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Old 03-21-2011, 12:47 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Sony SMP-N100 Media Player Review

Among the mass of set-top media players available on the market, can one of the most well-respected electronics companies set itself apart from the crowd? With Sony's SMP-N100, we aim to find out. On the surface, the device looks similar to others, but inside, Sony's popular XMB interface awaits, along with powerful wireless capabilities.

You can read Greg's thorough look at Sony's SMP-N100 media player and then discuss it here!
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:26 AM   #2
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Overall, the product has potential, but I think Sony goofed up bad in a couple of areas. I mean, what's the real excuse for giving people a free app, but then putting ads inside of it? That's a little insulting to the person who just spent their hard-earned cash on this device. Could you imagine purchasing WD's media player and then use the company's app that had an ad in it? Of course not, because it wouldn't happen. Don't make me eat my words, WD!

I could at least live with the ad-ridden digital remote, but the real problem is the MKV limitation... what on earth is that about? Greg, did you happen to find out an actual reason for that? I almost wonder if it has to do with piracy in any way. A friend of mine streams movies through his PS3 and on occasion gets a warning about a copyright issue, or something, and then the content ceases to play. I am wondering if this limitation is at all similar.

Why would it matter if it were streaming? Well, I think it has to do with the fact that if streaming a high-def movie, the latency and bandwidth throughput are key. If Sony is hand-shaking back and forth to see if the content being viewed is "pirated" or not, then that could harm performance. Whereas if the content is being plugged in, the wireless connection is free.

Of course, it could also just be some performance-related issue. Perhaps there's some overhead with MKV I'm not aware of. I've never successfully streamed a 1080p video before via wireless, so maybe that limitation is no different with MKV here.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:36 AM   #3
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The App worked extremely well over wi-fi but the ads were annoying. Not because of what they were advertising but because of the real estate that they took up. The iPhone's screen, or any mobile device for that matter, isn't large. When you have an add taking up a little under and inch or screen, it's substantial.

The .mkv thing has to be about piracy. That's the only thing I can think of. The wireless N baked into the SMP-N100 is more than capable of handling the bandwidth needs. It's a different container but I converted a few 1080p files to .avi and was able to stream them without any issue at all. There was a slight loss in quality from the conversion but it was still a good amount of data being passed along wirelessly. Let's not forget that it has a wired Ethernet port as well.

With my TV, I wasn't kidding when I said that streaming is crude. You can't fast forward or rewind the content being watched, only skip ahead and back about 5-10 seconds. Then, after you skip in either direction, it has to catch up so there is a few more seconds of waiting. It's a pain. But, even with that inconvenience, with a TRENDnet wireless N adapter connected to the TV, the Samsung is still capable of processing the 1080p signal. I watched the Fast and Furious the other night in 1080p and it was smooth and looked beautiful. You can't tell me that the Sony device couldn't have done that as well.

Seriously, in my opinion, .mkv support is the only thing holding the PS3 back. With that ability, it's the best media device anyone can purchase. Even without the ability to stream .mkv, it's still the first thing I recommend to anyone looking for an all around good media device. An HTPC would obviously be better but there is a lot of work involved in that. Get a PS3 and be happy. Come on Sony.
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Last edited by Greg King; 03-21-2011 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:11 AM   #4
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Thumbs down indelicate subject

I know its an indelicate subject, but it is extremely germane to the whole review .. how much is it? in GBP, USD or Euro (my guess? about 170?). This is the first review I have seen of this player. It reminds me a lot, of the mythical fabled qnap media player. I know that one is priced not to sell, even tho cosmetically its good looking. I would avoid this as I wouldn't trust sony not to "improve" it later with a firmware update. Happy with a Gen1 WD TV, but missing network support.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:32 PM   #5
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QNAP is rather proud of their products, aren't they? Everything they make is solid but expensive.

You can find the Sony SMP-N100 for around $100 online. This was down from about $140 when I purchased it last winter. It's a solid device but there are better players out there.
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:00 PM   #6
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Default A couple deficiencies I found...

In order to connect via WiFi, the WAP must broadcast it's SSID.
Also, digital audio (aka Dolby Digital or DTS) is not supported by Netflix Streaming. Contacted both Netflix and Sony about this, and each blames the other for lack of support.
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Streaming Noob View Post
Also, digital audio (aka Dolby Digital or DTS) is not supported by Netflix Streaming. Contacted both Netflix and Sony about this, and each blames the other for lack of support.
That's a little strange, and sounds like something that should be fixable via firmware update. It's unfortunate that neither will take the blame though, and pretty much assures that won't happen =/
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:30 AM   #8
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Unhappy No rewind

[QUOTE=Greg King;44849]
With my TV, I wasn't kidding when I said that streaming is crude. You can't fast forward or rewind the content being watched, only skip ahead and back about 5-10 seconds. Then, after you skip in either direction, it has to catch up so there is a few more seconds of waiting. It's a pain.

I could pause, fast forward or play but if I tried rewind it went all the way back tothe beginning
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:46 AM   #9
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Cpotts,

I have a Samsung LN40C630. I'm not sure what television you have but fortunately, I can at least rewind. It's the same slow, crappy process but it doesn't take me back to the beginning of the video. Have you tried a firmware update? Again, I don't know what television you have and I am in no way trying to say that an update would fix your problem but it is something to think about.

Good luck.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:34 AM   #10
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try to find a solution in these reviews:
http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-medi...-34420052.html
http://mydigitaldevice.com/2012/08/s...player-review/
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