Saturday, December 31, 2011

Roku SD Player

Manufacturer : Roku, Inc.
Model : N1050
Price : 59.99$
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Product Description

With built-in Wi-Fi, the Roku SD Player is the easiest way to stream instant movies and shows from Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand directly to your TV. Now at our most affordable price ever, the SD Player comes with everything you need, and sets up instantly. And with the new Roku Channel Store, it also brings you FREE music from Pandora, photo and video sharing, and much more. No wonder Roku is Netflix members' top rated streaming player.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

213 of 220 people found the following review helpful:
Movie lovers rejoice!!
This review is from: Roku SD Player (Electronics)
A few months back when my husband had started talking about the Roku box, I admittedly thought it would be a big waste of money. We aren't TV watchers and thus have lived on basic cable for years, but we do have our dedicated "movie nights" where we routinely enjoy watching movies together. We've had Netflix for about 6 years now and we've never gone back to traditional rentals. I thought our unlimited DVD rentals from Netflix was all we needed. It can't get any easier than picking a movie and having it show up at your door two days later, right?

I was wrong. ;)

Since we have jumped on the Roku bandwagon, I've gotten a lot of questions from others around me who are now considering the purchase. I find there is a lot of confusion about what exactly the Roku does, so here we go. The Roku box streams media (movies, TV series, podcasts, music, etc) to your TV in real time. You don't need a Netflix subscription for it to work, but it hugely enhances the enjoyment of the Roku box as it is undoubtedly the most popular feature of the device. With your basic unlimited Netflix subscription (beginning at $8.99/mo or $7.99/mo if you only want the Starz Play streaming media with no DVD option) you have unlimited access to watching streaming videos on your TV at any time of day or night. All you need is a TV (of any kind, new or old) and an internet connection. Cable or DSL is required for good performance of the streaming media. I wouldn't try this on dial-up. You can set it up via traditional ethernet cables or set it up on your wireless network in minutes.

One thing I've noticed in talking with people is that a lot of people may already have a compatible streaming device in their home and not realize it. If you own a PS3, Xbox 360 or Tivo, you can stream Netflix to your TV and you do not need to buy the Roku. Rumors of it coming to the Wii are on the horizon but are not confirmed, to my knowledge. Also, some select Blu-ray players and internet connected HD TVs are compatible as well. Check with Netflix for more information. Again, you do not need to buy the Roku if you already have one of these devices in your home!

The other main feature of the Roku is the ability to stream Amazon on-demand. If you have ever purchased a movie on Pay-per-view, Amazon on-demand will seem instantly familiar. You can rent movies digitally and stream them to your Roku (or other compatible device) any time for a fraction of the cost of your typical Pay-per-view movie. Amazon's digital rentals range in price from $0.99 to $3.99 for newer releases. Each rental has a specific rental time. Some you can enjoy and watch as many times as you like for a full 7 days and others for 24 hours. You also have the option to purchase media this way which is usually the same price or less than what you would pay for the DVD. This allows you to stream it any time and as many times as you like until the end of time. Without taking up shelf space! Pretty nice. You are also able to download it to your PC and/or portable media device for enjoyment on the go. You can download it as many times as you like. As long as you have your Amazon account, Amazon will remember what titles you have purchased and you will have access to it forever. It works just like Amazon's MP3 downloads.

The lesser known features of the Roku include instant access to 12 additional channels which include (in addition to Netflix and Amazon on-demand),, MotionBox, MediaFly, Blip.TV, Twit.TV, Facebook Photos, Revision3, Frame Channel, Flickr, Mobile Tribe, and my absolute favorite, Pandora. If you have an account at, it takes seconds to link it to your Roku and start enjoying your music channels instantly. The Roku also supports different Pandora accounts if you have the need. Being able to listen to Pandora on our beautiful surround sound setup any time of the day or night is blissful. My 4-year-old's favorite feature, aside from the plethora of children's titles available on Netflix instant play, is the MediaFly channel which streams 5,000+ audio and video podcasts. Among them, two of my son's favorite video podcasts, Ultra Kawaii and Sesame Street. You have the ability to add your favorites to a list that you can quickly access at any time. My husband is in love with the Twit.TV channel which streams all of their internet shows, including This Week in Tech. The Flickr channel also has a really neat feature that showcases random artistic photos and is actually quite interesting to watch and is never the same. There is really something for everyone in this growing library of channels and it is far more than I expected from the Roku.

Being the new spokesperson for Roku (I kid ;), I also hear a lot of concerns of TVs not being compatible with the Roku. No one should be concerned with this because the Roku ships with all cables needed to hook up to any TV, new or old. If you don't have an HD TV, you might be purchasing the SD version which will connect to any TV with the standard red, white and yellow cables. If you do own an HD TV, you will receive both an HDMI cable and the standard red, white and yellow, just in case. The same goes for the HD-XR version. As far as compatibility goes, there should be no reason that everyone can't have a Roku box, regardless of their type of TV.

In the same vein as the prior concern, there seems to be worry from the less than tech savvy movie lovers out there, fearing setup will be complicated and frustrating. Not so. Roku is able to hook up to your router via a standard ethernet cable or link seamlessly with your existing wireless network in a matter of minutes. Anyone can set this up and avoid frustration completely. It's very straightforward and simple and the onscreen prompts will guide you the entire time.

Now that we know what the Roku can do, I'm sure you want to know, does it actually DO them? Absolutely, YES! Obviously with the SD version, you will be viewing in SD, but the HD and HD-XR Rokus stream HD beautifully. We read some reviews that recommended using the wired ethernet connection to avoid hiccups during viewing, but we have had none whatsoever with our wireless network running on a cable internet connection. I would suggest trying the wireless first as it takes only minutes to do and requires no additional hardware, and if you have problems (which I tend to doubt) you can go the ethernet route. It should not be necessary as long as the Roku is within reasonable range of your router. Keep this in mind when choosing where to set up your Roku.

Navigation of the Roku menus is extremely simple and intuitive. There are your four directional buttons, select, home, and your standard fast forward, rewind and pause/play. I love the simplicity of this remote as our remote collection contains numerous remotes with countless confusing buttons that I have never even used. Don't be fooled by it's looks, however, because this remote is all you need to quickly and effectively access all of the Roku's features. I also wanted to point out that if you lose your remote and you have an iPhone or iPod touch, you can download an app that acts as a remote for your Roku. Sweet!!

Last but not least, you need to carefully consider which Roku you purchase. As nice as it would be to have an all-in-one box which includes all features at one price, currently you have to choose from three versions: the SD, HD and HD-XR. To put it plainly, they ALL have the same exact features. The only difference being the SD is limited to streaming only SD content, the HD can stream all HD and SD content, and the HD-XR can stream all HD and SD content and also includes an as of yet unused USB port (maybe for an external hard drive in the future?) and the ability to link with your "N" network. Given that the price difference is marginal, I would probably grab the next best up from what you are currently needing. If you have any intention at all at any point in the near or distant future to buy an HD TV, get the HD version. It's $20 more and you will spend much more than that getting a new box if you ever do get a new TV. Also, if you are at all enticed by the possibility of having an external hard drive to play all your own media, get the HD-XR. It's not been said what they intend to do with this USB port, but I think it seems fairly obvious what their plans are for it. You may not want to invest the money in a feature that is not yet supported, however. I do think it's a bit cheap to charge $30 more for a feature that should have been standard on all versions, but it is what it is.

In the end, if you love movies and like to save money, you will not be disappointed with the Roku. You will never have to visit a rental store or buy a pay-per-view rental ever again! And you may even save a nice chunk of change from canceling some channels that will now become obsolete with your new toy. If you are at all on the fence, rest assured that you will get your money's worth from this device. It's worth every penny.

