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Eminent EM7075-DTS hdMedia Stream Media Player - Eminent EM7075-DTS hdMedia Stream

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers
Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score

8/10

Review Price £119.99

The remote control is again very similar to WD’s model in shape and size, and it is comfortable to hold. It takes two AA batteries so rechargeable ones can be used, but the battery hatch is quite difficult to remove. Unlike the buttons on the remotes of most competitors, the ones here are all the same size. This leaves the layout as the only way to distinguish between them, in turn making the remote more difficult to use in the dark. At least that layout is logical though, and the rubber buttons offer decent feedback. You’ll need to make sure to keep the remote to hand as it’s the only way to control the media player’s functions.

So what’s it actually like in use? It takes a lengthy 25 seconds to boot from off, but from standby it only takes five seconds. The interface is attractive and simple, easily matching any other player we have seen. Though files can be viewed in a list or in icons, the one disadvantage the hdMedia Stream seems to have here compared to its closest competitor is that unlike the WDTV Live it doesn’t appear to offer video previews. On the other hand this means switching between menus and files is nearly always instantaneous, except that when you plug USB storage in, it can take a few seconds to read it. The Eminent hdMedia Stream handles FAT, FAT32, and NTFS file systems.

Sorting systems are extensive. In ‘Music’, for example, you can view your collection by artist, genre, album, date, folders, recently-played or even playlist. You also get all the settings you might wish for, including 1080p 24 playback, colour depth, etc.

It’s not surprising to see that file support is practically identical to the WDTV, since the same Advanced Sigma Designs 8655 processor beats at the heart of both media players. Thankfully that means there is a pretty extensive list. Image support includes GIF, BMP, JPEG, TIF/TIFF and PNG. In terms of audio the Eminent can handle WMA Pro, AAC, AC3/Dolby, MP1-3, WAV, (L)PCM and FLAC, and as the “DTS Edition” part of the player’s title suggests both DTS through and downmixing of Dolby/DTS to stereo.

For video we have Xvid HD, MPEG 1-4.2, WMV9, H.264, VC-1, MKV, AVI, VOB, ISO, IFO, DVR-MS, ASF and MOV on hand. The only absentee on this list, which it shares with the WDTV Live, is RMVB, which is supported by both Asus’ O!Play HDP-R1 and A.C.Ryan’sACR-PV73100 Playon!HD. However, while you can’t hook up an external DVD player, like with the Playon! HD, Eminent does allow you to play back Blu-ray ISOs from USB or networked storage. Finally subtitle support includes SRT, SUB, SMI, SSA, ASS, and Vobsub.

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Wildkard

February 15, 2010, 2:55 pm

Any chance of doing a mediaplayer round up? There's a whole load of them available at the moment (Asus O!Play, ACRyan Playon/Mini, Popcorn hour, Sumvision Cyclone, that Medion thing etc etc).

Andy Vandervell

February 15, 2010, 3:44 pm

I don't know about a round-up, but we'll have a review of the Play-on Mini shortly.

Kerwood

February 15, 2010, 3:45 pm

I am wondering what audio quality this device provides.


Although it is not wireless, is it a good alternative to a SqueezeBox or a Sonos system?

MarioM

February 15, 2010, 4:32 pm

Would be good to see the Xtreamer in there too.

betelgeus

February 15, 2010, 8:12 pm

surely the acer aspirerevo r3600 for £20 pounds more makes this VERY little value for money.

Keithe6e

February 15, 2010, 8:33 pm

@betelgeus: hehe, I was thinking of saying the same thing. I think the Revo is such an underrated piece of kit. You could even play some games like "Call of duty 4" on it. In fact I've been so happy with my little r3600, I'm thinking of upgrading to the R3610 with 4Gig ram & 500 Gig HD for a mere £271.58, and that's with Windows 7 Home Premium. How does Acer do it :).. Please people don't waste your money on these media players, stick XMBC on a Revo and it will playing anything you throw at it, plus you get a full PC to boot.

betelgeus

February 15, 2010, 9:00 pm

then there is the xbox 360 arcade for £99 at argos,just a shame microsoft are a bit slow on asthetics.

