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AC Ryan Playon!HD Mini 2 Media Player Review

A few years ago watching content from a hard drive on a TV usually meant that the user was connecting their desktop system (or HTPC) to the TV and viewing the files in a Windows environment. As technology moved forward smaller form factor PCs took off and this increased the number of people playing their content on a TV, something which was made easier with releases such as Windows Media Centre and HDMI support.

Nowadays a huge number of devices can be connected to our TV set from laptops to tablet PCs and even mobile phones. Few though offer quick and simple integration of media from various sources, whether it is network shares, local drives or the net itself. Those that do often lack format support or feature less than decent interface.

A little over a year ago AC Ryan identified this gap in the market and launched their Playon! range, a set of media players/streamers which could be connected to numerous devices and played back pretty much anything which was thrown at it. The initial products were the recipient of awards across the net, including here. Then later in 2010 we saw the release of a DVR with dual tuners and the Essential, a cut down version of the original Playon!HD which included a new GUI.

Recently AC Ryan announced their next generation players and today we take a look at the Playon!HD Mini 2 which as well as featuring improved specifications also gets the new GUI and some extra features such as social media integration.

Specifications

A/V Out HDMI 1.3 interface up to 1080p
Composite Audio / Video
Y/Pb/Pr Video
SPDIF Optical TOSLink (digital audio)
Storage Supported USB HDD, USB sticks and other USB Mass Storage Devices
File Systems: FAT, FAT32, NTFS, EXT3
Network drives: USB2.0 PORTS: 2 x USB 2.0 (USB-A)
USB Supported Add ports with USB hubs, USB card readers
2x USB 2.0 (USB-A)
Network – Wired Gigabit
Network – Wireless
(Optional)
Wireless WLAN 802.11b/g/n 300Mbps via USB WLAN adaptor (optional, not incl.)
Supports WLAN security WEP, WPA
Supports WLAN Peer-to-Peer (connects wireless without router)
Network – Wireless Bult-In
(selected models only)
Wireless-N via a PCI-e port with dual antenna
Video Formats Supported AVI / MKV / TS / TP / TRP / M2TS / MPG / MP4 / MOV / M4V / VOB / ISO / DVD-ISO / IFO / DAT / WMV / ASF / RM / RMVB / FLV resolution up to 720p / 1080i / 1080p / BD-ISO
Video Codecs Supported MPEG-1 / MPEG-2 / MPEG-4 SP/ASP/AVC (H.264 | x264) / XviD / DivX / WMV9 (VC-1) / RealVideo 8/9/10 (up to 720P)
Video Output Supported PAL / NTSC / 480p / 576p / 720p / 1080i
50Hz / 1080i 60Hz / 1080p 50Hz / 1080p
60Hz / 1080p 24FPS
Audio Formats Supported MP3 / MP2 / WMA / AAC / FLAC / WAV /
OGG Vorbis / PCM / LPCM / MS-ADPCM /
LC-AAC / HE-AAC / COOK / RA-Lossless
Audio Output Supported Stereo

Dolby Digital AC3 5.1
(passthrough & downmix to stereo)

Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
(passthrough)

Dolby TrueHD 7.1
(passthrough & downmix to stereo)

DTS Digital Surround 5.1
(passthrough & downmix to stereo)

AAC 7.1
(passthrough & downmix to stereo)
FLAC

Image Formats Supported JPEG, HD JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIF, PNG
Subtitles Format Supported SRT, SMI, SSA, IDX/SUB, SUB
Character Sets Supported
(Needed for Subtitles)
Unicode (UTF8), BIG5 (Traditional Chinese),
Western, Turkish, Central European,
Greek, Cyrillic, SE European, Russian,
Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese, Thai
Power DC-IN 5V
Standby: 0,3 W / Active: 8,2 W
Cooling No Fan (Advanced Fanless Cooling for processor)




 Read the complete review at hardwareheaven.com.

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