Asus O!Play Air HDP-R3


Many of us have extensive collections of photos, DVDs, music and home videos, but viewing these on what's most likely the biggest screen in your house - the TV - is more than problematic. HDMI has fixed some of these woes, but bringing your PC downstairs or wiring up your laptop every time is far from an ideal solution. A few manufacturers have noticed this problem, with two main solutions currently available. The first is to buy (or build) a home theatre PC, or HTPC, which is essentially a PC that permanently nestles beneath your TV. The second option is to get a dedicated media bridge, which acts as an interface between your PC and TV, which is what Asus have done with the O!Play.

Many drives come with built in hard drives, which enable you to save your media directly to the box itself. Asus have gone for a different approach, keeping the O!Play completely hard disk free. Instead the O!Play streams your media directly from it's source, through a number of different connection methods. Here's the full specification for the O!Play:

  • Input:
    • DC Power In
    • 1xUSB 2.0 Port
    • 1xUSB 2.0 / eSATA Combo Port
    • RJ-45 LAN Port  
    • CompactFlash, SD, MMC and Memory Stick Memory Card Reader

    • Composite Video
    • Composite Audio L/R
    • S/PDIF Out
    • HDMI 1.3 

    LAN: TCP/IP (DHCP or Static IP Address) 10/100Mbps Wired LAN
    WLAN: 802.11n Wireless Networking

    • AC Adapter
    • Power Cord
    • Remote Control
    • Composite A/V Cable
    • Quick Start Guide
    • CD (User Manual)

    181.0x125.3x47.7mm(W x D x H) 

    It's also worth checking that the O!Play supports your filetype of choice, otherwise you could be left shelling out for a device that is useless to you. Here is a full list of supported filetypes:

    Supported Video Formats
    • Video: MPEG1/2/4,RM/RMVB,VC-1,H.264
    • Video File Extension:.mp4, .mov, .xvid., .avi., .dvix., .asf, .wmv, .mkv, .rm, .rmvb, .flv, .ts, .m2ts, .dat, .mpg, .vob, .mts, .tp, .trp,.iso
    • Subtitle: SRT,SUB,SMI,SSA

    Supported Audio formats
    MP3, WAV, AAC, OGG, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, LPCM, WMA, Dolby Digital AC3, Dolby Digital Plus, 
    DTS - Dolby Digital & DTS Supports Downsample and pass through

    Supported Image formats

    Supported sub-title formats

I think you'll agree that the O!Play covers pretty much all the important bases. The built in Wireless N capability's have got to be the headline feature, and something that I've not seen on any other device of this nature before. The higher speeds of Wireless N networking should ensure your files play smoothly, even when pushing then right up to 1080p HD. The ability to play media stored on flash cards, USB or even e-Sata devices will be very handy for those with pocket camera's or external flash drives. This also means that you could in theory store all your media on an external hard drive and save having the PC on when playing back. The O!Play is also compatible with a mind bogglingly large amount of file types, so kudos to Asus for that.  I think that's enough on the specs, time to get the O!Play under the microscope...

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Most Recent Comments

25-01-2010, 06:09:04

Luigi takes a look at the new Asus O!Play Air HDP-R3 media player.

Continue ReadingQuote

26-01-2010, 06:57:00

I've been waiting for something like this from a respectable company. Many thanks Tom Koflach for this great review May slide towards buying the set Quote

27-01-2010, 22:20:39

'dvix' ? ;-)Quote

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