I started a movie collection with my sister a few years ago when CDs and DVDs are still topping the home movie viewing charts. Maybe, it is something we acquired from our father after he brought home with him a box of VHS tapes from abroad. Yeah we even had Betamax tapes back then! Now I can even remember owning a re-winder for those tapes (The good old days!)
And now come the birth of high-definition multimedia where everything promises crystal clear audio and full detailed high quality films. And the only possible way of having them is to own a blu-ray disc player. Darn it! Do I need to buy another one of those?
Now, my unsettled mind invited me to hunt for better tech alternatives. If I would be crashing my funds for another home entertainment equipment, why not figure out better ways of enjoying film watching at home.
I asked a few people around and lurked on some forums online to get some better ideas before putting my foot in the water.
So then, I found out that HD movies (720p and 1080p) are the best of quality and I could own these high quality films through some P2P file sharing networks. That’s not bad! After all, I’ve got a fair Internet speed to start downloading these eye catchers!
But, wait a minute! Where will I watch these films? … Ah! No other way but on my computer. But is there any other way for me to watch it without setting up an HTPC (Home Theater PC)? You know the power costs here in the Philippines is way too much.
Then, came an answer. Why not get hold of one of these Networked Media Tanks (NMT). What are they? These are stand-alone multimedia devices that has the capacity to receive large capacity disks for file storage (Hard disk drives) which you can plug in directly to your TV for instant viewing. Also, it has the capability to serve as an online file server on your home network because it can be connected through a LAN cable or compatible wireless dongles. This means you can also watch a video from your desktop PC through your home network from this device.
There are a large number of brands that you can find in the market today. Each promising unique features like content management and torrent download support yet everyone of them is carrying a bit pricey tag depending on what they offer.
I went over some kind of research so as to find the best brand to start up with that can match my requirements and most importantly, fit my budget.
Measy peasy nice and easy!
My brother bought himself one of these NMTs and though he purchased a not too popular brand in its class, I can say it is a bang for the buck. Why? Because of the following features which NOT ALL similar devices have all of them included:
- presence of multiple audio and video ports
- can play a wide range of multimedia formats particularly MKVs (matroska) and MP4s
- torrent support (Peer-to-peer file sharing)
- large disk capacity support up to 2 Terrabyte SATA Hard Disk Drive
- expandable storage options (via its 2 x USB ports)
- upgradable firmware (important part for us techies)
- live community support (bulletin board and forums)
- cool led backlit remote (take control of your viewing even in the dark)
Here are a few snapshots of the media player.
|The quick access Hard drive bay supports 2GB max SATA HDDs|
|The back panel showing all connector ports: (from left to right) Power port, Coax, Optical audio, RCA, Component, HDMI, USB 2.0, LAN, USB x 2|
|My portable 2.5" HDD connected to the NMT|
|The backlit remote showing the buttons on the top part|
|Another shot of the backlit remote|
Finally, I got myself a Measy media player. Now my kids are enjoying hours of Dora and Barney series from this piece of equipment. I think I may have to buy another one for myself :(