The first networked media player with USB 3.0

ASUS O!Play HD2

ASUS introduced the first networked media player with USB 3.0 support. Its new O!Play HD2 additionally is equiped with HDMI 1.3 as well as with Composite, Component and Optical outputs, USB 2.0 and eSata ports, card readers for CF, SD, and Memory Stick and, of course, USB 3.0 PC link. That player together with Seagate BlackArmor PS110 should demonstrate the USB 3.0 power.

Unfortunately there is no any words about date availability and price of O!Play HD2.

Mvix UltioPro HD Media Center with PVR

mvix-ultio

Mvix expanded its media player family by producing Mvix UltioPro. That player offers a standard range of network media player’s features. It supports all well-known media codecs and containers and allows to play media content from internal HDD, attached USB storage or network shares. The player is ready for Full HD video (I didn’t find anything about HD audio in its spec). But in addition to that the Mvix UltioPro has possibility to record video from external sources via Composite input. That unique feature for such devices can help you convert your VHS library into digital format.

The Mvix UltioPro HD Media Center with PVR is available at $169 without HDD on the Mvix online shop. To be able connect the player to the LAN via WiFi it should be paid additionally $19.99 (802.11g) or $39.00 (802.11n). The price and PVR feature make the Mvix UltioPro is very attractive for buying.

Popbox: Popcorn Hour for non-geek users

Syabas Popbox

Syabas, well-known producer of networked media tank Popcorn hour, is going to release the media player for non-geek users. Because NMT Popcorn Hour is not easy configure and user friendly device. Also it’s expensive a bit regardless the rich set of offered features. So, the new Popbox is a compact and elegant box with redesigned rich user interface. It still can play all known media files and containers from attached USB storage or network shares (it doesn’t have internal HDD). Popbox support wired connection to the home network as well as WiFi (802.11 b/g/n). Sure the device is fully compatible with HD (720p or 1080p).

Another good advantage of Popbox is access to the online services such Twitter, Revision3, Netflix, SHOUTcast via built-in apps. The number of apps is growing fast. Thanks to available App Development Platform. So, if you’re interested to add new app you can do it easily. Also the Popbox allows to you organize your media library more efficient by retrieving metadata from IMDB for video or AllMusic for audio files.

The Popbox should be available this Spring at just $130! If the price won’t be changed it’ll be probably the best network media player on the market!
See the demo of the Popbox UI after jump
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New Popcorn Hour NMT

Popcorn Hour A-200 Networked Media tank

Syabas released recently a next generation of its networked media tank (NMT) A-200. The A-200 doesn’t have optical drive like C-200, but it has a lot of advantages over old model A-110. It sports faster processor and bigger DRAM and NAND Flash. Additionally the A-200 will have new rich UI, which is more attractive and user friendly then previous one, and ability to install new apps, developed by third-party developers, from App Center. Additionally the A-200 meets EU Green Power Requirement, which will help to reduce energy consumption and save the environment.

The rest spec is more or less the same with A-110. The A-200 still plays everything it find in the internal HDD, USB mass storage, network shares or online services. It looks much better in my mind and its price is very very nice – just $179! If I remember correctly this is less then the price of the A-110 was. So, the A-200 seems good candidate to occupy the space in the AV stand.

NUU player: Boxee, XBMC and Skype

NUU Player

Another networked player contains popular HTPC software Boxee. NUU player demonstrated at CES 2010, is based on Atom CPU and probably Intel graphics. It sports 160GB HDD, HDMI, DVI, a few USB and one Ethernet ports. There is no info about WiFi adaptor but the player includes Bluetooth module. So, the wireless headset can be attached there.

Except Boxee, the NUU player offers XBMC and Skype applications. That’s really interesting cause you may no only watch video from sofa but make also Skype calls using Bluetooth headset without standing up.

The price of the NUU player is a bit more expensive then upcoming D-Link Boxee Box – $300 (Boxee Box is just $200). The date of availability is not set yet. The demo video after jump.
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