Manufacturers, it seems, are developing HD Media Players a dime a dozen and Amkette have followed suit by recently releasing their portable Flash TV HD Player. After reviews for the Iomega Screenplay HD Media Player and the Yodigito FV-1 Android TV, we tried out Amkette's new Flash TV HD Player that offers HD video playback whilst being affordably priced under Rs. 4,000. Here's our review about Amkette's latest media device.
Amkette's Flash TV HD Player
Design and Build Quality
The Amkette Flash TV HD Player is a small, round and extremely light-weight device. It sports a blue LED grid on the front and all the connectivity ports run around the rim of the circular-shaped player. The Amkette player has composite video, component video and HDMI output connectivity ports. It also has one USB port and an MMC card reader slot along with a slot for the power cable. The top has a glossy black finish with Amkette Flash TV HD written along with the DTS, Dolby and HDMI tags. The back has an indicator description for each connector slot present on the cable.
Remote receiver works over a very limited range
The player supports a wide variety of video formats including AVI, ISO, MKV, Xvid, WMV9, MPEG4, M2TS, RM and FLV (including support for H.264, x.264 codecs). The audio formats supported include WAV, MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, LPCM and Dolby Digital Plus. Now, that is quite a decent variety as far as playback formats are concerned. The player also supports automatic scanning and segregation of various media types. However, that feature seemed to take a lot of time to segregate our content from the hard drive. There is a music centre that allows creating playlists for favourite songs, but without an inbuilt memory, the whole idea of a playlist doesn't really fit in as the player takes the same time to access files every time an external device is connected. Besides this, the player also has an Auto Video Mode which chooses the best resolution for you to watch your media.
Amkette has a standard user interface but it definitely doesn't disappoint. There are five widgets for Movies, Photos, Music, File Manager and Setup. An all-black and orange interface does seem to light up the whole screen and the files are displayed in a neat list. This might become a problem if a single file from a number of similarly named files needs to be picked. There is no option to change viewing options from list, to say thumbnails, or icons. But, a sweet, simple yet impressive user interface is what the Amkette Flash TV Player is about.
The User Interface
When we started the player we had some difficulties with the range of the remote control which actually dampened the experience. First up, we slotted in an SD card and the player was able to playback each and every test video we tried. The HD videos played seamlessly too. However, the videos would show up in the music tab, which was no problem as such. But every time we tried playing a video when it appeared in the music folder, the player would throw up an error. After that, we connected the external HDD and the player took a whole seven minutes to load all the files in their respective folders. The remote responsiveness also becomes erratic. The third time, we connected both the SD card and the HDD together and needless to say, the player became extremely slow in responsiveness. The player got a little hot too, but playback didn't stutter whatsoever. A little patience will definitely come in handy!
The remote has the standard buttons that come with most remotes but it does have a few extra buttons that provide added functionality. The OPS button allows data transfer between two connected devices. But since the player has only one USB port, the button doesn’t really serve its purpose. The OSD button allows display of on-screen functions like file repeat one, repeat all, shuffle and loop through a single button.
The circular structure with ports running along the rim
The Amkette Flash TV HD Player has a market operating price of Rs. 3,995. It is definitely better priced than some other players out there in the market, but for a couple of thousands more, there is the option of the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV HD Media Player that also supports network streaming. However, Amkette's Flash Player is an extremely small device and will definitely provide added functionality to your HDTV. It does not support 3D video playback, has no Internet connectivity and does require a little patience during its operation but at that price, it might just be the device you're looking for to make the most of your TV's features.
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