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AC Ryan PlayOn! HD2 Mini review

Small and almost-perfectly formed

Our Verdict

Almost excellent, but the simplicity of design is held back by a clunky menu system.

For

  • Excellent playback quality
  • Audio and USB ports

Against

  • Clunky menu
  • Slow boot

A trimmed-down version of the AC Ryan PlayOn! HD2 networked media player, the HD2 Mini is almost identical in terms of specs with one obvious exception: there's no internal hard drive.

The HD2 Mini is a pure streaming device, which finds videos and music from local computers and NAS boxes via UPnP, network shares or from a selection of internet sources, and puts them on your TV.

That means it's cheaper than the full PlayOn! HD2 and also smaller. Smaller than, say, an Xbox controller. And its glossy black lines are sleek and uninterrupted, save for a glowing logo on the front and a selection of connectors round the back.

These include ethernet and HDMI, as well as surround RCA audio jacks, optical SPDIF and USB ports for attaching portable hard drives full of films or an optional Wi-Fi adaptor.

It's silent, and the picture quality is good. If you've got a lot of videos on a networked drive, what's not to like?

Tech Specs

Product TypeNetwork Audio/Video Player
EthernetYes
HDMIYes
Internet StreamingYes
Brand NameAC Ryan
Audio FormatsAC3, AAC, FLAC, MP3, MP2, WMA, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, RealAudio Lossless
Video FormatsMPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, AVC, H.264, XviD, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, RealVideo 8, RealVideo 9, RealVideo 10, RealVideo, AVI, MKV, TS, TP, TRP, M2TS, MPEG, MOV, M4V, VOB, ISO, IFO, DAT, WMV, ASF, RM, RMVB, FLV
Scan Format480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
USBYes
HDMI Version1.3
Component VideoYes
Number of Digital Optical Outputs1
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Video SystemPAL, NTSC
Sound SystemDolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS
Image FormatsJPEG, JPEG HD, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PNG
ManufacturerAC Ryan
Product NamePlayon!HD Mini 2 Network Media Player
Product LinePlayon!HD Mini 2
Manufacturer Part NumberACR-PV73800
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acryan.com
Marketing Information

Engage social media
Connect with your friends on Twitter and Facebook, share photos with Picasa and Flickr, chat with Instant Messaging such as MSN and AIM

NAS Functionality
Turn any attached USB drive into a NAS. Streaming from your movie library has never been easier

Silent Cooling
No fan, no noise. The Mini 2 uses an effective heat dissipation design to keep it cool and silent

Unique User Interface
The unique, intuitive, AC Ryan-produced user interface. Utilising smart content management, to help you navigate through your media library.

Online entertainment
Enjoy the best online services. Mediafly On Air podcasts, wacky and wonderful videos on YouTubeXL, online radio with SHOUTcast, MUZEE's Network TV and Radio - all from the comfort of your sofa

ProtocolsWEP, WPA
Scanning ModesProgressive Scan