Legit Mods and Ends Reviews
Masscool MP-1370S 'Media Mate' Media Player
|Date:||Thu, Mar 04, 2010 - 12:00 AM|
|Written By:||Ken Brown -|
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
Well, I really wanted to like Masscool MP-1370S unit. It was basically the same design of one of our favorite units, the Patriot Box Office, with a larger drive bay. This meant that you could store more data locally for a more economical price. The best possible move that Masscool did was build in the ability to record streams of data. The MP-1370S’s GUI was in color and we rate it as a slight improvement over the Patriot Box Office for this reason alone. Besides the color, the interface was exactly identical, it still wasn’t as streamlined as the Seagate’s FreeAgent Theater+, but really, it does its job.
The major problem comes when you look under the hood at the chipset Masscool decided to use with the unit. Instead of the Realtek 1073 chipset used in the Patriot Box Office or Seagate FreeAgent+, Masscool chose to go with the Realtek 1262 which doesn’t natively support the very popular MKV or M4A video containers. For a unit that is roughly the same cost as the Patriot, Seagate, or even Western Digital, this design is inexcusable.
Before this publication, we contacted Masscool to let them know our concern with the lack of ability to play the popular MKV and M4A format. Many would believe this greatly hinders this device to function as a modern “media player” and makes it look weak compared to other players at this price point. We asked them if they thought they might be introducing MKV functionality in the future and their response:
In order to play back MKV media, you will have to setup the network streaming function of the MP-1370S through Transcode Server software (such feature is not included till the WDTV Live). Simiar to that situation, newer codec for the AVC.H264, protected AAC, if completely revamped and not build upon previous releases could very much be incompatible till newer chipset implemented.
The Matroska file format is a container format. In another word, it’s not about how the video/audio is encoded, but the way they are stored. To be able to playback those files, either through a strong CPU and large buffer memory or specialize decoder chip and cannot be done through firmware upgrade. Therefore it is not supported by the MP-1370S natively.
That’s pretty disappointing and it really doesn’t explain why they chose to release a player in late 2009 with a chipset from mid-2008. Not only does it not play these popular files, it only supports output of to 1080i resolution.
Of course if you really don’t care about playing MKVs in 1080p resolution, and are only concerned with recording and archiving video, then the Masscool MP-1370S is the media player for you. We love the fact that you can navigate your DVD VOB rips. Priced at $100, the unit is certainly affordable, but when compared to the similarly priced Western Digital Live!, or Patriot Box Office, it gets left behind because of its chipset limitations. For us, we are still looking for a fully functional media player that can record.
Legit Bottom Line:
An intriguing media player on paper with the ability to record, the Masscool MP-1370S comes up short when looking for an overall high-definition media player. The competition is just too tough for a media player that can’t play HD MKV files.
Questions or Comments? View this thread in our forums!
Page 1 - Masscool’s MP-1370S Media Mate
Page 2 - A Closer Look Inside the MP-1370S
Page 3 - Setting up the MP-1370S
Page 4 - Playback Performance
Page 5 - Recording Video with the MP-1370S
Page 6 - Final Thoughts and Conclusions