Mobile technology should not be about cramming the office into your pocket but a way to enjoy your everyday life.

Out with the Apple TV - In with the Asus O!Play HDP-R1


The name is not catchy, the box is plastic and the user interface is terrible.

But the Asus O!Play does one thing my Apple TV has never been able to do; it can access video files in different formats on my network attached hard disks (NAS) and display them on my TV.

I bought the Apple TV when it was first introduced and I'we gone trough all the versions from 1 to 3 but my Apple TV still does not do that one thing I expect it to do. I have also tried to install the XBMC media player among other things but it still comes up short.

So I gave up and got myself an Asus O!Play. It costs far less than the Apple TV (about 100 euros in all), it does not have a nice cover, a built in power supply, local storage, WiFi or the fine tuned user interface that the Apple TV has. But it can see my hard disk over the (wired) network and it can open every media file I'we selected: AVI files with DIVX and MP3 compression, Matroska (MKV) files with XVID and OGG Vorbis compression and MP4 files with H.264 and AAC HE compression. The user interface looks like an example of poor usability from the 1990s, but it works.

I wish I could say the same about my Apple TV.