A.C.Ryan ACR-PV73100 Playon!HD Media Player - A.C.Ryan Playon!HD

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Our first reaction to the Playon!HD was one of surprise - though not in a good way. At 227 x 165 x 60mm and weighing a considerable 1.5kg, this is the largest media player we've come across, a far cry from A.C.Ryan's relatively svelte previous Playon! DVR boxes. It's also a shame that the brushed metal finish of its predecessors has made way for matt plastic.

Despite the Playon!HD's bulkiness, it's by far the cleanest-looking model we've seen from A.C.Ryan, as the usual buttons and indicators are all absent here. There's only a single blue-backlit power button (red when in standby), with "Playon!HD" illuminated in blue below it. The disadvantage to this minimalist design is that the box can no longer be operated without the remote, which will lead to much frustration if you're the type who mislays remotes on a regular basis.

Most of the Playon!HD's generous connectivity resides at its rear. This includes composite, component and HDMI ports for video; stereo analogue outputs and optical plus co-axial digital audio outputs; an Ethernet port, and the power input.

On the right side are two Type-A downstream USB ports for connecting storage drives and/or the optional wireless dongle. However, as these ports are mounted close together, if you use the wireless dongle you'll have trouble inserting any but the slimmest USB memory sticks, though this is easily remedied by using a USB extension cable. A Type-B upstream USB port for hooking up your PC and managing content stored on the Playon!HD is also located on the right side, along with a card reader compatible with SD/HC, MMC, and MS/Pro formats.

On the Playon!HD's base is an access panel covering the bay for a 3.5in SATA hard drive. After undoing two screws it's easily removed, and the panel itself is the mounting mechanism for the hard drive, which requires a further four screws to attach. You can get the Playon!HD either as a bare-bones unit as priced in this review or with a SATA HDD drive of up to 1TB pre-installed from the Playon!HD mini site for a total of 267.50 Euros. (the Playon!HD supports HDDs to a maximum capacity of 1.5TB). If you want internal storage, we'd of course recommend buying a hard drive separately to save money.

Opening the device up also lets you see how much space is wasted inside, where you could easily fit two 3.5in drives with room to spare. We can only surmise that A.C.Ryan has made the unit so large for better cooling, even though there's a rather noisy fan at the back.

HDRE

October 31, 2009, 3:56 pm

@Ardjuna


Minimalist design is a good thing. If you need or want to walk over to the Media Player to operate it, you would defeat the purpose of these devises... allowing the couch potato to be a sloth on his/her sofa of choice with a bag of crisps or pizza and a beer or two.





Clearly the remote sucks, but since when have manufactures given to much thought in that department. I have the WDTV Media Player and I hate it's (not very responsive and minute) remote control. The only remote control I've come across which for me is a perfect marriage of form and function is Sky's.





Now for the rant! I would happily choose a well equipped Media Player like this, but when will manufactures get the message "it's a about software stupid". Most Media Players will now play most file formats, but for the masses the interface is KEY factor for purchasing along with wifi.





I use my WDTV almost every day and with that amount of usage, you need to make a Media Player's operation a user friendly experience and not like finding yourself in Windows 3.1!

DrDark

November 2, 2009, 3:32 pm

@HDRE: Awww, don't pick on poor Win3.1 - after all, it gave us http://ski.ihoc.net/

James Fairhurst

November 16, 2009, 5:50 pm

Bought one of these the other day and I'm very happy and impressed with it (I originally bought a Asus o!play but it wouldn't work with my TV). Handles every format I've thrown at it and the NAS functionality is definitely a huge bonus. Design wise I personally think it's pretty slick, the menus are a bit basic but it gets the job done.

Flanker-B

July 24, 2010, 10:03 pm

jamesf, did you try mkv on this player?

Aaron Le

May 17, 2013, 9:02 am

How about torrent ? Can we use it like a NAS ?

James Ledoux

August 13, 2013, 1:41 am

i'm looking at the intructions it gave it to me but no book instructions

From Experience‎

March 30, 2014, 11:10 am

Actually I've use a lot of media player b4, But never try Asus, Ac Ryan or WD.
I have to buy a new media player now and I probably go with Asus but someone say it sucks i.e it turn off for no reason whatsoever.

OK, My experience with media players are those made in china type, it can play rmvb, mkv and any format u throw at them and even include bay for internal hard disk though it had its flaws but mostly
Tolerable BUT what I can't tolerate is the remote control quality. It work fine for the first few months and the it nose dive and after a year I can't use it anymore. So for those interest in buying media player please go for Branded or tested products. Although The media player may be Good But Once the remote gone u have BIG problem, No Audio change, No Subtitle Language change, No Fast forward/ Rewind, etc

sherry

March 30, 2014, 11:10 am

I juz bought ACR-PV76120. I hv problem to do the tv setup. Cant detect the channel scan. Anyone can help?

comments powered by Disqus