AC Ryan PLAYON! HD

Using the PLAYON!

Using the PLAYON!
 
I connected the Playon up using the HDMI connection, plugged in the power and took it for a test drive. The first screen you meet upon first boot is the home screen, which offers you a selection of functions. These functions are accessed by selecting one of the following: Browser, Media library, Radio, File copy and Setup. A small window  shows the next and previous menu options along the bottom, with your current selection magnified onto the central area of the screen. 
 
ACRYAN PLAYON! Menu homescreen 
 
Going into the browser menu you get a selection of places to search for your media files. You can also narrow down the results by selecting to show only Music, Photos or Movies from along the top. Once you have selected a location the drive takes a few seconds to load up the contents. Unfortunately, this delay means it takes quite a long time to scout around searching for a file buried deep in a folder structure. When hovering over a file, a small preview will appear on the right, a nice touch which makes it easier to identify exactly what you're looking at.
 
ACRyan Playon Media Browser Menu ACRyan Playon HD File Preview
 
The media library allows you to search the Playon's internal hard drive for files which you have copied/saved to it. Once again there is the ability to show individual file types, making it easier to track down rogue media. There is also a number of sub categories to choose from (such as artist, genre and album), and the search button brings up an on screen keyboard to type in file names.
 
ACRyan Playon media library menu ACRyan Playon! HD On screen Keyboard
 
Radio gives you access to a large range of internet radio stations, which you can then search through and listen to. Of course, using this feature requires a networked internet connection which the Playon can use. Once you've found a radio station you like you can add it to the favourites, making it much quicker and easier to find again.
 
ACRyan Playon Radio menu ACRYAN PLAYON! HD Radio List
 
The File copy menu allows you to select files from pretty much any source and transfer them to another. For instance, it would allow you to copy files from an external USB drive onto the internal hard drive. The process is fairly easy, and doesn't take much time at all.
 
ACRyan Playon File copy menu
 
The setup menu is where all the nitty gritty options are, such as changing the output resolution and setting up a network connection. AC Ryan have done well in keeping the number of changable settings down, stopping your brain from exploding every time you open the menu.
 
ACRyan Playon Setup menu    
 
Playback is handled in two seperate ways. For audio, the media is just played from the file browser, with only a black bar appearing along the top to display media information to you. Obviously, audio is the least of the Playon's problems, so I dug deep into my NAS to find some HD video to give the Playon a little work out. The most suitable video I could find was an old HD Crysis trailer, downloaded quite some months ago. Loading up photos or video takes you out of the browser and into a full screen display environment. The HD trailer played flawlessly, and the Playon even handled fast forwarding/rewinding without having a complete heart attack (although there was noticeable lag), which was pretty impressive.

ACRyan Playon! HD video playback ACRyan Playon! HD Audio playback  
 
All in all, the Playon was rather impressive. I found the menus very easy to use, even if they were a little slow, and playback went without a hitch - even playing back in HD. The ability to use files from a variety of sources, then see a preview when hovering over the file, makes it quick and easy to use even a large media collection. Time to head on over to the conclusion...  
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Most Recent Comments

05-10-2009, 15:25:20

Luigi
Have an extensive media library saved up on your network? Need a way of viewing it on your TV? Could the PLAYON! be the answer to all your prayers?

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...191711415s.jpg

Read the full review here.

08-10-2009, 06:37:56

Bungral
Nice review mate... Interesting product.

Quick question.. How long did it take the device to boot into a usable state?

Maybe a tiny little bit dear, but not by much. Still think I'd prefer to build my own HTPC as you can gear it up to exactly what you need.

09-10-2009, 11:34:12

Luigi
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Bungral'
Nice review mate... Interesting product.

Quick question.. How long did it take the device to boot into a usable state?

Maybe a tiny little bit dear, but not by much. Still think I'd prefer to build my own HTPC as you can gear it up to exactly what you need.
The drive turned on pretty quick, you're probably looking at about 6 seconds or so?

I totally agree, I'd also prefer to build my own HTPC, but even just the case could cost more than the Playon...

11-10-2009, 07:01:24

Maverick1dj
Was recently thinking of getting the Western Digital TV HD 1080P Media Player, tho this has now made me think twice.

Would i be right in assuming you can upgrade the HDD in the Playon to say 1/2TB and load movies onto it, so in effect have your entire media library on your Playon?

