Read my lips
As an inexpensive device it’s missing some frills. There’s no built-in delay feature to fix any wayward lipsync at source, so your amp or TV will need to do that. Meanwhile, plasma owners must be careful as it lacks a screen saver – and the menus (including music playback display) are relatively bright and mostly static. Karaoke fans, however, are served by the on-screen lyrics feature – if you can be bothered to add compatible (LRC) files to your tracks.
The HDMI output doesn’t carry multichannel audio (Dolby and DTS are downmixed into stereo). If you have an HDMI-equipped AV receiver, you may find it’s better to go directly to TV via HDMI and use the coaxial digital output for surround sound, or check if your amp can reassign HDMI video while using a coaxial 5.1 source (not always simple or possible).
It’s a pleasant surprise to see FLAC lossless audio compatibility. Oddly, the player handles AAC files with the ‘.aac’ extension but not versions using the ‘.m4a’ extension – again the iTunes default. Simply renaming the extension to mp4 works (although the player thinks it’s video), or you can use conversion software, and there some good free ones.
Next page: Angular displacement
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...
Interesting and cheap. Shame it doesn't have a network interface.
One notable omission
they haven't quite managed to fill every available surface with huge ugly text.