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« My review of the Sanyo VPC-CS1 pocket 1080p Camcorder | Main | Possibly my most useless video yet (unless you own a Mini).... »
Sunday
Jan302011

The £34 HD Media Player

Sometimes you can get a bargain from HK and this is an example. Amazingly this tiny cheap unbranded black box is capable of playing full HD 1080p videos. Even more surprising is the fact that it will down-mix DTS soundtracks into stereo so they can be played back in stereo via an HDMI lead on a normal TV and this is something that my old Popcornhour NMT A-100 media player couldn't do. 

I currently use Boxee on my Mac Mini or my Revo 3610 for viewing MKVs  - so I only bought this box to test it out. I already have someone who is waiting to take this device off my hands. It's exactly what he needs - he doesn't care about network streaming and doesn't have an AV system and therefore is unable to decode DTS soundtracks. Until recently he was viewing MKV videos on his PS3 - splitting them into two halves so they would fit within the 4gb limit of the FAT file format the PS3 supports and also re-muxing the sound from DTS into AC3. Its definitely worth £34 for him to avoid all that hassle. 

I ordered my media box before Christmas and turned up in January.  If you want to order one of these yourself - it came from DEALEXTREME.COM and the SKU (product number) is 50567 (type this into their search box to find it yourself.

 

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Reader Comments (15)

Thank you very much for your detailed review. As always, excellent quality and very well edited video. Really thinking of getting one of these now.

I looked at a different unit, the Sumvision Cyclone Micro 2 Media Player, which is £37 on Amazon and has similar specs. However, there are many reviews that point out the remote is really bad (signal not received unless completely at straight angle from receiver, remote keys hard to press, etc.).

Can I ask you, did you find the remote to be problematic in there respects? I've seen you have to press several keys for pause, etc.. but was the receiver picking up your presses ok? Or is there any other positives/negatives to the remote you would point out?

Thank you.

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJose

@Jose
I didn't have any remote issues with mine, but I was testing it pretty close to my seating position too. Its packed away at the moment and I'm giving it to a friend. He is generally pretty critical of things so I'll ask him for his impression when he gets chance to try it out at the end of the week. As far as the remote goes, the lack of a real pause button was the most annoying thing for me, especially because they included a Home button on it, which never gets used.

February 8, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Please post your friend's impression after he's tried it, that would be much appreciated. It sounds to me like this is a better remote (apart from the lack of a Pause button) than the Cyclone Micro 2. Thank you!

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJose

@Jose my friend managed to try the player out last night. His comment was that it is "perhaps the greatest thing ever invented". Of course you have to take into account that he doesn't have a DTS decoder and therefore previously had to re-encode all DTS MKV films he downloaded. I have previously gave him my old Popcornhour NMT A100 and he prefers the new cheaper device for a few reasons.

DTS downmixing
Size
Just works (less temperamental than the Popcorm)
Jump to a time function
Ability to resume from where he left off

He also said the remote works fine for him from his seating position and he hasn't experienced any problems at all.

Hope this helps.

February 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thank you for coming back on that! That's great news. It really is packed with great features at a very low price. I'm going to order one now :-D

February 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJose

FYI, the item changed:
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mini-1080p-h-264-rm-rmvb-full-hd-media-player-with-hdmi-sdhc-usb-host-av-optical-50567

now the remote seems more complete

July 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarlito

I read the post and the comments, and got a bit confused. So does the Media Player for £34, suports DTS? if not what would happen if i play .mkv file with DTS sound?

July 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlts

I was so close to buying this

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Designer-Habitat-Nano-3-0-Flashdrives/dp/B005ERNITE/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_C?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2FJQ9YUK50PL1&colid=2MC6LIY6T7XCA

but your review has really turned my head.

A major feature for me is the optical output since my AV amp can not cope with hdmi (and I have no plans to upgrade it).

Is DTS passed out of the optical port or is this still a downmix?

Also, DealExtreme are now showing this device as the Measy player in the picture. I know someone suggested it was a clone but could it be true that they are now selling the Measly machine? I am slightly concerned as I am not sure UK trade descriptions are in force in China.

Any thoughts?

JD

November 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJD

@JD Unfortunately I don't have this player any more, and can't remember how the DTS worked out of the Optical port. I'm sure that there are newer and better devices available now. Have you looked at the Sumvision Cyclone Micro 2 player?

November 1, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Techmoan

Thanks for your quick response.

I have looked at the Cyclone Micro 2 player but as with many of these small players there is no SPDIF out. Hence I am stuck with analogue stereo out or buying expensive HDMI to SPDIF extraction boxes which kinda negates the point of buying a cheap media box in the first place :)

If I were to go for a Cyclone Micro 2 type of player the Designer Habitat Nano 3 looks like a good bet. It is £10 (30%) cheaper and definitely picks up SRT subtitles (I can only assume the Cyclone Micro 2 player does as it is not described), plus it has great reviews.

The whole SPDIF thing is a pain, but with technology moving so fast in this area I am really at pain to pay more than about £30 for a player.

If only we all had friends as good as you, passing on their hi-tech hand-me-downs :)

Thanks

JD

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJD

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