Feeds

The year's best... TV media players

What's top for set-tops?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

TVs join the stream

Boasting support for an impressive range of codecs – including Flac and Ogg – and a compact case that’s not much larger than the Apple TV, the Viewsonic VMP74 offers 1080p output, with support for SMB as well as UPnP media access. As well as the commonplace USB port for local storage, it supports eSata too. Since our original review, firmware that provides access to BBC iPlayer has been released, and for those who have a large collection of media in different formats, it’s a great value choice.

Viewsonic VMP74

Viewsonic VMP74

When it comes to providing online video services for UK users, it’s very often been the TV itself that has set the pace, rather than the makers of media streamers. Thanks perhaps to the requirements of Freeview HD, some of the best media players this year are TV receivers that also offer IPTV and DLNA functionality.

Samsung LE40C650

Samsung LE40C650

Samsung’s LE40C650 was one of the standout sets Reg Hardware looked at this year, offering great picture quality and superb connectivity. It has very wide ranging format support, and failed only with some DRM-encumbered WMV video files. With both iPlayer and Lovefilm available through Samsung’s Internet@TV interface plus Freeview HD tuners, the set packs in everything that most users will need. If you’re in the market for a new TV, then you certainly won’t need to add a separate media player to this one.

The LG 42LE5900 also has great network media support, but falls down when it comes to IPTV – a situation reversed by this year's new Sony Bravias - such as the 32in KDL-EX703 - which are far better at online TV than they are at network streaming.

Humax HD-Fox T2

Humax HD-Fox T2

If you already have an HD Ready TV, the current street price of the Humax HD Fox T2 Freeview HD receiver places it firmly among the dedicated media players. Though format support isn't as extensive as some other boxes – MKV in particular is patchy – from early next year an online TV portal will add access to BBC iPlayer and Sky Player. Meanwhile, you’ll also get Freeview HD with USB recording, though it has to be said that the media playback interface isn’t as slick as those of some dedicated streamers.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Will.i.am gets CUFFED as he announces his new wristjob, the PULS
It's got four KILOWATTS of something, apparently
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?
Subtle, naturalistic ambiance – perfect for Transformers 4
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.