I'm looking to buy my first media player hard drive and I'm finding it hard to see which is the best one. The reviews on-line seem to be fairly mixed. I want to use it to transfer my movies from my pc to the HD and watch them on the telly. If anyone could recommended one that is easy to use and does the job that would be great thanks.


the WD one is apparently awesome for the price.

doesnt have a hdd in it but you can plug in 2(?) usb drives and it'll play pretty much everything and full HD

spillcoe Registered User

Anyone have any opinions on this?



spillcoe said:
Anyone have any opinions on this?

no support for .MVK videos and AC3 Sound and thats just with a quick glance at the specs

I would wait for this its around the same price as the WD TV HD, but this adds esata, network and DTS support

from a Dutch site Hardware.Info

With more and more people wanting to enjoy their digital music and video collections someplace other than at the computer, the interest in so called media players continues to grow. Not a week goes by without the introduction of a new brand or model. Although by now there are dozens of players, consumers have less choice than they might imagine: the number of manufacturers of the required media chips is limited, and truly well performing variants are even more rare.

So the market has quite a few products with varying looks and external connectors, but basically identical innards. At Computex ASUS will introduct a media player of their own, which should be worthwhile for at least one reason: it is based on a new (very probably made by Realtek) chip, which significantly more powerful than preceding models. If you have been keeping up with this field, you will know what we mean when we say it can easily compete and even outperform the famous, oft used Sigma 8634/8635.

ASUS' new media player, the HDP-R1 O!Play

Hardware.Info had the opportunity to be the first to take a closer look at the O!Play, as ASUS is calling the player (code HDP-R1) for now. We will of course bring you a full review later, but our first impressions are very positive. The player is a lot faster and more responsive than models we have tested so far. Not only is the file format compatibility very good even in this initial firmware version, the O!Play appears to have significantly better video postprocessing than any other media player we tested until now.

Another feature that is liable to draw approval is the eSATA connector, which should markedly improve transfers from an external disk.

A rarity on media players: eSATA. ASUS installed a combined USB/eSATA port.

The other connectors offer only the bare necessities: stereo audio, composite video, optic digital audio, HDMI. The network interface enables streaming playback from a NAS, PC or Home Server.

Only the most basic connectors are available.

Codec and container support:


Mpeg 1, 2, 4, DivX (tot 1920x1080p)
H.264, VC-1, RM/RMVB


Mp3, WAV, PCM/LPCM, AAC, Dolby Digital, FLAC, DTS (!), AIFF, OGG






According to ASUS, the O!Play should be in stores in about six weeks, with a recommended retail price around 119 euro, which would make it extremely competitive.

Hardware.Info will soon feature a full review of this player.


I went and bought one of these last week, it looks good, its very easy to use and has played 99% of my divx/avi files without a problem, I'm not a huge techical person or anything, if your looking for a simple plug and play device without having to get a seperate hard drive this will do the job

spillcoe said:
Anyone have any opinions on this?


slowlydownwards Registered User

I've got several WD TV HD's for friends. Quite liked it.

- compact and stylish
- support for lots of codecs
- supports hd
- fast operation (flicking through menus, fast forward and rewind)
- nice looking yet simple menu (some of these players have horrible menus, ie icy box)
- hdmi connection
- lack of hard drive. Imho, any hard drive has a limited life span (having a rotating plate inside it). When it dies, you just need to replace hard drive. If a hard drive was hard wired to media player then you would need to get the whole lot.
- can hook up two external hard drives to it
- supports NTFS for large file sizes.

- it is what it is, a simple media player, so no wireless streaming or any other bells and whistles.
- remote physically quite small (could be a good thing!)

Just make sure to update firmware at some stage to avail of the updates. Easy download from wd site and one click operation.

Haven't had a chance to check out Asus' new media player O!Play, so can' comment on it, but if you do not need networking function, then WD media player is the one to go for. There are actually some nice youtube reviews of it.

Fiddle Castro Registered User

Does anyone know of anywhere to pick up one of the Western Digital ones in Dublin rather than on-line?


slowlydownwards Registered User

Komplett (www.komplett.ie) has a pick up point in Blanchardstown, if that any help.

EKRIUQ Registered User

kaimera said:
the WD one is apparently awesome for the price.

doesnt have a hdd in it but you can plug in 2(?) usb drives and it'll play pretty much everything and full HD

Hello maybe a silly question but will it transform ordinary DVD's to play HD quality or will they have to be HD quality before put on the media player?

Voodu Child (Slight Return)

EKRIUQ said:
Hello maybe a silly question but will it transform ordinary DVD's to play HD quality or will they have to be HD quality before put on the media player?

It is impossible to transform DVD quality into 'HD quality' or Blu-Ray quality or whatever you want to call it. People who bandy around terms like upscaling as though it magically introduces extra detail generally don't know what they're talking about.

It'll take your DVD (im assuming you've just ripped the raw DVD?) and scale it up to the output resolution. And it has a good upscaler, probably better than the one on your TV, so the image quality will be as good as you can hope for. But it won't be at the same level as a Blu-Ray or other genuine HD source.

1 person has thanked this post
Caribs Registered User

Anyone familiar with the LACIE Lacinema classic - hadn't come across the brand before and most definitely not technical but seems a good price for 1TB of storage in addition to being compatible with quite a few formats.

akaSol Registered User

Ever look at a popcornhour?
Best €300ish euro on a gadget i have ever spent
(inc a new HDD)

cobby2510 Banned

akaSol said:
Ever look at a popcornhour?
Best €300ish euro on a gadget i have ever spent

it's great. But i think it is too expensive. i know many stores offer the HDD media player with the cheaper price.

ondarack Registered User

hi lads, was thinking of getting 1 of these http://go.iomega.com/en/products/multimedia-drive/screenplay/screenplay-plus/?partner=4725 but reviews look bad as it doesn't seem to play many types of video. anything else in the market that would do similar job at similar price but would support more video types?? or would i be better of get seperate units like a WD HD and WD media player??

Wompa1 Registered User

I'm looking for a Media Player/Drive which I can plug into my TV with HDMI and it would be great if I also had the option to stream from a machine too.
Any suggestions on what's the best to use?

I've seen people using the likes of XBMC and would love to get myself a similar setup. Thanks

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