Recently, the TV has evolved froma simple "box" for viewing analog TV programs in a high-tech device, which by its functionality can be compared with a computer. Modern models can be included in the home network. Some use them to surf the net, communicate via Skype with friends, and also for games. Of course, the hardware of the TV will not be pulled by powerful 3D shooters, but you leave the "Evil Birds" for sure.

media player for TV
But here's the catch: all of the above features only SmartTV, the price of which often exceeds the cost of an ordinary TV and a powerful computer combined. Of course, for many consumers the need for such a purchase raises very big doubts. It's right, as the media player for the TV will turn the old LCD model into a good analog of "smart", and for all the fun you are unlikely to pay more than five or six thousand rubles.

What it is?

It would be foolish to continue to talk about such devices, without making a digression and without describing the concept itself in more detail. So, what is a media player for a TV?

If you are a gadget user onmobile OS Android, you can imagine such a mini-computer under its control. Have you heard about Raspberry Pi? So, the media player is the same "Blackberry" based on the ARM-processor. Unlike the mentioned mini-computers, it already has a proprietary shell from the manufacturer, usually based on "Android" with the addition of some specific services and programs.

Roughly speaking, this is such a miniature system unit for which your TV acts as a monitor.

media player classic


In principle, about the positive aspects of this kindtechnology, you can quite guess yourself. Having bought a media player for a TV for only four or five thousand rubles, you will make even a modern entertainment center a modern entertainment center.

Given the speed of developing "Android", you can notworry about the lack of any applications: players for video and audio files, browsers, programs for viewing images. We already said that there is even "Skype"! Of course, in this case you will need to purchase an additional webcam, but it is also not too expensive.

In addition, you can connect to such devicesportable USB drives. In combination with the ability to launch torrent clients, this makes any media player for TV a real treasure for connoisseurs of watching movies.

Easy setup and security

If you somehow follow the newsIT-technologies, we've probably heard about the scandal that erupted around SmartTV from LG. Recall that then users caught too intelligent technology in espionage. Not only that to refuse the targeted advertising in the settings was very difficult (the option is far hidden), so even after removing the corresponding check-box, the user information continued to be sent to the company's server.

stationary media players
Of course, Android OS in this respect is far fromperfection. Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of malicious programs for it, which can be dangerous for your personal data. But there are important differences.

First, for "Android" there are manyeffective antivirus programs. Secondly, if there is not so much knowledge in the subject, you can install not only another firmware, but even a new operating system on stationary media players! In any case, the network without any problems is the instructions for installing special ARM-assemblies Debian and Ubunu.

As one can understand, no such fundamentalthere is no possibility in SmartTV. Moreover, even with the update of its firmware there can be problems, since not everyone has a normal wired Internet, and the USB-modem does not recognize such a technique simply.

Where can the content come from?

Unlike Smart TV or anyBlu-ray player, a media player can easily "hook" a movie or a music composition from a home LAN, from an external hard drive or NAS server, whose popularity is now insanely large. Some of them have a built-in hard drive, which can be downloaded music and video, and no one canceled the playback from the flash drive.

Note that a portable media player with a stock of movies will fit into your pocket, becoming a true and irreplaceable companion on a business trip or traveling.

best media player

Local network settings

In contrast to the above-mentioned "smart TVs,with problems you are unlikely to encounter. The most commonly used Wi-Fi network. As a rule, the device immediately "hangs" to the home wireless network, requesting only the password for the entrance.

If you want to connect the gadget to a wiredconnection, there can be more difficulties. So, for certain it will be necessary to enter the IP address of the prefix itself, the subnet mask and other attributes. Setting up a digital media player, you will have to contact the manufacturer, learn how to configure the connected devices on his website.

Formats and other "buns"

sony media player
Regarding the number of supported formatsaudio, photo and video, then in this case, these devices are beyond any competition. In addition, the media player will be indispensable for those who have an HD video camera at home. Why? Judge for yourself:

  • Burn to disk? Expensive, boring, and the optical drives themselves are gradually disappearing into the past.
  • From the small display of the camera itself, it's simply inconvenient to watch.
  • Of course, you can use a computer monitor for the same purposes, but where more colorful professional videos will look on widescreen TV.
  • In the end, you can connect the system unit or laptop to the TV, but not everyone will cope with the settings.

Media players are different ...

To choose the best media player, it is very desirablefollow some of the recommendations below. First, the appearance and dimensions of the device should be in harmony with the appearance of all your equipment. It may sound absurd, but if the gadget stands out against the background of your plasma panel, it will catch your eye even when watching a movie.

digital media player
However, the technical characteristics of the player are much more important, including the following parameters:

  • The more supported formats, the better. The MKV codec is mandatory in their list. Ideal for imitation - a software media player "classic".
  • It is highly desirable to use only the most productive chips (like Sigma Designs 8634/8642).
  • It will be nice if the player will support the playback of images of Blu-Ray-discs.
  • If you are a beginner, you should be interested in the option to automatically scan your home network for public folders.
  • Is it possible to view IPTV? It is perfectly!
  • For the same beginners, it will be much better if the technician adjusts the mode of displaying the image on the TV screen.
  • In the case when the buyer considers himself to music connoisseurs, it is highly desirable to have HD-audio (DD TrueHD / Master Audio) decoders.

Some shortcomings

Of course, nothing is perfect in the world. Media players are not an exception. What are the disadvantages of the technique we are considering? How serious are they and prevent them from watching movies and listening to music?

You need to start with the fact that the Android platform withoutstable and fast internet is not enough for that. Of course, you can try to watch the movie on the device you just bought, but no one can guarantee that there will be a necessary codec or enough "omnivorous" player.

Everything needs to be downloaded from the network, so proudowners of GPRS / EDGE-channel in this situation is not to be envied. In their case, the best solution would be to connect the laptop or computer to the TV, since they will be able to cope with the output settings of the image, but it's unlikely to do without the normal Internet. In short, a network media player, which depends entirely on the availability of an Internet connection, does not exactly fit us.

portable media player

Ease of use

If possible, be sure to turn onthe device is still in the store, try to cope with its management. Often there are times when the media player is very good, but his menu and navigation on it are so terrible that it's impossible to use the device normally.

In addition, it is also necessary to include the dimensions andergonomics of the console. Today, on the shelves, you can find many such devices, in which the consoles in size more like a flea horseshoe. It is not known what the designers are guided by, but in the dark you just do not get to the right button.

Avoid consoles that have only a couplebuttons: they look beautiful, but where it is more convenient to run many functions by a single click, rather than spinning through several menus. If there is such an opportunity, it is worth buying a universal control device, which includes the functions of the mouse and keyboard.

Note that the keyboard, mouse and webcam in themost cases will have to be purchased separately. The cost of specialized devices (a special camera for the player) is often much higher than that of their conventional counterparts.

Do not forget about the platform. ARM-processors can not be called too productive devices, so movies at maximum resolution can noticeably slow down. However, this statement is true far from all devices: almost any Sony-media player of this lack is almost certainly deprived.

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