HTPC for minimum money. Apacer AL460 network media player review

HTPC for minimum money. Apacer AL460 network media player reviewThe home theatre system is going to become an integral part of any home computer network soon. Its a growing tendency. In the past decade when everyone used VHS cassettes (if we look back well see that the quality of the films recorded on cassettes of this type was awful around here) playing them back on bulky TV-sets with cathode-ray tube, computers were not considered at all as means of playing back video. And home theatres of those days were nothing but analog.

Now the situation has improved a bit. An average DVD player costs $40-80, a DVD disk can be purchased for $15-30. Its not that hard to find disks of a good quality while linking up a computer is one of the most topical issues today. It costs a lot but the owner of this system gets a very versatile player at their disposal which is easy to update both programmatically and hardwarily. The only disadvantage is that it will cost you $300-600 depending on its configuration.

Theres another disadvantage the HTPC takes a lot of place, though it depends on the size of its case. But you dont really need a big case. Moreover, you can purchase a very compact nettop for $200-300 and watch movies using it. And its not the most optimal variant you can get the desired result even for less money.

There are so-called network media players. Its something like a network attached storage (NAS) which is capable of decoding different formats and displaying them on the TV. Its a very handy thing its software is customized for remote control and you may turn out to have a couple of hard disks at hand which you can easily replenish through a network. Apart from that, you can reach for the hard disks installed on the computers through the same network. And to make you completely happy - the most functional devices can autonomously download all the necessary stuff from the internet through BitTorrent. In this case even the most functional of them cost less than $250.

But ... have you already guessed? Thats it! Its not an ultimate limit. And the limit here it is: we remove local data storage, connection with the internet ability, Wi-Fi and even cut off NAS functions. What is left? Thats it, chip-decoder, a couple of video outputs for connecting to a TV, Ethernet connector and USB. Apacer AL460, a network media player, appears to be this miracle. Its ultimate goal is to transmit video/audio stream to the TV. Do you think it costs a lot? From our point of view, its not so much about $100. But can there be any problems with the device? We have been investigating it.

Apacer AL460

AL460 is not the first experience of creating media players by Apacer. There was another model before it which was up-to-date a couple of years ago. It handled many formats but HD video was beyond its power. However much depended on bit rate and resolution but it wont be able to cope with modern formats. AL460 is to solve the problem. Lets have a look at its specifications.


As we have already mentioned, the data source for AL460 is external storage devices such as USB flash, card-readers or HDD. Its a pity that storages attached to the device are not accessible through a local network but NAS functions are cut off intentionally in order to reduce the cost even more. Through the network the player will see everything that is accessible through CIFS/SMB protocol or, in other words, Windows shares for general use or resources accessible through Samba server for Linux and Mac OS X.

Its very good that NTFS file system is supported. It would be great if there was compatibility with Linux systems which are often used on hard disks installed in NAS but its not critical.

We are going to tell about ports a bit later. We are impressed by the list of the formats it supports. With the help of AL460 you can watch virtually anything that you come across on the Internet. Why virtually? Because Blu-ray images are not supported. You can try and play back all the files from the folder in succession one after another but the player doesnt always cope with its correct sorting. There shouldnt be any other problems though. Anyway, the most popular films are coded with MPEG-4 codec now. And here you can come across both compact files with low resolution and FullHD compressed stuff with Blu-ray. But there are no problems with DVD either even with ISO images. We have checked it out ourselves everything functions smoothly, even DVD menu.

Video is displayed with the resolution of up to 1920x1080 pixels and it speaks for itself. It is enough for any modern film. Besides you can view any photos as long as pictures with the definition of more than 15 MP are supported. You can come across a higher resolution only in professional DSLRs but they are few. As for audio, the bit rate of 320 Kbit/s is supported and we are going to tell about peculiarities of its decoding below.

All this becomes possible due to chip-decoder produced by Realtek, accurate model of which we have failed to reveal. Apart from this AL460 has main memory of 128 MBytes and flash memory of 256 MBytes. It goes without saying that flash memory is not accessible for the user and is only used for command system running.

The device weighs very little. We can even say that its virtually weightless. And its outer dimensions are not that big you can put AL460 anywhere it wont take much room.