94 of 101 people found the following review helpful:
Netflix users, get it, get it!!! It's the best thing since sliced bread!
This review is from: Roku SD Player (Electronics)
I previously had Netflix but I canceled it because I was tired of waiting for DVDs in the mail, I didn't think that I was really getting my full money's worth and could probably get a better deal renting from RedBox locations. But, when the folks at Netflix mentioned that there are "Netflix-ready" devices out there that could allow you to play their "instant" movies, I was intrigued. I have an older Mac laptop at home and I wasn't able to play their instant movies on it (only Intel-based Macs can do that). And, I was never really happy with watching TV shows or movies from other networks like ABC or NBC on that computer anyway. The lag-time is too long and the images were choppy and usually inconsistent. It just feels weird to watch stuff on computers. Besides, my legs would get too hot from the laptop sitting on them. So, deciding to give these Netflix-ready devices a try, I re-upped my Netflix subscription for $8.99/month (the cheapest plan for UNLIMITED instant viewing) and ordered this Roku box thing (By the way, Roku is the word for "six" in Japanese--whatever that means. Perhaps because the box has six sides? Who knows?) Anyway, I remember waiting anxiously everyday until it arrived at my doorstep. (You should know that my wife thought I was crazy for spending money on something that I had no idea how worked). But man, oh man! She got quiet and got to smiling really quick! Was it ever worth the wait!!! Please understand, I do not work for Netflix or Roku, so get that out of your head. I teach middle school. I am just a regular Joe that loves to watch movies. This thing is like having a several thousand item DVD collection right inside your living room. The quality of movies is amazing (like DVDs - except there's no subtitle option, which I like reading sometimes) and there is no delay in the image at all (at least on my directly-connected AT&T DSL service). What an amazing new invention! If you wait to get this thing, you will be missing out on a major addition to modern technology that I know will be as common as the remote control in a few short years. I love it!!! And, when you add movies or TV shows to your Netflix instant queue, you don't have to watch them one at a time. You can cycle through your choices, just like spinning a wheel--a poster image of the movie or program appears on-screen. All you have to do is stop on the choice that interests you at any given time. When you pause or stop watching, you can resume viewing at the exact same spot whenever you want. Dude, I am rushing through this review just so that I can get back to watching my movies again. Many other companies and services are being added as time goes by thanks to Roku's new "Channels" feature. Through your TV, you can view Facebook photos, listen to Pandora internet radio, view or listen to your favorite Podcasts, and sooooo many other things. So, don't be left out!!! Roku seriously rocks!

FINAL NOTE: (For those of you who were concerned) As of 12/4/09, Amazon's Video On-Demand is working on this Roku model as well!

126 of 151 people found the following review helpful:
Roku Offering for Standard Definition - NOT HD
This review is from: Roku SD Player (Electronics)
The Roku SD does exactly what it's supposed to do: stream Netflix offerings to your television in standard definition. This is the 'no frills model' and the cheapest Roku offering. There are three: Roku SD, Roku HD and Roku HD-XR. (See my reviews to read about all 3.)

This device will allow you to enjoy Netfix wirelessly or via a wired connection on your home network. It will work at b or g network speeds, but not 'n'. It will not stream content in high definition, but would be perfect for someone with an older television and no plans to upgrade. It also saves you a bit of cash (about 20%) from the price you'd pay for the HD version.

This unit will not give you the best audio and video, but it was never made to do so. There is no optical audio input, nor is there an HDMI connection on this unit. It will give you Netflix content on your television (provided you have a Netflix account) and allow you to enjoy over 17,000 movies, documentaries and television programs. Roku's are great, but you do need to find the one that's right for you!

NOTE: None of the Roku devices are currently DVR's, have built in modems or diversified mass media players or storage units. Also, THIS UNIT WILL NOT STREAM AMAZON ON DEMAND, but the Roku HD and Roku HD-XR will!

1/11/09: The Amazon On Demand (SD) store opened in December 2009 according to the Roku website. On-Demand content in SD from Amazon for the Roku SD should be available now. I've updated this review per an Amazon customer's comments regarding this issue.

Roku SD Player Specifications per the ROKU website:

Wi-Fi (802.11B/G) with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 support
10/100 Ethernet (RJ-45)
Video Outputs
Composite video (480i)
Video Modes
16:9 anamorphic
4:3 standard
Audio Output
Stereo (L/R RCA)
Remote Control
NEC protocol, supported by various universal remotes
Power Input
5V, 1.5A provided by included AC adapter
Power Consumption
5 watts peak, 4 watts in standby
5 x 5 x 1.75 inches (130 x 130 x 41 mm)
11 oz (300 grams)

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Great until it Breaks
Roku is great until the piece of cheaply made junk breaks (which will happen). Save yourself the hassle and the money.
by Rustin P

I was very excited about instant streaming of video through a variety of services. I purchased my Roku only knowing of one company that offered the service but ready to take...
by A. Murray

no power ON/OFF button. & need credit Card or screwed
1, Roku asked for a credit card.
2, there is no Power ON/off, pull the ac adapter out to turn off.
by James

Roku savvy
Roku - a device for watching Netflix instantly on your television. It's also good for instant viewing, which provides a free library for Amazon Prime memberships...
by Vulcan Death Grip

Worked great - for 13 months!
I purchased a Roku SD on March 1, 2010. My wife & I have been enjoying Netflix for the past year, until last weekend (April 1, 2011). Suddenly the unit stopped working.
by Tom R

Great Price, Excellent Product
Works perfectly with my father's SD tube TV. Couldn't be easier to use. My 70 yr old father figured it out in about 5 minutes. Wish it had an S-Video port.
by Parallel Universe

Not bad!
I got this for my wife for Christmas as she watches movies on Netflix on her computer. I don't so much, because the movies tend to be older, but she likes older movies...
by Edward A. Meardon

Don't Do It People!
The SD model of ROKU has serious issues folks. The wireless functionality on these boxes is dying at an alarming rate.
by Dianne Provenzano

Sadly my Roku died
My Roku died just past the warranty.
When I logged onto their web site their is no (Contact us) tab.
I did like the unit, but I don't think I will reorder.
by Stephen D. Feist

by GDI1952

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PopBox 3D Multimedia Player - Black

Manufacturer : Syabas Tech. Incorporated
Model : PopBox 3D
ASIN : B004V95RK4
Price : 129.99$
Last Price : 129.99$(Discount 0%
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Product Description

With the PopBox, you finally have an incredibly simple way to play ALL of your own stored movies, home videos, pictures and music on your HDTV. Plus, with the PopBox Apps Market you can now easily access the internet's most popular TV shows, videos, movies, sports, music and games on any HDTV in the house. The latest version allows users to enjoy stereoscopic 3D (Matroska 3D and other supported formats) on your 3D TV.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
Popbox is the best for the price and maybe just the best
This review is from: PopBox 3D Multimedia Player - Black (Electronics)
I am really glad to see the Popbox being sold on Amazon again. It's first iteration was, well shall we say, problematic. But since release, the company has listened to it's customer requests for improvements and now it's firmware has been vastly improved. First, this thing just plain plays movie files flawlessly for me. I have about 250 BD iso's, dvd iso, mkv's and mp4's and mov's It plays them all without a hiccup. It's fanless. Video quality is fantastic. Audio quality is fantastic. It's jukebox interface has been reorganized and navigation speed improved. It's movie scraping has been about 99% accurate and cover art has also improved. You can add an app for using the YAMJ jukebox as the player instead of the native Popbox jukebox. Thats a really nice option for those who like a really slick looking interface and like to work with their movie metadata. Forced PGS subtitles are working. It will aggregate multiple hard drives of movies into a single library, so you can have huge movie libraries. It will work wired or wireless over a network. Streaming blu-ray over wireless can be problematic. Not because of the Popbox but because most home networks just cannot consistently handle streaming that high of a bit rate. I should note that purchase of a wifi dongle is required if you want to go wireless. I just don't think there is another product in this price range that handles movie playback as good as this unit.

For the downside: The remote is poorly organized. If you looking for a lot of premium Apps such as Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, etc you are going to be disappointed. There are some apps but many. To the credit of the developers, they have focused their energies on improving the functionality of the unit. All along they have planned to provide premium apps and now that the unit has stabilized, I think more resources will be devoted toward that end. Also, the pictures and music sections are just passable. They basically work but there is a lot of room for improvement. Again, they really hammered at the main functionality of the unit, movie playback. And from what I have been reading on various media streamer forums, they all have pretty weak music and picture capability. Finally, if you are looking for something where you can modify and adjust a lot of functionality, this unit is not for you. This really is for people that want a simple unit that they can plug in and hit play. Popcorn Hour units might be better suited for you if you want to have more ability to make modifications/adjustments.

