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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little box
I have been looking for a little box to play all my DVD & Bluray rips for a while as I was getting fed up of having so many discs in my lounge and I can keep the originals safely away from small children and sticky fingers! I have been slowly copying them onto a NAS drive connected to a wired ethernet network. When I first got the Asus O!Play, I updated the firmware to...
Published on 11 April 2010 by Ian Mostyn

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars oplay for my movies
I bought this for playing my movies and music from my NAS and as a taster of how well media is being broadcast over the Internet.

The Oplay has a nice clean colourful menu and responds quickly but for playing my music and movies from my NAS although it works well I have to click and navigate down a long way through the hiarachy just to get to the NAS then the...
Published on 11 Mar 2011 by Mr. Michael J. Wilcox


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little box, 11 April 2010
By 
Ian Mostyn (Lancashire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Asus O!Play HD 1080p HDP-R1 Live Internet Media Streamer (Personal Computers)
I have been looking for a little box to play all my DVD & Bluray rips for a while as I was getting fed up of having so many discs in my lounge and I can keep the originals safely away from small children and sticky fingers! I have been slowly copying them onto a NAS drive connected to a wired ethernet network. When I first got the Asus O!Play, I updated the firmware to the latest 1.21P version by simply downloading the file to a USB pendrive and inserting it into the USB slot on the O!Play. The firmware updated easily. Set-up was minimal, I set my timezone to GMT and gave the box a static IP on my network and that's it. I can play straight DVD rips as Video-TS folders and Bluray rips as m2ts files. The picture quality is excellent and with a wired network I have had no problems with network speed. The resume playback feature is great if I get disturbed half way through a film and the menu system works quickly.

I have a MythTV box set-up as well and the O!Play finds its uPNP server which gives me all the metadata on recorded programs. I also have my CD's ripped as flac files which play beautifully through my AV receiver. All in all, the perfect product for me and I will be buying a second box soon.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect, 20 Nov 2010
By 
N. Helps - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Asus O!Play HD 1080p HDP-R1 Live Internet Media Streamer (Personal Computers)
I'd love to be able to give this 5 stars since it has some great features and the price is very good. However, a few things let it down. First the good stuff. This is a very smart little box that looks very good. It delivers true 1080p resolution and HD content does look very good. Connect up pretty much any USB device (or eSATA) and it will recognise it straight away. It can handle all sorts of disk formats and so one is not limited to FAT32. It will also recognise just about any format of video, photo or music. Very impressive. Even loads up DVD iso images and displays the DVD menu allowing you to use it just like a real DVD (which you can also do if you connect a DVD drive to the unit - so the instructions say, but I have not tried that). Content on devices attached directly to the O Play is handled very well. Hence, as a basic media player, it is very capable. However, there are cheaper units that will do pretty much the same thing. What sets the O play apart from them is that it is network enabled (ethernet port). Once plugged into a network, it will pick up an IP address (network setup is configurable manually, but if you plug it into a router it should just pick up an address) and you can then access a wealth of online content from internet radio and TV to RSS, weather and blogs. There are 1000's of radio and TV stations to look at. Radio seems to work well, but TV can be a bit poor in quality (this is mainly due to network speed and the TV station rather than the O Play). It has to be remembered that this is internet TV, not freeview or freesat, etc. Hence, you won't get BBC1, ITV, etc. Quite a lot of the channels are chinese/oriental (not surprising!). However, there are plenty of english language ones. RSS and weather work well too. Plenty to keep a bit of a nerd entertained for ages! For the rest of us, it is debatable how much value that adds. What should add lots of value is the ability to stream content from a PC or network storage to the O Play over the network. According to the product manual, the O Play will work with many different types of networked devices and this is something that sets it apart from some of its competitors (some that are substantially more expensive too). My experience is that it will connect easily to a PC that has shared directories, but it was more difficult to get it to connect to my network storage (Iomega network drive). It should have been easy (according to the instructions). However it took me ages and I ended up spending a lot of time on Google. I did eventually get it to work, but I cannot say exactly what I did that made that happen. Once hooked up, streaming content to the O Play does works very well and this does add immense value to the product. I actually have it doing this wirelessly, since I have connected a wireless client device to the ethernet port.

