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Thread: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

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    Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    Looking for a network media player with extensive codec support? A.C. Ryan reckons the Playon!HD "plays it all".
    Read more.

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    Re: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    Its nice to see that a Product PR or Munfature has come back with Good, clear constuctive feed back/reponce, first I've seen on Hexus !

    Thumps up A.C Ryan...


    The Playon! series is easier to use than Paris Hilton
    LOL...

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    Re: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    That mini device looks quite remarkably like the sumvision mkv 2 I just picked up.
    I know they're based on the same realtek chip, so I'd assume they would be 'similar' - but they're virtually identical (save the odd graphic in the main menu).
    I can only assume the realtek sdk isn't so much an SDK as a customizable build.
    The hardware itself is lovely - I've used mine to replace a 1U PC I'd built running XBMC as I was sick of the boot-up time and fan noise.
    Personally I'd hope that the 'new Realtek SDK' allows all users of the chip to replace the god-awful UI the thing comes with. If i had to point to how bad it is, just look how many files it manages to list on a screen... I have just no idea what they were thinking.
    If I had to buy again, I'd probably pickup the AC Ryan - but only as I'm guessing they'll get any UI updates out faster.

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    Re: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    Right2Reply was an amusing read

    These look pretty good though. Possibly the ability to add a 2.5" drive to the mini version would be good - but where do the cost cuts come in? - i.e. it's probably not worth the functionality if it'll need a fan/add £25 to the cost, at least not worth replacing the bottom-end model.

    I'd definitely consider something like this if/when I'm in the market for something similar.

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    Re: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    Quote Originally Posted by HEXUS View Post
    I always find it amusing with a review like this that their is NOT ONE mention of PICTURE QUALITY on this device ... after all that is what 100% of users will be using the unit for. It seems to be a growing trend to pick apart what features these devices come with whilst atually missing the most important feature .... PERFORMANCE.

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    Re: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    Quote Originally Posted by davidcrofter View Post
    I always find it amusing with a review like this that their is NOT ONE mention of PICTURE QUALITY on this device ... after all that is what 100% of users will be using the unit for. It seems to be a growing trend to pick apart what features these devices come with whilst atually missing the most important feature .... PERFORMANCE.
    Isnt it assumed that it can play back the supported formats smoothly anyway? Plus picture quality would be far more dependant on the TV used rather than the device streaming it.

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    Re: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazytom View Post
    Isnt it assumed that it can play back the supported formats smoothly anyway? Plus picture quality would be far more dependant on the TV used rather than the device streaming it.
    Yes well you might take that as an assumption but if you are reading a review wouldn't you at least look for a comment on it - it is like splashing thousands of pounds on a tv just because it has widgets, wireless streaming and usb movie playback ... you would still want an odd hint on what the actual performance of the TV was.

    Plus having had various media players over the last couple of years (WD Live, Asus O!Play, Xtreamer and Sumvision MKV) you would be surprised on the actual varying quality of the processing and upscaling on these devices.

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    Re: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazytom View Post
    Isnt it assumed that it can play back the supported formats smoothly anyway? Plus picture quality would be far more dependant on the TV used rather than the device streaming it.
    How well does it handle upscaling?
    I know it is all digital right through the the TV, but image quality will vary depending on the decoder used. You see this on BluRay players, some are better than others (granted the differences are less than they were with DVDs and analogue output). So how does the picture quality compare to a BluRay player? How does it compare to a PC with a high quality output and high quality source? How does it compare to other similar devices?

    There is a lot more to it than simply assuming it all works fine

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    Re: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    How well does it handle upscaling?
    I know it is all digital right through the the TV, but image quality will vary depending on the decoder used. You see this on BluRay players, some are better than others (granted the differences are less than they were with DVDs and analogue output). So how does the picture quality compare to a BluRay player? How does it compare to a PC with a high quality output and high quality source? How does it compare to other similar devices?

    There is a lot more to it than simply assuming it all works fine

    The picture quality is spot on as it is with all the other realtek chipset based players the thing what sets them appart from the other brands using the same chipset is the quality of firmware updates and fixes as the release firmware is full of bugs its down to who supports there product by fixing the bugs found.

    regarding the playback of 420p files these would remain the same quality of the original file not better or worst

    i have tested on cheap'o LCD TV's and high end sony LCD and a panasonic plasma and the image quality is excellent

    a NEW firmware is out with a new full GUI and lots of changes

    here is the -

    POHD MINI PV73200 (SDK3.X) r3582 firmware
    http://www.acryan.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=101&t=7482

    And fullsize enclosure POHD PV73100 (SDK3.X) r3582 firmware
    http://www.acryan.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=7481

    also regarding the -minus points

    wireless - most people dont use wireless to stream 1080p as it can get choppy i myself use homeplugs (200mbits) and they work fine
    GUI - check out the new on the latest firmware very nice
    No Gigabit Ethernet - again not relly needed unless you want to file transfer to the unit. - but it would be still faster to just plugin the device using the host usb port (on the enclosure version) and the mini is without HDD 10/100 works perfectly
    Last edited by Pete.B.; 18-08-2010 at 11:43 AM.

