Eminent HD Media Player EM7195 review
The EM7195’s file support is exhaustive too. Everything, from AVI and MP3 to FLAC and AAC files – and even Blu-ray ISOs – played without so much as a dropped frame. Impressively, we were also able to play raw AVCHD files direct from a video camera, a rarity by any standards. The EM7195 practically eradicates the need for re-encoding files.
Unfortunately, the interface lets the side down. Some menus are unnecessarily frustrating to navigate, the onboard file copy system is plagued by misleading instructions and translations, and the EPG felt half baked too. It’s impossible to view multiple channel listings at once and you’ll have to view channel schedules one at a time. The A-Listed WD TV Live’s menu system is much more slick and user-friendly.
There’s a lack of sophistication elsewhere too. Although there’s a browser on board, using the internet is awkward. There’s a smattering of preinstalled web applications, including YouTube, Flickr and an RSS feed reader, but these feel tacked on, and there’s no sign of BBC iPlayer.
We also ran into problems trying to copy files directly from the HDD to a PC using the device’s USB 3 connection; although the box appeared as a drive in the Windows Explorer, it stubbornly refused to let us open it up. ([em]Since this review was originally published, Eminent has acknowledged this, and postponed shipments of the streamer; by the time it goes on sale, the problem should be fixed.[/em]) Finally, it’s disappointing that the Freeview tuners are only capable of receiving standard definition broadcasts.
It’s undeniable that the EM7195 is feature rich, and its five-year warranty is tempting too, but this can’t mask a serious lack of polish. It does a lot of things, but not many of them well, and the user interface is a mess. If you’ve got £179 to spend, there are better options out there.
Software and OS support
|Operating system Windows 7 supported?||yes|
|Dimensions||320 x Unknown x 70mm (WDH)|
Audio format support
Video format support
Ports and communications
|UPnP media server?||yes|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||2|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||2|
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