So the O Play has many great features, but I can't ignore some negative points. The instruction manual is not very helpful and often is not clear enough. In the box all you get is a quick start guide and you need to view the full manual (such as it is) from the CD supplied. As mentioned above, at least for me, the network storage support was not straightforward to set up (initially I was attempting this using a wired connection - only once I got that working did I go wireless). For people who don't use the network functions, this will clearly not be an issue. However, not having to plug in USB memory devices, but instead to access content from a network storage device is a very powerful feature (when it works).

Finally, a couple of other points that might help to negate both the negative points above. Asus has a very active customer forum for this and related devices and it is full of details about sorting out problems and adding functionality. The O Play is what is know as an embedded OS device and runs Linux. This means that it is highly configurable ("modding" if you are into that sort of thing). Not for inexperienced people unless they don't mind possibly "bricking" their device! Also, Asus are very active in bringing out new versions of the firmware (ie the embedded operating system). These contain numerous bug fixes and also bring new features. Hence, the product is "evolving" and this is a very good thing. Actually, almost the first thing that anyone purchasing one of these should do is check the firmware version on it and then see if a newer version is available. It is very likely that there will be one. Updating is very easy and the downloaded firmware contains full instructions. All you need is a blank USB pen drive on which you put the firmware and then plug it into the O Play. Select the update menu and the O Play does the rest.

Final summary then. Still a bit geeky and nerdy if you want to explore its full potential and the embedded OS may be a bit rough around the edges (but getting better all the time). However, as a basic media player it is superb and it has so much extra potential too. Just don't expect everything to be "plug N play" necessarily...
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY IT, CONNECT IT AND WATCH IT, SIMPLE AS THAT, 30 Nov 2010
By 
This review is from: Asus O!Play HD 1080p HDP-R1 Live Internet Media Streamer (Personal Computers)
I bought this box of tricks two weeks ago (November 2010) and it's got to be
one of the best bits of kit I've bought in years, but i can't understand
why other people are having problems with it, i took it out of the box
plugged the power lead in, plugged the HDMI lead in, plugged the network cable in
and connected an external hard drive then turned it on.

The setup menu came up so i set the screen size and all the other options
then searched the hard drive for Movies Photos And Music all played as normal.

Then i plugged a Sandisk cruzer 16GB stick in the USB slot containing a DivX movie
and a few other photos and music files and everything just worked.

DVD Menus worked as well, the only videos i found that wouldn't play had the wmv file extension,
which could be converted to another format if necessary

I mainly use Linux (Kubuntu 10.4 64 bit) it had no problems finding stuff in my shared folders
via the network, i also tried it with Win XP 32 bit, no problems there either

All in all this is a great piece of kit at a reasonable price, i favored the R1 to the R3
as the R1 has the e-sata slot that will take a large external hard drive (mine is 2TB)

The R3 doesn't have the e-sata but does have slots for memory cards,

1 x SD Memory Card
1 x CompactFlash Card
1 x Memory Stick Duo

needless to say memory cards are no where near the capacity of hard drives yet so it should
cope with most of my media for the foreseeable future.

Hope this helps
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for total noobs, but excellent for everyone else., 1 Mar 2011
By 
AlanMusicMan (North Cornwall) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Asus O!Play HD 1080p HDP-R1 Live Internet Media Streamer (Personal Computers)
Many people go the Home Theatre PC (HTPC) route and have a minimally sized PC in the living room. That approach has its attractions and I have done that: However the HTPC approach has some problems, for example it's running a multi-purpose operating system, it needs anti virus protection, it costs to keep it all the products needed up to date, it wants to do continual Windows and product updates and so on. All of which conflicts with the need to use the power of the HTPC to play smooth uninterrupted video at HD rates.

Okay, you can use Linux which is supposedly a better platform for these kinds of uses, or you can use a media centre version of Windows which does them better than standard Windows versions (+cost): Also, many of these HTPC issues can be resolved by making the appropriate configuration and product choices. However, all that is an ongoing chore - and, in any case, a machine of the right spec is going to cost you several (or many) hundreds. So, the stand-alone media player route has many potential attractions - but only if it works as well, or better.