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    Re: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    i got one from scan it's it's great. it plays pretty much most files you throw at it, i've found a few recent mkv rips of 720p tv shows won't play on it, but play on the pc, so it would be nice if that could be fixed. the only other change would be an automatic 50hz/60hz switcher or NTSC/PAL depending on the source material, as currently you choose the output method in the settings and it then plays everything that way

    as for picture quality, moving from an old xbox running xbmc via component and VGA from PC to the plasma, i was very surprised at the quality being much better, particularly SD material

    i upgraded the firmware to the last beta, it looks a lot nicer than the stock firmware. i'll download and try the latest version tonight

    i'm considering getting a second one for the other room, the only niggles being those i mentioned above so i'm wondering if i should get a different streamer instead, in case i find that better. as the firmware updated and the form seem pretty active, i'm hoping they can fix this

    one other really nice addition would be to be able to change lipsynch and aspect ration with the same degree of changes as you get with xbmc (ie. use the direction buttons to change a percentage each way) for playing stuff that's been encoded badly. i have officially downloaded stuff where the aspect ratio is completely screwed, so i need to play via xbmc or pc to stretch it the right way

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    Re: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    Quote Originally Posted by uni View Post
    i got one from scan it's it's great. it plays pretty much most files you throw at it, i've found a few recent mkv rips of 720p tv shows won't play on it, but play on the pc, so it would be nice if that could be fixed. the only other change would be an automatic 50hz/60hz switcher or NTSC/PAL depending on the source material, as currently you choose the output method in the settings and it then plays everything that way

    as for picture quality, moving from an old xbox running xbmc via component and VGA from PC to the plasma, i was very surprised at the quality being much better, particularly SD material

    i upgraded the firmware to the last beta, it looks a lot nicer than the stock firmware. i'll download and try the latest version tonight

    i'm considering getting a second one for the other room, the only niggles being those i mentioned above so i'm wondering if i should get a different streamer instead, in case i find that better. As the firmware updated and the form seem pretty active, i'm hoping they can fix this

    one other really nice addition would be to be able to change lipsynch and aspect ration with the same degree of changes as you get with xbmc (ie. use the direction buttons to change a percentage each way) for playing stuff that's been encoded badly. i have officially downloaded stuff where the aspect ratio is completely screwed, so i need to play via xbmc or pc to stretch it the right way
    aspect ratio during video playback press the zoom button about 5 time or so.. and you will get to custom aspect ratio and you can shape the video screen size using the arrow keys - basically you can stretch/shape your videos to fit your TV screen perfectly

    regarding the non-playback of a tvshow hmm are you talking about trueblood ? as i had that issue using the xtreamer but im testing the netgear NTV550 at the moment so didnt test on the Acryan - hmm i will try and post a fault report on the acryan forum with a sample of the show.
    But 100% its something strange they are doing to the encode because earlier shows from the same people work fine so they must of changed something that the players dont like. becuase i got a different release from another group that works fine

    automatic 50hz/60hz i thought when you set the HDMI output to auto it will change the setting best suited to the file your using i never noticed any difference between switching 50 to 60hz as tv's handle that for you


    lipsynch
    yes sounds good noy sure if i have seen that function before or not; But defo would be a good idea lol so many videos are out of sync
    Last edited by Pete.B.; 18-08-2010 at 12:50 PM.

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    Re: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    Acryan have put there money where there mouth was some months ago and Forged ahead with all the Realtek updates,worked hard on there OWN YAMJ interface and consistantly are striving to add features to there current players,value for MONEY are paramount today and if you can get decent SUPPORT which Acryan do give to there users,you have a winning combination of Elements.
    They dont always get it right,but Realteks contiously evolving SDK Is not always EASY to implement and
    SDK 3 is the hardest yet with a number of bugs for all players and companys to deal with,AC have done well and we where the first back in march to review the ``Mini``Loved it then..something i still do today and Props to Hexus for a Well Balanced Review of both players,At MPW we still think its a damn smart buy on a number of levels.

