AC Ryan PLAYON! HD
Having tried similar devices in the past, I didn't have high hopes for the Playon. My fears then appeared to be coming true as I fired up the box, with the menus showing signs of lag and general slowness. Expecting to cripple the device, I loaded up the HD footage and was genuinely surprised when it handled it so well, a definite 'Well Done' to AC Ryan.
The appearance also comes into play when choosing a device that will live in your lounge, and the Playon comes up trumps there as well, with its simple yet elegant lines producing an aesthetically pleasing device. It also supports possibly the longest list of file types ever written, which should stop some users missing out.
If I were to be particularly picky, I would say the lack of external audio/video recording is a bit of a let down. Recording from a HD Tuner or converting old VHS's to hard drive would be a fantastic feature, but you can't have everything. The ability to copy files from USB, Memory card and Network files goes some way to making up for this, making almost all media sources accessible from the Playon.
So, what's the overall verdict? Well, If you have a large media library, whether it be photos, music or videos, I think the AC Ryan Playon! is an excellent bit of kit and would definitely recommend looking at it. Available for £143.74
(plus the cost of a hard drive) it may not appear cheap, but when you compare it to the cost of building a media centre PC things start to look much more favourable.
+ Played HD content without stutter
+ Can handle a wide selection of media input
+ Massive range of supported file types
+ Good looks
+ HDMI output
+ SATA interface for hard drive
* Takes a few seconds to load when browsing folders
* No facility to record from external equipment
- Our unit came with a European plug
Overclock3d would like to thank AC Ryan
for providing todays review sample. Discuss in our forums here.
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