Having had experience of the HTPC route, the idea of a dedicated media player that just connects to your network and can play content via your wired LAN from any of your PCs or the Internet is a very appealing one. This product especially appeals because it is cheap, it plays a huge variety of media formats (up to and including Blu-Ray backups - files secured by creating backups to hard drive of your precious Blu-Ray purchases using products such as AnyDVD etc). It also has superb connectivity of various kinds.

You can connect a local hard drive to it using USB or E-Sata, you can plug in a memory stick containing video or audio and you can connect it to your broadband router or your network hub using a CAT5 or CAT6 cable (AKA LAN or Ethernet cable) and of course it connects to your TV using HDMI (which carries audio and video to the TV set). (see footnote below about connecting this, or any other media player, via a wireless connection).

Because it can connect to the Internet you can also play numerous radio stations and TV stations that broadcast only on the Internet, and set-up to receive RSS feeds (for example news) which you can sometimes use as overlays on your videos (I think this depends on the video format being played).

So, how did it seem to me as compared to a HTPC? Well, not all good, but not bad. Firstly, I tried to play the Blu-Ray backup of "The Aviator" that my HTPC failed miserably to play (because it lacked the processor and graphics card power). The O!Play does that movie pretty well, a lot better than the HTPC did, but not flawlessly. There is a just a suggestion of motion lag sometimes, but it's very watchable. The file containing that backup is 22GB and the movie bit-rate is very high so it's quite impressive that a box bought at this price can do it so well. I haven't upgraded the players firmware yet, so when I do that, I hope it may fix this little problem - I'll let you know.

DVD backups and Off-Air TV captures (made on a PC using a Hauppage DVR4000 card) play on this little box absolutely flawlessly. None of the intermittent jitter that I occasionally get on the HTPC from background tasks kicking in, this does it fine.

Over the last few days I have watched 3 movies (two of which were at 8 Mbits/sec) on the Asus, with no problems at all. If you attach a 2.5" USB hard disk (such as you might ordinarily use with a laptop) to the USB port, it plays movies and anything you want from that just as well.

The menu system is a little clunky. For example, it would be nice to be able to set an entry point into a network file system as the default start point. But maybe that is all sorted in an updated version.. I will update this review when I am up to the latest version.

If you know a little about networks and connectivity of IT kit, I think you will get on very well with this bargain box.

FOOTNOTE: I grimly note the many people reviewing these kinds of products here on Amazon who use wireless LAN connections for media streaming boxes to their network. Sorry guys, it's simply not suitable. Even the best wireless kit isn't up to the real-time requirements of streaming media. It will work fine some days and not others, or okay some days and not at all the day after. Wireless can be okay for normal applications, such as Internet browsing and email: If there is a one second pause in your page loading or your email updating you really hardly notice it. However, if there are just a few one second pauses midway through your viewing of "Avatar" or the latest episode of "Lost" - you really DO notice it and it's unacceptable.

I used to do streaming media systems and networks as a profession and my strong advice would be to NEVER use wireless networks (even the latest N standard) for streaming video except as an absolute last resort.

Alan T
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mediastreaming to my taste, 30 May 2010
By 
C. K. BAK (Alderney) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Asus O!Play HD 1080p HDP-R1 Live Internet Media Streamer (Personal Computers)
The ASUS O!play HDP-R1 does NOT depend on a DLNA-server on the network. Instead it will access any shared
folder on any computer or harddisc on the network.
Files are shown in the same folder structure in which they are stored, and the files are sorted alphabetically
after filename rather than title name.
Personally I prefer to see my media files in a directory structure I have chozen rather than being overruled
by some DLNA conventions.
The remote control is responsive. A dedicated key on the remote can enlarge photoes up to 16x.
The installation is straightforward but requires a basic understanding of network file sharing.
A shortcut can be set up to point to the root of a shared drive. It would be more helpfull if the shortcut
could point to a specific folder.
Power consumption is below 1 W in standby mode.
Sound and picture quality is fine. The manual is useless.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars (Almost) the only box you need under your TV, 24 Sep 2011
By 
This review is from: Asus O!Play HD 1080p HDP-R1 Live Internet Media Streamer (Personal Computers)
Why 'almost'? Well, the O!Play is only a player, so you will need a separate recorder if you want to record shows off the TV. Once you've connected this little beauty to your computer and put all your media into shared folders, however, it will play the lot. avi, mpg, mkv, m2ts, iso... all ready to go. For even better performance, just save your media files onto an external HD and connect it to the HDP-R1 via a USB or serial ATA cable. The latter method (via USB) is the way I get my media into the HDP-R1 nowadays. While I'm on this subject, unless you are especially lazy and do not care about the amount of electricity you use in your home, I would recommend using an external hard drive plugged directly into the HDP-R1 rather than playing media streamed from a media server such as your PC. The main reasons for this are (1) you do not have to have your PC switched on at the same time, so you save on the leccy, and (2) it plays *slightly* better from a connected HD drive than from streamed media, but more on this later.

