The Asus O!Play is a little black box that has a lot of functionality. It plays out a whole lot of file types in HD and does so with ease. Sure, it’s not unlike most other media players, but it is pretty darn good for what it does.
The front view of the Asus O!Play
Design and Features
The O!Play isn’t much to look at, and the designs that look a little like musical notes on the top don’t add much to the aesthetics. One nice touch Asus has added is the thin blue LED line that lights up at the front. The rest of it is strictly business with the front and back connections. The box is also really light, so I actually wondered if it would be able to live up to its word. The reason that the O!Play is so light is actually because Asus has left space for a 3.5-inch hard drive inside. All you have to do is unscrew the bottom of the player and screw the drive in with the drive mounting kit provided.
Screw open the bottom and you have place for 3.5-inch hard drive
The O!Play supports a whole lot of files, and if I start listing them, I’ll probably take up an entire page. Let me put it this way – this player can play almost anything you throw at it including less popular formats like RMVB. And if you’re an audiophile, you’ll be happy to know that the O!Play supports OGG, AIFF and FLAC for lossless audio. And that’s not it, because it even plays back DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD via its HDMI socket.
As far as connectivity goes, the O!Play has it all covered. It supports USB 3.0, has HDMI, Component video output, Ethernet connectivity, a PC link, eSATA input and it reads a bunch of memory cards as well. Total win.
The Asus O!Play – the ugly duckling
The O!Play HD2 also has some other interesting features such as NAS support. The interesting functions include an iTunes server to access your music collection, BitTorrent for file sharing, FTP Server functionality and SAMBA server, which allows you to create Windows accessible file shared folders. The O!Play also has some other apps you can use like Flickr, Picasa and internet radio. Sadly, they’ve not included YouTube.
The Menu is easy to use, but looks terrible, as if some cheap company made it. However, everything is laid out pretty well, and it’s pretty intuitive. The only problem is when you connect more than one device, as it gets a little confusing. Instead of being represented by what type it is, each device is denoted by an alphabet, so its easy to lose track of which is which.
The back view of the Asus O!Play
The picture quality all depends on what kind of files you try and play off of the O!Play. I tried a bunch, right from Full HD MKV files to regular AVI and there were no hitches in playback. However, I did have a problem when I tried to rewind stuff, as I experienced a lag here. This problem occurred even with a regular AVI file, and this does cause a little concern.
The O!Play has a fully functional remote
I have to say that this is, indeed an excellent media player if you can get past the ugly exterior and menu. It also has a slightly user interface. Despite these problems, I still love it and I think it’s a steal at Rs. 8000. I give the O!Play 3 ½ stars as it plays back almost every format known to man and has online functionality as well. It’s a pity that they didn’t include YouTube, but maybe they’ll include it with an update. So yes! Go ahead and buy this product as I definitely would love to.
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Oct 24, 2016