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

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


In use, the Playon!HD boots up very quickly into a main menu that looks better than the rather ugly interfaces of the previous generation devices. However, it still sports the same slightly dated menu structure underneath, so it's not the smoothest experience.

Though library cataloguing is now present, unfortunately - as with the Emtec Movie Cube S800 - it's only for the internal drive. So the only way to access your media from external storage is still through selecting the desired device, then browsing by the categories we've all come to know and hate: All, Music, Photos or Movies. Some slightly slow responses here make this all the more tiresome, but to be fair it's a failing common to most media players on the market.

Speaking of external storage, as already mentioned the Playon!HD is the only media player in its price class that allows you to plug in an external USB optical drive, after which it will happily read any multimedia content off the disc. This is an incredibly handy feature that will be welcome for many - the only fly in the ointment is that it can't play regular movie DVDs because of their CSS protection. However, a region-free music DVD we tried played just fine, and of course ripped DVDs, backups and those pictures or home movies you have on optical discs will work just as well.

The Playon! HD's network features (including Internet Radio, a Web Server, Picasa, RSS news feeds, BitTorrent and Samba NAS) worked perfectly through wired or wireless connections. The exception was YouTube videos - a newly-added feature in beta firmware, so it's to be expected this niggle will be fixed by the time the firmware becomes an official release. Other features are also in the pipeline, indicating that A.C.Ryan is committed to getting as much out of its box of tricks as it possibly can.

Supported picture formats include JPEG HD, BMP, GIF, TIFF and PNG. Audio formats extend to MP2/3, OGG, WMA, WAV, AAC and FLAC, with support for Dolby Digital or DTS passthrough and stereo down-mixing thrown in for good measure. Video support, meanwhile, includes HD MPEG 2/4, H.264, WMV9/VC-1 and RM/RMVB (up to 720p) codecs in the following content formats: AVI, ASF, DAT, FLV, MKV, M2TS, MP4, MOV, M4V, RM, TS, TP, TRP, VOB/ISO/IFO, WMV, and xVid/DivX with subtitle support for SRT, SMI, SSA, IDX and SUB. Phew!


October 31, 2009, 3:56 pm


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!


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.


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


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