I have now had a HDP-R1 for over a year and I use this far more than my dedicated Sony blu-ray player. With an HDMI connection the picture quality is really superb: hi def is as good as a blu-ray player, and the loading speed is considerably QUICKER than a blu-ray player.

About 7-8 firmware updates have been released since I bought it. I think 7-8 firmware updates in about two years is pretty good going, and shows that ASUS is standing behind the product even though they have since released updated R2 and R3 models. One recent update now allows you to connect an external optical drive (blu-ray or DVD) and play disks through the device. It upscales standard def beautifully, easily as good as my Sony blu ray player and far better than the native upsacaling in my Panasonic TV.

There are no buffering issues, at least when playing media directly from an external HD. When I first had the HDP-R1 I played media from shared folders on my PC, and then there were occasional buffering issues with very large files. This seemed to be due to my PC's ability to act as a server however: that is, if the PC was busy doing something else that involved a lot of drive access, like a scheduled virus scan, backup, or Windows update, the files would start to buffer. If you save your media files to an external HD however (which most people surely do anyway, given the amount of space they take up), just plug your HD directly into the O!Play and the job's a good 'un. I've played really massive media files (35 gig plus 1080p MKVs with multiple soundtracks, subtitles, etc.) and the playback is as smooth as silk.

Since I bought the HDP-R1 I've also invested in a surround sound system (the Yamaha YSP-2200 sound bar), and I can tell you that Dolby Digital, DTS and SDDS all sound AMAZING through the HDP-R1.

The O!Play has menu options to configure the brightness, contrast etc., without having to reconfigure your TV settings for this device. It will play native 24 fps and allows you to select standard picture size or widescreen 16:9, 16:10, or letterbox ratios. There are dedicated buttons on the remote to select alternative soundtracks and subtitles, and it will support subtitles embedded into a media file, or a separate subtitles file in the same directory as the media file. If you back up a dvd it will play the menus too, whether or not you play them from a ISO image or an 'unpacked' DVD folder.

I've not used this as a music streamer but then, I suspect most people who buy this will be more interested in using it to play video anyway. However, it will play FLAC if you want to connect it to your stereo. Before using this I was streaming movies with an XBox 360. The advantages of the O!Play are numerous: it supports 6-channel sound and many more picture formats, and bigger files. The picture (photo) browsing features are reasonable, but I've found that the device might hang, requiring a cold reset (disconnect the power) if I attempt to play a 'broken' jpg file. Also, there is still no support for dng or RAW picture formats. The web content features (Picasa, internet TV and radio, weather, etc.) are pretty crummy and not worth mentioning.

I had the O!Play connected to an XP PC by a wire back when I was using the PC as a server. At one time people reported problems with Windows 7 (not that I ever had any problems) but this was remedied with a firmware update in December last year (2010). There is no wireless support out of the box, so if you have a wireless router it will still need to connect to the O!Play via a wire.

Some people have criticised the remote for looking tacky or toy-like. However, it's solid (I've tried wringing it like a towel and it doesn't make ominous crackling noises unless you really go for it), the batteries last for ages and the buttons are easy to find in the dark. It's got a nicely curved back that fits comfortably into the palm of your hand. What more do you need?