Keithe6e

February 15, 2010, 9:40 pm

@betelgeus: I used to use the 360 as a Media Extender, but unfortunately. 1. It requires another PC with MCE/Vista/W7 etc running, 2. It's loud, Ok for games not so good for playing a movie. 3. Because it takes another PC & the 360 running, not so good on power consumption :), these Atom machines take very little power. And 4. like you pointed out asthetics, the Revo and these Media Players are very small and very quiet, and in fact you don't even see mine as I have it attached to the back of the TV. :)

Premfab

February 16, 2010, 1:14 am

It plays Blu-ray ISO files off a USB. Can it play Blu-ray ISO files from a network location? I really need this.





If this doesn't, what other media device like this can play Blu-ray ISO files from a network location?

Rob 9

February 16, 2010, 1:21 am

I recently got the Sumvision Cyclone V2 Enclosure. This is better than anything I have tried and it made my WD HDTV completely redundant. It has been out for 3 months, are Trusted Reviews not reviewing this for some reason?.

MonkeyMarsh

February 16, 2010, 2:59 am

Can this play blu ray iso files that have not de-crypted first?





I.e. If I rip a blu ray using my PS3 directly to an external drive as an iso file using Linux / dd, could it play that? Or would I have to de-crypt the disk first using something like AnyDVDHD?





Would I be able to access blu ray menus and special features in the same way as when I play a disk natively on a blu ray player?





Thanks

Alex 25

February 17, 2010, 1:24 pm

I have this unit and it beats the cheapy china Sumvision thing on all points. The CPU is much better and faster versus the Realtek boxes. Yes, it play BluRay over the network, and they need to be decrypted as with other players.(Nothing on the market plays un-decrypted BD content!) Only needs ~50Mbits to do so as well. There's some things missing in this review though: The excellent Usenet and BitTorrent clients (NZBget & Transmission) which come in very very handy to fill up any USB disk, AND The audio support: TrueHD and DTS-HD/MA are supported on HDMI1.3, WMA is supported (not on the WD Live..)


All those little extras really add up!

TechVegan

February 18, 2010, 5:12 pm

@MarioM:


We tried contacting the manufacturer about getting one in but they were unresponsive.





@betelgeus & Keith:


Yes nettops like the Revo are an excellent alternative to media players, but they're also slightly more expensive, often noisier (as not passively cooled), still larger, don't offer a remote (at that price point) or any non-digital HD video outputs for those (admittedly few) with older HD TVs. Still, it's an alternative I should have mentioned in my review.





As Keith pointed out, Xbox 360 is not really a viable alternative though.





@Prem:


Well, Alex has pretty much answered all the questions here...


As he says, yes, it can play Blu-ray ISO files from any shared storage and


@MonkeyMarsh: nothing except a Blu-ray player can play back encrypted Blu-ray ISOs.


As to your second question, while the Eminent offers basic BD navigation it won't offer the special menus you'd get with a player.





@Alex:


"There's some things missing in this review though"


From the review:


"with bittorrent and nzb download support thrown in for good measure" and


"In terms of audio the Eminent can handle WMA".





Where TrueHD and DTS-HD are concerned, as far as I'm aware the player 'supports' these only in that it can isolate their 5.1 'core-stream'. It only offers true support for standard Dolby and DTS.





BTW, Eminent has just informed me a firmware update is planned that will bring YouTube support and a few other great features to the EM7075, and we'll take another look at the unit when this happens.

Rob 9

February 26, 2010, 3:37 am

@Alex


I doubt it beats the Sumvision. Have you tried it or are you just a brand snob. The Sumvision plays everything as well as my high power PC does i.e perfectly. Why pay £50 more for a quite frankly very ugly looking block with an odd looking usb slot in the front that requires an extra non-matching external drive?

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