Streaming quality with the ASUS O!Play BDS-700 media player

December 7th, 2011 in .Home Entertainment & HTPC .Products
Mrs Mario
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Yesterday I examined how well the ASUS O!Play BDS-700 coped with streaming files from my Windows PC. The entire process took longer than I had anticipated, but that was due to the fiddly quirks of Windows. Today I am happy to report that the BDS-700 has done something rather fabulous.

Asus o!Play BDS-700 media player

One of the biggest issues with many of the media players that I’ve used in the past has been the movie navigation interface. When streaming movies or home videos, once I’ve started the show I have found the ability to move forward, backward, and control my speeds clunky and frustrating.

This is not the case with the ASUS O!Play BDS-700 at all. In fact, even my very geeky husband, a man who does not impress easily, said to me, “This machine is never leaving this home…

The controls are fluid and simple, they are responsive and intuitive, and you don’t have those moments of, “Gnnggghh, aaargh” that often accompany the use of a device like the BDS-700. Usually this is followed by a shot of whisky and some quiet sobbing.

I first watched some home movies that had been shot on the HTC Hero in the .mov format. The picture quality was, honestly, awful but that lay more with the quality of the device that shot the movie than with the O!Play itself.

Home movies shot on the iPhone 4 were slightly better but had a more orangey cast. Clearly the ASUS O!Play and the HDTV are unforgiving masters when it comes to low quality videos. I didn’t mind that much if I am honest, the grainy quality wasn’t that bad, and it added that old home movie feel to the experience.

Asus o!Play BDS-700 media player

Of course we then had to test the quality of HD, Blu-ray and DVD movies streamed to the ASUS O!Play BDS-700. First up was Dexter. This was recorded in high definition and it looked beautiful on the screen. The opening credits were crisp and bright, the sound quality uncompromised and there was no issues with the speed – the show streamed seamlessly.

Next we took one of the Sherlock Holmes episodes we had on the PC (entirely legally, I assure you). This was not high definition, it was bog standard TV quality with no frills. This was as good as can be expected for this level of quality. However, it is worth pointing out that I am something of a visual Philistine. I sometimes honestly cannot tell whether it is HD or Blu-ray or standard. So, obviously, I had to have a control group.

Four adults were called in. A geek, an electrician with a love of big TVs, a woman with more geek credentials than the first geek, and someone who just wanted to watch TV. I started with the low res TV show. The first three winced dramatically at the slight grain but were impressed with the quality overall, saying that this was to be expected based on the source. The fourth, Watch TV Lady, just got annoyed when we switched to the HD show, she’d been enjoying the programme.

Dexter was met with sighs of happiness from the three geek squad members who happily talked about how well it navigated and tracked, about how much clearer the quality was, and how much they liked this ASUS O!Play BDS-700 media player. Watch TV Lady just watched the show and got annoyed when we switched. Again.

Asus o!Play BDS-700 media player

In short, the ASUS O!Play BDS-700 is easy to set up, easy to use, and now every media device we own is hooked into its system. It is also a good idea to warn people who like to watch the show to the end that you may be swapping films constantly. The fourth member of our control group just got irritated with us…

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  • Dandre

    More more more — I don’t know when this device will show  up in the States but it seems very interesting, and your articles are awesome!  I have an O!play HD-R1 and it’s pretty decent but this may cover both BD and media player chores!

  • Mrs Mario

    Dandre you have made my day! Thanks so much for this comment and inspiring me to greater heights.