All in all, I can't praise this device highly enough as a video player, and I promise you that Mr Asus is not my dad! I find it hard to believe that it has not received higher reviews in the hi-fi press given it's versatile format playing capabilities, excellent picture and sound qualities, and most of all, low price. Forums generally compare it favourably to similar boxes such as the Boxee Box and Popcorn Hour, which cost a lot more and don't play as many file formats, so I can't fathom why it's not a five-star class leader. Well, I give it five stars and, to me at least, that's the only review that counts!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars subtitle, 16 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus O!Play HD 1080p HDP-R1 Live Internet Media Streamer (Personal Computers)
hello hello anyone got deaf aware
this very good
but subtitle is big size about 100px
i am no blind, i am just deaf...
i need resize that font might 46px fine
also problem total white subtitle
oh my god no one aware deaf people out there include me
that white subtitle while film might ice age or snow white background or white coat...
ha ha they think funny that cannot read white subtitle and white background
why no one deaf aware... WAKE UP

to all hearing people who dont need subtitle, then this one great...
to all deaf people who need subtitle, dont buy this while they fix resize font.

NEWSFLASH :- date 23/10/2011
To all deaf and hard of hearing people, i got this Asus HQ email to me and goto Asus site and get download update version 1.40p and put into it.
now there wonderful choose color font and font size that most time...
now this one Asus O!Play HDP-R1 is best one...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars oplay for my movies, 11 Mar 2011
By 
Mr. Michael J. Wilcox (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus O!Play HD 1080p HDP-R1 Live Internet Media Streamer (Personal Computers)
I bought this for playing my movies and music from my NAS and as a taster of how well media is being broadcast over the Internet.

The Oplay has a nice clean colourful menu and responds quickly but for playing my music and movies from my NAS although it works well I have to click and navigate down a long way through the hiarachy just to get to the NAS then the logic and menu is pretty basic and has no real features so not impressed with that, It is just such an effort to get to play music or a movie which means it's not something you quickly flick to in a bored moment, but when I do streaming quality for video and audio works well.

The Internet radio works well and Internet TV is fun to discover but I am disappointed there is no support for BBC iplayer or You-tube at least at this time, so if that doesn't change I may well upgrade to something more adventurous in a media player in the future.

Overall its a very good piece of hardware poorly implemented beyond the main menu, and an average experience overall.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Box, 27 Jan 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus O!Play HD 1080p HDP-R1 Live Internet Media Streamer (Personal Computers)
This is a versatile little media player with support for most popular codecs. I had originally bought a (Western Digital) WD HD 1080p Live but had issues with the network connection dropping randomly so I returned it. I've had no such issues with this product. The network connection, even when streaming from wirelessly connected PCs, is very solid.

I should say that I don't have an HD TV but I have found the video quality satisfactory. The sound quality is a little thin but fine as long as you're not running it through a home cinema setup. The menu and navigation systems look a little dated but are adequate - you have to browse your network or attached storage (i.e. there is no library feature).

I have found the odd video file or subtitle file that didn't play but that will play on my PC however, generally, the support for formats is excellent. Firmware updates have, so far, been regular and Asus actually respond on their own forums (unlike WD!). This box also supports menus for .iso images and VIDEO_TS folders (again unlike the WD). I have found rewinding and fast-forwarding in video files to be a bit glitchy and it would be good to be able to jump to a particular point in files, hopefully further updates will enable this.

Considering the price point this product represents great value. It does everything that I wanted it for and has no major failings, just a few niggles which prevent it getting 5 stars.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy O Play, 19 Feb 2010
By 
J. Insley (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus O!Play HD 1080p HDP-R1 Live Internet Media Streamer (Personal Computers)
Just received this O Play 4 weeks ago
Firstly - Amazon excellent service as usual - free 4 day delivery
Secondly the O Play - I was torn between the O Play and the Western Digital and eventually plummeted for the O Play. The set up was very easy - straight out of the box - Power up and hdmi cable to the Television. (I also tried the composite cable and that also worked fine). I have tried the O Play on a LCD and also CRT and both work fine.
Attached a 25gb hard-drive (non powered) and works fine with a wide range of video and audio files. Photos are also very good. There is a slight drag on the remote control commands and one down factor - If the remote breaks the unit is useless until you get a replacement.
Quality of the unit is average and playback good.
Excellent piece of kit if you want to play a wide range of files - Yes recommended.
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