The unit is not yet perfect (and what unit is?). But if movie playback is your main need and you are looking for a jukebox style unit that scrapes movie cover art and info automatically, I would highly recommend you try the Popbox.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
I prefer a Boxee Box
This review is from: PopBox 3D Multimedia Player - Black (Electronics)

The PopBox is a great alternative to Boxee simply because it's DLNA compliant, and works right off the bat with ZyXEL NAS. Awesome. No Netflix support, and no included wifi were slight deal killers, but I also own an ATV2 and figured Boxee supporting Netflix would offset this need.

For clarification, I have two 40 inch LCDs, one in the bedroom, one in the living room. Both are 1080p, 120hz. Both hooked up to a simple 2.1 audio system.

Popbox does a great job automatically seeing content on the NAS, understanding it and embedding the proper meta data and art for it. I should also clarify most of the content and media used on it was strictly video. Using iTunes and iPhoto the Apple TV 2 so far has provided the best solution for all other media but video.

So with my library of 720p MKV, and DVD's stored as VOB files, I went through the process of migrating all my video data to the NAS, then hooked up the Popbox and Boxee boxes to separate TVs. I also went ahead and purchased the Popobox wifi usb extension via Amazon as well. Setup for the Popbox was a synch. The remote isn't very aesthetically pleasing, but it works.

Getting through setup, I gave it time to sync metadata with the contents from the NAS. This didn't take very long seeing as my library is still fairly small (3 TV series's in their entirety, 5 or 6 MKV films). It did a great job figuring out big shows like Mad Men, but newer shows like The Kennedy's and Top Gear Specials didn't quite show up right. For some reason it thought Top Gear had something to do with the Taz Manian Devil. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. But renaming files I'm sure can help solve this problem.

Accessing the files were easy, but the UI is extremely clunky. Multiple times I'd get hung up going to 'Settings' then being unable to navigate away from it to other sections of the UI. For some reason elements remain persistant even after backing out of them causing a poor experience.

On the other hand, plugging in the Boxee Box, while more expensive was a lot easier of an experience. It's a better UI, but honestly not the best. I still prefer the ATV UI over these boxes, and still prefer PLEX or XBMC even over Boxee's own interface. The remote is great, but often lacking since hitting the back button sometimes takes you where you didn't intend to go.

Media support on both devices are phenomenal though. So DIVX, MKV, h.264, VOB, really whatever you throw at either of these boxes it plays extremely well including 720p content. I noticed no stutter or hiccups over WIFI (Wireless G), all streaming from the wired NAS. So really if you're looking for a simple box to just play content on your large screen it's great.

Also if you're on OS X, using Majestic (Mac App Store), you can run your computer as a DLNA server and stream content directly to these boxes which also is convenient for quicker access to recently acquired content.

Hope this helps, questions, feel free to ask.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Great File Support
This review is from: PopBox 3D Multimedia Player - Black (Electronics)
The latest firmware is a huge improvement over the original firmware that shipped almost a year ago. It fixes all the major bugs and problems that plagued the original firmware.

The only major thing lacking from this firmware is premium content support from Netflix. I would have given it 5 stars.

It plays DVD videos great over the network in either DVD file folder structure or DVD iso images. It's amazing. It's such a better way to manage and playback DVDs now. All the artwork and information is automatically downloaded OR removed when you want it blasted from your library.

I have not tried any of the 3D capabilities or Blu-Ray playback support other than a few personal HD clips from my camcorder.

It does not play FLV containers yet. This is a minor bug.

This is a great product for anyone who wants to take control of their DVD/Blu Ray library OR use playback of the many standard online video container formats. The device will only get better when they add more premium content and apps.

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Not for Apple OSX Lion Users
Very excited when I first got the Popbox to stream movies and shows from my iMac to the TV. Was disappointed to find out that Apple no longer supports SMB file sharing in OSX Lion...
by acricketer

Not Good For Music
3 Stars for Movies
1 star for Music and other problems

PopBox is going back... If you want just for movies then this box is OK but if for other stuff then think...
by Joseph Bejm

Buy the Boxee Box
I've owned this for 2 months now. It took a little bit of setup for it to find my NAS but after messing with it for a little bit it did eventually recognize it.
by J. Long

Plays everything you throw at it, lots of value for the price
This little box may not be the best out there but for its price and format support there is nothing else that beats it.
by Myself

All I see is a blank screen...
After the initial load screen all I see is a BLANK screen. Trying various combinations of holding down the "Search" and "Mute" keys to reset the unit fail to do anything.
by Siaw Woei Shyang

Good for playback, limited features.
I thought that this was a newer and upgraded version of the Popcorn Hour Syabas product, but rather it is a cost-reduced locked-down simpler version.
by Gregory Guthrie

PopBox handles blue-ray isos like a champ. For high quality movie playback this box can't be beat. It will play any format with ease.
by netkcid

Bang for the buck
For the size and price of the box its all I needed to complete my home theater. The product started off a little rocky but after a few firmwares it has become a solid media...
by baka

Little Box Big Hit
I bought three POPBOX's last year, admittedly the firmware started off a little on the weak side but the folks at syabas have developed this Little Box into a a Big Hit.
by 33 Connelly dr

No more watching anime .mkv files on my computer!
Popbox plays my anime fansubs. Avi's, mkv's, mp4's, in 480p, 720p, and 1080p.
You can switch audio tracks and subtitles. No glitches, or blocky
by doctor_botanus

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Zinwell ZIN-5005HD 'ZinTV' 3-in-1 Networking-Ready 1080p Full HD Multimedia Player/Streamer/Torrent Downloader

Manufacturer : Zinwell
Model : ZIN-5005HD
Price : 79.99$
Last Price : 59.99$(Discount 25.0031253906738%
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Product Description

The Zinwell ZIN-5005HD multimedia player is completely networkable, making it easy to access, browse, and play all of the HD multimedia content available from the Internet.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 83 people found the following review helpful:
There Are Better Choices
This review is from: Zinwell ZIN-5005HD 'ZinTV' 3-in-1 Networking-Ready 1080p Full HD Multimedia Player/Streamer/Torrent Downloader (Electronics)
I have the Zinwell and a pair of Western Digital TV Live so I'll compare and contrast.

Setup is super easy with both. Connect to your TV or receiver via HDMI cable, attach an external hard drive (not included) and go into the menus to configure your audio and video option. You can also connect these to a wired network and Western Digial has certified a number of USB wireless adapters that require a bit more knowledge to setup. The documentation from both companies could be a lot better so I'll call this one a tie.

The WDTV Live is a bit slower to start up but directory changes are much-much faster than the Zinwell. I suspect because the WD indexes and caches directories of any external drives while the Zinwell has to reread it each time. The difference in speed is absolutely huge. Basically performance wise the Zinwell feels really-really doggy to me. Advantage WDTV Live.

The WD has a much cleaner and better looking interface compared to the Zinwell's ugly menus over a /Linux/like/file/system/. I can live with ugly as long as it works but in 2011 I shouldn't have to. Advantage WDTV Live.

The WDTV Live outputs 5.1 audio in DTS format over HDMI, toslink or coax; the Zinwell outputs raw bits or stereo over HDMI. If your Receiver supports DTS then advantage WDTV.

The Zinwell's remote is a tad better but much larger. Both media players work seamlessly with Harmony remotes. Advantage Zinwell.

Both play nearly every popular audio and video format either from your own external hard drive or across a wired network. However both struggle trying to play hi-def video across a network connection. I find that hi-def vidio from an external hard drive works pretty well with the WDTV Live but never could get the Zinwell to output anything but stereo without the sound breaking up. Advantage WDTV Live.

The Zinwell promises access to the full DVD/BD menus but I never could get menus to work and found the separate audio selection button to be stubborn. With the Western Digital you do have to get used to using the "options" button to access audio and subtitle choices but they work. Slight advantage WDTV Live.

