AC Ryan PlayOn!HD Mini Media Player

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Testing

Methodology

There aren’t any particular tests that can be done with a piece of hardware like this. The only real method for checking out what the ACRyan player can do is to use it, comment on what I like and what I don’t like; even some things that I think could improve the product.

Results

Browser

Using the browser system to access your videos is pretty easy to do. You get a preview of the video or picture by simply keeping the icon on it for a while, and even large video files load relatively quickly after a few seconds. Quality is good and apart from the occasional pause and rare instances of judderyness, the video streaming is near flawless.

This really works as a complete HTPC system as long as you have your media server or PC on. Music comes through fine, photo viewing to a room full of people is easy and simple and movies work great.

One thing that does annoy me though is that there’s a little lag in scrolling through the menu system. Going over different files is quick and responsive when they’re on the screen, but scrolling down through your files can stick, or lag a little. It’s not that bad, but it’s a pain when you’re trying to select a file and you scroll past it.

Feeds

The feeds system works nicely, with the feed names being quite prominent and the articles found within each displayed in an easy to read format. The weather feed is also surprisingly detailed, giving you access to a massive catalogue of locations to garner information on.

However, it’s incredibly annoying that you have to know the exact URL of a feed in order to add them to the PlayON HD. Why isn’t there a built in browser here? I have internet access, give me full browser capabilities, o at least the function to scan a certain URL for their RSS feeds. Going to your computer, noting down the feed address and then typing in the whole thing using an onscreen keyboard can take a long time.

Radio

The radio also works nicely giving you a massive selection of stations to choose from, enough that you’ll rarely use the custom add feature.

Cost

For the AC Ryan PlayOn mini you’re looking to spend aro
nd £80, which for essentially converting your current media server or PC into an HTPC with added feed and radio functionality, isn’t bad. Picking up the wireless system costs another £15 or so, and I would recommend it.

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Last modified: February 15, 2011

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