Suffix and see
That said, of the many formats, the most inconsistent were AVCHD (using an M2TS container) and MPEG4 using the iTunes default ‘.m4v’ suffix. Some worked but others didn’t, such are the foibles of digital media (all were non-DRM).
Video resolutions and frame rates are covered but not automatically according to what’s playing
Although it handles different frame rates, such as 24, 50 and 60Hz, it doesn’t adjust automatically. Instead it does an often juddery conversion on the fly to fit the pre-set mode. If you therefore have a mix of film and video-sourced content in both PAL and NTSC, you’ll have to alter it each time in the set-up menu to get the smoothest results. Once you do, the picture is respectable, as is its audio quality.
Video playback tweaks
Image size can be altered during playback. Its various options include the original pixel dimension, screen fit, 4:3 and 16:9. There’s also a resume playback feature for video and support for numerous subtitle formats.
Next page: Read my lips
Isn't this just an overpriced rebranded Sumvision Cyclone Micro 2? (£10 cheaper than the Pico)
Have been coming out of China by the bucketload for the last 3 years or so, I bought a similar device about 18 months ago, could take USB drives, a 2.5" internal HD and an SD card and play just about any format you chucked at it including RMVBs. $35 including shipping. Lifetime and reliability may be an issue but mine is still running 18 months later.
Paris, well you have to play something on these devices.
I'm struggling to see the point of this device...
Or more specifically: I'm struggling to see a reason why it was reviewed: there's dozens of these devices floating around, the majority of which all use the same chipset (and often, the same casing). And without a network connection, it's pretty much useless unless you want to keep plugging and unplugging stuff every time you want to put something new onto your USB stick/external HDD.
I'm still fond of my WD TV Live - it doesn't have the SD card slot (though SDHC readers are available from poundland... for a pound. And I've managed to read data off an SDHC card with one of these readers at 15mb/s!), but it does have an ethernet port (and/or wifi via a USB stick), happily reads stuff from Samba/NFS shares and - surprisingly - is still actively supported by WD; there's been several firmware upgrades over the last few months which both fix problems and add new features (e.g. access to Facebook and various online media-streaming services).
Better yet, since it's based on Linux and WD have released the source, some nice people have been tinkering with it, adding things like the ability to plug in a USB DVD drive or turn it into a full-blown mini-server. A friend of mine bought one and set it up as an SSH server, to give him a way of tunnelling past the Great Firewall of China while he's working over there.
Admittedly, the WD TV Live is nearly triple the price of this little device, but Maplins is currently selling a Viewsonic networkable media-player for £50, which is only a tenner more and pretty much has feature-parity with the stock WD TV Live setup...