Bottom line the network media player market is still immature with many newer products coming down the pike but for now I consider the Zinwell a no-go for my needs.

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful:
Great Little Device
This review is from: Zinwell ZIN-5005HD 'ZinTV' 3-in-1 Networking-Ready 1080p Full HD Multimedia Player/Streamer/Torrent Downloader (Electronics)
I own the Zinwell unit (not the brite-view or the viewsonic that look exactly the same).

Good for:
-Home HD Videos (Havent run into a file that it wont play yet)
-Playback DVD image files w/o burning on to DVD
-Karaoke Files (it has a left/right channel shift key)
-Picture viewing with background music (you choose what song to play)

-2 USB ports that work with Hard Drives (Only tried NTFS) and USB flash drives (Only tried FAT16, FAT32, NTFS)
-lots of codec (rmvb, avi, mkv, iso, vob extensions all work fine)
-1080p output
-both bitstream of decode DTS and Dolby Digital sound (DTS ES 6.1 and DD EX both work fine, dont have anything to test high bitrate audio format though)
-Network capability (never used it)

-video/audio glitches when switching subtitles or audio tracks in a video file, easy fix by rewinding a second then play, then will play flawlessly till the end
of the file.


41 of 51 people found the following review helpful:
works but there are plenty of better choices
This review is from: Zinwell ZIN-5005HD 'ZinTV' 3-in-1 Networking-Ready 1080p Full HD Multimedia Player/Streamer/Torrent Downloader (Electronics)
Won't see my wireless. I hooked it up wired, and it will see my network, but fails to log on. I hook up my external hard drives to it, and it will play dvd image files fine, unless they are blu-ray. They play, but it seems there is too much information for it, because after a few minutes, the sound will crackle, then stop. The movie plays on, but no sound. If I pause it, I can get sound again for a couple seconds, but then it does it again.
If it was just regular DVD image files, it works fine, but it is suppose to be an HD player, and Blu-Ray is HD. It will not work with Blu-ray image files.
And the internet radio/tv stuff is a joke, it took me like a century to update the firmware and still shows logon fail message.
one star for some media player basic features, but there are plenty better choices (some of them are even cheaper).

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Had high hopes
I got this because it's dlna and has 802.11n capabilities. The problem I have with it is that it has trouble connecting to a dlna server which my other devices in the house all...
by Mindful One

Good item for the price
I purchased this m/p a little over a year ago for playing back HD movies and some of my older classics and for the price that I spent on this I think it is well worth the money.
by H.A.

Zinwell ZIN-5005HD
This player is a joke!
The Zinwell wifi dongle that cost $20 bucks can onlu work at 54Mbps, not much use to streamline ANYTHING from the internet.
by Terence K. Lee

I like this little box
This player has been in use heavily since its arrival about a month ago. I converted all my DVDs to .iso or mkv/mp4 files and play in this machine.
by L. Yang

Terrible product
I currently own the older model ZIN-5003, which is sold only in Asia. I used the onine software update several times with success, but recently it failed on the firmware update...
by Tran

Actually 4 1/2, but no more cable bill!!!
After you set up your Zinwell you'll want to start adding scripts or plugins. Movshare is my favorite.
by Jeffry Fernandez

Media player
I bought this player because of the features it has ib the ability to play most media files.
I have benn using this player for three days and I have been somewhat...
by Joseph J. Grille

Capable Ugly Duckling
This box is identical to BriteView's CinemaTube 5005HD. The interface is gritty and sparse. The remote is OK.
by KS

Beware of claims such as DLNA and "Free TV/Radio"
In the description, you see MANY misleading references to online media sources like Hulu and Netflix.
by B. Slagle

Does exactly what I bought it for and a little bit more
I ordered this because my HDTV came out just before HDMI took hold, so I needed a Media Player that did 1080p with a YPbPr connector.
by Oscar Cichlid

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ASUS O!Play - TV HD Media Player (Black)

Manufacturer : ASUS Computer International Direct
Model : O!Play
Price : 99.99$
Last Price : 265.81$(Discount -165.836583658366%
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Product Description

The Asus ASU-HDP-R1-3A O!Play Digital Media Player lets users plug in and enjoy the show.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

260 of 274 people found the following review helpful:
A truly impressive and versatile media player, with some flaws
This review is from: ASUS O!Play - TV HD Media Player (Black) (Electronics)


With the new firmware, UPnP has been added, along with some slightly improved icons. With UPnP, the O!Play sees Chinese and Japanese filenames properly, but none of my MKV's showed up, a problem I had on all networked players I've tested. Only a fraction of my total library was listed. If you want to see your entire list, don't use UPnP.


During video or image playback, the picture can be zoomed up to 8x. During video playback, the fast-forward/rewind can go up to 32x. The inclusion of volume control buttons is very thoughtful and useful. You can turn video preview on or off. Pausing over a file for a second will play it in a smaller window on the right (with audio). There is a slight delay of a second or two when reading the file's metadata off a drive or the network, during which time you can't push the play button. This can be a potential problem for people and gets annoying. For music, pausing over the file displays the ID3 info (song name, artist, album name, year, etc).

One cool feature is the ability to adjust the device options while playing back a movie. The menu overlays on top of the movie and you can adjust your settings (Brightness, Contrast, Aspect Ratio, etc) and resume. There's also a Noise Reduction option, but I suggest turning this OFF. It caused strange and distracting frame shimmering in some movies. Lastly, O!Play also remembers where you left off on each movie and can resume the next time you play the file.

This is where the O!Play really shines. It played all of the 100+ random files I threw at it, except for a few stray (and poor quality) .WMV files I got from the internet. MKV, AVI, MPG, DIVX, RM, TS all played flawlessly, both standard def and hi-def 720p/1080i/p content. It even plays Flash Video (FLV), a feature rarely encountered. DTS and Dolby multi-channel audio is downsampled to stereo, so there's no need for an audio receiver if you just want to output through the TV for convenience.

The Asus also plays .IFO/VOB files with DVD chapters, menus, and all disc features as if it were the original DVD. That's great news for users looking to make a centralized DVD collection on a server or a big hard drive. The only problem is there doesn't seem to be a button to get back to the menu. You have to stop the movie and start it again.

For photos, the ASUS has a problem displaying progressive JPEGs. Images will fit to screen and can zoom up to 8x, but there's no 1x view to see it at the original size.

I tested external .SRTs and internally embedded subtitles in .MKV's in a number of languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Russian, English, French, and others. All worked when saved as UTF-8. For multilingual families and fans of foreign film, this is great news. You can also set the interface to one of 10 major world languages. Subtitle files can be downloaded from sites like DivxStation.

With firmware 1.11, external and internal subs are both recognized if both types co-exist for a movie. Previously, only embedded subs were seen when a movie had both types. Now, pushing the subtitle button pops up a submenu where you can select the subtitle, change its encoding, font size, position, color, and importantly, syncing (many downloaded subtitles are off by a few seconds). This is very useful! No more re-saving. Just cycle through the available encodings or adjust the timing until the sub looks right (but you should still re-save to avoid doing this every time). Where multiple external subs existed, the O!Play did not recognize their names, showing only a number (like "Subtitle: 2 (SRT)", even when named according to the movie's filename (e.g. "Batman.mkv" -> "Batman -"). Pushing the info button a second time shows extended info like codec, resolution, and bitrate. It is better to mux the subtitle into the file using something like mkvmerge GUI and metatag the language name onto it. Subtitle line-spacing is a bit of an issue (too much). You can change the font size and color, but not the gap. Lastly, I wish for a thick black outline around the text like the WDTV Live. Sometimes the subtitle blends into the movie, no matter what color you set it to.

This is a weak point for the device. With no gigabit Ethernet, it is less future-proof against monster 8GB+ .MKV files and other bandwidth intensive HD content. Also lack of wireless connectivity means I do not have freedom to locate this device wherever I want.

