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Asus O!Play HDP-R1 HD Media Player review



Our Score



  • Easy to set up
  • Connects to home network
  • Extensive format support


  • Lack of iTunes support
  • Uninspired design
  • Preview load lag time

Review Price free/subscription

Key Features: Excellent media support; Network connectivity; Remote control

Manufacturer: Asus

Ever since its launch at the beginning of December last year, the Western Digital WDTV has been our favourite way to quickly and easily playback multimedia files on your TV - just plug in a USB storage device and away you go. Then, more recently, we were impressed by the Popcorn Hour A110 that added network streaming capabilities as well as local storage potential by way of an internal hard drive bay. At nearly double the price of the WDTV, you paid a high price for that extra functionality though. So, today we're looking at a product that takes the basic USB playback features of the WDTV and adds in network support but at a very modest cost increase.

First impressions of the Asus O!Play HDP-R1 are somewhat underwhelming. The box itself looks alright from a distance but it's clearly been made to a very tight budget with basic plastic panels used throughout. We're also concerned by the two blue status LEDs on the front. They're very bright even when viewed from an angle and face-on they're positively dazzling. Added to this, the remote looks distinctly cheap and toy-like, with its overly curved profile and rubber buttons. On a more positive note, the unit feels quite sturdy and, once hidden away amongst all your other AV gear, its looks are hardly going to be of great concern.

Asus O!Play HDP-R1 HD front

Unlike devices such as the Popcorn Hour A110 and A.C. Ryan Playon! DVR TV, the HDP-R1 doesn't have internal storage. Instead you playback your media either from a USB stick or over the network connection. As such, setup can be as simple as plugging in a TV connection, the power cable, and a USB stick. There are two USB ports on the left side but one of them doubles as an eSATA port so there are plenty of storage connection options.

Asus O!Play HDP-R1 HD side

If you want to connect to a network, there's an Ethernet port round the back but sadly no built-in Wi-Fi. Also on the back are sockets for stereo analogue audio, composite video, optical digital audio, HDMI, and of course power. The lack of component video output may be of concern to those with older TVs but we can forgive Asus for this as HDMI is just so ubiquitous nowadays.

Asus O!Play HDP-R1 HD back

Setup is as simple as it gets. You just connect your choice of video and audio connection to your TV, plug in the power adapter, and press the power button on your remote and away you go. You'll be greeted by a basic menu system that just manages to stay the right side of the ugly line. It's clear and functional but a rival to Apple TV, it certainly isn't.

Asus O!Play HDP-R1 HD menu 1

From here you can either plug in a USB/eSATA device or connect the HDP-R1 to your home network. By default the network interface uses DHCP to have an IP address automatically assigned but you can set up a manual IP address if you like. Once added to the network, you'll be able to see any standard windows workgroups and any attached devices and their shared folders. These you can then browse for your multimedia files.

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August 8, 2009, 2:49 am

You need to review this... http://www.xtreamer.net


August 9, 2009, 6:35 am

Why is xtreamer spamming every website and comment forum. Its kind of a loser move. Who would trust a product like that?

Aslo this article is misleading in the first page by saying the popcorn hour has internal storage. It doesnt - all of them come with no internal storage. It has the OPTION for you to install internal storage but doesnt require it.

wicker man

August 9, 2009, 5:29 pm

Looks good, can it support Apple Lossless files, and DTS/Dolby Digital audio tracks in movies or DVD rips (TS folder)?

Also, can a HFS formatted hard drive be connected, and are there any problems streaming movies stored on a Mac?


August 9, 2009, 7:42 pm


I'm nothing to do with xtreamer, just someone interested in the product, who would like to see trustedreviews review it. Though of course you won't believe me...


August 9, 2009, 10:51 pm


There appears to be enough personal tales of woe on the xstreamer forum to tell you all you need to know about that product!

I'm eagerly awaiting the UK availability of the Asus O!Play - the backing of a big name hopefully meaning the product will get the in life support it inevitably will require. I already have a WDTV which is excellent, but there is definately a bonus to having network support to move files around.


August 10, 2009, 2:21 am

@Kanu: Fair point - I think one of my colleagues has edited the paragraph you refer to making this clearer. I would add that my point was that the Popcorn Hour has a lot more functionality but you pay for this, the O!Play adds some network abilities for very little cost - this holds up whether it has internal storage or not.

I'll look into reviewing the Xtreamer but there doesn't seem to be any UK suppliers so it may prove difficult. We'll see.

@speedyuk: The O!Play is available in the UK. Scan has it in stock - follow the supplier link in the review.

Tony Walker

August 10, 2009, 6:19 am


It has been on pre-order for a while. Their website states "Item overdue since 30 July 2009."


August 10, 2009, 1:53 pm

Right you are Tony, my mistake. I've just spoken to the Asus PR and apparently stock should be arriving this Friday.


August 10, 2009, 3:07 pm

Pleas note, the format support list has now been updated to the latest version.

wicker man

August 10, 2009, 9:37 pm

Ah excellent, DTS/DD support, thanks for the update. I suppose Apple Lossless isn't that important, it would be mainly for movies. Just need to find some reports from Mac users now.

Luan Bach

August 11, 2009, 4:00 am

@wicker_man, I think DTS is pass through which mean that it won't down mix and you will need a DTS decoder.

wicker man

August 11, 2009, 10:28 pm

That's cool, my AV receiver decodes Dolby Digital & DTS so that should be fine. It's just those pesky 5.1 AAC soundtracks which need decoding first (currently I use Plex to watch movies with AAC on my Mac.)


August 12, 2009, 5:05 pm

Can you delete files over a network with this device? When I used XBMC I could do that and its handy to delete a TV show once you've watched it.

Also when is this in stock. I see Scan supplied the review version but Scan status merely shows "Overdue since 30/7/09" for stock. Might actually want to BUY the thing!! C'mon Asus.. get them out there!


October 30, 2009, 3:18 pm

Excuse my ignorance but will this upscale SD content to HD as the newer dvd players will?

Henk van Dijk

March 2, 2010, 10:46 pm

I am trying for a long time to share a computer with windows 7 with O!Play mediastreamer.

I faund the solution with this link: http://downloads.eminent-onlin....

It is from another brand but it works


September 5, 2010, 8:02 pm

Shame it doesn't have a version that does Wireless g/N and it needs to support analogue RGB output as well. Some of us in the UK still own their high quality non-HDMI TVs...

Cees Matthijs

June 1, 2013, 1:59 am

With regards to 'Preview load lag time': I've been using the O!Play since December '08, initially with a simple
USB2 hub, but 3 TB drives proved a bit too much to handle for the hub, ergo slow response times. Once I installed my USB3 hub (connecting my 3 hard drives), I found the issue to be a non-issue.; response times have halved, if not better..

I also use the box as a replacement for radio, and watching the Dutch news every now and again. We have to stay in touch with the Motherland, right?

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