Thursday, December 31, 2009

Media player: EN391TV

This is an interesting media player. My son got it for just AUD$49 from PC Case Gear (the hard disk is purchased separately). It serves as a HDD docking station, connected via USB2.0 cable to a computer. You can connect it to a TV and play all your media files. It even comes with a remote control. I tested it out today by comparing it to my existing MVIX media player, which I bought for ~AUD$300 more than a year ago.

For $49, I wasn't having very high expectations of the EN391TV. After trying it, I must say I would be happy to recommend it to anyone without a media player at home. It is very easy to use, it can play most of the formats I have (primarily ISO, JPEG, MP3, AVI, MPG, WMV, etc, etc), and the video quality is as good as played from my MVIX player, although JPEG looks over-saturated and could do with some tweaking on the TV display. It doesn't have a cooling fan, so it is completely silent.

It's so simple to use that I didn't even have to refer to the manual. To transfer files, just connect to the computer using USB cable. The computer immediately recognizes it as a hard disk. To connect to the TV, just use the RCA cables provided. Switch it on, and it shows you all the files you have. Click on any to play. If it is a music file, it will pay music. If it is JPEG, it will go into a slideshow, and so on. PLAY, PAUSE, STOP, FF, etc, are all there on the remote, but you can also operate it without the remote using the buttons on the docking station itself. Left on the computer, it can be used as a swappable hard disk. Or take it with you on a trip and you don't have to carry all your individual CD's or DVD's. It even has a built-in SD card reader to play your photos. I will not ditch my MVIX player for this one because the MXIV is conveniently networked to all my computers, but I will be perfectly happy to use the EN391TV media player.

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