The O!Play is truly a multimedia beast. It plays nearly everything under the sun and as a WDTV and WDTV live owner, I can safely say that Western Digital has some serious competition here. At $99, it is a very capable device at a fantastic value, and its homely interface is forgivable. It is, however, rather boxy and brick-like, taking up as much space as a 3.5" external hard drive or an average Bible. It's 2x the size of the WDTV. Lastly, WDTV Live has Flickr, YouTube, and Pandora streaming. O!Play has no internet playback capabilities as of the current firmware release, though that can quickly change. ASUS has already added substantial improvements like the subtitle fixes and UPnP.

If wireless connectivity could be added with a firmware update, then this player will be all things to all people. (WDTV Live supports third party WiFi dongles). This is THE player to get if you want MKV, RMVB, and DVD .IFO support and don't care about wireless. Great value coupled with a great firmware support attitude makes this a highly recommended buy, and I hope ASUS surprises us with more software features down the road.

UPDATE #1: Dec 10/09: Firmware 1.17 is now available, which adds BD .iso support and lets you jump forward by 5/10/15/30 mins.

UPDATE #2: Feb 15/10: Firmware 1.21 has just been released. It adds MAJOR internet content connectivity as well as the option to wirelessly connect your R1! This is something users have been clamoring for since this product's release and a giant leap forward. With a compatible USB dongle, this thing does everything the Air does, except the media...

186 of 212 people found the following review helpful:
This review is from: ASUS O!Play - TV HD Media Player (Black) (Electronics)
asus box
Speaking as someone who really does own this device - this thing rules. It streams easily and quickly from my xp box in my basement over cat5 cable. (or the technologically inept may just hook a USB or esata hard drive direct)

It plays everything so far including ISO (dvd image) files, video_ts rips from dvds (I know someone will ask these questions) but I did it already and it works great.

Other files, MKV, xvid, divx, whatever. PERFECT. 1080P, blue ray quality files look perfect. No blockiness, no hesitation, no problems. And they start IMMEDIATELY.

All you need do is create a share on the server pc, then create a shortcut to it on the asus. (EASY) And off you go. Some files will not easily fastforward/rewind, and that mostly relates to how well the original creator encoded the file. In other words, if they used lousy/cheap software to rip a file, it may not fastforward smoothly, but it will still play.

The other con is no wireless networking. Now, I personally don't care about this because I have cat5 cable already and real wired networking is far more reliable. Also, it probably makes the product cheaper.

If you have a habit of playing huge 1080p files and want to go wireless, you may have to go with 802.11N hardware if you encounter stuttering. If it stutters it's probably not the Asus's fault.

As a sidenote, I have tried other methods of showing movies and such on TV's. Xbox360, PS3, PC. They all have huge disadvantages, mostly relating to codecs and incompatabilities and transcoding and such for the Xbox and PS3. It's just too much trouble. Seriously. I've become somewhat of an expert on the subject and I got really sick of saying "I downloaded this sick video, lets watch it" and then some error message comes on because of some obscure encoding quirk like wmv 8.2jafjSOB352. I wouldn't have bought either game console had I known what a pain it was. Especially the media sharing and transcoding, don't get me started. (I don't play games)

The PC, well, still too darn much trouble - I have to give tech support to every tom, frank, and larry who just want to watch a movie. Log into the computer, start media center, navigate, navigate, navigate. Ugh. Have done XP media center, vista media center, windows 7 ultimate media center. Holy moley, just forget it - I don't want to train people. This Asus thing? Connect and go. No joke. I will not mention macs, because you know what? No matter which way you go with Apple, it's more than $99. (and I don't own one because I don't think different)
I don't work for any of these companies, I'm just happy I can watch a movie. That's all I ever wanted.

Oh, and full subtitles and multiple audiotracks, no problems at all.

Oh, and I own a WD Media TV thing as well. No networking and audio troubles to boot. Blech.

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful:
great idea, small issues
This review is from: ASUS O!Play - TV HD Media Player (Black) (Electronics)
Update Nov/11/09: I installed the latest firmware and this solved several of the issues I had. I edited a few things I have previously written.

I bought this box based on many positive reviews here. My experiences differ a little though.

Yes this unit plays pretty much anything. That's a big plus. The interface and setup is also very simple and easy. You really don't need a manual for it. The image quality is great, both SD and HD movies look excellent. It even playes ISO files of DVDs or bluray disks! That's a very nice feature as you can dump the whole DVD to disk and get all menus and features. It does not play ISO files from the old HD-DVD disks. That's a bummer as this would give us access to very inexpensive HD movies. There is a fix provided you have a HD-DVD drive. A software called Clown_BD (google it) will create a .ts file from your HD-DVD disk in 20 min. These will play fine on the O!Play.

Even though it's supposed to play ISO images from bluray disk, it still has some issues with that. Transformer 1 for example doesn't have sound (it says 'unsupported audio format').

I have a collection of 400+ movies on my server, in various formats. The O!Play plays them all. The slightly annoying thing is that as you scroll through a list of movie files it tries to instantly play a preview which causes a delay in scrolling through the list. This preview feature can now (new firmware) be turned off in the setup so the annoying delay can now be reduced but not entirely avoided. It still takes two or three seconds before it actually allows you to hit play (using a fast network). :-/

The bigger issue I found was that it stops to play back in the middle of a movie. It happened on every movie I tried it on so far, so it's not a random issue. The new firmware seems to have fixed this issue but I haven't had the time to test this with enough movies to be sure. I will update my review once I have had the chance to test more and confirm it's really fixed.

The O!Play now supports media servers! The firmware that my box came with did not, so you have to upgrade the firmware. (It is very easy though!)

The O!Play uses very little power which I think is a big plus! My PS3 needs 150-200 Watt, the O!Play only 10.

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Works great even with the new 3Tb drives (with the upgrade from the web site) I have bought more for friends. So easy plug in hard drive plug into TV and watch!
by Tandiwe

ASUS O!Play - great
I've had this unit for about a year and no problems only to upgrade the firmware. Great little media player that can play all video formats. I would recommend this unit.
by CB

Very poor customer service
This bad thing does not have a button on it, so you have to use remote control. What if you lose your remote control or can not find it somewhere?
by xnzhxnzh

Great replacement of DVD player
This plays a lot of formats and is a good replacement of a dvd player. You just need a hard disk and just need to plug it in.
by Nayan Zaveri

Just as I expected from Asus
The Asus Media Player does its job. Mine came with firmware verison 1.33 and I had to upgrade to its latest firmware Version 1.35 + 1.
by A. Yi

A pain
Wow this box sucks. My main interest was sharing files from my computer. It does that but you have to go through several screens to find your media and it is slow.
by Kenneth R. Farley

Doesn't play all formats it says it does
My review is, basically, it's ok. I bought it to view AVI/WMV/MKV/MP4/FLV files. I had previously been converting these files to dvd, which can take hours per disc...
by Disco Mystic

Great Product!
Very Happy with this player!
It plays everything I throw at it. Including downloaded hulu videos, youtube, etc.
by Hi-Tek-Red-Neck

Awesome deal for great product
Well I was looking for a good HD player which can play my vedios on my LCD, and what better player can I get than ASUS O Player.
by Rishi

wished i had looked closer at reviews
so i bought it and found it did the avi files i had but none of the wmv files i had created from the 150 titles i had .......make sure you use something it likes like the avi files
by Christopher Brown

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Arrival! brite-View BV-5005HD Mini "CinemaGo" 3-in-1 1080p Full HD Networking Multimedia Player/Streamer/Torrent Downloader, WiFi Package , Black (USB WiFi dongle and HDMI cable INCLUDED)

Manufacturer : Xpike Innovation Inc.
Model : BV-5005HD Mini CG
Price : 149.99$
Last Price : 109.99$(Discount 26.6684445629709%
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Product Description


brite-View CinemaGo is a compact (dimentions : 4 X 1.4 X 5.5 inches) full 1080p HD networking media player/streamer features HD playback from removable USB/eSATA HDD, streaming contents from remote computers.

