Asus O!Play HDP-R1 Digital Media Player

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Setting up the O!Play (cont.)

When the O!Play first turns on, the Home menu is displayed. The following options are offered, which are accessed via the navigation buttons on the remote: Movies, Music, Photos, Setup, and File Copy.




 Options on the Home menu: Movies, Music, Photos, File Copy...

The Setup module includes options for Audio, Video, Photo, Network, and System settings. Audio settings for the Digital Output include HDMI LPCM, HDMI LPCM Multi Channel, HDMI Raw, SPDIF LPCM, and SPDIF Raw. Within the Video options, you can set the aspect ratio (Pan Scan 4:3, Letter Box 4:3, 16:9, and 16:10), Brightness, Contrast, Noise Reduction (on or off), the TV system, Resume Play, and Movie Preview.



 ... and Setup (left). Right: The digital audio output options.

The TV System options are: HDMI Auto, 480p, 576p, 720p 50Hz, 720p 60Hz, 1080i 50Hz, 1080i 60Hz, 1080p 50Hz, and 1080p 60Hz. We found that the O!Play’s HDMI Auto mode correctly identified the optimal settings for both of our displays. The O!Play also includes a separate on/off toggle for 1080p 24Hz for BD video playback. The Resume Playback feature gives you the option of resuming watching a video where you previously left off. The Movie Preview option plays a preview of a selected movie in a small preview window when navigating though folders that contain supported video files; if you are slowly scrolling through a folder that contains a lot of video files, you might want to disable this feature as there is a noticeable delay as the O!Play caches the video for preview playback.



 Left: Video Aspect Ratio options. Right: Video TV System options.

Photo options allow you to set the Slide Show Interval (with options from 2 seconds to 2 minutes), Transition Effect (such as Cross Fade, Left to Right, and Dissolve), and whether or not to turn on the “Ken Burns Effect.” The Transition Effect and Ken Burns Effect appear when transitioning from viewing one photo to the next photo whenever you view photos, whether or not you are viewing photos in Slide Show mode. We’re not big fans of the O!Play’s Ken Burns Effect, as it tends to zoom in too far into photos, losing key elements of the photos, such as people’s faces.



 Left: Photo options. Right: Network options.

The Network options lets you set the O!Play’s IP address manually or via DHCP. The System options lets you set the device’s Menu Language, Text Encoding, Time, perform a System Update, turn the Screen Saver on or off, and Restore the Default settings. Our unit initially came with firmware revision 01.11N; but following Asus’s suggestion, we updated the firmware to version 01.13N, which we downloaded from Asus’s website. Since then, firmware 01.13N has subsequently been pulled from Asus’s Website. Asus informs us that version 0.1.13N was actually a beta--although we don’t have any memory of it being identified as a beta when we downloaded it. Asus also informed us that the next official firmware version, 01.16N, would be due out in a few weeks; we chose to not to wait for this firmware update, however, as it would have significantly delayed posting this review. Those interested the status of the O!Play’s firmware should monitor the Asus forums.



The diagram on the right comes from the user manual, which can be found on the included CD.
Asus made a few changes to the remote's design (left) after the manual was produced,
but the functionality remains largely the same.

The O!Play’s lightweight remote control is medium-sized--neither too small nor too large, and it fit comfortably in our hands (the remote is 6-inches long, 2.25-inches at its widest point, and 1.2-inches at it deepest section). The remote has a total of 25 buttons (see the images above to see what the remote looks like and what its different functions are).

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