Have you used the WD TV HD, any thoughts?

11-10-2009, 11:32:37

Luigi
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Maverick1dj'
Was recently thinking of getting the Western Digital TV HD 1080P Media Player, tho this has now made me think twice.

Would i be right in assuming you can upgrade the HDD in the Playon to say 1/2TB and load movies onto it, so in effect have your entire media library on your Playon?

Have you used the WD TV HD, any thoughts?
Not really used/looked at the WD TV HD, so Im afraid I can't really offer any advice there.

You'll need to buy a hard drive to get the Playon! Working, but the size of that hard drive is upto you, so you could use a 1tb and put all your media on it no problems.

11-10-2009, 12:23:14

VonBlade
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Luigi'
so you could use a 1tb and put all your media on it no problems.
You obviously don't know how much media I have

11-10-2009, 16:05:59

w3bbo
Media? :awhip:

12-10-2009, 12:10:48

Rastalovich
Great review.

I think it's a great piece of kit for the price - not just for the sake of saying it, but if it has both the upgrading possiblilities, does stuff over a network.

A next revision of this could be very impressive.

I'd be picky and expect a slot loaded bluray to be in the top of it - but it certainly has alot more ticks than crosses that some similar boxes have had.

As far as it slowing down, I got Vista64 Media Center on a c2d 3ghz/4g/9400GT pc and it suffers the same fate when it's starting up. As soon as it knows where everything is, it's a bit quicker. 5000 albums and it struggles with the listings.

15-10-2009, 11:27:16

digitalera
its a good little box - firmware updates coming soon include a lot of new toys as well.

17-10-2009, 10:23:11

Maverick1dj
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Luigi'
Not really used/looked at the WD TV HD, so Im afraid I can't really offer any advice there.

You'll need to buy a hard drive to get the Playon! Working, but the size of that hard drive is upto you, so you could use a 1tb and put all your media on it no problems.
Sorry been away for a week,

So let me get this straight, buy the AC Ryan Playon!, a 1TB HDD, add media to the HDD then install it into the Playon, all done and dusted, my entire media library on the AC Playon! ???

17-10-2009, 11:46:48

Luigi
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Maverick1dj'
Sorry been away for a week,

So let me get this straight, buy the AC Ryan Playon!, a 1TB HDD, add media to the HDD then install it into the Playon, all done and dusted, my entire media library on the AC Playon! ???
Kind of..

You'll need to put the hard drive in the Playon, then let it format the hard drive, then transfer all your media across (through USB or Network)..

17-10-2009, 12:47:17

Maverick1dj
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Luigi'
Kind of..

You'll need to put the hard drive in the Playon, then let it format the hard drive, then transfer all your media across (through USB or Network)..
ahh right i getcha, brilliant thanks for the info dude! have a pint on me >

11-05-2010, 20:59:53

gitar.merah.hitam
First time i find/read article about POHD, i think this device is very cool

But after i buy and use this device, WOW this device is very SUCK

Its So many problem

First time (1-2 months)

- running well but some times HANG

- some times ask to reformated HDD (imagine if non IT guy select yes to reformat HDD)

3 months till now

- i also update latest firmware but only fix about ask to reformat HDD, but every time after period OFF/standby this device always HANG

The conclusion is 5 star for SUCKER DEVICE

11-05-2010, 23:29:40

mayhem
A few pointers

1) A WIFI USB stick OMG what a joke that should be on the PCB not a wifi stick

2) Its ugly and cheap looking

3) Its not worth the money there are devices out there cheaper and more features

4) The hi def playback of MKV files are blocky, FF / RW is realy badly jurky

5) Large hard drives with Fast spin rates cause the whole system to over heat and this causes the system to hang (due to heat) allso cause the systems to suggest a format ROTFLMAO

6) Badly designed The Slot load for the memory cards and USB slot should be in the front you you can easily access it

7) It needs more air vents in the side so it has better air flow (this is a major Flaw of the system)

Forget getting this is you relay what some thing decent look else ware

Stick to a media PC you can buy one or build one for 180 and have more features, better playback, more expansion options, a wide varty of free media software that is free to use ect ect ect.

13-05-2010, 09:36:59

AMDFTW
how would you transfer via USB

22-06-2010, 13:53:54

lavanyan
my hard disk is not getting detected in the playon. can anyone suggest an idea?
Reply
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