Full 1080P HD

It supports 1080p video formats in VCD 1.0/2.0,SVCD,MPEG1(DAT/MPG/MPEG),MPEG2(MPG/MPEG/VOB/ISO/IFO/TS/TP)/M2TS,MPEG4(MP4/AVI/MOV),DivX 3/4/5/6(AVI/MKV),Xvid (AVI/MKV),H.264/AVC(TS/AVI/MKV/MOV)/M2TS,VC-1(TS/AVI/MKV/WMV)/M2TS,WMV9(WMV),Real Video 8/9/10 (RM/RMVB,to 720p) and FLV. Note:Media files protected by DRM are not supported.

DVD Menu

It supports ISO files, so you can navigate the DVD menu and watch your video as if there was a regular DVD.

Playback Features

You can play media files directly from removable USB/eSATA storage devices (HDD,Digital Camera,HD Digital Camcorder,FLIP Video) with zooming. A preview function with video playback, panoramic photo slideshow with background music and editable playlist to play preferred files continuously!


Built-in wired connection(An Ethernet cable is included.An dedicated USB WiFi adapter is also included for easy wireless connection), it can stream contents stored in shared computers (with or without password-protected), or stream online contents like YouTube and Hulu etc from UPnP devices (*3rd parties apps like PlayOn installed in computer*). Due to the "best effort" nature of networking, the streaming playback quality might not be in HD .


Built-in torrent downloader, you can download torrents without turn PC on.Built-in MUZEE Internet Radio can live broadcasting tens of thousands of sports, music, news or talk show channels from 210 countries.

What's in the Box

BV-5005HD Mini HD Media Player, USB WiFi Adapter, Ethernet Cable, RCU, HDMI/RCA cables, Power Adapter.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful:
Brite-View did it again, CinemaGo is the way to go
This review is from: New Arrival! brite-View BV-5005HD Mini "CinemaGo" 3-in-1 1080p Full HD Networking Multimedia Player/Streamer/Torrent Downloader, WiFi Package , Black (USB WiFi dongle and HDMI cable INCLUDED) (Electronics)
I have previously tried WD TV (1st generation) and CinemaTube and compared them since these were the media players having similar features at similar prices. Despite WD TV was the most popular media player, I had shown that CinemaTube was the winner.

Read my review here:

Now that both WD TV Live Plus and CinemaGo are out to fight, I can see CinemaGo is still going to be the winner for similar reasons. Although this time I did not try WD TV Live Plus (I didn't feel to), but after comparing their available features, from my previous experience with WD TV and CinemaTube and current experience with CinemaGo, I must say it will be hard to get a better product in the market at this price point.

This time I have tried CinemaGo by hooking it up with different external hard disk drives (HDD), namely, 1.5 TB Seagate (7200 rpm inside, the notorious 7200.11 batch, still surviving though), 880 GB Seagate portable (5400 rpm), 320 GB SimpleTech portable (5400 rpm Hitachi inside) via USB and then connecting the player to my 720p 37" plasma HDTV via HDMI.

Like any other media player in the market, this device is very simple to use, for its main job (as a player), you DON'T need to a "PC to keep open".

Idea is like this:

External USB/eSATA HDD .....> CinemaGo .....> HDTV (through HDMI)

And, you are good to go. All you need is to put movies, music, photos in HDD! Of course, you need a PC to put the digital files in that external HDD (portable preferred, you know why I am saying that).

For torrent downloading, you still don't need to keep PC open!!! Once you copy the .torrent file in HDD, and configure with CinemaGo after attaching this device with network router through ethernet cable (wireless also possible, not recommended as it's slower), it will download the file w/o any PC!

For streaming things like Hulu, you need to keep PC open as PC will run the software (PlayOn) to communicate.

What CAN CinemaGo do? Well, all that CinemaTube can and MORE!!! It may sound like I am repeating my previous review but you will find interesting new and/or improved features time to time. Have fun reading...

# Plays virtually any file you are aware of. I have many different files in my HDD, namely, x264 coded MKV, DivX/XviD coded AVI, WMV, RM, MP4, MOV and so on. None of them failed. It even played .MTS files (from my HD camcorder) flawlessly. Unless the file specs are unusual and/or not supported by CinemaGo, it should play well. Other than WD TV Mini, none of the WD players still play RM files. This is because WD TVs (other than Mini version) are based on Sigma chipset while CinemaGo is based on Realtek chipset. I mainly use x264 coded MKV (with AC3 or DTS audio) video files now-a-days, no glitches so far. Some FLV files failed, but Brite-View let me know that they are working on it.
# Can play upto 1080p although I could be able to test upto 720p as my TV does not support 1080p. However, I have ripped a blu-ray movie disk (BD) into my HDD and kept it untouched (~40 GB BDMV folder). CinemaGo played the movie without any hitch and although I did fast forward/ rewind a few times even at highest speed (32x), playback could not be interrupted. Amazing! It also supports playback of blu-ray ISO file. BD menu is not supported yet (and, not by similar media players either), we will see how Brite-View handles that in future.
# DTS + Dolby digital ready. I could not still test it as I do not have a dedicated surround system.
# Video preview. Was not available in WD players before. I don't see it available in WD TV Live Plus in their official website.
# Resumes playback. WD players do this too, CinemaGo does only in a nicer way. For example, once I detached my HDD after watching a movie half the way and turning off the player. The next time I wanted to play the rest of the movie; and on hooking up that HDD and selecting that movie, the player wanted to play the movie from the point where I stopped!
# Edits playlist.
# Plays DVD menu with dedicated button. This means if normal DVD disk is copied into the HDD as VIDEO_TS folder or ISO file, CinemaGo plays it as if you were playing a DVD in normal standalone DVD player (for example, if I want to turn on/off English subtitles or go to a specific scene (scene selection), or extra features). None of the WD TV had this great feature until WDTV Live Plus came up. It appears that CinemaGo is pretty fast for menu navigation.
# Downloads torrents (simultaneously 3). I could be able to do it by setting up a static IP address for the player. No WD players can do it yet.
# UPnP streaming through 3rd party apps. CinemaGo is a networkable media player, so it can connect to your home network. With included and dedicated wireless N USB 2.0 adapter, you can also do it wirelessly. Built-in wireless could be there (like bulkier Asus O!Play Air), however, built-in wireless does not always perform as good as external USB wireless. For WD TV Live Plus, you have to buy the adapter separately.
NOTE: I am not very wireless fan. It is slow (and only good upto 720p, in some cases still stuttering). Playing computer content (or online Hulu, etc through 3rd party software) wirelessly by this device is possible and may be useful if you have a desktop.
# Turns HDTV into a supersized digital photo frame.
# Plays a plethora of formats for music, photo and subtitle files.
# Compatible with Mac file system (HFS+ supportive). Not available in WD players.
# Remote control is bigger but much better than WD's (and many others'). This is another good reason why I have liked CinemaGo so much. The remote is easy to understand, feels good in your hand like a TV remote and is very responsive.
# Really light and portable. CinemaGo is comparable with WD TV Live Plus in terms of size and way smaller than CinemaTube.
# Universal voltage (100-240 V). Consumes little power.
# Spin down the HDD when the player is turned off. The portable HDDs actually get turned off when the player is off.
# Two USB ports, one eSATA port; one HDMI, one composite video; one L/R S/P DIF optical audio; one Ethernet port. USB ports are in the front for easy access. Someone might complain that USB ports are so close that it will be hard to use two bulky USB flash drives at the same time; however, the portable design of the gadget may not allow the USB ports to be far apart from each other (try to use slim flash drives). eSATA port is a new feature (for speed aficionados) which was not there in CinemaTube. Again, to keep it portable (possibly), the company has decided to exclude component video, therefore, if it is mandatory for you to use component video feature, CinemaGo is not for you (go for CinemaTube instead). I have also noticed that CinemaGo has a power button in the front. CinemaGo can send signals via HDMI and composite at the same time and show the same video (with audio) on both displays.
# Can show files directly from any plugged USB storage devices like digital camera or camcorder like Flip Video.
# Comes with HDMI cable. WD does not offer it.
# Does firmware update (online/USB update) frequently to get you more and improved features. This is where WD disappointed me (& many others, I guess). They have been in the market for so long time, but do little update.
# CinemaGo seems to be faster and more responsive than its previous model CinemaTube. Keep in mind that loading time of a HDD may vary depending on its capacity, rpm, how much space you are using, etc.
# CinemaGo's user interface (UI), to me, is way better than CinemaTube's UI. A new look of the UI in the near future.
# Flickr support (searchable) is nice.
# Muzee music service. Many free channels are available. I normally play two channels of my choice wirelessly; and, they sound very nice and never stuttered. You can add channels to your favorites.
# File copy/move is possible.
# File search. Very desirable feature specially, when you have hundreds of files in your HDD.
# Support for file sharing (Simple NAS).
# Music "Previous", "Next" features are supported when playing back music.
# RSS reader is supported.
# When I received CinemaTube, it used to change drive letter of HDD to a different one. Keeping the drive letter the same is important especially if you have OS files in your USB drive. It was disappointing that I had to reassign the drive letter if I wanted to hook it up back again with my computer. Not any more after they fixed through a firmware update and not in CinemaGo either.
# Many more features you will come to know only when you play with it.

