The supplied remote control, like Philips’ recent TV handsets, is reasonably simple to use, though it’s odd looking, like a little plastic rowing boat. The machine can also be controlled by Philips’ free MyRemote app for iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.
A reasonably simple, if odd looking handset
Nearly all of the expected media formats are supported, such as XviD, DivX (up to Plus HD), H264, MPEG1/2/4, MKV, VC1, AVCHD, WMV, JPEG photos, AAC multichannel audio, MP3, WMA and PCM. Not mentioned in the user guide but also playable are MOV video and WAV uncompressed audio. The only obvious and potentially useful formats it misses out are ISO (disc image) and lossless audio codecs such as FLAC.
A simple but informative network media player
The picture quality for these files is OK, depending on the type and level of compression, though I think my network-connected Sony player is slightly better at handling this. Scrolling through long library listings also made the system slow to a crawl, so you might have to break them up with a fair amount of sub-folders.
Net TV is a bit cumbersome unless you get a wireless keyboard
It also uses its network connection for the Net TV platform, which is similar to the apps on Philips’ ‘smart TVs’. There is not a huge selection compared to equivalents by other major brands but there are familiar names, including a smooth running BBC iPlayer app, YouTube, Picasa, eBay and Twitter.
Next page: Simple surfer
No ISO ???????
Best feature of my little Cyclone media player is it'll pick up an ISO directory, and play it like a disc.
Hope there's a firmware update for this.
The big problem with the PS3 (or at least my particular example) is that the cooling fans are quite noisy and very noticeable when watching anything other than your typical Hollywood blockbuster. If you are not interested in gaming then a dedicated player is probably your best bet.
Why would you want Blu-ray and watch it through shitty scart?
PS3 is still a very good player.
There's cons, however
- A new standalone unit benefits may have a somewhat shorter loading times
- A dedicated remote control is better than the PS3 game controller. (to me at least)
- PS3 doesn't support MKV/ISO files (amongst other file/codec formats)
- Curved design - not very stackable
- Bluray playback uses 70-170 Watts power depending on model (the Philips in the review takes 15W)
- Region locked
PS3 has one serious advantage the standalone players don't have and that is the firmware support. Even the first models from 2006 are supported and the firmware has for instance brought 3D BD support and whatnot. The latest update was just a month ago.
I'd wager the power usage is significantly lower, if all you want to do is play Blu-rays...