Legit Mods and Ends Reviews
Diamond MP1000 Media Wonder Full 1080P HD Player Review
|Product:||MP1000 Media Wonder|
|Date:||Thu, Aug 12, 2010 - 12:00 AM|
|Written By:||Legit Staff|
Setting Up and Playing HD Content with the Diamond Media Wonder
I recently got a hand-me-down surround sound system and was looking forward to hearing my movies in full 5.1 surround. Since I'm using a fairly old receiver and a newer television, I use HDMI (to the TV) for video and TOSLINK optical (to the receiver) for audio. Since the Diamond Media Wonder HD supports both HDMI and optical audio, I was set. It takes a moment for the unit to power up, but it negotiated a 1080p HDMI connection with the TV, and was able set the player up very quickly. The similarities to other Realtek 1037 chipset media players is immediately apparent in the familiar user interface.
The Diamond Media Wonder HD can access media in three primary ways: USB, Network (connect to Windows Shares), and uPnP. The network is always a variable when playing demanding content like full 1080p video with 5.1 or even 7.1 sound, so playing with the USB eliminates the chance that someone else's network access might screw up your movie. However, the fastest and easiest way to get up and running is to use the network.
My first experiments were with the uPnP media servers that I had already running on my NAS and PS3 Media Server on my Linux box. You should be aware that the media server software can limit the features that you have access to while using the media player. Some servers only support 2x fast forward or don't allow random access (jumping to a specific point in a video). So, although it might appear to work, your best experience accessing video over the net will be using Windows Shares.
Once my content was accessible as a Windows Share (using Samba on linux, in my case), I could create a shortcut on the media player which would enter my password for me and jump me straight to my videos. I also tried out a Windows 7 share from my wife's laptop and had no problem accessing it. I couldn't figure out how to set up a share in Windows 7 such that it didn't need a password, but I logged in with my wife's username and password and saved it to my shortcuts.
I had virtually no problems streaming 720p content and most 1080p content would stream as well. The player seamlessly passed through the digital sound associated with the media. Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS, and even TrueHD are passed thru to my receiver. A notable exception is Bluray ISO images which will not stream over the net without skipping. However, as I said above, you can never count on your network since another family member or even background downloads can throw a hiccup into your playback. The BluRay ISO that I tested played fine from a USB drive. Most of the time I play my content over the network, but, if I want the quickest response and smoothest playback, I copy it to the 500 GB drive that I have plugged into the Media Wonder.
The USB 2.0 ports work with keychain drives or any other external drive. Linux users will be happy to hear that the Diamond Media Wonder HD supports the ext3 filesystem in addition to the standard FAT, FAT32, and NTFS. When the media player is turned off, the USB device is not powered. The player also supports a "NAS Mode" which shares any attached USB devices so that you can manage and transfer files from other computers on your local network. Don't be surprised if file transfer speeds are a bit low, the media player is not optimized to be a NAS.
I also enjoy watching Anime and other foreign films, and the Diamond Media Wonder gracefully handles multiple sound and subtitle tracks. Not only can you select which subtitle track to play, but you can also tweak the font size and positioning of the subtitles. This functionality is absolutely necessary for an Anime fan.
Next Page - Final Thoughts on the Diamond Media Wonder HD