    Talas
    Senior Admin
    MPW

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    Re: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete.B. View Post
    aspect ratio during video playback press the zoom button about 5 time or so.. and you will get to custom aspect ratio and you can shape the video screen size using the arrow keys - basically you can stretch/shape your videos to fit your TV screen perfectly

    regarding the non-playback of a tvshow hmm are you talking about trueblood ? as i had that issue using the xtreamer but im testing the netgear NTV550 at the moment so didnt test on the Acryan - hmm i will try and post a fault report on the acryan forum with a sample of the show.
    But 100% its something strange they are doing to the encode because earlier shows from the same people work fine so they must of changed something that the players dont like. becuase i got a different release from another group that works fine

    automatic 50hz/60hz i thought when you set the HDMI output to auto it will change the setting best suited to the file your using i never noticed any difference between switching 50 to 60hz as tv's handle that for you


    lipsynch
    yes sounds good noy sure if i have seen that function before or not; But defo would be a good idea lol so many videos are out of sync
    i know about the aspect ration button, but basically you only have about 6 options that are really tailored for stretching by width or height to fill the screen. sometimes you get stuff that's screwed up and it needs a more precise fix. if you use something more advance than a one click encoder and choose the wrong options you get a messed up aspect ratio. i don't know how hard it would be to have an option like xbmc or media player classic where you can manually stretch a small percentage at a time. likewise the synching, having a few options would be great

    trueblood was one of them yeah. there was another show i can't remember. there are other groups who's releases will probably worked, but once you have one and you are sat down to watch you don't want to have to go back and download another version and incur the STM from virgin. i usually watch and delete so don't have the codec details handy, but it's great if you can do that

    i'll need to check about the hdmi bit again. my tv is only 720p, well it's 768p to be precise. it will take a 1080i input and show as 1125i or something. when i'm playing back files i can press a button on the remote on the tv and it shows the scan rate and resolution. instead of outputting at 1080i when 90% of the material isn't higher than 720p i think you can set at 50hz or 60hz, you can't set it at 720p to output and change between 50hz and 60hz (i don't think). i'd like to be able to set it to 720p or 1080p/1080i and the refresh rate is automatic depending on the file, so 50hz for UK stuff and 60hz for US stuff, instead of playing 50hz at 60hz or vice versa

    but those are minor niggles and shouldn't put anyone off. potentially they could be fixed in a firmware update and the company seems pretty keen on improving the stuff, unlike some suppliers

    btw, i never noticed the blue light on the remote until i read the review. i'd hardly call it annoying if i didn't even notice it. the light on the unit could be a bit of a pain but it's tucked away far enough for it not to be distracting. oh, and as the USB sockets are at the back of the unit and i have it reasonably tightly packed with my other gear, i've stuck a USB extender thing for USB dongles in the back, so i can plug a flashdrive in more easily. that's mainly for potential flashing firmware as i'd usually just stream from my network, and i use homeplugs too, and have been for nearly 6 years

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    Re: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    Quote Originally Posted by uni View Post
    i know about the aspect ration button, but basically you only have about 6 options that are really tailored for stretching by width or height to fill the screen. sometimes you get stuff that's screwed up and it needs a more precise fix. if you use something more advance than a one click encoder and choose the wrong options you get a messed up aspect ratio. i don't know how hard it would be to have an option like xbmc or media player classic where you can manually stretch a small percentage at a time. likewise the synching, having a few options would be great
    if you tab though the zoom button (2nd time around) not sure why it dont pick it up on the first pass there is a custom X,Y using the arrow keys you can shape the screen

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    Re: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete.B. View Post
    if you tab though the zoom button (2nd time around) not sure why it dont pick it up on the first pass there is a custom X,Y using the arrow keys you can shape the screen
    ah, i noticed you said that in your earlier post but didn't pick up on it. i didn't know you could do that ( didn't read the manual as it was so easy to setup and pretty much everything was fairly obvious. being able to do that is pretty cool then. sometimes i stream stuff from old VHS tape rips and with xbmc i would zoom them a little bit to cut off the distortion lines you sometimes got at the bottom

    now if they could do that with the audio to fix lip synch, then that would be fantastic and i wouldn't need xbmc for anything. in saying that, i haven't played any files that had needed the option yet, bar one file that was just badly screwed up in the encode

    the one thing i did like on xbmc on the xbox was the visualisation when playing mp3s, but i preferred playing mp3s directly from the pc as it's a lot easier to manipulate playlists. sometimes i would stream some files for visualisation but listen to something else from the pc instead. i don't really expect visualisations, let's fix the trueblood files first and if they can add audio synch adjust then i'd consider getting a second one

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    Re: Reviews - A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Playon!HD mini review

    Quote Originally Posted by uni View Post
    the one thing i did like on xbmc on the xbox was the visualisation when playing mp3s, but i preferred playing mp3s directly from the pc as it's a lot easier to manipulate playlists. sometimes i would stream some files for visualisation but listen to something else from the pc instead. i don't really expect visualisations, let's fix the trueblood files first and if they can add audio synch adjust then i'd consider getting a second one

    yes i love that too - also nobody else seems to want to do this on a media streamer - again i will ask acryan

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