Top positive review
29 people found this helpful
A sweet yet misunderstood piece of kit.
on 16 April 2012
This little product is quite a nifty piece of kit, assuming you are aware of the limitations of other hardware you attach to it.
I bought this item because I was a bit fed up of having to attach my laptop to my TV in order to watch certain movie files that I'd made, converted from VHS or downloaded. I currently have it attached to the TV via HDMI cable, and have a mini 1 Terabyte NTFS hard drive attached. Now, I wasn't sure if that hard-drive would work with this device, since the drive itself is powered directly through the USB port, and has no external power source. But so far as I can tell it works like a charm.
Now, I've read a number of negative reviews of this item, but having used it myself, I'm forced to wonder if the people posting poor reviews have considered other factors:
I have experienced the unit skipping to the next video file after being paused. However, this is something I could quite easily put down to external hard drive mechanics. External drives are notorious for powering down when they have not been accessed for a short time. For some of the larger drives this can be 3-5 minutes. I have experienced exactly the same thing on a laptop and desktop PC when playing video files from an external hard drive. Even PC based video playback software can jump to the next file after being paused long enough for an external drive to power down.
I've not tried the same thing playing back a video from a USB stick or SD card yet. If other reviewers had posted precisely what they were doing when they encountered their issues, then troubleshooting incidents like this might not be so difficult.
Some reviewers have also posted about issues regarding FastForward and Rewind of certain video files. One reviewer said "A big problem is the fast forward/rewind only working properly on some videos. On others it freezes picture while still fast forwarding (so don't know where you are), and on some it freezes the player completely which then has to have power unplugged and plugged back in." Again, as an experienced computer user I can't definitively lay the blame at the doorstep of this unit. There are poor quality video files out there with bad bits of data in them, and while some PC based video playback software can "skip" these errors, others can't. People must remember that we are dealing here with a single purpose device, not a versatile computer.
Personally I'm thankful that this unit works with so many Codecs. I imagine that, given a half-decent quality external drive, USB stick or SD card, and a good quality data stream in the video file, then it will work like a dream. I just refuse to lay the blame on a hammer when it's the nail at fault. 4-Stars.