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I’ve unboxed, eyeballed, played and poked at the ASUS O!Play BDS-700 media player and so far it has stood up well under scrutiny. Only two small things have been flagged – the auto detect on an old HDTV will see you using composite to find 720p, and the remote is not quite as responsive as I would like, but it is a fair compromise against the cost of batteries.

Next up is the main menu screen, the place where you will spend a considerable amount of time as you flip from Blu-ray to DVD to media to photos and music. When you insert a Blu-ray or DVD, the ASUS O!Play BDS-700 will automatically detect it and ask you if you would like to play. If you are returning to a movie or TV series, select the media icon and it will ask you if you would like to return to the last saved point.

Now, I appreciated that feature even though I know it is not unique to the BDS-700. However, there are enough models out there that don’t include it, and having to painstakingly inch through scenes or copyright warnings every time you want to resume a show is beyond tedious.

Next up is the video icon, this is where you will find all the video files from an external storage device. I’ll be taking the O!Play BDS-700 into our network and testing how well it sets up and plays different formats  in my next post.

The photo icon gives you access to image files on an external device such as a DLNA server, external storage or a data disc. What I am rather looking forward to is the fact that I can use this feature to browse through photographs on a big screen and I want to test whether or not it will play the photographs as a slideshow, without my having to use the remote and do it manually.

O!Play Blu-ray Player BDS-700

Finally we have the music icon that shows all of the music you have from, you guessed it, an external storage device.

As you can see the main menu is simple and easy to use. No quibble, no fancy marketing terms and no strange and unexplained left turns. It’s a wysiwyg screen and I love it. In fact, I find it rather relaxing. sometimes it’s so nice to have everything neatly laid out and obvious.

I also went to page 37 of the included manual to see what files were supported as the instructions make it very clear that there are some limitations. There are nearly five pages of formats supported by the system with their limitations clearly outlined. I won’t go into it here but I think that the ASUS O!Play BDS-700 has pretty much got everything covered.

What do you think so far? What would you like to see me do with the ASUS O!Play BDS-700 media player?

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