDI offers a range of drives ranging from 500MB to 1TB.
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