While inexpensive mini-desktops like the Asus Eee Box are increasingly becoming the TV media companion of choice, maybe a well thought out standalone player is all we really need after all?
Perhaps a little late, but certainly no less welcome, Western Digital's announcement today of the 'WD TV HD Media player'. The acronym-happy unit is a neat and petite little black box with easy to use remote control and it does many of the things we've craved from devices like it for years. Let's break them down...
- It will happily connect to any USB based hard drive or memory key via a pair of 2.0 ports
- Multimedia content is automatically read and arranged via name, type, genre or recently viewed and is searchable by name using the remote via an onscreen animated menu.
- There's enough muscle to support HD video playback right up to 1080p.
- Connectivity includes the all important HDMI plus back-up composite for legacy sets ensuring wide ranging compatibility.
- A free copy of ArcSoft MediaConverter 2.5 is bundled but with a monstrous codec library it may not really be necessary.
- And lastly, that alluded to ace in the hole: codec support which includes *deep breath* MPEG 1/2/4, WMV9, AVI (MPEG4,Xvid, AVC), H.264, MKV, MOV (MPEG4, H264), JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, PNG, MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV/PCM/LPCM, AAC, FLAC, Dolby Digital, AIF/AIFF and MKA.
Hats off guys.