What CinemaGo CANNOT do:

# No torrent uploads. Torrent communities typically want members to maintain a typical upload/download ratio, therefore, you eventually have to use a computer to "upload" something. In addition to that, computer can offer better control in torrent client like configuration, speed, details, etc.
# Already mentioned that BD menu is not supported yet.
# WD has better online community "so far".
# Occasionally, it fails to respond, but that happens to every standalone media player including WD players.
# No direct Netflix option (subscription required though) unlike WD TV Live Plus. You can still stream Netflix in CinemaGo using 3rd party software in your computer.
# No internal bay for a portable HDD like Patriot Box Office. Frankly, I am happy that CinemaGo doesn't have it. In order to add/change/delete media files, taking out a HDD and putting it back is painful. And, there is a...

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful:
Great unit with 1 minor flaw
This review is from: New Arrival! brite-View BV-5005HD Mini "CinemaGo" 3-in-1 1080p Full HD Networking Multimedia Player/Streamer/Torrent Downloader, WiFi Package , Black (USB WiFi dongle and HDMI cable INCLUDED) (Electronics)
This unit actually get 4 1/2 stars since it does have one minor flaw.

Received the unit this afternoon. Nice little package. Simple to install without even looking at the quickstart. Power and HDMI is all you need to connect. Initial setup is simple, unit boots up asking you about screen aspect and resolution. Once that is done you are set to go. The user interface is simple and easy to use. I bought this unit mainly for watching all kinds of foreign language videos. So far it played everything I've put on it. RMVB, AVI, 720p MKV, MP4, photos, audiobook, etc with no problem. Even non HD video files looks pretty good.

The only flaw that I can see so far is the placement of the 2 USB port on the front and the included WiFi adapter. The 2 port are fairly close together and the included WiFi adapter have a wide body and once installed. there is no room for anything on the other port except a USB cable. That mean if you want to use a Flash Drive or some kind of direct connection device. You will not be able to unless you get a USB extension cable. It would also be nice to have USB access on the back panel (if they use a combo eSATA/USB port)for any permanently attached device.

The company also seem pretty pro-active in supporting this unit as I also received an email this morning letting me know that and update firmware is already available for download.

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
Great device for watching videos off my NAS... but
This review is from: New Arrival! brite-View BV-5005HD Mini "CinemaGo" 3-in-1 1080p Full HD Networking Multimedia Player/Streamer/Torrent Downloader, WiFi Package , Black (USB WiFi dongle and HDMI cable INCLUDED) (Electronics)
The CinemaGo is exactly what I wanted in a simple device to watch my DVDs I have ripped and other videos I have accumulated over the years on my network storage servers. It connected effortlessly to two different kinds of servers and played the video with ease.

That said there are some really silly things I can whine about. First, whoever thought of putting a flashing blue light on the front of a box that might someday appear in someone's bedroom was really not thing ahead. No way to turn it off except for electrical tape as far as I can see. Oh, and the power button does not seem to turn it off either.

Second, the process of playing music is as stupid as all of the other devices I have used like this. You basically have to descend into the folder of the music you want to play. It does have a playlist capability but I have not used it yet. It would be nice to navigate by mp3 tags.

Third, The photo area has no concept of choosing a folder with subfolders. Therefore if you want to show all of your photos in a never ending slideshow, this is not your device. You have to choose the folder with the pictures you want to show. Great if you want to fool around with the device every time you want to change it. But lousy if you want to set it and forget it. They might consider [...] as an alternative if they cannot write more friendly software.

Lastly, I would like to be able to create "shortcuts" wherever I am in the network filesystem. But, alas, the shortcut mechanism seems tedious.

All the whining complete, I am very happy with the device. It plays all formats of video flawlessly. That's why I purchased it.

Most Recent Customer Reviews

ISO files not sortable or searchable
The CinemaGo is a great media player unless you use lots of ISO files. There is no way to sort or search ISO files with CinemaGo.
by avgdude

Not impressed at all
If I had a chance to do it over again I would not purchase this. The GUI is horrible. The speed is slow. Didn't feel that I got anything for the $.
by P. Privette

Tough choice, but happy with final selection
I couldn't be happier with this product. Your final choice of media player will come down to the features you require.
by S.

The best media player so far
In the last ten years or so, I purchased seven different media players. This brite-View one is the best so far in all aspects.
by Yousuf E. M. Ebrahim

Highly rated, Inexpensive, Frustrating
I tried out this product for 2 days before I returned it. I wanted something to replace my aging Kodak Theater HD Player, which I bought at Amazon for about $120.
by L. Humbird

Was good for its time...
I have had this player for about a year, and when I first got it, it was a big improvement on the WDTV I had been using.
by J. Morrison

Significant improvement since the last firmware upgraded
This is my first HD mediaplayer so frankly I did not expect much more than the basics. It did the job of playing movies off a External HD and that is all I mostly used it for...
by PauL

You cant go wrong with this little box
Having read the latest reviews and given the proliferation of this type of device, I purchased this box with reservations.
However, the box has performed extremely well.
by Jose Chajon/ VIACOMP

This is my 2nd Cinema Tube....GOTTA LOVE IT
First of all... Let me say right off.... I LOVE THIS DEVICE.... How can you not? It plays everything you throw at it.

Interface is horrible. Remote not backlit. Cannot Fast Forward without having to start over.
I really thought this was a great device until my nephews stopped in with their PS3. Both are fine for watching movies off of my computer's HDD through the network (hard-wired)...
by JohnCl

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NETGEAR XE104 85 Mbps Powerline 4-Port Ethernet Adapter

Manufacturer : Netgear
Model : XE104NA
Price : 108$
Last Price : 64.99$(Discount 39.8240740740741%
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Product Description

4 x 10/100Base-TX LAN - Ethernet Switch Product Description

The NETGEAR XE104 85 Mbps Powerline 4-Port Ethernet Adapter offers:
  • An easy way to extend four network ports through your power lines
  • 85 Mbps throughput
  • True plug and play simplicity
The NETGEAR XE104 85 Mbps Powerline 4-Port Ethernet Adapter lets you easily extend a network using just the existing electric lines of your home, eliminating the need to run unsightly Ethernet wires all over your house or apartment. With four ports, you can connect multiple devices to one adapter and at 85 Mbps, you'll have more than enough speed to download music, stream videos, and make internet telephone calls without any hiccups.

You can connect up to four devices into a Powerline network with the XE104. View larger.
True Plug and Play Installation
Extending a network using the electric lines in your home requires an XE104 unit and an additional NETGEAR XE103 Powerline Ethernet Adapter. Simply plug the XE103 into a wall outlet and connect it to your router with an Ethernet cord. Then plug the XE104 into the wall outlet where you need a network connection and connect it to as many as four Ethernet-ready devices. That's it. There's no software to install. You can create as many network connections as you need by connecting more XE104 or XE103 units wherever you need them. The device has easy-to-read icon LEDs for status information at a glance.

Fast Performance
The XE104 is HomePlug compatible and supports speeds up to 85 Mbps which is enough for multiple video streams without interruptions. The XE104 has four 10/100 Ethernet ports with which you can connect a PC, gaming console, Slingbox, DVR, NETGEAR's SC101T Storage Central Turbo or ReadyNAS NV+, or another networkable device. In order to enable encryption, you need a computer with Windows Vista, XP, 2000, 98 or Me.

