Webbed feat in the stream

Sam Kieldsen gives the thumbs up to this 1080p media player

The VMP74 is Viewsonic’s second so-called ‘full HD Network Media Player’, and as the name suggests, it offers full 1080p output for video. The device itself is a small, lightweight and glossy plastic box that fits discreetly into a TV stand. It’s pretty unassuming with just a power indicator LED on the top. Around the back you’ll find an HDMI port for rigging the streamer to your HDTV or projector. This is the only option for hi-def video, although a 3.5mm AV port enables you to use fuzzy, old school composite video (alongside stereo audio). There’s also an optical digital output. On the non-audio/visual front, there’s an Ethernet socket for networking duties (no wi-fi option here), plus USB and eSATA ports for connecting external hard disks and other USB storage devices.

Highs

The VMP74’s net connection enables features such as an RSS reader, full web browser and a range of video, radio and photo services. By the time you read this there should be a BBC iPlayer app up and running, too.

You can stream from shared folders on networked PCs and Macs and from any computer running a UPnP client, or alternatively access media files directly from devices attached via the USB and eSATA ports. I found the device compatible with most standard and hi-def videos formats.

Hooking the box up to my wireless router and TV, the system did the rest, and I was networked and web-connected in moments.

Lows

The (Flash-less) web browser is pretty much unusable with the remote control: everything feels frustratingly unresponsive.


Viewsonic VMP74
Price:
£135 Approx

Overall: 4/5