Feeds
70%
Viewsonic VMP74

Viewsonic VMP74 1080p media player

You want codecs? It's got 'em

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

There's a Web browser too, although I don't think I'll be using it much. There's no Flash, and too many misformatted pages. I found it a real struggle to navigate with the remote-driven mouse that crawls around the page and then suddenly chooses to hop from button to button.

Viewsonic VMP74

A very usable RSS interface delivers world news to your living room.

For Web news though, adjacent to the Web icon on the main menu is an icon for RSS. By default, this is set to the Google and Yahoo! News feeds, but you can add your own feeds to taste. If the feed story is continued on a Web page, a single press of a button will take you there.

You can improve the Web navigation by plugging a USB mouse and keyboard into the VMP74. Alternatively, the remote control button marked SORT/EPG will pop up a virtual Qwerty keyboard. When you're accessing YouTube, the same key offers a simple sort of the clip titles, and you only get the keyboard when you visit the Search icon. This keyboard, however, is alphabetic rather than Qwerty.

The same alphabetic keyboard turns up when you're trying to set up Samba Client Access (SMB). Here I have to confess defeat - my samba servers show up on the VMP74 but I can't access their content. The otherwise helpful built-in manual - found under Settings - simply says tersely: "As long as the network is linked and no firewall is blocking shares from remote sites, there is no additional set-up to enable this feature." Which probably means password-protected Samba shares (like mine) can't be accessed.

Verdict

Excellent at its main job as a UPnP client, great for YouTube in the living room, and a decent RSS viewer, the Viewsonic VMP74 is overall an impressive adjunct to your HD TV or projector. I understand that new firmware is on its way to bring BBC iPlayer to life - and hopefully improve the browser and fix the Samba problem - but even without it the device suggests itself as a very worthy successor to my faithful ShowCenter. Only the similarly capable but much cheaper (£50) Hisense 1080p Media Player - reviewed here - stops it scoring more highly. ®

More Media Player Reviews

Hisense
1080p
Media Player
Western
Digital
WD TV
Popcorn
Hour
C-200
Conceptronic
Grab'n'Go

The essential guide to IT transformation

70%
Viewsonic VMP74

Viewsonic VMP74 1080p media player

Bites off rather more than it can chew browser-wise, but don't let that and a few other niggles put you off. This is an impressive little piece of kit.
Price: £135 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.