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Shorouq#10 0
Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program () 02/04/09 IMPORTANT UPDATE: Funai has reselaed a firmware update for this player. I have high hopes that this firmware update will fix the problems with freezing on certain Blu-ray discs. The firmware can be found at: funai-corp.com/support/Downloads.aspx EDITED 12/03/08 The player freezes in multiple places when playing The X-Files: I Want to Believe. I attempted to play the movie three times and it froze three times, each time required a power-down and restart. I just finished watching the movie on the PS3 and it did not have any issues. There is apparently no way to update the firmware on this player, so I don't expect good results on some titles. One thing that I discovered that I really do like about this player is that it will allow you to set repeat on all movies, unlike the PS3. The PS3 will not allow some movies to repeat, but I have been able to set them to repeat on the Sylvania. This is not a big deal by any means, but I do like the feature. EDITED 10/14/08 It looks like the price has been reduced to $199 now, so this player is more attractive. It is a four-star unit at this price point. The review was written when the price was $279 and the price reduced the star rating. This is a very reasonable price for the player and I expect that it will suit many people. Recommended. ORIGINAL REVIEW FOLLOWS: OVERALL 3.5 STARS I received this unit today and tested it against my Sony Playstation 3. I timed how long it took to perform various actions on both units and the results are as follows: The Sylvania NB500SL9: The time from power on to display on screen was 35 seconds without a disc in the tray. The time from inserting a Blu-ray disc (The Nightmare Before Christmas) to display on screen was also 35 seconds. The display went black for 1 minute and 4 seconds after the previews, as the BD menu was loading. It took 2 minutes and 2 seconds before the audio handshake completed and the BD menu soundtrack started playing. The menu is moderately slow to respond, but not painfully so. Moving between menu items is not snappy like it is on the Sony Playstation 3 (, but it is not slow enough that you don't think the remote is working. It took 5 seconds to load the Disney Blu-ray screen after pressing play (without intro by Tim Burton). After the Disney Blu-ray intro, it took 25 seconds to get to the FBI warning. It took 13 seconds from the end of the FBI warning to get to the Disney castle scene and then about 3 seconds to get to the movie. The HDMI audio handshake failed again and I had to reset my processor to get the audio to work. I pressed Top Menu to get back to the menu and it took 1 minute and 2 seconds to return to the menu screen and, once again, the audio did not work. The video and audio cut out and came back on after 1 minute and 4 seconds and the audio was back. The video output is pretty solid and I don't believe that anyone will have many complaints here. Overall, the video output was excellent and I was very pleased with the performance. The audio is problematic in my installation and changing the BD audio mode did not fix the handshaking issues. The audio eventually synchronized, but it took a long time and was definitely disappointing. Apparently the HDMI handshaking is questionable on this unit. I have a Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD player and a Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray player and neither have HDMI audio/video handshaking issues with my Integra DTC 9.8 processor. I connected the NB500SL9 with the same Audioquest HDMI cable that I use with my HD DVD player, so I know the cable is not the issue here. I tried all the various settings in the setup section and was unable to resolve the audio handshaking issue, so this is where my testing ended. This unit might work much better with a different processor than I am using, so consider this a review of how the Sylvania unit works with the Integra DTC 9.8 pre/pro only. With this in mind, I cannot recommend this unit for anyone using the DTC, as the audio handshaking issues are a deal breaker. I tested the same disc with the Sony Playstation 3 and the results were as follows: Power on to display took 9 seconds. The disc was recognized by the PS3 5 seconds after insertion. It took 29 seconds after insertion to get to previews. It took 26 seconds to get the the BD menu after the previews. The audio synchronized immediately. Menus are immediately responsive. It took 3 seconds to get to the Disney castle scene after pressing play without
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Shorouq#20 0
Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program () 02/04/09 IMPORTANT UPDATE: Funai has reselaed a firmware update for this player. I have high hopes that this firmware update will fix the problems with freezing on certain Blu-ray discs. The firmware can be found at: funai-corp.com/support/Downloads.aspx EDITED 12/03/08 The player freezes in multiple places when playing The X-Files: I Want to Believe. I attempted to play the movie three times and it froze three times, each time required a power-down and restart. I just finished watching the movie on the PS3 and it did not have any issues. There is apparently no way to update the firmware on this player, so I don't expect good results on some titles. One thing that I discovered that I really do like about this player is that it will allow you to set repeat on all movies, unlike the PS3. The PS3 will not allow some movies to repeat, but I have been able to set them to repeat on the Sylvania. This is not a big deal by any means, but I do like the feature. EDITED 10/14/08 It looks like the price has been reduced to $199 now, so this player is more attractive. It is a four-star unit at this price point. The review was written when the price was $279 and the price reduced the star rating. This is a very reasonable price for the player and I expect that it will suit many people. Recommended. ORIGINAL REVIEW FOLLOWS: OVERALL 3.5 STARS I received this unit today and tested it against my Sony Playstation 3. I timed how long it took to perform various actions on both units and the results are as follows: The Sylvania NB500SL9: The time from power on to display on screen was 35 seconds without a disc in the tray. The time from inserting a Blu-ray disc (The Nightmare Before Christmas) to display on screen was also 35 seconds. The display went black for 1 minute and 4 seconds after the previews, as the BD menu was loading. It took 2 minutes and 2 seconds before the audio handshake completed and the BD menu soundtrack started playing. The menu is moderately slow to respond, but not painfully so. Moving between menu items is not snappy like it is on the Sony Playstation 3 (, but it is not slow enough that you don't think the remote is working. It took 5 seconds to load the Disney Blu-ray screen after pressing play (without intro by Tim Burton). After the Disney Blu-ray intro, it took 25 seconds to get to the FBI warning. It took 13 seconds from the end of the FBI warning to get to the Disney castle scene and then about 3 seconds to get to the movie. The HDMI audio handshake failed again and I had to reset my processor to get the audio to work. I pressed Top Menu to get back to the menu and it took 1 minute and 2 seconds to return to the menu screen and, once again, the audio did not work. The video and audio cut out and came back on after 1 minute and 4 seconds and the audio was back. The video output is pretty solid and I don't believe that anyone will have many complaints here. Overall, the video output was excellent and I was very pleased with the performance. The audio is problematic in my installation and changing the BD audio mode did not fix the handshaking issues. The audio eventually synchronized, but it took a long time and was definitely disappointing. Apparently the HDMI handshaking is questionable on this unit. I have a Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD player and a Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray player and neither have HDMI audio/video handshaking issues with my Integra DTC 9.8 processor. I connected the NB500SL9 with the same Audioquest HDMI cable that I use with my HD DVD player, so I know the cable is not the issue here. I tried all the various settings in the setup section and was unable to resolve the audio handshaking issue, so this is where my testing ended. This unit might work much better with a different processor than I am using, so consider this a review of how the Sylvania unit works with the Integra DTC 9.8 pre/pro only. With this in mind, I cannot recommend this unit for anyone using the DTC, as the audio handshaking issues are a deal breaker. I tested the same disc with the Sony Playstation 3 and the results were as follows: Power on to display took 9 seconds. The disc was recognized by the PS3 5 seconds after insertion. It took 29 seconds after insertion to get to previews. It took 26 seconds to get the the BD menu after the previews. The audio synchronized immediately. Menus are immediately responsive. It took 3 seconds to get to the Disney castle scene after pressing play without
Reply 
Shorouq#30 0
Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program () 02/04/09 IMPORTANT UPDATE: Funai has reselaed a firmware update for this player. I have high hopes that this firmware update will fix the problems with freezing on certain Blu-ray discs. The firmware can be found at: funai-corp.com/support/Downloads.aspx EDITED 12/03/08 The player freezes in multiple places when playing The X-Files: I Want to Believe. I attempted to play the movie three times and it froze three times, each time required a power-down and restart. I just finished watching the movie on the PS3 and it did not have any issues. There is apparently no way to update the firmware on this player, so I don't expect good results on some titles. One thing that I discovered that I really do like about this player is that it will allow you to set repeat on all movies, unlike the PS3. The PS3 will not allow some movies to repeat, but I have been able to set them to repeat on the Sylvania. This is not a big deal by any means, but I do like the feature. EDITED 10/14/08 It looks like the price has been reduced to $199 now, so this player is more attractive. It is a four-star unit at this price point. The review was written when the price was $279 and the price reduced the star