AC Ryan Playon!HD2 and Playon!HD2 mini review - Playon! HD2 and mini, cont'd
Author: Vedran Dakic
Date: 17 Dec 2011

I've been following AC Ryan's product line since the very beginning, and have been fortunate enough to get every device they ever manufactured so… it's easy to put them through their paces and evaluate what's good from what's not so good. Because, in this particular case, products that suck don't exist in their product line.

With that out of the way, let's talk about PlayOn HD2 and PlayOn HD Mini2. There's an awful lot of similar things in these devices, but only one major difference - size, which equals functionality. PlayOn HD2 has space for 3.5" hard drive (you can buy it with a hard drive or whitout), while the Mini doesn't have any space for hard drives. Which means that you'll have to use external drives if you want to use it for local playback.

Both of these devices work with network connectivity, as well. You can buy (separately) AC Ryan's wireless adapter and use it to connect them to your network via wireless connection, or you can use the built-in Gigabit Ethernet port. Let me stress out the important part of my previous sentence: Gigabit Ethernet port. For me, this is probably the only thing where original (v1) PlayOn's severely lacked, because there was no way to play a BDrip from network. Wireless doesn't even come into consideration for that, but 10/100Mbit/s wired connection was unable to sustain BDrip's reliably. Which was a drawback. But now, that's taken care of.

I have a small compiled media player testing suite, varying from various MP3s and VMW's, to AVI's, MPG's, MKV's and whatnot. A couple of tunes, some movies, some clips, some series, the whole nine yards. And there's only one conclusion that you can draw from testing these devices - I sincerely doubt that you'll be able to find a media file that PlayOn's can't handle.

Also, if you're an Internet Radio fan (personally, I am), you have a huge list of Internet Radio stations in both of these devices so you can listen to IR without any problems. Just a couple of clicks on your remote and you're there.

Speaking of the remote controller… It's pretty much the same as on the previous PlayOn's, so - they're usable, layout is ok, and generally - very easy to use even without touching the manual. Personally, I prefer more buttons/functions and macros and stuff like that (big Logitech Harmony fan here), but that's only my personal preference. For everyone else, I think that remote controllers are more then adequate.

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