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Dune HD TV-301: ultra-compact media player but full of features

Programmed response or coincidence? Just two weeks after the announcement of Apple TV to third generation, Dune HD announces a new compact multimedia player, the Dune HD TV-301.

Dune HD TV-301A:  160 x 115 x 36 mm 400g

The new Dune HD TV-301 is a TV-101 variant that can house an hard disk. They both work around the recent Sigma Designs SMP8670 SoC , from which results most of their specifications therefore quite similar.

Without a complete environment like the one destined to Apple TV, the Dune HD TV-301 provides a almost-exhaustive sources support and formats on the market.

Dune HD TV-301A

It accesses to shared files on the network by DLNA, NFS or SMB via Gigabit Ethernet or Wi-Fi N (optional), to those stored on a storage device and even an optical drive (DVD or Blu-ray) connected  by USB 2.0 (two ports), on a SDHC memory card (but not SDXC), but mainly on it’s 2.5″ Serial ATA hard drive, which is filled via its USB 3.0 slave, it’s SMB or FTP servers, or using the embedded BitTorrent client. Important details, it supports the FAT, NTFS and EXT3 file systems, and an USB DVB-T TV tuner is optional.

Dune HD TV-301W

It decodes all sorts of videos, from the simple  XviD file in standard definition to Blu-ray as a ISO file or BDMV folder, through the MKV file container of VC-1 or H.264. All kinds of subtitles are also supported, and all kinds of audio formats, particularly Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio (and lower), but also in bitstream decoding, which allows to partially benefit on a stereo TV for example.

There is an HDMI 1.3 output, 3D limited unlike the HDMI 1.4a, optical SPDIF output, but also jack output adapters for component and composite.

Dune HD TV-301W

Inherited from other Dune HD media players, the interface is relatively rough around the edges but it is effective and offers many sharp options, especially in terms of audio and video outputs (differentiation of 23.976 and 24 Hz, for example).

The Dune HD TV-301A will be marketed from mid-April at a retail price of $160, its TV-301AW Wi-Fi variant at the same time for $180.

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