rating. This is a very reasonable price for the player and I expect that it will suit many people. Recommended. ORIGINAL REVIEW FOLLOWS: OVERALL 3.5 STARS I received this unit today and tested it against my Sony Playstation 3. I timed how long it took to perform various actions on both units and the results are as follows: The Sylvania NB500SL9: The time from power on to display on screen was 35 seconds without a disc in the tray. The time from inserting a Blu-ray disc (The Nightmare Before Christmas) to display on screen was also 35 seconds. The display went black for 1 minute and 4 seconds after the previews, as the BD menu was loading. It took 2 minutes and 2 seconds before the audio handshake completed and the BD menu soundtrack started playing. The menu is moderately slow to respond, but not painfully so. Moving between menu items is not snappy like it is on the Sony Playstation 3 (, but it is not slow enough that you don't think the remote is working. It took 5 seconds to load the Disney Blu-ray screen after pressing play (without intro by Tim Burton). After the Disney Blu-ray intro, it took 25 seconds to get to the FBI warning. It took 13 seconds from the end of the FBI warning to get to the Disney castle scene and then about 3 seconds to get to the movie. The HDMI audio handshake failed again and I had to reset my processor to get the audio to work. I pressed Top Menu to get back to the menu and it took 1 minute and 2 seconds to return to the menu screen and, once again, the audio did not work. The video and audio cut out and came back on after 1 minute and 4 seconds and the audio was back. The video output is pretty solid and I don't believe that anyone will have many complaints here. Overall, the video output was excellent and I was very pleased with the performance. The audio is problematic in my installation and changing the BD audio mode did not fix the handshaking issues. The audio eventually synchronized, but it took a long time and was definitely disappointing. Apparently the HDMI handshaking is questionable on this unit. I have a Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD player and a Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray player and neither have HDMI audio/video handshaking issues with my Integra DTC 9.8 processor. I connected the NB500SL9 with the same Audioquest HDMI cable that I use with my HD DVD player, so I know the cable is not the issue here. I tried all the various settings in the setup section and was unable to resolve the audio handshaking issue, so this is where my testing ended. This unit might work much better with a different processor than I am using, so consider this a review of how the Sylvania unit works with the Integra DTC 9.8 pre/pro only. With this in mind, I cannot recommend this unit for anyone using the DTC, as the audio handshaking issues are a deal breaker. I tested the same disc with the Sony Playstation 3 and the results were as follows: Power on to display took 9 seconds. The disc was recognized by the PS3 5 seconds after insertion. It took 29 seconds after insertion to get to previews. It took 26 seconds to get the the BD menu after the previews. The audio synchronized immediately. Menus are immediately responsive. It took 3 seconds to get to the Disney castle scene after pressing play without
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Debra#40 0
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Debra#50 0
We defenitily need more smart people like you around.
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Debra#60 0
We defenitily need more smart people like you around.
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Roger#70 0
Kato cialo si prav, no tam vsiaka firma si ima mesta za parnriake i ne moje da spresh kadeto ti padne.zatova controla e zavishen zashtoto iskat da znaiat pri koia firma otivash i dali te ochakvat.Tova s pistoleta za ohranata ot blizak rodnina li go znaesh:::::::::::::::::)))))))))))))))
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Roger#80 0
Kato cialo si prav, no tam vsiaka firma si ima mesta za parnriake i ne moje da spresh kadeto ti padne.zatova controla e zavishen zashtoto iskat da znaiat pri koia firma otivash i dali te ochakvat.Tova s pistoleta za ohranata ot blizak rodnina li go znaesh:::::::::::::::::)))))))))))))))
Reply 
Roger#90 0
Kato cialo si prav, no tam vsiaka firma si ima mesta za parnriake i ne moje da spresh kadeto ti padne.zatova controla e zavishen zashtoto iskat da znaiat pri koia firma otivash i dali te ochakvat.Tova s pistoleta za ohranata ot blizak rodnina li go znaesh:::::::::::::::::)))))))))))))))
Reply 
Tofik#100 0
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Tofik#110 0
6-29-12noor пишет: ab…потому что знание об это Mне может…bb. Brat, prosto bukvu M <a href="http://ehoidhsc.com">priabv</a> k clovu это . baraka allahu fik +12Был ли этот ответ полезным?
Reply 
Tofik#120 0
6-29-12noor пишет: ab…потому что знание об это Mне может…bb. Brat, prosto bukvu M <a href="http://ehoidhsc.com">priabv</a> k clovu это . baraka allahu fik +12Был ли этот ответ полезным?
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Daniela#130 0
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Daniela#150 0
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