The NETGEAR XE104 85 Mbps Powerline 4-Port Ethernet Adapter is backed by 1-year warranty.

What's in the Box
XE104 85 Mbps Powerline 4-Port Ethernet Adapter, installation guide, Ethernet cable, resource CD, warranty card, and support and information card.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful:
Works perfectly but 85 megs is fantasyland.
This review is from: NETGEAR XE104 85 Mbps Powerline 4-Port Ethernet Adapter (Personal Computers)
Bought two. Plugged in one in my home office with a Cat5 coming from my WRT54G router.

Plugged the other one in on the opposite side of my ranch townhome. Got the blue light sync indicator within 5 seconds. Plugged in my laptop and got an IP from the Linksys five seconds after that..

Works perfectly. No drops. Just like an ethernet cable would be. Since it has four ports, plugged in the Tivo via the USB/Ethernet I already had. That also grabbed an IP and worked perfectly.

Consistent speed of copying WinXP SP2 off my PC in my home office to my laptop in the living room using the two 104s is about 15 Mbps or so as measured by Netstat on my laptop. Is it equal to Cat5? Is it ANYWHERE NEAR 85 Mbps as Netgear advertises? NOT A CHANCE. Connecting the laptop to my LAN by directly connecting into the WRT54G resulted in the same file being moved from the same PC at just over 75 Mbps. So, the 15 Mbps speed of the 104s is about 20% of the LAN's speed moving the same file.

The Netgear software says the two are connected at just about 40 Mbps. So, figure less than half that in real speed.

But overall, it does work. It's more than enough speed for me to avoid the hassles and drops of wireless, not to mention having to use WEP since my Tivo can't currently support WPA.

Clearly, this is a YMMV product. Buy it and take the shot. You might get enough speed. Or you may not even have it sync up. That's why I bought it from Amazon so I could return it if I had too. Could have gotten it a bit cheaper elsewhere, but why risk it?

If I was streaming HD files, it wouldn't work. But for not having to deal with cutting through 19 (!) wireless networks that my 802.XX Site Monitor can see, and fighting the inevitable XP wireless drops, it works fine for me. I was going to go for the Slinglink first but figured I might as well try for faster speeds. I'm glad I spent the extra $$$$ over it and the older Netgear 102s.

5 stars for ease of use. 1 star for the laughable real speed versus Netgear's advertising. Thus, an average of 3 stars.

EDIT TO ORIGINAL REVIEW: I have `SBC/ATT/Whatever they are today' DSL. I tweaked my RCP Receive Window (RWIN) from blank (whoopps) to 17,424 (as well as other settings) per's suggestion in order to accommodate the new 6.0/764 RT based speed profile I recently received. In doing do, the speed of file transfers referenced above via the 104 dropped from about 15 megs to less than 10. When I removed the RWIN setting restoring it to its state before messing with it, the speed returned to the 15 megs.

So, if you've tweaked your registry settings for maximum broadband download speed and are not getting great results with the 104, you might want to do a little tweaking trade off between the two to get the speeds you're seeking on both the 104 and your broadband access. My results of both speeds is still in 'messing around with' mode and I haven't yet found that perfect blend.

EDIT TO ORIGINAL REVIEW #2 - 06/11/2006: Still working fine. Speeds are consistent with what I originally posted. It's never failed once to work the way it's intended. I've never dropped an IP and I've never plugged in the laptop and not had it work within a few seconds. A good product in my specific enviornment. I'll buy another one so I can plug in the laptop anywhere in my place, even the deck outside and not have to fight wireless drops. Now if they'd only release the 1.6 firmware....

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful:
Simple and Easy-to-Use. Works Well. 85 Mbps? I Just Don't See It.
This review is from: NETGEAR XE104 85 Mbps Powerline 4-Port Ethernet Adapter (Personal Computers)
* Works very well!
* Easy to install and to use
* Built-in 4-port router in each module!
* Reliable 30 Mbps connection, but speed will likely depend on your specific location.
* Includes all the required pieces to install one end point (module, Ethernet cable, software, manual). You need a minimum of two such modules.
* Reasonably good documentation on CD-ROM.
* Bright blue HomePlug network LED is extremely bright--a free nightlight!

* Never saw 85 Mbps but did reliably see 30 Mbps+.
* You need a minimum of two of these units. No manufacturer seems to make this clear on their web site.
* Optional but highly recommended encryption utility isn't obvious or convenient (you need to record the password printed in small print on the back side of the module). Also, it seemed like I was always setting up the module at the opposite end of the connection.

I purchased two of the Netgear XE104 units (one for the cable gateway, one for the remote destination). While the Linksys WCG200 cable gateway has an 802.11G wireless connection, the power isn't sufficient to reliably reach all locations in my old house (what's in those walls anyway?). I was hoping that the XE104s would reliably deliver > 6 Mbps (Comcast HSI speed) to any point in the house, which it does. Using the Netgear-supplied utility, I'm seeing 30 Mpbs+, which is more than sufficient for my needs.

The unit was easy to install and use. The HomePlug connection established itself within seconds. I connected one unit to the router on the cable gateway via a Cat5 Ethernet cable. This unit connected to a nearby wall-plug (no surge protectors allowed).

I then plugged a second unit upstairs to another wall-plug. The HomePlug light lit up almost immediately. I then plugged this unit into my laptop's Ethernet port and had connectivity within about 30 seconds. At this point, the Netgear reporting utility showed about 45 Mbps (again, nowhere near 85 Mbps but then again, I really didn't expect it either).

The default connection isn't encrypted. Netgear highly recommends encrypting the connection, which I image would be requisite if you live an appartment or condo. The encryption utility isn't obvious. You need to write down the password data written in small print on the back-side of each module. The encryption utility asks for this information. In my case, the utility could only "see" the module at the opposite end of the connection, which made the installation a little more confusing. With a little fiddling, it all worked fabulously.

Each of the modules includes a built-in 4-port hub. Consequently, up to four computers or equipment can share an endpoint.

I'm happy enough that I plan to purchase an additional module.

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful:
Best Networking Equipment I Ever Bought
This review is from: NETGEAR XE104 85 Mbps Powerline 4-Port Ethernet Adapter (Personal Computers)
Works as advertised and easy to set up in minutes. Just make sure you buy two (one for area with PC and one for area you need connection).

I run Xbox LIVE over this and have had no lag or any performance hit. It's great for gaming.

I'd buy this again in a heartbeat. 100% satisfied.

Most Recent Customer Reviews

by Adriano German

Inexpensive and good quality
This bridge, which actually uses the household wiring for ethernet transmission purposes, is an excellent device.
by Edward W. Rogosky

Super POS
I don't ever write reviews but this one is worth a few sentences to me. Bought a set, plugged them in rooms that were on top of each other, and at first I got a decent bandwidth...
by Sam Fisher

Compatibility issues
This is not compatible with Homeplug AV devices, read on for the explanation:

I purchased this device to expand my existing PowerLine network.
by Evan Andrew Day

Netgear XE104 Powerline Adapter
Best damn invention ever made!!! Simple to use, faster and far more reliable than trying to run my laptop wireless. No speed issues whatsoever.
by John Paradiso

Great alternative to Wi-Fi
If you have a large or spread-out house, you will have run into problems with poor or no wi-fi connection for computers that are not near the wi-fi router.
by JohnSFromMD

Does what it needs to do
We purchased a brand new Sony bluray player with a wireless adapter in it and the router is upstairs in the computer room.
by rsinj

Quick and Easy
We bought this to expand our current network. It works great and started right out of the package. You will see some drop in speed but not enough for me to care.
by jedsbud

great solution for a budget
i wanted to gain internet access to a few rooms that did not have access and this seemed like a great choice. i use my directTV dvr, and ps3 with this product.
by Nicholas A. Masterson

Works perfectly all over the house
Works perfectly. No drops. Just like an ethernet cable would be. Since it has four ports, I can plug four items in with no problem.
by J. Doyle

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