Today’s televisions are more than just about watching satellite TV. There is 3D, internet connectivity, apps and the ability to play back movies directly through a USB port. For those still rocking an older set without these features, the HD media player is still an excellent option. Like any gadget, they’ve also evolved over time and now sport features like built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, storage features and access to plenty of apps.
WD TV Live Hub
The WD TV Live Hub was one of the first media players to feature a built-in laptop hard drive, so one can dump all their frequently watched shows without having to connect a portable drive every time. The player is extremely slim and stylish and will do well with a home theatre set-up. The player comes with a very easy-to-use interface making navigation very simple even for novice users. The Live Hub comes with a 1TB hard drive built-in, along with HDMI and support for all popular media formats
D-Link Boxee Box
Boxee’s famous software interface for HTPCs finds its way in D-Link’s one and only media player, the Boxee Box. Powered by an Intel Atom CPU, the Boxee Box will play back all media formats like others, but makes it special as is the software. With access to a wide database of movies and TV Shows, Boxee has the ability to automatically sort out all TV shows as per season and adds cover art and information regarding individual episodes or info about movies, just like from the official BluRay or DVD. There is also access to plenty of popular web apps so one can stream and watch web shows.
Asus O!PLAY Mini Plus
Asus has improved on the original and has added a Gigabit LAN jack as well as Wi-Fi ‘n’, giving it some added value. The Mini Plus is very compact, making it super easy to carry around. Along with HDMI and Optical audio out, it also gets an ESATA port which not many HD media players offer. Also present is an SD card reader allowing one to view photos and video shot from the camera directly without the need for the cable
Omega ScreenPlay DX 1TB
This is a good alternative to the WD TV Live Hus as it also features 1TB of internal storage, but not quite portable as it features a desktop hard drive. On the bright side, it’ll be cheaper to upgrade the storage should one choose to do so. The player supports 1080p playback along with playback of all the popular formats like MKV, DivX, etc. The remote also features a full QWERTY keyboard, making it easier to type while browsing the web.
Amkette Flash TV HD
The Amkette gives you all the features you would typically need without any frills, making it a good option for those on a budget. You get HDMI, all format support, Optical audio-out at a low rate in comparison to other HD TVs. The quality is however, in no way inferior.
All these HD players may not be from big brands but they are of great quality and economical at the same time. One can get the same clarity that one gets if they buy a bigger brand HD media player.
Jayessh Barodia is a tech enthusiast and a blogger sharing the latest in technology and why data insurance is the much needed cover for all your data.