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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2008
Bought one of these as I had a spare 80G SATA disk lying around. Instructions are basic, but adequate and I soon had it up and running.

There are icons for 'Photo', 'Music' and 'Video' files and the unit will scan the disk and start playing/showing your files. It will also do a slideshow with background music.

BUT.....

What Amazon, or the manufacturer's website, or indeed the instruction manual don't tell you is that the device is limited to 2048 files of any one type. So 2048 photos, 2048 music files and that's your lot. You can have more on the disk, but the unit will just hang, needing the power to be removed to get it working again...

There is a 'File' icon which lets you browse the disk and you can find the extra files, but you have to navigate through the folders by hand, which will soon get very tedious.

Having said that, sound quality is ok, picture quality is ok and it's pretty well built, the main part of the case is black anodised aluminium, so it feels substantial.

I just can't help wondering: What's the point of a media player that can take a potentially huge SATA disk (there are people who will sell you one with a 750GB disk already installed) but can only handle 2000 files...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The picture quality is good on my television and it plays movies Ok. I purchased this and a 1TB hard drive to put all my home movies in one place so that the family can watch random events in their lives without me shuffling DVDs and failing to be psychic enough to guess if the viewing should be grandma falling in the swimming pool or the neighbours' house burning furiously.

Either you can be lucky with the MZ3 or else you need to be technically adept and persistent. The MZ3 does what it says on the box. There are plenty of niggles, but no show stoppers. I updated to the latest firmware (1.18 as of writing), this fixed a few problems. Dates are in american. The remote is highly directional and idiosyncratic, also easily lost as it is slimline and makes a convenient bookmark. Some of my home movies had already been encoded onto DVD with Adobe Premiere Elements 7 (PC) - connected the MZ3 to my PC and dragged and dropped the contents each DVD onto the MZ3 and they worked fine. I now use DivX to encode my movies - it took some experimentation with encoder settings to get a reasonable video that did not tear or show blocky artifacts in action scenes when played on the MZ3 - try DivX "Home Theater Profile" with multipass 1500kbps, MP3 audio and the video reduced to 480 pixels high (UK PAL is 576, US NTSC is 480 - guess which works best).
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on 27 March 2009
Like the previous reviewer I went to the Emprex website, and downloaded the firmware update. This unit is fairly easy to setup if your fairly techie savvy. The unit is of a high quality, and well made, much better than some other comparable units I've seen for the same price. I fitted mine with a spare 160GB Sata Hard Drive and it even comes boxed with it's own screwdriver for fitting your drive in. The unit is ok for the price, however I wouldn't want to pay any I've not had a chance to use it with a component cable, but plan to purchase one at some point, and check out the upscaling function. I normally use mine on a projector I have and a large screen, and it's a nice feeling having your own personal cinema to watch films. The remote control, whilst slimline and certainly not ugly, can be a bit tedious to use. The only slight issue I do have is that I can't for the life of me figure out exactly what the button on the front of the unit does, as it certainly not responsive.

I've not had the issue the first reviewer had with size limitations on files, however I've not filled mine with photos or MP3's yet, just videos, so can't really comment on that issue.

For a media player that is for general purpose use, it's not bad value for money. I didn't want to pay a silly price and looked at many different boxes. For the time being this is ideal, however I'll probably upgrade to a slightly better unit at a later date when video downloads and these type of boxes become a little more mainstream in the home.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2009
I fitted a 500GB Western Digital drive and it worked fine AFTER formatting to FAT32 (didn't recognise the drive when formatted to NTFS), has played all the video files I have thrown at it so far. The remote control is a bit fiddly and sometimes unresponsive but this is a minor niggle. Easily connects to a TV using composite (supplied) or component (not supplied) cables and of course there is the added bonus of being able to use it as a regular external USB storage device.
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on 6 January 2010
Bought one of these complete with HD back in May 2009. Worked at first but always thought the Remote was cheap and nasty plus the control of the player left a lot to be desired in changing resolution etc. But my troubles hadn't even started. After playing a couple of mp3's OK I then, some weeks later used it to watch a film. Well half way through the film it just seized and the only way to get it back was to disconnect the power completely and reconnect. Well then it wouldn't recognise the Hard Disk so repeated several times till it eventually did and started again. This was not an isolated failure, this player has done this numerous times since, I just put up with it until yesterday it would not recognise the HD at all. I therefore tried it via the USB on my PC but everytime I tried to access the disk the thing just turned off and dissapeared fom Windows Explorer. Thought I'll re-format and re-load my files again - it won't format. I'm now left with a useless pile of metal. Sent a email to Emprex customer services but no reply yet and I'm not holding my breath. So basically it's been nothing but trouble since day 1 and now packed up altogether. Rubbish - Steer clear!
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on 23 February 2010
Bought one of these with a 1.5tb seagate hard drive installed, it kept freezing every 20 minutes or so during most video files. After ringing the suplier direct they knew what the problem was before I even explained it, and sent me a new sata cable to replace the orange one it was shipped with. This fixed the problem and now I have a very user friendly and huge capacity media drive.

Not sure if it is just a low speed sata cable that is shipped with it or if its faulty but it now works fine.

My only problem is, if they know about this issue why not recall them and replace the cable before selling as there are lots of posts on forums etc. with the same problem.

So if you buy one of these be prepared to buy a new sata cable to go with it.
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on 10 April 2009
i was amazed how easy this box was to setup i loaded my music anfd movie collection and away i went emprex also told me all the info the instructions didnt so was well worth the money
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on 14 September 2009
Just brought this item but not very technical minded can anyone recomend what hdd i need to buy to accompany it,
Cheers
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