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Reviews - Featured Reviews: Notebook | Compact PC
Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 04 July 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS O!Play LIVE HD Media Player
Closer Look: ASUS O!Play LIVE
ASUS O!Play LIVE Test Results
ASUS O!Play LIVE Conclusion

ASUS O!Play LIVE HD Media Player Review

Manufacturer: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
Product Name: ASUS O!Play LIVE HD Media Player
Model Number: O!PLAY LIVE
UPC: 610839349494
Price As Tested: $109.99 (Newegg or Amazon)

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by ASUS.

If you're like me, over the years you've collected a huge digital library full of music, pictures, and movies onto your computer. Occasionally, I might watch a video from off my laptop or listen to a song while working at the desktop, but high-definition movies and music are really best enjoyed on a home theater system with larger screen and powerful speakers.

The ASUS O!Play LIVE HD Media Player makes this transition easy, accepting every modern media format over local storage and network connections. Watching broadcast television and DVD/BD movies have been replaced with streaming Internet content and downloaded multimedia files, especially for college aged viewers who own a smartphone or tablet device. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the ASUS O!Play LIVE HD Media Player, and we evaluate how well it performs our tasks.

The ASUS O!Play LIVE media player is designed to deliver large-scale entertainment in a small package, and indeed it does. Perfect for the college dorm or start-up entertainment center, expect O!Play LIVE to play back practically every modern digital media file format without frame loss or stutter. If you're not big on downloading files for playback, ASUS O!Play LIVE can also receive streaming Internet TV shows directly from several sources. Join me as I test the ASUS O!Play LIVE using several high bit-rate video files and streaming multimedia content.

Stores have stocked the ASUS O!Play LIVE HD Media Player for one year already, but the ASUS O!Play series has been around for over three years. O!Play LIVE replaces the O!Play AIR HDP-R3 media player, and adds improved multimedia compatibility with more streaming media/content distribution features.


O!Play LIVE Features

Source: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

O!Play LIVE brings new HD experience to viewers in the living room, free from format compatibility worries. It supports Blu-ray Disc ISO, MKV, RMVB, H.264, Dolby Digital, DTS Digital Surround, OGG, FLAC and many others. O!Play LIVE takes full advantage of Blu-ray sound quality with 7.1 Channel audio output. With both high-quality of audio and video support, it is time to enjoy a true HD multimedia experience for music, photos and movies. O!Play LIVE works with Picasa and Flickr right on your TV, so what used to be tiny frames on the PC are now properly huge mementos to treasure and adore. Enjoy thousands of online video and music streams:

  • Netflix
  • YouTube
  • Pandora
  • Internet TV
  • Internet radio stations
Supported Formats Video : MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, WMV9, RM, RMVB, VC-1, H.264
Video File Extension : TRP, MP4, MOV, Xvid, AVI, ASF, WMV, MKV, RM, RMVB, TS, M2TS, DAT, MPG, VOB, ISO, M4V
Audio : MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, OGG, FLAC, Dolby Digital AC3, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS 2.0 +Digital out, Dolby True HD (Passthrough), Dolby True HD (Decoding), Tag ID3
Subtitle : SRT, SUB, SMI, SSA, ASS, IDX, TXT
Inputs 1 x DC Power In
1 x USB 2.0 Port(s)
1 x USB 2.0 / eSATA Combo Port
1 x S/PDIF (Optical)
1 x RJ-45 LAN Port (10/100 MBps)
4-in-1 Card Readers ( SD/ MS/ xD/ MMC)
Outputs HDMI
Accessories AC Adapter
Remote Control
Quick Start Guide
CD (User Manual)
Wireless Technology Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Features O!Direct, O!MediaShare, Right TxT, DLNA
Internet Content & Service Netflix
Internet TV
Stock Quotes
RSS News
Dimensions 181 x 125.32 x 47.73 mm (WxDxH)
Weight 480 g
Power 12 Vdc, 2 A
Power Consumption 10 W



# 8.5?cube 2012-07-12 07:07
really. an 8.5. The market is over saturated with these streamers already. Why would Asus release this crap. The UI is disgusting. Is like my 3 year old got on photoshop and buy some blacks and blue together.

But seriously, how can you give 9.25 on appearance? also, 8.5 in performance is saying alot. This unit sucks at that. i would give this unit a 5.0 just for trying.
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# Agree with cubeTommy 2012-07-13 04:50
I don't get it, Olin. You rate it an 8.5, yet you wouldn't recommend it?

If I rated anything above 7.5, I'd reckon it'd be worth my recommendation for it's target audience.
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# RE: Agree with cubeOlin Coles 2012-07-13 07:07
Believe me, it's not easy rating these products. I have to be objective, and give an impartial value to each item considering all aspects of the product. In this case, O!Play did extremely well at what it's designed to do, but was light on extra service features and used an unattractive menu theme. A crude user interface factors into my rating, but it certainly doesn't make the device unusable and I can't let one item drag everything else down. In my opinion function outweighs fashion, and O!Play earns an 8.5 for its combined efforts.
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# I agree with OlinCraig Arno 2012-10-01 00:06
I currently own the O!Play Live and WD Live units. I've owned other ASUS O!Play and WD units in the past.

Technically, the O!Play live plays nice crisp video. The playback result is every bit as good as the WD Live. If the O!Play live would sort file listings in ascending (or even descending) order (Like other O!Play units do), I'd be happy to overlook the clunky menus. The color scheme doesn't bother me. I'm here because like Olin said, there is no firmware update on the ASUS site, and I really wish it would sort file listings so I wouldn't see my network collection displayed in Random order. "Random Order" makes it hard to find a movie or show when there are 200+ titles listed randomly, and you know which you want to view (like Avatar in 1080p), but have too read every one of the 200+ titles in random order to find it.
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# Total GarbageSeanC 2012-12-11 05:18
This laggy POS is the worst deveice I ever used. Took over 2 hrs to get it to reliably connect to the network and performance was abysmal.
Router was less than 10 feet away and all network traffic was suppressed and it still couldn't stream a video from my PC.
Only thing it did well was stream radio.
Garbage - do not buy
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# RE: ASUS O!Play LIVE HD Media Playerblair smith 2013-02-14 09:39
I felt like i had been had after getting this thing out of the box and trying to use the web based features. Asus appears not to care that anyone who bought one of these is now stuck with a box with very limited usefulness and apparently no hope of future firmware updates.It certainly has lessened my enthusiasm for there products overall.
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