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Over the past four days I’ve been playing around with the ASUS O!Play BDS-700 media player to see how easy it is to use and install. In my last post I looked at installation – how simple it was to get the O!Play BDS-700 hooked up to my TV and running.

As a reminder – if you have an HDTV that isn’t quite up to 1080p the O!Play may automatically detect the HD and set itself to transmit at 1080p which will result in no picture at all. To resolve this, simply connect the O!Play BDS-700 via the composite cable, follow the set-up guide to set the resolution to 720p (or whatever is applicable in your case), and then reinsert the HDMI cable. Voila. The ASUS O!Play BDS-700 media player will start to, ahem, play…

ASUS O!Play BDS-700 media player

So, what is it like to play around with the O!Play? The answer isn’t that simple. The BDS-700 media player has a lot to offer and I’m going to be examining each part on its own merit. This post is all about my popping DVDs into the O!Play to see how well it copes.

To compare image quality I have a well known games console (second generation) and a PC media centre of our own creation. I whipped out the box set of Bones, season 2. On the console the image quality was grainy and dark. I had bought these discs second-hand so they were a bit battered and the games console ended up throwing a very gloomy picture.

ASUS O!Play BDS-700 media player

The mad geek invented PC media centre was alright. The image still held some grain but it wasn’t as noticeable as the games console, nor was it as dark. However, the PC did stutter and stagger over the disc quality from time to time which was frustrating to watch.

Next up was the ASUS O!Play BDS-700 media player. How would this baby handle the sad little discs from the Bones boxset? My first impression wasn’t that great – the disc tray got stuck on the façade. Closer examination revealed that I had neglected to remove the sticky protective covering. Ah, problem explained and solved.

The disc tray can be opened using either the included remote control (they kindly provide you with batteries which I thought rather nice) or the button on the façade itself. The BDS-700 media player had absolutely no problems with reading the disc at all.

In fact, I was impressed with how much brighter the picture was than the other two media players. There were scenes that looked like they had been shot in the night when viewed on the console and PC but were bright and clear on the ASUS O!Play BDS-700. The picture quality is vastly improved and O!Play had no trouble coping with the faintly damaged discs either.

The ASUS O!Play BDS-700 media player is, so far, making me nod my head in an approving manner with a pensive expression. Now I need to investigate the Blu-ray play and the menu… Stay tuned.

What do you think? Is the ASUS O!Play BDS-700 calling to you yet? What else would you like me to test while I have this under my wing?

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