ACRyan PlayOn!HD 1TB

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Testing


Click to enlarge

Methodology

Same as before, testing a media hub like this really just involves using its features and weighing up what’s good, what’s bad and any recommendations I would have to improve the product.

Having covered, the browser, feed and radio systems in our previous review of the mini, I’ll be focusing on the additional features you get with this version.

Results

File Copy

This function works reasonably well, but sometimes with mass file transfers it seems to just cut out mid transfer. I’m not really sure why as you can select an infinite ammount of files to move around. The problem seems to occur more with increased file size as opposed to file numbers, as transferring two thousand photos went fine, but 100 movies ran into problems.

Neighbour Web & Torrents

Neighbour web is pretty cool in how you can manage some of the functions of the AC-Ryan from a distance. Even doing something as simple as setting up some downloads which allow you to keep your main PC off while the torrents are running. This in turn saves power, and keeps your viewing material hooked up to a TV, which for most people is the best quality screen they’ll have in the house. It’s also often the most comunal so its perfect for showing others.

Internal HDD

Of everything, this is a polarising aspect of the PlayOn!HD. It’s not necessary, as the mini showed, but it is the main selling point of this 1TB version. While you can do almost everything without one as you can with, it just adds that extra level of functionality that bridges the gap between media hubs like this, and media PCs. It’s also a great power saving feature, as wirelessly streaming from your PC in another room is great, but it does require both the PlayOn and the system on at the same time; with a built in HDD you can transfer the file over and then watch it.

One final use of it is storage of videos or pictures is so easy in a lounge setting. You plug your phone in and copy over. There’s no need to turn on your PC, install the bundled software. Much easier.

Cost

This one does cost a little more than th
mini, racking up to around £180 which is pushing almost double the price of the mini. The extra functionality may not be worth it for some, but if you can stomach the cost I would say the upgrade is worth it.

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Last modified: February 15, 2011

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