Legit Mods and Ends Reviews
ASUS O!Play HD2 HD Media Player Preview
|Product:||O!Play HD2 (90-YTM63110-UAL0MZ)|
|Date:||Mon, Dec 06, 2010 - 12:00 AM|
|Written By:||Ken Brown -|
Inside the O!Play HD2 Box
The front of the ASUS HD2 has three different media card readers for CF, SD/MMC, and MS/MS-Duo media. There is also an eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port, a second front USB 2.0 port and a large LED indicator. ASUS has equipped the HD2 with a huge variety of card slots providing excellent compatibility for the photographers or media card-based videographers to easily share and upload their data. Shown above, the HD2 still has it's protective skin on.
On the back of the O!Play HD2 you will find DC Power, Component output, SPDIF audio, COAXIAL audio, an HDMI port, LAN port, a third USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0 PC link, and composite video and audio out. Again, ASUS provides their users with more than enough outputs and connections to satisfy most any home theater connection whether you are ready for an all HDMI hook up or have a television or receiver that only has component connections.
The remote that comes with the ASUS O!Play HD2 is a “full-sized” 33-button remote control that has quick shortcut keys to the most common functions and a large 5-way “D-pad”. It sits in your hands quite well and has the look and feel of a real remote control. There are no controls on the actual body of the HD2 player so make sure you keep a track of where the remote is at time. Later, we will talk about how you can have limited control of the O!Play without the remote. ASUS even includes two “AAA” batteries so to get you up and running only minutes after opening the box.
Of course, what sets the ASUS O!Play HD2 apart from others is the ability for the user to install their own 3.5” hard disk drive. ASUS includes a power and signal cable, and bracket (with screws) to make installing an HDD quite easy. ASUS includes a list of compatible hard drives that are designed to work with the O!Play HD2. The largest drive that we could install was a 1TB so that’s what we went for.
After installing the hard drive and connecting the O!Play to our receiver via HDMI, and our network via the Ethernet port, we were ready to go. At boot up, the HD2 noticed that we had installed an HDD drive and asked us if we wanted to format it right then. After formatting was complete, we were returned to the main screen.
With the hard drive in place we are able to copy media directly to the local storage or even make the O!Play HD2’s files accessible on your network. Yes, the HD2 can become a NAS with ease. The HD2 server functionality can be configured to work with iTunes, SAMBA, FTP or BitTorrent peer-to-peer sharing.
Even though the GUI is updated compared to O!Play Air, you can still tell this player was build around a Realtek chipset. While the GUI isn’t overly slick it is more than functional. ASUS gives the O!Play HD2 users a choice 7 basic menu features: Movies, Music; Photo; File Manager; On-Line Media, NAS, and Setup. The first three menus obviously help you play your multimedia files, while On-Line Media allows you to listen to Internet radio check on local weather, stock prices, and view your on-line photos
Setting up the ASUS HD2 to display our favorite media was a breeze. As mentioned, we connected the O!Play HD2 to our Receiver via an HDMI cable and connected to our local network via an Ethernet cable. Unlike the ASUS AirPlay or Apple TV, the ASUS O!Play HD2 doesn’t have built in wireless but this chipset does support a multitude of wireless dongles so for around $20, you can add wireless functionality.
After plugging in the network cable the HD2 configured the network settings quickly – in fact, there really was very little we had to do from taking the hardware out of the box and getting on the network to stream our first video.
Next Page - Using the ASUS O!Play HD2
Page 1 - O!Play HD2 Media Player with NAS Support
Page 2 - Inside the O!Play HD2 Box
Page 3 - Using the ASUS O!Play HD2
Page 4 - Final Thoughts on the ASUS O!Play HD2