ASUS O!Play TV Pro gives your TV the smarts

January 18th, 2012 in .Home Entertainment & HTPC
Suds McSoapdish
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Somewhere between the cable box and the home theatre PC exists a class of devices known as O!Play. In a world where power consumption and space are at a premium, these compact enablers of all things multimedia are quite cool. Dramatic, isn’t it? Not as dramatic as watching your favourite TV shows whenever you feel like it, commercial and interruption-free.

Instant TV IQ level up!

O!Play TV Pro is all about watching the tube – or the panel, as we should probably be saying by now. While previous O!Play devices were all great for general HD multimedia, this one adds a built-in digital recorder and personal programmer, so you can record and replay content directly from your provider. What’s more, it tells you exactly what’s on for the next week in the 7-day EPG meaning you can then pre-program the O!Play TV Pro to record shows well in advance, just in case you forget. Don’t worry, this isn’t the secret art of programming a VCR, it’s clicking a menu option on screen.

The recorder is complemented by the O!Easy interface, which uses several one-click functions to do things like share TV content via Facebook, instantly replay the last seven seconds of a programme, wirelessly stream content from PC to TV, and so forth. I love the sound of O!Easy. I fully plan on integrating it into conversations. Nice substitute for “allow it”.

Anyway, the O!Play TV Pro keeps up the high degree of compatibility advocated by all O!Play devices. Not only does it work with ease on both wired and wireless networks, it also supports over 50 media formats (including 3D formatting) to give you great flexibility. The entire device is predicated upon being always live, with pre-set channels for content deliverers like Acetrax, YouTube Leanback, DailyMotion, Flickr, Picasa, and others.

Also like previous O!Play entries, this one has standard 3.5″ storage compatibility, making it easy to place a hard drive in there to save your content. It supports up to 3TB in total, which is plenty of room even in this day and age when 1080p is fast becoming the standard.

Easy hard drive installs = lots of room for content

The O!Play TV Pro is a lot more than just a set top cable box. With coax, composite, component, HDMI, LAN, and Wi-Fi it covers pretty much all bases and becomes a powerful media center that quickly smartifies your TV set, all with a very lean power consumption and space signature.

What it feels like to be well-connected

If you’re in the market for a new anchor for your living room entertainment, give this one a think – ASUS tells me it’ll be on store shelves in the next couple of weeks.

O!yeah, it comes with a remote

In the meantime, here’s a detailed spec sheet so you know what to expect!

Feature Description
Video formats MPEG1/2/4, H.264, VC-1, RM/RMVB, XVID
Video file extensions .mp4, .mov, .avi, .asf, .wmv, .flv, .mkv, .ts, m2ts, .dat, .mpg, .vob, .mts, .iso, .trp,M1V,M2V,M4V
3D video formats H.264, MVC, .ts, m2ts
Audio formats MP3, WAV, AAC, OGG, FLAC, AIFF, Dolby® Digital AC3m, DTS Digital Surround™, Dolby® Digital Plus, PCM/LPCM, Dolby® TrueHD, ID3 Tag
Image formats JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF, TIFF
Subtitle formats .srt, .sub, .smi, idx+sub, .ssa, .ass
File systems FAT16/32, NTFS, HFS/HFS+, ext3
TV systems Digital TV: DVB-T
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
Storage 3.5” (up to 3TB)
Recording quality Hard drive (up to 3TB, TS recording)
I/O 1 x power button
1 x power (DC-in)
1 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
1 x USB 3.0 (PC Link)
1 x Gigabit LAN (1000Mbps)
1 x HDMI (HDMI 1.4)
1 x component (YPbPr)
1 x analog audio out
1 x analog video out
1 x digital audio out (OPTICAL)
1 x digital audio out (COAXIAL)
1 x SD/MMC/MS/xD combo card slot (4-in-1)
RF in: antenna input (loop through cable port)
RF out: antenna output
Dimensions and weight 30cm x 24.3cm x 4cm
1100g (including storage tray)
Power 12V, 3A
Operating temperatures 5°C-35°C

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