Legit Mods and Ends Reviews
QNAP NMP-1000 Network Media Player Review
|Manufacturer:||QNAP Systems, Inc.|
|Date:||Mon, Apr 19, 2010 - 12:00 AM|
|Written By:||Ken Brown -|
A Closer Look at the NMP-1000
QNAP packs their Network Multimedia Player with a ton of goodies to get you up and running no matter what kind of environment you have. Besides the NMP-1000 player, you get an HDMI cable, Ethernet cable, USB cable, Power cable, AC adapter, screw package, Remote Control, 2 “AA” batteries, and a 216-page “Quick Installation Guide”. To be fair, the guide is written in 18 different languages and the English section is 12 pages long.
The front of the NMP-1000 looks pretty non descript with the power off. The thing that sticks out is the large multifunction button on the right of the unit. Upon further inspection, however, we see just how sophisticated this unit really is.
Under the QNAP logo, there is an almost invisible IR receiver and power button. On the far right-side there is a 4-direction “D” pad button with Option button below it. With the power off, the middle of the face looks to be blank, but it actually is a 9 character display. Finally, there is a smooth decorative blue LED that glows when the NMP-1000’s power is on.
On the side of the unit is a trap door where you can install a 3.5” SATA HDD. QNAP says you can use a drive that is up to 2TB in size. Installation of a hard drive should take no more than a few minutes be secured to the slide out tray and locked into the NMP-1000.
Looking at the back of the unit, we see that QNAP has squeezed a lot into a relatively small space. There is a DC IN socket for power and USB and e-SATA ports for direct connection to your PC. There is also a 40-mm fan, HDMI port, and output connections for Composite, S-Video, and Component Video (Y, Pb, Pr). The NMP-1000 also has a number of ways you can connect the audio from the unit. By using either the Analog Stereo out, the S/PDIF Coaxial, or S/PDIF Optical connections, you should have plenty of options depending on your home theater. Of course, our favorite way to connect our audio and video is via the HDMI which carries both digital video and digital sound in one simple cable.
Lastly, the NMP-1000 contains USB ports for you to hook up external hard drives or thumb drives containing multimedia content. There is also a Gigabit LAN connection which is a plus for those wanting to stream HD media over a local network. In our experience a 10/100 connection allows for adequate streaming of 720p and some 1080i videos; it really doesn’t have the bandwidth to consistently stream 1080p or Blu-ray ISO content. With the NMP-1000 having a gigabit connection, we are anxious to see how this unit performs with some of our more difficult files.
The full sized, 39-button remote control that ships with the QNAP NMP-1000 is very complete and not only has your basic audio/video functions (FF, RW, Pause, etc), but it has shortcut buttons for instant access to your specific files (Audio Home, Video Home, etc). With some other media players we have seen it sometimes takes a bunch of different button mashes to navigate you to the a particular screen in the menu tree, but the NMP-1000 remote seems to give the user a bit more flexibility in how you navigate around the player.
When you first see the QNAP NMP-1000 sitting near your television or in your home theater, you are instantly impressed by the sleek look and style of the player. Even though it’s a bit bulky and larger (8”H x 7”W x 2.5” D) than other units we have tested, it’s still a good size and should fit nicely with your other audio video components.
Powered by a Sigma Designs SMP8635 System-on-Chip decoder, we really expect great things since this is the same chipset that is used in the original Western Digital TV and Popcorn Hour (A-110). We consider these two units the ‘Godfathers’ of the genre. We wonder how well 8635 will hold up to today’s discriminating users.
The Sigma Designs’ Secure Media Processors is designed to offer a complete, high performance System on Chip (SoC) solution for a bunch of different home electronics products. With 256MB of DDR RAM and 64MB of flash RAM, the 863x chipset features high-quality audio and video decoding, powerful audio/video processing, and commonly-used peripheral interfaces like HDMI, USB, and Component Video. In addition, the SMP8635 features Sigma’s Secure Media Processor architecture which offers advanced content protection and supports a wide variety of Digital Rights Management (DRM). Besides the Western Digital and Popcorn Hour, there are almost 20 media players and devices on the market today that feature this chipset.
Let’s see how well this chipset holds up as we test it with content from our multimedia library.
Next Page - NMP-1000 High Definition Performance
Page 1 - Introducing the QNAP NMP-1000 Network Media Player
Page 2 - A Closer Look at the NMP-1000
Page 3 - NMP-1000 High Definition Performance
Page 4 - NMP-1000 - NAS Features
Page 5 - Final Thoughts and Conclusions