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ACRyan VEOLO review

Like an ancient, cut-price Android tablet spitting on your telly

Our Verdict

For

  • Strong HD media playback

Against

  • Awful Flash integration
  • C'mon, 2.2, really?
  • No Android Market

There's no doubt in my mind that the ACRyan VEOLO seemed like a good idea at the time. I could probably stop the review right there and you could extrapolate my feelings on ACRyan's Android-based media streamer from that one sentence, but I'm going to soldier on because I just have to get off my chest just how bad a device this really is.

Like I said, the core concept isn't necessarily a bad one. ACRyan has been making increasingly brilliant network media streamers for the last few years. They've been getting more powerful, with more functionality and, despite the limitations of the Realtek chipset, the GUI has come on leaps and bounds.

So when I heard ACRyan was using the Android OS to run its latest streamer, thoughts of an individually tailored interface, full web capabilities and the added bonus of a raft of apps and widget happily came to mind. Smart TVs all round then.

Obsolete Android

When I opened the box, I was still excited. It's a sleek, stylish bit of kit, perfect for sitting smartly, though unobtrusively, by your HDTV.

And then I realised it was running Android 2.2. Yeah, the rubbish version of the operating system that was rubbish on the early Android smartphones and was the darling of the rubbish cheapo Android tablets that almost killed the platform dead.

Have faith, I thought, ACRyan must have come up with a stylish interface built on top of the bland stock 2.2 version. And it most definitely must have come up with a way to have decent Flash performance so we can utilise the web to its fullest, with all the iPlayer and 4oD goodness we've come to know and love.

The first line of the VEOLO feature list gave me hope: 'Internet TV web browser, with HTML5, Adobe Flash and Chrome V8 JavaScript support.' But despite this, Flash definitely does not work – unless your definition of 'working' means playing iPlayer content for 15 seconds before crashing the browser.

None of the online video providers worked with either the stock browser or the generally Flash-happy Dolphin HD, and only the most basic of website animations actually functioned. Even ACRyan's own site doesn't work particularly well, covering up some menu options with its jerky scrolling images.

It's a shame – there are some decent points of interest in the VEOLO, but the OS completely hobbles it in terms of web content. The video playback is excellent; it happily zipped through different 1080p MKV files straight from a network hub. There was no issue skipping through movies or with different subtitle formats.

ACRyan veolo controller

The controller is almost a winner too, riffing on the simplicity of the Boxee Box's dual-sided remote. It's got Wii-like functionality too, allowing you to wave it around to control the on-screen cursor. Unfortunately it's not particularly well made, with sharp edges and awkwardly-placed buttons. But that's as good as it gets.

We were hoping for a device to marry web TV with ACRyan's strong offerings in the network media player department. It could have been the death knell for the media PC. Sadly though, this device manages to make for an incredibly unpleasant user experience. Avoid like a low-rent Android tablet.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNetwork Audio/Video Player
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
HDMIYes
Internet StreamingYes
Brand NameAC Ryan
Audio FormatsAAC, FLAC, Matroska (MKA), MP3, OGG, WAV, WMA, MP2, M4A, RealAudio Lossless, RealAudio, AC3, APE, RealAudio 4, RealAudio 5, RealAudio 6, RealAudio 8, RealAudio 9, RealAudio 10, TTA
Video FormatsASF, AVI, DAT, FLV, M2T, M2TS, MKV, MOV, MPEG, MPEG-4, RM, RMVB, TP, TRP, TS, WMV, M1V, M2V, M4V, 3GP, M2P, DivX 3, XviD, H.263, H.264, AVC, VC-1, WMV9, WVC1, VP6, RealVideo 8, RealVideo 9, RealVideo 10, RealVideo, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, DivX 4, DivX 5, DivX 6, VOD, RV30, RV40, AVS, RV20, WMV7, WMV1, WMV2, WMV8, 3G2
Scan Format1080p
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
USBYes
HDMI Version1.3
Number of Digital Optical Outputs1
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC)
Height36 mm
Width150 mm
Depth114 mm
ColourBlack
Video SystemNTSC, PAL
Sound SystemDolby Digital, DTS
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Image FormatsBMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG
FeaturesPC Streaming
ManufacturerAC Ryan
Product NameVEOLO Network Media Player
Manufacturer Part NumberACR-VE91200
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acryan.com
Marketing Information

VEOLO Smart Lifestyle
Digital home entertainment just took a giant leap. Internet, Android and a Media Streamer on your TV. Bursting with features that allow you to engage with social media, Android apps, online streaming, casual games, movies and music on a whole new level. Sit back, relax, and immerse.

Mouse Motion
Mouse control has found a new home in the remote control. Liberated from the confines of the desktop or notebook, mouse navigation is possible with VEOLO from the comfort of your sofa.

Internet on your TV
The internet is all around you. On your mobile device. On your PC. And now, on your TV. From the comfort of your own sofa and with a unique 3-in-1 Remote Control, you can browse the web for your favourite news, videos, blogs and more. VEOLO includes a web browser with HTML5, Adobe Flash & Chrome V8 JavaScript support.

Maximum Memory512 MB
ProtocolsSMB, FTP
Package Contents
  • VEOLO Network Media Player
  • HDMI 1.3 Cable
  • Remote Control (3-in-1)
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • DC-In 5V Power Adapter
  • Quick Start Guide
Scanning ModesProgressive Scan
Weight (Approximate)375 g