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The new O!Play Media Pro from ASUS is another compact multimedia device, this time combining the benefits of a media player with a digital TV set-top box. The core benefits are that it upgrades any TV into digital on the spot, plus makes it smart to boot. The chipset inside supports over 50 file formats for complete compatibility, and there’s even an electronic programme guide that lets you check out what’s on in the coming week.

O!Play Media Pro is very compact and light, taking up next to no space in your living room. You can pretty much put it anywhere and it’ll be out of the way. It can easily go online with both LAN and Wi-Fi, and the simple but extensive user interface has several popular links built-in. The ASUS O!Direct and O!MediaShare functions allow for quick delivery of content from a variety of devices to your HDTV via the O!Play Media Pro, making this a versatile little device.

Together with product marketer Jasmine, I took a closer look at the O!Play Media Pro in one of the demo suites we have here, and took a few pics to demonstrate just how cool this multimedia product is.

Let’s take a look!

The box feels really robust and "packed"

 

When you open it up, the first thing you see is the O!Play Media Pro itself:

 

So cute but so versatile!

 

ASUS bundles quite a few accessories with the device, not least of which is a quality HDMI cable.

 

Be an accessory to good times

 

There are also a couple of power plugs to make sure the device works in quite a few markets. The version we looked at is meant for European and Asian territories.

 

Changed regions? There's a plug for that!

 

Next up, we have Jasmine showing us the back panel of the device, with the highlights being the LAN port, USB, and mini HDMI (that’s an important part to remember).

 

For a device this small, that's a lot of connections

 

On the sleek front of the device, Jasmine shows us the extra USB port and card reader.

 

On both sides, the O!Play Media Pro offers good connectivity

 

Here’s a close look at the device from the top, showing the textured/diamond finish, similar in a way to ASUS routers, and of course previous offerings in the O!Play range.

 

 

Placed next to a TV, the O!Play Media Pro sits alongside its antenna, which has a suction base so you can stick it to your wall or almost any other surface for better reception as needed.

 

Excuse the cables, was too busy staring into that blue light...

 

OK, so we got the O!Play Media Pro all hooked up, and initial setup begins. It couldn’t be easier, actually, and just takes a few steps.

 

All the basics, clear and simple. Do note the ASUS TV, natch

 

The DVB-T tuner within scans your area for digital TV and radio channels, which takes a few minutes.

 

 

Once setup and scanning is done, you go to the main dashboard UI, which has nice and large icons for each of the main functions, some of which are shown in the pics below:

 

 

 

 

 

From what we found at the demo suite, digital TV reception even in a highly enclosed space with no windows and surrounded by a lot of building was still very good:

 

 

Well maybe if he had an O!Play device he wouldn't need to climb so high for a signal!

 

As we mentioned before, the O!Play Media Pro comes with excellent online capabilities, and the base dashboard has direct links to several popular live services:

 

 

 

Plus don’t forget the version reviewed here is quite early, by the time you’re able to buy the O!Play Media Pro, the UI will likely have a few more live links. And with firmware updates from ASUS, you can expect even more to be added in coming months and beyond.

The bottom line for O!Play Media Pro is quite simple: it’s a compact device that adds instant digital/smart TV capabilities to your set, plus has plenty of connectivity options to get content from assorted devices to the big screen.

Are you interested in getting one? Let us know in the comments, since the device will be available soon!

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